Boeing has been awarded a contract to modernize the U.S. Navy F/A-18 fleet, extending the life of existing Super Hornets from 6,000 to 9,000+ flight hours. In the early 2020s, Boeing will begin installing initial updates to the aircraft that will convert existing Block II Super Hornets to a new Block III configuration.
The Block III conversion will include enhanced network capability, longer range with conformal fuel tanks, an advanced cockpit system, signature improvements and an enhanced communication system. The updates are expected to keep the F/A-18 in active service for decades to come.
According to company’s official announcement; “The initial focus of this program will extend the life of the fleet from 6,000 to 9,000 flight hours,” said Mark Sears, SLM program director. “But SLM will expand to include Block II to Block III conversion, systems grooming and reset and O-level maintenance tasks designed to deliver a more maintainable aircraft with an extended life and more capability. Each of these jets will fly another 10 to 15 years, so making them next-generation aircraft is critical.”
The Super Hornet Block III could incorporate a new 10” x 19” large screen cockpit display as first proposed for Boeing’s Advanced Super Hornet concept.
Follow us on Twitter; @navalstrategy76
Turkish defence company STM made an announcement on 28 February and stated that they have signed a contract with Pakistan Government to upgrade the Pakistan Navy’s second (of three) Agosta 90B submarine.
Accordingly, the project for the modernization of Agosta 90B class submarines was expanded by the addition of the modernization of the second submarine ship. Various additional systems, including the first submarine vessel, were added to the configuration, while all systems in the main contract were equally in the configuration of the second submarine vessel. In addition, the third submarine vessel and various additional systems with the contract amendment were also taken as options.
Pakistan signed for the three Agosta 90Bs in 1994 with the French company Naval Group (former DCNS). The lead-ship , PNS Khalid, was delivered to Pakistan in 1999, with the PNS Saad and PNS Hamza arriving in 2003 and 2006, respectively. These will be joined by eight new Hangor-class submarines (potentially S26) acquired from China by 2028.
The first submarine will be delivered in 2020. The modernization activities will be carried out on Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) owned by the Pakistan Navy.
BAE Systems has received two U.S. Navy contracts totalling $54.8 million to modernize the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) and the guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71).
Both contracts include options that, if exercised, would bring the total cumulative value of the awards to $62.2 million.
“These contracts are important to expanding the service lives and capability of these Navy ships,” said David Thomas, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair. “Our work on board the America will keep the ship ready for immediate service. For the Cape St. George, it is the beginning of a four-year journey toward full modernization and the ability to serve in the fleet longer.”
The USS America was commissioned in October 2014. BAE Systems will perform hull, mechanical, and electrical repairs, as well as additional flight deck modifications to support F-35 Lightning II operations on board. Work on the 844-foot-long ship will be conducted at Naval Station San Diego by company employees and subcontractors. The modernization is expected to begin in March and be completed in December 2018.
The USS Cape St. George was commissioned in June 1993. BAE Systems will perform ship alternations and repairs aboard the 567-foot-long ship, including the replacement of critical aluminium structures and the removal of obsolete equipment, under the Navy’s cruiser modernization program. BAE Systems’ work on the Cape St. George, to be conducted at the company’s shipyard in San Diego, is expected to begin in March and be completed by January 2019.
BAE Systems has received a $9.6 million contract from the U.S. Navy to modernize the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58).
The ship will undergo 10 months of work at the company’s Jacksonville, Florida, shipyard and at nearby Naval Station Mayport. This docking selected restricted availability (DSRA) contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to approximately $72 million.
“We have extensive experience with the Navy’s Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruisers and specifically with the Philippine Sea,” said Todd Hooks, general manager of BAE Systems Jacksonville Ship Repair. “We will utilize our cruiser experience to accomplish the DSRA and return the ship back to the fleet ready for continued service.”
The USS Philippine Sea was commissioned in March 1989. Work on board the 567-foot-long ship is expected to begin in April and be completed in February 2019. The company’s Jacksonville shipyard currently employs about 540 people.
After an international bidding process, French company Safran Electronics & Defense has been chosen to deliver navigation system as part of the modernization project of the Royal Netherlands Navy’s Walrus-class submarines.
The Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) was in charge of the selection process. In a joint statement, projects procurement officer Danny Pronk and senior naval systems integrator Jaap Hagesteijn, representing the DMO, said: “We chose Safran Electronics & Defense because we have great confidence in their long experience as a supplier of naval equipment.”
Sigma 40 navigation systems are built around a ring laser gyro (RLG) inertial core. The systems are deployed by more than 40 navies worldwide.