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Military Purchasing News for Defense Procurement Managers and Contractors
Updated: 2 weeks 1 day ago

USN Tapped For H-53 | Norway Selects TPY-4 | Japan Finalizes F-X Agreement

Tue, 22/11/2022 - 05:00
Americas

The US Navy awarded Adams Communication and Engineering Technology with a $37.4 million deal, which provides for non-recurring and recurring efforts required to fabricate, assemble, and support prototyping, system integration, and installation of depot modifications associated with engineering changes to H-53 aircraft for the Navy, Marine Corps and Foreign Military Sales customers. Work will take place in California, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Arizona, Japan, Korea and Bahrain. Expected completion will be in November 2027.

Raytheon won a $23.4 million deal for the procurement of AEGIS Modernization kits for Navy guided-missile destroyers and allied nations. The Aegis Combat System is the Navy’s most modern surface combat system. It was designed as a complete system: the missile launching element, the computer programs, the radar and the displays are fully integrated to work together. Work will take place in Massachusetts and Virginia. Estimated completion will be by March 2026.

Middle East & Africa

Turkey announced on Sunday it had carried out air strikes against the bases of outlawed Kurdish militants across northern Syria and Iraq, which it said were being used to launch “terrorist” attacks on Turkish soil. The overnight raids in northern and northeastern Syria killed at least 31 people, said the British-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. They were mainly against positions held by Syrian Kurdish forces.

Europe

France and Germany on Friday hailed the conclusion of a deal to build a new European fighter jet after months of disagreements between two companies involved — Airbus and Dassault Aviation. Launched by France and Germany in 2017 and since joined by Spain, the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) aims to have a next-generation jet in service by 2040, along with integrated drone fleets.

The Royal Norwegian Air Force has selected the Lockheed Martin TPY-4 as its new early warning radar. Norway becomes the first export customer of the radar, joining the US Air Force which has selected the TPY-4 for the Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long Range Radar program in March.

Asia-Pacific

Asahi news in Japan reports that Tokyo will finalize an agreement with Italy and United Kingdom to develop its next fighter. The report says Avio Aero from Italy will be involved in researching for a new engine for the F-X fighter together with Mitsubishi and Rolls-Royce.

Today’s Video

WATCH: THAAD: FCAS / SCAF : The Future European Jet ?

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

General Atomics Wins MQ-9A Modification | Elbit To Supply Hermes 900 To Undisclosed Customer | New Zealand Enhances Defense Aid To Ukraine

Fri, 18/11/2022 - 05:00
Americas

General Atomics won a $46.9 million contract modification by the US Navy, which exercises an option to provide spares necessary for the successful operational capability of the Marine Air Ground Task Force Unmanned Aircraft System Expeditionary Medium Altitude Long Endurance MQ-9A Block 5 Reaper air vehicles, ground control stations, and ancillary equipment. Work will take place in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Virginia, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina.

The US Navy awarded Sikorsky a $14.1 million modification, which exercises an option to provide non-recurring engineering, supplies and support necessary for the low rate initial production Lot 1 deployable configuration updates for the CH-53K heavy lift replacement aircraft for the Navy. Work will take place in Florida. Expected completion is in December 2023.

Middle East & Africa

Israeli defense firm Elbit Systems has received a $72-million contract to supply an undisclosed international customer with Hermes 900 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Under the two-year agreement, Elbit will deliver Hermes 900 drones equipped with the company’s electro-optical system, including a wide area persistent surveillance system, multi-spectral electro-optical payload, satellite communication, and signal intelligence payloads.

Europe

The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Switzerland of PATRIOT Advanced Capability (PAC) 3 Missile Segment Enhanced (MSE) missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $700 million. The proposed sale of the PAC-3 MSE missiles will enhance the capability of Switzerland’s PATRIOT missile defense system. The proposed sale supports Switzerland’s goal of improving national and territorial defense as well as interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces. Switzerland will use the PATRIOT system and missiles to defend its territorial integrity and for regional stability. The prime contractor will be Lockheed-Martin, Dallas, Texas.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that an offer to cooperate with Australia on submarines still stood, after a bitter row over a cancelled contract last year threatened to torpedo relations. Macron was left furious when Australia’s previous prime minister Scott Morrison abruptly tore up a contract for France to build a dozen diesel-powered submarines and announced a deal to buy US or British nuclear-powered subs.

Asia-Pacific

The New Zealand government has enhanced its defense commitments to Ukraine, boosting military equipment funding and extending training for Ukrainian warfighters. Prime Minister Jacina Ardern on Monday announced an undisclosed amount of additional military support to improve Ukraine’s self defense nine months into Russia’s invasion.

Today’s Video

WATCH: Elbit Systems / HERMES 900 – Next Gen Multi-Role MALE UAS

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

USN To Build Unmanned Mothership To Launch Smaller Maritime Drones | Sweden To Send More Military Aid To Ukraine | Rheinmetall Sets Higher Financial Target

Thu, 17/11/2022 - 05:00
Americas

Sikorsky won a $98.9 million deal for UH-60M Black Hawk aircraft. UH-60 Black Hawk is a multi-mission helicopter developed by Sikorsky that has been operational in the US Army since 1978. The export version of the UH-60 Black Hawk is designated as S-70A. Work will take place in Connecticut. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2027.

The US Navy is seeking proposals to build a low-cost unmanned vessel capable of towing and launching many unmanned vessels into contested environments. A design and construction contract could be awarded by mid-2026, with expected vessel delivery beginning within two years.

Middle East & Africa

The Israeli government is asking local defense manufacturers to design and produce longer-range, more stealthy armed drones for use against Iran. Defense sources told Breaking Defense that the new unmanned systems would provide the country with more attack options in the event of a conflict with its arch-foe.

Europe

Sweden will deliver new military aid worth $287 million to Ukraine. “It’s a bigger military support package than all eight previous packages combined,” Kristersson told a news conference. “It’s the single largest we’ve done, and we follow exactly the Ukrainian priority list of what they themselves think they need just now,” the Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said at a press conference. Kristersson also noted the government was closely following developments concerning the explosion in Poland near the Ukrainian border on Tuesday and that more information was needed to gain a clearer picture of what happened. On Tuesday an explosion in the eastern part of Poland, close to the Ukrainian boarder, led to an emergency meeting of the NATO ambassadors. It is still unclear wether the explosion came from Russian missile. NARO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg however said on Wednesday that the explosion was most likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile.

The armaments group Rheinmetall has set itself higher financial targets for the medium term because of the armament in many NATO countries. In 2025, the Düsseldorf group wants to achieve sales of between 10 and 11 billion euros, as it announced on Wednesday at an investor event in Vienna. The operating profit margin, which Rheinmetall uses to measure its profitability, is expected to increase to around 13 percent.

Rheinmetall AG will soon dispatch main battle tanks and other military hardware to Slovakia, a move that will allow the country to transfer equipment to Ukraine as NATO continues to support Kyiv in its fight against Russian forces. The German defense company said Wednesday that it would be sending 15 Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks and ammunition to Slovakia as well as a service package including training and spare parts. The first vehicle is expected to be shipped in December and the company aims to complete deliveries by the end of 2023. The vehicles that Rheinmetall will be providing were formerly in the inventories of various states, the company said.

Asia-Pacific

Taiwan has introduced its new single-rotor drone for surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The unmanned system was unveiled by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCIST) during a demonstration conducted on Tuesday. According to local media outlets, the drone features a larger payload capacity than other unmanned aerial vehicles in Taiwan’s arsenal.

Today’s Video

WATCH: US intelligence believes Ukraine fired missile that landed in Poland

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Huntington Contracted For CVN-78 | Iran Unveiled Sayyad 4B | South Korea To Upgrade Its K-9

Wed, 16/11/2022 - 05:00
Americas

BAE Systems Land & Armaments won a $32 million contract modification, for M2A4 and M7A4 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Work will be performed in York, Pennsylvania, with an estimated completion date of August 23, 2023. M2A4 is designed to provide protected transport of soldiers and direct fires to support dismounted infantry, disrupt or destroy enemy military forces, and control land areas. The Bradley Engineering Change Proposal (ECP), termed M2/M7A4, includes changes intended to restore ground clearance, suspension reliability, and lost mobility, and to improve situational awareness. The M2/M7A4 maintains the survivability enhancement features found on legacy vehicles, to include the Bradley Urban Survivability Kits, Bradley Reactive Armor Tiles, and Add-on Armor Kit that the Army developed and fielded based on lessons learned during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Huntington Ingalls Industries won a $36 million modification for work previously authorized and completed, related to the various warfare system installations and testing necessary to support the completed construction for USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is the lead ship of her class of. The Gerald R. Ford class is a class of nuclear powered aircraft carriers. Work is already completed and took place in Virginia.

Middle East & Africa

Spain has once again extended the deployment period of a Patriot air defense missile unit in Turkey. This time, the soldiers and their equipment will remain till June 2023. Deployed in Adana, the Spanish Patriot unit has been stationed there since 2015. Taking over from the Netherlands, which arrived in January 2013 to protect Turkey from possible attacks by Syria.

Iran unveiled the longer-range Sayyad 4B surface-to-air missile for its Bavar-373 air defense system earlier this month. The latest in the Sayyad series of solid-fuel missiles struck a target at 300 kilometers (186.41 miles) in an October test, an increase of 100 kilometers (62 miles) over earlier versions, state-backed Tasnim News reported.

Europe

Germany and Spain are planning to train thousands of Ukrainian troops under an EU program to help bolster Kyiv’s fightback against Russia, officials said Tuesday. Their assistance adds to announcements already given by other EU countries that they will train Ukrainian soldiers on their territories.

Asia-Pacific

South Korea has embarked on a new $38-million project to upgrade its K-9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers. The country’s Agency for Defense Development will reportedly invest in a super long-range cannon to double the shooting range of the weapon system. The upgrade comes amid rising demand for increased shooting range due to increased artillery threat from North Korea and the rising capabilities of rival products.

Today’s Video

WATCH: Iran’s New Air Defense Missile – Sayyad 4B

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Army Issues RFI For Missile To Replace TOW | Israel Test-Fired Gabriel 5 | German Eurofighters To Arrive iIn Japan

Fri, 23/09/2022 - 06:00
Americas

The US Navy awarded Raytheon a $160 million deal for Dual Band Radar (DBR) design agent and technical engineering efforts. Engineering efforts and supplies are required to support the DBR systems installed aboard CVN-78 and DDG-1000 class ships. Work will take place in Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island and Virginia. Estimated completion will be by September 2023.

The US Army’s Program Executive Office Missiles and Space has issued a Request For Information (RFI) for the Close Combat Missile System-Heavy (CCMS-H). The CCMS-H is to replace the existing BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile. The new missile must be able to destroy Tier 1 armored threats and field fortifications. It must have dual command guidance such as Fire and Forget, Command-Line of Sight, or Semi-Active Laser homing while incorporating reprogrammable target prioritization capability. The Army intends to store the CCMS-H for up to ten years and the missile must be ready to be fired at any time.

Middle East & Africa

The Israeli Navy has successfully test-fired a Gabriel 5 anti-ship missile from INS Oz. The Israeli Defense Ministry says the test was carried out in August. Israel Aerospace Industries manufactures the Gabriel family of advanced sea-skimming missiles.

Raytheon won a $15.3 million order, which provides for depot-level repair capability for the government of Kuwait’s inventory of AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array radar weapon replaceable assemblies. Work will be performed in El Segundo, California and Forest, Mississippi and is expected to be completed in February 2023.

Europe

Defense News reports that the Italian Air Force and Navy have figured out how to manage their small fleets of F-35Bs, and it goes something like “Joint training and operations, but separate bases.” With both services due to receive just 15 F-35B’s each, the need for pooled management has been obvious to officials, despite  rivalries between the military branches.

Asia-Pacific

Japan has officially acknowledged that three Eurofighters from the German Air Force will be arriving at Hyakuri Air Base on September 28. The Germans will participate in joint training with F-2 fighter pilots from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The ASDF says the goal is to promote mutual understanding, strengthen defense cooperation and improve the ASDF’s tactical skills.

Today’s Video

WATCH: The World’s Most Powerful Ship – USS Zumwalt Documentary

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

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Thu, 22/09/2022 - 15:57

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

B-21 To Be Rolled Out 1st Week Of December | Britain Wants Update On Defense Review | Australia’s 1st Triton Unveiled

Thu, 22/09/2022 - 06:00
Americas

The US Air Force announced that Northrop Grumman would roll out the B-21 bomber in the first week of December at its production facilities in Palmdale, California. “We last introduced a new bomber over 30 years ago. As we look to the threats posed by our pacing challenge; we must continue to rapidly modernize. The B-21 Raider will provide formidable combat capability across a range of operations in highly contested environments of the future,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr said.

Textron won a $7.7 million modification to remove work, incorporate additional work and exercise an option to a previously awarded contract FA8617-22-C-6238 for Building Partner Capacity T-6C Program – Tranche 1. This descope and add work contract modification provides for the configuration change of the T-6C aircraft being produced under the basic contract. This modification also provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of six personal life support equipment being produced under the basic contract via option exercise. Work will be performed in Wichita, Kansas, and is expected to be complete by September 30, 2024.

Middle East & Africa

Noble Supply and Logistics won a $500 million modification exercising the first one-year option period of a three-year base contract with two one-year option periods under solicitation SPE8E3-18-R-0010 for facilities maintenance, repair and operations support in the Central Command Area of Responsibility. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, with an October 1, 2023, ordering period end date. Estimated completion date is October 1, 2023.

Sikorsky won a $32.8 million modification to exercise an option for two UH-60M aircraft for Foreign Military Sales. UH-60 Black Hawk is a multi-mission helicopter developed by Sikorsky that has been operational in the US Army since 1978. The export version of the UH-60 Black Hawk is designated as S-70A. Work will take place in Connecticut. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2027. Fiscal 2010 Foreign Military Sales (Jordan) funds in the full amount were obligated at the time of the award.

Europe

Defense News reports that the British government has ordered an update of its defense and security review published last year and hopes to complete a revised plan by the end of 2022, Prime Minister Liz Truss has announced. Touted as the biggest defense review since the Cold War when it was unveiled in March 2021, Britain’s update of strategic aims and capabilities has been overtaken by events following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Asia-Pacific

Australia’s first MQ-4C Triton high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft destined for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was unveiled on September 14 by Northrop Grumman at Palmdale California. The Triton’s will be particularly useful in protecting Australia’s northern maritime regions. Northrop Grumman began build in October 2020 with the fuselage and one-piece wing coupled together in December 2021.

Today’s Video

WATCH: T-6 TEXAN II–An Up Close Look at the Air Force’s Primary Trainer

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

GD Won Deal For Abrams Items | Switzerland Inks Deal For F-35s | US Negotiating Aircraft Deal With Central Asian Countries

Wed, 21/09/2022 - 06:00
Americas

General Dynamics won a $414.8 million contract modification with one four-year option period for multiple items used in the Abrams Main Battle Tank, Stryker Family of Vehicles, Light Armored Vehicle Family of Vehicles, Cougar, Buffalo and RG-31. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/definite-quantity contract. Estimated completion date is September 28, 2029.

Boeing won a $51.7 million contract to procure the final 51 Advanced Capabilities Mission Computers retrofit kits (49 kits for EA-18G aircraft and two kits for software integration labs) in support of meeting the Navy’s mission requirements for the EA-18G aircraft. Work will take place in Minnesota, Missouri and Maryland. Estimated completion will be in September 2025.

Middle East & Africa

The Israeli navy held Leonardo’s 76/62 Super Rapid Multi Feeding naval gun acceptance ceremony on board the Israeli Navy’s ship Oz/Magen Sa’ar 6 class, at the naval base of Haifa last week. The 76/62 SR MF will deploy the corvettes’ air, anti-surface and anti-missile defense capabilities. The Israeli Navy procured four new guns now installed on board of new Sa’ar 6 corvettes and it is expected that advanced ammunition and more new guns will be procured in the coming years.

Europe

Switzerland has inked a deal to procure three dozen F-35A fighter jets, dodging a proposed popular referendum in the hopes of receiving the new jets by the end of the decade. Bern’s armaments director Martin Sonderegger and F-35 program manager Darko Savic signed the procurement contract on Monday, per a government release. The contract, worth $6.25 billion includes 36 of the conventional takeoff-and-landing aircraft variant, due to replace the nation’s fleets of F/A-18 Hornets and F-5 Tigers between 2027 and 2030. The Swiss parliament voted last week to green-light the procurement, which paved the way for the contract signatures.

Asia-Pacific

PKL Services won a $110.8 million deal for Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) flight operations and maintenance support training. This contract provides for F-15SG maintenance and operations training for the RSAF. Work will be performed at Mountain Home Air Force Base. Work will take place in Idaho. Expected completion date is September 30, 2027.

The US administration is quietly working on a trade of nearly 50 military aircraft with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in exchange for security assistance inside Afghanistan, Politico revealed. Afghan Air Force pilots flew the US-donated aircraft to the two neighboring Central Asian countries in August last year to avoid them being captured by the Taliban.

Today’s Video

WATCH: The F-35A – The right fighter aircraft for Switzerland

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

US Army Integrating 20kW Laser System Into ISV | Mali Receives Military Aircraft From Russia | Taiwan Holds More Military Drills

Fri, 12/08/2022 - 06:00
Americas

Lockheed Martin won a $12.9 million deal for AEGIS design agent field engineering services. Aegis is an integrated missile guidance system used on US Navy and allied ships to protect the battle group. Work will take place in Virginia, California, Hawaii, Japan, Washington and California. Estimated completion date is in September 2023.

The US Army is integrating a 20 kW-class laser weapon system into its new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) to help soldiers down smaller unmanned aerial systems (UASs), according to the director of the service’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office Lieutenant General Neil Thurgood. The three-star general spoke at the Space and Missile Defense symposium about a host of programmes under his purview including directed energy initiatives. At the event, he announced that senior service leaders recently approved the development of an Army Multi-Purpose High Energy Laser (AMP-HEL) prototype that they want completed by the end of September 2023.

Middle East & Africa

Mali on Tuesday received military jets and a combat helicopter from Russia. During a ceremony, L-39 and Sukhoi-25 jets as well as Mi-24P helicopter gunships were displayed. No information was disclosed about the conditions for acquiring the gunships. Previous Russian arms deliveries made public this year, were helicopters and surveillance radars as well as mobile radar systems.

Europe

Babcock International has signed it’s second deal in a fortnight to aimed at offering Israeli technologies for British defense programs. The British company’s latest agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries and its subsidiary Elta Systems is aimed at proposing a radar for the Defence Ministry’s Serpens program.

The Spanish military took delivery of a THeMIS robotic vehicle, made by Estonia’s Milrem Robotics, to gauge how unmanned ground technology can improve operations of its ground forces, the company announced August 9. The evaluation comes as some European armies are in the market to equip their soldiers with robots for anything from cargo carrying to surveillance and attack missions.

Asia-Pacific

Taiwan’s army held another live-fire drill Thursday after Beijing ended its largest-ever military exercises around the island and repeated threats to bring the self-ruled democracy under its control. China announced carrying out fresh military drills around Taiwan Monday, days after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island escalated tensions between the two powers.

Today’s Video

WATCH: Mi-24P In War Thunder : A Basic Review

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Boeing Books Delivery Order For Hornet Aircraft Parts | Côte d’Ivoire Displays New Vehicles | Philippines Confirms Russian Helicopter Deal Cancellation

Thu, 11/08/2022 - 06:00
Americas

BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems won a $13.5 million order, which provides for the ALR-56M radar warning receiver, C-130J Block Cycle F, Operational Flight Program and Mission Data File Generation updates and system services. Work will be performed in Totowa, New Jersey, and is expected to be completed August 9, 2024.

Boeing won a $278 million ordering agreement for the procurement of F/A-18 aircraft consumable parts. This is a five-year base contract with one five-year option period. The performance completion date is August 8, 2027. Using military service is the Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2027 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Boeing has provided over 430 F/A-18E/Fs to the Navy since the early 2000s. The aircraft serves as the frontline strike fighter of the service branch, supporting air combat operations from aircraft carriers.

Middle East & Africa

Several types of previously unseen armoured vehicle and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) were displayed during a parade held by the Armed Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FACI) on August 7. TV coverage of the parade in Yamoussoukro to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the country’s independence showed it included 20 of the FACI’s new Otokar Cobra II light armoured vehicles (LAVs), including an ambulance and a recovery vehicle.

Europe

Lockheed Martin won a $524 million modification, which increases the ceiling to procure long-lead time materials, parts, components, and effort for the production of seven Lot 15 F-35A aircraft, two Lot 15 F-35B aircraft, seven Lot 16 F-35A, and two Lot 16 F-35B aircraft for the government of Italy. Work will take place on Texas, California, the UK, Italy, Florida, New Hampshire, Maryland and Japan. Estimated completion will be in June 2025.

Asia-Pacific

South Korea’s government stressed Wednesday it will make its own decisions in strengthening its defenses against North Korean threats, rejecting Chinese calls that it continue the polices of Seoul’s previous government that refrained from adding more US anti-missile batteries that are strongly opposed by Beijing. The differences between South Korea and China underscored a reemerging rift between the countries just a day after their top diplomats met in eastern China and expressed hope that the issue wouldn’t become a “stumbling stone” in relations. Bilateral ties went downhill in 2017 when South Korea installed a missile battery employing the THAAD, in response to nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.

The Philippines has scrapped an order for 16 Russian military helicopters, an official confirmed Wednesday, following reports former president Rodrigo Duterte decided to cancel it due to US sanctions on Moscow. Manila agreed in November to pay $228 million for the Mi-17 helicopters, as it seeks to modernize its military hardware.

Today’s Video

WATCH: Philippines cancels Russian helicopter deal due to US sanctions

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

MQ-8C Demonstrates EABO Concept | Czech Republic To Purchase Heron Drones | Australian Super Hornet And Growler To Improve Combat Training

Wed, 10/08/2022 - 06:00
Americas

General Dynamics Land Systems won a $99.8 million deal for M1 Abrams tank sight units with containers. This was a competitive acquisition with one response received. The M1A1/2 Abrams main battle tank is manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems. Work will take place in Alabama. Estimated completion date is December 31, 2029.

The US Navy has carried out a demonstration of the MQ-8C Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) concept during Exercise Resolute Hunter. The exercise took place at San Clemente Island from June 21 to July 1. HSC-23 flew the unmanned rotorcraft for 23 hours during this period. It had taken off from Point Mugu and flown to San Clemente before control was handed over to a Portable Mission Control Station (MCS-P) deployed there. “Fire Scout is the Navy’s only unmanned helicopter with the ability to deploy from a ship or land with ISR&T at the extended range required for future warfighting,” said Capt. Dennis Monagle, Fire Scout program manager.

Middle East & Africa

The US Army awarded Textron Systems a $9 million modification  for an Aerosonde MK4.7 aircraft. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of September 27, 2023. Fiscal 2021 Foreign Military Sales to Nigeria in the full amount were obligated at the time of the award.

Europe

The Czech Republic starts negotiations with Israel to purchase three Heron drones including ground control stations, data terminals, and shipping containers. The acquisition comes as part of the Czech Army’s “Capability Building Concept,” an initiative to build up the service’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) capabilities for aerial reconnaissance, combat support, and ground unit protection.

Asia-Pacific

An air combat training programme for Australia’s Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler aircrews has been upgraded and extended. The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) inked a new five-year, $76.4 million contract to enhance the ground-based training of pilots and personnel.

Austal has delivered its second of eight Evolved Cape Class patrol boats to the Royal Australian Navy after completion in Henderson, Western Australia. The ship was commissioned as the ADV Cape Peron under the Commonwealth of Australia. The first of its class, the ADV Cape Otway, was delivered to the navy in March after 18 months of construction. The six remaining units are still under production at the shipyard, with a scheduled completion in 2024.

Today’s Video

WATCH: Never Underestimate the F/A-18 Block III Although It’s Not a Stealth Fighter Jet

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Lockheed To Convert AGM-158Bs To Simulators | Ceasefire In Gaza Strip Seems To Hold | China Continues Drills

Tue, 09/08/2022 - 06:00
Americas

Lockheed Martin won a $10.4 million contract modification to convert six AGM-158B missiles to test assets and nine weapon systems simulators. Work will be performed in Orlando and is expected to be completed October 31, 2024. The AGM-158 JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile) is an autonomous, long-range missile developed and produced by the Lockheed Martin.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense won a $57 million modification to exercise options for the Over-the-Horizon Weapon System (OTH-WS) Encanistered Missiles. OTH-WS was announced in May 2018 with a total value of $847.61 million. It is intended to provide a long range anti-ship, over-the-horizon offensive anti-surface warfare capability to USN. The system comprises an operator interface console, Naval Strike Missile and the missile launcher, the DoD announced on August 5. Work will take place in Norway, Arizona, Germany, Kentucky, Texas and Arkansas. Estimated completion will be by September 2025.

Middle East & Africa

A ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip appears to be holding. The truce followed three days of violence with Israel targeting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and militants firing rockets into Israel. At least 44 Palestinians died in the most serious flare-up since an 11-day conflict in May 2021. On Monday, Israel began lifting its blockade of the Strip, allowing the first fuel tanks to enter.

Europe

English maritime technology firm Kraken Technology Group has  inked a memorandum of understanding with Thales for the ongoing development and systems provision for Kraken’s K50 maritime precision engagement platform. The collaboration includes the development of “advanced composite high-performance craft and hybrid powertrain solutions,” which will be built at a new engineering center. Thales will also potentially integrate a range of sensors and weapons equipment into the K50.

Asia-Pacific

China announced more military drills in the seas and airspace around Taiwan, a day after the scheduled end of exercises launched in protest against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island. China’s Eastern Theatre Command said on Monday that it would conduct joint drills focusing on anti-submarine and sea assault operations – confirming the fears of some security analysts and diplomats that Beijing would continue to maintain pressure on Taiwan’s defences.

Taiwan will hold live-fire military drills this week simulating a defense of the island against a Chinese invasion, officials said Monday, as Chines carries our new exercises around its neighbor. The island’s forces will hold anti-landing exercises in the southernmost county of Pingtung on Tuesday and Thursday, the Taiwanese army said.

Today’s Video

WATCH: AGM-158 JASSM Air-Launched Cruise Missile

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

USAF Award Boeing $14.5M For KC-135 Services | Bayraktar Drone Fired Laser-Guided Missile | Slovakia To Purchase 152 CV90 MkIV

Tue, 05/07/2022 - 06:00
Americas

The US Air Force contracted Boeing with $14.5 million for KC-135 engineering sustainment services. The contract modification provides for recurring engineering services for sustainment of the KC-135 aircraft for one option year. Work will take place in Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama and Florida. Estimated completion date is March 31, 2022.

Tactical Air Support won a $265.3 million deal, which provides non-recurring engineering, inspection, modification, and block upgrade efforts for 16 F-5E and six F-5F Tiger II aircraft from a Swiss Confederation configuration to a Navy/Marine Corps N+/F+ configuration. Additionally, this contract procures eight block upgrade retrofits to existing fleet aircraft. Estimated completion will be in June 2027.

Middle East & Africa

Turkey’s landmark Bayraktar Akinci attack drone successfully fired a new laser-guided missile in a recent trial. During the test, the drone took off from Corlu airfield in northwestern Turkey and flew at an average altitude of 30,000 feet (9.1 kilometers). It struck a floating target laser-marked by another Bayraktar drone flying below cloud-level.

Europe

Slovakia will sign a government-to-government deal to purchase 152 CV90 MkIV tracked infantry fighting vehicles fitted with 35mm cannons by BAE Hägglunds, the country’s ministry of defense has announced. Bratislava plans to acquire the vehicles from Sweden in an “effort to build [a] heavy mechanized brigade, and reinforce its defense and support local industry,” Slovakia’s Defence Minister Jaroslav Na? said in a tweet.

Asia-Pacific

Lockheed Martin won a $192.4 million contract modification for technical engineering and management efforts for the Australia Surface Combatant program. The deal involves Foreign Military Sales to the government of Australia. Work will take place in New Jersey and Australia.

India’s Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) has successfully flown for the first time. In a statement, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) said that the UCAV was flown by the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from its Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in Chitradurga, in the southern state of Karnataka, the same day.

Today’s Video

WATCH: F5E Tiger II Best of Aviation Documentary

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Supporting the USA’s F-5 Aggressor Fighters, 2008 – 2014

Tue, 05/07/2022 - 05:58

Top Gun, redux
(click to view full)

In the 1980s movie Top Gun, the revolutionary “MiG-28s” operated by the enemy air force were actually painted F-5E Tiger IIs, derived from a family of fighters whose design concept dates back to the mid 1950s. The F-5 family of aircraft were produced in large numbers, as they were an extremely popular export item. Many are still operated by countries around the world, and the US Air Force used them for many years as “aggressor” aircraft in Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT). They remain excellent for simulating similarly small, low profile adversaries like the MiG-21s and MiG-19s that gave American pilots such trouble over Vietnam. Or the IAF MiG-21s that caused trouble in the 2004 – 2005 COPE India exercises, for that matter.

“F-5Ns” are still routinely flown by American Navy and Marines adversary squadrons in training exercises, where they simulate small, low-cross-section (and hence hard to spot) enemies. Keeping them in service requires maintenance contracts – and some timely help from the Swiss also came in handy. This article covers a multi-year maintenance & support contract from 2008 – 2014, as a representative time period.

Contracts and Key Developments

F-5N at Key West
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Unless otherwise noted, The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD manages the contracts.

March 23/21: Collision Two F-5Es had a mid-air collision off Taiwan’s Pingtung County at around 15:06 local time on March 22. The crash on Monday was the third such incident in the past half-year, at a time when the island’s armed forces are having to intercept Chinese aircraft on an almost daily basis. One of the pilots was found unconscious in the sea but could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead at the hospital. Rescuers were still searching for the remaining pilot.

July 31/19: Logistics Support PAE Aviation and Technical Services won a $50.4 million contract modification for organizational, selected intermediate, and limited depot maintenance and logistics support for the F-5F and F-5N aircraft. The F-5 is a supersonic light fighter. The F-5N is a single seat, twin-engine, tactical fighter and attack aircraft providing simulated air-to-air combat training. The F-5F is a dual-seat version, twin-engine, tactical fighter commonly used for training and adversary combat tactics. The aircraft serves in an aggressor-training role with simulation capability of current threat aircraft in fighter combat mode. The F-5F Tiger II and F-5N Freedom Fighter are used by the Navy and Marine Corps for adversary training purposes. They serve as proxies for third-generation Soviet-era fighters due to their small size, maneuverability and relatively primitive sensor gear compared to modern aircraft like the F/A-18. PAE will perform work in Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. Estimated completion date is in July next year.

July 29/14: Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance in Stratford, CT receives a $7.9 million firm-fixed-price contract modificatio, exercising an option for organizational, selected intermediate, and limited depot-level maintenance for aircraft operated by adversary squadrons. All funds are committed immediately, using FY 2014 US Navy O&M budgets.

Work will be performed at the NAS Key West, FL (40%); NAS Fallon, NV (30%); and Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, AZ (30%), and is expected to be complete in October 2014 (N00019-09-C-0024).

April 29/14: Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance in Stratford, CT receives a $7.9 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract, exercising an option for adversary squadron organizational maintenance, selected intermediate maintenance, and limited depot-level maintenance. Their platforms include the F-5, but also include F-16s.

All funds are committed immediately, using FY 2014 maintenance budgets. Work will be performed at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, FL (40%); NAS Fallon, NV (30%); and the Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, AZ (30%), and is expected to be complete in December 2014.

A new contract was started in April 2014 under similar terms as previous F-5 awards. DID will not be covering the new contract, and coverage of this representative period ends as the FY 2009 multi-year contract does (N00019-09-C-0024).

March 20/13: Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance in Stratford, CT receives an $8.2 million firm-fixed-price contract modification, exercising an option for organizational, selected intermediate, and limited depot-level maintenance for USN adversary squadrons.

Work will be performed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, FL (40%); NAS Fallon, NV (30%); and Marine Corp Air Station Yuma, AZ (30%), and is expected to be completed in June 2013. $10 million in FY 2013 Operation and Maintenance, Navy Reserve contract funds are committed obligated at time of award, all of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/13 (N00019-09-C-0024).

Dec 28/12: Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance in Stratford, CT receives a $23.3 million firm-fixed-price contract option for organizational, selected intermediate, and limited depot-level maintenance for 44 F-5 aircraft operated by US Navy adversary squadrons. $10.4 million is committed immediately, and all contract funds in the will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/13.

Work will be performed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, FL (40%); NAS Fallon, NV (30%); and the Marine Corp Air Station, Yuma, AZ (30%), until December 2013 (N00019-09-C-0024).

Dec 21/11: Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance in Stratford, CT receives a $23.2 million firm-fixed-price contract modification, to exercise an option for organizational, selected intermediate, and limited depot-level maintenance for 44 F-5 aircraft operated by US Navy adversary squadrons.

Work will be performed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, FL (40%); NAS Fallon, NV (30%); and the Marine Corp Air Station, Yuma, AZ (30%), until December 2012. All contract funds in the will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/12 (N00019-09-C-0024).

F-5E Aggressors
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July 5/22:Navy/Marine Corps N+/F+ Tactical Air Support won a $265.3 million deal, which provides non-recurring engineering, inspection, modification, and block upgrade efforts for 16 F-5E and six F-5F Tiger II aircraft from a Swiss Confederation configuration to a Navy/Marine Corps N+/F+ configuration. Additionally, this contract procures eight block upgrade retrofits to existing fleet aircraft. Estimated completion will be in June 2027.

Feb 7/11: Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in St. Augustine, FL receives a $16.7 million contract modification to provide continued life cycle support services for a total of 11 F-5 series aircraft in support of the Commander, Naval Reserve Forces Command, Norfolk, VA.

Life cycle support services include all levels of aircraft maintenance including depot level maintenance; emergency repair; aircraft modification; engineering; logistics; program management support; technical advisor services and associated materials and services as may be required. Work will be performed in St. Augustine, FL, and work is expected to be complete on Jan 31/12. The Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Norfolk’s Contracting Department in Philadelphia, PA manages this contract (N00189-09-D-Z052).

Despite the implied FY 2009 date in that contract number, this is its 1st DefenseLINK announcement.

Dec 22/10: Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance in Stratford, CT receives a $22.7 million firm-fixed-price contract modification, exercising an option for organizational, selected intermediate, and limited depot-level maintenance for 44 F-5 aircraft operated by USN/USMC adversary squadrons.

Work will be performed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, FL (40%); NAS Fallon, NV (30%); and the Marine Corp Air Station, Yuma, AZ (30%), and is expected to be complete in December 2011. All contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 20/11 (N00019-09-C-0024).

July 20/10: Competition makes a move. Northrop Grumman Corporation signs an agreement adding Astronautics Corporation of America in Milwaukee, WI to its F-5 Worldwide Sustainment Team, alongside Northrop Grumman Technical Services and RUAG Aviation in Emmen, Switzerland. Under the terms of the agreements, the team will market F-5 aftermarket support, modifications and upgrade programs to countries flying the aircraft. Northrop Grumman.

Jan 11/10: Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance in Stratford, CT receives a $34.7 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0024), exercising an option for organizational, selected intermediate, and limited depot-level maintenance for 44 F-5 aircraft operated by American adversary squadrons.

Work will be performed at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, FL (40%); NAS Fallon, NV (30%); and the Marine Corp Air Station, Yuma, AZ (30%), and is expected to be complete in December 2010. All contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/10.

Swiss F-5E
(click to view full)

May-June 2009: US Defense Acquisition University’s Defense AT&L Magazine runs “Sharpening the Spear Through Innovative Acquisition: The F-5 Adversary Program” [PDF]. It describes the US Navy and Marine Corps’ purchase of 44 Swiss F-5s from 2003-2005, in a “reverse Foreign Military Sale.”

Switzerland had originally purchased 70 F-5E/Fs from the USA in the late 1980s, but sharp cuts to the Swiss Air Force had left them with surplus planes. The Swiss aircraft had far lower flight-hours per airframe (average flight hours: 2,500) than American aggressor training squadron F-5Es (average flight hours: 7,000). They also added a number of useful improvements: an improved inertial navigation system, new radar warning receiver capability and chaff /flare capability, added anti-skid capability, improved airborne radar capability, and standardized cockpit configuration.

With Northrop Grumman’s close cooperation, the entire program was accomplished within a $43 million budget, avoiding a situation in which 73% of the Navy and Marines’ F-5 aggressor aircraft were expected to drop out of service by FY 2007 due to spiraling maintenance costs. The ex-Swiss planes can be identified by their new designation: F-5N.

Dec 17/08: Sikorsky Support Services, Inc. in Stratford, CT received a $6.6 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract for organizational, selected intermediate, and limited depot-level maintenance for 44 F-5 aircraft operated by the Adversary Squadrons based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, FL; NAS, Fallon, NV; and Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, AZ.

Work will be performed in Key West, FL (40%); Fallon, NV (30%); and Yuma, AZ (30%), and is expected to be complete in February 2009. All contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year (N00019-01-C-0109).

Oct 22/08: NAVAIR’s Support and Commercial Derivative Aircraft program office is upgrading the Navy’s F-5N Adversary aircraft with new avionics, and expects to save an estimated $20 million in future costs. Jay Bolles, Adversary Integrated Product Team lead:

“The cost to repair the older INS and buying a new, more capable system was about the same so the decision was made to go with the newer, more reliable system… The funding for the entire $6.1 million upgrade program was split between the U.S. Navy Reserve, which fly the F-5Ns, and the Support and Commercial Derivative Aircraft program office.”

Northrop Grumman’s new LN-260 inertial navigation system and new display bring a multi-function touch screen capability, a radar display, INS functions, embedded Global Positioning System (GPS) and a new fiber optic gyro. NAVAIR release.

Aug 25/08: Sikorsky Support Services, Inc. in Stratford, CT received a $10.5 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-01-C-0109) that began in 2001, in return for another year of organizational, selected intermediate, and limited depot-level maintenance for 44 F-5 aircraft operated by the USA’s adversary squadrons based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, FL (40%); NAS Fallon, NV (30%); and Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, AZ (30%).

Maintenance may be marginally easier this year, thanks to a smart NAVAIR program involving the F-5’s internal batteries. Work is expected to be completed in December 2008, and contract funds in the amount of $3 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year on Sept 30/08.

Additional Readings

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Airshow At Edwards Air Force Base | Greece To Buy F-35s | Lockheed Martin Tapped For Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target Advanced Capability-3

Mon, 04/07/2022 - 06:00
Americas

Federal Contracting won a $92.4 million deal for a B-21 Combined Mission Operations Planning Facility and Field Training Detachment Facility. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. The B-21 is a new high-tech bomber slated to replace or complement the US Air Force’s aging fleet of B-52s, B-1s, and B-2 bombers, and represents the first new US bomber design in 30 years. As with its predecessors, it is designed to be long-range, highly survivable and capable of carrying a mix of conventional and nuclear ordnance and be a key part of the US nuclear triad. Work will take place in South Dakota. Estimated completion date is September 7, 2024.

Edwards Air Force Base will hold its first airshow for the first time in 13 years on October 15 and 16. Besides the US Air Force, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center will be participating as well. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first supersonic flight, jets from the USAF and NASA will compete to determine which will be first to go supersonic during the airshow.

Middle East & Africa

Israel’s Defense Attaché to Morocco, in addition to two IDF officers, participated as viewers in an international military exercise held in Morocco this past week. The “African Lion 2022” exercise, led by the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces (FAR), is the largest annual exercise held by both armies in Africa. Israel’s participation in the exercise is an additional step in strengthening the security relations between the two countries’ Defense Ministries and militaries. In addition, it constitutes a continuation of the FAR’s Counterterrorism Unit’s participation in the multinational exercise, which was held in Israel last year.

Europe

Oshkosh Defense won a $216.7 million contract modification to support fielding the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Family of Vehicles for Foreign Military Sales. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with an estimated completion date of November 30, 2023. Fiscal 2020 Air Force procurement, Air Force procurement Operation Inherent Resolve, Navy procurement, United States Marine Corps procurement and other procurement, Army funds; fiscal 2021 Air Force procurement Operation Inherent Resolve, Office of the Chief of Army Reserve, and operation and maintenance, Army funds; and fiscal 2022 Air Force procurement European Deterrence, Air Force procurement Operation Inherent Resolve, Navy procurement, United States Marine Corps procurement, Foreign Military Sales (Brazil, Lithuania and Montenegro), other procurement, Army, and research, development, test and evaluation, Army funds in the full amount were obligated at the time of the award.

Greece has signed the Letter of Request (LoR) to buy the F-35 fighter, local media reports. The letter was sent by the Greek defense ministry to Washington on June 29. Athens hopes to buy 20 aircraft with options for another 20.

Asia-Pacific

Lockheed Martin was awarded a $307.1 million deal by the US Army for repair and recertification of Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target Advanced Capability-3 missiles. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2027. Fiscal 2022 Foreign Military Sales (Taiwan) funds in the amount of $150,400,000 were obligated at the time of the award.

Today’s Video

WATCH: New B-21 Raider: The Most Feared Bomber Ever Ready to Fly

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Sikorsky Wins Black Hawk Overhaul Contract | Turkey’s Anadolu Started Sea Acceptance Tests | Saab Receives GlobalEye Order From Sweden

Fri, 01/07/2022 - 06:00
Americas

Sikorsky won a $429.2 million deal from the US Army for maintenance and overhaul of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of June 28, 2027.

Raytheon won a $57.9 million contract modification to exercise options and incrementally fund existing contract line items for fiscal 2022 Standard Missile-2 Block IIIC low rate initial production and spares. The SM-2 missile is a surface-to-air missile primarily intended for fleet area air defence and ship self-defense. Work will take place in Alabama and Arizona. Expected completion will be by December 2024.

Middle East & Africa

The Turkish Navy’s landing platform dock (LPD) Anadolu has started its official sea acceptance tests. Following the completion of its SATs, the future flagship of the Turkish Navy and the largest ship to be operated by the service is scheduled for commissioning in December 2022.

Europe

The Swedish government has inked a contract with Saab for two GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft. The contract is worth $714 million and Sweden has the option to purchase another two GlobalEye. The delivery of the aircraft is expected to be in 2027.

The Swedish ambassador to Czech Republic Fredrik Jörgensen said in an interview with Seznam Správy that Czech can keep the Gripens that it leased from Sweden for free. The news comes as Czech is looking into buying 24 fighters as the lease for the Gripens will expire in 2027. According to the news report, the F-35 is the leading contender.

Asia-Pacific

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has successfully sent three satellites from Singapore into space. The main satellite is the 365 kg DS-EO satellite which has an electro-optical digital imaging payload capable of 0.5 m resolution imaging capability.

Today’s Video

WATCH: Turkish First Amphibious Assault Ship TCG Anadolu has Begins Sea Tests

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

DARPA Announces New X-Plane Concept | India Carried Out Test-Firing Of Anti Ship Missile | Philippines To Get EO/IR

Fri, 20/05/2022 - 06:00
Americas

Raytheon won a $10.8 million delivery order for deploy and retrieve systems in support of the AN/AQS-20 mine-hunting program. The AN/AQS-20C sonar mine-hunting system is the U.S. Navy’s latest mine-hunting technology, which is integrated into the littoral combat ship mine countermeasures mission package. Work will take place in Washington and Those Island. Estimated completion will be by December 2023.

DARPA has announced its new X-plane concept, a low-cost long-range seaplane that can fly up to 10,000ft. However, the aircraft will utilize the “wing-in-ground effect” to extend its range so that it can serve as a strategic or tactical transport.

Middle East & Africa

Ugandan troops sent to Democratic Republic of Congo last year will withdraw by May 31 unless the two countries strike a new agreement, Ugandan military officials said. Uganda joined Congolese forces on November 30 in a fight against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), accused of massacres in eastern DR Congo and bombings in Uganda.

Europe

General Dynamics Electric Boat won a $313.9 million modification for additional United Kingdom (UK) Strategic Weapon Support System kit manufacturing, and submarine industrial base development and expansion, as part of the Integrated Enterprise Plan supporting Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines and the nuclear shipbuilding enterprise (Virginia-class and Ford-class). The industrial base development work is for the furtherance of the Fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 117-81) which authorized, and the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2022 (Public Law 117-103) which appropriated, additional funds for submarine industrial base development and expansion to ensure second- and third-tier contractors are able to meet increased production requirements. Work will take place in Rhode Island and Virginia. Estimated completion will be by September 2029.

Asia-Pacific

India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) carried out the first test-firing of its Naval Anti-Ship Missile on May 18. The weapon was released from a Seaking helicopter off Odisha coast.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has secured a contract to supply its MiniPOP electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) systems for the Philippine Navy’s patrol vessels, the company announced in a media release. This particular MiniPOP system that is focused on maritime applications has been developed by IAI’s Tamam Division, and is “designed to operate during both day and night, and meet harsh environmental conditions such as shock, vibration from waves, and extreme temperatures”, the company said.

Today’s Video

WATCH: Liberty Lifter

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

50kW-class High Energy Laser Defeated 60mm Mortar Rounds And Drones | Fincantieri Lays Keel On Qatar’s Air Defense LPD | Belgium To Aquire 9 Ceasar NG

Thu, 19/05/2022 - 06:00
Americas

Lockheed Martin won a &632.1 million deal, which provides engineering, maintenance, logistics and material support to continue to develop, sustain and produce software builds, as well as carryout developmental flight tests in support of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Foreign Military Sales customer, and non-US Department of Defense (DOD) participants’ funds. The deal also provides unique sea trials on aircraft carriers for the government of the United Kingdom. Work will take place in Texas, Florida, Maryland, New Hampshire, California, United Kingdom and Canada. Expected completion is in March 2024.

A 50kW-class high energy laser integrated on a Stryker has shown that the weapon can defeat 60mm mortar rounds and drones during four weeks of continuous live-fire exercises at White Sands Missile Range. The laser system is part of the US Army’s Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) effort. The system is provided by Raytheon Intelligence & Space and the integrator is Kord, a wholly-owned subsidiary of KBR.

Middle East & Africa

According to Israel Defense, Israeli company Mobius Protection Systems announced it has secured a new order from Leonardo, for the production of its energy-absorbing seat systems. The value of the order has not been disclosed. Mobius will supply its energy-absorbing seats to Leonardo for installation in the manned turret of the Centauro II vehicle.

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has laid the keel for the landing platform dock (LPD) amphibious assault ship on order for the Qatari Emiri Naval Forces. An official keel-laying ceremony was held at the shipbuilder’s yard in Palermo on May 17. Fincantieri is building the LPD for Qatar under a contract awarded in 2016.

Europe

Belgium is to acquire nine CAESAR NG (new generation) self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) under the expansion of the Capacité Motorisée (Motorized Capability, CaMo) programme with France, the ministries of defense (MoDs) of the two countries announced. Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder and her French counterpart, Florence Parly, signed the CaMo 2 intergovernmental agreement on the $65 million procurement of the SPHs for delivery in 2027. The French and Belgian MoDs expected the Direction générale de l’armement (DGA), France’s defense procurement agency, to announce the contract in the coming weeks.

Asia-Pacific

The US Army activated a new air cavalry squadron tasked with providing permanent reconnaissance support to US forces in South Korea. The 5th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade was activated in a ceremony on Camp Humphreys, the largest US military base overseas. The new squadron consists of roughly 500 soldiers and 24 AH-64E Apaches, the latest version of the Army’s attack helicopter. The 5-17th air cavalry squadron also includes RQ-7B Shadows, unmanned aircraft systems that provide reconnaissance and surveillance assistance to aviation brigades.

Today’s Video

WATCH: Belgium acquires nine Caesar NG 155 mm from France

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Berth 2 Renovation At Guam Naval Base | XTEND Supplies US With Wolverines | Turkey, Kazakhstan Sign Joint Production Accord For Drones 

Tue, 17/05/2022 - 06:00
Americas

Black Construction won an $83.7 million deal for design and construction of wharf improvements at Naval Base Guam. The work to be performed includes the renovation and modernization of Berth 2 to provide full capability to support two loaded T-AKE vessels with the proper depth of water, sufficient wharf length, and power and utilities. The Lewis and Clark Class T-AKE is a dry cargo/ammunition ship, totaling 14 ships. Designed to operate independently for extended periods at sea while providing underway replenishment services, the T-AKE directly contributes to the ability of the Navy to maintain a forward presence. Work will take place in Guam. Expected completion date is in September 2024.

Deloitte Consulting won an estimated $12.5 million contract modification for a training virtual environment (TVE) that will host the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) training curriculum and deliver curriculum packages for CANES baselines. The TVE is a virtualized computing environment that fully replicates the functionality of CANES that provides realistic and testable training and scenarios. The TVE provides a centrally located and integrated learning management system that allows for rapid curriculum updates and configuration changes. Work will take place on California, Arizona, Florida and Virginia. Estimated completion will be by December 2023.

Middle East & Africa

Israeli defense firm XTEND has inked an agreement with the US Department of Defense to supply hundreds of new Wolverine Gen2 drones to the US military. The unmanned system will be used to protect ground troops, particularly on dangerous missions.

Europe

UK shipbuilder Babcock has inked a $36.7 million contract to conduct the routine dry-dock maintenance periods of the UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) two Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) carriers for the next decade at its dockyard in Rosyth, Fife. Babcock said the 10-year contract also includes the provision of any contingency dockings that may be required over the timeframe of the agreement. Scheduled dockings will be conducted over a six-week period and will include all routine maintenance and repairs that cannot be done when the carriers are afloat. The UK government said the latest contract would help sustain 300 jobs at the yard and the wider supply chain.

Asia-Pacific

According to Japan’s Sankei news, Tokyo has decided to switch its partner for developing the F-X fighter from Lockheed Martin to BAE Systems. Both countries had announced plans to develop a future fighter aircraft engine demonstrator in December 2021. The aircraft was supposed to be develop by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries with assistance from Lockheed Martin. However, talks on how to carry out the development work have run into roadblocks. This prompted Japan to switch the main partner to BAE Systems.

Kazakhstan will be able to assemble the ANKA unmanned air vehicle in the future as state-owned Kazakhstan Engineering as it signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkish Aerospace Industries for the production. The memorandum of understanding also covers the repair and maintenance of the ANKA in Kazakhstan. Turkish Aerospace Industries General Manager Prof. Dr. Temel Kotil said, “We are very excited to sign a new production base for our ANKA.

Today’s Video

WATCH: Meet the XTEND Wolverine, Multi-mission UAS

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

US Navy on the T-AKE As It Beefs Up Supply Ship Capacity

Tue, 17/05/2022 - 05:58

USNS Sacagawea
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Warships get a lot of attention, but without resupply, an impressive-looking fleet becomes a hollow force. The US Navy’s supply and support fleet has been aging, and needed new vessels. T-AKE is part of that effort, and the ships have also found themselves performing “naval diplomacy” roles.

The entire T-AKE dry cargo/ ammunition ship program could have a total value of as much as $6.2 billion, and a size of 14 ships, as the US looks to modernize its supply fleet. How do T-AKE ships fit into US naval operations? What ships do they replace? What’s the tie-in to US civilian industrial capacity? How were environmental standards built into their design? And what contracts have been issued for T-AKE ships to date?

T-AKE Ships: Mission & Capabilities

How it works
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T-AKE multi-product fleet replenishment ships will provide logistics lift to station ships and other ships operating with naval forces from supply sources such as friendly ports, and at sea from merchant vessels. In other words, their primary mission is to provide a steady stream of ammunition, spare parts and provisions (dry, refrigerated and frozen) to naval forces at sea in their role as a shuttle ship.

As a secondary mission, they may operate in concert with a T-AO oiler as a semi-substitute for one AOE-1 Sacramento Class, or with AOE-6 Supply Class fast combat logistics support ships if the situation so dictates. Given the T-AKE’s fuel capacity, it would certainly require at least a T-AO oiler as well in order to service any Carrier or Amphibious strike group.

The AOEs are also referred to as “station ships.” They offer a form of one-stop shopping by carrying dry stores (food, consumables, spare parts), ammunition (bombs, missiles) and fuel (oil, jet fuel), and are able to transfer them all simultaneously. Often, shuttle ships simply resupply the AOE station ship.

T-AKE 1 in Crete
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Lewis and Clark Class T-AKE dry cargo/ammunition ships are 210 meters (689 feet) in length and 32.2 meters (105.6 feet) in beam, with a design draft of 9.12 meters (29.9 feet). They displace 41,000 tons, and the ships can carry almost 7,000 metric tons of dry cargo and ammunition and 23,500 barrels of marine diesel fuel. The specifications demanded that the transfer rates for ammunition and stores must be at least equal to those of the AOE-6 Class. Maximum speed is slower, however, at around 20 knots of burst speed.

The T-AKEs will provide a 2-product (ammunition; and combat stores – including dry stores, frozen and chilled products, spare parts, and consumables that may include drinkable water) shuttle ship replacement for US Military Sealift Command’s aging Combat Store (T-AFS 1 Mars Class) and Ammunition (T-AE 26 Kilauea Class) shuttle ships. They are designed to be fully inter-operable with all US Navy and North Atlantic Treaty organization ships capable of underway replenishment, using standard US Navy Underway Replenishment (UNREP) equipment, or improved systems developed by industry.

ASRS test
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As one example, the US Navy is testing the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), an automatic shipboard storeroom system that can be configured to store Navy-standard pallets, Joint Modular Intermodal Containers, or any other packaging container, offering faster performance, less work, and fully selective offloading. ASRS is intended to be a low-maintenance system that can operate in Sea State 5 (waves up to 7 feet, just under Small Craft Advisory), and survive to Sea Sate 9 (hurricane force winds and/or waves well over 14m/45 feet, “hey isn’t that Laird Hamilton out there?” conditions). With their single propulsion screw (mariners do not call them “propellers”) and single rudder, however, mechanical problems can become disabling more quickly than is the case for multiple screw or multiple rudder designs.

T-AKE ships are the US Navy’s first full-size all-electric ships, with diesel-electric generation that can be used for propulsion or for internal systems. The use of electric drive creates more internal redundancy in the event of damage. It also eliminates the need for drive shaft and reduction gears, which brings benefits to the ship’s internal space and makes for a quieter ship that’s harder to find using sonar. The ship class’ 4 Fairbanks Morse/MAN B&W 9L and 8L 48/60 diesel generators can generate up to 35.7 MW of power for use around the ship, compared to just 7.5 MW of power generated by the DDG-51 AEGIS destroyers to run internal machinery and combat systems.

SA330 from T-AKE 1
(click to view full)

T-AKE ships have a crew of 124 CIVMARs – civilian mariners who function under Secretary of the Navy instructions, and are Excepted Service employees of the US government. Military Sealift Command’s Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force serves as their program manager, but the ships are assigned to Fleet Forces Command. As such, these ships are given the USNS (name) designation and “placed in service,” unlike Navy warships which are given the USS (name) designation and commissioned. The T-AKE’s military detachment is 11 Navy sailors, who provide operational support and supply coordination.

Another effect of this CIVMAR difference can be seen in the ship’s air assets. T-AKE ships are capable of landing, fueling and maintaining up to 2 utility helicopters like the CH-46D Sea Knight or MH-60S Knight Hawk, with hangar space for 2 machines. In practice, however, they do not carry US Navy helicopters. Instead, they carry contracted Eurocopter SA330 Puma medium helicopters, which are used to help transfer personnel and cargo in VERTREP (Vertical Replenishment) operations. Other Navy helicopters may land on T-AKE ships and assist, of course, but they are not part of the T-AKE ship’s native complement.

The T-AKE Program

USS George Washington
& USNS Carl Brashear
(click to view full)

As noted below, the initial October 2001 contract called for the design and construction of the lead ship and the 1st follow ship, with additional follow-on ships included as contract options. At the time, the total cost if all options were exercised and 11 ships were built was projected at $3.75 billion (presumably in FY 2001 dollars). In April 2007, the Pentagon’s Selected Acquisition Report placed total actual and estimated program costs at $5.715 billion, based on 12 ships, with inflation rates included over the project’s entire lifetime. Thanks to a multi-year agreement hammered out in August 2007, the T-AKE program now has the potential to produce a total of 14 ships to be awarded through 2011, with a total value of $6.2 billion. Named USNS ships of the T-AKE Lewis and Clark Class all have a strong exploration bent; named ships to date include:

  • T-AKE 1 USNS Lewis & Clark
  • T-AKE 2 USNS Sacagawea
  • T-AKE 3 USNS Alan Sheppard
  • T-AKE 4 USNS Richard E Byrd
  • T-AKE 5 USNS Robert E. Peary. No disrespect, but this should have been USNS Dave Brubeck.
  • T-AKE 6 USNS Amelia Earhart
  • T-AKE 7 USNS Carl Brashear
  • T-AKE 8 USNS Wally Schirra
  • T-AKE 9 USNS Matthew Perry
  • T-AKE 10 USNS Charles Drew
  • T-AKE 11 USNS Washington Chambers
  • T-AKE 12 USNS William McLean
  • T-AKE 13 USNS Medgar Evers
  • T-AKE 14 USNS Cesar Chavez

Of these 14, 12 will serve in the classic logistics lift role. Another 2 T-AKE ships will go into the Maritime Prepositioning Service with a different cargo loadout, to support the US Marine Corps. The BOLD ALLIGATOR exercise’s February 2012 landing of an MV-22 Osprey aboard USNS Robert E. Peary is connected with that role. It means the Marines can lift ammunition directly from a T-AKE ship to shore, rather than using further transfer to other ships. Turning this test into an operational capability will take more work and testing. Having 2 T-AKE ships in the MPS should provide plenty of opportunity.

T-AKE Ships: The Civilian Industry Angle

T-AKE Drawing
(click to view full)

As a deliberate design decision, T-AKE ships have been built to commercial standards to the extent that this was practical. The commercial standards approach removes the potential bottlenecks of military standards, and removes the need for commercial shipbuilders to follow a whole different set of procedures and requirements. This minimizes costs, allows the USA to take advantage of industry innovations and commercial best practices (which can reduce life cycle cost and improve efficiencies), and allows the shipbuilders to build up their civilian industrial capacity.

That last item was especially important to the T-AKE program.

In recent decades, the US Merchant Marine has declined, most civilian shipbuilding has migrated away from the United States to nations like South Korea, and ship ownership has migrated strongly toward direct and indirect ownership by Chinese firms. This has obvious implications for the overall sustainability of the US shipbuilding industry, and raises national security self-sufficiency concerns for the world’s pre-eminent naval power. GlobalSecurity.org notes that the ADC (X) program (which eventually became T-AKE) was seen as especially critical to demonstrate America’s ability to produce affordable and flexible container-type ships without going overseas. The idea was that ships would contribute to America’s overall shipbuilding infrastructure because their design would be a common hull having tremendous application to the civilian shipbuilding industry. So T-AKE’s goal was really two-fold: re-capitalization of the Navy’s sealift needs, and implementing a program that would impact America’s ability to competitively build ships on the civilian market.

NASSCO’s Jan 31/06 release noted that the exercise of the option for the 9th T-AKE ship brought NASSCO’s backlog to 10 ships, including the 9 T-AKEs and the 4th of 4 double-hull oil tankers being built for BP Shipping Company of Alaska. The question is what will happen when T-AKE construction ends, which is due to happen soon. Building the USA’s Mobile Landing Platform ships will take up some of that slack, but it’s a small class.

T-AKE Ships and the Environment

(click to feel better)

The existing T-AO Kaiser Class Fleet Oilers are not all double-hulled like the T-AKE – only the last 3 T-AOs are double-hulled. The Kaiser Class will need to be updated to meet international oil pollution conventions, and to address the wear being placed on them by the current high operational tempo.

Given the inevitable reductions in active T-AO ships during the refit period, T-AKE vessels will be particularly welcome in the fleet. For several reasons.

GlobalSecurity.org notes that this new class of T-AKE ships was envisaged as the first Navy Environmentally Sound Ship of the 21st century built with protection of the marine environment as a design objective. Performance requirements were crafted in the T-AKE ships’ System Specification that would ensure compliance with environmental regulations projected for the next 20 years.

Central themes are compliance with international and national regulations, adaptation of pollution prevention measures though elimination of pollutants at the source (design them out at the onset), establishment of a hazardous material prohibition list, and a second list of materials that may only be used with government concurrence. USNS Lewis and Clark is the first Navy ship designed to be Ozone Depleting Substance free. It is also capable of performing mid-ocean ballast water exchange to minimize introduction of invasive species, and incorporates a combined sewage/graywater treatment system, and a double hull around cargo fuel areas to afford port access. Analysis of total pollutant loading between the T-AFS and T-AE ships and the T-ADC (X)/ T-AKE design showed a drop of 95% in total pollutants being introduced into the marine environment.

Management of the Environmental Protection Program rests with the Assistant Project Manager, and the government/ industry team is responsible for ensuring environmental performance through the Environmental Protection Working Group.

The T-AKE program received a Secretary of Defense Environmental Award on May 1/02.

T-AKE Ships: Contracts & Key Events

UNREP: USS Essex &
USNS Alan Sheppard
(click to view full)

Thanks to a multi-year agreement hammered out in August 2007, the T-AKE program is now slated to produce a total of 14 ships, with a total value of up to $6.2 billion. Unless otherwise specified, US Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC issued these contracts and modifications to General Dynamics subsidiary National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (GD NASSCO) in San Diego, CA.

FY 2021

 

T-AKE 10 & DDG-92
(click to view full)

May 17/22: Berth 2 Black Construction won an $83.7 million deal for design and construction of wharf improvements at Naval Base Guam. The work to be performed includes the renovation and modernization of Berth 2 to provide full capability to support two loaded T-AKE vessels with the proper depth of water, sufficient wharf length, and power and utilities. The Lewis and Clark Class T-AKE is a dry cargo/ammunition ship, totaling 14 ships. Designed to operate independently for extended periods at sea while providing underway replenishment services, the T-AKE directly contributes to the ability of the Navy to maintain a forward presence. Work will take place in Guam. Expected completion date is in September 2024.

January 27/21 Shipyard Availability Alabama Shipyard LLC won a $19.7 million contract for a 76-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul/dry docking on USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1). USNS Lewis and Clark is an American dry cargo ship, the lead ship of her namesake class.The contract to build her was awarded to National Steel and Shipbuilding Company of San Diego, California, on 18 October 2001 and her keel was laid down on April 22, 2004. Work will take place in Mobile, Alabama. Estimated completion date will be by May 24, 2021. October 21/20: Shipyard Availability Alabama Shipyard won a $17.9 million deal for a 76-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry-docking of USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11). The T-AKE 11 is a Lewis and Clark Class Dry Cargo Ship. The ship delivers ammunition, provisions, spare parts, potable water and petroleum products to US Navy and other navy ships at sea, allowing them to remain underway and combat ready for extended periods of time. The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the total contract value to $19,278,302. Work will take place in Mobile, Alabama, and is expected to be completed by March 20, 2021. January 27/20: Calendar-Day Shipyard Availability Vigor Marine won a 15.3 million contract or a 75 calendar-day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry-docking of USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10). Vigor Marine is a commercial repair and modernization subsidiary of Vigor Industrial. The shipyard offers eight drydocks, more than 15,000 feet of pier space and tens of thousands of square feet of superior indoor facilities to serve vessels of nearly any size. The USNS Charles Drew is a Lewis and Clark Class dry cargo ship of the United States Navy, built in 2009. The Navy vessel was delivered to Military Sealift Command on 14 July 2010 and began conducting missions for MSC in spring 2011, mainly operating in the Pacific Ocean. Work will take place in Portland, Oregon. Expected completion will be by May 9, 2020. FY 2019 November 20/19: Overhaul And Dry-Docking Vigor Marine LLC won a $20 million contract for a 75-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry-docking of USNS Matthew Perry (T-AKE 9). T-AKE 9 is a Lewis and Clark Class dry cargo ship. The USNS Lewis and Clark is the first-of-class T-AKE dry cargo and ammunition ship and is part of the more than 40 ships within the US Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force. The ships, which are not armed and are classified as non-combatant ships, are capable of operating independently for extended periods at sea while providing underway replenishment services and contribute to the US Navy’s ability to maintain a forward presence. The deal includes options, which, if exercised, would bring the total contract value to $20,217,869. Work will take place in Portland, Oregon and is scheduled to be complete by March 16, 2020. September 27/19: Maintenance And Repair EMS Development Corp. won a $10.3 million deal for supplies relating to the maintenance and repair of the Advanced Degaussing Systems onboard T-AKE Lewis and Clark Class vessels. The ships, which are not armed and are classified as non-combatant ships, are capable of operating independently for extended periods at sea while providing underway replenishment services and contribute to the US Navy’s ability to maintain a forward presence. The ships provide services with logistic lift from sources of supply in port or at sea and the transfer of cargo including ammunition, food, fuel, spares, potable water and expendable supplies and materiel to battle groups, station ships, shuttle ships and other naval ships at sea. Work under the contract will take place in Yapbank, New York and is expected to be complete by September 2024. April 25/19: Overhaul and Drydocking of T-AKE 8 Vigor Marine won a $14.3 million contract in support of the USNS Wally Schirra or T-AKE 8. The Lewis and Clark Class cargo ship has a length of 689 feet and was launched on March 8, 2009. The mission of Lewis and Clark Class ships is to deliver ammunition, provisions, stores, spare parts, potable water and petroleum products to carrier battle groups and other naval forces, serving as a shuttle ship or station ship. The deal provides for regular overhaul and dry docking. Work will take place in Portland, Oregon and the estimated completion date is August 25, 2019. February 15/19: T-AKE 12 The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command contracted Detyens Shipyards $10.5 million for a 50-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry docking of USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12). Detyens Shipyards operates a commercial shipyard on the East Coast of the US. It provides ship repair and conversion services. The USNS William McLean is a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship. The Lewis and Clark class of dry cargo ship is a class of 14 Combat Logistics Force underway replenishment vessels. Work under the contract includes clean and gas-free tanks, voids, cofferdams and spaces, main engine and electric motor maintenance, 10-year crane maintenance and recertification, dry-docking and undocking, propeller shaft and stern tube inspect, freshwater (closed loop) stern tube lubrication, underwater hull cleaning and painting, 2.5-year bow thruster maintenance and tunnel grating modification, renew flight deck nonskid, and auxiliary pre-stage area refrigeration installation. Work will take place in North Charleston, South Carolina, and is expected to be finished by July 16 this year. February 12/19: T-AKE7 overhaul and dry-docking The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) awarded a $17 million contract to Vigor Marin Inc. for a 75-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry docking of USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7). USNS Carl Brashear is a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship delivered to the Navy by General Dynamics on March 4, 2009. Lewis and Clark Class T-AKE dry cargo/ammunition ships are 210 meters in length and 32.2 meters in beam, with a design draft of 9.12 meters. Vigor Marine provides vessel construction and repair services including dry-docking, structural repair, welding, machinery repair, diesel engine repair, shaft seal replacement, tube renewal among others. Work for this contract, which will take place in Portland, Oregon will entail clean and gas-free tanks, voids, cofferdams and spaces, propulsion motor and cooler, main generator maintenance and cleaning, high voltage switchboard and emergency switchboard cleaning, five-year main engine flex hose replacement, dry-docking and undocking, propeller shaft and stern tube inspect, freshwater stern tube lubrication, underwater hull cleaning and painting, freeboard cleaning and painting, sea valve replacements, renew flight deck nonskid, and reverse osmosis unit sea-chest installation. Work is scheduled to be completed by May 15 this year. FY 2013

July 5/13: T-AKE 7 drydocking. BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair in San Francisco, CA receives a $10.8 million firm-fixed-price contract for a 56-calendar day regular overhaul and dry docking of USNS Carl Brashear. All funds are committed immediately, but the contract includes options which could bring its total value to $12.3 million.

Work will include inspection of the propeller shaft and stern tube, cleaning and painting of the hull, inspection and polish of the bow thruster propeller, installation of the cloropac unit and overhaul of the seal valves. Work will be performed in San Francisco, CA, and is expected to be complete by Sept 25/13. This contract was competitively procured, with proposals solicited via FBO.gov, and 1 offer received. US Military Sealift Command Norfolk in Norfolk, VA manages the contract (N32205-13-C-3015).

Feb 5/13: TAKE-5 drydocking. Detyens Shipyards Inc. in North Charleston, SC receives an $8.5 million firm-fixed-price contract for a 55-calendar day regular overhaul and dry docking of USNS Robert E. Peary. Improvements will include installing a reverse-osmosis system to produce fresh water; inspecting the propeller shaft and stern tube; overhauling sea valves; installing a chlorpac unit; and cleaning and painting of the underwater hull. It’s not quite the same as T-AKE 4’s list, which explains why the price is so different. The contract includes options which could bring the total value to $9.9 million.

Work will be performed in North Charleston, SC, and is expected to be complete by May 2013. All contract funds are committed in FY 2013, and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year of Sept 30/13. This contract was competitively procured via FBO.gov, but just 1 offer was received by Military Sealift Command Norfolk in Norfolk, VA (N32205-13-C-3010).

Jan 17/13: DOT&E testing. The Pentagon releases the FY 2012 Annual Report from its Office of the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E). T-AKE is included, and most of the type’s previous deficiencies now list as corrected.

One deficiency that popped up is potential vulnerability to hackers. Category I vulnerabilities were found during an Information Assurance audit, and a subsequent Red Team effort gained system access.

The other 2 are related to T-KAE’s protection measures again chemical, biological or radiation attacks. Corrosion in the Countermeasure Water Wash Down’s (CMWWD) mild carbon steel piping system is still a problem, and the new IPDS-LR alert system doesn’t automatically activate the ship’s general or chemical alarm. The crew must manually activate this alarm, unlike US Navy ships. IPDS-LR still works, and isn’t formally on the “fix it” list, but it is worth noting.

Nov 21/12: TAKE-4 drydocking. BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair in San Francisco, CA receives $13.4 million firm-fixed-price contract for a 53-calendar day regular overhaul and dry-docking of T-AKE 4, the USNS Richard E. Byrd. Improvements will include freeze chill decking structure support and repairs; installing a reverse-osmosis system to produce fresh water; inspecting the propeller shaft and stern tube; cleaning and painting of the underwater hull; and replacing the flight deck foam sprinkler piping. The contract includes options which would bring the total to $15.1 million.

Work will be performed in San Francisco, CA, and is expected to be complete by Jan 17/13. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/13. This contract was competitively procured via FBO.gov, with 1 offer received (N32205-13-C-3012).

Oct 24/12: T-AKE 14 delivered. Military Sealift Command accepts delivery of its newest and last T-AKE ship, USNS Cesar Chavez, during a short ceremony at the General Dynamics NASSCO Ship Yard San Diego, CA. US MSC

Final T-AKE

FY 2012

Osprey lands; T-AKE 13 launched with greatly reduced labor hours, then delivered; T-AKE 3 drydock.

UNREP: T-AKE 11 to CG 52
(click to view full)

Sept 28/12: T-AKE 14 trial. The future USNS Cesar Chavez completed its Integrated Acceptance Trial which should lead to delivery later this (civil) year. NAVSEA.

April 24/12: T-AKE 13 delivered. US Military Sealift Command accepted delivery of T-AKE 13 as USNS Medgar Evers, during a short ceremony at General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego. US MSC | US Navy | GD NASSCO.

March 16/12: T-AKE 3 drydock. BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair in San Francisco, CA receives a $12.3 million firm-fixed-price contract for a 55-calendar day regular overhaul and dry-docking of the USNS Alan Shepard [T-AKE-3]. Some of the major work items include dry-docking and undocking the ship, repairing interior decks, structural repairs, overhauling the main diesel generators, and inspecting and refurbishing the propeller shaft and stern tube. This contract includes options, which could raise it to $14.3 million.

Work will be performed in San Francisco, CA, and is expected to be complete by May 28/12. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/12. This contract was competitively procured, with 1 offer received by US Military Sealift Fleet Support Command in Norfolk, VA (N40442-12-C-3011).

Feb 9/12: Osprey landing. A USMC MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft from VMM-266 makes the 1st landing aboard a T-AKE ship, on USNS Robert E. Peary [T-AKE 5]. The Osprey landed aboard Robert E. Peary while conducting an experimental resupply of Marines during exercise Bold Alligator 2012. US Navy photo release.

Nov 12/11: T-AKE 13 launched. USNS Medgar Evers [T-AKE 13] is christened at NASSCO’s San Diego, CA shipyard. She is named in honor of the African American civil rights leader from Mississippi, who was assassinated on June 12/63 in the front yard of his Mississippi home, by Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith. Evers had tried to end segregation at the University of Mississippi in the 1950s, and was appointed Mississippi’s first NAACP field officer in 1954. He held the position until his assassination, working for economic boycotts and peaceful protests against “Jim Crow” segregation laws. His widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, christened the ship.

NASSCO says that its culture of continuous improvement has as reduced the labor hours required to build T-AKE 13 by 67%, compared to T-AKE-1. The ship is due for delivery to the US Navy in Q2 2012, after at-sea testing. US MSC | GD NASSCO.

FY 2011

Cam Ranh return; T-AKE 11 delivered; T-AKE 12 launch & delivery; T-AKE 13 keel laid; T-AKE 14 named & keel laid; T-AKE 1 drydock.

Building T-AKE 13
(click to view full)

Sept 28/11: T-AKE 12 delivered. General Dynamics NASSCO delivers USNS William McLean to the U.S. Navy, during a signing ceremony at its San Diego, CA shipyard. US MSC | GD NASSCO.

Aug 23/11: Cam Ranh Bay. USNS Robert E. Byrd [T-AKE-4] leaves Cam Ranh Bay, after becoming the 1st US Navy vessel to visit the southern Vietnamese port in over 30 years. She spent 7 days at Cam Ranh Shipyard for routine maintenance and repairs that included underwater hull cleaning, polishing of the ship’s propeller, repairing shipboard piping, and overhaul of the salt water cooling system.

MSC Ship Support Unit Singapore routinely contracts shipyards throughout Southeast Asia to conduct maintenance and repairs, reducing transit times and hence the amount of time these ships are off-mission. US MSC.

May 19/11: T-AKE 14 named. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announces that T-AKE 14 will be named USNS Cesar Chavez. Chavez served in the Navy from 1944-1946, then became a leader in the American labor movement, and a civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association union. The choice ends up focusing unfriendly attention on Mabus’ politicization of ship names. US MSC.

May 10/11: T-AKE 14 keel. General Dynamics NASSCO hosts a keel laying ceremony for T-AKE 14 at its San Diego, CA shipyard. Construction began in October 2010, and the ship is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in Q4 2012. GD NASSCO also touts shipbuilding progress to date:

“During the course of the decade-long T-AKE Program, General Dynamics NASSCO has implemented more than 20,000 ideas to drive down costs and improve quality as part of its continuing commitment to the efficient production of world-class ships for the U.S. Navy. These enhancements are the result of ongoing process improvement initiatives, Lean Six Sigma projects, facility investments of more than $300 million since 2000 and capturing and rigorously applying lessons learned… In just five years, NASSCO has reduced the labor hours required to build a T-AKE by more than 60 percent, while completing construction in half the scheduled time required to build the first T-AKE ship…”

April 17/11: T-AKE 12 launched. GD NASSCO launches the USNS William McLean [T-AKE 12] dry cargo/ammunition supply ship at its San Diego shipyard. William Burdette McLean was a Navy physicist who conceived and developed the heat-seeking Sidewinder missile. NASSCO began building the USNS William McLean in September 2009. Following its at-sea testing phase, the ship will be delivered to the Navy in the 3rd quarter of 2011. GD NASSCO | US Navy pic.

March 25/11: T-AKE 1 drydocking. Detyens Shipyards, Inc. in North Charleston, SC wins a $7.3 million firm-fixed-price contract for a 55-calendar-day regular overhaul of USNS Lewis and Clark [T-AKE 1], including options which would bring the cumulative value to $8.8 million. This regular overhaul will include dry-docking and undocking the ship; underwater hull painting; main engine overhaul; propeller shaft inspection; cleaning and gas freeing tanks, voids and cofferdams; tank structural surveying and testing; and non-skid renewal.

Work will be performed in Charleston, S.C., and is expected to be completed by June 2011. Contract funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year, on Sept 30/11. This contract was competitively procured and posted to the Federal Business Opportunities Web page, with 3 offers received. The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Fleet Support Command manages the contract (N40442-11-C-3049).

Feb 23/11: T-AKE 11 delivered. US Military Sealift Command accepts delivery of its newest T-AKE dry cargo/ammunition ship, the USNS Washington Chambers [T-AKE 11], following successful sea trials. US MSC | GD NASSCO re: trials.

Jan 26/11: T-AKE 11 trials. GD NASSCO begins contractor sea trials for the Washington Chambers [T-AKE 11], before a scheduled return to the shipyard on Feb 3/11 for additional work. NASSCO spokesman Jim Gill told Sign-On San Diego that the ship:

“…goes out 20-plus miles… They test all the systems, including drop anchor and hauling it back up. This is usually done just off Coronado Roads (Silver Strand). Take the engine through all its configurations. Test the cranes, test the replenishment equipment (cabling, winches), run the fluids through the lines. Test the radar, fire fighting systems, top side sprinkling systems.”

Oct 26/10: T-AKE 13 keel. General Dynamics NASSCO lays the keel for T-AKE 13, the Medgar Evers. The ship is named in honor of the African American civil rights activist whose 1963 murder prompted President John F. Kennedy to ask Congress for a comprehensive civil rights bill.

NASSCO also cites a number of improvements since launching T-AKE 1, aimed at driving down costs and improving quality. These improvements involved facility investments, workforce training and capturing and applying lessons learned. For example, design enhancements feature an electronic sensor-triggered fire extinguishing system that eliminates a mechanical arrangement. This results in fewer parts, and hopefully higher reliability and lower costs.

Oct 21/10: T-AKE 14 begun. General Dynamics NASSCO begins construction of the 14th T-AKE ship, which is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in Q4 2012. Source.

FY 2010

T-AKE 9 delivered; T-AKE 10 launched & delivered; T-AKE 11 launched; T-AKE 13 & 14 ordered; T-AKE 13 named.

USNS Amelia Earhart
(click to view full)

Sept 11/10: T-AKE 11 launch. General Dynamics NASSCO launches the USNS Washington Chambers [T-AKE 11], during a christening ceremony at the shipyard, on San Diego’s working waterfront. NASSCO.

July 14/10: T-AKE 10 delivered. General Dynamics NASSCO delivers USNS Charles Drew [T-AKE 10] to the U.S. Navy, formally completing construction work that began in October 2008. Like other T-AKE ships, she is crewed by 124 civil service mariners, and 10 U.S. Navy sailors.

The ship is named in honor of Dr. Charles R. Drew (1904-1950), the African American surgeon and hematologist who pioneered the procedures for the safe storage and transfusion of blood. US MSC | GD NASSCO.

May 14/10: Small business qualifier Pacific Ship Repair & Fabrication in San Diego, CA will handle post-shakedown availability contracts for USNS Matthew Perry [T-AKE 9] and USNS Charles Drew [T-AKE 10]. The multi-ship solicitation contracts include options which would bring the total contract value to $18.9 million, if exercised.

Post-shakedown availability is a normal process for ships, in order to fix and tune problems found on the initial shakedown cruise. This one will include work on the lube-oil-tank, second-deck-cargo and galley modifications; cargo hold overhead insulation; and deck air compressor and radar installation.

Work will be performed in San Diego, CA, and is expected to be complete within 75 calendar days, once work begins for each ship. This contract was competitively procured on a set-aside for small business basis, and posted to the Military Sealift Command, Navy Electronic Commerce Online and Federal Business Opportunities Web sites. A total of 4 offers were received by US Navy Military Sealift Fleet Support Command in Norfolk, VA, and they issued the contracts using funds from US NAVSEA PMS 325 (N40442-10-C-3020 for the USNS Matthew Perry; N40442-11-C-3000 for the USNS Charles Drew).

March 26/10: T-AKE 12 keel. General Dynamics NASSCO lays the keel for T-AKE 12, the William McLean. It’s named for the research scientists whose accomplishments include the iconic AIM-9 sidewinder short-range air-air missile. NASSCO.

Feb 27/10: T-AKE 10 launch. General Dynamics NASSCO launches USNS Charles Drew [T-AKE 10] at its San Diego shipyard. Dr. Charles Drew researched and developed methods of blood collection, plasma processing and storage. US Navy | General Dynamics release.

Feb 26/10: T-AKE 13 & 14 ordered. A $824.6 million modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-02-C-2300) for construction of T-AKE 13 and T-AKE 14; the contract modification also includes design and construction, technical manuals, special studies, analyses and reviews, engineering and industrial services, and data.

Work will be performed in San Diego, CA and is expected to be complete by December 2013 for T-AKE 13 and November 2014 for T-AKE 14. See also Dec 12/08 long-lead items buy, GD NASSCO release.

Feb 24/10: T-AKE 9 delivered. General Dynamics NASSCO delivers USNS Matthew Perry [T-AKE 9]. GD release.

Oct 9/09: T-AKE 13 named. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, a former governor of Mississippi from 1988-1992, announces that the Navy will name a dry cargo ammunition ship after the civil rights leader Medgar Evers. The Mississippi native’s 1963 murder, and the subsequent deadlock of 2 all white juries, prompted President John F. Kennedy to ask Congress for a comprehensive civil rights bill. Evers’ murderer, Byron De La Beckwith, was finally convicted in 1994 based on new evidence. US Navy.

FY 2009

T-AKEing an expanded role; T-AKE 6 delivered; T-AKE 7 delivered; T-AKE 8 launched; T-AKE 9-12 named; T-AKE 9 launched; T-AKE 10 keel laid; T-AKE 11 & 12 ordered; T-AKE 11 begun.

T-AKE-1, Crete
(click to view full)

Sept 16/09: Expanded role. USNS Richard E. Byrd [T-AKE 4] has to make some changes, in order to serve as the lead Pacific Partnership 2009 vessel instead of the Austin class amphibious assault vessel USS Dubuque [LPD 8]. Dubuque’s crew had begun to come down with flu symptoms, raising concerns about H1N1 transmission.

The US Navy describes the shifts on board the Byrd, including substitution of outside personnel for some crew, bringing in Army cots, adding a reverse osmosis water purifier on deck, carrying full fuel and 3 months worth of provisions for the ship’s own use, adding cargo for medical needs, adding and deploying 4 small 7m RHIB boats, etc.

Aug 17/09: T-AKE 9 launched. The US Navy christens T-AKE 9 Matthew Perry, named after the famed South Pole explorer. GD release | US MSC release.

May 6/09: US MSC announces that USNS Lewis and Clark [T-AKE 1] foils a pirate attack off the coast of Somalia. Once shipboard lookouts spotted the 2 suspected pirate skiffs, the ship conducted evasive maneuvers and increased speed to elude the pirates. The pirates fired small arms weapons from approximately 2 nautical miles toward Lewis and Clark, which fell 1 nautical mile short of the ship’s stern. Lewis and Clark continued to increase speed and the skiffs ceased their pursuit.

March 19/09: T-AKE 11 begun. GD NASSCO begins construction of the future USNS Washington Chambers [T-AKE 11]. The Washington Chambers is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in the first quarter of 2011. Source.

March 17/09: T-AKE 10 keel. GD NASSCO lays the keel for the future USNS Charles Drew [T-AKE 10]. Construction of the Charles Drew began in October 2008, and the ship is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in the 3rd quarter of 2010. General Dynamics release.

March 8/09: T-AKE 8 launched. The US Navy christens T-AKE 8 Wally Schirra, named after the American astronaut and command pilot of Apollo 7, the first manned flight in the Apollo program. US MSC | San Diego Tribune | San Diego Navy Compass | General Dynamics release.

March 4/09: T-AKE 7 delivered. US Military Sealift Command accepts delivery of USNS Carl Brashear, after a series of tests and trials prior to delivery. MSC release | General Dynamics release.

Feb 8/09: Gannett’s Navy Times offers a profile of life aboard the USNS Robert E. Peary [T-AKE 5]. The ships do have some limitations compared to their predecessors, and their electronics can be a source of adjustment and extra work, as well as improved performance:

“He remembered serving aboard an Arctic-class ammunition ship, powered by gas turbines, and being able to keep pace with a carrier strike group at 30 knots or more. The Peary and its siblings can make a top speed of 20 knots, but not for very long. Where earlier ships had twin screws and twin rudders, affording better reliability, the Peary has a single screw and a single rudder, rendering it all-the-more vulnerable to engineering problems.

When the Peary needed to get underway for a week’s worth of qualification trials in late January, the ship’s engine systems were acting up. Just as computer users have done for years, the Peary’s engineers shut down the engine system and re-started it, temporarily solving the problem. But the touchy plant forced Karavalos to cancel a day’s worth of practice unreps so his technicians could locate problems in the propulsion system.”

DID would add that despite the article’s description of pleasant quarters and dispensed formalities compared with Navy ships is partly reflective of the fact that MSC mariners are away from home over 70-80% of the time. The ships are home, and the lack of duty seamen to do trivial work means that everyone must pitch in.

Jan 27/09: Cascade General in Portland, OR won a $13.9 million firm-fixed-price contract for post-shipyard work on USNS Amelia Earhart [T-AKE 6] and USNS Carl Brashear [T-AKE 7]. Work involves ship alterations, including the lube-oil-tank, second-deck-cargo and galley modifications; cargo hold overhead insulation; and deck air compressor and radar installation. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA PMS 325) provides the funding for post-shipyard work, and this contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the total contract value to $17.9 million.

Work will be performed in Portland, OR and is expected to be complete within 75 calendar days. Contract funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured, with 2 offers received by U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Fleet Support Command, a field activity of Military Sealift Command (N40442-09-C-3009).

Dec 12/08: T-AKE 11 & 12 ordered. A $940.3 million modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-02-C-2300), exercising 2 construction options for T-AKE 11 Washington Chambers and T-AKE 12 William McLean. Earlier this year, NASSCO received a total of $200 million to purchase long lead time materials for these ships.

These funds also cover $200 million for engines and other long lead time materials and components for T-AKE 13 and T-AKE 14. GD NASSCO expects a contract that fully funds both ships by February 2010.

Work will be performed in San Diego, CA and is expected to be complete by February 2012 for T-AKE 11, January 2013 for T-AKE 12, December 2013 for T-AKE 13 and November 2014 for T-AKE 14. Se also GD NASSCO release.

Dec 2/08: T-AKE 9-12 named. Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter announces the names for the next 4 Lewis and Clark class T-AKE ships. All still have exploration theme, but some of these namings involve different kinds of pioneering and exploration. NAVAIR will be especially pleased by 2 of the names.

T-AKE 9 honors Navy Commodore Matthew C. Perry (1794-1858), who is most famous for sailing a naval squadron to Japan and opening it to trade. Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors executives are probably wishing that he had stayed home.

T-AKE 10 honors Dr. Charles R. Drew (1904-1950), a physician and medical researcher whose pioneering work in the late 1930s and early 1940s led to the life-saving discovery that blood could be separated into plasma. Dr. Drew was African-American, and has a medical university named after him in south Los Angeles.

T-AKE 11 honors Navy Capt. Washington Irving Chambers (1856-1934), who arranged the world’s first airplane flight from a warship on Nov 14, 1910, when Eugene Ely flew from the light cruiser the USS Birmingham [CL-2].

T-AKE 12 honors William Burdette McLean (1914-1976), who conceived and developed the iconic Sidewinder short-range, heat-seeking air-to-air missile while serving as a physicist for the Navy. As NAVAIR’s release notes, he also pioneered the testing facility at China Lake, CA.

Nov 24/08: NAVFAC Marianas announces the 2nd increment of an $83 million firm-fixed price contract to the IBC/TOA Corporation Joint Venture based in Barrigada, Guam. The $43 million increment will be used to complete expansion of U.S. Naval Base Guam’s Kilo Wharf, used for ammunition. Cmdr. Matthew Suess, executive officer for NAVFAC Marianas:

“The extension is to accommodate the new T-AKE class of ammunition vessels, meet current seismic standards, and provide for containerized cargo operations with the installation of new crane rails.”

The project is scheduled for completion in 2010. US Navy release.

Oct 30/08: T-AKE 6 delivered. The USA’s Military Sealift Command accepts delivery of the USNS Amelia Earhart [T-AKE 6] in San Diego. In early December 2008, the ship will go on a short “shakedown cruise” where the ship’s crew will test a range of shipboard operations. Earhart will operate mainly in the Pacific Ocean out of Guam, and is anticipated to begin conducting missions for MSC in summer 2009. US MSC | GD NASSCO.

FY 2008

Revised program SAR (to 12 ships); T-AKE 4 delivered; T-AKE 5 delivered; T-AKE 6 launch; T-AKE 7 named & launched; TAKE 8 named; T-AKE 10 ordered; T-AKE 12 long-lead.

T-AKE 7 construction
Ken Wright, GD NASSCO
(click to view full)

Sept 18/08: T-AKE 7 launched. USNS Carl Brashear [T-AKE 7] is christened and launched during a morning ceremony at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, CA. After a series of tests and sea trials, the ship will be delivered to the Navy’s Military Sealift Command for operations in 2009.

The ship honors Master Chief Petty Officer Carl Brashear, who joined the U.S. Navy in 1948. See March 3/08 entry for more on Carl Brashear. MSC release.

Sept 10/08: Detyens Shipyards, Inc. in Charleston, SC won a $7.4 million firm-fixed-price contract for a post-shipyard availability of Military Sealift Fleet Support Command dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Robert E. Peary [T-AKE 5]. This shipyard availability is primarily for ship alterations, including lube-oil-tank, second-deck-cargo and galley modifications; cargo hold overhead insulation; and deck air compressor and radar installation. The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the total contract value to $9.1 million.

Work will be performed in Charleston, SC and is expected to be complete within 75 calendar days. Contract funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via Military Sealift Command, Navy Electronic Commerce Online and Federal Business Opportunities websites, with 2 offers received by the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Fleet Support Command (N40442-08-C-3011).

June 10/08: T-AKE 12 long-lead. A $100 million modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-02-C-2300) to exercise an option for long lead time material for T-AKE 12.

Long-lead material includes items like engines et. al. These items take time to make, but must be delivered early or else construction will be delayed. Work will be performed in San Diego, CA and is expected to be complete by January 2013. See also GD release.

June 5/08: T-AKE 5 delivered. USNS Robert E. Peary [T-AKE 5] is officially accepted by the U.S. Navy.

At the end of July 2008, the ship will go a short ‘shakedown cruise’ where the ship’s crew will test a range of shipboard operations. By the end of the summer, Peary will depart for her homeport in Norfolk, and soon deploy on its first operational mission. Navy release | GD release.

April 7/08: SAR. The Pentagon releases its Selected Acquisition Reports for the period up to December 2007. T-AKE is included due to cost increases:

“Program costs increased by $1,086.4 million (+23.5 percent) from $4,628.8 million to $5,715.2 million, due primarily to the addition of one ship from 11 to 12 ships (+$471.0 million), associated outfitting and post delivery costs (+$84.5 million), and cost growth on previous ships (+$520.6 million).”

April 6/08: T-AKE 6 launch. USNS Amelia Earhart [T-AKE-6] is launched and christened at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. See also May 28/07 entry. US Navy release.

March 14/08: At a House Armed Services Seapower subcommittee hearing, chairman Rep. Gene Taylor [D-MS] says:

“Although I put the T-AKE in the list of programs which are healthy, I would like our witnesses to address why the T-AKE [ship] that was requested and funded in fiscal year 2008 is not being put on contract. The subcommittee understands that the money that was requested to purchase a ship was instead used to re-negotiate contract terms. I understand the Navy thinks they can do this because the money is in a working capital fund called the National Defense Sealift Fund or NDSF.

I assure you that it is not the intent of the Congress that money authorized and appropriated for a specific purpose, in this case the procurement of a ship, would be used for any other purpose without further authorization or reprogramming.”

Read “US Navy’s 313-Ship Plan Under Fire in Congress” for more.

March 7/08: Pacific Ship Repair & Fabrication in San Diego, CA won an $11 million firm-fixed-price contract for a post shipyard availability of the USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4). This contract is designed to take care of post-construction alterations, including conversions to the bakery, galley and scullery, as well as modifications to the 2nd deck cargo hold and bow thruster chilled-water piping system. The ship is expected to deploy on its first operational mission this summer, and the contract includes options that could bring the total contract value to $12.7 million.

Work will be performed by Pacific Ship Repair & Fabrication at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, CaA and is expected to be completed by June 2008. Contract funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured, with 3 offers received by the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Fleet Support Command (N40442-08-C-3004).

March 3/08: T-AKE 7 & 8 named. Secretary of the Navy Dr. Donald C. Winter announced the naming of the 7th and 8th Military Sealift Command ships of the Lewis and Clark-class Auxiliary Dry Cargo ships (T-AKE) as Carl Brashear and Wally Schirra.

Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate (Master Diver) Carl M. Brashear joined the United States Navy in 1948, and became its first black deep-sea diver, first black Master Diver, and the first U.S. Navy diver to be restored to full active duty as an amputee, almost 2 difficult years after a salvage operation went awry. Brashear was the subject of the 2000 movie “Men of Honor,” starring Cuba Gooding Jr.

Wally Schirra was of the original 7 Mercury astronauts profiled in the movie “The Right Stuff,” and holds the distinction of being the only astronaut to fly in each of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. USN PEO ships release.

Jan 31/08: T-AKE 10 ordered. General Dynamics, National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO) in San Diego, CA received a $459.8 million modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-02-C-2300), exercising an option for construction of T-AKE 10. See the July 20/07 entry, which involved $100 million in long-lead time items for T-AKE 10. This $459.8 million contract also includes technical manuals and data, special studies, analyses and reviews, engineering and industrial services, and an unspecified value of long lead time material for T-AKE 11 like engines et. al.

Work will be performed in San Diego, CA and construction of T-AKE 10 is scheduled to begin in January 2009, with delivery to the Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) in Q4 2010. Construction of T-AKE 11 is scheduled to begin in the Q1 2010, with delivery in Q4 2011. GD release.

T-AKE 2 Sacagawea
and CG-53 Mobile Bay
(click to expand)

Dec 19/07: Cascade General Portland Shipyard in Portland, OR won a $9.1 million firm-fixed-price contract for a 70-day post shipyard availability (PSA) of Military Sealift Fleet Support Command’s dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Alan Shepard [T-AKE 3] “to undergo a number of modifications that could not be economically accomplished under the ship construction contract.” NAVSEA PMS-325 provided funding for the alterations to be completed during the PSA, and the contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $10.8 million.

Work will be performed in Portland, OR and is expected to be complete by Apr. 2008. Contract funds in the amount of $10.8 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured, with 3 offers received by the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Fleet Support Command, a field activity of Military Sealift Command in Washington, DC (N40442-08-C-3003).

Nov 14/07: T-AKE 4 delivered. General Dynamics NASSCO delivers USNS Richard E. Byrd [T-AKE 4] to the U.S. Navy. See May 15/07 entry for information about the ship’s namesake. In 2007, NASSCO delivered T-AKE 2 USNS Sacagawea in February, T-AKE 3 USNS Alan Shepard in June, and now USNS Richard E. Byrd. T-AKE 1 USNS Lewis and Clark was delivered in June 2006, and the 5th-8th ships of the class are currently under construction for deliveries through the third quarter of 2009.

General Dynamics NASSCO employs more than 4,600 people and is the only major ship construction yard on the West Coast of the United States. In addition to the T-AKE program, the San Diego shipyard is building the first of 9 commercial product carriers for U.S. Shipping Partners LP. GD release.

FY 2007

Multi-Year deal could order 9-14; T-AKE 2 delivered; T-AKE 3 launched & delivered; T-AKE 6 named & keel laid; T-AKE 10 long-lead.

Aug 23/07: Multi-Year Deal for #9-14. GD NASSCO announces a multi-year agreement with the U.S. Navy for options to build up to 5 additional T-AKE dry cargo ammunition ships. Contracts for the ships, valued at approximately $2.5 billion if all options are exercised, and are expected to be awarded over the next 4 years. Including the 9 ships previously under contract, this agreement means the San Diego shipyard would build a total of 14 T-AKE ships for the Navy. GD release.

July 27/07: T-AKE 3 delivered. Military Sealift Command accepts delivery of dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Alan Shepard [T-AKE 3] in San Diego, CA. MSC release.

July 24/07: “The US Navy (USN) and General Dynamics’ subsidiary National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) are “very close in negotiations” to restructuring its T-AKE combat and logisitics support ships contract to buy two additional vessels, USN Deputy Assistant Secretary Allison Stiller told Jane’s…”

July 20/07: T-AKE 10 long-lead. A $100 million fixed-price-incentive modification under previously awarded contract (N00024-02-C-2300), exercising an option for long lead time material and associated labor for the 10th ship of the T-AKE Class (T-AKE 10). The contractor will perform material sourcing, material ordering, vendor interface, and material quality assurance for the ship’s engines and other components that have significant manufacturing lead times. Work will be performed in San Diego, CA and is expected to be complete by September 2009.

A contract that funds full construction of the 10th T-AKE ship is expected to be awarded by January 2008. Construction of T-AKE 10 is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2009, with delivery scheduled for the first quarter of 2011. GD NASSCO release.

May 30/07: T-AKE 6 keel. General Dynamics NASSCO holds a keel-laying ceremony for T-AKE 6. A keel-laying ceremony is a shipbuilding tradition that signifies important milestone as full-scale production begins. In recognition of that milestone, event honoree, Darlene Costello, deputy director for Naval Warfare in the office of under secretary of defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, welded her initials into the keel.

The Amelia Earhart is scheduled to be delivered to the US Military Sealift Command (MSC) in the fall of 2008. GD release.

May 28/07: T-AKE 6 named. The US Navy declares that T-AKE 6 will be named USNS Amelia Earhart.

Amelia Earhart became a household name in 1932 when she became the 1st woman – and 2nd person – to fly solo across the Atlantic, flying from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, to Londonderry, Ireland. That year, she received the Distinguished Flying Cross from the U.S. Congress, the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor from the French government, and the Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society from President Herbert Hoover. In January 1935, Earhart became the first person to fly solo “across” the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu to Oakland, CA. Later that year she soloed from Los Angeles to Mexico City and back to Newark, NJ. In a tragedy that cemented her legend, Earhart and her Lockheed 10E “Electra” vanished utterly in 1937, during an attempt at an around-the-world flight.

USNS Amelia Earhart will operate out of Guam when she is put into service. Hopefully, modern GPS technology will prevent her from joining her namesake in the South Pacific. US Navy Newsstand.

May 15/07: T-AKE 4 launched. The US Navy christens the USNS Richard E. Byrd. The launching ceremony was held at the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in San Diego, CA. Mrs. Bolling Byrd Clarke, Byrd’s oldest daughter and the ship’s sponsor, christened the ship by breaking the traditional bottle of champagne against its bow. GD release | a US Navy release describes the accomplishments of the ship’s namesake.

May 11/07: Infrastructure. Healy Tibbitts Builders, Inc. in Aiea, HI received a $12.6 million firm-fixed price Task Order 0016 under previously awarded indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity multiple award construction contract (N62742-04-D-1300) to dredge West Loch Channel at Naval Magazine, Pearl Harbor, so it will accommodate a T-AKE vessel. Construction dredging in the West Loch Channel will provide access and berthing facilities at Wharves W1, W2, and W3 for the T-AKE vessel. The project will also undertake horizontal directional drilling construction of a water line under West Loch channel, and bank stabilization along the dredged/excavated shoreline along Baltimore Point by slope control.

Work will be performed in Pearl Harbor, HI and is expected to be complete by October 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii received 3 proposals for this task order.

May 10/07: House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) has announced that H.R. 1585, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008, has been reported favorably by the committee on a vote of 58-0. The proposed bill includes $456 million for a second T-AKE ship in FY 2008, bringing the fleet to 12 – though this figure would not cover all of the internal systems etc. that must be added to make it operational. MarineLog report.

Feb 27/07: T-AKE 2 delivered. After completing sea trials off the southern California coast, dry cargo/ ammunition ship USNS Sacagawea [T-AKE 2] was delivered to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command. See Navy release.

T-AKE 3 launch
Ken Wright, GD NASSCO
(click to view full)

Dec 15-16/06: USNS Lewis and Clark [T-AKE 1] conducted its first-ever underway replenishment as part of Operation Evaluation Event No. 1 alongside the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt [CVN 71]. The successful UNREP training evolution completed the first of 14 phases of training for Lewis and Clark, assessing the ship’s ability to conduct a ship-ship UNREP and MH-60S helicopter-based vertical replenishment (VERTREP) simultaneously. See Navy release.

Dec 7/06: Detyens Shipyards Inc. in North Charleston, SC received a $6.45 million firm-fixed-price contract for a 90-calendar-day Post Shipyard Availability of Military Sealift Command’s dry cargo ammunition ship USNS Lewis & Clark [T-AKE 1]. The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the total contract value to $8.4 million. Work will be performed in North Charleston, SC, and is expected to be completed within 90 calendar days from the commencement of the contract in February 2007. This contract was competitively procured with 2 offers received by US Navy Military Sealift Fleet Support Command, a field activity of US Military Sealift Command (N40442-07-C-3000).

Dec 6/06: T-AKE 3 launched. The USNS Alan Shepard [T-AKE 3] is christened during a launching at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego, CA.

Meanwhile, DID reader Lee R. Wahler wonders “whether the ship’s proper name is [USNS] Alan B. Shepard, Jr or the shortened version [USNS Alan Shepard] which the media types use?” For those unfamiliar with the distinction, the proper name is what ends up on the Certificate of Ownership.

FY 2001 – 2006

T-AKE 1 to 9 ordered; T-AKE 1 to 5 named; T-AKE 1 delivery; T-AKE 2 launch.

USNS Lewis and Clark
(click to expand)

June 24/06: T-AKE 2 launched. The USNS Sacagawea [T-AKE 2] is christened and launched during a twilight ceremony at General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, CA. The ship is named for a Native American from the Lemhi Shoshone tribe; she served as guide and interpreter for the Lewis and Clark expedition.

July 28/06: T-AKE 4 and 5 named. The US Department of the Navy announces the naming of USNS Richard E. Byrd [T-AKE 4] for the famed Antarctic explorer. As an interesting sidenote, Byrd also led the first expedition to fly over the North Pole. USNS Robert E. Peary [T-AKE 5] is named for the famed Arctic explorer, who is credited as the first person to reach the geographic North Pole. US Navy.

June 20/06: T-AKE 1 delivered. The USNS Lewis and Clark, the first T-AKE ship, is delivered to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command.

Jan 30/06: T-AKE 9 ordered. A $317.1 million fixed-price-incentive modification for design and construction of the 9th T-AKE Dry Cargo/Ammunition Ship (of 12). Work will be performed in San Diego, CA, and is expected to be complete by May 2009 (N00024-02-C-2300). GD NASSCO release.

Jan 11/05: T-AKE 7 & 8 ordered. A $586.3 million fixed-price-incentive option provides full funding of the detailed design and construction of the 7th and 8th T-AKE Dry Cargo/Ammunition Ships ($293.1 million per ship). Work will be performed in San Diego, CA, and is expected to be completed by May 1, 2008 for the 7th ship and July 31, 2008 for the 8th ship (N00024-02-C-2300).

Jan 27/04: T-AKE 5 & 6 ordered. A $578.2 million fixed-price-incentive modification provides full funding of the detailed design and construction of the 5th and 6th T-AKE Dry Cargo/Ammunition Ships ($289.1 million per ship). Work will be performed in San Diego, CA, and is expected to be complete by July 2007 (N00024-02-C-2300).

July 18/03: T-AKE 4 ordered. A $287.6 million fixed-price-incentive modification exercises an option for design and construction of the 4th T-AKE Dry Cargo/Ammunition Ship. This contract will provide for the full funding of the detail design and construction of the fourth ship of the T-AKE Class. Work will be performed in San Diego, CA, and is expected to be complete by December 2006 (N00024-02-C-2300).

July 16/02: T-AKE 3 ordered. A $289.9 million fixed-price-incentive modification exercises an option for design and construction of the 3rd T-AKE Dry Cargo and Ammunition Ship. Work will be performed in San Diego and is to be complete by May 2006. NASSCO would later note that construction on the third T-AKE, to be named the USNS Alan Shepard in honor of the first American in space, began in September 2005.

Oct 18/01: T-AKE 1 & 2 ordered. A $406.9 million fixed-price-incentive (firm targets) contract for the detailed design and construction of the lead ship of the auxiliary cargo and ammunition ship class. T-AKE 1 would later be christened the USNS Lewis and Clark on May 21/05. The contract also provides for spare and repair parts, special studies and analyses, engineering and industrial services and technical data.

This original contract (N00024-02-C-2300) has 10 remaining options for follow-on ships, which would bring the total cumulative contract value to $3.75 billion.

Concurrent with this contract award, the US Navy exercises the 1st $301.6 million option for the detailed design and construction of the first follow-on ship: T-AKE 2 would be named USNS Sacagewea.

Work will be performed in San Diego, CA (75.7%); Iron Mountain, MI (9.3%); Waynesboro, VA (3.9%); Philadelphia, PA (3.5%); Beloit, WI. (3%); Belle Chasse, LA (1.8%); Kingsford, MI (1.8%); Scarborough, ME (0.5%); and Willis, TX (0.5%), and is expected to be complete by September 2005. This contract was competitively procured and advertised via the Commerce Business Daily and posted to the Naval Sea Systems Command web site. There were three offers received by the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC.

Additional Readings & Sources (DID thanks reader Lee Wahler for sharing his USNS expertise, and assisting with research for this article.)

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