Dec 25, 2012 16:15 UTC
Latest updates[?]: Full Rate Production twin order.
MH-60R & ALFS,
The AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low-Frequency Sonar (ALFS) will equip the US Nay’s new MH-60R multi-mission helicopters, serving as their primary anti-submarine sensor. The new FLASH sonar operates using lower frequencies and higher-power waveforms than existing dipping sonars, improving long-range detection. The AQS-22 dipping sonar claims 4x the area coverage of current systems, and includes both active or passive sonar modes to help track, localize, and classify submarines. A winching system with up to 2,500 feet of cable raises and lowers the sonar.
The ALFS system complements the MH-60R’s radar, and works in concert with other equipment including active or passive sonobuoys, signal processing improvements that are especially helpful in shallow water. This Spotlight article highlights ALFS-related contracts from 2002 to the present.
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Dec 24, 2012 20:12 UTC
Survivable Laser-guided Expeditionary Integrated Gift Handling system
Today isn’t really a publishing day, but the Eurofighter articles below provide further updates on Friday’s news. Defense Industry Daily will publish on the 26th and 27th. After that we’ll see you again in 2013, hopefully with a few site improvements in tow.
Meanwhile, we have a Christmas wish request. Blackfive’s C. Blake Powers has been a media embed before, has his ITOs, and is a member of the Indiana Guard Reserve. If there’s a unit who can use a good embed, whose integrity we will happily vouch for, this article explains who he is, and what he does:
“So, what I want from Santa is a good embed. One that will let me be as much a part of the team as possible, and will allow me to let that team tell their individual stories in such a way that we tell the larger story, and tell it well.”
Dec 20, 2012 14:18 UTC
Latest updates[?]: LPD 24 delivered; Support contract; Weapons for LPD 27.
LPD-17 San Antonio class amphibious assault support vessels are just entering service with the US Navy, and 11 ships of this class are eventually slated to replace up to 41 previous ships. Much like their smaller predecessors, their mission is to embark, transport, land, and support elements of a US Marine Corps Landing Force. The difference is found in these ships’ size, their cost, and the capabilities and technologies used to perform those missions. Among other additions, this new ship is designed to operate the Marines’ new MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, alongside the standard well decks for hovercraft and amphibious armored personnel carriers.
While its design incorporates notable advances, the number of serious issues encountered in this ship class have been much higher than usual, and more extensive. The New Orleans shipyard to which most of this contract was assigned appears to be part of the problem. Initial ships have been criticized, often, for sub-standard workmanship, and it took 2 1/2 years after the initial ship of class was delivered before any of them could be sent on an operational cruise. Whereupon the USS San Antonio promptly found itself laid up Bahrain, due to oil leaks. It hasn’t been the only ship of its class hurt by serious mechanical issues. Meanwhile, costs are almost twice the originally promised amounts, reaching over $1.6 billion per ship – 2 to 3 times as much as many foreign LPDs like the Rotterdam Class, and more than 10 times as much as Singapore’s 6,600 ton Endurance Class LPD. This article covers the LPD-17 San Antonio Class program, including its technologies, its problems, and ongoing contracts and events.
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Dec 20, 2012 10:00 UTC
“Because the services have not consistently performed and documented analyses to support decision making concerning the return of excess major end items from Afghanistan, there is a risk that the costs of returning excess items may outweigh the benefits of returning them.
- Canada still has 400 containers in Kandahar of low priority, but still worth shipping back, according to 45eNord.ca [in French]. But keeping them there incurs exposure to rental costs and theft risk.
- Prime Minister Cameron told Parliament that the UK will lower its forces in Afghanistan to about 5,200 by the end of 2013, down from 9,000 now.
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