Advanced Radar gives the Navy an extra punch | Jordan unveils its Terminator | UK orders Astute class submarine
- Shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls recently announced that the first steps towards constructing the first Flight III Destroyer have been taken. The destroyer ‘Jack Lucas’ will join the Navy’s fleet in 2024. The vessel is modelled after the 73 Arleigh-Burke class destroyers already in service, but it will be a very different, more capable killer than its predecessors. ‘Jack Lucas’ gets its extra punch by adding Raytheon’s newly developed AN/SPY-6 air and missile defense radar. The Flight III is a major overhaul of the guided-missile destroyer. It required a 45 percent redesign of the hull, most of which was done to accommodate the AN/SPY-6 and its formidable power needs. The Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) has been procured through a competition between Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. The AMDR-S provides wide-area volume search, tracking, Ballistic Missile Defense discrimination, missile communications and defense against very low observable and very low flyer threats in heavy land, sea, and rain clutter. In addition, the AMDR-X provides horizon search, precision tracing, missile communications, and final illumination guidance to targets. The AN/SPY-6 is 30 times more sensitive than its predecessor, its additional sensitivity supercharges the vessel’s capabilities in anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense.
- Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information & Services is being tapped to provide further sustainment of services for the CENTAUR system. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract is valued at $37 million and includes the continued sustainment of the Cross-Domain Enterprise All Source User Repository system architecture that services as a coalition cross domain solution, as well as continued development of the NGA Coalition Data Broker. The system allows US and multi-national forces to operate in a near-real time common environment. It is a suite of products for machine-to-machine, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information sharing between U.S. security domains and multi-national partners’ security domains. Work will be performed at various locations inside and outside the US, including Richardson, Texas and Darmstadt, Germany. Work is expected to be completed by May 2023.
- The Navy recently marked a milestone in the construction of the next Virginia-class attack submarine. Named after the father of the US nuclear propulsion program, the Hymen G. Rickover is the fourth boat in the 10-ship Block IV batch. It is primarily designed to reduce by one the number of major overhauls the ship needs in its lifetime, adding a deployment and reducing the total cost of ownership in the process. The Navy is procuring 10 Virginia Class Block IV submarines in a 5-year, $17 billion deal. They’re derived from the lessons of the SSN-21 Seawolf Class an extremely advanced submarine whose expense per boat ended production at 3. The Virginias achieved excellent flexibility and a reputation for extreme quietness, but changes have continued since the first boat, as the US Navy tried to drive costs down. Virginia Class submarines have a 33-year service life and are designed to perform a wide range of missions. They have several innovations that significantly improve their warfighting capabilities – with an emphasis on littoral (close-to-shore) operations.
Middle East & Africa
- The US Ambassador to Cameroon officially handed over two Cessna 208B aircraft to the country. The two planes add important reconnaissance capabilities to the nation’s armed forces. The African country has been engaged in the fight against Boko Haram and the Islamic State since 2014. The Cameroon C208 Cessna Program is valued at approximately $4.3 million. The Ambassador emphasized that “these surveillance aircraft represent a new link in the chain of our excellent cooperation and have the potential to improve the safety and effectiveness of Cameroon’s fighting forces”. Equipped with surveillance turrets, internal displays, and communications systems, they provide real time information, through video and photograph, as well as through radio communications, to both national decision makers and to operational commanders.
- Jane’s reports that the Jordanian defense contractor Jadara Equipment and Defense Systems unveiled its new Terminator anti-tank missile. The Terminator missile has a caliber of 107mm and can be fitted with two types of warheads, which can be used to destroy tanks, light armored vehicles, light soft skinned vehicles and field fortifications at a distance from 100 to 2,500 m. The Terminator is a laser beam riding, semi-automatic command-to-line of sight missile. It can be mounted on either a portable launcher or a carrier-based automatic launcher. The system consists of a launch unit which features a 4.3 kg launching unit, a 15.8 pounds guidance unit and a 35.9 pounds tripod. The guidance unit is fitted with an uncooled thermal sensor that gives the system a day and night capability.
- The British government is awarding a contract to BAE Systems in relation to two submarine programs. The company will receive $3.26 billion to continue to the next phase of the Dreadnought program and will deliver the seventh Astute class submarine to the Royal Navy. The SSN Astute Class submarines are the successors to the Navy’s Swiftsure and Trafalger Class submarines. The Astute Class is the only platform used to launch long-range UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles, in order to deliver conventional strikes against land targets. The Dreadnought program comes with a price tag of $41 billion. It is the British replacement project to its fleet of Vanguard class submarines. They will provide the UK’s ‘Continuous at sea deterrence’ capability by carrying the existing Trident missiles, which will not be replaced until the 2040s.
- Taiwan’s Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa has recently said in an interview that the country is still negotiating with the US government about the acquisition of F-35 fighter aircraft. He said “that the air force’s operational requirements dictate that the next generation of fighters must possess stealth characteristics, be short take-off capable and be able to fight beyond visual range. The F-35 is a fine fighter and we are seeking it”. Taiwan’s new strategic doctrine is built on strong defense and layered deterrence. The country plans to make arms sales and technological transfers pave the way toward achieving self-sufficiency in national defense. De-fa added, “the aim of defense self-sufficiency is to avoid over-reliance on foreign military aid and to build our own strength. It does not behoove us to expect help from others in a crisis”.
- DARPA unveils its Gremlin Airborne Launch & Recovery System for UAS’s
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