“Virginia Block III: The Revised Bow” explains the program history and cost targets for the USA’s future Virginia Class nuclear submarine fleet, while detailing the new “six shooter” bow design.
Now Christmas has come early for General Dynamics Electric Boat Corporation in Groton, CT, thanks to a $14.011 billion fixed-price incentive multi-year contract. Working with their partner Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, the firm will be the lead contractor for 8 new Virginia Class submarines, as the Navy orders SSN 784 – SSN 791 between FY 2009 – FY 2013. The USS North Dakota [SSN 784] will be the first fielded example of the new Virginia Class Block III configuration, which has been redesigned in ways that improve its flexibility while reducing its costs…
Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace recently announced a contract with the Brazilian navy for an unspecified number of Penguin Mk 2 MOD 7 anti-ship missiles and associated equipment, valued at about NOK 140 million/ $20 million. The missiles will be deployed on the Brazilian Navy’s maritime helicopters. Their “AH-11A” Super Lynx models are certified for the missile, but the official Dec 22/08 notice [PDF, Portuguese] refers to the Marinha do Brazil’s new S-70B Seahawks as the designated platform.
The Penguin Mark 2 Mod 7 is a relatively small anti-ship missile with a very distinctive profile. Its boost-sustain solid fuel rocket motor gives the 120 kg/ 260 pound sub-sonic missile a maximum range of 34 km/ 21 miles, using inertial navigation and a passive infrared seeker for no-warning guidance. It can take an oblique path to the target, turning up to 180 degrees around a waypoint; and also can perform random weaves before striking the target at the waterline, or popping up and diving into it. The Penguin Mark 2 Mod 7 is operational on helicopters of the Norwegian, US (AGM-119B), Australian, Greek, Turkish, and South Korean navies.
Over the past year, both Norway and the Netherlands have both held competitions for their F-16 fighter replacements. EADS pulled its Eurofighter out of the Norwegian competition in December 2007, amidst rumors that they believed the competition was fixed to a pre-determined outcome. Norway’s recent decision, and the follow-on presentation by Saab’s CEO, certainly add credence to that perception.
The Norwegian competition featured a simulation as an important centerpiece of the competition. The Dutch competition also featured simulations, alongside a comparative study of the F-16 Block 60+, JAS-39NG Gripen, and F-35A. A study whose findings have become a key milestone to the Dutch IOT&E decision, and to its future fighter choice.