General Dynamics wins $191m deals for USS South Dakota | Rheinmetall completes laser weapon station trials | Boeing introduces Airpower Teaming System
The Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Repair awarded General Dynamics multiple contracts worth $191 million for post delivery services for the US Navy’s USS South Dakota (SSN 790). The USS South Dakota is a nuclear powered Virginia-Class submarine. The Virginia-Class attack submarine is the U.S. Navy’s newest undersea warfare platform and incorporates the latest in stealth, intelligence gathering and weapons systems technology. The South Dakota is part of the Third Block or “Flight“, which began construction in 2009. Block III subs feature a revised bow with a Large Aperture Bow sonar array, as well as technology from Ohio-Class ships. General Dynamics won a $76 million contract for planning and execution efforts and alterations, $60 million to provide additional support and services, and $55 million for installation of the Stern Area System during USS South Dakota’s (SSN 790) post-delivery work period. Work will take place in Groton, Connecticut and is scheduled to be finished by December 2020.
The USS Charleston entered the Navy’s fleet as the 16th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) during a commissioning ceremony in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday. The LCS-18 is an Independent-Class Littoral Combat Ship built by Austal. The ship is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform that can operate in near-shore environments, as well as open-ocean. The Charleston is the ninth Independence-variant littoral combat ship, which consists of even-numbered hulls. It is able to defeat asymmetric anti-access threats, such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The USS Charleston was christened in August 2017 and delivered to the US Navy last year following the completion of acceptance trials. The LCS-18 is scheduled to be homeported in San Diego, California. The Navy still has one LCS contract to award.
Middle East & Africa
The US Missile Defense Agency contracted Lockheed Martin $945.9 million in the first down payment for a $15 billion buy of missile defense systems by Saudi Arabia. The deal provides for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The THAAD system is designed to shoot down short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, including weapons of mass destruction, in descent or reentry. Lockheed will provide THAAD foreign military sales KSA Phase I long lead items, obsolescence, tooling and test equipment, key personnel, line requalification activities, initial training development, System Integration Lab and testbeds, three-level maintenance concept, exportability and early engineering development. The US State Department approved the sale of the defense system to Saudi Arabia in October 2017. Work will take place within the US and the contract’s performance period is from February 28, 2019 through October 31, 2026.
Rheinmetall completed a series of comprehensive trials with a new weapon station at its test center in Zürich, Switzerland. The weapon station, in combination with a laser, demonstrated its speed and precision in tests conducted in December 2018. Drones and mortar rounds were successfully engaged at operationally relevant ranges. The laser weapon station is part of Rheinmetall’s efforts to transform laser weapon technology into a fully functional weapon system. According to the company, the system consists of four main components: the laser source, beam director with the telescope, and coarse tracker. The mobile weapon station can mechanically point the laser towards the target. During the tests, the laser weapon station was combined with a beam director and advanced lasers. It can also be combined with an upcoming 20 kW laser source. The assemblies are modular and scalable in design and are equally suitable for ground, air and naval operations. Rheimetall also declared, that it now has all of the principal assemblies for a future laser weapon system at its own disposal.
The US Naval Surface Warfare Center contracted Corvid Technologies LLC $223.3 million for Navy Sub-Orbital Flight Vehicles. The company will provide hardware, equipment and components needed to produce sub-orbital flight vehicles for the US Navy, other government organizations and Japan. The flight vehicles are exo-atmospheric rocket-based vehicles specifically configured to deliver payloads and test articles into a flight regime of interest for systems under test. Corvid Technologies LLC provides computational physics analysis support to defense and automotive industries. It specializes in computational fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, shock physics, styling and surfacing, and large scale prototyping and development. Japan will provide $8 million at the time of the award through the foreign military sales (FMS) program. Work is scheduled to be completed by February, 2024.
Boeing introduced its newest Unmanned Platform, called the Boeing Airpower Teaming System. Boeing Australia designed the system, which is the company’s largest investment in a new aircraft outside the US. The Australian Defense Minister unveiled a model at the Australian International Airshow. The Boeing Airpower Teaming System will complement and extend airborne missions through smart teaming with existing military aircraft. The Australian Government and Boeing will produce a concept demonstrator called the Loyal Wingman – Advanced Development Program that will provide key learnings toward the production of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System. According to Boeing, the Boeing Airpower Teaming System will provide fighter-like performance, measuring 11.7 meters. It will be able to fly more than 2,000 nautical miles. The System integrates sensor packages onboard to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and electronic warfare. It uses artificial intelligence to fly independently or in support of manned aircraft while maintaining safe distance between other aircraft.
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