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    US Navy ships and weapon systems

    max steel
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    Post  max steel Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:20 pm

    What do you mean?
    magnumcromagnon
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    Post  magnumcromagnon Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:20 pm

    Militarov wrote:
    magnumcromagnon wrote:
    George1 wrote:The first flight of the helicopter CH-53K


    The first flight of the gold-plated white elephant, aka the CH-53K, the most expensive helicopter ever created at a insane average cost of +$100 million!!! Shocked  Some congressman on Capital Hill is getting kickbacks!

    Worst part is that it was based on already existing CH53E, i cant imagine Research and develop cost if they were making it from 0. Actually, by last count it will be 130million per piece included RnD.

    ...And the CH-53K's capabilities are inferior to the Mi-26 in most categories (all the important ones), a helicopter (Mi-26) which was designed in the 1970's, while simultaneously being 5-6x times the cost of the Mi-26. That means you can get '6' superior heavy-lift helicopters (Mi-26) for every '1' CH-53K! MIC-funding corruption is running amok in the United States!!!
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    Post  magnumcromagnon Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:26 pm

    max steel wrote:What do you mean?

    Werewolf quoted your post by accident, and he was commenting on the Sikorsky CH-53K.


    BTW, Werewolf is it possible to get a indepth break down on why the Mi-26 (a helicopter designed in the 1970's) is superior to the CH-53K? Because I don't think I can do this topic as much justice as you could lol! A serious breakdown will show how unjustified the cost is.
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    Post  Werewolf Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:05 pm

    magnumcromagnon wrote:
    max steel wrote:What do you mean?

    Werewolf quoted your post by accident, and he was commenting on the Sikorsky CH-53K.


    BTW, Werewolf is it possible to get a indepth break down on why the Mi-26 (a helicopter designed in the 1970's) is superior to the CH-53K? Because I don't think I can do this topic as much justice as you could lol! A serious breakdown will show how unjustified the cost is.

    Maybe on Friday, when i have more time.
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    Post  max steel Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:54 pm

    Navy Planning Torpedo Restart, Would Be Modular Design With Multiple Payloads

    The Navy hopes to restart its heavyweight torpedo program after a more than 15-year hiatus in production, but those plans could be hampered by a long-term continuing resolution.
    Director of Undersea Warfare Rear Adm. Charles Richard left no doubt about his need for the program: “I have to go get that line started,” he said last week at the annual Naval Submarine League symposium.

    Program Executive Office for Submarines Executive Director George Drakeley said at the same event that the submarine community is currently limited to the Mk 54 lightweight torpedo, the Mk 48 heavyweight torpedo and the Tomahawk missile.

    “That’s really not that great, that’s not a good state of affairs,” he said.
    “Now there’s a number of programs in the [research and development] area that I can’t discuss here, but we are looking at other weapons – but I say to the community we need to do a better job giving the warfighter more weapons here.”

    And that limited selection of weapons is aging, he said. Discussing the Mk 48 Mod 7, the newest of the torpedoes, Drakeley said, “we refurbish these, we use them a lot, we fire them for training and then bring them back and refurb and reuse, but they’re getting old. And though when you look at the picture of it it looks like it’s kind of a modular weapon, we really have only been upgrading the forward part with the sonars and the electronics. So in the torpedo restart, we are going to be making this a truly modular design that you can pull out a section and plug in different payloads or different propulsion systems or different fuel supplies, and so as you’re developing the payloads you ought to be thinking about how you integrate with the modular Mk 48 some new capabilities and the like.”

    But Richard said the ability to get that modular, plug-and-play torpedo off the ground could be hurt by the budget. The Navy is currently operating under a continuing resolution, which funds the government at last year’s levels until December. Congress appears to have reached a two-year budget deal to provide some relief from the Budget Control Act spending levels, but it is unclear if Congress will be able to pass a line-by-line spending bill by December or if the continuing resolution will be extended.

    “That’s a body blow in terms of my ability to get the resources and get them into the hands of those program managers so that we can go and make torpedoes. That’s next to impossible under a continuing resolution,” Richard said.
    “So I’ve got to start making torpedoes.”

    “And then what I have to do is I have to come up with an entirely new array of schwackage options that I can go give the fleet,” he said, echoing Drakeley’s call for additional payloads.
    “That includes both undersea, that’s with the heavyweight torpedo capabilities, as well as an expanded missile portfolio. High on my expanded portfolio list is we have to figure out how to go get back in the anti-surface ship missile business. And then behind that, large and small diameter UUVs.”

    Director of Naval Reactors Adm. Frank Caldwell said at the same event last week that the Navy is pursuing adding anti-ship missiles back to its sub fleet to bring it in line with the rest of the world’s fleets.

    “For this audience, I’ll tell you we are considering that and we are taking some some steps to delivering that kind of capability to our submarine force and I can’t really say anymore than that,” he said.
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    Post  George1 Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:40 pm

    US Navy Orders $36.7Mln Computer Upgrade to Aegis Missile Defense Systems

    The US Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a $36.7 million contract to upgrade Aegis anti-aircraft and anti-missile tracking systems with a new computer program.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Navy has awarded defense contractor Lockheed Martin a $36.7 million contract to upgrade Aegis anti-aircraft and anti-missile tracking systems with a new computer program, the Department of Defense announced.

    "Lockheed Martin, Mission Systems and Training, Moorestown, New Jersey, is being awarded a $36,727,286 modification… contract… for Aegis Modernization Advanced Capability Build engineering," the announcement stated on Monday.

    The Aegis is an integrated anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system built by Lockheed Martin that uses computer and radar technology to track and guide weapons to destroy its targets.

    The scheduled modernization will provide upgrades to Aegis cruisers and destroyers, and will be applicable to all ships equipped with Aegis systems, according to the Defense Department.

    China has warned that the US Navy’s deployment of Aegis systems in the Pacific region could jeopardize Beijing’s strategic deterrent.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20151117/1030231940/us-navy-upgrades-aegis-computers.html#ixzz3rkgPltKg
    max steel
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    Post  max steel Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:57 am

    USN to commission its third Freedom variant Littoral Combat Ship


    USS Truman first carrier to install Afloat Fab Lab



    Nice and innovative . Fab Lab a small-scale technical workshop comprised of off-the-shelf, industrial-grade fabrication and electronics tools, including 3-D printing technology. Navy officials say the workshop will help sailors become more innovative.

    "Ten years from now, these 3D printers may be standard equipment on ships," said Truman Maintenance Officer Cmdr. Al Palmer in a statement. "We look forward to seeing how our Sailors respond to this new capability."

    In addition to 3-D printing technology, Truman's new lab consists of a desktop Computerized Numerical Control mill, a large flat screen monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse. The printer is capable of building objects of a variety of sizes and shapes from polymers. Truman sailors have been training in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center's Fab Lab since November 10, familiarizing themselves with 3-D rendering programs, soldering basics, and electronic component instruction.
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    Post  Guest Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:40 pm



    "Sea Wars" trailer by USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier crew Smile
    max steel
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    Post  max steel Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:51 am

    The Old Man of the Sea: 2040 US Battle Fleet Won't Have Changed Since 1990


    In an attempt to forecast what the US Navy fleet will look like in 25 years, US military analyst Captain Michael Junge arrives at an unsettling conclusion: “in the end, the bulk of the US battle fleet in 2040 will not only look just like the fleet in 2015, but also just like the fleet in 1990.”

    Captain Junge has reprimanded the US Navy for failing to modernize and radically upgrade its existing battle fleet.

    “For those seeking to right the future, the first step in fixing a problem is recognizing there is one. The second is to act. The US military is capable of identifying issues, but seems stuck on the second step," he wrote in his article for War on the Rocks, a military analysis website.

    Instead of developing new, highly capable vessels, the command of the US Navy focuses on “slightly modified repeats of previous, modest successes and in some cases continuing failures,” he lamented.

    “Take for example the replacement for two of the Navy’s amphibious connectors, the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) and the Landing Craft Utility (LCU). The current LCU was designed in the 1960s as an iterative improvement on World War II-era models and built in the 1970s,” he said.



    “After a series of aborted attempts at faster, innovative, modern designs, the expected replacement now looks to be nothing more than an incremental improvement over the current ship. While more modern, the new landing craft utility retains the basic hull shape, propulsion, and capability of its 40-year-old predecessor. Newer, perhaps. Modern, most definitely not.”

    The same applies to the LCAC and her replacement, the Ship to Shore Connector (SSC).

    “The 21st-century SSC is essentially a rebuild of a hovercraft developed in the 1970s. In neither case does the new platform provide improvement in capability, capacity, speed, reliability, numbers, or cost.”


    This problem replicates itself across the fleet, the expert laments, providing as an example the replacement of the LSD-41 amphibious dock landing ship and amphibious assault ships Tarawa-class (LHA-1) and Wasp (LHD-1).
    “Like the LCU, the basic hull form remains the same through five decades. There have been minor modifications around aviation fuel, the location of the combat information center, optimization for LCAC operations, and an internal maintenance space for the MV-22 Osprey. Yet from only a mile or two away, the old ship is nearly indistinguishable from its replacement.”

    With such an attitude towards the replacement of its aging fleet, the expert predicts that “in the end, the bulk of the US battle fleet in 2040 will not only look just like the fleet in 2015, but also just like the fleet in 1990.”

    Meanwhile, he says, foreign navies are moving forward with innovative approaches. He concludes by urging those in charge to “stop talking and start doing”.
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    Post  max steel Fri Nov 27, 2015 3:26 pm

    2 SEALs Drowned in Pool While Holding Breath Against Guidelines
    George1
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    Post  George1 Sun Nov 29, 2015 3:36 pm

    In the United States began testing new anti-ship missiles

    The magazine "Jane's Missiles & Rockets" publishes an article by Richard Scott "First free-flight test for Harpoon Block II +" and "LRASM begins Super Hornet flight testing", which reported that the US Navy began flight tests of two types of new aircraft anti-ship missiles - Boeing AGM-84N Harpoon Block II + and Lockheed Martin Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM).

    http://bmpd.livejournal.com/1600419.html
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    Post  George1 Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:27 am

    Τhe US Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a $49.1 million modification contract to equip five more DDG51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers with Aegis ballistic missile defense systems

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20151202/1031085009/us-navy-equip-destroyers-aegis.html#ixzz3t9MZav30
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    Post  Guest Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:49 am

    "Dec 7 The U.S. Navy needs to "get going" on a new, unmanned armed aircraft that can operate from the deck of an aircraft carrier, U.S. Chief of Naval of Operations Admiral John Richardson said on Monday. He said the Navy's long-delayed Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) effort was a "prime candidate" for a new approach aimed at speeding up acquisition programs and benefiting from field experience. "That's a prime candidate for trying to get something out there ... so that we can learn how to operate an unmanned aerial vehicle from a carrier," Richardson said after an event hosted by the U.S. Naval Institute. He added that the new aircraft would also "serve a real purpose ... beyond experimentation."

    A U.S. Navy official last month told Reuters the Navy would map out the future of the new carrier-based drone as part of its fiscal 2017 budget proposal, with an initial focus on surveillance, the approach long favored by the Navy. Northrop Grumman Corp, which makes the X-47B unmanned, unarmed plane that has been tested on U.S. carriers, Boeing Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp and privately held General Atomics have spent tens of millions of dollars to prepare for the competition, only to see it delayed repeatedly.

    US Navy ships and weapon systems - Page 6 UnmannedX47B-17115

    Richardson said unmanned vehicles - for the air, the surface and underwater - are a key priority for the U.S. Navy and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who he said was "adamant about getting this moving." The UCLASS program, one of few new U.S.
    aircraft programs, has been on hold pending a Pentagon-wide review of intelligence and surveillance programs that has taken much longer than expected. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Dan Grebler)."

    Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/usa-navy-drones-idUSL1N13W18I20151207#0EG5i0uqoz66hyRj.97
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    Post  Guest Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:52 am

    "Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), was awarded a contract worth more than $354 million for 29 MH-60R helicopters, the Pentagon said on Monday.

    US Navy ships and weapon systems - Page 6 MH-60R-Seahawk

    The Defense Department's daily digest of major contract awards said the contract was "for funding for the Navy's fifth program year" for the helicopters and to "fund associated program and logistics support."


    Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-lockheed-idUSKBN0TQ2SN20151207#dhxVXS88Y62Qv2PX.97
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    Post  Guest Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:08 pm

    "Around 3 a.m., the Coast Guard received a distress call from the 45-foot fishing boat Danny Boy. The captain, an unidentified 46-year old man, was having chest pains and needed medical help. The Danny Boy was about 40 nautical miles southeast of Portland.

    US Navy ships and weapon systems - Page 6 CWDTUhPWwAACmEr

    The Zumwalt, the Navy's brand new stealth destroyer, was performing sea drills near the scene and offered to help. The Zumwalt sent a small crew to the fishing boat and transferred the captain aboard the destroyer until the USCG was able to airlift him to the Portland Jetport. The fishing captain is now recovering at Maine Medical Center. The Zumwalt was built at Bath Iron Works and was just deployed to sea earlier this week."


    Source: http://www.wmtw.com/news/coast-guard-uss-zumwalt-rescue-fisherman/36931900
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    Post  Guest Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:54 pm

    "The littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee, the Navy's newest ship that was commissioned in Milwaukee in November, broke down at sea Friday and had to be towed more than 40 nautical miles to a base in Little Creek, Va., the Navy Times reported. The ship, constructed at the Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard in Marinette, suffered an engineering problem while in route from Halifax, Canada, to Mayport, Fla., and ultimately its home port of San Diego, according to a post on the Navy Times website. The cause of the problem on the ship -- which was towed to the Joint Expeditionary Base at Little Creek, Va. -- is being evaluated by the ship's crew and technical consultants, according to the Times.

    Initial indications are that fine metal debris that collected in the lube oil filter caused the system to shut down, but the cause is not known, the Times reported. "Reporting of a complete loss of propulsion on USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) is deeply alarming, particularly given this ship was commissioned just 20 days ago," Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee who has voiced serious reservations about the LCS program in the past, said in a statement to the Times. "U.S. Navy ships are built with redundant systems to enable continued operation in the event of an engineering casualty, which makes this incident very concerning." At the time of its commissioning critics said the $437 million ship still hadn't met expectations. They said the Milwaukee and several other new 380-foot ships haven't lived up to promises in some key areas, such as the ability to quickly swap out combat modules for missions that include searching for underwater mines and engaging in battle with other ships.

    US Navy ships and weapon systems - Page 6 Uss-milwaukee-christening-600x400

    They pointed to interchangeable modules on the vessels that are supposed to make the ships more versatile, with each version tailored for a specific purpose such as minesweeping or hunting submarines. The original goal was to be able to change the modules in 72 hours. But in practice, the "plug and play" concept isn't working, said Dakota Wood, senior research fellow for defense programs at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. Marinette Marine employs about 2,000 people building the ships designed for a variety of missions including combat in shallow, coastal waters. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., through Marinette, has delivered three of the ships to the Navy: USS Freedom, USS Fort Worth and the USS Milwaukee. Six more of the warships are in various stages of construction in Marinette, while a different version is being built in Mobile, Ala. Altogether, the U.S. Navy wants 52 of the vessels, and foreign navies have shown interest in purchasing them as well."


    Source: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/12/13/newest-navy-ship-uss-milwaukee-breaks-down-at-sea.html?ESRC=todayinmil.sm
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    Post  Guest Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:40 am

    "Ship to Shore Connecter (SSC) is the next generation of heavy-lift hovercraft – or Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) for the US navy. It is currently under development powered by the compact, power-dense, Rolls-Royce MT7 marine gas turbine engine. Since the mid-1980s the US Navy and Marine Corps have operated a fleet of LCACs - giving commanders the ability to deliver a 60 ton payload (vehicles, stores and/or personnel) from ship to shore at speeds in excess of 40 knots. Currently operating a fleet of 72 hovercraft, the US Navy can access more than 70 per cent of the world’s coastline compared to just 15 per cent by conventional displacement landing craft often helping to deliver humanitarian aid/disaster relief where it is needed most. But, harsh operating conditions over the decades and out dated operating systems have meant it was time to look towards developing the new Ship to Shore Connector (SSC).

    According to Captain Chris Mercer, the navy’s amphibious warfare programme manager, there is plenty different about the SSC. “We increased the strength of the cargo deck. We gave it a 74-ton payload capacity. We introduced more powerful and more fuel efficient engines, and more efficient propellers. We are going to a two-crew cockpit. And we’re designing SSC to go 30 years without a SLEP (service life extension programme).” “For SSC, we have substantially simplified the machinery arrangement such that the four gas turbines will be dual-coupled into two gearboxes to drive twin lift fans and two six-bladed controllable pitch propellers,” he adds.

    US Navy ships and weapon systems - Page 6 Hover-power-banner

    The power is delivered by the MT7 marine gas turbine developed by Rolls-Royce. Derived from the AE family of aero engines, and maintaining over 90 per cent commonality with the AE 1107C-Liberty turboshaft powering the US Marine Corps’ unique MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor, the 4-5MW rated MT7 will provide both propulsion and lift for the SSC. “The MT7 combines modern turbine materials and technology to provide a state-of-the-art power system suited to a range of naval applications such as main propulsion and power generation,” says Paul Jones, Program Manager, Rolls-Royce. “It leverages the robust performance and reliability of the Rolls-Royce AE engine family which has accumulated approaching 65 million operating hours. Compared to the legacy LCAC engines, the MT7 will deliver about a 25 per cent increase in power while at the same time burning 11 per cent less fuel.”“The company will deliver the first MT7 shipset later this year,” says Jones. “The SSC programme of record could potentially lead to the manufacture of over 300 MT7 engines.”


    Source: http://www.rolls-royce.com/customers/marine/customer-focus.aspx
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    Post  Guest Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:54 am

    OminousSpudd wrote:Not to bash for the sake of bashing but man... That thing is fugly.

    Tumblehome gives it truly unusual look for modern ship, but looking at things from todays point, seems that many ships will get similar designs in future.

    US Navy ships and weapon systems - Page 6 French_battleship_Charles_Martel
    max steel
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    Post  max steel Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:36 pm

    Navy’s Latest $1.8 Billion Destroyer Hit the Waves

    U.S. Navy recently launched the latest in its line of guided missile destroyers.

    Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division launched its latest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, called the Ralph Johnson, on Dec. 16, and the company has released time-lapse footage of the process.

    28 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers for the Navy to use in both offensive and defensive combat missions. The ships are armed with 56 Raytheon Tomahawk cruise missiles that can be used to hit targets on land or against anti-ship missiles.

    Each ship costs around $1.8 billion and four more are currently under construction. The price tag for the entire weapons effort, including maintenance, is estimated to come in at around $95 billion.

    The $1.1 trillion government spending bill signed into law last week by President Obama included about $1 billion for the destroyer program.
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    Post  JohninMK Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:06 pm

    Due to rolled out in a couple of years, as the article points out a B-1 fully loaded with 24 missiles would be quite a weapon, but I am not sure what the target might be.

    The US Navy has completed load testing of the Lockheed Martin-built long-range anti-ship missile, or LRASM, on the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and will now move to noise and vibration trials.

    The final flight carrying an inert “mass simulant vehicle” occurred on 6 January over the navy’s Patuxent River, Maryland test site, according to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

    A ship-destroying derivative of Lockheed’s extended-range AGM-158B “JASSM” air-to-surface cruise missile, the weapon is being certified for carriage on the F/A-18E/F and Boeing B-1B.


    More at https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/lockheeds-ship-killing-missile-completes-load-testi-420661/
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    Post  max steel Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:47 am

    US Navy retires its last S-3B Vikings

    US Navy ships and weapon systems - Page 6 Getasset

    The US Navy has bid farewell to its two remaining Lockheed S-3B Vikings after some 40 years in service, as one transitions to NASA and the other to the US Air Force’s aircraft boneyard.
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    Post  max steel Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:54 pm

    Raytheon Excalibur N5 fired from 5-inch naval gun



    The Excalibur N5 is a 5-inch variant of Raytheon's Excalibur extended range precision projectile. The projectile is currently in use by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps, in addition to other armed forces. The company expects the N5 variant will triple the effective range of naval gun munitions currently in use, while maintaining the same accuracy.

    The new sea-based projectile is designed to be used for naval surface fire support, anti-surface warfare, and engaging fast attack craft.

    The Excalibur is a co-developed project between Raytheon and BAE Systems. Future plans for the program also include the Excalibur S, which incorporates a digital semi-active laser seeker to further improve accuracy and reduce the risk of GPS jamming.


    What about Russia Navy what do they use with theirr naval guns is it at par with Excalibur ?
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    Post  max steel Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:21 pm

    Raytheon tests new seeker for Tomahawk cruise missile

    An active seeker that allows Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles to hit moving targets on land and sea has been tested by Raytheon. Cool

    The captive flight tests over a three-week period involved a modified Tomahawk missile nose cone mounted on a T-39 test aircraft and equipped with a seeker integrated with Raytheon's new, modular, multi-mode processor, the company said.

    The aircraft flew profiles that simulated the Tomahawk flight regime, aiming at moving targets.

    "Tomahawk is evolving to meet the U.S. Navy's need to add offensive punch and expand the overall power of the fleet worldwide," said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. "The seeker test has successfully demonstrated the superior capability and maturity of our seeker technology against a variety of targets that resemble today's threats."

    Raytheon said the tests were company funded.

    The surface and submarine-launched Tomahawk Block IV has a range of about 1,000 miles and is designed for long-range precision strike missions. Tomahawk missiles are integrated aboard all major U.S. surface combatants, as well as U.S. and U.K. sub-surface platforms.

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    Tomahawk Missiles Will Get Twice As Deadly By Blowing Up Their Own Fuel Cool



    A new project could supercharge cruise missiles with several times more bang, and all without changing the warhead.

    The Tomahawk cruise missile, launched from subs, ships, or aircraft, is the tip of the spear against opponents with air defenses. More than a hundred were fired in the opening round against Libya in 2011.  While the basic design has been around for decades—they were used as far back as the 1991 Gulf War—the Tomahawk has seen numerous upgrades over the years. This new tweak could improve the Tomahawk's striking power through the power of what you might call extreme mixology. It's all about fuel-air explosions.

    Ordinary high explosives such as TNT do not require any oxygen. The big molecule simply breaks apart, releasing energy. By contrast, a fuel-air explosion is a form of combustion in which the fuel combines with oxygen in the air and burns more rapidly. As any gearhead will tell you, the fuel-air mixture is all-important for efficient combustion.

    Vaporized


    Eleven years ago, I experienced a first-hand demonstration of the fuel-air effect. My wife and I were woken at 6:02 am one Sunday morning by the rattling of the roof tiles, as though something immense had just landed on the house. Along with thousands of other Londoners, we did not discover the cause until it came on the news later that morning.  There had been a fire and explosion at an oil storage terminal at Buncefield, more than 20 miles away. The shock that woke us had registered 2.4 on the Richter Scale and was heard as far away as Belgium. Amazingly nobody was killed, though several were injured.

    Fuel air explosions are not uncommon, but the one at Buncefield was exceptionally powerful, far more powerful than experts would have been predicted. That's because the fuel vapors had somehow been mixed with the air.

    The Buncefield incident puzzled the investigators because the cloud from the 60,000 gallons of oil should not have caused such a strong blast. Normally, vapor will burn rather than explode, giving that characteristic "whoomph" sound, but Buncefield showed all the signs of a huge pressure wave. Cars, including a new Porsche, had been flattened. It turns out, the investigators found, that the key factor was a row of trees by the storage tanks. Burning vapor produces an exhaust like a jet engine, and when the flame front reached the trees, it accelerated to high speed. The irregular branches and twigs made the smooth flow turbulent, mixing the vapor cloud with air so it burned far more rapidly and with much greater force.

    The same science that woke me up in 2005 is now being harnessed to make the Tomahawk more deadly. In this case, weapons designers are turning unused fuel into a second warhead via controlled mixing with air.  

    Missiles usually have fuel left over when they reach the target. Some missiles have a fuze to ignite this fuel after impact; in other cases, it may burn anyway. For example, when an Exocet missile hit the British destroyer HMS Sheffield during the 1982 Falklands War, the explosive warhead did not go off , but burning rocket propellant started fires that destroyed the ship anyway. And, of course, we cannot forget the importance of burning fuel in the 9/11 attacks.

    The Tomahawk cruise missile is unusual in that it uses turbine powered by a liquid fuel known as JP-10. Normal aviation fuel, JP-5 or Jet-A kerosene, produces about 125,000 BTUs per gallon, 10 percent more than gasoline. JP-10, otherwise called exo-tetrahydrodicyclopentadiene,  pushes this number up by another 10 percent. It's the best around, but costs around $25 a gallon.

    The Tomahawk Block III is loaded with more than a thousand pounds of JP-10 on launch, giving it a range of more than 800 miles. So, if the target is only 400 miles away, the missile may have some five hundred pounds of fuel left on impact. That leftover could make quite a bang. A rough calculation suggests the total energy content of that much jet fuel is several times greater than the Tomahawk's explosive warhead (approximately a thousand pounds of PBXN-107 plastic-bonded explosive). However, creating such an explosion would mean turning all the fuel into a vapor cloud and detonating it efficiently. And therein lies the trick.

    Fuel-Air Fireball


    Fuel-air explosives are already used as weapons. The Russians, in particular, have a range of "thermobaric" fuel-air weapons that make ferocious blasts, including the tank-mounted TOS-1 rocket launcher that could destroy eight city blocks with one salvo. U.S. thermobaric weapons are generally based on powdered solid fuel in powdered form, as liquid explosions are a different challenge.


    Enter Blaine Asay, formerly of Los Alamos National Laboratory, and his colleagues at Energetic Materials Research and Engineering based in Atchison, Kansas. Under a contract with the U.S. Air Force, Asay, expert in the field of non-shock initiation of explosions, is developing a system that will implode a missile's fuel tank to generate a cloud of vapor and ignite it in a rapidly burning fireball.

    This is quite a challenge, as the fuel-air mixture has to be just right. The precise engineering cannot be done by trial and error, but requires computer modeling with a package called ALE3D (Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian 3D and 2D Multi-Physics Code)—software that allows the simulation of complex high-speed reactions in three-dimensional space.

    Asay says he's not at liberty to discuss all the details, but published results show the team succeeded in creating a cloud of JP-10 that burned in 30 milliseconds. In the next phase, the researchers will use their previous results to improve the burning speed by a factor of 100, aiming to hit the jackpot: a detonation in which virtually all the fuel is burned.

    If their research succeeds, then a simple, cheap add-on could make existing cruise missiles far more powerful. The same technology would also enable a new generation of small, liquid-fueled missiles or jet-powered attack drones with a powerful punch. Some of these might not even have warheads in the usual sense, but rather, would simply carry a dual-use fuel tank so that striking power can be traded off against greatly extended range. Otherwise-unarmed scout drones fitted with a fuel-air device could be used as missiles if they encountered a high-value target. As the understanding of fuel-air mixing grows and our ability to model it gets better, such devices will get increasingly powerful
    max steel
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    Post  max steel Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:41 pm

    Nulka missile decoy tested on aircraft carrier

    A hovering missile decoy system from BAE Systems Australia has been tested for the first time from an aircraft carrier.

    The Nulka active missile decoy by BAE Systems Australia has been successfully fired from a U.S. aircraft carrier for the first time, the company reports.

    Five successful launches took place over three days last month from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower during sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean from a U.S. Navy CVN Class aircraft carrier for the first time.

    "While Nulka has been used by smaller U.S. naval vessels for years, it had never been fired from a ship as large as an aircraft carrier before," BAE Systems said.

    The Nulka is a rocket-propelled, disposable decoy. It hovers in midair and lures away incoming missiles from their intended targets by radiating a ship-like radar cross section. The decoy was jointly developed by Australia and the United States. Australia developed the hovering rocket while the U.S. developed the electronic payload.

    More than 150 U.S., Australian and Canadian warships carry the system, but none as large as a carrier.
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    Post  max steel Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:44 pm

    USN's LCS 3 suffers engine issue during maintenance in Singapore


    A Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) that has been operating in the Asia-Pacific region for over a year is currently pierside in Singapore after experiencing an engine casualty while undergoing maintenance in port, US Navy (USN) officials told IHS Jane's on 21 January.

    A combining gears malfunction occurred on board USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) during an operational test of the port and starboard main propulsion diesel engines, according to Task Force 73, which is charged with overseeing logistics for USN ships in the Western Pacific.


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