Northrop Grumman, US Navy Conduct Successful Simultaneous Tests
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and the U.S. Navy successfully flew the unmanned MQ-8B Fire Scout simultaneously with the MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter for the first time. The capability demonstrates how a mix of aircraft can increase a ship commander's intelligence-gathering capabilities aboard the Littoral Combat Ship. The flight tests took place May 12, aboard the USS Freedom (LCS 1) off the coast of San Diego. Fire Scout complements the Sea Hawk because it can fly longer to maintain constant surveillance on a target or area of interest.
Navy Competes for Resources at Home, against Asymmetric Threats Abroad
The U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations Adm. The document presents Richardson’s priorities with four “lines of effort” to strengthen naval power at and from the sea; achieve high velocity learning at every level; strengthen our Navy team for the future’ and expand and strengthen our network of partners. It isn’t an earth-shattering document, and perhaps is most telling for what it doesn’t say, as opposed to what is says. The document makes a strong case for forward presence, which has been the raison d’etre for the U.S. Navy for decades.
US Navy Build Programs Face Budget Pressure
Ship construction programs move ahead, but it’s not smooth sailing. Navies and Coast Guards everywhere face budgetary pressure, even in the U.S. which has the largest Navy in the world. The balance between desire for capacity and capability and pressure for affordability has never been more acute with the precarious budgetary issues presented by declining defense budgets, sequestration, continuing resolutions and government shutdowns. Even so, there are ongoing major construction efforts to include large nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines…
U.S. Navy Issues Modification To Lockheed Martin Contract
The U.S. Navy has issued a Lockheed Martin-led industry team a contract modification for one fully funded 2015 Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) valued at $362 million, along with $79 million in advanced procurement funding for a second ship. The balance of the second ship will be funded by Dec. 31, 2015. The advanced procurement dollars approved by Congress provides the funding required to maintain the cost and schedule of the final block buy option. The award also includes a priced option for one additional fiscal year 2016 ship.
FME Earns LCS Supplier of the Year Award
Fairbanks Morse Engine (FME) announced it has been named the 2015 Lockheed Martin Missions Systems and Training Supplier of the year for Ship and Aviation Systems during its annual Supplier Summit, held in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. on March 10, 2016. The award honors FME for its product delivery and performance, technical support, and commitment to affordability, the company said. As an industry partner to Lockheed Martin, FME said it is committed to a strong and ongoing focus in the areas of continuous improvement and cost competitiveness to provide the solutions necessary to meet the U.S. Navy’s needs in support of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. “Receiving this award from Lockheed Martin is a great honor for Fairbanks Morse Engine.
USS Freedom (LCS 1) Completes Rough Water Trials
The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) completed Seakeeping and Structural Loads Trials, commonly referred to as Rough Water Trials (RWT) in late March the Navy reported May 21. The U.S. Navy must demonstrate the seaworthiness and structural integrity of each new ship class. One of the primary ways the Navy verifies these qualities is through a series of at-sea tests and inspections. These are designed to ensure the hull design is able to navigate through and withstand forces due to inclement weather and high sea state conditions.
US Navy: Bigger is Better, but at What Cost?
The U.S. Navy has a balanced fleet, but it wants to grow bigger and better. Will the budget allow both? Maritime Reporter's March 2017 cover story on the U.S. Navy was all about the numbers. There exists several plans to grow the fleet beyond the current number of 308 ships, the Mitre recommendation of 414 ships, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment 340-ship proposal, and the Navy’s decision to grow the fleet to 355 ships, and the Trump administration’s 350. With so many numbers being bandied about, there are even more suggestions on how to get there.
USS Independence Successfully Completes Special Trials
USS Independence (LCS 2) successfully completed Special Trials (ST), a series of at-sea tests on Aug. 2, following the ship's participation in the multinational Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises that took place throughout the month of July. Independence, funded as a research development test and evaluation ship, conducted an ST instead of the usual final Contract Trial (FCT). Traditionally funded ships have a specific time frame for when FCT must take place, to identify issues or deficiencies to be corrected before the vessel is officially turned over to the U.S. Navy.
Navy Christens Littoral Combat Ship Gabrielle Giffords
The Navy will christen its tenth littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), during a midday ceremony June 13 at Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. LCS 10 is named after former United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords. "The christening of the future USS Gabrielle Giffords marks the beginning of what is certain to be a long life for this great ship," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "It is also a celebration of the skill and dedication of the men and women who have built LCS 10 and the courage of her namesake.
USS Gabrielle Giffords Completes Maiden Voyage
The newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) arrived in San Diego July 5, after successfully completing her maiden voyage from Mobile, Alabama. Following construction and acceptance trials earlier this year at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Giffords sailed to Galveston, Texas, where she was commissioned June 10. "Our Sailors are honored to represent the ship namesake, its homeport in San Diego and the U.S. Navy," said Cmdr. Keith Woodley, Giffords' commanding officer.
USS Detroit to Be Christened, Launched Oct. 18
The launch and christening ceremony of LCS 7 (the future USS Detroit) will take place Saturday morning, Oct. 18, at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, where the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships are built. The U.S. Navy and the Lockheed Martin-led industry team will launch the seventh Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Detroit at Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC). Before launching the ship into the Menominee River, ship sponsor Barbara Levin will christen the ship with the tradition of smashing a champagne bottle across the ship’s bow.
USS Milwaukee Launched
The U.S. Navy and the Lockheed Martin-led industry team launched the fifth littoral combat ship (LCS) Milwaukee, at the Marinette Marine shipyard, Wisconsin. Prior to launching the ship into the Menominee River, ship sponsor Mrs. Sylvia M. Panetta christened the ship with the tradition of smashing a champagne bottle across the ship’s bow. Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Sean Stackley and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker delivered remarks at the ceremony.
USS Freedom (LCS1) Returns From Far East Deployment
First in class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 'USS Freedom' has returned to homeport San Diego after deployment earlier this year to the U.S. 7th Fleet's area of responsibility. "This deployment was a huge success for the LCS program, for us as a crew, and for the Navy in general," said Cmdr. Dale Heinken, commanding officer of Freedom's Blue Crew. Deployed since March 1, 2013. with her "Gold Crew", known formally as Crew 102, the ship took part in a number of theater security cooperation and maritime presence operations with partner nations in the region.
Maiden Littoral Combat Ship Deployment: Navy Learns Much
USS Freedom’s (LCS 1) maiden 10-month deployment validated the Navy’s overall concept of operations and provided valuable feedback on its operation, manning, and logistics, sums up Vice Adm. Tom Copeman, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. "The insights gained on the deployment will be used to further improve the operational flexibility, maintainability and efficiency on future deployments for this newest class of ship in the U.S. Navy . We must be more innovative in the manner in which we schedule maintenance to allow for operational flexibility while forward.
U.S. Surface Navy Priorities Updated
The progress we have made in understanding and funding manpower shortages, establishing and funding defendable maintenance requirements, stabilizing procurement accounts, and the successful deployment of the littoral combat ship USS Freedom to the Western Pacific have led me to reassess the N96 Surface Warfare priorities. As President Obama highlighted in his Defense Strategic Guidance, the center of world mass is moving east towards Asia. This new focus brings into sharp relief…
USS Freedom Suffers Casualty
The U.S. Navy's first littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) experienced a casualty to one of its main propulsion diesel engines (MPDE) on July 11 reportedly caused by a leak from the attached seawater pump mechanical seal that resulted in seawater entering the engine lube oil system, according to the Navy. The ship’s crew addressed the leak, enabling Freedom to return to homeport July 13 on her own power for repairs on a separate, unrelated issue. While in port, the crew performed seawater contamination procedures.
Multi-mission, Dual Design, Single Focus Littoral Combat Ships
Last month marked the launch of two new Littoral Combat Ships: Milwaukee (LCS 5) launched by Marinette Marine into the icy Menominee River; and Jackson (LCS 6) launched by Austal into the far warmer waters found off of southern Alabama. While the two LCS variants and shipyard climates are a world apart, this innovate U.S. Navy ship production program has the common goal of fortifying U.S. defense interests while spurring investment in the creation of two state-of-the-art ship production facilities. Mid-December in Marinette, Wis., can be described with one word: cold.
US Navy Evaluating SEWIP for LCS
The U.S. Navy is evaluating a scaled-down version of the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) system for potential incorporation on future Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), Naval Sea Systems Command announced, Nov. 20. SEWIP is an evolutionary development block upgrade program for the SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare (EW) System and will be designated as AN/SLQ-32C(V)6. Still in the early stages of development, its purpose is to provide LCS with an improved electronic warfare suite to improve the ship's defense capabilities.
PPG's AMERCOAT Wins Navy Coating Award
PPG Industries’ protective and marine coatings (PMC) business inform they have received The Society of Protective Coatings (SSPC) 2014 Military Coatings Project Award of Excellence for the performance of AMERCOAT® 240 and PSX® 700SG coatings on the 'USS Freedom', the lead ship of the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat fleet. The award is given annually by SSPC to recognize exceptional coatings work performed on U.S. military ships, structures or facilities. Commissioned in 2008, the USS Freedom went to dry dock last year after its existing coating system failed.
USS Fort Worth Arrives in US 7th Fleet
Littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) arrived in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations Dec. 4, marking a key initial milestone in its 16-month rotational deployment in support of the Indo-Asia-Pacific rebalance. Building on USS Freedom's (LCS 1) inaugural 10-month deployment from March to December 2013, Fort Worth will expand LCS operations while in 7th Fleet, to include visiting more ports, engaging more regional navies during exercises like Cooperation Afloat Readiness…
Navy Awards Fiscal 2014 LCS Contracts
Contract modifications have been issued to Lockheed Martin Corporation and Austal USA under their respective Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) block buy contracts to add funding for construction of two fiscal year 2014 Littoral Combat Ships each, informs the Program Executive Office, Littoral Combat Ships. These are the seventh and eighth ships fully funded for each contractor under its previously-awarded, fixed-price incentive "block buy" contract for the design and construction of up to ten LCS Flight 0+ ships.
Keel Laid on 13th US Littoral Combat Ship
The Lockheed Martin-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy's 13th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Wichita, in a ceremony held at Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wisconsin, today. Ship sponsor Kate Staples Lehrer completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel of Wichita (LCS 13). Lehrer had her initials welded into a sheet of the ship's steel, which will ultimately be mounted in the ship throughout its entire service.
Navy Accepts Delivery of USS Gabrielle Giffords
The Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) during a ceremony, Dec. 23. Gabrielle Giffords is the ninth littoral combat ship (LCS) to be delivered to the Navy and the fifth of the Independence variant to join the fleet. The Independence variant is noted for its unique trimaran hull, ability to operate at high speeds and large flight deck size. "We are pleased to receive the future USS Gabrielle Giffords into the LCS class," said Capt. Harrison, commander, LCS Squadron (COMLCSRON) 1.