Details of Indonesia’s New Stealthy Missile Patrol Craft Revealed

15 April 2014

PT Lundin Klewang class FAC-M (photo : Audrey)

The Indonesian Navy’s (TNI-AL’s) new 63 m Klewang-class missile patrol craft will feature radar with wider coverage, missiles with longer range and a hull made from a new composite material.

The information was revealed by Peter Carlqvist, head of Saab Indonesia, in an interview with IHS Jane’s at the DSA 2014 exhibition on 15 April. The company recently secured an exclusive agreement with Indonesian shipbuilder PT Lundin (North Sea Boats) to jointly build a replacement for the first-of-class KRI Klewang , which was destroyed in a September 2012 fire.

The wave-piercing trimaran will feature Saab’s new Sea Giraffe 1X 3D compact radar that will be installed higher on the vessel’s mast to increase coverage.

(Jane’s)

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Indonesia Equips Frigates, Corvette with Stealth Radars

15 April 2014

Kapitan Pattimura-class (Parchim class) corvette (photo : Indian Navy)

The Indonesian Navy (Tentera Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) will equip a total of four Ahmad Yani (Van Speijk)-class guided missile frigates and one Kapitan Pattimura (Parchim I)-class corvette with low-probability-of-intercept (LPI) naval radars.

The radars will be built by Indonesian naval sensor manufacturer PT Infra RCS, company officials told [i>IHS Jane’s on 11 April.

The company describes its equipment, the IRCS LPI Radar, as a stealthy sea-based X-band (SBX) radar with frequency modulated continuous wave technology.

“It has a maximum power output of only 10 W, making it quiet and virtually invisible to radar warning receivers on enemy vessels”, said Prihatno Susanto, Technical Advisor for the company. “This allows our warships to detect hostile surface combatants without being discovered”.

IRCS electronic support measures (images : IRCS)

The IRCS LPI Radar has an effective range of 24 n miles and is equipped with tracking software known as Maritime Tracking Aid that allows for automatic radar plotting aid functionality. The system’s antenna rotates at 20 rpm and has a gain of about 30dB.

The radar is available as a stand-alone system but can also be integrated with a vessel’s electronic chart display and information system (IRCS) and combat management system.

The vessels now equipped with the radar are the guided missile frigates KRI Ahmad Yani and KRI Abdul Halim Perdanakusuma. Both began upgrade works in December 2013. Undergoing the equipment fixture currently are similar vessels in class KRI Yos Sudarso , KRI Oswald Siahaan and the Kapitan Pattimura-class corvette KRI Sultan Taha .


Besides LPI naval radars, the company has also won a contract to equip Oswald Siahaan and Yos Sudarso with naval electronic support measures (ESM) systems that can detect electromagnetic emissions from electronic devices on enemy ships such as radar, communications equipment, jammers and missile targeting systems.

“The IRCS ESM has electronic intelligence (ELINT) capabilities that can pick up signals emitted by hostile warships from up to 90 n miles away via a passive radar”, said Susanto. “Once these electromagnetic emissions are detected, a computer software that comes with the system will be able to identify, classify and pin-point the exact location of the source for commanders to take action.”

The company has indicated that it is currently embarking on an effort to market both systems internationally.

(Jane’s)

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KC-46 Tanker Aircraft: Program on Track, but Upcoming Schedule Remains Challenging

The KC-46 program has made good progress over the past year—acquisition costs have remained relatively stable, the critical design review was successfully completed, the program is on track to meet performance parameters, and the contractor started building development aircraft. As shown, total program acquisition costs—which include development, production, and military construction costs—and unit costs have changed less than 1 percent since February 2011.

As of December 2013, Boeing had about $75 million of its management reserves remaining to address identified, but unresolved development risks. There are indications that the start of initial operational test and evaluation, which is scheduled for May 2016, may slip 6 to 12 months. According to the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, more time may be needed to train aircrew and maintenance personnel and verify maintenance procedures.

The program released over 90 percent of the KC-46 design drawings at the critical design review, indicating that the design is stable. Overall, development of about 15.8 million lines of software code is progressing mostly according to plan. The next 12 months will be challenging as the program must complete software development, verify that the software works as intended, finalize developmental flight test planning, and begin developmental flight tests.

Software problem reports are increasing and Boeing could have difficulty completing all testing if more retests are needed than expected. Developmental flight testing activities are also a concern due to the need for extensive coordination among government agencies, the need for timely access to receiver aircraft (aircraft the KC-46 will refuel while in flight), and the aggressive test pace. The program office is conducting test exercises to mitigate risks and working with Navy and United Kingdom officials to finalize agreements to have access to necessary receiver aircraft.

The program has also made progress in ensuring that the KC-46 is ready for low rate initial production in 2015. Boeing has started manufacturing all four development aircraft on schedule. The program office has identified its critical manufacturing processes and verified that the processes are capable of producing key military subsystems in a production representative environment.

In addition, the program has established a reliability growth curve and will begin tracking its progress towards reaching reliability goals once testing begins. Boeing is experiencing some manufacturing delays due to late supplier deliveries on the first aircraft and parts delays for a test article of a critical aerial refueling subsystem, but the program has not missed any major milestones.
KC-46 Tanker Aircraft: Program Generally on Track, but Upcoming Schedule Remains Challenging (17 downloads)

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US Navy to Christen Future USS Zumwalt, New Class of Destroyer

By on Monday, April 14th, 2014

The Navy will christen the future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) April 12, during a ceremony at General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine.

The lead ship and class are named in honor of former Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., who served as the 19th CNO from 1970-1974.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. In accordance with Navy tradition, the ship’s co-sponsors Ann Zumwalt and Mouzetta Zumwalt-Weathers, daughters of Zumwalt, will break a bottle of sparkling wine across the ship’s bow.

“The christening of the future USS Zumwalt represents the beginning of another era of service for this great name,” said Mabus. “Just as Admiral Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt helped shape our nation’s Navy as the 19th chief of naval operations, DDG 1000 will help shape the future of surface combatants. The sophisticated new technology incorporated aboard this ship, combined with its multi-mission capabilities, will ensure it is a relevant and integral part of our battle force for years to come. This day, however, would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the hundreds of men and women of our nation’s industrial base who worked so diligently to help us reach this exciting moment.”

Zumwalt was a veteran of World War II, as well as the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Following the World War II Battle for Leyte Gulf, he was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat “V” for his valorous actions aboard the USS Robinson. During the Vietnam War, he served as commander naval forces, Vietnam before being nominated by President Richard Nixon to become CNO in July of 1970. He is credited with implementing a series of policies intended to improve opportunities within the Navy for minorities and women during his tenure as CNO.

Zumwalt died Jan. 2, 2000. During his eulogy, President Bill Clinton described Zumwalt as the “conscience” of the Navy.

The Zumwalt-class destroyer represents the next-generation of multi-mission surface combatants and will enable access in the open ocean, littoral and ashore. The Navy has procured three Zumwalt-class destroyers.

The ship includes new technologies that deliver capability now and serve as a springboard for incorporation into future ship classes. DDG 1000 is the first U.S. Navy surface combatant to employ an innovative and highly survivable Integrated Power System which will provide power to propulsion, ship’s service, and combat system loads from the same gas turbine prime movers. DDG 1000′s power allocation flexibility allows for potentially significant energy savings and is well-suited to enable future high energy weapons and sensors.

The ship features two advanced gun systems firing long-range land attack projectiles that reach up to 63 nautical miles, providing precision, high volume and persistent fire support to forces ashore, along with an approximate five-fold improvement in naval surface fire range. DDG 1000 will employ active and passive sensors and a multi-function radar capable of conducting area air surveillance, including over-land, throughout the extremely difficult and cluttered sea-land interface.

Construction on Zumwalt commenced in February 2009, with the keel laying ceremony held in November 2011, and ship launch successfully completed in October 2013. Zumwalt is 610 feet long is with a displacement of more than 15,000 tons when fully loaded. The ship is expected to join the fleet in 2016.

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Installation of Backup Oxygen System In F-22 Combat Fleet Continues

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s F-22 Division is on-track to complete installation of the Automatic Back-up Oxygen System, or ABOS, in the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor combat fleet by December 2014.

In January 2012, following a series of incidents in which a number of F-22 pilots experienced physiological symptoms in flight, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board made a list of recommendations to improve the aircrew life support system, including the installation of an automatically-activated backup oxygen system.

The F-22 Division, which had already funded a trade study of design alternatives, took the advisory board’s recommendation as well as more specific requirements from the Air Combat Command-led life support system task force, and developed a strategy to tackle the problem.

Mike Connolly, the ABOS program manager, said the F-22 Division and contractor team moved quickly to address concerns.

“When our team received requirements from ACC, the aircraft user, we put together an action plan within a week,” Connolly said. “From there, we got approval to move forward, got funded and we executed. From notification to retrofit of the first test aircraft (the process) took six months to complete.”

According to Connolly, the ABOS is a simply designed system that is integrated into the breathing regulator. It has a control panel in the cockpit within the pilot’s reach so that Airmen can manually turn it on if backup oxygen is needed. The system is typically left in the auto position, which will automatically provide the pilot 100 percent oxygen in the event of a rapid decompression or low primary breathing air pressure.

Lansen Conley, the chief of the F-22 Product Support Management Branch, said that as the division finishes installation of the new oxygen system, he is proud of the team effort.

“When our team was notified of the Scientific Advisory Board’s recommendation, the division here and at Hill Air Force Base worked as one team to quickly develop a plan to address the problem,” he said. “That team’s focus on delivering affordable capability and meeting its commitments were critical to maintaining our nation’s war winning combat advantage.”

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OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Mission Passes Important Design Review

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx program has successfully completed a comprehensive technical review of the mission and has been given approval to begin building the spacecraft, flight instruments and ground system. Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] is responsible for development of the spacecraft, which will be the first U.S. mission sent to a near-Earth asteroid to collect and return samples.

This major milestone was achieved after a successful mission critical design review (CDR) for the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission. The review was performed by an independent review board, comprised of experts from NASA and several external organizations, that validated the detailed design of the spacecraft, instruments and ground system.

“Passing CDR is a significant milestone in our program,” said Rich Kuhns, program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. “We have now completed the spacecraft design and are transitioning into fabrication as we prepare for the assembly, test and launch operations phase of the mission.”

OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2016, rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu in 2018 and spend a year of reconnaissance at the asteroid, before collecting a sample of at least 2 ounces (60 grams) and returning it to Earth for scientists to study in 2023.

“The OSIRIS-REx team has consistently demonstrated its ability to present a comprehensive mission design that meets all requirements within the resources provided by NASA,” said principal investigator Dante Lauretta, from the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. “Mission CDR was no exception. This is a great team. I know we will build a flight and ground system that is up to the challenges of this ambitious mission.”

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will provide overall mission management, systems engineering, and safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. The University of Arizona leads the effort and provides the camera system and science processing and operations center. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver will build the spacecraft, the sampling and Earth-return system, and perform spacecraft mission operations. OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program, which is managed by the Marshall Spaceflight Center.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 115,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.

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F-35 on time to replace previous tactical aircraft

The F-35 Lightning II will enhance combat capabilities, project U.S. power and deter potential adversaries, Air Force officials told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on tactical air and land forces in a hearing on tactical aircraft programs there, April 8.

“The F-35 will form the backbone of U.S. air combat superiority for generations to come,” said Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office executive officer. “It will replace the legacy tactical fighter fleets of the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps with a dominant, multirole, fifth-generation aircraft.”

The fighter jet is scheduled to be at Marine bases in the summer of 2015, with the Air Force receiving aircraft the following summer, officials said.

“It takes the combined efforts of all of our military services and the whole of the government to deny, deter and defeat and enemy,” said Lt. Gen. Charles Davis, the military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition. “The Air Force is an active partner in Department of Defense planning that will shift our emphasis from today’s wars to a broader range of challenges and opportunities.”

The hearing also included testimonies from Vice Adm. Paul Grosklags, the principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition; and Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, Jr., the Marine Corps deputy commandant for aviation.

All men agreed the way of the future is the F-35, especially with its technological advances and enhanced operating capabilities.

“My team is focused and committed to doing the very best we can for the warfighters, taxpayers and our partners, to ensure that the F-35 meets the needs of all our nation’s defenses,” Bogdan said. “To that end, my team is rising to the challenge of managing this very large, complex program with integrity, transparency, accountability and discipline, to ensure that we develop and deliver the warfighting capability this country needs and expects.”

Bogdan noted budget constraints, and told the committee affordability remains his top priority for this aircraft.

Davis added maintaining balance between force structure, readiness and modernization has been a guiding principle in future planning.

“Our chief (of Staff) and our Secretary (of the Air Force) have been very clear that there are some enduring capabilities your United States Air Force provides, and these are missions they are expected to perform at any time, on any given day,” Davis said. “We have a very challenging situation as we go forward. There are no easy choices; there are some choices that are easier than others that will provide the enduring capabilities the United States expects the United States Air Force to provide.”

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