Military News

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Navy Declares Initial Operational Capability for New Rolling Airframe Missile



From PEO IWS Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy successfully achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) May 15.

RAM is a highly successful, 39-year U.S. cooperative program with the German government that has yielded the U.S. taxpayer more than $800 million in cost avoidance and has delivered arguably one of the most capable anti-ship cruise missile defense systems in the world. The new RAM Block 2 missile is designed to counter advanced anti-ship cruise missile threats that U.S. and Allied Navies face today.

"We're very excited about the significantly increased capability Block 2 gives our warfighters. It could not have been done without the outstanding cooperation between the U.S. and German governments," said Capt. Craig Bowden, RAM program manager. "This program has become the hallmark of transatlantic cooperation."

The IOC declaration is the culmination of cooperative developmental and operational testing events between the U.S. Navy and the German government spanning the last two years. Compared to previous configurations, Block 2 provides significantly improved kinematic performance in maneuverability and range as well as a more sophisticated radio frequency receiver. These improvements allow RAM to increase the battlespace and engage low probability of intercept threats at longer ranges.

Prior to the IOC declaration, the U.S. Navy and German government successfully demonstrated the enhanced ship self-defense effectiveness of the Block 2 RAM during testing at the Pacific Missile Range Center at Point Mugu, California, between May 2013 and March 2015.

Steven Holsworth, U.S. national deputy program manager for RAM, said, "Through cooperation, this program has continuously met all challenges and has successfully produced more than 3000 RAM missiles (Block 0, 1A, 2) and 200 launchers. The strength of the RAM community is also evident in the high success rate in our 450-plus live firing events in its history. The on-time, on-cost delivery of the first Block 2 missiles embodies the best of the U.S. and German design/production capabilities. With the completion of recent test events, we are ready to write the next chapter of the RAM success story by delivering the enhanced capability to the U.S., German, and allied warships on which RAM is deployed."

Andrea Schwarz, RAM deputy program manager from Germany concurred. "Since our inception in 1976, the U.S. and Germany have cooperatively developed, produced, and supported the RAM program through 16 international agreements/amendments. It is a testament to the program that both countries have remained steadfast in their commitment and cooperation, including 50/50 government contributions and industry work share. With the introduction of Block 2, we continue the cooperative spirit and technical excellence that has protected our Navies over the past three decades."

In 2014, the program had a highly successful test and evaluation run where it scored hits on several extremely challenging target sets. Currently, RAM protects the U.S Navy's CVN, LCS, LHA, LHD, LSD and LPD 17 class warships and twenty-two of Germany's warships.

The RAM Program Office is aligned with Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems, which manages surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems, and coordinates Navy enterprise solutions across ship platforms.

Navy's Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) Completes System Critical Design Review



From PEO IWS Public Affairs

SUDBURY, Mass. (NNS) -- The Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) program, AN/SPY-6(V), successfully completed its System Critical Design Review (CDR) April 29 the Navy reported May 15.

The review assessed the complete radar system design baseline including its readiness for incorporation into Flight III of the Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) class guided-missile destroyer. The CDR assessed system performance, and included a thorough review of all design information to ensure that the system will meet required specifications within cost and schedule constraints.

"The System CDR is the latest in the series of major program milestones executed exactly on schedule," said Capt. Doug Small, Above Water Sensors Major program manager, Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS). "Completion of this review demonstrates that the technical and design maturity of the system is exactly where it needs to be for Flight III DDG 51."

The program will now proceed to the test and evaluation phase, starting with indoor range testing of the end-to-end radar system in June.

The Navy awarded the contract for AMDR Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) efforts to Raytheon in October 2013. The System CDR was the sixth major design review on this contract.

The culmination of over a decade of Navy investment in advanced radar technology, AMDR is being designed to provide the U.S. Navy with state-of-the-art technology for Integrated Air and Missile Defense through the Aegis Combat System.

Program Executive Office (PEO) Integrated Warfare Systems, an affiliated PEO of the Naval Sea Systems Command, manages surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems and coordinates Navy enterprise solutions across ship platforms.

Navy Announces Successful Test of Electromagnetic Catapult on CVN 78



From PEO Carriers Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy conducted the first-ever, shipboard, full-speed catapult shots using the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) aboard the aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), Naval Sea Systems Command announced May 15.

EMALS is a carrier-based launch system designed to expand the operational capability of the Navy's future carriers to include all current and future planned carrier aircraft. The recent test shots, known as "no-loads" because no aircraft or other loads were attached to the launching shuttle, successfully demonstrated the integrated catapult system. Using electromagnetic technology, the system delivers substantial improvements in system maintenance, increased reliability and efficiency, higher-launch energy capacity, and more accurate end-speed control, with a smooth acceleration at both high and low speeds. By allowing linear acceleration over time, electromagnetic catapults also place less stress on the aircraft.

"This is a very exciting time for the Navy," said Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers Rear Adm. Tom Moore. "For the first time in over 60 years, we've just conducted 22 no load test shots using electricity instead of steam technology."

During the tests, generators within the ship produced an electric pulse, which was passed through power conditioning electronics to linear motors just below the flight deck surface. This energy allowed for the linear motors to propel the launching shuttle down the catapult track in excess of 180 knots before bringing the shuttle to a stop at the end of the track.

The next phase of EMALS testing, scheduled for this summer, will involve launching "dead-loads" off of the bow of CVN 78 into the James River. "Dead-loads" are large, wheeled, steel vessels weighing up to 80,000 pounds to simulate the weight of actual aircraft. The dead-loads will be launched from each catapult using a specific test sequence to verify that the catapult and its components are operating satisfactorily.

To date PCU Gerald R. Ford is 90 percent complete and 1550 Sailors have reported for introduction and training. CVN 78 will be commissioned in March 2016.