April's top stories: DCNS wins $39bn Australian submarine deal, US’ $8bn EMC2 project
Australia has selected France’s DCNS for $39bn future submarine project, twelve companies win $8bn contract for US Navy’s EMC2 programme and delivery of the US Navy’s first Zumwalt-class destroyer has been delayed again. Naval-technology.com wraps up key headlines from April.
Australia selected French shipyard DCNS for the $39bn contract to build a new fleet of 12 submarines in Adelaide.
For Australia's SEA1000 future submarine programme, DCNS competed with Germany's Thyssenkrupp, and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
DCNS's solution is claimed to be the world's most advanced conventionally powered submarine, currently in its pre-concept design stage. The Shortfin Barracuda is a smaller version of the French Navy's Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarine.
The US Department of Defence (DoD) awarded an indefinite-delivery / indefinite-quantity, multiple award contract, worth $8bn, to 12 companies for the electromagnetic manoeuvre warfare command and control (EMC2) programme.
The companies involved in the contract are Lockheed Martin, ArgonST, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, EOIR Technologies, SI2 Technologies, S2 Corp, Sea Corp, Leidos, Rockwell Collins, Physical Optics, and TiCom Geomanics.
The EMC2 programme is designed to identify the study, design, fabrication, integration, and test and evaluation tasks expected for the development of a set of prototypes and their component subsystems, which consolidate radio frequency functionality electronic warfare, radar, communications and information operations into a common set of electronics and software / firmware through a modular and scalable architecture.
The delivery of the US Navy's General Dynamics-built first Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) guided missile destroyer was reportedly delayed.
According to the US Defense Department's annual 'Selected Acquisition Report' on the $22.4bn programme, the navy estimated that delivery of the first vessel will be by mid 2016, reported Bloomberg.
USS Zumwalt was originally scheduled to be delivered in September 2013, but was later expected to be handed over to the navy in November last year.
Raytheon was awarded a $1bn sole source contract by the US Navy for engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) for Increment 1 of the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ).
NGJ is an advanced electronic attack technology, combining beam-jamming techniques with electronics.
Under the contract, Raytheon will supply 15 engineering development model pods to support the mission systems assessment and qualification, and 14 aeromechanical pods for airworthiness certification.
Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance conducted the main engine light-off (MELO) aboard the first of three Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) Hobart-class destroyers, HMAS Hobart.
The light-off involved the start of one of the main engines that will accelerate the ship's propellers.
The vessel's large 5,650kW Bravo V16 Propulsion Diesel engine was started in an engine room, which is located deep below the main superstructure of the ship.
The Philippine Navy placed an order worth more than €100m with Finmeccanica to procure two AgustaWestland AW159 helicopters.
The aircraft will be built at Finmeccanica helicopter division's Yeovil plant, in the UK, and is scheduled to be delivered in 2018.
Finmeccanica CEO and general manager Mauro Moretti said: "We will deliver to the Philippine Navy a state-of-the-art product, unmatched in the modern operational scenarios, and customised to meet their specific needs.
"Also, we will provide the customer with support and training solutions that will enable them to take full advantage of the capabilities of its new helicopters."
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the potential foreign military sale of RIM-116C and RIM-116C-2 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) to Qatar.
The proposed sale is expected to strengthen Qatar's naval defence and shield the nearby oil and gas infrastructure from air and missile threats.
Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, Arizona, US, has been selected as the prime contractor for the sale.
The UK Royal Navy's ice patrol ship HMS Protector launched small unmanned aircraft to help navigate through the frozen seas of the Antarctic.
The use of a quadcopter and a 3D-printed aircraft marks the first time that the Royal Navy has deployed unmanned aerial vehicles in the Antarctic.
HMS Protector commanding officer captain Rory Bryan said: "This trial of these low-cost but highly versatile aircraft has been an important first step in establishing the utility of unmanned aerial vehicles in this region."
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) christened the US Navy's first unmanned surface vehicle Sea Hunter, built as part of the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) continuous trail unmanned vessel (ACTUV) programme.
The ACTUV programme aims to explore the US Navy's capabilities to engage in missions across thousands of kilometres of range and months of endurance, without the need for a human presence in the vehicle, and under a sparse remote supervisory control model.
The programme aims to leverage technology to perform stealth anti-submarine missions, while reducing work force and other related costs.
BAE Systems rolled out the first of 60 next-generation Pacific 24 Mark-4 rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) for the UK Royal Navy at its facility in Portsmouth.
The new series of vessels will be deployed on the Royal Navy ships and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, including the new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "These innovative boats will play a vital role in the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, working from our new aircraft carriers and right across the fleet conducting anti-piracy, counter narcotics, and rescue missions around the world."