June's top stories: HMS Queen Elizabeth sea trials, US' $13bn Ford-class carrier

The British Royal Navy's HMS Queen Elizabeth set sail for the first time to begin six weeks of sea trials, the US Navy accepted the delivery of its first $12.9bn Ford-class aircraft carrier, the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), and a new report warns British Royal Navy of potential cyber attack on Trident system. Naval-technology.com wraps up key headlines from June.


UK's HMS Queen Elizabeth sets sail for maiden sea trials

The British Royal Navy's first Queen Elizabeth (QE) Class aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth set sail for the first time in order to begin six weeks of sea trials in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland.

HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed into the Forth estuary from Rosyth, where the vessel had been under construction since 2014.

Commenting on the country’s future flagship, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “This floating fortress is by far the most powerful ship ever built in Britain that will enable us to tackle multiple and changing threats across the globe.”     


US Navy accepts delivery of $13bn USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The US Navy accepted the delivery of its first $12.9bn Ford-class aircraft carrier, the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), in Newport News, Virginia, following the successful completion of sea acceptance trials.

The carrier had been under construction since November 2009 at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding’s dry dock.

Newport News Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Carrier Construction vice-president Rolf Bartschi said: “On behalf of our shipbuilders, I can say we are all proud to have been a part of the Gerald R. Ford construction programme.


New report warns British Royal Navy of potential cyber attack on Trident system

A London-based think tank known as the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) warned of the increasing probability of a cyber attack on the British Royal Navy's Vanguard-class submarines, which are equipped with nuclear-tipped Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles.

The report stated that the electronic networks and communication systems installed on-board the ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) are vulnerable to malware injection.

It also claims that the vessel’s critical systems can be exposed to malware injections during production, mid-life maintenance and software upgrade procedures.


Australia receives first Hobart-class air warfare destroyer HMAS Hobart

The Australian Department of Defence received delivery of the first of three Hobart-class air warfare destroyers (AWDs), HMAS Hobart, from Lockheed Martin.

The delivery followed the completion of HMAS Hobart's sea acceptance trials in March, which were conducted off the coast of South Australia over a 21-day period.

Australia Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said: “The acceptance of this first-of-class ship is a further demonstration of the success of the Government-led reform initiative, with the program meeting all budget and schedule targets, Hobart will enter into service later this year."


HII wins $3bn contract to design and construct USS Bougainville (LHA 8)

The US Navy awarded a $3bn contract to Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division for the detail design and construction of the third America-class large-deck amphibious landing helicopter assault (LHA 8) warship, which is to be named USS Bougainville.

The award followed the original long-lead material contract for the ship, which was initially awarded to the company on 30 June last year.

Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias said: “Our shipbuilders do an outstanding job building large-deck amphibious warships."


UK, US and France sign deal to boost anti-submarine warfare cooperation

The UK, US and France signed a new trilateral agreement to strengthen cooperation regarding their anti-submarine warfare activities.

The three navies are currently operating in the 5th Fleet area of operations, and the latest agreement followed the signing of a document in March, which outlined plans for the nations' Chiefs of Navy to reinforce their commitment to improving interoperability.

US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) commander vice-admiral Kevin M. Donegan signed the submarine agreement with French Submarine and Strategic Oceanic Forces (ALFOST) commander vice-admiral Louis-Michel Guillaume and Operations of the Royal Navy commander rear admiral Robert K. Tarrant.


DCNS conducts qualification firing of F21 torpedo for French Navy

DCNS successfully completed a qualification firing of the F21 torpedo, which is being developed for deployment on-board all nuclear submarines of the French Navy as part of the Artémis programme.

The qualification firing was conducted in a secured maritime area off the Var coast, and was preceded by approximately 20 industrial sea trials on prototypes from DCNS’s test vessel Pégase and COMEX’s Janus, as well as from submarines.

The French Government defence procurement and technology agency Direction Générale de l’Armement’s (DGA) Artémis programme has entered its final development phase following the completion of the qualification testing.


JSK delivers battery packs for Canadian Navy's Victoria-class submarines

JSK Naval Support completed its first manufacturing contract for Canada’s Department of National Defense with the delivery of 66 battery packs.

The battery packs will be used to supply electricity to the emergency underwater telephones (EUWTs) installed onto the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) Victoria-class submarines, which previously served as the British Royal Navy’s Upholder-class vessels.

JSK Naval Support is a joint venture (JV) between Canadian company Kaycom, which is a provider for the Canadian Government, and UK-based Cohort company SEA.


Indian Navy's second Scorpene-class vessel begins maiden sea trials

The Indian Navy's INS Khanderi Scorpene-class submarine sailed out from Mazagon Dock in Mumbai to begin its first sea trials, marking a significant milestone in the vessel’s construction.

The Indian-built submarine is the second of the six Scorpene-class vessels to be constructed for the Indian Navy under Project 75 (P75), and this first major trial moves INS Khanderi a step closer to its induction into the service, which is slated for later this year.

A rigorous set of sea trials were designed to evaluate the vessel’s operating capabilities in as much detail as possible.


Russian Navy launches Kalibr cruise missiles targeting ISIS in Palmyra, Syria

The Russian Navy's Admiral Essen frigate and Krasnodar submarine conducted cruise missile strike missions against terrorist organisation ISIS from the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.

The navy deployed four Kalibr cruise missiles to target a number of objects belonging to the ISIS grouping, which was camped at Palmyra area in Syria. The Krasnodar submarine was submerged when launching the cruise missiles.

Palmyra region is reported to have provided shelter for several militant troops and heavy equipment, which had been transferred from the terrorist group’s ‘de facto capital’ Raqqa, reported CNN.