May's top stories: First Zumwalt destroyer, BWXT’s $3.1bn US Navy contract

The US Navy took delivery of first Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer, BWXT won $3.1bn contract to provide naval nuclear reactor components and fuel and MBDA receives £411m contract to develop new missile for UK’s F-35B jets. Naval-technology.com wraps up key headlines from May.


zumwalt

US Navy takes delivery of first Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer

The US Navy took delivery of the first Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer, USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000).

Designed for littoral and land attack operations, the multi-mission vessel surface combatant will provide independent forward presence and deterrence.

US Navy Zumwalt commanding officer captain James Kirk said: "Zumwalt's crew has diligently trained for months in preparation of this day and they are ready and excited to take charge of this ship on behalf of the US Navy.

"These are 143 of our nation's finest men and women who continue to honour admiral Zumwalt's namesake with their dedication to bringing this ship to life."

US Navy awards $3.1bn contract to BWXT for naval nuclear reactor components and fuel

The US Naval Nuclear Propulsion Programme awarded contracts to two subsidiaries of BWX Technologies (BWXT) to manufacture naval nuclear reactor components and fuel.

The contracts include options that when exercised will bring the total value of the order to approximately $3.1bn.

BWXT Nuclear Operations Group (BWXT NOG) was chosen for the reactor components order, while Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) received the naval nuclear fuel award.

MBDA receives £411m contract to develop new missile for UK's F-35B jets

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded a £411m contract to MBDA to develop a new missile for the country's future F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighter.

The latest contract follows an initial £150m assessment phase. Under the contract, which includes four years of critical design and development work, MBDA will work on the selective precision effects of the range (Spear) 3 missile system.

The Spear 3 next-generation air launched surface attack weapon will be fitted into the F-35B supersonic stealth aircraft's internal weapons bay.

Lockheed to build guidance and control systems for US Navy's MK 48 torpedoes

MK 48 torpedoe

Lockheed Martin was awarded a $425m contract by the US Navy to build and deliver fully integrated guidance and control systems for its MK 48 Mod 7 torpedoes.

Under the contract, Lockheed will provide the latest advancements in sonar systems as part of a five-year effort to increase the inventory of the MK 48 Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes for the US submarine fleet.

The company expects to receive production orders from the US navy for more than 250 torpedoes in the next five years.

Austal signs $305m contract for Australia's Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement programme

PPBR

The Australian Government signed a $305m contract with Austal to support the Royal Australian Navy's pacific patrol boats replacement (PPBR) project.

Under the contract, Austal will construct 19 steel-hulled patrol boats. The contract also includes an option for two additional vessels.

Design work by Austal is expected to begin immediately, with construction starting next year, and the first delivery scheduled in 2018. Work under the project will run up to 2023.

Rolls-Royce to provide MTU diesel gensets for the UK Navy's Type 26 frigates

type 26

BAE Systems sub-contracted Rolls-Royce to manufacture MTU diesel generators for the first three next-generation Type 26 Global Combat Ships (GCS) for the UK Royal Navy.

Under the contract, Rolls Royce will supply the core components of the frigate's combined propulsion system that include four MTU diesel gensets with 20V 4,000 M53B engines, each delivering 3,015kW of mechanical power, and one Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine.

Each Type 26 anti-submarine warfare vessels will be fitted with four MTU diesel gensets.

British companies develop new thermal metal coating for Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers

British companies developed a new thermal metal coating for use on the flight deck of the UK Royal Navy's Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carriers.

The coating will protect the carriers' flight deck from the heat generated by the thrusters of the new F-35B Lightning II fighter jets.

Developed in partnership with Tyne and Wear-based Monitor Coatings, the protective coating is a combination of aluminium and titanium that can endure heat levels of up to 1,500°C (2,700°F).

Oman Navy receives first high-speed support vessel from Austal

QEC

The Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) took delivery of the first high-speed support vessel (HSSV), RNOV Al Mubshir, from Austal.

Delivered on time and within the specified budget, the RNOV Al Mubshir has been built under a $124.9m contract, awarded by RNO to Austal to design, build and provide logistics support for two HSSVs.

Austal CEO David Singleton said: "The HSSV leverages our revolutionary intellectual property and technology in high-speed vessels and demonstrate our proven ability as a prime defence contractor to navies across the globe.

"Construction of the second HSSV is progressing well and on track for delivery to the Royal Navy of Oman later this year."

Singapore Navy's first littoral mission vessel Independence joins fleet

The Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) first littoral mission vessel (LMV), Independence, joined its fleet at Tuas Naval Base after successful completion of its sea trials.

Independence is one of the eight LMVs, which are expected to replace the RSN's existing Fearless-class patrol vessels (PVs) from the 182/9 Squadron.

RSN navy chief rear-admiral Lai Chung Han said: "The homecoming of LMV Independence marks the conclusion of almost two years of the construction phase. It also marks the beginning of about 11 to 12 months of installation, checkout, integration and testing (ICIT)."

Italian Navy's FREMM Frigate ITS Luigi Rizzo commences sea trials

The Italian Navy's sixth Frégate Européen multi-mission (FREMM) vessel, ITS Luigi Rizzo, sailed out to sea from Fincantieri shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia) for the first time to begin its maiden sea trials.

The sea trials will continue until the conclusion of the ship's outfitting phase. The frigate is scheduled to be delivered to the Italian Navy in early 2017.

The FREMM multi-mission ship programme is a joint cooperation agreement that was established in late 2002 between France and Italy.