October's top stories: UK Successor sub Dreadnought, DARPA tests ACTUV with TALONS

The UK Royal Navy’s first nuclear deterrent submarine is to be named Dreadnought, DARPA tested ACTUV vessel with TALONS prototype payload and UK and France launch next phase of £117m MMCM programme. Naval-technology.com wraps up key headlines from October.


UK Royal Navy’s first nuclear deterrent submarine to be named Dreadnought

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced that the first of the UK Royal Navy’s new nuclear deterrent submarines is to be named Dreadnought.

The MoD said that Dreadnought will become the lead boat and class name for the new Successor submarines.

Construction on the Successor programme has already begun, which is expected to deliver the most advanced and quietest submarine ever conceived by the Royal Navy, and the first to be designed to accommodate both male and female submariners.

DARPA tests ACTUV vessel with TALONS prototype payload

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) tested its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) continuous trail unmanned vessel (ACTUV) with a prototype of a low-cost, elevated sensor mast, Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS) payload.

During the demonstration, the TALONS prototype was launched from the back of the ACTUV vehicle, which then rose to a height of 1,000ft, employing a parachute.

While in the air, the prototype tested its on-board sensors and communications equipment with the ACTUV vessel that was sailing at operationally realistic speeds.

Raytheon receives $255m contract for joint precision approach and landing system

Raytheon received a $255m contract from the US Navy for the development and production readiness of its next-generation joint precision approach and landing system (JPALS).

Under the contract, Raytheon will complete development of the JPALS auto-land capability, which uses the GPS satellite navigation system to provide accurate landing guidance to both manned and unmanned aircraft on aircraft carriers in rough seas.

The company will also complete integration of the JPALS technology into F-35 joint strike fighters, the first aircraft to use the technology.

UK and France launch next phase of £117m MMCM

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and France's Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) launched the next phase of their £117m joint maritime mine countermeasures (MMCM) programme.

The programme is aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of using remotely operated, unmanned marine vehicles and sensors to detect and dispose of sea-mines threat while enhancing the maritime capability.

Under the programme, the first prototype is expected to be delivered to the navies of the UK and France in 2019.

USMC’s CH-53K King Stallion helicopter completes initial operational testing

The US Marine Corps' (USMC) CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter has successfully completed its initial operational testing at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center (DFC) in West Palm Beach, Florida, US.

The initial Operational Test-B1 (OT-B1) involved external lift scenarios of 27,000lb in hover and 12,000lb, 110nm radius mission.

The ground events included embarkation / debarkation of combat-equipped troops, internal and external cargo rigging, tactical bulk fuel delivery system (TBFDS) operation, and medevac litter configuration.

Hyundai Heavy Industries to build two new frigates for Philippine Navy

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) signed a contract with the Department of National Defense, Republic of the Philippines, to build two 2,600t frigates for the Philippine Navy.

The 107m-long frigates will be a smaller and light combatant version of the Incheon-class frigate that is currently being used by the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN).

The frigates will be designed to meet the requirements of the Philippine Navy and will feature the enhanced survivability, seakeeping and manoeuvring capability of the Incheon-class.

Navantia and Indra to upgrade Indonesian Navy’s KRI-362 Malahayati corvette

A consortium consisting of Navantia and Indra was contracted by Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL to jointly upgrade the Indonesian Navy's Fatahillah-class KRI-362 Malahayati corvette.

The $18m contract, which is part of the mid-life modernisation (MLM) programme undertaken by PT PAL, will see the two companies partner to equip the Indonesian Navy with the latest electronic technology used by the Spanish Navy.

The consortium created a business model to draw the expertise of both the companies to carry out the work under the contract.

The companies are also collaborating to develop the Spanish Navy's future F110 frigate.

Mexican Navy takes delivery of first AS565 MBe Panther helicopter

Airbus Helicopters delivered the first AS565 MBe Panther helicopter to the Mexican Navy Secretaría de Marina (SEMAR).

In 2014, the Mexican Navy placed a purchase order for ten helicopters, and is due to receive three other units before the end of 2016, and the remaining six by 2018.

Airbus Helicopters Latin America vice-president Mesrob Karalekian stated that under the delivery contract, the company will also train pilots and technicians to manage and operate the fleet of helicopters.

Kongsberg contracted to upgrade main weapon system of Norwegian ULA-class submarines

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA Naval Systems) awarded a Nkr220m ($27.4m) contract to Kongsberg Defence Systems for upgrading part of the main weapon system of ULA-class submarines.

The upgrade programme will contribute to keeping ULA-class submarines operational until the new generation of submarines are in place.

The ULA class was assembled in Germany in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and is comprised of six vessels. It is currently the only submarine type in service with the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN).

The contract will be delivered for a period of four years.

DCNS and Airbus Helicopters to design VTOL drone system for French Navy

DCNS and Airbus Helicopters partnered to design a new vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the French Navy.

The development of VTOL is in response to the French Navy’s Système de Drones Aériens de la Marine (SDAM) programme.

Under the partnership, DCNS will design and develop solutions for the ship-based operation and integration of the VTOL drone system, including the specification and validation of the payloads and mission data links.

Additionally, DCNS will produce the drone’s mission system to enable real-time management of its operations and allow control of payloads through combat management system.