November’s top stories: China inches closer to carrier operations

4 December 2012 (Last Updated December 4th, 2012 18:30)

China's navy inched closer to conducting carrier-based operations with successful landing trials of its J-15 fighter aircraft. Naval-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from November 2012.

November’s top stories: China inches closer to carrier operations

Liaoning is set to be deployed

China conducts landing trials of Shenyang J-15 fighter aircraft

Trials saw the aircraft conduct landing missions

Following the completion of its first aircraft carrier Liaoning, the People's Liberation Army Navy of China successfully completed the first landing trials of a Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark fighter aircraft.

The trials saw the aircraft conduct landing missions from the carrier, validating its capability while meeting navy requirements with good compatibility.

Commenting on the trial, PLA Navy deputy commander vice-admiral Zhang Yongyi was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying: "We have done all these test flights from the very beginning, and finally we mastered the key skills for the landing of carrier-borne aircraft."

In addition to conducting a certain level of operations at sea, Liaoning is set to be deployed to the disputed waters of South China Sea amid rising maritime tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.

Babcock to support UK Navy's Vanguard replacement programme

BAE Systems awarded a contract to Babcock

BAE Systems awarded a contract to Babcock which will see the latter provide system definition to support the UK Ministry of Defence's programme to replace its fleet of Vanguard-Class nuclear submarines.

The award will see Babcock develop the tactical weapons handling and launch system (WHSL) and the submerged signal ejector (SSE) for the programme, featuring weapon alignment, shock mounting and firing air systems.

Babcock Defence Systems Technology director Jeff Lewis said that the company will provide system definition at a lower risk and cost of development, and aims to minimise through-life costs of the WHLS, SSE and the overall platform.

Babcock will also integrate stowages to provide a pre-assembled solution, designed to accelerate installation times during construction, reduce overall assembly costs and improve the launch control system.

USMC to receive three F-35B STOVL aircraft from Lockheed

At present, USMC is operating 13 STOVLs

Three F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft were delivered by Lockheed Martin to the US Marine Corps, marking the start of tactical operational training at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona, US.

Lockheed Martin chairman and chief executive officer Bob Stevens said: "The F-35B is the world's only fifth generation, supersonic, stealthy combat aircraft that can also hover, take off and land virtually anywhere marines are in action."

The addition of the three JSF aircraft, which are assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, takes the total number of JSF aircraft delivered to the USMC to 16.

At present, USMC is operating 13 STOVLs for pilot and maintainer training and has been assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing's Marine Fighter / Attack Training Squadron 501 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, US.

Babcock to continue submarine equipment deal with UK Navy

Vanguard and Trafalgar-Class submarines

Babcock received a through life in-service support contract from the UK Ministry of Defence to support precise time and frequency standard equipment on the UK Royal Navy's submarine fleet.

Following on from a contract previously awarded in 2007, Babcock will support the system through a life post design services (PDS) contract for its fleet of Vanguard and Trafalgar-Class submarines, shore reference facilities, military headquarters and shore development and integration facilities.

The company will also provide an around the clock helpdesk, engineering support, technical documentation, obsolescence management, safety and environmental management, refresh oscillator clock modules and spares holding.

DARPA selects Science Applications for ACTUV prototype

Science Applications International Corporation was selected by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to design, build and test an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) continuous trail unmanned vessel (ACTUV) prototype.

"A final design and production plan for the ACTUV prototype will be prepared by the company."

DARPA's autonomous vessel has been designed to follow enemy submarines for months and travel thousands of miles without major intervention and with limited human assistance.

The three-year $58m single-award, cost-plus fixed-fee (CPFF) contract supports two and three phases of the unmanned autonomous surface vessel programme and includes an 18-month $1m option for the fourth phase.

A final design and production plan for the ACTUV prototype will be prepared by the company under the programme's second phase, whereas construction and government testing of the prototype is scheduled to be complete in the third and fourth phases respectively.


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