October’s top news stories

7 November 2018 (Last Updated November 9th, 2018 12:52)

US Navy awarded $9bn MYP contracts to buy ten DDG-51-class ships, India finalised a deal to buy BrahMos-equipped frigates from Russia, and Australia and BAE signed an AWA for Hunter-class frigate programme. Naval-Technology.com wraps up key headlines from October 2018.

October’s top news stories
DDG-51-class lead ship USS Arleigh Burke. Credit: US Navy photo by mass communication specialist 1st class RJ Stratchko/Released.

US Navy awards $9bn MYP contracts to buy ten DDG-51-class ships

The US Navy awarded two contracts with a total value of approximately $9bn for the procurement of ten DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

The DDG-51 fiscal year (FY) 2018 to FY 2022 multiyear procurement (MYP) contracts have been awarded to General Dynamics (GD) Bath Iron Works (BIW) and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII).

Under the multiyear procurement awards, GD has secured a nearly $3.9bn fixed-price incentive firm target (FPIF) contract for the designing and development of four DDG-51-class vessels between FY 2019 and FY 2022.


India finalises deal to buy BrahMos-equipped frigates from Russia

India signed a $950m contract with Russia for the procurement of two frigates fitted with BrahMos missiles for the Indian Navy.

The deal has been finalised following price negotiations after the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) granted approval this month for the acquisition of four frigates from Russia for $2bn.

These Talwar-class/Project 11356 frigates will be armed with the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and directly transported to India from Russia, reported Sputnik News.


Australia and BAE sign AWA for Hunter-class frigate programme

The Australian Government entered an advanced work arrangement (AWA) with BAE Systems to support the country’s A$35bn ($25.01bn) Hunter-class frigate programme.

In June, BAE Systems Australia was selected as the preferred tenderer for the development and delivery of nine Hunter-class Future Frigates to be used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The AWA will involve ongoing work on the Hunter-class frigate programme, prior to entering the head contract.


UK confirms contracts over £1bn with British firms for military ships

UK Defence Procurement Minister Stuart Andrew confirmed that new contracts worth more than £1bn have been signed with national companies to support the Royal Navy ships for the next ten years.

The deal covers 17 navy vessels from the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) fleet and the Royal Navy’s Survey and Hydrographic fleet.

These contracts will help sustain more than 700 jobs at shipyards across the country, improving how spares, repairs, and maintenance work are carried out.


HMS Queen Elizabeth’s F-35s drop first Paveway II test bombs

The UK’s F-35B Lightning II fighter jets dropped the first Paveway II test bombs during trials on HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier off the US east coast.

Dropping the 500lb inert GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided precision bombs carrying no explosives represents another key in the carrier’s trials.

Through the exercise, the trials teams could gather crucial test data and assess how the jets perform when carrying various weights.


Alion wins contract to support US Navy’s unmanned subsea vehicles

Alion Science and Technology secured a multiple-award contract (MAC) worth $794m from the US Department of Navy, Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Newport, Rhode Island.

Under the agreement, the company will be responsible for development, construction and support of the US Navy’s unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) family of systems (FoS).

The indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract covers the delivery of systems and subsystems required to support the advancement of UUV FoS, including current and future UUV systems and subsystems.


US Navy christens two new Virginia-class submarines

The US Navy christened two of its newest Virginia-class submarines built by General Dynamics and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII).

The future USS Vermont (SSN 792) has been christened at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut, while USS Delaware (SSN 791) was christened at HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.

Sponsored by former US Navy research, development and acquisition deputy assistant secretary Gloria Valdez, the submarine Vermont is the 19th ship of the Virginia-class and the first of ten Virginia-class Block IV submarines. Meanwhile, Delaware is the 18th submarine.


IAI wins $777m contract to deliver LRSAM systems for Indian Navy

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) received an additional contract worth $777m to deliver Barak 8 air and missile defence (AMD) systems for installation on seven Indian Navy vessels.

The contract has been entered with Indian state-owned company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), which serves as the project’s main contractor.

Under the deal, IAI will supply long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) systems, which has been designed as the marine variant of the Barak 8 AMD weapon system.


Australian Navy commissions Hobart-class destroyer HMAS Brisbane

The Royal Australia Navy (RAN) commissioned its second Hobart-class guided missile destroyer HMAS Brisbane (III) (DDG 41) at Garden Island Naval Base in Sydney.

Commissioning of the domestically built ship is intended to help strengthen the national security of Australia, and support the country’s multi-decade commitment to improving the RAN’s capabilities in protecting its maritime interests.

Developed under the Australian Government’s Air Warfare Destroyer programme, the Hobart-class destroyer has been designed to help protect Australian and multinational task groups operating in an increasingly complex region and beyond.


Lockheed to develop multi-axis robots to 3D print parts for US Navy

The US Navy awarded a new contract to Lockheed Martin to conduct studies and customise multi-axis robots that use laser beams to deposit material and produce metal components.

In collaboration with the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research, the company is exploring opportunities to apply artificial intelligence (AI) for training robots to independently oversee and optimise additive manufacturing of complex parts.

Under the two-year, $5.8m contract, a team led by Lockheed’s Advanced Technology Centre will be responsible for the development of new software models and sensor modifications that would enable the multi-axis robots to 3D print improved components.