The contract for the construction of LPD30, the first Flight II Landing Platform Dock of the San Antonio class, has been awarded to Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding Division.
The deal, worth $1.47 billion, will see the existing design enhanced with the addition of a fully capable flight deck and hanger, a well deck and the ability to transport and sustain more than 500 combat ready troops for a month. The new ship will be the 14th member of the San Antonio class and will follow USS Fort Lauderdale expected to be delivered in 2021 and USS Richard McCool Jr, which will be laid down this year. The first steel in the construction of the as yet unnamed LPD30 will start in 2020.
Continued equipment failures aboard the latest nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford have meant further dockside rectification work, especially to mission critical systems around the nuclear propulsion plant. Significant problems with the main turbine generators aboard the supercarrier have plagued the ship since it entered service. The US Navy insists that these problems are simply part of delivering a brand new class of warship into service and some delays were to be expected, however CVN80 has had persistent problems with its catapults, arresting gear, weapons elevators as well as her radar systems.
_With a rapidly ageing fleet of mine counter measure vessels, it was timely that the UK Government announced an investment of £75 million into the development of robot and autonomous mine hunting technologies. The money will be spent on a pair of new mine hunter vessels equipped with specialist sonars that can detect mines and other weapons at greater range, speed and accuracy than is currently possible with existing technologies. The money will also see funding into what has been dubbed, the new joint military and industry hi-tech accelerator, NavyX, which will streamline and accelerate the way the Royal Navy acquires new technology from industry. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, chose the announcement to also give fresh information into the MOD’s planned acquisition of two new Littoral Strike Ships.
The National Audit Office issued a damning report into the cost of maintaining a fleet of obsolete nuclear submarines in Devonport and Rosyth at a cost to British taxpayers of £12 million every year. The Royal Navy now has more than twice the number of redundant submarines (20) stored than operational with the fleet (7). Since the first HMS Dreadnought was retired from service in 1980, the decommissioned boats have been stored as successive governments have dithered over how to dispose of them and their nuclear compartments. Nine of the boats contain some level of irradiated fuel.
The Ágias Azuis Consortium has emerged as the preferred bidder for the construction of the Brazilian Navy’s Tamandaréclass corvettes. The planned four ships will cost the Brazilian taxpayers USD $1.6 billion and will be based on the German MEKO A100 design.
Interestingly, the new corvettes will be armed with MBDA’s SeaCeptor air defence missile system, MBDA’s Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles and a Leonardo 76/62 main gun. The four ships will be delivered to the Brazilian Navy between 2024 and 2028.
The new frigates will be built by Navantia with the last of the five warships expected to be delivered by 2026.
The new frigates will benefit from the addition of new solid state S band radar and an evolved combat management system, which has been jointly developed by Spain and the American company Lockheed Martin.