Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Navy's Electronic Attack Aircraft Transition

The US Navy's successor to the EA-6B Prowler electronic attack aircraft,the EA-18G Growler,had passed the production halfway point as of October 2011 and has continued to move forward this year.The Navy will procure a total of 109 of the advanced jets.The Growlers provide better connectivity to other military assets and accurate hostile emitter targeting for onboard suppression weapons.There will be 10 carrier-based Growler squadrons,as well as three active and one Reserve expeditionary squadrons.
The Growler production team says the aircraft is the dominant electronic force for the joint warfighter,having full-spectrum electronic attack capability.With its advanced jamming pods and communication countermeasures receiver sets,it can penetrate complex layers of air defense and communication systems.It suppresses threats over land and water with anti-radiation missiles including the AGM-88B/C HARM and the new AGM-88E AARGM,protecting the joint warfighter anywhere.The aircraft saw action in the Iraq War,as well as Operations Odyssey Dawn and Uphold Protector over Libya in 2011.Raytheon,Northrop Grumman,General Electric and Boeing comprise the EA-18G Growler production team.
Boeing(BA),Northrop Grumman(NOC),General Electric(GE),Raytheon(RTN)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Amphibious Assault Ship Christened

The US Navy christened the new amphibious assault ship America(LHA 6),the first of its class,on Saturday at Ingalls Shipbuiding in Cascagoula,Mississippi.Ship's sponsor Mrs.Lynne Pace,wife of General Peter Pace,USMC retired,former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,described the America as being kind of like a mini-aircraft carrier.Mrs.Pace broke a bottle of champagne over the ship's bow,in accordance with naval tradition.
Admiral Mark E. Ferguson III,Vice Chief of Naval Operations,presided at the ceremony.
The America will serve as a platform for the US Marine Corps' MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft,as well as its AV-8B Harrier jump jets;the new F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighter;and helicopters.Homeported in San Diego,the ship will be a sea base for a Marine air-ground task force,or MAGTF.
Able to carry 1687 Marines and their equipment,plus 184 surge,its keel was laid in 2009.Following sea trials,the America is scheduled to be delivered and commissioned in 2013.
Huntington Ingalls Industries(HII)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Next Generation Warplane in Production and Training:the F-35 Lightning II

The F-35 Lightning II fighter is coming along,in production and being used for training.It is the fifth generation multirole fighter aircraft for NATO nations and other close allies.So far,63 of the state of the art warplane have been produced.
The F-35 comes in three versions:the F-35A conventional version for the US Air Force and others;the F-35B Short Take-off and Vertical Landing version for the US Marine Corps and British forces;and the F-35C Carrier-based version for the US Navy.
The F-35 will be the backbone of tactical airpower for decades to come.It is characterised by extreme agility and a powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor package.A stealth aircraft,it will project power over long distances from any point on the globe,engaging targets deep within enemy territory and returning safely to base.
Lockheed Martin is the F-35's prime contractor,assisted by team members Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems,as well as Pratt and Whitney.
Lockheed Martin(LMT)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

USS Michael Murphy Joins Fleet

The USS Michael Murphy(DDG 112),the US Navy's newest warship,was commissioned Saturday in New York City.The Arleigh Burke class destroyer is named in honor of a Navy SEAL and posthumous Medal of Honor recipient who was killed in action during Operation Redwing in Afghanistan on 28 June,2005.
Among dignitaries attending the traditional ceremony were New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg;Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Johnathan Greenert;and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.Secretary Mabus said the ship honors the courage,service and sacrifice of Lieutenant Michael Murphy.It is designed to counter threats from above and below the surface of the oceans,in the air and on land.
Lieutenant Murphy's mother,ship's sponsor Maureen Murphy,gave the order to man the ship and bring her to life,at which the crew of 279 ran up the gangways and lined up along the rails.The ship's first commanding officer is Commander Thomas E. Shultz of El Cajon,California.
Armed with missiles,a 5-inch gun and torpedoes,the warship is homeported at Pearl Harbor,Hawaii.Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy was a New York native.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Coast Guard District 14:A Vast Expanse Governed by International Law

Among areas where the US Coast Guard is stretched thin is District 14,which encompasses some 12.2 million square miles of ocean.The service is expected to carry out all of its 11 statutory missions in the District,which has two sectors,Honolulu and Guam.The District goes well south of the equator to all the Pacific Island nations of Oceania,and north to the Northern Marianas.
Rear Admiral Charles W. Ray is Commander,District 14.He said we work closely with allied nations and with all the Pacific Island nations.We are no different from the Marine Corps and the Navy in that we are held hostage by the distance and the time required to operate in the Pacific.
We think the Law of the Sea convention is very important for our nation,and especially important for the Coast Guard for multiple reasons.The Coast Guard relies upon international agreements of all sorts to do our duty.We do law enforcement,search and rescue,and all the other things we do based on either bilateral or multinational agreements.All these are based on international law,which has its framework from the Law of the Sea.
When we get to these sticking points,with contested fishing rights,contested continental shelf up in the Arctic,we don't have much of a leg to stand on if we're not party to the main agreement everybody else in the world agrees to,Admiral Ray complained.
Alone among the world powers,the US has failed to ratify the Law of the Sea convention,a fact regarded with chagrin by the State Department and all the US armed forces chiefs,as well as US multinational corporations.They feel we are at a long term competitive disadvantage because of the US Senate's inability to get the job done and approve the Law of the Sea.