16 Mar 13. Sierra Nevada Delivers 1st LRIP US Army Mobile Tower System. Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) delivered the first Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Mobile Tower System (MOTS) to the United States Army ahead of schedule. The LRIP contract was awarded in March 2012 for 10 MOTS. An early development MOTS has been deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division in Afghanistan since November 2012. (Source: ASD Network)
15 Mar 13. Babcock marks high point in aircraft carrier assembly. A key milestone has been achieved in the assembly of the first of the UK’s new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers by Babcock at Rosyth, with the lifting into place of the forward island – a crucial component of the ship, containing the main bridge and around 100 vital mission systems compartments. The event was witnessed by the Secretary of State for Defence, Phillip Hammond, MP. The circa 600 tonne forward island – which arrived at Babcock’s Rosyth facility (where the carriers are being assembled) from BAE Systems in Portsmouth on 11 February – was lifted into position on HMS Queen Elizabeth’s flight deck by the massive Goliath crane, which had a special 78 tonne lifting frame attached for the purpose. The lift process began with the attachment of the crane to the lifting frame, and application of a percentage of the island weight to the crane to confirm the predicted centre of gravity. After some minor adjustments the crane took the full weight of the Island, lifted it over the aircraft carrier flight deck and located it in its final position. Although not the heaviest lift of the project, the island’s geometry and shape presented significant challenges. Also demanding was the alignment of the 2.4 metre diameter gas turbine exhausts which were pre-fitted in the island and below in the ship superstructure. The 22 metre high by 13 metre wide and 27 metre long Upper Block 07, as the forward island is known, already has all consoles installed, as well as 43km of cables and 3,101 pipes. The floor-to-ceiling windows of the main bridge are up to two metres high, providing an exceptional level of visibility. With the island in place, the Long Range Radar (LRR) will now be installed on top. This will be closely followed by a period of consolidation when the island will be welded to the superstructure and mechanical and electrical systems installed. The later phase of the project will see the LRR set to work and fully integrated with the ship systems.
15 Mar 13. USNS Choctaw County completes builder’s trials. The US Navy’s second of ten Spearhead-class joint high-speed vessels (JHSV),
USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2), has successfully completed builder’s sea trials (BST) in Mobile, Alabama, US. During the tests, USNS Choctaw County’s major systems were tested and validated in preparation for final inspection by the US Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) prior to its delivery. The ship used its propulsion plant to test different power levels for many hours, as well as validated communication and navigational systems’ calibration. In addition to demonstrating four steerable water jets capability to achieved more than 41k speed, the ship performed a series of high-speed turns to demonstrate stability and agility of its hull form. In addition, the ship also performed ride control systems tests and pollution control system trials. The navy is expected to receive USNS Choctaw County later in summer 2013, following completion of acceptance trials, scheduled in the near future. Designed to be fast, flexible and manoeuvrable in shallow waters, the versatile and non-combatant JHSV can transport troops and equipment, military vehicles, cargo and equipment for a range of global missions. Capable of cruising at an average speed of 35k, the vessels of the class can conduct a range of missions, which include soldier through traditional logistics missions, humanitarian support, disaster response and maritime law