05 Mar 15. Lockheed Martin restarted the wing production line for the P-3 Orion Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) program for Canada and Chile on March 4. The P-3 wing line was last in production in August 2014. The gap in production extended the opportunities for global operators to assess their fleet needs.
“We are very excited about restarting the wing line here in Marietta and we are very proud of the partnership with Canada and Chile,” said Mark Jarvis, P-3 program manager. “We look forward to building wings for the many P-3 operators across the globe.”
The MLU replaces the outer wings, center wing, horizontal stabilizer and horizontal stabilizer leading edges. All necessary fatigue life-limiting structures are replaced, leading to significantly reduced maintenance and sustainment costs. New alloys are employed that provide a five-fold increase in corrosion resistance.
The P-3 Orion plays a vital role in maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, drug interdiction, hurricane hunting, fire-fighting and anti-submarine surveillance. Due to the MLU, it will support operators for 20-25 more years.
“The P-3 Orion is the gold standard in maritime reconnaissance,” said Jarvis, “We are excited to keep this venerable workhorse flying for many years to come.”
In addition to Canada and Chile, other MLU customers include U.S. Customs & Border Protection, the U.S. Navy and Norway.
03 Mar 15. Hyundai offers custom-designed submarine to Thailand.
South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has offered for sale to the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) a submarine dubbed the HDS-500RTN. IHS Jane’s understands that HHI recently presented the HDS-500RTN to the RTN’s submarine procurement committee, which is continuing to evaluate platforms to meet a requirement to procure up to three submarines before the end of the decade. Although the specifications of the HDS-500RTN have not been revealed, sources told IHS Jane’s that the submarine is a midget platform intended to enable the RTN to operate the submarine in the relatively shallow waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Sources added that the HDS-500RTN was custom designed for Thailand’s requirements. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Mar 15. Future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) La. The future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), launched from the Austal USA shipyard Feb. 25, marking an important production milestone for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. “This third Independence variant ship of the block buy is the first ship constructed fully utilizing Austal’s LCS Modular Manufacturing Facility and is launching at the highest level of production completion to-date,” said Capt. Tom Anderson, Littoral Combat Ship program manager, “a sign that facility investments are now paying off in schedule and cost performance.” The ship is named after former United States Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. LCS 10 will be the 16th U.S. naval ship to be named for a woman, and only the 13th ship to be named for a living person since 1850. Gabrielle Giffords was rolled out of her assembly bay onto a barge for transfer down the Mobile River to a floating drydock Feb. 24. The ship entered the water for the first time the following day when the drydock was flooded for the ship launch. The ship will return to the shipyard to continue final outfitting and activation until her christening later this year. She is expected to deliver to the fleet in 2017. Gabrielle Giffords is the third ship in a block buy contract with Austal to build 10 Independence- variant LCS ships. Sister ship Jackson (LCS 6) is preparing for builder’s trials, and Montgomery (LCS 8) was christened in November 2014. The LCS program is ramping up in 2015 to deliver two ships per year from the Austal shipyard, as well as two Freedom-variant ships from the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin. (Source: ASD Network)
02 Mar 15. Rolls Hones Pitch for Italian Ships’ Engines. UK-based Rolls-Royce has confirmed it will compete to supp