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USSVirginiaThe Navy is outfitting a prototype Virginia-class attack submarine platform with a series of upgrades designed to improve sonar detection and make boats less detectable and more stealthy.

The work includes the addition of a large vertical array, special coating materials for the exterior of the submarine and special noise-reduction technologies for the engine room, Rear Adm. Joe Tofalo, director, submarine warfare, said Oct. 23 at the Naval Submarine League annual symposium, Falls Church, Va.

The innovations are being worked on the USS South Dakota, a Block III Virginia-class attack submarine, or SSN, now in development.

“The USS South Dakota is a platform for three crucial aspects of our efforts to work on acoustic superiority. The large vertical array is about 60-percent designed with a preliminary design and we are installing a similar array on the USS Maryland that is 75-percent complete,” Tofalo said. [Continue reading…]

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RailgunBAE Systems officials said an electromagnetic rail gun firing a kinetic energy warhead could be a real option for the Army’s next generation Future Fighting Vehicle, which the service hopes to replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

Following the cancellation of the Ground Combat Vehicle, Army officials said they want the defense industry to offer a wide range of technologies before the Army decides whether to pursue the Future Fighting Vehicle, or an additional Bradley upgrade.

BAE Systems presented a host of possible technologies at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference last week. Among those was a model of the electromagnetic rail gun the company is developing for the Navy. [Continue reading…]

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Operations Specialist Seaman Anthony Johnson monitors surface contacts using surface detection traffic computer in the combat information center onboard the multi purpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7).(Navy photo)The Navy has established a special new unit designed to protect computer networks and improve cyber security across the service called Task Force Cyber Awakening, or TFCA, service officials said.

Created in August of this year, TFCA is a 100-person force dedicated to establishing protocols, identifying vulnerabilities, increasing cyber awareness and shoring up security and access with the Navy’s computer networks, service leaders explained.

“The genesis of this started several years ago when we started to see that the risk calculus associated with cyber was changing. If you look at risk and how we characterize risk with things like vulnerabilities, the consequences of exploiting those vulnerabilities and the actors, you’ll see that consequences are continuing to grow in cyber,” Matt Swartz, lead for Task Force Cyber Awakening, told Military​.com.

The consequences associated with cyber-attacks are growing in part because weapons systems are increasingly relying on networks, creating a much larger cyber component to platforms and operations, he added.

[Continue reading…]

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Marine Corps' new MH-53K prepares for its first flight.The Marine Corps is conducting ground, humidity and endurance testing on its new CH-53K Super Stallion heavy lift helicopter slated to fly next year.

The new helicopter, designed as an upgrade to the existing CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, is engineered to carry 27,000 pounds of cargo out to distances of 110 nautical miles, stay 30 minutes on station and then return — all while performing in high hot conditions.

The new helicopter is being developed, in part, to support special Marine Air Ground Task Force, or MAGTF, units with improved stand-off range, endurance, and cargo-carrying capacity, Marine Corps officials said.

The CH-53K is being engineered for the full range of military operations to include humanitarian and non-combat missions along with joint forcible entry missions, said Maj. Eric Purcell, a Marine heavy helicopter requirements officer. [Continue reading…]

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George H.W. Bush is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. The Navy is preparing to deploy its new carrier-launched E2D Advanced Hawkeye early warning radar aircraft designed to protect ships from enemy ships, aircraft, missiles and other threats over long distances.

Slated to deploy on board the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt sometime next year, the E2D Advanced Hawkeye is an upgraded version of the Cold War-era E2C Hawkeye aircraft which has been around for 50-years. [Continue reading…]

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