United States Navy (USN) : News & Discussions

Ashwin

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US Navy Virginia class nuclear powered attack submarine USS Illinois (SSN-786)
 

Ankit Kumar

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New Destroyer Commissioned

BOSTON (AP) -- The U.S. Navy has commissioned its newest guided-missile destroyer, named for a Navy pilot from Massachusetts who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Korean War.
The commissioning ceremony for the USS Thomas Hudner was held Saturday in Boston.

Charlie Baker@MassGovernor
A privilege to address the commissioning ceremony for the #USSThomasHudner, the @USNavy’s newest destroyer, named to honor the Fall River native and Medal of Honor recipient. To Commanding Officer Nathan Scherry and the more than 300 sailors aboard, godspeed. #AboveAllOthers
12411:29 PM - Dec 1, 2018 · Boston Black Falcon Cruise Terminal
The Maine-built Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is named in honor of Thomas Hudner, a Fall River native and longtime Concord resident who was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman for crash-landing his plane to try to save the life of Ensign Jesse Brown during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in December 1950.
Brown was shot down and trapped in his burning plane. Hudner intentionally crash-landed in freezing temperatures and tried unsuccessfully to pull Brown free.
Hudner died last November at age 93.
 

BMD

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The US Military Is Genetically Engineering New Life Forms To Detect Enemy Subs

The US Military Is Genetically Engineering New Life Forms To Detect Enemy Subs
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The Pentagon is also looking at living camouflage, self-healing paint, and a variety of other applications of engineered organisms, but the basic science remains a challenge.

How do you detect submarines in an expanse as large as the ocean? The U.S. military hopes that common marine microorganisms might be genetically engineered into living tripwires to signal the passage of enemy subs, underwater vessels, or even divers.

It’s one of many potential military applications for so-called engineered organisms, a field that promises living camouflage that reacts to its surroundings to better avoid detection, new drugs and medicines to help deployed forces survive in harsh conditions, and more. But the research is in its very early stages, military officials said.

The Naval Research Laboratory, or NRL, is supporting the research. Here’s how it would work: You take an abundant sea organism, like Marinobacter, and change its genetic makeup to react to certain substances left by enemy vessels, divers, or equipment. These could be metals, fuel exhaust, human DNA, or some molecule that’s not found naturally in the ocean but is associated with, say, diesel-powered submarines. The reaction could take the form of electron loss, which could be detectable to friendly sub drones.

“In an engineered context, we might take the ability of the microbes to give up electrons, then use [those electrons] to talk to something like an autonomous vehicle. Then you can start imagining that you can create an electrical signal when the bacteria encounters some molecule in their environment,” NRLresearcher Sarah Glaven said at a November event put on by the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab.

Glaven believes the research is about a year away from providing concrete evidence that she can engineer reactions in abundant marine life forms that could prove useful for the military. Sub-hunting, in particular, is “what we would like it to be applicable for,” she said.

“The reason we think we can accomplish this is because we have this vast database of info we’ve collected from growing these natural systems. So after experiments where we look at switching gene potential, gene expression, regulatory networks, we are finding these sensors,” said Glaven.

Geneticists have already shown that it’s possible to manipulate the genes of E. coli bacteria to exhibit all sorts of properties that might be useful for sub sensing. But, in synthetic biology, E.coli are similar to lab mice in conventional medical research: they’re abundant, cheap, and easy to work with, but their real-world relevance is limited. What works in E. coli, or in lab mice, doesn’t always work in other organisms and you just don’t find them in the sorts of places you would want to detect submarines.

There’s currently a $45 million effort across the Army, Navy and Air Force, dubbed the Applied Research for the Advancement of Science and Technology Priorities Program on Synthetic Biology for Military Environments, aimed at giving researchers the tools they need to engineer genetic responses into organisms that would be useful for the military.

U.S. Army researchers are focused on getting synthetic organisms out of the lab and into the field, that also means getting useful, new reactions out of abundant organisms and finding new nanoscale (one billionth of a meter in size) techniques to engineer those molecular reactions.

“We want to move synthetic biology from the laboratory to the field. That’s a big thrust of ours and so there’s a lot of tool development in order to do that,” said Dimitra Stratis-Cullum, who leads the biomaterials team at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. “If you want to move a biological bio-based sensor to the field you try to ruggedize those organisms. You try to protect them. You try to encapsulate them. You try to basically increase their longevity in these harsh environments. So if you had, for example, embedded in a uniform a sensor that detects a hazard that’s a bio-based sensor. And perhaps it also causes more than one color change depending on the complex input. So there’s more than one function. Or it would sense and alert you and also [decontaminate] a material for example. It’s very difficult now to do that with the organisms that have some bio tools in them now,” like E. coli.

Her near-term focus is “using biology to do and accelerate the nano-science in traditional coatings that exist now.” The hope is that soldiers will one day be able to produce or print new coatings in the field to conceal equipment in the open. “We’re looking to build next-generation coatings where we can dovetail into additive manufacturing [essentially 3D printing] and other more point-of-need production technologies.” Those could be useful to “control and minimize detection of our materials or of our assets,” she said.

Back to the November JHU event, where U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said the United States, and the Navy in particular, is investing heavily in synthetic biology to better compete with China, an emerging synthetic-biotechnology powerhouse.

“We’ve taken a look at this in terms of its implications in terms of the operating environment. … biotechnology as a form of sensing, whether that be algae, or any number [of other organisms.] The ability to detect DNA as its left behind in the water column, advanced sensors on the beach heads,” he said. “We recently stood up Task Force Ocean, which is about getting us back into a competitive stance in terms of ocean science.”
 

BMD

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US Navy, Missile Defense Agency shoot down an intermediate-range ballistic missile in space

US Navy, Missile Defense Agency shoot down an intermediate-range ballistic missile in space
By: David B. Larter   22 hours ago3.3K89
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The U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency conducted a successful intercept of an intermediate-range ballistic missile with an SM-3 Block IIA fired from an Aegis Ashore facility in Hawaii. (U.S. Missile Defense Agency)
WASHINGTON ― The U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency continued a hot streak Tuesday when they successfully shot down an intermediate-range ballistic missile target in space from its Hawaii-based Aegis Ashore facility.

The test marked the second consecutive successful intercept for the SM-3 Block IIA missile in development. The intercept followed an October success, which shook off two hard-luck consecutive failures ― one caused by a sailor error and a second caused by a misfired third-stage rocket motor. Both tests were on course for a successful intercept when the respective mishaps occurred, officials told Defense News.

The missile, which was launched from Hawaii, fired on a track from a sensor that was a significant distance from the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex at the Pacific Missile Rang Facility at Kauai, said Mark Wright, spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency.

Aegis Ashore never had a native track on the missile, Wright confirmed, meaning the missile that was shot from that facility successfully locked onto a target, which was entirely tracked by a non-native sensor relaying its tracking data, a key capability under development by the MDA.



Japanese destroyer shoots down ballistic missile off Hawaii
The test, which took place at Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands in Hawaii, was designed to test the installation of the capability in Atago's Aegis combat system.

By: David Larter

The SM-3 Block IIA is a co-development between the U.S. and Japan, and it is expected to be equipped on both the U.S. Aegis Ashore stations in Romania and Poland and the future Aegis Ashore stations in Japan — making it a keystone to America’s short- and intermediate-range missile defense strategies. The European Aegis Ashore sites have been the source of significant tension between Russia and the U.S., with Russian President Vladimir Putin regularly criticizing the platform and accusing the U.S. of attempting to upset the strategic balance.

In a release, the MDA said the missile was fired by a U.S. Air Force C-17 “thousands of miles southwest of the Aegis Ashore test site that launched the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor.”

“The engagement leveraged a ground, air and space-based sensor/command and control architecture linked by the Ballistic Missile Defense System's Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) suite,” the release said.

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In a statement, the head of the MDA said the test proved the technology going into the missile defense capabilities in Europe are on course.

"Today's successful flight test demonstrated the effectiveness of the European Phased Adaptive Approach Phase 3 architecture,” said Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. “It also was of great significance to the future of multi-domain missile defense operations and supports a critical initial production acquisition milestone for the SM-3 Block IIA missile program.

“This system is designed to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies, and friends from a real and growing ballistic missile threat. I offer my congratulations to all members of the team, military, civilian, contractors and allies who helped make this possible.”

This is the third successful intercept out of five intercept tests for the SM-3 Block IIA.
 

BMD

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Lockheed Martin Wins Contract in Support of Flight Test Demonstrations of U.S. Navy Intermediate Range Conventional Prompt Strike Weapon System



Americas Missiles Technology

Lockheed Martin Wins Contract in Support of Flight Test Demonstrations of U.S. Navy Intermediate Range Conventional Prompt Strike Weapon System
December 21, 2018 DP Staff Writer0 Comments Hypersonic glide vehicle, Lockheed Martin, Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) US Navy, U.S. Navy (USN), USA

Lockheed Martin Space Systems is awarded a contract in support of the flight test demonstrations of U.S. Navy Intermediate Range Conventional Prompt Strike weapon system.

The un-priced letter contract, with a maximum amount of $40 million, was awarded by U.S. Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) Office. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $20 million are being obligated on this award, which will expire at the end of the current 2019 fiscal.

The contract is for the design, development, build and integration of large diameter rocket motors, associated missile body flight articles, and related support equipment in support of the demonstrations.

Work will be performed at Sunnyvale, California, with an expected completion date of September 30, 2022.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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But the aircraft carrier is not ready to launch them :)

Launch-and-Landing Failures Add to $13 Billion Ship’s Troubles
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...ng-failures-add-to-13-billion-ship-s-troubles

The new reliability issues add to doubts the carrier, designated as CVN-78, will meet its planned rate of combat sorties per 24 hours -- the prime metric for any aircraft carrier -- according to the annual report on major weapons from the Defense Department’s operational test office.
 

Ginvincible

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But the aircraft carrier is not ready to launch them :)

Launch-and-Landing Failures Add to $13 Billion Ship’s Troubles
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...ng-failures-add-to-13-billion-ship-s-troubles


Not to nitpick, but the article states:


Ten “critical failures” occurred during 747 at-sea catapults of jets; another 10 “operational mission failures” occurred during 763 shipboard landing attempts, according to the testing office’s report.


which means that there is less that 1.5% failure rate for both catapults and arresting gears/landing equipment during their recent trials. Considering the scope and scale of the platform and how new emals technology is, I would say that's quite good. Gerald R. Ford will serve for at least another 50 years and more CVNs of its class will be commissioned. It's unfair to assume there won't be more rapid reliability growth considering just a few years ago the failure rate was touching 10%.
 
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