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Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
We often here and see here on SD the tremendous naval shipbuilding that the PLAN is performing in China.

Less often do we see that the same type of work is also going on with multiple classes in the US.

For example, in the following pictures you see the type of rapid construction that we normally associate with Chinese yards. All of these were taken in 2015:

In the first, we see three destroyers under construction at Bath Iron Works in Maine. Bath is building the Zumwalt class of destroyers, and is also one of two yards building Arleigh Burke class destroyers. Right to left:

USS Zumwalt, DDG-1000 (1st Zumwalt)
USS Rafael Peralta DDG-115 (65th Arleigh Burke)
USS Michael Monsoor, DDG-1001 (2ndt Zumwalt)

Zumwalts-both.jpg

Here you see the USS John Finn, DDG-113, being launched at Huntington Ingalls yards in Mississippi. where they also build the San Antonio Class LPDs. A building LPD can be seen in the background;

JohnFinn-DDG113-01.jpg

And then here, in Wisconsin at Mariette Yards, you see the Freedom class LCS (which is a frigate by any stretch) being built. Here are three under various stages of construction at once:

LCS-Freedomx3.jpg

Then, in Mobile Alabama, at Austral yards, you see the Independence class LCS being built...again, three vessels at various stages of construction:

LCS-Independencex3.jpg

These are six classes of vessels being built at these facilities.

The US Navy is working on all of the following new classes of large vessels simultaneously at various yards around the country:

Ford Class CVN - Nuclear powered aircraft carrier
Zumwalt Class DDG - Very large multi-role guided missile destroyer
Arleigh Burke Class DDG - Large multi-role guided missile destroyer
Freedom Class LCS - Fast, Littoral Combat Ship/Fast frigate
Independence Class LCS - Fast, Littoral Combat Ship/Fast Frigate
America Class LHA - Very Lafarge Amphibious/Air Assault Ship
San Antoniio Class LPD - Large Amphibious Assault Ship with Well Deck
Virginia Class SSN - Nuclear powered attack submarine
Spearfish class EPF - Fast Transport Ship (Formerly HSSV)
Lewis B. Puller Class ESB - Afloat Forward Staging Base (Formerly AFSB)
Neil Armstrong Class AGOR - Oceanographic Research Ship
Pathfinder Class AGS - Oceanographic Survey Ship
Legend Class WMSL - National Security Cutter (Frigate Sized cutter)
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
We often hear and see here on SD the tremendous naval shipbuilding that the PLAN is performing in China.

Less often do we see that the same type of work is also going on with multiple classes in the US.

For example, in the following pictures you see the type of rapid construction that we normally associate with Chinese yards. All of these were taken in 2015:

In the first, we see three destroyers under construction at Bath Iron Works in Maine. Bath is building the Zumwalt class of destroyers, and is also one of two yards building Arleigh Burke class destroyers. Right to left:

USS Zumwalt, DDG-1000 (1st Zumwalt)
USS Rafael Peralta DDG-115 (65th Arleigh Burke)
USS Michael Monsoor, DDG-1001 (2ndt Zumwalt)

Zumwalts-both.jpg

Here you see the USS John Finn, DDG-113, being launched at Huntington Ingalls yards in Mississippi. where they also build the San Antonio Class LPDs. A building LPD can be seen in the background;

JohnFinn-DDG113-01.jpg

And then here, in Wisconsin at Mariette Yards, you see the Freedom class LCS (which is a frigate by any stretch) being built. Here are three under various stages of construction at once:

LCS-Freedomx3.jpg

Then, in Mobile Alabama, at Austral yards, you see the Independence class LCS being built...again, three vessels at various stages of construction:

LCS-Independencex3.jpg

These are six classes of vessels being built at these facilities.

The US Navy is working on all of the following new classes of large vessels simultaneously at various yards around the country:

Ford Class CVN - Nuclear powered aircraft carrier
Zumwalt Class DDG - Very large multi-role guided missile destroyer
Arleigh Burke Class DDG - Large multi-role guided missile destroyer
Freedom Class LCS - Fast, Littoral Combat Ship/Fast frigate
Independence Class LCS - Fast, Littoral Combat Ship/Fast Frigate
America Class LHA - Very Lafarge Amphibious/Air Assault Ship
San Antoniio Class LPD - Large Amphibious Assault Ship with Well Deck
Virginia Class SSN - Nuclear powered attack submarine
Spearfish class EPF - Fast Transport Ship (Formerly HSSV)
Lewis B. Puller Class ESB - Afloat Forward Staging Base (Formerly AFSB)
Neil Armstrong Class AGOR - Oceanographic Research Ship
Pathfinder Class AGS - Oceanographic Survey Ship
Legend Class WMSL - National Security Cutter (Frigate Sized cutter)
 
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Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
MK-57 installed on the Zumwalt maybe, waiting a view :)
The area next to the two front AGS used to have coverings over it.

I believe something is installed there now...you just cannot make it out...along the periphery next to those guns.

I wish I could fin a true High Res version of that pic. I made the 640 x 480 one I could find larger and then tried to enhance it for clarity...but it does not give a good detail of that area.

if you could find a truly high res version of that pic...like 6200 pix or so, you could probably see it.
 

ManilaBoy45

Junior Member
U.S. Navy Ship Nears 12-Mile Limit Around Man Made Chinese Islands
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The USS Lassen, a guided-missile destroyer, is nearing a 12-nautical-mile limit around artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea, and will be in the area for several hours, a U.S. defense official said on Monday.The Navy patrol marks the start of a series of challenges to China's territorial claims in one of the world's busiest sea lanes.The vessel began the journey early on Tuesday local time near Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago, features that were formerly submerged at high tide before China began a massive dredging project to turn them into islands in 2014.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Scarf-like mask can protect at a moment's notice
October 20, 2015

By
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Story Highlights
  • Operators wanted a mask that could protect users who have beards, or must operate with other unique head-borne equipment.







ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Oct. 20, 2015) -- Army researchers have developed a simple, comfortable, wrap-style respiratory protective mask for protection against riot control agents, and the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, also known as ECBC, is making it as a simple as putting on a surgical mask.

ECBC researchers Dave Caretti, Dan Barker and Doug Wilke developed the idea for the solution from specialized operators, who expressed a need for a protective mask to protect against riot control agents such as 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile, also known as CS, or tear gas.

The operators also wanted a mask that could protect users who have beards, or must operate with other unique head-borne equipment.

Currently, users wear a traditional full general protective mask when disseminating riot agents. This mask is a hard material and the user must remove any existing equipment on their face to put it on. This process can take time that operators might not have during emergency situations.

"The solution we envisioned would easily integrate with the user's helmet, communications headphones and protective eyewear, so that it could provide a simple solution for all users," Caretti said.

Members of law enforcement, who use CS and other riot control agents, could also use this type of mask when necessary and avoid wasting time with a traditional full-face piece respirator that requires the removal of protective helmets and other head-borne items.

To begin work on this proposed solution, Caretti, Barker and Wilke entered their proposal for the mask they called the "Integrated Respiratory and Eye Protective Scarf," or IREPS, to the research center's Internal Innovative Development of Employee Advanced Solutions Program.

The program is designed to support innovative employee proposals during one year. The idea was accepted to the program and the team had one year to make a difference.

First, the team started to do research to understand more about CS. The team partnered with commercial vendors to get donations of materials that protect against particulates and vapors.

Next for the design, the team partnered with the ECBC engineers and another engineering design shop experienced in making soft-good items for sportswear applications, to develop several different IREPS models that the team shared with the user community.

The final design is a simple, comfortable wrap that can be donned without removing any head-borne gear. The wrap includes a material with one-way stretch and can be pulled around the user's headphone ear cups, as well as the back of the protective helmet for full protection.

The filter component passed the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH, standards for protection from a CS riot control agent and demonstrated a filtration capacity of up to 140 minutes.

"We got so much done. We collected data on the media; the wrap design worked well for the user gear; we got the protection levels above standards from NIOSH. The last thing we had to do was integrate IREPS with the operator's eyewear," Caretti said.

Eyes are very sensitive, so protecting them is a critical part of any protective mask. Finding a way to integrate eyewear with the rest of IREPS was the crucial last step.

"You have to protect eyes and oral nasal cavity, and we ended up with several concepts on paper for how to do so," Caretti said. "Initially, we believed that modifications to ballistic protective goggles would be an option for protecting the eyes from CS, but discovered that many times, users don't wear such goggles. They instead wear high-quality sunglasses that might resemble something like Oakley sunglasses."

In an attempt to create a solution that could adapt to a sunglass style, the team looked at putting gaskets similar to what you might find on swim goggles on the sunglasses, which would then seal around the eyes to the face.

While the preliminary concept for the eye protection seemed like it could work with some modifications to minimize lens fogging, the user community still needs to determine if such an approach is something that could truly be functional. Unfortunately, the one year program came to a close before the team could fabricate prototypes for that final step.

Caretti, Barker and Wilke are still engaged with the user, who is still interested in the prospect of a more flexible, beard-friendly protective mask.

"We got as far as we could in the amount of time that we were given, and we're very happy with the progress that we've made. But we really would like to see this all the way through to a final system. Right now, we have IREPS without the 'E,' we need that 'E' to make this something that can truly make a difference to users," Barker said. "This is something the operators want."

---

The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.
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Since the End of the First World War Militaries around the World were forced to place regulations regarding shaving, this is so that a soldiers respirator can seal properly to prevent exposure to chemical agents like Mustard gas. if you look prior to WW2 you often see looser regulations some sporting long beards up to the turn of the century.
Of course some have a problem with that, some traditions in Islam, the Kesh among Sihks, and among some Judaism sects have taboos against shaving. Additionally some Military forces working in close hand with locals in parts of the world heavily populated by these faiths often grow beards working on the "When in rome" Principle to assist in growing trust with the locals. However if threatened with gas attack they risk injury.
Furthermore Conventional gas masks can be awkward and difficult to use with headgear like coms systems and helmets and glasses. So if a system like this can be developed it would solve a lot of problems.
 

ManilaBoy45

Junior Member
Beijing Condems US Naval Patrols in South China Sea

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China's foreign minister Wang Yi has warned the United States not to create trouble after it was reported the US Navy had started freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea.A senior US defence official briefed journalists that the destroyer USS Lassen had sailed through the 12-nautical mile zones of two islands in the disputed Spratly chain early on Tuesday morning. The area is subject to a complicated web of territorial disputes involving China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.At a conference in Beijing, Mr Wang said China was trying to verify if the reports of the US mission were true.If they are, he said China would "advise the US to think carefully before acting" and "not make trouble out of nothing," according to a statement on the foreign ministry web site.

CNN reported the mission had the approval of President Barack Obama and that there would be air cover as well as reconnaissance in the air, flying in international airspace."This idea of what we call freedom of navigation operations is routine," State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Monday, according to the CNN report."As a former naval officer I can tell you I did it many, many times myself. It's one of the reasons you have a Navy - to be able to exert influence and defend freedom of navigation on international waters."He said it wasn't necessary to consult another country "when you are exercising the right of freedom of navigation in international waters."The sail-through is likely to ratchet up tensions between Washington and Beijing, which have flared amid increasing evidence of China's construction activities across the Spratly archipelago over the past year.Photos of the area suggest China has been creating islands and building ports, fuel storage depots, accommodation and possibly two airstrips.
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Beijing Condems US Naval Patrols in South China Sea

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China's foreign minister Wang Yi has warned the United States not to create trouble after it was reported the US Navy had started freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea.

A senior US defence official briefed journalists that the destroyer USS Lassen had sailed through the 12-nautical mile zones of two islands in the disputed Spratly chain early on Tuesday morning.
Pretty much exactly as I predicted.

I believe the two were Subi and Mischief reefs.
 

Jura

General
... and again:
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source:
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I've been following the tender for several months so I think once the winner is announced, somebody here will beat me to it LOL anyway
All Eyes on Long Range Strike Bomber Contract
Defense contractors and industry observers are eagerly awaiting news from the Pentagon on which company will be selected to develop its future fleet of bombers.

The contract for the U.S. Air Force’s so-called Long Range Strike Bomber, or LRS-B, was initially expected to be announced in the spring but was delayed by several months.

Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, military deputy for the office of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, on Sept. 29
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members of the House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee that the award would be issued “within the next couple of months.”

It appears the announcement is set for this week.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last week briefed think tank experts in Washington, D.C., that the announcement would come “Monday or early next week,” according to Mackenzie Eaglen, a national security analyst at the American Enterprise Institute. Anthony Capaccio and Julie Johnsson, reporters for Boomberg News, on Monday
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the Pentagon plans to award the contract on Tuesday.

The work is estimated to cost at least $42 billion
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. The service wants to buy between 80 and 100 new bombers at no more than $550 million apiece to replace its aging fleet of B-52 Stratofortresses made by Boeing Co. and a least a portion of its B-1 fleet.

A team led by Northrop Grumman Corp., maker of the
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, is competing against another headed by Boeing Co., the world’s largest aerospace company, and Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense contractor.

The Air Force currently has 158 bombers, including 76 B-52s, 63 B-1s and 20 B-2s, according to
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by Rep. Randy Forbes, a Republican from Virginia. Indeed, three generations of airman have flown the B-52 in combat, from Vietnam to Afghanistan, and the newest B-52 is more than a half-century old, he said. What’s more, many of the planes (with the exception of the B-2s) could be targeted by precision-guided weapons developed by China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

The next-generation bomber will be designed to fight through surface-to-air missiles, as well as electronic and information attack. It will also accommodate new technologies such as lasers and directed-energy systems, hypersonic missiles and other weapons.
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EDIT
found also this; by Blomberg yesterday:
The Air Force Is About to Announce the Winner of a $80 Billion Bomber Contract
The U.S. Air Force plans an award as soon as Tuesday for the contract to develop and produce its newest bomber, defense officials said, providing the first glimpse into a secretive program to bolster the nation’s long-range strike capability.

The final hurdle in the competition between Northrop Grumman Corp. and a Boeing Co.-Lockheed Martin Corp. team was cleared Friday, when Pentagon weapons buyer Frank Kendall briefed senior Defense Department leaders on the selection, the officials said. Kendall’s role in the contract was to approve the service proceeding with the award.

The Long-Range Strike Bomber will be one of the Pentagon’s biggest weapons systems of the next decade, with a price tag of about $80 billion if all 100 aircraft sought by defense officials are built. Joining the B-2 bomber known for its radar-evading “flying wing” design, the new plane is due to enter service in the mid-2020s as the successor to the 30-year-old B-1 and the Eisenhower-era B-52.

If the long-awaited announcement proceeds as planned, it will be made Tuesday after financial markets close, with a press conference by Air Force officers and possibly Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified because the contract deliberations are confidential.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis declined to say Monday whether the Air Force planned an announcement Tuesday.

Secret Contest
The bomber is part of a family of secret, strike technologies including munitions; sensors needed to find targets; jamming capabilities to suppress enemy radar; and communications able to survive the shock and electromagnetic radiation from a nuclear blast. The first version will be piloted and carry conventional weapons, followed by a version that can carry nuclear warheads. An unmanned model may follow.

The contest has been shrouded in secrecy with high stakes for the bidders, the last three U.S. makers of large military aircraft. Defense officials haven’t revealed how much has been spent to hone designs and prototypes since 2011 under classified contracts.

“It’s the biggest airframe contract of the decade at a pivotal moment in the industrial base,” Richard Aboulafia, a defense analyst with Teal Group, a Fairfax, Virginia-based consultant, said in an interview. “You have 2.5 players and one contract. Mathematically, it’s fascinating.”

Contract Considerations
Air Force officials weighed three main capabilities in making their selection: a production cost projected at $550 million per plane, in 2010 dollars -- with no development funding included -- was given the same weight as payload and range for the competing designs, said Loren Thompson, a defense analyst with the Lexington Institute who has been briefed on the program. Boeing and Lockheed have contributed to the institute.

When awarded, the contract will have a cost-plus type engineering, manufacturing and development phase that includes incentives for controlling costs and a fixed-price-incentive contract for the first 20 of the planned 100 aircraft, Air Force officials have said.

The contest pits Boeing and Lockheed, the two largest U.S. defense companies, against far-smaller Northrop, which manufactured the B-2. The award “is only financially significant” for Northrop, although all of the contestants have a stake in the outcome, said Carter Copeland, a New York-based defense analyst with Barclays Plc.

Northrop shares could gain as much as 4 percent to 6 percent on a contest win, while a victory would add about 1 percent to 2 percent to Boeing and Lockheed stock, Copeland wrote in a note to clients Friday.
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