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Normaly 4 each year.

Also for UAV :
10 MQ-8C ordered in more now 50, 5 in service, eventualy armed as OH-58D with 4 Helfire or rockets can be interesting.
MQ-8B : 30 ordered about 25 in service.

U.S. Navy Approves MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System for Low Rate Initial Production

The United States Department of the Navy announced the
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(UAS) built for the U.S. Navy by Northrop Grumman Corporation received milestone C approval, Sept. 22. This decision by Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) Honorable Frank Kendall, allows the MQ-4C Triton program to enter into Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP), the first part of the production and deployment phase.

This milestone brings us closer to delivering a new capability to the fleet that will change the way our Navy executes ISR around the globe,” said Sean Burke, Triton program manager. “Teamed with manned counterparts, Triton’s highly capable sensor package will provide persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance [ISR] data collection and dissemination capabilities to the fleet.

The MQ-4C Triton will be a forward- deployed, land-based, autonomously operated system that provides persistent ISR within a range of 2,000 nautical miles using a multi-sensor mission payload including maritime radar, Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR), Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Automatic Identification System (AIS) and basic communications relay.
“Triton’s 24-hour on-station capability lets our other aircraft, such as the P-8, to focus more completely on their core missions,” Burke said.

The U.S. Navy plans to order a total of 68 aircraft from Northrop Grumman, with the goal of having the first aircraft operational by 2017. The MQ-4C Triton will be a forward deployed, land-based, autonomously operated system that provides a persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability using a multi-sensor mission payload.

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South-Korea-US-Navy-stage-drill-as-warning-to-North-1024x682.jpg

Naval Today said:
In response to recent North Korean provocations, the U.S. and Republic of Korea navies (ROKN) joined forces to stage a naval drill East of the Korean Peninsula and send the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “a strong message of unified resolve against continuing acts of aggression”.

On September 26, U.S. Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) joined ROKN Aegis destroyers, submarines, anti-submarine helicopters, and U.S. and ROKN P-3 patrol aircraft in the operation that highlighted the unified naval force capabilities in defense of the Republic of Korea and region from surface, subsurface, and ballistic missile threats.

“This operation showcases the unwavering strength and resolve of the U.S. and ROK navies,” said Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea and Task Force 78. “We work side-by-side with our ROK partners every day; we are by their side today at sea, and we will remain by their side to defend against North Korea’s unprovoked acts of aggression.”

“Our ROK-US alliance will counter the North Korean nuclear development and SLBM threats with determination,” said Vice Adm. Lee, Ki-sik, commander of the Republic of Korea Fleet
 

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...more from Pacific Sentinel on US and SKOR exercise:

...more from PAcific Sentinel

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16098733363_fcea0fd482_b.jpg

Pacific Sentinel said:
WATERS TO THE WEST OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA (March 17, 2013) The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), front, the Republic of Korea Navy destroyer ROKS Seoae-Yu-Seong-Ryong (DDG 993), middle, and the guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) move into formation during exercise Foal Eagle 2013 (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Declan Barnes/Released)

WATERS EAST OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA - The U.S. and Republic of Korea navies (ROKN) joined forces to conduct a combined maritime operation in waters east of the Korean Peninsula, Sept. 26.

The operation is in response to recent North Korean provocations and is designed to send a strong message of unified resolve against continuing acts of North Korean aggression.

The U.S. Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) joined ROKN Aegis destroyers, submarines, anti-submarine helicopters, and U.S. and ROKN P-3 patrol aircraft in the operation that highlighted the unified naval force capabilities in defense of the Republic of Korea and region from surface, subsurface, and ballistic missile threats.

“This operation showcases the unwavering strength and resolve of the U.S. and ROK navies,” said Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea and Task Force 78. “We work side-by-side with our ROK partners every day; we are by their side today at sea, and we will remain by their side to defend against North Korea’s unprovoked acts of aggression.”

"Our ROK-US alliance will counter the North Korean nuclear development and SLBM threats with determination,” said Vice Adm. Lee, Ki-sik, commander of the Republic of Korea Fleet.
 

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ooo MQ-4C-01.jpg

Naval Today said:
U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) was authorized for low-rate initial production approval following a successful Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) led review.

This decision marks the beginning of the production and deployment phase of the U.S Department of Defense acquisition process.

An integrated test team made up of Navy personnel from air test and evaluation squadrons VX-1 and VX-20, unmanned patrol squadron, VUP-19 and Northrop Grumman demonstrated the reliability of Triton going into Milestone C on September 22.

The team analyzed and validated sensor imagery and performance at different altitudes and ranges. The aircraft system’s ability to classify targets and disseminate critical data was also examined as part of the OA testing. Successful evaluation of Triton’s time on station confirmed that it was capable of meeting flight duration requirements.

Triton also transferred full motion video to a P-8A Poseidon in flight, proving a key capability to significantly enhance its ability to detect, track, classify and identify maritime threats.

The MQ-4C Triton will be a forward- deployed, land-based, autonomously operated system that provides intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) within a range of 2,000 nautical miles using a multi-sensor mission payload including maritime radar, Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR), Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Automatic Identification System (AIS) and basic communications relay.

“Triton’s critical technology is mature, and the system development and design review phases have been successful,” said Doug Shaffer, vice president, Triton programs, Northrop Grumman.“Completion of the full system operational assessment (OA) testing exercised in various real-world scenarios validated the system’s ability to protect the Navy’s fleet from evolving threats. We are extremely pleased with the maritime domain awareness products and results coming from Triton.”
This is exciting stuff. The MQ-4C Triton and the P-8A POseidon are going to be a VERY powerful team.

article said:
Triton also transferred full motion video to a P-8A Poseidon in flight, proving a key capability to significantly enhance its ability to detect, track, classify and identify maritime threats.

The MQ-4C Triton will be a forward- deployed, land-based, autonomously operated system that provides intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) within a range of 2,000 nautical miles using a multi-sensor mission payload including maritime radar, Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR), Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Automatic Identification System (AIS) and basic communications relay.

The UK and Australia have already realized this and will be buying and operating them together...others will follow.
 
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29572699125_a7e0abde11_b.jpg

Pacific Sentinel said:
USS Sterett (DDG 104), USS Makin Island (LHD 8) and USS Comstock (LSD 45) sail in formation during CERTEX off the coast of Southern California. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Larry S. Carlson

PACIFIC OCEAN - Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) successfully completed a two-week Certification Exercise (CERTEX) Sept. 22 off the coast of Southern California.
CERTEX is the final integrated training event for the Makin Island ARG and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) before deployment.

"The Makin Island ARG and 11th MEU performed especially well during CERTEX," said Capt. Michael Crary, commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5. "The scenarios we faced during the evolution were realistic and represented the variety of situations we may encounter on deployment. We were tested on our ability to operate in an unpredictable environment, and the team did so effectively and with precision."

This was a comprehensive, complex training evolution that combined the full gamut of the Navy and Marine Corps maritime and ship-to-shore capabilities.

"The Marines and Sailors of the Makin Island ARG-11th MEU have demonstrated the ability to plan and execute a full range of missions from combat operations to humanitarian assistance with competence and professionalism," said Marine Col. Clay C. Tipton, 11th MEU commanding officer.
The ARG-MEU team was evaluated on their responses to multiple scenarios, testing their ability to operate in several mission-critical areas including maritime boarding, combat flight operations, amphibious beach landings, air defense, mass casualty reception and treatment, and a noncombatant evacuation.

"This team started the work-up cycle strong and was committed to building proficiency with each training repetition," said USS Makin Island (LHD 8) Commanding Officer Capt. Mark A. Melson. "Bottom line -- this team is ready for complex, broad-spectrum combat operations, and our combatant commanders know that we are ready for tasking on day one."

Lt. Cmdr. Jason Wehmeyer, the amphibious warfare subject matter expert for Carrier Strike Group 15 and lead planner for the CERTEX scenarios, said the Makin Island ARG and 11th MEU set the bar for the amphibious Navy during the exercise.

"This was the most complex and intense CERTEX scenario that an ARG-MEU has faced to date," said Wehmeyer. "The reason we've been able to continually push harder and harder is because [the team has] been able to step up and meet that challenge."

The Makin Island ARG is commanded by Commander, Amphibious Squadron 5 and consists of Makin Island, San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Somerset (LPD 25), Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45) and more than 2,400 Marines from the 11th MEU.

The ARG-MEU team completed the first work-up phase, PHIBRON-MEU integration, in July, which presented their first opportunity to train together during staff-planning and amphibious landing exercises. The second phase, Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), was completed in August and allowed the ARG-MEU team to refine their integrated approach to mission planning while cohesively conducting a variety of sea-based operations.

The Makin Island ARG and 11th MEU are making final preparations for an upcoming deployment.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the eastern Pacific Ocean and engages in joint, interagency and international relationships that strengthen the ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.[/quiote]
 
I know Naval Artillery is expensive ... BAE Systems to Modernize Mk 45 Naval Guns under $50 Million Award
The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $50 million contract option to upgrade four additional Mk 45 Naval Guns on guided missile destroyers (DDG 51s), converting the guns to a fully-digital Mod 4 configuration.
The option, exercised under an initial
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, brings the full value of the contract to $130 million for a total of 10 modernized gun systems.

Key updates to the Mod 4 configuration include a mechanically strengthened gun mount and a completely digitized control system. The stronger mount allows the gun to achieve 50 percent higher firing energy, and the new digital control system provides significantly more computing power while utilizing a user interface similar to that of a smartphone. These major enhancements enable the seamless integration of targeting and fire control data, such as GPS, positioning the Mk 45 to fire precision guided munitions at unprecedented ranges.

“The proliferation of high-volume, low-cost threats is driving the need for multi-mission, cost-effective precision fire from naval guns like the Mk 45,” said Joseph Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. “As a leader in large-caliber naval guns and precision guided munitions, our team is committed to developing reliable and affordable technology that adapts faster and reaches farther than ever before.”

The updated Mk 45 guns are expected to remain in service for decades to come, making the cost-effective Mod 4 conversion and the continued development of advanced munitions — such as the
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and
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— essential components of future surface warfare.

Work on the Mk 45 Mod 4 conversions will be performed at the BAE Systems’ facility in Louisville, Kentucky, with support from its facility in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Delivery of the first upgraded gun will take place in late 2017 with the last delivery scheduled for 2020.

BAE Systems has designed, produced, and supported
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for more than 40 years. The Mk 45 is the lightest, most compact 5-inch fully-automatic naval gun in the world and also the most widely deployed, with more than 260 deliveries to the U.S. Navy and 10 international fleets. The company’s Louisville facility houses its Naval Guns Center of Excellence for manufacturing, providing component and spares fabrication, as well as final system assembly and testing of new and modernized gun systems.
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I know Naval Artillery is expensive ... BAE Systems to Modernize Mk 45 Naval Guns under $50 Million Award

... the full value of the contract to $130 million for a total of 10 modernized gun systems.


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$13 million per gun Upgrade.

Wow, I'd have thought $13 million might buy the gun itself, and its turret (without all the reloading and munitions).

But clearly, they are more expensive than I thought. $13 million to upgrade to Mod 4 per 5" gun.
 

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