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May 2012 Issue

General Dynamics Unveils UUV for LCS Mine Countermeasures Package
The U.S. Navy and General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (Fairfax, Virginia) introduced a model of the surface mine countermeasure (SMCM) UUV, or Knifefish, in April. Knifefish, which will be part of the littoral combat ship (LCS) mine countermeasures mission package, is a heavyweight-class, minehunting UUV designed for deployment by forward operating forces. It will allow detection and identification of mines in high-clutter underwater environments, including mines suspended in the ocean, resting on the seafloor or buried. It will also gather environmental data for intelligence support of other mine warfare systems.

Knifefish has recently completed a successful system requirements review and will undergo a preliminary design review in May. It is expected to be operational in 2017.


Satellite-Based Sensors to Monitor Arctic Sea Ice
NASA, the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Eng­ineering Laboratory (CRREL), the European Space Agency (ESA) and scientists from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) are developing more accurate monitoring and forecasting of Arctic sea ice, the NRL announced in March.

Satellites, such as the ESA’s CryoSat-2, will be used as a platform for instruments, such as the IceBridge snow radar, NRL radar altimeter and a synthetic aperture radar interferometer radar altimeter, designed to monitor basinwide changes in the volume of ice cover and snow pack depths.

This effort was spurred by recent dramatic changes in Arctic sea ice cover, as summer sea ice extent has experienced a major decline since 1979, when satellite records became available. Error estimates will help coordinate the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) and future ICESat-2 records.

“Our project takes direct aim at this issue by targeting the largest identified contributors to errors in sea ice thickness measurements from airborne and satellite-based instruments,” said Joan Gardner, NRL geologist. “Central to our work is the rare opportunity for a multiscale approach to mapping the snow depth and sea ice thickness distribution using the most comprehensive set of in-situ data collected to date.”

CRREL and NRL established a 9 kilometer-long survey line on the sea ice cover near the U.S. Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory ICEX2011 ice camp in March 2011 to cover a range of ice types, including refrozen leads, deformed and undeformed first-year ice, and multiyear ice.

The data will aid in quantifying the connections between sea ice, the ocean and the atmosphere, as well as revealing the implications of sea ice changes to the ocean, atmosphere, surrounding land areas and global system.


French Frigate Targets Anti-Ship Missile
The French Navy’s Horizon-class air defense frigate, Forbin, successfully engaged in April a supersonic target simulating an anti-ship missile flying at very low altitude. The target was launched from the Direction Générale de l’Armement’s (DGA) missile test center based on the Ile du Levant in the south of France and was intercepted in flight by the Forbin’s Aster 30 system, which is part of a series of surface-to-air missiles manufactured by Eurosam (Le Plessis-Robinson, France). The Chevalier Paul frigate tracked the target and missiles fired.

The test was conducted in conjunction with the DGA and represents the first time in Europe that two frigates successfully confronted a supersonic threat flying at sea-skimming altitude, the MBDA Group (Le Plessis-Robinson) said.


Tactical Sonar Suite Delivered to US Navy
Raytheon Co. (Waltham, Massachusetts) delivered the electronics for its AN/SQQ-90 tactical sonar, which will be installed on the first ship of the U.S. Navy’s DDG 1000-class multimission destroyer, the company announced in April. AN/SQQ-90 is the first dual-frequency hull-mounted sonar of the Navy’s surface fleet. The system comprises AN/SQS-60 hull-mounted mid-frequency sonar, AN/SQS-61 hull-mounted high-frequency sonar and AN/SQR-20 multifunction towed array sonar and handling system.

Raytheon delivered the sonar electronics assembled and integrated into an electronic modular enclosure designed into the Zumwalt-class destroyer program. The modular enclosure packages the shock mitigation, electromagnetic interference protection, thermal conditioning, security and vibration isolation for commercial off-the-shelf integrated electronics. In this case, it contains the fully assembled and tested electronics to power and control the ship’s hull-mounted sonar, including the transmit/receive amplifiers and associated processors that distribute signals and data to the ship’s command center.


2013:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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