Naval and other forces from 25 nations participated in this year's Rim of the Pacific exercise, which concluded last week. It was the 26th such event, the largest of its kind, and its safe completion was a "true testament to the talent and lasting partnerships we built through RIMPACs past and present, and will continue to build for the foreseeable future," said US Vice Adm. John D. Alexander, commander of the US 3rd Fleet, who served as the combined task force commander.
Egyptian forces joined the US Navy and other participants in Eagle Response 18, an explosive ordnance disposal and diving exercise, concluded last week. In particular, the Egyptians demonstrated their "very robust mine countermeasures community, both ships and divers," said Capt. Michael Egan, commodore of US 5th Fleet Task Force 52.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems will produce Trident II D5 missiles under a new $22.3 million contract for the 2019 fiscal year. Lockheed's work on the missiles, which are used by the US nuclear triad and can carry several nuclear warheads, is expected to finish in 2023.
Saab's Sea Giraffe AMB Multi Mode Radar, already in use on a Coast Guard cutter, has been selected by the US Navy for its Expeditionary Sea Base-class ship USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams. The MMR system is a "3D, electronically scanned phased array radar" that offers high power, custom wavelengths and new-age signaling technology.
Austal USA will be providing engineering and management services to support the littoral combat ship USS Tulsa under a $14.8 million order against an earlier contract. The work, which is expected to finish in 2019, will consist of four to five months of engineering and procurement efforts before official transfer to the Navy.
The two builders of US submarines are not expected to see high short-term profit from their production of the Navy's upcoming Columbia-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile subs. However, as with other vessels, there is a learning curve that eventually should lead to greater efficiency and healthier profit margins.
Huntington Ingalls Industries will be providing long-lead-time material and advance construction activities for the Navy's amphibious transport ships under a $165.5 million advance procurement contract. Funding will be used to purchase main engines, diesel generators, deck equipment, shafting, propellers and valves.
Two products of Austal USA's Mobile, Ala., shipyard, the expeditionary fast transport vessel Burlington and the littoral combat ship Charleston, have cleared acceptance trails. The Charleston will be the ninth of its type from Austal, with delivery expected by year end.
The Navy faces a "new dynamic" in the North Atlantic with Chinese and Russian military vessels present in numbers not previously seen since the Cold War, according to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. "We're talking about more [activity] than we've seen in 25 years," Richardson said, with one worry focusing on the possibility that Russian subs will cut or tap undersea cables connecting the US and Europe.