Welcome to the CavasShips Podcast with Christopher P. Cavas and Chris Servello…a weekly podcast looking at naval and maritime events and issues of the day – in the US, across the seas and around the world. This week…Lockheed Martin is matching the Patriot Advanced Capability Three missile interceptor with its Aegis Weapon System SPY-1 radar – a potentially significant advance in anti-missile defense. Will talk about that and more with two of Lockheed’s top missile and fire control executives-Joe DePietro, vice president and general manager of Multi-Domain Combat Solutions and Tom Copeman, vice president for Naval Systems.
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This Week’s Naval Round Up:
A US Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft crashed August 27 on Melville Island off Northern Australia, killing three Marines and injuring 20 others. Following the deaths on August 17 of a lance corporal during live-fire exercises in California and on August 24 of a pilot in the crash of an F/A-18D Hornet strike fighter, acting Marine commandant General Eric Smith on August 29 ordered a Corps-wide safety review down to the unit level. The Osprey that crashed was from the Third Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment Reinforced, assigned to the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin in Australia.
The first new Type 054B-class frigate for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy was launched August 26 at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard near Shanghai. The ships appear to be much-enlarged versions of the previous 4,000-ton Type 054A Jiangkai II class, of which 30 ships are in service. The newer Type 054Bs appear to displace more then 6,000 tons and are more heavily armed. It is not yet clear how many Type 054Bs China plans to build.
The upcoming NATO Exercise Northern Coasts in the Baltic Sea is being promoted as a warning to Russia. Exercise commander German Vice Admiral Jan Christian Kaack told reporters in Berlin on August 31, quote “We are sending a clear message of vigilance to Russia – Not on our watch.” End quote. And while NATO exercises regularly practice defensive tactics, offense will be a feature of the exercise, Kaack said, declaring that “credible deterrence must include the ability to at attack.” The two-week exercise to begin September 9th will include some 30 ships and 3,000 service members will be led by the German Navy from its newly-operational maritime headquarters at Rostock.
Vice Admiral William Galinis relinquished his command of Naval Sea Systems Command on September 1 and is headed to retirement. Rear Admiral Tom Anderson, formerly the Program Executive Officer for Ships, assumed the role of acting NAVSEA commander. Rear Admiral James Downey has been nominated for a third star and to become the next commander of NAVSEA, but along with about 100 other senior Navy officers – and more than 300 senior officers across the Pentagon – cannot be confirmed while Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville continues his blanket hold on top Defense Department nominations.
Huntington Ingalls Industries on August 25 received a $155 million contract award to upgrade the destroyer USS ZUMWALT DDG 1000 to enable the ship to field the hypersonic Conventional Prompt Strike missile. ZUMWALT arrived at HII’s Ingalls Shipyard in Mississippi on August 19 and will be the first of three ships in her class to undergo the upgrade, expected to be completed in 2025.
Cruiser USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN CG 57 held her decommissioning ceremony September 1 at San Diego. She completed her last full deployment in February 2022. Commissioned on 12 August 1988, The Champ served for 35 years.