South Korean and Thai forces joined US Marines on Saturday for a drill that was part of the Cobra Gold exercises in Thailand. In all, more than 11,000 service members from 29 nations are participating in the series of exercises, including 6,800 US troops.
The US Navy says it is committed to patrolling wherever international law allows in the South China Sea despite China's military buildup in the region. "International law allows us to operate here, allows us to fly here, allows us to train here, allows us to sail here, and that's what we're doing and we're going to continue to do that," Lt. Cmdr. Tim Hawkins said aboard the USS Carl Vinson in the Philippines.
The Trump administration's proposed fiscal 2019 budget would set aside $18 million for the first eight over-the-horizon missiles for the Navy's littoral combat ships. In addition, the Navy plans to acquire 12 of the missiles annually from 2020 to 2022 and 20 in fiscal 2023.
An $11.9 million service contract is going to General Dynamics for the Navy's Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement program. The contract includes options for onboard electronic warfare countermeasures providing early detection and protection from anti-ship missiles.
The Navy's Zumwalt-class stealth destroyers will take on new missions as anti-surface, offensive strike platforms if funding for their conversion is approved by Congress. The changes would include integration of Raytheon's long-range anti-air and anti-surface SM-6 missile in addition to the Tomahawk missile's Maritime Strike variant.
DNV GL is addressing the problem of stern tube bearing failure with new class rules for single stern tube bearing installations and two class notations. The changes focus on bearing damages most commonly observed in the aft-most part of the aft bearing during starboard turns on right-handed propeller installations.
Five companies will be producing conceptual designs for the Navy's future FFG(X) frigate under $15 million in newly awarded contracts. The companies are Huntington Ingalls, Lockheed Martin, Austal USA, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and Italy's Fincantieri.
Major improvements in acoustic sensing are in store for the Navy's mission of submarine-based anti-submarine warfare under a $33.8 million order awarded to Lockheed Martin. The company will provide advanced sonar systems and signal processing technology for the Navy's fast-attack, cruise-missile and ballistic-missile subs.
The Navy is following through on a pre-procurement deal with Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi with a $1.43 billion contract to build the 13th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, known as LPD 29. "This contract is further recognition of the confidence the Navy/Marine Corps team has in the great work our shipbuilders are doing in the LPD program," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias.
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