Missile test incorporates new SPY radar and Australian assets

by Michael Fabey

The US Navy and Missile Defense Agency hit a target using the SM-6 Dual II with Software Upgrade. (Missile Defense Agency)

The US Navy (USN) and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) intercepted an advanced medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) test target using the Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) Dual II with Software Upgrade (SWUP), the MDA confirmed on 28 March.

Guided-missile destroyer USS Jack H Lucas (DDG 125), the first Flight III Aegis destroyer equipped with the new SPY-6 radar, participated in the test as part of its Initial Operational Test and Evaluation, the MDA said.

Australia's participation included “a demonstration of radar capabilities of the ANZAC-class frigate HMAS Stuart , with an Australian E-7 Wedgetail aircraft assisting in data collection and communications,” the MDA said.

Australian sensors also provided target track data in support of a cued-organic simulated engagement, the MDA said, noting the “test also represented the most robust participation in an Aegis test to date” by Australia.

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Keel laid for Constellation-class guided-missile frigate lead ship

by Michael Fabey

The keel was laid for guided-missile frigate Constellation , the lead ship for the new class of surface ships. (US Navy)

The keel for the guided-missile frigate Constellation (FFG 62), the lead ship of the new Constellation-class of ships, was laid on 12 April, the US Navy (USN) confirmed.

Speaking at the keel-laying ceremony on the same day, USN Secretary Carlo Del Toro noted the need to augment the fleet with ships like FFGs, especially with recent events in the Red Sea.

Constellation and the Constellation-class frigates are a critical next step in the modernisation of our surface ship inventory, increasing the number of players on the field available globally for our fleet and combatant commanders,” Del Toro said during his speech, according to the USN.

“As recent events in the Red Sea and Indo-Pacific have shown, our ships, submarines, aircraft, sailors, and marines are in high demand by our national decision makers,” he said.

Testifying on 10 April before the House Appropriations Committee (HAC), Del Toro noted some of the fleet-relative technological enhancements being advanced in the frigate programme.

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Navy League 2024: US Navy leadership touts amphibious-ship investments as cost and readiness concerns continue

by Michael Fabey

The US Navy lost amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard to fire damage. (US Navy)

US Navy (USN) leaders are touting the investments being planned for the country's naval amphibious fleet and associated resources, even as government analysts are questioning the costs of some of these acquisitions and the navy is studying requirements and maintenance issues associated with amphibious forces.

Admiral Lisa Franchetti, the chief of naval operations (CNO), confirmed that the USN and the US Marine Corps (USMC) will review amphibious warship readiness and maintenance issues on 8 April during a discussion with reporters at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space 2024 global maritime exposition in National Harbor, Maryland.

The USMC could not fulfil US emergency-response force needs on two recent important occasions, Bryan Clark, senior fellow and director of the Center for Defense Concepts and Technology at Hudson Institute, told Janes on 31 March in an interview in advance of the symposium.

Marines had to forego disaster relief for Türkiye and the service could not provide similar amphibious operations for Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) for South Sudan, Clark noted.

With the loss of amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard

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UDT 2024: Aselsan to start work on second Deringöz AUV variant

by Kate Tringham

A full-scale model of Aselsan's first Deringöz AUV under development on display at UDT 2024. The company is set to start work on a smaller version this year. (Janes/Kate Tringham)

Aselsan has outlined plans to start expanding its family of Deringöz autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) this year as the first prototype under development progresses through its trials programme.

Speaking to Janes at the Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) 2024 conference and exhibition in London on 9 April, an Aselsan spokesperson told that the first prototype is making good progress following the successful completion of its first diving test in early March, and the company was optimistic that the system would complete development in the first or second quarter of 2025.

The AUV will conduct further navigation and guidance testing during April before progressing to trials in deeper water in May, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the company is planning to start building a second, smaller version this year, which it aims to complete by 2026, according to the spokesperson. Aselsan is planning a family of three Deringöz AUVs in total, although no timeframe has yet been set for the development of the largest version.

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