by Northrop Grumman under a
$13.3 million contract signed Jan. 8.
The contract entails Northrop integrating the DIRCM self-protection
system onto the CH-53D helicopter
fleet, making the CH-53D the third
Marine Corps rotary-wing platform
to receive DIRCM protection from
missile threats, according to a press
Also, a number of enhancements to help with the handling of
the system and expedite maintenance requirements will be added
on the CH-46E helicopter. System
deliveries will begin this year.
Northrop received a test flight
contract for the DIRCM system in
2007. The system will “now identify
threat missiles in the same spectrum
the missile uses to track the aircraft,
improving missile detection and survivability,” according to the release.
The DIRCM system functions by
automatically detecting a missile
launch, determining if it is a threat
and activating a high-intensity laser-based countermeasure system to
track and defeat the missile, according to Northrop.
Sen. John Warner, R-Va., shakes hands with Adm. Gary Roughead, Sept. 27,
2007, following Roughead’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services
Committee at his confirmation hearing for appointment as chief of naval operations. Before retiring last year, Warner served on the committee for 30 years.
The Navy’s 12th Virginia-class submarine will be named in his honor.
after living people, bucking a long
tradition. Other ships named for
people living at the time of naming
include the aircraft carrier USS
George H.W. Bush — named for the
41st president and commissioned
last month — the attack submarine
USS Jimmy Carter, named for the
39th president, and the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, named for a
former senator from Mississippi.
Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii,
plus one special projects patrol
squadron each at Jacksonville and
Kaneohe Bay. The patrol squadrons
will make the transition to the P-8A
between 2012 and 2019.
Virginia Senator Honored
With Namesake Submarine
Navy Secretary Winter has selected
the name of recently retired Sen.
John Warner, R-Va., for the 12th
Virginia-class attack submarine, a
ship partially built in Virginia.
The future USS John Warner will
honor his service as a Sailor, Marine
officer, secretary of the Navy and
senator from Virginia. Warner served
for 30 years on the Senate Armed
The Virginia-class submarines
are built jointly by Northrop
Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport
News, Va., and General Dynamics
Electric Boat in Groton, Conn.
Until now, Virginia-class submarines were named for states. The
selection of Warner marks the latest
in a series U.S. Navy ships named
Patrol Aircraft Basing
Shift Under Way
The Navy has finalized a new basing plan for its maritime patrol
squadrons, one that will shift one
P-3C Orion squadron to the Pacific
Fleet and specify the bases for the
new P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
With the upcoming closure of
Naval Air Station (NAS) Brunswick,
Maine, two of the three patrol
squadrons and one special projects
patrol squadron based there will
move to NAS Jacksonville, Fla., in
2009. The remaining patrol squadron in Brunswick will transfer to
NAS Whidbey Island, Wash.
When final, the basing plan will
position five operational patrol
squadrons at Jacksonville, four at
Whidbey Island and three at Marine
Container Ships Idled
By World Trade Slump
More than 200 container ships have
been idled by the recent downturn
in world trade, ending several years
of growth in shipping volume.
Shipping companies that ply the
Asia-to-Europe route, the world’s
busiest, are expected to incur losses
of up to $5 billion for 2008, according to Joseph Bonney, editor in chief
of the Journal of Commerce.
“The slump in container shipping
appears certain to extend into 2010
or beyond,” Bonney said in a release.
“Some companies won’t survive.
“Industry consolidation is inevitable,” he added. “The number of
container lines could shrink by as
much as a third in the next five years,
according to some forecasts.” ■
Reporting by Seapower Correspondent
Megan Scully. Managing Editor Richard
R. Burgess and Assistant Editor John C.
Marcario contributed to this report.