The nation’s third Littoral Combat Ship, USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), successfully completed its U.S. Navy acceptance trials and will be delivered to the Navy this summer.Fort Worth is the second surface combatant designed and built by a Lockheed Martin -led industry team. The trials, conducted in Lake Michigan from April 30 to May 4, included a four-hour full-power run and both surface and air detect-to-engage demonstrations of the ship’s combat management system. Major systems and features were demonstrated, including aviation support, small boat launch handling and recovery, and ride control.“Fort Worth performed extremely well during its trials,” said LCS Program Manager Capt. John Neagley. “The ship’s level of completion coupled with Marinette Marine’s excellent craftsmanship resulted in relatively few material deficiencies.”“Lessons learned from our lead ship, USS Freedom, have directly contributed to the successful Acceptance Trials of our second ship,” said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors business. “As we continue serial production, we’re reducing costs and building these high-quality ships faster.”Other Freedom-variant LCSs include USS Freedom (LCS 1), which is being prepared for her second deployment; Milwaukee (LCS 5), and Detroit (LCS 7), which are under construction. The team also is currently in the early stages of planning and material procurement for Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11), which were funded in March 2012.The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team includes ship builder Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, as well as domestic and international teammates.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, May 08, 2012; Image: imtecgroup USS Fort Worth Finishes Navy Acceptance Trials View post tag: News by topic May 8, 2012 View post tag: Fort View post tag: Naval View post tag: finishes View post tag: Acceptance View post tag: Navy View post tag: trials Industry news View post tag: USS Back to overview,Home naval-today USS Fort Worth Finishes Navy Acceptance Trials View post tag: worth Share this article
The deficit among UK pension funds has increased by one-third after a significant fall in yields over the month of November, research from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has shown.The lifeboat fund’s monthly 7800 Index update, which calculates the ability of UK pension funds to provide PPF-level benefits, found a shortfall among the 6,057 schemes of £221.bn (€280.5bn) at the end of November.This was a 34% increase from the £164.9bn figure a month earlier.The fund said the chief reason for the sudden increase was a 31 basis point drop in the yield of 15-year UK Gilts. It also pointed out that the increase in liabilities came despite a 2.9% rise in the value of assets after positive stock market movements.Over the month, assets rose to £1.23bn from £1.2bn, but the increase was offset by a 6.6% rise in liabilities going from £1.36bn to £1.46bn.The PPF said funding ratios, over the year to the end of November, deteriorated by more than 13 percentage points, falling from 97.5% in 2013 to 84.8%.In other news, Partnership, the medically underwritten annuity provider, has announced a record-breaking £206m buy-in with an undisclosed UK pension fund.The multi-billion pound pension fund requested to remain anonymous until all affected members had been informed.The latest transaction, in a growing market of medically underwritten transactions, was won by Partnership after an open tender among four providers.Partnership insured the pension scheme’s highest valued members in a process known as ‘top-slicing’, which sees the members with the greatest individual liabilities insured.The first medically underwritten bulk annuity was insured by Partnership only in March 2013, but the combined market now accounts for more than £600m of liabilities.Hymans Robertson, a consultancy, said it expected the market to reach £1bn by the first half of 2015, given the pipeline of deals.Partner James Mullins said the most popular transaction type remained the ‘top-slice’.“This allows the pension scheme to remove a significant concentration of risk at a highly competitive price,” he said.The record-breaking medically underwritten deal in 2014 adds to fellow record deals for buyouts and traditional buy-ins also seen this year.Last month, the TRW scheme broke the buyout record in a £2.5bn deal with L&G, which followed on from the insurer’s £3bn record buy-in with the ICI Pension Fund.Fore more on bulk annuities from IPE, click here
Niger Prime Minister Brigi Rafini Authorities in Niger have ordered all schools around the capital Niamey to be closed until Monday in its fight against Meningitis which has killed at least 85 people.Niger’s prime minister Brigi Rafini ordered the vaccination of all children aged 2 up to 15 years against the disease which kills.More than 900 cases of the disease have been diagnosed since January, resulting in 85 deaths.The government says its in need of more than 1 million doses of meningitis vaccine but only about half of that is available.He appealed to Niger’s allies and the World Health Organization to help make up the shortage.The meningitis virus attacks the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It could lead to deafness and severe brain damage. About half the cases are fatal.