Friday, 29 November 2013

KONGSBERG GETS BUSY(-IER)


Just how busy? Well, today, KONGSBERG signed a bridging-phase contract leading to phase 3 with Norwegian Defence Logistics Organization (NDLO) for further development of the JSM (Joint Strike Missile). The contract is valued at NOK 480 million.
The JSM development phase 2 has been finalized and to ensure competence and progress between JSM phase 2 and phase 3, the Norwegian Armed Forces have signed a bridging phase contract prior to parliamentary proceedings and approval of the entire JSM development phase 3.


NAFO has noticed the interest in this flexible weapon-system has been mounting the world-over as well; due mostly to ist peerless accuracy, cost, guidance, modularity and over the horizon capabilities.
For example, the internation
al F-35 user consortium, with the USA as the largest, is showing great interest in the JSM. But attendees of DEFEXPO and other Major international Expos will recall seeing this and / or its cousin - the NSM - on the Kongsberg pavilion. Rumour has it that a major European navy is seriously considering the NSM to replace a "somewhat indigenous" naval missile. NAFO is "watching this space!"


In phase 2 of the project the missile underwent detailed design and a successful integration check for the F-35 as well as for the F-16 and the F-18. In phase three the missile will be completed and ready for serial production, and there will also be produced several units that will be tested from fighter jets in several practical exercises. The JSM is the only long-range sea and land-target missile that can be carried internally in the F-35 and thus ensuring the aircrafts low-signature (stealth) capabilities. After a successful phase 3 KONGSBERG will be ready to receive orders and start serial production.

Keeping mind that during phase 1 and 2, Kongsberg tied links with several Norwegian subcontractors qualifying them for phase 3 and serial production, benefitting the regional economy further and making best use of world class skills at Kongsberg and in Norway. In phase 3, Kongsberg will engage even more suppliers related to the new tasks. In future full-scale production the JSM project will provide more than 450 jobs in Kongsberg and provide significant assignments to more than 100 subcontractors for several decades, according to  Harald Ånnestad, CEO of Kongsberg Defence Systems.
At the opposite end of the globe, New Zealand selected KongsbergPenguin anti-ship Missile.
Kongsberg  signed a contract with the New Zealand Defence Force for the delivery of Penguin Mk 2 Mod 7 anti-ship missiles and associated equipment. The missiles will be deployed on the Royal New Zealand Navy new Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite maritime helicopters.

”This contract strongly confirms the Penguin missile’s position as the leading missile within its segment. The contract is for a limited number of Missiles; however, it is considered an important upgrade of New Zealand’s Navy,” says Pål Bratlie, EVP Kongsberg Defence Systems.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Skeldar UAS Operationally Deployed by the Spanish Navy


Defence and security company Saab’s Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Skeldar is now operationally deployed on-board the offshore patrol vessel BAM Meteoro. Skedlar is supporting the Spanish Navy with surveillance capabilities while taking part in the EU Atalanta Operation in the Gulf of Aden.

Earlier this year, Saab announced a contract to deploy the Skeldar Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) for maritime operations. Skeldar is now operationally deployed on-board the Spanish Navy’s offshore patrol vessel BAM Meteoro.


“That Skeldar UAS is now operational with the customer is a further proof of the system’s air worthiness and operational reliability,” said Mikael Franzén, Director of Saab’s Product Area Tactial UAS exclusively to NAVAL FORCES.  “It’s also an important milestone for the on-going development of Skeldar whereby we continuously improve the system with the integration of new sensors and different payload according to individual customers’ needs. Since signing the contract we are really seeing a growing interest for Skeldar on many markets. The system recently passed a number of important flight test milestones, such as fully autonomous flights in day and night conditions, EO/IR sensor utilisation, precision landing and long range missions.”

Prior to the Atalanta deployment successful integration trials were conducted on-board the BAM Relámpago in the waters outside the Canary Islands. Skeldar is a rotary wing, short to medium range UAV that can be controlled from a tailored control station. It can be equipped with a wide range of payloads, including surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition and 3D mapping. The system can be used for both civil and military purposes.

“The Skeldar UAS is operated together with a manned helicopter to enhance the vessel’s surveillance capabilities during its mission to fight piracy as part of the EU Atalanta operation in the Gulf of Aden…more potential customers are discovering Skeldar’s unique strengths and features, including air worthiness, heavy fuel engine, high performance and operational capability,” concluded Mikael Franzén.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Terma Demonstrates Small Target Detection Capability Aboard Stiletto


Terma, announced this week how SCANTER 6000 X-band Naval Surveillance Radar performed in the USA, detecting small targets during formal testing on the Stiletto, the U.S. Department of Defense’s experimental craft operated by Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock (NSWCCD), Combatant Craft Division.

The SCANTER 6000 (SC6000) successfully detected and tracked a high-speed 7m RHIB under various maneuvering scenarios. The same success was exhibited for simultaneous shipping and navigation, and overtaking and passing of vessels under various test conditions. The SC6000 was using a 12’ fan beam antenna with upgraded processor and software during the test sessions.

Operating under a Limited Purpose Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (LP-CRADA) with NSWCCD, Terma conducted the formal testing September 16-18 in the southern section of the Chesapeake Bay, in and around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The targets used for the testing were a radar reflector (radar cross section (RCS) of .1m2 for X-band) to simulate person in the water, a 3M RHIB (RCS of .4439m2) to simulate a real world, capsized boat, and a periscope-like object (RCS of .5m2) protruding 3-4 feet out of the water.

According to Jim Moore, Terma’s Director of Radar Systems: “The main purpose of the testing was to demonstrate the capability to reliably and consistently detect and track extremely small surface contacts. We tested this with the targets by themselves and in a more challenging scenario of placing them in close proximity to a large contact. In this case, we located them within 50 m of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.”

Moore said of the successful results: “We were able to gather data useful to the continued refinement of the tracker and also document the outstanding performance of the SCANTER 6002 radar as tactical surveillance radar in a naval shipboard environment.”


Fare-Thee-Well


Gone ashore.  

After the publishing of NAVAL FORCES VI/2013, Ted Hooton will retire. 
Ted has been a member of the NAVAL FORCES crew almost since its launch in 1980, contributing in one capacity or another.  Any one of us would have to exert some considerable energy to find someone who does not know and respect Ted. Many at Mönch Verlag and NAVAL FORCES have served with Ted far longer than I have. However, any time on “the watch” with Ted is enjoyable, insightful and a learning experience that is beneficial to those on deck with him.

It was at a press conference in 2008, when I first met Ted Hooton.  I was working in the UK defence industry and he was covering our press conference for MILITARY TECHNOLOGY. Ted started off the event by asking our MD a very uncomfortable – but fair – question. It was then, that I realised he is far from being your average bookish British journalist.

Ted is not one to shy away from difficult issues, nor known to avoid probing deep into matters to learn why something was of critical importance, developed, or happened.  Often, this requires as much bravery as it does intelligence and tact – all qualities that Ted possesses. 

An intense analytical curiosity, steadfast loyalty to our readers and dry sense of humour make Ted such a brilliant colleague and excellent journalist.  Aside from working with Mönch Verlag, he published the Spyglass electronic newsletter and has written no less than half-a-dozen military history books.  Many professionals in the press and industry consider him a friend.

Director of Communication at Terma A/S, Kasper Rasmussen, said this of Ted: "Ted Hooton was among the first defense reporters I was presented to as brand new within the defense industry 15 years ago. Since then I have never missed an opportunity to meet with Ted at airshows and events. His dedicated professional approach, the enormous in-depth knowledge about defense matters and history combined with a unique sense of humor has been a valuable source of Inspiration."

We will all miss his unique critiques, reports and companionship.  Maybe, we can entice him to venture out  to write for us occasionally.
We hope so…
Stephen Elliott,
Co-Publisher, NAVAL FORCES

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Russian Helicopters' Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant crowned Aviation Builder of the Year for achievements in developing the new Mi-38

Russian Helicopters' Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant crowned Aviation Builder of the Year for achievements in developing the new Mi-38


Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, part of Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of Rostec State Corporation, is the winner of the Aviation Builder of the Year award for achievements in developing aircraft and components. The board of experts which judged the competition, initiated by the Union of Aviation Industrialists, a Russian non-commercial partnership, highly-praised the plant's work on the project for the new Mi-38 cargo and passenger helicopter.


Representatives of Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant received the award on 31 October 2013, at a ceremony held in the Congress Centre of Moscow's International Trade Centre.
The Russian Helicopters holding company, which brings together Russia's helicopter manufacturing capacities and the intellectual potential of the famous Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and Kamov Design Bureau, is one of the leading designers and manufacturers of helicopters in the world. Its impressive combination of unique experience and advanced solutions gives it the edge over competitors, allowing Russian-made helicopters to not only retain their traditional niches and markets, but also to widen them significantly. The company consistently invests in upgrades to its production facilities and the development of the latest technical solutions. One of the best examples of the company's productive use of innovation is the multi-role Mi-38 helicopter project. Work on this project was highly praised by the board of experts.

The new helicopter meets the very latest standards in international aviation. It is a progressive construction, noted for the integrated architecture of its on-board equipment. The main parts of the Mi-38's fuselage are made of aluminium alloys, and other parts and fixtures are made of steel, titanium and composite materials. The X-shaped tail rotor gives the Mi-38 excellent manoeuvrability, while the advanced construction of the six-blade main rotor ensures a high tractive force and a low vibration level. The blades are made of composite materials and equipped with an anti-icing system. The hub construction uses elastomeric bearings which do not require lubrication.

The Mi-38 helicopter can operate in a wide range of climatic conditions and can be stored outdoors. Russian Helicopters expects demand for the Mi-38 to be high in all its traditional markets. The Mi-38 is to go into serial production in 2015.

NEW WARSHIP HANDED OVER TO ROYAL NAVY OF OMAN


BAE Systems handed over a new warship to the Royal Navy of Oman in Portsmouth UK this week, where a large number of job cuts are expected and described - in a separate and almost simultaneous press release - as a "rationalnisation" of its labour force.
Nevertheless, the AL RAHMANI is the second of three 99 metre corvettes designed, built and delivered for the Royal Navy of Oman as part of Project Khareef. Her Interim Acceptance, in which the ship’s title is transferred before sailing to Oman, marks an important milestone for the project.
The formal handover ceremony was attended by BAE Systems employees and VIPs from the Royal Navy of Oman and the Royal Navy who watched her crew board the vessel and raise the National Flag of Oman on the ship’s flight deck for the first time.
Managing Director of BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships Mick Ord said: “This is a proud occasion for both the Royal Navy of Oman and our employees who have worked together to design, build and deliver this impressive ship."
Impoprtant to the success of any delivery of any vessel of this class, BAE Systems will also support the AL RAHMANI’s crew as they complete Flag Officer Sea Training with the Royal Navy before departing on a 3,000 mile delivery voyage to Oman. The ship will then complete final hot weather trials when the ship and her crew will demonstrate their ability to perform in temperatures in excess of 45 degrees celsius.
The first vessel in the class, AL SHAMIKH which was handed over in June, has now arrived in Oman, while the third ship, AL RASIKH, is scheduled for handover in the first half of 2014. One might speculate if it will make an appearance at DIMDEX 2014 in the neighbouring Gulf State of Qatar, 25-27 March 2014 .

Friday, 25 October 2013

Marine Week 2013


The Naval & Defence exhibition, part of the biennial Marine Week 2013 in Busan (South Korea), seeks to attract the interest of a worldwide growing audience of maritime and naval experts. Held at the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center (BEXCO) and organised by Seoul-based Kyungyon Exhibition Corporation, Naval & Defence covers an array of  sectors, including naval shipbuilding, machinery and marine equipment, weapon and control systems, radars, sonars, navigation equipment, communications system, naval aviation, and simulation & training Systems. More than 51,000 visitors came to Marine Week 2011 to inform themselves on the latest trends and innovations.
Stephen Elliott Esq., Marketing Director and designated Co-Publisher of NAVAL FORCES spoke with the President of Kyungyon Exhibition Corporation, Mr. Kim Young-Su, about the main focus of Marine Week. Kyungyon Exhibition Corporation has been one of the pioneers in organizing and managing exhibitions and conferences in South Korea and has been successfully operating in this field since 1979.

NAVAL FORCES: How many domestic and foreign naval defence vessels are at Marine Week?
Kim-Young-Su: The Marine Week is comprised of three exhibitions, Naval & Defence 2013, Sea-Port 2013 & Kormarine 2013. During the Naval & Defence 2013, five naval ships of the Korean Navy (including the LPH "Dokdo") will be revealed to the public in the Republic of Korea Navy Operational Command in Busan. How many foreign naval defence vessels will be at the exhibition is yet to be confirmed. For delegations visiting Korea, the Korean Navy is planning a marine action drill of small battleships built in Korea.
NAVAL FORCES: Which countries’ Navies are represented with delegations at the exposition?
Kim-Young-Su: In 2011, 40 people from 17 countries made a visit to Korea. This year, 50 people from 20 countries are expected. Below is the list of countries confirmed to be at Marine Week:
Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Turkey, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, China, Thailand, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Egypt.

NAVAL FORCES: How does Marine Week support Korea’s mission for regional stability in increased international cooperation?
Kim-Young-Su: The Naval & Defence 2013 will serve as a forum to showcase how the Korean Naval Forces are contributing to world peace and their future orientations. By presenting the Navy’s activities for peace and development of the Northeast Asian region in a place where Navies from many countries are invited, this exhibition will contribute to ensuring that the region is kept in a stable condition based on mutual trust among these countries.



NAVAL FORCES: Marine Week is important for the Korean naval industry many reasons; how can non-Korean suppliers to the Korean Navy benefit from participation?
Kim-Young-Su: Korea is one of the leaders in the global shipbuilding industry, having the greatest share in the world market. Since the late 1990s, the nation has developed its own destroyers, large transport ships, AEGIS destroyers, and 209 and 214 classes submarines. More recently, it has won contracts with many countries based on its capabilities to specifically satisfy each country’s requirements. That is why Korea is emerging as a powerhouse in exporting naval defence-related products.
In Korea’s defence-related exports, the share of vessels was as small as 0.1 percent in 2008. But it has increased significantly, 11.8 percent in 2009, 30.8 percent in 2010 and 45.4 percent in 2011, having the greatest importance since 2010.
Major players in Korea’s shipbuilding and defence industries will exhibit in Marine Week. Companies that will have their own booth in the Naval & Defence 2013 include DSME that is an exporter of newly developed vessels and a manufacturer of submarines, LIG NEX1 that is a maker of high-tech torpedoes and guided missiles, and Samsung Thales that is a developer of battleship combat systems. The Agency for Defense Development, a developer of cutting-edge technology for weapon systems, will also participate in this show. Therefore, the Naval & Defence 2013 will offer good opportunities to those that are seeking for advancing into Korea’s defence markets and companies that are looking for partnerships with Korean companies for interstate exports.
In addition, participants in the Naval & Defence 2013 will have opportunities to take part in business meetings with delegates from 20 countries, attract them to their booths, have a closer look at battleships, watch a marine action drill and attend an on-board reception held by the Chief of Navy Operations. This will be a golden chance for companies that intend to strengthen their presence in the Korean market and overseas markets.

NAVAL FORCES: How many foreign naval defence and maritime security exhibitors are participating in Marine Week?Kim-Young-Su: In the last Marine Week, 1,258 companies (634 overseas companies) from 43 countries participated. This year, 1,300 companies from 45 countries are expected.




In 2011 the tradeshow Marine Week - Kormarine, Naval & Defence, Sea-Port - The International Shipbuilding, Marine Equipment and Defence Exhibition served as a presentation platform for 638 exhibitors. These tradeshow exhibitors presented their companies and services on a total of 16794 sqm at Marine Week - Kormarine, Naval & Defence, Sea-Port.

DIALOGUE INSTEAD OF PROCUREMENT - POLISH MILITARY END OF 2013

 


Guest Editorial: Dr Agnieszka Gogolewska, Senior Lecturer, Private University of Management and IT EWSIE, Warsaw
Roughly, since 2010, most sectorial reports described Poland as a country of stable military budget and rapidly growing opportunities for defence companies around the world. No doubt, there were grounds for that overriding optimism: Polish military enjoyed a fixed budget allocation of 1.95% of national GDP and reached the record value of 31 bn PLN in 2013, almost 7% up compared to the previous year. Moreover, the funds earmarked for capital expenditure originally constituted 26.2% of the overall Ministry of National Defence (MoND) budget for 2013, also the highest value ever. In addition to all the good news, the Minister of National Defence announced a 10- year modernisation plan worth 140 bn zlotys that comprised: creation of a new missile defence system, building of new navy vessels, acquisition of upgraded tanks, training aircraft, 70 helicopters, UAVs and equipment for troops. The prospect of a shopping spree in the Polish military guaranteed to draw attention of many military contractors around the world; and, indeed, many of them started to watch the Polish defence market very carefully in the hope that the MoND would soon start to announce tender after tender.

The forecasts at the beginning of the 2013 eventually proved too optimistic. The sluggish economic performance of the first half of the year forced the government's hand and in September 2013 Polish state budget had to be amended in order to curb the growing deficit. Not surprisingly, the military was the biggest victim of budgetary cuts. The Polish MoND lost almost 3 bn zlotys and was compelled to downsize capital investment plans drastically for this year. In order to make the cuts possible, the much-celebrated rule of 1.95% of national GDP earmarked for the military spending was suspended (supposedly for the current year only) while the overall procurement budget fell back to the level of the previous year. The government declares that the difference between what the military receives this year and what it should have received under the suspended law will be reimbursed in the subsequent years, but nobody is that naïve to believe such promises. The government also says that not a single important modernisation project will be affected by the cuts; but, so far, practically all the acquisitions have been stalled and only necessary repairs and current maintenance is financed according to the budgetary spending plans.

Yet, despite the severe cuts and downscaling of military investment plans, a lot is happening in the defence procurement in Poland. This is thanks to the latest amendment in the Law on Public Procurement (PPL) of February 2013 that provided the MoND with the new instrument of market research and analysis dubbed “Technical Dialogue”. Before February 2013, the law did not explicitly prohibit consultations with the contractors; however, the extremely restrictive Code of Ethics for military and civilian personnel of 2011 was in fact highly prohibitive to any direct contacts between the MoND representatives and the defence industry. This has changed with the introduction of Article 31a of PPL, which provides that economic operators may conduct Technical Dialogue before commencing any contract award procedure. The aim of Technical Dialogue may be to seek advice or information necessary to prepare the description of the subject-matter of contract, specification of essential terms of contract SIWZ, or specification of conditions of contract.

Very seldom is a new legal instrument so quickly and whole-heartedly embraced as has been the Technical Dialogue. Eight months into practicing public procurement in Poland under new rules compliant with the European Defence Directive, and one may search in vain for any acquisition procedure that would be launched without prior market research and analysis. The introduction of the Technical Dialogue has undeniably transformed the defence market in Poland and contributed to its professionalization. At long last, the specialists from the Armaments Inspectorate may openly engage in consultations with defence industry specialists regarding available products and solutions, their technical specifications, performance data and price; all this, without being exposed to possible accusations of preferential treatment or corruption charges. While until recently the military were limited to collecting random information on available equipment coming from industry leaflets and exhibitions in the process of preparing detailed technical specifications in a tender, risking the forming of technically unobtainable conception, nowadays they can invite all interested parties and discuss every aspect of the desired solutions at length, free of disciplinary risk and free of charge.  Perhaps most importantly, it is possible to conduct Technical Dialogues without initiating any procurement procedures, or even guaranteeing its commencement in the future.

Technical Dialogue has indisputable advantages in achieving transparency and precision of the defence procurement processes; however it is not  necessarily the most desired option for the military contractors.  The mechanism was introduced in Poland without any prior pilot practice, or legal framework limiting its possible scope and field, or at least a minimal guidance from the Public Procurement Office. As a result, the military have set their own ground rules for the process and now anything goes as “Technical Dialogue.” Since February, when “TD” became legal practice, the Armaments Inspectorate announced well over 20 Technical Dialogues and NOT A SINGLE TENDER PROCEDURE. Within the framework of 'Technical Dialogue' detailed legal and economic aspects are discussed at similar level of expertise as are purely technical issues.

Consequently, prospective military contractor engage similar resources into a dialogue with the Inspectorate as they would have normally engaged into preparing the offer, but without as much as a promise of prospective invitation to a tender. Yet, not participating is a hard choice to make as nobody knows what procedure the military would adopt after the completions of the dialogue and if those missing out on the dialogue would not miss out on invitation to a tender, either. There is also an additional source of discomfort for the defence industry, and that is the issue of copyrights to materials submitted by contractors during Technical Dialogue —and, thus, concerns about providing materials at all.

In brief, there is no going back to the “pre-dialogue” realities of defence procurement. Being an easily accessible, free-of-charge source of market information to the public administration, it is likely to become an accepted standard and expand to institutions other than the military, though maybe not to such a degree. Once the procurement funds are again available to the Polish military and tender procedures opened, thanks to preceding conduct of “Dialogues,” technical specifications should be deliverable and procurement budgets realistic. Conduct of Technical Dialogues will also favour big defence companies or consortia over small contractors, as only the big ones have resources to engage in Dialogue and answer increasingly complex questions from the military.

Military contractors around the world should hope that the Public Procurement Office in Poland will establish some ground rules or issue guidelines for the pre-tender consultation processes and bring about a better balance between the awarding entity and economic operators wanting to make business in Poland. Before this happens, however, brace yourselves - with the budget cuts and unsure military funds for the following year we are sure to see more Technical Dialogues coming soon. As for the actual tenders, maybe Santa will come early this year...

Friday, 18 October 2013

 

“Interpolitex-2013”

Special Technical Equipment - Innovations at International Exhibition of Means of State Security Provision

17th International Exhibition of Means of State Security Provision INTERPOLITEX- 2013 will be held in the territory of the main Russian exhibition grounds: All-Russia Exhibition Centre (VVC, Moscow) from 22 to 25 October 2013.

 

The exhibition is organized by the Russian Federation Ministry of the Interior, Federal Security Service and Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation. Exhibition operator is Exhibition Companies Group “BIZON”.
At present INTERPOLITEX- 2013 is the central event of Federal significance in the Network of Safety and Security Exhibitions held in Russia and CIS.

Specifically synergistic complex of exhibition, business and live demonstration programs of the exhibition ensures its success with exhibitors, guests and visitors. This year more than 440 companies will take part in the exhibition, including 78 foreign companies from 25 countries including Austria, Republic of Belarus, Germany, Denmark, Israel, India, Italy, Spain, Canada, China, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, UAE, USA, Turkey, Ukraine, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Republic of South Africa.

At the exhibition four countries will demonstrate production of their manufacturing companies within the framework of their National Pavilions and expositions.
One can observe the increase of space in the French National pavilion – France has the status of the Partner Country of Interpolitex 2013. The French National Pavilion organized by GICAT - French Land Defence and Security Manufacturers Association, - will include about 10 companies including RENAULT TRUCKS DEFENSE, ACMAT DEFENSE, PANHARD DEFENSE AND SECURITY, COGES-Eurosatory 2014, GICAT, ACOEM01 DB METRAVIB, BERTIN TECHNOLOGIES, GK-Professional, Noble Sport, Proengin and some others. Stands of the French exhibitors will  take more than 160 sq. m. of exhibition space.

Within the framework of Chinese National Pavilion Chinese manufacturing firms and companies will demonstrate their developments in the field of special vehicles, armored protection, police equipment etc. Republic of South Africa will also take part in the Interpolitex 2013 with its National Exposition organized by TRADE and INVESTMENT KWAZULU-NATAL company. In the Republic of South Africa National Pavilion, organized with the financial support of South African Department of Trade and Industry will participate 7 companies. Several companies from Kazakhstan will also participate within the framework of the integrated exposition.

Total indoor exhibition space located in all 3 halls of Pavilion № 75 is equal to 25,500 sq.m. The exhibition presents the well adjusted combination of several integrated exhibitions and specialized expositions including International Exhibition of Police Systems and Equipment, Military Technical Salon, Exhibition of Technical Systems and Facilities for Border Protection and SecurityGranitsa”, which celebrates its 15 year anniversary and Exhibition of Unmanned Multipurpose Vehicle Systems UVS-TECH 2013.

Among exhibitors one can see such large and well known companies as State Corporation “Rostech, Concern “Vega”, Association “Eleron”, Scientific and Production Complex “Dedal”, Association “RELERO”, Research Centre “Fugas”, companies “Horizont” and “Zala Aero”, Groups of Companies “GAZ”, “KAMAZ”, “StilSoft” and othesr.

This year the exhibition includes a new programme of promotion of innovative developments and ideas. More than 110 exhibitors introduced in the Exhibition Catalogue their innovative solutions. One can see here new samples of weapons, armoured vehicles, multifunctional robotic systems, unmanned flying vehicles and boats, protection suits and search and screening equipment, et cetera.

For example, Centre of Speech Technologies will present Complex Biometric Platform VOICE KEY; Research and Production Firm “Micran” – equipment for communication with UFV, Companies Group; “RK-Telekom" – mobile communication centre for The Ministry of Russian Federation for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters.

A broad and extensive business program will be presented to the participants and guests of the exhibition: 7 conferences, 6 round tables, 5 workshops and 8 presentations, which are devoted to most urgent problems of the Russian state and its citizens. About 70 speakers will make their reports and presentations for more than 1500 listeners.

One of the most interesting events held within the exhibition Business Programme is Research to Practice Conference "Prospects of Developing of New Items of Armaments and Special Equipment of New Generation", organized by Federal Scientific-Production Association “Special Equipment and Communications” of  the Russian Federation Ministry of the Interior. Six sections of the Conference will be devoted to issues of future development of special purpose transport and search and screening equipment, special nonlethal weapons and systems, systems of communications, technical systems of security and protection, data security et cetera.

Participants of 9th International Research-to-Practice Conference “Industrial Disposal of Armament, Military and Special Equipment and Munitions AMSEM -2013” will discuss pressing issues of disposal and utilization of retirement items of ammunition. The event is organized by the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences (RARAS) with strong support of RF Governmental Military Industrial Commission.

7th International Specialized Conference "Technologies of Unmanned Flying Systems - UVS 2013" will be held during the first day of the exhibition work.

More than 50 exhibitors presented their products within the framework of the «National Security» Contest. The winners of the contest are awarded with the «Quality and Security Guarantee» Gold Medal and with the Diploma of Laureate of the Contest.

As usual, live demonstration of technical, operational and combat capabilities of armaments, police and military technical equipment and special tactical training exercises of Special Forces units of Russian Federation Ministry of the Interior will take place on 26 of October on the special testing and shooting range of the Federal State Enterprise “Geodesia” in the town of Krasnoarmeysk, Moscow Region. This year the show program will somewhat differ from the last year one. Combat capabilities of small arms will demonstrate not only soldiers of Special Forces units of Russian Federation Ministry of the Interior but also specialists from the profile industrial enterprises.

Representatives of the companies-manufacturers will demonstrate running and technical capabilities of special purpose vehicle. For example, ZEM Ltd. company will show Mobile Robotic Complex for Aerial Observation «BLASKOR» consisting of helicopter type UAV equipped with HD camera and thermal imaging device; Corporation “Zaschita” (Protection) – three armoured vehicles for various applications and Science and Production Enterprise “Soliton” will demonstrate special purpose vehicles “Ratibor” and “Volkodav”.

More detailed information about 17th International Exhibition of Means of State Security Provision INTERPOLITEX- 2013 is available on the official exhibition site www.interpolitex.ru.

The exhibition will take place within the popular All-Russian Exhibition Centre, Pavilion 75 (Moscow) daily from 22 to 24 October from 10.00 to 18.00 hours, and 25 October – from 10.00 to 16.00 hours.

The live demonstration programme will be held on the special testing and shooting range of the Federal State Enterprise “Geodesia” in the town of Krasnoarmeysk, Moscow.
This exclusive report has been made through courtesy of, and partnership with, the INTERPOLITEX- 2013 Organizing Committee. More information and reports will be made following the success of this enormous event.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

BALT MIL EXPO CHOOSES NAFO

NAVAL FORCES Magazine has been chosen by the chairman and organising committee of the 13th BALT MILITARY EXPO to be its OFFICIAL NAVAL MEDIA PARTNER, recognising the magazine’s editorial excellence and analytical ascendancy.
“This official enhanced partnership makes perfect sense to NAVAL FORCES,” asserts Co-Publisher Stephen Elliott. “The BALT MILITARY EXPO is the ideal platform for those companies concerned with naval defence and maritime security in this vitally important region – the lynch pin of Europe’s energy surety. NAVAL FORCES – and the Mönch Publishing Group – has been a long-time supporter of the BALT MILITARY EXPO, since our former celebrated and esteemed publisher Jan Wiedemann took the magazine’s helm; we intend to build on this relationship. You only need to lightly break the surface of the water to find an ocean of deep support for the Polish and greater Baltic Military-Industrial Complex from the entire Mönch Group of defence and national security publications.”
( L-R: NAVAL FORCES Co-Publisher Stephen Elliott, Balt Military Expo's Director and Sales Manager, Marek Buczkowski and Krzysytof Smiech, respectively. Source Mönch)
 
NAVAL FORCES Editor-in-Chief Stefan Nitschke (PhD) assures that there will be much Baltic Coverage in the May-June issue of NAVAL FORCES (III/2014) next year along with information before, during, and after the BALT MILITARY EXPO to present the challenges, concerns, innovations and strengths of this region.
The BALT MILITARY EXPO takes place in Gdansk, Poland – in the heart of the Baltic region – from 24 to 26 June 2014.  For more information, to exhibit or to register, please visit www.baltmilitary.pl.

Monday, 30 September 2013

New Naval Radar Detects Swimmers


Along with the fulfillment of traditional missions of ships and crews worldwide, new missions occur in order to meet new threat scenarios. These are mainly driven by asymmetric characteristics, facing Navies and security forces worldwide with new tasks in changing environments. The new Tactical Radar for Surface Surveillance (TRSS) developed by CASSIDIAN, an X-band radar that has been specifically designed to meet these new conditions, offers the technical capabilities to detect even the smallest objects and to cope with difficult environmental conditions in littoral waters.

Design Characteristics

The TRSS radar has been developed for the detection of very small targets in all surface environments. Due to its high resolution, TRSS is able to detect swimmers, periscopes, and drifting hazardous objects like seamines. For onshore surveillance, TRSS detects asymmetric threats such as slow moving land vehicles. Unlike conventional naval radars, it provides optimal detection capabilities, no matter whether over land or sea. Additionally, TRSS can provide helicopter approach support on naval ships. With these versatile characteristics, TRSS is suited to all sorts of defence, security, and safety missions.
TRSS, as the latest member of CASSIDIAN’s naval radar family, is benefiting from the company’s long-standing expertise in radar development. The core sensor is a development of CASSIDIAN’s latest AESA radar technology. Compared to mechanically scanned radars, the beam pointing has greater flexibility due to its AESA-based technology. High Doppler resolution with one to eight beams in parallel accounts for high update rates, the detection of small objects, and slight object movements. Threats can be detected more quickly and effectively, even under harsh environmental conditions. Additional software elements derived from CASSIDIAN’s TRS-3D and TRS-4D naval radar expertise complete the new solution.
On-board a naval ship, the full functionality of TRSS is ensured by using electronic stabilisation with high-performance, 3D antennas that compensate for the ship's movement. There is no need for heavyweight equipment like mechanically stabilised pedestals or below-deck cabinets that makes the radar deployable aboard smaller ships.
According to CASSIDIAN, the low weight of TRSS gives customers the full flexibility for its installation and configuration. The flexible antenna design supports any ship construction either with a single antenna (with radome) or by a multi-panel configuration. Thanks to a redundant design and low error rate, its life cycle costs will be remarkably low.
With its compact design, flexibility, and technical advantages, the TRSS is a solution for a wide range of applications, including
- Detection of targets close to naval platforms
- Detection of land targets from sea
- Ship-controlled helicopter approach (SCA) support
- Support of mine warfare
- Drone detection and guidance
- Surface gun fire control with splash detection
- Support of search and rescue operations
- Harbour surveillance

TRSS combines many years of expertise in the radar business with state-of-the art technology. The new naval radar is complementary to CASSIDIAN's existing naval radar portfolio, including the TRS-3D surveillance and target acquisition radar CASSIDIAN provides to the US Coast Guard for its National Security Cutters and the TRS-4D radar that is available in rotating and fixed panel configurations. The latter is being supplied to the new Type F125 frigates of the German Navy. TRSS' capabilities have also drawn from  CASSIDIAN's experience in the security radar market. The new radar is therefore best suited to support the protection of ships, crews, and mission teams in all naval and littoral environments.
(Source: CASSIDIAN)

Navies Seek Lightweight Remote Weapon Systems

Nexter Advances with Lightweight Naval Remote Weapon Systems

“Smarter and lighter” appears to be the name of the game in the next generation of naval remote weapon systems. They form an integral part of modern ship self-defence architectures. There are many challenges facing maritime forces and the industry in terms of remote weapon systems capable of combating all sorts of asymmetric threats. The biggest one is how to use them effectively to combat completely new threats as posed by swarming attacks carried out by fast inshore attack craft (FIAC) or suicide fast craft. As any solutions for fighting tyranny at sea are being designed to go to be 100 percent effective, remote weapon systems can be brought in today as a valuable part of a shipboard security inventory.
Naval ships will have to be shaped-up to better defend against asymmetric threats. A key factor of the presence of maritime fleets in blue and brown waters is that modern threats will not only include Cold War-style threats like manned aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles or even anti-ship cruise missiles, but most notably unmanned aircraft and very small, but highly agile surface threats as represented by powerboats, interceptors, rigid inflatables, and jet ski-type vehicles carrying dangerous weapons, including machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and other explosives.
A gun-based CIWS used to combat such threats typically consists of a rapid-fire, small- to medium-calibre (20-35mm) gun placed on a rotating gun mount plus a combination of EO fire control systems or EO director (EOD), radars, and C2 elements.
Nexter Systems developed the fully stabilised NARWHAL (Naval Remote Weapon Highly Accurate Lightweight) rapid-fire gun system in two variants: NARWHAL 20A with a 20mm M621 cannon and NARWHAL 20B with a 20mm M693 cannon. The company acknowledges that a 20mm remote weapon makes absolute sense to defeat the range of small objects manoeuvring on the water surface and in the air like FIAC, jet ski-type vehicles, and highly miniaturised unmanned aircraft (drones). For exactly this purpose, the gun mount can be easily integrated into modern shipboard self-defence architectures. Nexter Systems delivered the NARWHAL system to a number of customers operating patrol vessels, light frigates, fast patrol boats, FAC, and inflatables.
The 20A configuration consists of a gyro-stabilised mounting armed with a 20mm M621  cannon firing 20mm x 102 NATO rounds (offering a rate-of-fire of 750rds/min), a daylight camera, and a C2 terminal. The magazine contains 200 ready-to-fire rounds, weighing in total 390kg. Nexter Systems said the M621 cannon has a muzzle velocity of 1,005m/s (armour-piercing) and 985m/s (high explosive incendiary).
The French Navy selected the NARWHAL 20B configuration for its 11 “Aquitaine” class (FREMM) frigates. DCNS, the builder of the vessels, ordered 22 systems in November 2011. Consisting of a 20mm M693 cannon, this configuration forms a force protection system best suited to defend against the spectrum of airborne and surface threats that also include ‘leaker’ missiles. The French Navy declares that the 20mm x 139 rounds fired by the 20B variant will also be able to hit mortar rounds fired from a hostile craft.
According to Nexter Systems, the 20B’s rate of fire is up to 800rds/min, which gives the weapon sufficient stopping power in case of a terrorist attack. Firing one burst of 20-25 rounds, small airborne targets can be destroyed at ranges of at least 1.35nm (2.5km). The missile kill range is reportedly in excess of 1.1nm (2nm), compared with existing CIWS where this range is typically less than 0.27nm (0.5km).
Nexter Systems also confirmed that DCNS ordered a single 20B system for the FREMM frigate “Mohammed VI” the shipyard is building for the Royal Moroccan Navy. Nexter Systems said the gun mount carries approximately 200 rounds of 20mm M693 ammunition in the magazine inside the turret, with the ammunition weighing in total some 470kg.
In the ‘see first-decide-act’ triad, which is most characteristic of today’s and tomorrow’s operations at sea, the grade of automation of the NARWHAL remote weapon station can be increased through the use of other shipboard sensors, including radars, IR search and track (IRST), and FLIR suites.

The gyro-stabilised NARWHAL 20mm cannon pictured here in Le Bourget is optimised for close-in defence against all kinds of asymmetric threats, including suicide fast boats, frogmen, and low-speed flying aircraft and drones.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)





Thursday, 19 September 2013

Long-Range Cameras for Demanding Environments

Copenhagen Sensor Technology A/S (CST) based in Herlev, Denmark, promotes a complete family of ruggedised cameras named SPECTREL. They consist of a high-performance zoom lens, high-sensitivity CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) camera, and control hardware for operating in the visible spectrum. A special Extended Night Mode allows imaging under low-light conditions.
SPECTREL stays on target when zooming in on an object of interest – commonly referred to as bore-sight retention, where SPECTREL has a bore-sight retention within 0,2mrad (= 20cm precision at 1,000m distance). The cameras recognise a human at 8,000m, with more features such as fog/haze penetration, Autofocus-on-Demand, and graphical overlay. Additionally, the cameras endure temperatures ranging from -40°C to 70°C, and have a protective sealed housing to withstand high moisture and extremely high shock and vibration.
A new product showcased at the recent DSEi Exhibition in London is the SWIR Zoom Camera that has been designed for demanding environments, making it a perfect choice for military and security applications. SWIR (Short Wave IR) technology is used to increase visibility by enabling the device to see through fog, haze, and smoke. The technology can be used in conjunction with an laser illuminator laser (1,5µm) that is invisible to the human eye.
CST is a global market leader for EO cameras, with the products sold through a worldwide distributor network. CST is characterised by four core features: easy to integrate (all CST standard products are easy to integrate); ruggedised cameras; reliability; and flexibility.
For more information please visit www.copst.com
The SPECTREL series of cameras are designed for demanding mid- and long-range surveillance applications, such as day and night coastal surveillance, camp perimeter protection, and asset protection.
(Photo: Copenhagen Sensor Technology A/S)








Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Syrian Crisis

Verify And Verify

After weeks of uncertainties over military strikes against Syria, diplomatic efforts now seem to have the best chance for a settlement of the crisis. The conditions for a political settlement enshrined in a framework were agreed by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on 14 September. The settlement calls for the complete elimination of chemical weapons in Syria. Within this framework, the chemical weapons possessed by the Assad regime will be handed over to and come under the control of the international community. There are specific timelines, however. Damascus has to submit, within a week (by 21 September 2013), a comprehensive listing of its chemical weapons. Damascus must also provide the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) with an immediate and unfettered right to inspect any and all production and storage sites in Syria. International inspectors will be on the ground no later than November 2013, Secretary of State Kerry said. According to Kerry, a stated goal within the framework is to complete the destruction and removal and/or removal by halfway through 2014. Should these attempts fail, a military option will remain on the table, Washington said.
Russia, a key backer of the beleaguered regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and principal supplier of weapons, has an interest in a political settlement, as Moscow currently maintains a naval facility at the Syrian port of Tartus. It is Russia’s only military foothold in the region, and has also caused consternation in Tel Aviv. Syria is the largest buyer of Russian weapons in the Middle East. Arms contracts with Russia amount to at least US$3Bn to US$5Bn, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported in July 2013.
Immediately after the “egregious use” of chemical weapons against Syrian citizens near Damascus on 21 August, with the loss of hundreds of civilian lives, President Obama threatened to order strikes against Syria. Washington, on the basis of human, geospatial, and communications intelligence, believed that the Syrian military was responsible for attacking opposition areas with rockets or artillery shells carrying chemical warfare agents. Early September reports said that the regime in Damascus was responsible for the attacks that were aimed at clearing their enemy from strategic parts of Damascus. French President François Hollande called for immediate intervention. Downing Street warned the Syrian President that he would face consequences for the (not spontaneous) chemical gas attack by Syrian forces near Damascus. However, Prime Minister David Cameron faced heavy opposition following a decision by the British Parliament not to participate in any military action against Syria, leaving, in the West, the US isolated with France. Meanwhile, the US Congress is divided over whether to authorise military strikes against Syria as a clear response to the use of chemical weapons against civilians.
However, in August opposition groups in Syria warned that every passing day reduced the effectiveness of military intervention, as the government in Damascus and the Syrian armed forces would be able to prepare their own measures against any attack. Also, London warned that the five-day gap between the attack and the inspectors’ visit might have allowed the Assad regime the opportunity potentially to tamper with evidence and continue shelling the area to destroy remnants of the chemical weapons that were used.
So what are the options of a military strike if political efforts fail? Potential target lists have being reviewed in recent weeks and various Western military assets pre-positioned. The US Navy now has four “Arleigh Burke” class destroyers in the Eastern Mediterranean in addition to the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group on station in the Red Sea and the Truman Carrier Strike Group in the Gulf of Oman. Land attack cruise missiles launched from the destroyers have a range of over 1,000nm (1,850km). Cruise missile strikes are a likely option, avoiding air strikes by manned aircraft. The latter could be endangered by Syria’s strong air defence assets, although B-2 stealth bombers, perhaps from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, would be able to evade those assets. Syria could counter-attack with long-range anti-ship missiles received from Russia. The 72 Yakhont missiles delivered by Moscow equip one Bastion coastal battery comprising 18 mobile launchers each carrying two Yakhont missiles capable of striking surface targets at a range of 300km. The missile carries a 200kg warhead. Russia claims that the missile system will “enable Syria to protect its entire coast from a possible seaborne attack.” With these parameters, the missiles could put at risk elements of the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet patrolling in the Eastern Mediterranean.
As a consequence, missile launch sites, associated C2 facilities, and missile- and gun-based air defence systems could be the top priority targets during the first minutes of a strike from the sea. In addition to the establishment of a ‘no-fly’ zone to prevent the Syrian government from using its air power to strike rebels on the ground and to re-supply isolated bases around the country, cruise missile strikes could be undertaken to destroy chemical weapon sites primarily located in the western part of Syria. However, striking the chemical weapons production facilities near Homs, Latakia, Al Safir, and Hama could result in a leakage of toxic chemicals that could lead to significant local damage.
Syrian Air Force bases and command centres located in the complex landscape between Homs and Damascus might also be engaged as a warning. Possible targets near Damascus include the Mezzeh Air Base, the Marj Ruhayyil military base, and at least three Army division/brigade-level headquarters. Unmanned aircraft could be another option, but only few long-range, long-endurance systems deployable with precision-guided ammunitions are believed to be in the region. Most of them remain on station in the Middle East and central Asia to respond to emerging threats in Yemen, Pakistan, and the Horn of Africa. If more firepower is needed, the two US aircraft carriers could launch air strikes.
French air power could also play a part. The French aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle” is currently in the western Mediterranean, while French Rafale and Mirage combat aircraft can also operate from Al-Dhahra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. According to a source close to French Defence Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, the aircraft carrier could reach the Mediterranean theatre somewhere between Cyprus and Syria, joining US ships already on station, which, however, was denied by the Staff of the French Armed Forces. “The carrier is presently docked and has received no order”, said Col. Gilles Jarron, Spokesman of the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces who denies that such a decision has been taken.
Looking forward, consider the successful Israeli military attack on a munitions storage facility some 15km inland from the Syrian port of Latakia on 5 July 2013. This munitions cache was believed to be used to store the Bastion coastal defence variant of the P-800 Yakhont anti-ship missile system Russia had delivered to Syria. Damascus claimed that Israeli forces either conducted an air strike or employed long-range missiles fired from an Israeli Navy ship operating in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Moscow claimed the attack was carried out by Israeli combat aircraft operating from inside Turkish airspace – a claim subsequently denied by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. In the meantime it is clear that the Israeli Air Force conducted the attack using precision-guided munitions such as the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB). In conclusion, partially-successful military intervention by the West could make the situation even worse.

Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, said at the American Enterprise Institute on 5 September 2013 that sustaining a Carrier Strike Group on station conducting combat missions would cost about US$40M a week. A destroyer costs about US$7M a week and a TOMAHAWK cruise missile about US$1.5M, meaning that if a US military intervention were to expand into FY2014 (which begins on 1 October) then supplemental funding would be required to extend operations into October.
(Photo: US Navy)




IP-W Project Provides Extra Service Life for “Walrus” Class Submarines


The Royal Netherlands Navy is upgrading its four indigenously built “Walrus” class diesel-electric submarines under an approximately €200M (US$155M) modernisation programme called the Walrus Engineering Support Programme (WESP). Part of the programme is a new anti-corrosion treatment of the submarines’ hulls, since the original protection has worn off and the hulls are now vulnerable to corrosion, said State Secretary for Defence Procurement Jack de Vries. Also of significance will be the integration of the SCOUT mine and obstacle avoidance sonar received from Germany’s L-3 ELAC Nautik GmbH and the upgrading of the submarines’ Mk48 Mod 7AT torpedo weapon. This wok will allow the Royal Netherlands Navy to postpone to think about a replacement project for another five to seven years.
Cdr. (E) E.P.M. van der Klip, Programme Manager, Heavyweight Torpedoes and Submarine Sonar Systems, at the Defence Materiel Organisation, said to NAVAL FORCES in Hamburg that several systems aboard the four “Walrus” class submarines, within the scope of the Life Extension Programme (called IP-W Project), need modifications, replacements or have to be added to the submarine in order to meet these requirements. Examples are the update of the Mk48 torpedoes, the replacement of one periscope by an optronic mast, and the installation of a Super High Frequency SatCom system. The upgrade of the sonar system is split into a two-way approach. Already prior to the LEP programme, a sonar pre-LEP contract was signed in 2008 for several sonar safety functionalities. It was anticipated that, due to obsolescence problems, essential sonar safety functionalities would not be serviceable until the submarines would enter their LEP. The other sonar functionalities would be upgraded during the LEP.
Cdr. van der Klip noted that WESP is the cooperation of three companies (Imtech, Nevesbu and Verebus) with the task to carry out the necessary engineering to allow embedding of all modifications (including the new systems) on-board of the submarines. The WESP group is tasked for making an inventory of systems for decommissioning. Further steps in the process include the design of the new arrangement, allocating space for the new hardware and (as an architect) give all new and existing equipment a place in the submarine. WESP is further responsible for designing the foundations of the equipment, cable ducts, piping and suspensions, electrical systems, the cooling system, including monitoring aspects like power distribution, heat balance, and the vessels’ weight/volume/stability and strength.
The pre-LEP sonar safety programme is called the MANTA project. “The contract was awarded in 2008 to ELAC (Kiel) with ISL (San Diego) as sub-contractor”, he said. “The first system is operational on the submarine HrMs “Bruinvis” since 2011 and performed well during Operation OCEAN SHIELD in 2012. The second system will enter operational service later this year. The remaining two systems will be installed during the LEP programme.”
The LEP sonar programme is called the Sonar Suite Project. “Within this sonar suite project, the three existing sonar systems (LRS, MRS and PRS) will be integrated into one sonar suite system”, Cdr. van der Klip said. “The upgrade comprises replacement of the complete set of signal processing for the long-range, medium-range, and passive range sonars. This includes software and hardware, but does not include the replacement of the various sonar wet-ends. The new combat management system will integrate all sonar data and display the results to the operator.”
Regarding the upgrading of the Mk48 Mod 7AT torpedo weapon, Cdr. van der Klip said that the main reasons to update the torpedo weapon are obsolescence and improvement of performance in shallow water. “The Mk48 update mainly features a hardware upgrade of the front section of the torpedo. The aft section will not be replaced but only slightly modified. The guidance and control upgrade replaces the obsolescent guidance and control unit with current technology, improves the acoustic receiver, and adds additional memory and improves processor throughput. Included in the upgrade is a Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System (CBASS) programme, which will develop a fully digital wideband sonar capability to enable the torpedo to operate effectively both in shallow water and deep water environments”, he concluded.

Cdr. (E) E.P.M. van der Klip from the Defence Materiel Organisation said that the Life Extension Programme (called IP-W Project) for the “Walrus” class is to prolong the service life to at least 2025 and to increase their operability in coastal waters.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)



Hale Hamilton Celebrates Success of Engineering Apprenticeship Scheme


London-based Hale Hamilton (Valves) Ltd., part of the Circor International Group of companies, celebrated a success of its engineering apprenticeship scheme at DSEI 2013 in London. Every year, Hale Hamilton takes on at least three apprentices from schools close to their Uxbridge site, giving them a four-year work based training programme that provides an opportunity to gain knowledge, skills, and competence in mechanical engineering.
The Apprentice Challenge Awards are being presented by Rear Admiral Parker, Director (Carrier Strike), in recognition of the success of two teams of apprentices in rising to the challenge of designing and constructing a model warship and submarine, using only scrap materials from the factory, within a budget of £500 and within 200 hours. Each team chose a naval subject for their model as this is representative of one business sector in which Hale Hamilton operates. The models have been on display at DSEI 2013 on Hale Hamilton's stand in the Naval Zone.
“Our modern Apprenticeship in Engineering is absolutely crucial in attracting young people into our business. It helps to sustain our manufacturing and skills base and plays a key role in helping to improve and maintain core engineering skills in British industry”, said Bill Dormer, Sales Director and responsible for the defence business at Hale Hamilton.
To support the continued growth and success of the Apprentice Scheme for young engineers, Hale Hamilton has also launched a new dedicated Apprentice Training Centre at their facility in Uxbridge, making this one of the largest SME Engineering Apprenticeships in the UK.
Hale Hamilton is a leading provider of high-performance, high-pressure valves and valve systems for fluid and gas control solutions. The company’s primary strength and significant track record is in the provision of highly engineered solutions to customer’s fluid control requirements, used on-board naval surface ships and submarines, at typical supply pressures from 5,000 pounds per square inch (psi) or 350bar, down to pressures lower than 100psi or 7 bar. Typical submarine applications include pressure hull fluid transfer, isolation of stored compressed air, emergency ballast tank blow, direction control of hydraulic fluids, and emergency breathing air. Typical surface ship applications include main gas turbine and diesel engine starting air, diesel generator starting air, high- to low-pressure reduction, and weapon firing and aviation Services. Surface ship programmes include the UK’s Type 45 destroyers, the UK’s new "Queen Elizabeth" class aircraft carriers and the Indian Project P-28 ("Kamorta" class) anti-submarine warfare corvettes built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE), on all of which Hale Hamilton’s AUTOCHARGE Breathing Air (BA) and Diving Air (DA) charging system has been specified and supplied.
The most recent naval submarine programmes using Hale Hamilton valves are the UK’s "Astute" class submarines, the Spanish S-80 submarines, and the German Type U212 and U214 submarines.

Rear Admiral Henry Parker, Director (Carrier Strike), presents two Apprentice Challenge Awards to Hale Hamilton apprentices for model warship and submarine made from scrap materials.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)



 






Friday, 9 August 2013

FREQUENTIS Outlines Highly Available Voice Communications System


Austrian FREQUENTIS provided details of its iSecCOM voice communications system that has been designed for safety-critical environments. Due to its flexibility and scalability, iSecCOM can be used in command and control as well as military air traffic control. The system is employed in stationary, deployable, and mobile configurations, with the solution based on mission-proofed components that are in use with Control and Reporting Centres (CRC) of the German Air Force for years. iSecCOM is a completely IP-based system, connecting command posts and air control centres with nationwide radio sites including remote control of tactical radios that can be integrated in existing IP-based wide-area networks such as WANBw (WAN Bundeswehr). The system integrates all sorts of encryption methods available on the market, thus allowing an encrypted transmission from the operator on the ground to the pilot. The operator position itself allows simultaneous monitoring of both security domains using a single headset and a touch-entry device. The headset is connected to a certified (Common Criteria EAL 4+) audio switch, which enables and guarantees call separation from and to the different security domains (red/black separation).
iSecCOM is characterised by four core features:
1. Interoperability: standardised voice-over-IP communications (ED-137) and networking (ED-138)
2. Security: certified components for secure/non-secure voice communications (CC EAL4+)
3. Reliability: proven technology and long-term experience to maintain a 99.99999 percent availability
4. Cost Efficiency: COTS-based, scalable system architecture for mission tailoring.
The certification process was concluded in July by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) as part of the long-term cooperation between FREQUENTIS and the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support.



Thursday, 8 August 2013

Poland to Strengthen Littoral Defence Capability in the Baltic Sea

Poland's Coastal Defence Missile Battalion (Nadbrzezny Dywizjon Rakietowy, NDR) received the first batch of Kongsberg-supplied Naval Strike Missiles (NSM). Formal acceptance and signing protocols for the NDR were conducted on 28 June by the Head of the Polish Armaments Inspectorate, Brigadier Slawomir Szczepaniak, in a ceremony attended by Waldemar Skrzypczak, Secretary of State for Arms and Modernisation, Adm. Tomasz Mathea, Commander of the Polish Navy, and representatives from Kongsberg. The Polish Armed Forces are first export customer for the NSM. Poland's current order book is for 48 NSM, of which 24 missiles will equip six road-mobile launchers. An additional 24 missiles will be on hand as reloads. Flying at Mach 0.95, the 500kg NSM is capable of achieving a maximum range of 97.2nm+ (>180km). It is a stealth-enhanced missile system, with a price tag half of that of the MBDA SCALP Naval cruise missile, utilising GPS/INS guidance plus an imaging IR seeker, in-flight data link, and an automatic target recognition suite. The missile's 120kg fragmentation warhead has been developed by MBDA Deutschland-owned TDW Gesellschaft für verteidigungstechnische Wirksysteme mbH. It is coupled with the TDW-developed Programmable Intelligent Multipurpose Fuze (PIMPF), which is also found in the company’s MEPHISTO warhead equipping the German Air Force's KEPD-350 TAURUS air-launched cruise missile.
The NDR will consist of 23 Jelcz 662/882 vehicles, including two Mobile Radar Vehicles (MRV) carrying the TRS-15M ODRA-M radar, Battery Command Vehicles (BCV), Mobile Command Centres (MCC), Mobile Launch Vehicles (MLV), Command Control Vehicles (CCV), and NSM supply vehicles plus other associated C3 equipment and trailers for energy support. The battalion will consist of two fully independent batteries, each consisting of three MLV. The TRS-15M radar is a development provided by Bumar Elektronika S.A. (now Polski Holding Obronny sp. z o.o.). The NDR will receive the missiles in three batches, 14 systems during 2013 and 12 each in 2014 and 2015.
Deputy Defence Minister Marcin Idzik sees the procurement of the NSM as a measure “to protect energy resource deliveries to Poland, to counter-attack long-range missile attacks, and to counter possible (asymmetric) threats in the Baltic Sea.” Leszek Miller, Leader of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), backs the plan of the Ministry of Defence in Warsaw “to strengthen Poland's littoral defence capability in the Baltic Sea”. “But these policies could make it more difficult for Poland to fulfill its obligations as a NATO member and participate in missions organised by the Alliance”, he stressed. The outfitting of a Coastal Defence Missile Battalion with the NSM system is aimed at maintaining Poland's littoral defence capability during an interim period of naval downsizing. The decision to procure a long-range missile system has been made at the right time, with Warsaw wanting to withdrew many near-obsolescent or obsolescent Navy between 2016 and 2022. Only by 2022 or so, Warsaw will be able to procure the first two new submarines (replacing the four Sokół class boats) and up to two new ships and a third by 2026, which are seen as the Navy's premier contributions to a larger scale modernisation of the Polish Armed Forces.
The Polish Chief of Staff, Gen. Mieczyslaw Cieniuch, also stated that Warsaw is currently evaluating the possible acquisition of another system, which would enable the Polish Armed Forces to secure Poland's 491km of coastline. He was tasked by Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak to evaluate this plan.


 
Above: Mobile Launch Vehicle (MLV) and Command Control Vehicle (CCV).
Below: Mobile Radar Vehicle (MRV) carrying the TRS-15M ODRA-M radar.
(Photos: Courtesy of Polish Armament Inspectorate)
 


Monday, 15 July 2013

MSI-Defence Systems Offers New Layered Self-Defence Capability for Surface Ships

The UK manufacturer MSI-Defence Systems Ltd. owns a comprehensive expertise in naval gun system technology, including its SEAHAWK range of stabilised naval weapon systems that attracted the interest of worldwide naval customers. They are the primary armament of patrol craft and mine countermeasures vessels, but are also carried as a secondary armament aboard larger surface combatants like frigates, fast attack boats, and support ships. Over 200 systems have been ordered and produced for several countries.
MSI-Defence Systems' newest concept is the SIGMA system, a combination of the 30mm cannon with the new Lightweight Multirole Missile (LLM) from THALES. This provides the system with an Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) capability out to 3.2nm (6km).
SIGMA contains all the attributes of the SEAHAWK range of naval gun systems, enabling a layered defence capability for today's surface combatants. SIGMA is the weapon of choice for those customers who address on-board efficiency (efficient use of valuable above-deck space) connectivity (interfacing to any shipboard C3 System), and extended-range self-defence against the spectrum of modern (asymmetric) threats. SIGMA provides its user an option for autonomous operation when combined with the SEAHAWK EO fire control system (EOFCS). With the use of stabilised, multi-band sensors and a laser rangefinder, coupled to multi-target autotracking and a sophisticated ballistics predication system, the EOFCS is a compact, lightweight solution that can be fitted to a wide variety of platforms, providing a rapid, accurate, and effective gun system augmentation.


SIGMA combines the highly acclaimed SEAHAWK naval gun system with options for carrying a variety of Close-range surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles, including THALES’ LMM.
(Photo: Courtesy of MSI-Defence Systems Ltd.)
 



Wednesday, 3 July 2013

SWATH – Concern at the Top

Abeking & Rasmussen Demonstrates Advantages Over Conventional Hullforms


WARNEMÜNDE, GERMANY 26 June 2013 - The Latvian Navy is receiving five 25m SWATH@A&R patrol boats from Abeking & Rasmussen Shipyard. Three vessels, “Skrunda” (P 05), “Cēsis” (P 06) and “Jelgava” (P 08), were constructed at the shipyard in Lemwerder near Bremen and already delivered to Riga Shipyard in Latvia, while the remaining two vessels, “Viesīte” (P 07) and “Rēzekne” (P 09), are being constructed in Latvia, with Abeking & Rasmussen delivering material packages. One of the principal characteristics of the SWATH-type patrol boat that resulted in the decision by the Latvian Navy to order the five units from Abeking & Rasmussen is its extraordinary seaworthiness, a performance characteristic that has been demonstrated during a series of at-sea live presentations of the fourth unit, “Jelgava”, off Warnemünde Naval Base near Rostock during the last week of June. She was delivered to Latvia on 27 June.



Karsten Fach (centre), Member of the Board, Abeking & Rasmussen Shipyard, welcomes a delegation from the German Navy, including Admiral Rainer Brinkmann (s.f.t.l.), on-board the SWATH@A&R patrol boat "Jelgava" at Warnemünde Naval Base on 26 June 2013.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)

When the first SWATH@A&R vessel ordered by a commercial customer for use in the rough North Sea left Abeking & Rasmussen in 1999, it was clear that the traditional German shipyard was able to generate a riptide in the naval community. Since then, more than 20 vessels of this type with a length of 25m to 60m have been constructed and delivered to various customers, including the Latvian Navy.
Without doubt, the introduction of SWATH@A&R technology also in the military has provided more safety and cost efficiency for the most extreme actions at sea. Boarding operations can be performed at extreme wave heights, Friedrich Jacobi of Abeking & Rasmussen said to NAVAL FORCES. SWATH@A&R vessels cannot easily be ranged with conventional monohull designs in many respects, Abeking & Rasmussen said. Their unique geometry, structure, and hydrodynamics are widely believed as the key advantages this highly modular ship design. The 25.7m long, 125 tons displacement patrol boat designed for the Latvian Navy fulfils a variety of tasks, ranging from patrolling and monitoring of territorial waters to mine countermeasures missions and boarding operations. Significantly, the SWATH@A&R design allows boarding events at a speed of up to 14 knots. The mission modularity is another key design characteristic of the SWATH@A&R patrol boat that will attract the interest of other naval customers.
With the five SWATH@A&R patrol boats, the Latvian Navy receives the appropriate technology at the right time. A crew of up to eight persons can stay for one week at sea even under adverse weather conditions to fulfil critical tasks, including missions together with partners in international assignments. As shown off Warnemünde, the vessel offers sufficient accommodation and additional facilities for up to eight persons that can include Special Forces personnel. The crew will appreciate the low vibrations and noise levels that are well below 65dB(A), the shipyard said. The 13.5m wide vessels are built of aluminium, proving its superior adequacy by high shock resistance, low magnetic and acoustic signature, and low life-cycle costs.
By fitting mission-oriented payloads (e.g. a diving or mine countermeasures module), the vessel’s capability can be significantly enhanced, Karsten Fach, Member of the Board, underlined. A Modular Mission Module similar to a 20-ft ISO container can be mounted between the bows of the two hulls. As said, the vessels built for the Latvian Navy will be fitted for different sensors and weapons, including Rheinmetall Defence's MSP 600 modular optronic multi-sensor platform (to be mounted on top of the vessel’s mast), the same company’s MLG 27 machine gun, a dipping sonar, and up to two .50-calibre machine guns. Additionally, the vessel features a modular installation for carrying oceanographic or hydrographic research equipment. Extensive operational at-sea testing of a 25 m SWATH@A&R demonstrator vessel proved the efficiency and reliability of Abeking & Rasmussen's sophisticated sonar launching and recovery system, enabling the safe and reliable operation of ROV/AUV systems for mine countermeasures operations and hydrographic surveying. The payload capacity is quoted at six tons that will be sufficient to install a 35mm MILLENNIUM gun.
The SWATH technology as an innovative hull concept for smooth service in rough seas revolutionises naval operations. This technology means that the buoyancy of a SWATH-type vessel like the five SWATH@A&R patrol boats designed for Latvia is provided by submerged torpedo-like bodies that are connected to the upper platform by single or twin struts. According to Abeking & Rasmussen, the cross-section at sea surface level is minimised and thus only a small volume of the ship is exposed to the lifting forces of the waves. This technology guarantees an extraordinary comfort during the ride and a secure feeling on-board of a stable platform.
“Almost two years in service, since [the] Latvian Navy received the first SWATH@A&R patrol boat, have shown that the SWATH concept with its multifunction idea in background is a reliable way to go for completing our duties delegated by [the] Latvian government, Cdr. Peteris Subbota, Commanding Officer of the “Skrunda”, the first vessel delivered to the Latvian Navy, said. “The exceptional seakeeping capability never stops surprising even experienced sailors and allows these ships to be first on the line when safety on sea and everyday duties matter. (…) there is still a lot of work to be done to equip these ships with dedicated military and special equipment for specific tasks of [the] Latvian Navy – and this light, economic, and user-friendly ship is just the perfect platform for small Navies”, he said.


The first-of-class SWATH@A&R patrol vessel in a class of five vessels, “Skrunda“, was launched on 20 January 2011 and commissioned into service with the Latvian Navy on 18 April 2011.
(Photo: Courtesy of Latvian Navy)


The range of the SWATH@A&R patrol boat is quoted at over 1,000nm, allowing it to participate in international operations. Pictured here is the “Skrunda” sailing in formation with other conventional hull vessels during the Polish Navy Day on 30 June 2013 off Gdynia, Poland.
((Photo: Courtesy of Jaroslaw Cislak)


The third 25m SWATH@A&R patrol boat “Jelgava” prior to her delivery to the Latvian Navy at the Warnemünde Naval Base on 26 June 2013 (left). Note her wheelhouse (right), containing the navigator’s position on the starboard, an engine control position for the supervision and operation of all the vessel’s technical systems, and a CIC for three operators (to be fitted later), offers 360 degree visibility.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)


The SWATH@A&R patrol boat “Jelgava” performs in waves as high as 3,5m.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)


Deck handling equipment includes a crane (shown), a small RIB for shallow water operations, and a hydraulic lift on the starboard side for man-over-board or diving missions.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)


The vessel’s top speed of 21.4 knots is provided by two MAN D 2842 diesel engines in the lower torpedo hulls (rated at 809kW at 2,100rpm) driving Servogear controllable pitch propellers via Servogear reduction gearboxes.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)