Friday, 29 November 2013


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.”


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.


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 .