Friday, 27 March 2015

Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards Group is the Latest Member of the World Ocean Council

According to World Maritime News, the commercial shipping online news digest, Damen Shipyards (sic) is the "...first European shipbuilder to join the World Ocean Council , the international business leadership alliance on ocean sustainability, science and stewardship." NAVAL FORCES notes that Damen has shipbuilding operations and partnerships around the world.

 “Vessels are a common and fundamental aspect of all ocean industries. Many of the impacts to the marine environment can and must be addressed through improved vessel development and operations. Through the World Ocean Council, Damen can better work with the diverse ocean business community to identify and develop the innovative designs and products needed to tackle these issues – creating business opportunities and business solutions in support of cleaner seas,” explained Damen's Chief Commercial Officer Mr Arnout Damen.

According to source: "Damen’s efforts to reduce environmental impacts of shipping,  have resulted in, for example, an in-house E3 Label, applying only to new Damen designs that are Environmentally friendly, Efficient in operation and Economically viable."

From NAVAL FORCES' perspective, this underscores a growing commitment and trend among defence and commercial shipbuilders, suppliers and other maritime security innovators to voluntarily address environmental concerns despite inaction by national governments, regional extra-governmental organisations and other industries that are allowing damage and destruction of ocean environments, including precious, ancient coral reefs in the pacific, aquatic breeding grounds for fish and other living resources.  

Naval and Maritime companies such as Damen, IMTECH, L3-Valmarine and many others are leading the way for others to improve systems and technologies, allowing naval defence and maritime security forces to conduct  military and policing operations successfully and safely, while leaving the environment undisturbed. 

For at least five years, past issues of NAVAL FORCES have addressed green technologies for blue operations and will continue to monitor and report on this topics as it is relevant for the naval defence and maritime security realm.

Thursday, 26 March 2015



NAVAL FORCES, MILITARY TECHNOLOGY and SAFETY & SECURITY INTERNATIONAL  will be prominently present and in full support of ISDEF in Tel Aviv 2-4 June 2015. These magazines are owned by the MÖNCH VERLAG GmbH publishing group, which is the Official International Media Partner to ISDEF 2015.

From a naval defence and maritime security perspective, NAVAL FORCES and SAFETY & SECURITY INTERNATIONAL magazines are extremely proud to be involved with ISDEF for their first time this year, providing the publications an opportunity to strengthen its ties with the Israeli Military-Security Industrial Complex (MSIC), which is one of the finest and most innovative and successful in the world and one of the highest quality exporters of proven defence and security technologies internationally.
In a way, Israel - through its exports, protects and secures the world from innovations like Iron Dome - developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries - to integrating products from foreign partners such as making available Jakusz's famous ordnance and bomb disposal systems through TAR of Israel.
Past issues of "MILTECH" and "NAFO" have featured countless stories and insights about Israel's champions and leaders of its MSIC.  This includes an exclusive interview with the Managing Director of ISDEF, Harte Feldman (in photo right with NAVAL FORCES Co-Publisher Stephen Elliott esq.)

For more information visit  (Exhibitors might be available for an advertising discount with Mönch magazines.)

LIMA 2015, Langkawi, Malaysia - Photographic Recap 17-19 March 2015

(All photos: Stefan Nitschke)

Indonesian Maritime Surveillance Aircraft Embark on THALES’ Airborne Maritime Situation Control Technology

The Airborne Maritime Situation and Control System (AMASCOS) Indonesia selected for its Indonesian Aerospace (IAe)-built CN235-220 maritime surveillance aircraft provides the aircraft with the capability that is needed for the country’s Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations. 

The Indonesian Navy CN235-220 maritime surveillance aircraft (top) on display at the LIMA 2015 exhibition in Langkawi, Malaysia, in March have two AMASCOS 200 consoles with two screens each (below) that are redundant and interchangeable.
(All photos: Stefan Nitschke)
The solution supplied by THALES can also be employed for an array of other modern mission scenarios, including vessel search and identification; Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) patrol; drug, smuggling and piracy control; search and rescue (SAR); disaster surveillance; and maritime patrol roles. Visiting one of the three Indonesian Navy CN235-220s at LIMA 2015, NAVAL FORCES learned that the sensors adapted to the aircraft in particular include a FLIR Systems Star SAFIRE III EO/IR turret, THALES’ OCEAN MASTER 400 radar, and the same company’s TOTEM 3000 Inertial Reference System. As said, the single aircraft operated by the Indonesian Air Force also carries a Radar Warning Receiver (RWR); fitment of an RWR to the three Indonesian Navy airframes will be an option for future upgrades.
Jean-Michel Eustache, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Marketing Manager at THALES Airborne Systems, speaking to NAVAL FORCES, outlined AMASCOS’ unique performance characteristics: “AMASCOS integrates a number of sensors that [can] include an electro-optical/infrared [EO/IR] sensor turret like THALES Optronique’s CHLIO system, THALES’ OCEAN MASTER search radar, an RWR like Elettronica’s ALR 733 device, and a Magnetic Anomaly Detector [MAD] for detecting submarines. The latter can be CAE’s AN/ASQ-508 system. According to him, AMASCOS has a modular architecture, allowing the system to be easily adapted to smaller aircraft performing surveillance from a single console, to larger aircraft equipped with four or five consoles. AMASCOS has been integrated on a variety of aircraft to date, including – besides CN235/220s – Alenia ATR 72s (Turkey); Beechcraft KING AIRs (Malaysia); Bombardier DASH 8s (United Arab Emirates Air Force); Dassault Falcon 900s (Japan); and Gulfstream IVs (Turkey).

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Japan’s First-ever International Defence Event

The 12th MAST – the only conference and exhibition series for senior-level maritime* defence & security operators and technologists is exclusively and officially supported by the Ministry of Defense (Japan)Defense Technology Foundation

MAST Asia 2015, Yokohama Japan, 13-15 May 2015 will take place under the auspices of the Defense Technology Foundation, endorsed by Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MOD), Ministry of Trade, Economy and Industry (METI), Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), with support of the US Navy’s 7th Fleet Command, Australian Department of Defence, and UKTI.

This “first in class event” will be the first in a series of events to be held in Yokohama (adjacent to the US and Japanese naval bases in Yokosuka) uniting participants from both Asian (not least Japan) and ROTW navies, coast guards and ground defence forces.

To meet leading naval/military operators and technologists from Asia and ROTW, in Japan, and discover future and state-of-the-art platforms, systems and technologies, there is literally only one event… MAST is a MUST!

* Undersea, Surface, Air & Space, and Cyber Platforms, Systems, and Technologies

Long established as the only international conference and exhibition dedicated to senior-level technologists in maritime defence and security, MAST promotes debate amongst experts from surface, undersea, and air & space domains, giving new perspectives on developments to meet future capabilities.

MAST boasts an unmatched, diverse global profile of participants, and – over three days of discussion, discovery and debate – delivers “real solutions to real-world problems” (Richard Scott, Jane’s Naval Consultant)

Impressive line-ups of keynote speakers deliver ‘views from the top’, setting the themes for “MAST week”. Plenary speakers offer debate on another key topical/regional issues. Within the framework this creates, parallel technical sessions are populated with speakers with world-leading credentials in their specialist fields (many appear at other conferences as their keynote speakers!).

ALL papers to given at MAST are guaranteed 100% exclusive by their authors – if you don’t hear it at MAST… you won’t hear it at all!

Discover solutions from the most innovative and world-leading maritime defence and security manufacturers and suppliers, agencies, research and technology labs, and academia.

All planning of MAST exhibitions is guided by an independent Exhibition Steering Group (ESG) to complement discussion on future technologies in MAST conferences, but to appeal to visitors as a stand-alone event.

As a result of the ESG activities, features in the FREE-OF-CHARGE exhibition include Product briefings, iPad3 draws, Happy Hours, other hospitality offerings, and much more besides.

Ship Visits
Wherever possible, MAST visitors can take part in guided tours of visiting units, and see live demonstrations of exhibitors’ platforms, systems and technologies: Visit MAST and you will see technologies in their rightful environments: platforms and installations that help deliver security throughout the world’s seas and harbours.

Social Functions
Renowned for spectacular social functions, MAST EurAsia 2014 promises informal gatherings like no other – one deserving of its eleventh edition. Expect great food and drinks, entertainment, and the best chance to meet up with global colleagues, counterparts, and VIPs from over 40 countries.

Register via

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

As Iranian Navy Saves Another Cargo Ship from Pirates - What can the U.S. Congress say about the Iranian Spirit of Cooperation and Desire for Regional Stability?

As Israelli leader Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to address the US Congress - and, most assuredly lambaste the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear energy programme - According to Iranian Navy sources, the Iranian Navy stopped a protracted pirate attack upon a cargo ship on Sunday, 8 March, while the ship was sailing in the Sea of Oman. Filipino-flagged ship, the Panama-Gade, crew requested assistance from the Iranian Navy’s 33rd flotilla having been approached by an armed group of pirates in motorboats.

source FARS News Agency
While the Iranian naval vessel was en route to relieve the Panama-Gade, the cargo ship avoided boarding while  the pirates pursued the ship for several hours in smaller motorboats. Although not confirmed, often the pirates in this region are sympathetic to, or raise funds for, theocratic extremists - such as ISIL / IS, Al Shabab and others.  The persistence of the pirates could indicate that they were desperate for success or under pressure to succeed at capturing the cargo ship and extort payment for its release.  Some pirates in league with IS have been known to drain oil from tankers to help fund IS war chest.

After Iran's forces rescued the Panama-Gade it was escorted to the safety of Pakistan's territorial waters.

source FARS News Agency
As reported in the January-February issue of NAVAL FORCES magazine, the Iranian Navy (33rd flotilla) has prevailed in several encounters with pirates during its patrols throughout the region, more notably thwarting pirate attacks on two Iranian oil tankers earlier this year.  This underscores the importance and practicality of Iran's military role in regional stability and security and calls into question the rhetoric from "The West" about the country's true ambitions in the region.

Do the actions and support of the Iranian Navy, aiding distressed ships, reflect that of a would-be nuclear power that wants to unleash a radioactive conflagration upon its political or religious opponents?

CEO of ISDEF agrees media partnership with NAVAL FORCES co-Publisher
By the way, NAVAL FORCES magazine is the extremely proud and staunch official International media partner of ISDEF, Israel's premiere defence and security conference and exposition  2-4 June 2015 in Tel Aviv. It has been, and will continue to be, a keen proponent of Israel and the nation's security, existence and self-determination.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

RST Radar Systemtechnik GmbH Details Water Surface Monitoring Synthetic Aperture Radar

WSMS Mission Scenario
(All illustrations: RST Radartechnik GmbH)

RST Radar Systemtechnik's Water Surface Monitoring SAR (WSMS) is an all-time, all-weather airborne imaging radar featuring small antenna and low output power for applications like the detection of oil spills on water surfaces and identification of polluting vessels. Oil spills on sea surfaces are clearly visible in radar images due to their characteristics of significantly changing the reflectivity of water surfaces. The SAR imaging modes are
-Water Surface Measurement (Oil Detection Mode; ODM);
-Full Resolution (Ship Detection Mode; SDM).

The SDM is a Single-Look Full Resolution mode and, hence, it is also well applicable for over-land operation. The major areas of application are:
-Sea border control and coastal monitoring;
-Monitoring of ship movements in coastal regions;
-Observation, prevention and detection of water pollution;
-Recognition of potential polluters (ship detection);#
-Minimising oil pollutions and other sea pollution due to an early detection and provision of information required for performing effective counter measures;
-Enabling a more economic observation of huge sea areas and shipping routes;
-Land monitoring against smuggel and illegal immigration;
-Land monitoring for disaster management;
-Change detection across borders.

The characteristics of the sensor are:
-Oil detection spatial resolution: 30m x 30m;
-Ship detection spatial resolution: 5m x 5m;
-Swath width: 2x40km (40km to the left and 40km to the right);
-WSMS antenna length: 76cm;
-Radio Frequency (RF) output power: 80W;
-Integration into smaller aircrafts possible;
-No risk/danger for pilots, operators and other people
-ITAR-free system;
-Nominal flight altitude: 300m – 3km (higher altitudes possible with slight degradations of SNR);
-Radar Frequency: X-band
-Operation during day and night, through clouds, fog, rain;
-On-board real-time SAR processing;
-Image delivery in intervals of approximately 3 seconds.

The following options are available:
-SMGV on-board computer for Sensor Management, Geo-coding and Image Visualisation to be used for autonomous operation of the WSMS
-POSP off-line precision SAR processor (including geo-coding) to be used on PCs on ground for generation of high performance images.

System Configuration

The configuration of the WSMS consists of a SAR Electronics Unit, a SAR Digital Unit, and two SAR antennas (Double Side Operation). The WSMS is a SAR sensor that can be integrated into a multi-sensor observation suite. In this case, the WSMS delivers a SAR image burst approximately every three seconds on-board. Co-registration and data fusion is to be done in the suite computer outside of the WSMS sensor. In case of the WSMS as an independent sensor, the functions “Display“, “Operator Control Panel” & “Image/Raw-Data Storage” are offered with a second on-board computer including display and keyboard (SMGV). A Precision Off-line SAR Processor (POSP) for operation in the ground station is also offered as an option. The POSP provides SAR images of highest quality, where the Real-Time On-board SAR Processor is optimised for output speed.
The SAR Electronics Unit and the on-board computers, as well as the SMGV (if this option was selected) are to be integrated into an on-board rack. The antennas have to be installed outside of the airplane. The positions of the antennas have to be confirmed by RST in order to guarantee an undisturbed functioning of the WSMS. Two high-performance RF cables for connection of the radar unit with the antennas are delivered with a length defined by the customer. The length should not exceed 2m each.

Oil Detection Mode

An example of an ODM image shows the reflections of the ocean surface. Strong reflections from targets like ships or islands (in saturation) are shown up in white. Dark areas are either flooded land or polluted sea surface. The dark areas in the upper-left quarter are such flooded islands (identified by overlay the SAR image on maps), while the dark area to the right side might be pollution. The yellow rectangular area indicates the size of the image that is output approx. every three seconds. The dark horizontal stripes are residual errors after aircraft movement corrections in real-time. POSP is correcting these errors.

Oil detection mode

Ship Detection Mode

The overall dimensions of ships can be measured with 5m resolutions in SDM and ships can be classified by this information. Operating SDM over land can also provide important information. The resolution allows detection of land structures, border line contours, buildings, streets, and more. Wind generators can be identified by their point target shape and by their typically appearance in a row or in several parallel rows. Power lines can also be identified.

Ship return in Ship Detection Mode

Extraction from a land application image in full resolution mode.


Geo-coding is required, when the SAR image is to be overlaid with a map. This can be done with the On-board Real-Time SAR Image when the SVGV Option was selected or in context with the POSP function off-line.

Map overlay of geo-coded SAR images.