Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Innovator Talks at UDT 2015, Rotterdam

Solution to Bolting Challenges

Bolting is a very much underestimated way of connecting parts. It needs to be well done, and
sometimes it is nearly impossible to do it in a standard way. Belgian manufacturer Safe Tensioning System (STS), with over 20 years experience in solutions for the maintenance of technical equipment, helps naval customers solve bolting challenges. The system STS commonly recommends is a Mechanical Tensioner. It enables the user to simply tighten nuts or bolts with small hand tools instead of big wrenches or hydraulics. The principle is simple: The tool uses small jack screws that are screwed into the main body and press against a hardened washer below. It provides pure linear tension without torsion in the main stud - no galling can occur as the superbolt remains static on the stud. The tensioners require the same amount of space as normal nuts, are very accurate, hold preload perfectly with vibration, and can be custom-designed to suit the user's specifications. STS said: "The applications are limitless." The tensioners have been used in submarines for a variety of purposes: hull-valves; mast to frame connections; propulsion shafts; vibration dampers; and propeller connections, according to Martin Quist, STS's Project & Sales Manager.

The tensioners are very useful in shipbuilding and industrial applications.
(Photo: Stefan Nitschke)

STS developed a new concept - expansion bolts. They are designed to replace standard fitted bolts or hydraulic bolts, which are used to transmit shear forces in positive connections. Typical applications involve couplings.
Again, this type of expansion bolt has a very simple design: a conical stud is pulled into a conical sleeve by the right tensioner, thus expanding the conical sleeve radially, the spacer positions the conical sleeve in the centre of the contact plane. The left tensioner is used to clamp the coupling halves together. Due to the split in the sleeve, a bigger radial expansion can be obtained. It compensates for radial backlash and applies a true preload inside the bore where it is fitted. Drill tolerances are allowed, no more reaming of the bores is required. Furthermore, only a simple torque wrench is required.
Source: Safe Tensioning System

Boeing’s Key Defence Systems: MSA

Boeing’s MSA is the ideal platform for monitoring large coastal areas, long-range search and rescue situations, and humanitarian efforts.
(Photos: Stefan Nitschke)
The Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) on display at the Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA 2015) in Malaysia is based on the Bombardier CHALLENGER. The aircraft, numbered N614BA (c/n 5614), was used for tests and deployed for demonstration flights, having completed ground and flight-testing of mission systems. Flights for prospective customers around the world were scheduled to begin in the coming months. As said by Bob Schoeffling, Maritime Surveillance Aircraft Programme at Boeing Defense, Space & Security, testing included hundreds of scenarios to confirm performance of the Automatic Identification System (AIS); radar; electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) camera; communication radios; data-links; Communications Intelligence (COMINT) devices; and Electronic Support Measures (ESM) systems. Potential missions encompass anti-piracy; immigration patrols; Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) enforcement; coastal and border security; and long-range search and rescue. According to Boeing in a media advisory on 12 March 2015, the MSA applies advanced, proven, fielded ISR capabilities.

The MSA is a multi-intelligence maritime surveillance platform that builds on P-8A POSEIDON and E-3 AWACS Block 40/45 mission systems to provide a high capability, low-risk Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform in a mid-size business jet aircraft.

Royal Navy of Oman Accepted Second Patrol Vessel

The four “Al-Ofouq” class patrol vessels built for the Royal Navy of Oman are based on the 75m variant of the 55m FEARLESS patrol vessel in use with the Republic of Singapore Navy.
(Photo: ST Marine)

The Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) accepted the second “Al-Ofouq” class patrol ship, RNOV “Al-Shinas” (Z 21) built by Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd. (ST Marine), the marine arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd. (ST Engineering). The 1,100 tons (full displacement) vessel carries THALES Nederland’s VARIANT 2D surveillance radar and the same company’s STIR 1.2 EO Mk2 radar/electro-optical (EO) tracking system and TACTICOS Combat Management System (CMS). Armament consists of one 76mm Super Rapid naval gun and two MARLIN-WS (Modular Advanced Remotely controlled Lightweight Naval Weapon Station) systems provided by OTO Melara. Surface-to-surface missiles will be fitted; a selection on type is expected soon. A decision in favour of the MDBA EXOCET MM40 may prove most cost-effective given the weapon’s widespread service. Acquisition cost for the four vessels is approximately €534.8M, approximately €133M per hull.
(For an in-depth profile of the "Al-Ofouq" class see NAVAL FORCES I/2016)

Energy-Rich Patches of the Sea

Caspian Sea Littoral States to Bolster Naval Capabilities

The Turkmen Navy operates the two “Molniya” class (Projekt 12418/12421) missile corvettes “Gayratly” and “Edermen” built by Russia’s Vympel and Srednij Neva shipyards, respectively. Note their launching canisters for eight URAN-E (SS-N-25) anti-ship missiles.
(Photo: Turkmen Navy)
The Caspian Sea is a volatile region that, in the wake of the Ukraine crisis and the threat of terrorism in the North Caucasus, did not occupy much public attention in recent years. Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov made it clear last year: He wants to back its claims to Caspian Sea oil and gas reserves with considerable naval power. The existence of huge hydrocarbon reserves, offshore exploration and production facilities, and undersea pipelines are the likely reasons for a maritime arms race in the region, with Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkmenistan developing their own Caspian flotillas to protect their burgeoning energy assets. A reserve estimation made by the US Energy Information Administration says that the Caspian could contain up to 250 billion barrels of recoverable oil along with an additional 200 billion barrels of potential reserves and 9.2 trillion cubic metres of recoverable natural gas. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, disagreements over maritime claims on the world’s largest enclosed body of water have not been solved. Before 1991, both Moscow and Tehran divided the Caspian Sea amongst themselves, likely a result of the 1921 and 1940 Soviet-Iranian Treaties of Friendship. Since the end of 1991, the five littoral states, including Iran, bordering the Caspian Sea were unsuccessful in establishing maritime borders. There have been several attempts, however, to find a diplomatic solution about how equitably to divide the Caspian Sea, which, with a surface area of 386,400km2, is the biggest enclosed body of water on Earth. Hence, any of these efforts failed, and the Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Iran have moved to develop their offshore reserves in sectors that they believe would be indisputable.

Unequal Distribution of Resources
Moscow argues that Azerbaijan, based on its 800km of coastline, would receive 15.2% of Caspian Sea’s waters and seabed, while Turkmenistan’s 1,768km of coast would see it receive only a 16.8% share, and Kazakhstan, with 1,894km of coastline, the largest share of 30.8%. Although Tehran traditionally agreed with Moscow over international boundaries in the Caspian Sea, it claims a 20% share of the Caspian Sea’s waters and seabed. Joshua Kucera, a Washington DC-based analyst specialising in security issues in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Middle East, noted in the EurasiaNet’s Bug Pit blog that Russia and the other former Soviet states, namely Azerbaijan, contend that Iran should receive only a 13% share of the inland sea. According to a report distributed by the semi-official Fars news agency in late June 2014, Tehran now plans to deploy an undisclosed number of “light submarines” on the Caspian Sea. The report, however, did not specify how many boats would be deployed, what kind of armaments they would carry or when they would enter service. The Kremlin considers Tehran’s plans as the “biggest obstacle standing in the way of a regional treaty that would facilitate large-scale energy extraction in the region”, with Turkey and other countries gaining access to this “wealth of resources”.

Map showing the disputed Caspian Sea Hydrocarbon Region.
(Map: Courtesy of University of Texas at Austin)

The oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea are considered “huge and extensive”. One of the largest, yet undeveloped, fields, the Serdar (Turkmenistan)/Kyapaz (Azerbaijan) field was  discovered in 1959 by Azerbaijani geologists and is located in the middle of the sea, approximately 145km (80nm) off the coastline of Azerbaijan. While Azerbaijan and Russia were negotiating a bilateral agreement to fully develop the field in the mid-1990s, Turkmenistan filed an unsuccessful international injunction aimed at receiving a share of the disputed field. After some ‘retaliatory measures’ taken by the government in Baku in 1998, imposing sanctions against foreign companies operating in Azerbaijan if they “took part in any non-Azerbaijani tender to explore or develop a disputed oil and gas field to which Azerbaijan lays claim[s]”, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan both agreed in 2008 to suspend activity in the Serdar/Kyapaz field until the dispute was settled. Conservative estimations speak of nearly 50 million tons of crude oil and 32bcm (billion cubic metres) of natural gas that may be recovered from the field.
Since the Russian-Ukrainian gas disputes of the mid-2000’s, Europe has been exploring new opportunities to reduce its dependence on the Russian gas market. Azerbaijan has been the focal point of the European Union’s (EU) efforts to gain access to easily recoverable hydrocarbon reserves.
Azerbaijan also counts as an economic partner for Turkey. Azerbaijani government investments in Turkey between 2008 and 2018, including pipeline infrastructure and a new oil refinery complex, are likely to reach US$20Bn, according to the Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR. However, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has made these investments conditional on Ankara retaining the embargo on Armenia. President Aliyev, who speaks of “relatively cool personal relations” with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan, sees Ankara as a partner in the modernisation of his country’s Armed Forces. As to a recent estimation by the Moscow-based Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, Azerbaijani contracts for Turkish military hardware are worth more than US$500M.
Meanwhile, Turkmenistan also appears to receive much attention, since the government in Ashgabat wants to link Caspian oil (and gas) en route to Southern and Southeastern Europe. However, this may be uncertain for the moment, since increasing military measures in the region between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan only empowers Russia and provides more credence to its alternative South Stream gas pipeline. The latter, expected to be operational by 2015, could potentially carry 63bcm/year – not coincidentally 3bcm/year more than the (Trans-Caspian) pipeline from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan.
Despite these developments, Turkmenistan plans to increase its production of natural gas, intending to increase its export of natural gas to Pakistan, China, India, Iran, and Russia to 75bcm in the next 20 years. Recently, Turkmengas State Concern and the State Development Bank of China agreed in Ashgabat to start negotiations on financing the second phase of Turkmenistan’s giant Galkynysh gas field, with the project envisaging the design and construction of a facility with a capacity of 30bcm per year.
Back in 2007, there have been attempts by the Kremlin to propose a new gas pipeline that would bring natural gas from Turkmen and Kazakh fields directly north to Russia, supplying the so-called Nabucco gas pipeline, thus drawing Ashgabat’s interest away from the envisioned Trans-Caspian pipeline project. Official sources in Brussels said this typically explains how Moscow is trying to “put every effort into preventing the fruition of any energy project that omits its participation.”
European sources expect that a “mutually beneficial pipeline spanning the Caspian” for delivery to Western Europe of up to 40bcm per year from Turkmen fields plus about 20bcm from Azerbaijan could stimulate substantial cooperation after 2020. If this happens, Turkmen deliveries may be divided into 30bcm from onshore resources, with the rest obtained from offshore deposits in the Caspian Sea. In 2011, the EU and its 27 member countries mandated that the European Commission create “a legal, regulatory, and commercial framework for a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline.”

If Someone is Too Safe, No One is Safe
Changes in the status of the Crimea, the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, and the threat of terrorism in the North Caucasus were the dominant themes in any international media coverage in recent months. It would be wrong to consider the situation in Ukraine and in the North Caucasus as a kind of local situation with no connection to the rest of the region. Not surprisingly, Moscow is playing a key role in the Caspian Sea disputes as well. It already has troops stationed in Turkmenistan and maintains the most powerful flotilla on the Caspian Sea. Although the government in Ashgabat adopted its neutral status by the UN Resolution on 12 December 1995, it accepted in an agreement with Moscow that Russian troops may be present in the country. This led to disagreements with the government in Baku. Turkmenistan also received two “Molniya” class (Projekt 12418) missile corvettes from Russia, which are known to be equipped with eight URAN-E (NATO designation SS-N-25) anti-ship missiles, providing Ashgabat with some of the most heavily armed naval assets on the Caspian Sea. Turkmenistan, according to Russian sources at the KADEX-2014 defence exhibition in Astana, Kazakhstan, is planning to procure an additional three “Molniya” class corvettes in the near future. A Russian report quoted in July 2014: “If Iran is leading in quantity of ships on the Caspian, in striking power Turkmenistan has already overtaken them.” Also, the new acquisitions by the Turkmen Navy are seen to deliver a “diplomatic message” to Azerbaijan that received more military hardware (e.g. from Israel) than Turkmenistan’s Armed Forces. The Turkmen Navy also obtained two new patrol boats from Turkey. Based on the Turkish Navy’s “Tuzla” class patrol boats, the design offers an inherent capability to the naval service. The government in Ashgabat told that the new vessels will be primarily employed to protect oil and gas production and exploration installations in the southern portion of the Caspian Sea.

The Turkmen Navy’s two Type 1200 (modified “Tuzla” class) patrol boats “Barkarar” and “Arkadash” built by the Turkish shipyard Dearsan.
(Photo: Courtesy of Turkmen Boarder Guard)

A Link to Other Resources?
It is interesting to note that the five Caspian Sea countries also produce a wide variety of metallic and industrial minerals, and have a large variety of yet undeveloped deposits outlined in the vicinity of the inland sea. The region contains world-class resources of salt and associated potash, bromine, iodine, boron, and magnesium. Many of these commodities are known to occur in surface and near-surface accumulations in the present-day arid environments adjacent to the Caspian Sea. These deposits occur in Cenozoic sedimentary evaporate basins of Kazakhstan, southern Russia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Some of them appear in the form of tabular beds in older subsurface Mesozoic and even Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. The Kara-Bogaz Gol lagoon off the Caspian Sea is known to produce the hydrous magnesium chloride and sulfate minerals bischofite and epsomite in sufficient quantities. Also, the region is known to contain about four major strontium deposits: Aurtash sedimentary deposit in Kazakhstan; Arikskoe, Central Karakumskoe, and Karashor sedimentary deposits in Turkmenistan.
According to Levine et al. (2001) in a report entitled “The Mineral Industries of the Commonwealth of Independent States – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan”, “...the [Caspian Sea] region is considered [a decade after the implosion of the USSR] under-explored for industrial mineral deposits, and considerable potential exists for undiscovered deposits.” However, in more recent years, exploration for base and precious metals has been very active, with a primary focus on copper, gold, Rare Earth Elements (REE), and some industrial minerals. Exploratory work in the region has been conducted for gold-bearing vein deposits in Armenia; porphyry copper (-molybdenum) deposits in Azerbaijan and Georgia; and iron ore, non-ferrous metals, uranium, thorium, REE, alunite, bentonite, fluorspar, phosphate, and zeolite deposits in Turkmenistan. A government programme, entitled “A Strategy for the Social-Economic Development of Turkmenistan to the Period of 2010”, called for continuing exploration for these commodities. It is likely that this appeared at a more moderate scale, except for Turkmenistan’s leading industrial mineral producers, Arpaklenskiy (barium contained in barite and witherite); Cheleken (exploiting iodine-bromine waters at the Boyadagskoye, Cheleken and Nebitdag deposits in the western part of the country); Gaurdak and Kara-Kum sulfur plants; and Oglanlinskiy (bentonite).

A Price Ankara Considers to Pay
Turkey’s influence in the region may not be underestimated. It is sponsoring Turkmenistan’s efforts to modernise its naval forces, including the construction of a new naval base. And there are attempts to get into new oil and gas ventures with Ashgabat. On 3 September 2012, Turkmenistan’s President Berdymukhamedov met with Azerbaijan’s Minister of Industry and Energy, Dr. Natig Aliyev, the EU’s Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, and the Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Taner Yildiz, in Ashgabat to talk about possible oil and gas exports. After the meeting, Yildiz said that Turkey aims to import and transport Turkmenistan’s gas, and according to him, “Turkey would purchase certain amounts for its own domestic needs while the remaining would ‘flow beyond Turkey’.” There have been a consensus whereby Azerbaijan would act as both a source and a transit country for Caspian gas. Local media also said that Yildiz declared that “they [the representatives of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Turkey] agreed upon expanding the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline’s (TANAP) capacity to as much as 60bcm.”
Turkey already owns a 20% interest in TANAP which is set to transport up to 16bcm of natural gas per year from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field, the largest natural gas field in the country. Energy security experts stressed that the dispute over the Serdar/Kyapaz field disputed between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan has yet to be resolved and must be sorted out between both countries before this potentially lucrative and integral deal can go through. However, the first naval exercise conducted by Turkmenistan in the Caspian Sea, named Khazar-2012 (“Khazar” is the Turkmen name for Caspian Sea), heightened tensions with Azerbaijan over natural gas fields in a contested part of the sea.
By Stefan Nitschke


More than Air Conditioning and Piping

Noske-Kaeser GmbH ranks among the world’s leading suppliers of marine equipment. NAVAL FORCES spoke to the company at its headquarters in Hamburg. Today, Noske-Kaeser GmbH, as an international group of companies, is a global leading supplier of turnkey marine equipment. It provides customised, innovative, and economic solutions in the fields of air-conditioning, ventilation, refrigeration, piping, and firefighting, as well as CBRN protection systems. The company, with numerous references in civil shipbuilding projects – passenger vessels, cruise liners, fast ferries, container vessels, tankers and megayachts – was also able to develop a strong position in the naval business, providing equipment and components for a large number of naval ships around the globe, including submarines. It looks back to more than 130 years of experience, with more than 1,500 air-conditioning and ventilation systems delivered to international customers for use on-board fast patrol boats, frigates, mine-countermeasures vessels, logistics support ships, and submarines.

Jürgen Matthes, CEO of Noske-Kaeser GmbH: “We are looking into the future very positively. We are looking forward to all the projects worldwide which we are realising currently and will undertake in future in the different technological and business areas – [Navies] as well as cargo and passenger shipping, offshore vessels, and substations.”

Proven Ground
Noske-Kaeser’s CEO Jürgen Matthes is balancing the company’s product portfolio while shaping its international business. Research & Development (R&D) is a key instrument to maintain the company’s worldwide leading position in the market, he noted. “Noske-Kaeser annually invests a constant amount of its operating income in [R&D]. These efforts have secured Noske-Kaeser’s leading market position in different fields of firefighting, HVAC [Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning], and CRBN protection. We view ourselves as innovation leaders and are constantly working on the development of new and optimised turnkey solutions to suit the special needs of German and international Navies.” There is a high demand for Noske-Kaeser’s expertise in any of these technological fields around the globe. According to the company’s CEO, it has corporations, selling agencies, and service partners in a number of countries, including Australia, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Turkey, the US, and the United Arab Emirates. “In addition, we are active in countries such as Greece, Poland, Japan and South Korea.” Matthes also said Canada is an important and promising market for Noske-Kaeser. “The Canadian Navy has set up an extensive shipbuilding programme [Canadian Surface Combatant] to which we would like to contribute through our comprehensive expertise and well-proven technologies. We have already been in active dialogue with a couple of Canadian companies regarding our firefighting and HVAC solutions.” According to him, the company is also working on strengthening its position in the Asian market.

The HyFEx extinguishing unit is designed as a total flooding system for machinery rooms and helicopter hangars usually consisting of two HyFEx stations (shown) for each protected room. In these stations, 3% foam (AFFF) is mixed to seawater from the fire main system and is distributed to a separate nozzle-system for each station, covering 50% of the extinguishing volume.
(All photos: Courtesy of Noske-Kaeser GmbH)

Lead in CBRN Protection Systems 
Two different types of NBC protection air systems are on order: a modular system and a door station. The former (abbreviated SLM) offers a much higher output of protected air; Noske-Kaeser names volumes of 900m³/h, 1800m³/h, 2700m³/h, and 3600m³/h. The maximum capacity of the air intake unit is 1800m³of air per hour. The door station (SLG) consists of a gas-tight aluminium housing and a frame construction made of steel. The company’s brochure says the unit is bolted gas-tightly to the superstructure with a rubber seal. A steel door separates the unit from the outside of the ship, so replacement of the filters and maintenance is carried out from outside through that steel door. When closed, the unit is kept in an overpressure condition by air from the citadel. The gas-tight sealing of the door is achieved through the use of a pneumatic seal, which is kept under pressure by the ships pneumatic air system. The unit works with either two or three compactly designed NATO filters, each capable of filtering coarse and fine particles as well as harmful gases and vapours from chemical warfare agents of an air volume of 300m³/h.

The SLM 900/600N system has the same function as the SLG but is designed as a modular system.

Powerful Firefighting Systems
Noske-Kaeser’s range of firefighting solutions include seawater spray and sprinkler systems, gas and powder fire extinguishers equipment, as well as the HyFEx® system. The latter is the company’s special solution for firefighting for machinery rooms and helicopter hangars. It is found aboard the German Navy’s Type F122, F123, F124, and F125 frigates, Type K130 corvettes, as well as naval ships operated by foreign Navies, including the South African Navy. A most modern and maintenance-free firefighting package has been developed specifically for the German Navy’s Type F125 frigate, NAVAL FORCES learned from Robert Megyery, Head of Engineering, Piping and Firefighting. The package includes a fire extinguishing unit with a sprinkler system for the ship’s crew accommodation, the KiFEx® solution for firefighting purposes in the galley, and two shock-resistant firefighting monitors that can also be used on the landing deck.

Robert Megyery, Head of Engineering, Piping and Firefighting: “The company is looking towards a strong international position in the field of firefighting equipment, namely in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific Region.”
Interestingly, KiFEx can also be utilised as a non-lethal weapon. “The HyFEx System [Hydro Fire Extinguishing System] was developed by Noske-Kaeser to provide our customers with an effective and harmless alternative to the poisonous CO2 system. HyFEx is the best system to protect machinery spaces and helicopter hangers of Navy vessels”, Noske-Kaeser’s CEO explained. HyFEx-protected compartments are sprayed with 5 litres per m² (min) of a water/foam liquid solution. The purpose of the foaming agent is not to produce foam but to increase the wetting effect particularly in presence of greases, oils, and fuels. Also, the system combines a high cooling effect with a high protection against re-ignition. Noske-Kaeser said helicopter hangars or smaller rooms are normally protected by one single HyFEx station delivering 100% of the extinguishing volume, with each station equipped with an additional connection for a foam branch pipe. It is also possible to connect Noske-Kaeser-provided monitors to a separate HyFEx station for firefighting on a helicopter landing deck. Noske-Kaeser underlined that extinguishing tests proved the effectivity of the system and particularly its advantages in open facilities. Positive tests also showed a good extinguishing result up to a complete air-change within one minute.

The Nitrex nitrogen firefighting system developed for submarines does not result in contamination of the submarine’s atmosphere by extinguishing agents.
The KiFEx solution for firefighting purposes in the galley as ordered by the German Navy for its four Type F125 frigates.

Another product is Noske-Kaeser’s Nitrex® system. It is the only nitrogen firefighting system in the world that is designed especially for submarines. Since only pure nitrogen is used as an extinguishing agent, there is no contamination of the submarine’s atmosphere. The whole system was tested by the German Navy in their test facilities. The arrangement of cylinders and valves can be adjusted based on the space and dimensions available inside the submarine. Noske-Kaeser developed both standing and hanging versions of the system to suit all kinds of requirements.