Friday, 9 October 2015

PACIFIC 2015

OSI Gains Contracts in Indian Ocean Region  

The combined display of OSI Maritime Systems and IHS at Pacific 2015.
(Photo: Mitchell Sutton)
Navigation, command and control (C2), and tactical systems provider OSI Maritime Systems is maintaining its involvement in the Indian Ocean region with a varied series of new tenders and contracts.
The Australian market is currently proving to be a lucrative one for the firm. According company sources, OSI will soon install its Tactical Asset and Control Tracking (T-ACT) C2 system in the Royal Australian Navy’s new, NAVANTIA-built, LCM-1E landing craft. The T-ACT system allows small-craft and helicopters to view each other’s positions in real time, and for information from multiple sensors to be woven into a single tactical picture for mission coordinators. It is already in service with the Royal Canadian Navy and UK Police.
OSI is also providing additional systems to the two "Canberra" class LHDs, as the first of class (HMAS "Canberra") works up into full operational capacity. The company plans to integrate the Ship Helicopter Operating Limits (SHOL) module into the vessel’s existing ECPINS integrated navigation and tactical system, which it had earlier installed. This upgrade is designed to expedite the takeoff, landing and control of the ADF’s MH-60R and S-70B-2 SEAHWAKs, MRH90 TAIPAN, CH-47 CHINOOK, S-70 BLACKHAWK, and TIGER ARH helicopters from the new platform. According to the company, it is also making a contribution to the tranche of proposed upgrades to the "Collins" class Submarine, through updates to its existing ECPINS Submarine navigation system.
Other countries in the Indian Ocean region have also recently engaged the company in new contracts. In 2013, Malaysia awarded OSI a contract to provide its six future Second Generation Patrol Vessel-Littoral Combat Ships (SGPV-LCS), based on the DCNS Gowind 2500 corvette design, with the Integrated Navigation and Tactical System (INTS) bridge system and ECPINS Warship integrated navigation and tactical system; the latter is outfitted with the Warship Automatic Identification System (W-AIS) module. Installation work is likely to begin in the near future, with production beginning at Boustead Naval Shipyard in June 2015 for an expected 2019 entry into service for the first of class.
Another market which has proven valuable to OSI in 2015 has been South Africa. In February this year, OSI signed a contract with the South African Navy to install its T-ACT system onto rigid hulled semi-inflatables (RHIBs). No indication has yet been given by the company on the status of this project.
By Mitchell Sutton

PACIFIC 2015

Saab Sees Potential in Australian Naval Expansion

Saab Australia is already registering its interest, as both a Combat Management Systems (CMS) supplier and integrator, in the Royal Australian Navy’s SEA5000 (Future Frigate), SEA1180 (Future Multi-Role Offshore Combatant Vessel), and SEA1654 Phase 3 (Replacement Supply Vessel and Fleet Oiler) projects. 
(Photo: Mitchell Sutoon)
Saab Group subsidiary Saab Australia has expanded its attempts in 2015 to dominate the regional combat management systems market, as it seeks to capitalise on the upcoming wave of platform acquisitions by the Royal Australian Navy. The company is also attempting to market its Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV) products to Australia, both as an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability and as Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) training aids. These can be added to the list of Royal Australian Navy contracts already acquired by Saab. This includes upgrades to the Platform Management System (PMS) on the "Collins" class submarine, which is to be delivered in late 2015 or early 2016; and the provision and installation of combat systems for Australia’s two new LHDs, for which trials are currently being conducted on the second vessel of the class for acceptance in October or November 2015.
The company’s plans for these future tenders are at very different stages, as the maturity of the projects is not consistent. Saab’s submission for SEA5000 is relatively settled, with the company planning to offer and integrate a version of its existing 9LV CMS, already in use in the ANZAC frigates and "Canberra" class LHDs. The 9LV would be coupled with a radar system developed by local company CEA Technologies, as occurred under the recent SEA1448 Phase 2B (Anti-Ship Missile Defence) upgrade to the ANZACs. The situation is more complicated with SEA1180, due to the project’s immaturity. Whilst Saab is still to determine which combat system it will tender, its offering will have to accommodate the Royal Australian Navy's decision not to place dedicated Combat Systems and Electric Warfare (EW) Operators on its previous patrol boats. SEA1654 Ph.3 is at a slightly more advanced stage, with the company providing responses on the topic to shortlisted shipbuilders NAVANTIA and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). 
According to Saab, there is also potential in the future for international cooperation with Saab Australia’s parent company in Sweden. The current mid-life upgrades of the Swedish Navy’s "Gotland" class submarines will potentially contribute knowledge and expertise towards any future life extension of the Royal Australian Navy’s own "Collins" class, as the two designs are related.
Unmanned systems are another area in which Saab sees major potential in the Australian naval market. The Navy has found itself falling behind similar sized navies in the integration of UAVs and USV into its surface and submarine fleets, something which it is keen to rectify. Accordingly, Saab has attempted to enter the Australian market as both a systems integrator and equipment provider. The main products in this space which are being promoted by the company are the SKELDAR UAV, which it claims has already attracted official interest in Australia, and the BONEFISH USV trimaran. Training is another area which the company is attempting to offer solutions, with its AUV-62 autonomous underwater target likely to be officially proposed to Australia in 2016. The AUV-62 is claimed to provide large cost savings in ASW training, with the drone emulating the signatures of a full-sized submarine.
By Mitchell Sutton

PACIFIC 2015

Wärtsilä Marine Solutions Presents its Wares at Pacific 2015

SYDNEY / 9 October 2015 - Finland-based propulsion and power systems supplier Wärtsilä Marine Solutions have given an outline of their latest marine shaft-line and engine technology at the PACIFIC 2015 Expo, as well as hinting at interest in upcoming Royal Australian Navy projects. The latest developments for the company’s marine shaft-line business are the new composite steel housings for PSC or water lubricated seals, as well as 1200 WCS01 material, which is a composite bearing material for shaft lines. In the area of marine engines, Wärtsilä has continued to invest in developing its range of engines with a lower kilowatt output for smaller vessels. The selling the upgraded version of the venerable 580kW/cyl Wärtsilä  32, which entered the market in 2010, continues to remain a priority. Whilst remaining tight-lipped about future contracts, the company did express an interest in unnamed Royal Australian Navy projects. The most likely candidates for Wärtsilä tenders would be SEA5000 (Future Frigate), SEA1180 (Modular Offshore Combatant Vessel), and SEA1654 Phase 3 (Future Supply Vessel).
By Mitchell Sutton

Thursday, 8 October 2015

PACIFIC 2015

Babcock Steers Steady, With an Eye to the Future

Australia has become a large market for Babcock International Group.
(Photo: Mitchell Sutton)
Britain-based engineering support and naval contractor Babcock International Group has given a status update at the PACIFIC 2015 Expo on a number of surface and submarine contracts, which it is currently engaged in across Britain’s traditional defence export markets.
Despite recent international expansions, the majority of the company’s larger naval projects are focussed on Britain. Current major projects undertaken in the UK include: Babcock’s assembling of the Royal Navy’s "Queen Elizabeth" class aircraft carriers at its Rosyth yard; the provision of weapons handling and launch systems, actuators, and positioning sensing arrays for the "Astute" class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs); life extension work for the Type 23 ("Duke" class) frigates; and, the Long Overhaul Period (Refuel) - LOP(R) - maintenance of the "Vanguard" class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). According to Babcock, work on the second "Queen Elizabeth" class carrier, the HMS "Prince of Wales" (R 09), is four months ahead of schedules, whilst the first-of-class, HMS "Queen Elizabeth" (R 08), is undergoing final integration and fitting. Strong interest has also been shown by the company in a number of future Royal Navy projects, including the "Successor" class SSBN (for which Babcock is currently producing designs), and Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS). According to the company, work is also progressing on its contracts elsewhere in the world.
Australia has become a large market for Babcock, with the company currently in negotiations with the Commonwealth government, Saab, and BAE Systems to produce a closer alliance for maintenance of the Royal Australian Navy’s eight ANZAC frigates. There is also strong interest in contracts potentially emerging from the SEA5000 (Future Frigate) and SEA1180 (Future Modular Offshore Combatant Vessel). 
Babcock has also been active in other regions of Oceania. In May 2015, it renewed a $NZ300M contract to maintain the entire Royal New Zealand Navy for the next seven years, transitioning to a new programme management arrangement. This fleet currently comprises of two ANZAC frigates, two support vessels, two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), four patrol vessels, and a diving support vessel.
By Mitchell Sutton

Work has also continued in Canada, where Babcock is in the process of providing support and maintenance for the Royal Canadian Navy’s malfunction-prone "Victoria" class diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) as part of a five year contract which it won in 2013. This proceeded to the point where the Royal Canadian Navy was recently able to send three of the four vessels to sea at the same time.
(Photo: Royal Canadian Navy)


PACIFIC 2015

Willard Approaches New Markets

The joint display of Willard Marine, Ullman Dynamics, and Wing Inflatables at Pacific 2015.
(Photo: Mitchell Sutton)
SYDNEY / 7 October 2015 - Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB) producer Willard Marine Inc. has continued to expand its product line and customer base, as it moves to capture new clients internationally and augment its traditional military sales. Willard has historically focussed on producing Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) for domestic customers in the United States, such as the US Navy and US Coast Guard, and on a limited international basis through the US government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme. As demonstrated by its presence at the PACIFIC 2015 Expo in Sydney, the boatbuilder has turned to selling directly to international clients, which now include military and law enforcement agencies in the Ukraine, Nepal, the Philippines, and yet unnamed countries in the Middle East. Opportunities for future sales are also being discussed in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan.
As well as new clients, Willard also appears to be diversifying its product line. According to the company, investment has been made in new aluminium boat designs, such as its 8.7m Riverine search-and-rescue (SAR) boat, 10m DAUNTLESS 30 boarding craft, and 8.5m Hydrographic Survey Launch. It has also recently attempted to expand its reach into the international law enforcement market, producing specialised police and SAR vessels including its 12.5m Open Ocean Fast Response design and the 9m and 10.3m aluminium patrol boats which the company sold to the Philippines National Police Maritime Group in late 2015. Change is also afoot in the military RIB market, with Willard’s clients shifting their purchases to larger vessels in the 11m to 18m range, for use as soldier rescue vessels and assault boats.
By Mitchell Sutton

(Ed.:) At PACIFIC 2015, Willard Marine unveiled its new SEA FORCE 777 RHIB. According to the boatbilder, this is a military-grade, fibreglass RHIB designed with a deep-V hull for maximum stability in the roughest sea conditions. The platform has a Steyr SE306J38 diesel engine with ZF 63 marine gear powering a HamiltonJet HJ-274 drive. The latter delivers 300hp to achieve a maximum speed of 32 knots. Additionally, the RHIB is equipped with nine Ullman Dynamics shock-mitigating seats that are installed for crew comfort and safety. The SEA FORCE RHIB is an "exceptionally durable vessel", which is necessary abroad to support a variety of 'Blue Water' missions, including rescue, patrol, and Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS).

International military representatives can now rely upon the new 777 the same way the US Navy has relied upon similar shipboard RHIBs from Willard Marine over the last 25 years.
(Photo: Willard Marine)
Willard Marine's President and CEO Ulrich Gottschling explained that “Willard Marine has built hundreds of mission-proven boats for American and international militaries around the world, and the new SEA FORCE 777 is a larger version of our military-grade RHIBs that government agencies can depend upon the same way the US Navy has for 25 years.”

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

MAST Europe 2016 Announcement

Exclusive Briefing

Get the Inside Track on Royal Netherlands Navy Programmes

MAST supporters (and invited VIPs from foreign embassies in the Netherlands) will be given an exclusive audience with representatives of the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNlN) and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) in The Hague on Tuesday, 27 October 2015.
The afternoon meeting and reception, organised in conjunction with NIDV and TNO, is completely free-of-charge, and will give attendees an open forum to discuss the opportunities which the anticipated submarines, frigates, MCMs programmes could present for their business.

Starting at 1300hrs, the event programme will include:

Welcome and introductions from MAST Europe 2016 Chairman, Commander (ret.) Andre van Koningsbrugge

“Future Royal Netherlands Navy, joint naval, and air operations and requirements” (working title) – Captain Jaco de Bruin, RNlN

“Proposed procurement programmes and approximate timeframes” (working title) – Captain Eugene Pel, DMO/MoD

Introduction of MAST concept and visitor/delegate profile, opportunities for sponsors/exhibitors; VIP Invitations – Warren Edge, MAST CEO

Q&As
Drinks reception
(running times to be confirmed)

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Reserve your place now.
To reserve your place(s) at this exclusive event (and for venue information), RSVP to your MAST contact IMMEDIATELY - either pearl.donvin@mastconfex.org or cecile.delyfer@mastconfex.org
Registrations will not be be accepted after Wednesday, 21 October 2015.

PACIFIC 2015

DSME Naval Exports Continue

SYDNEY / 6 October 2015 - South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) has continued its sales to the world naval market into late 2015, with progress ongoing with its tenders in Australia, and orders in Malaysia and Britain.
According to the company, DSME is in the process of tendering for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) SEA5000 (future frigate) and SEA1654 Phase 3 (replacement supply vessel and oiler) projects. For SEA500, DSME has proposed a design derived from its earlier KDX-2 and KDX-3 destroyers, currently in service with the Republic of Korea Navy. For SEA1654, the shipbuilder is likely to propose a customised version of the "Tide" class Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) vessels which it is currently constructing for Britain’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). SEA5000, also known as the Future Frigate, is the RAN’s plan to replace its aging fleet of eight multi-purpose ANZAC frigates (based on a modified ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems MEKO 200 design) with a similar number of new vessels.

South Korea's DSME is building four double-hulled oilers, using BMT's AEGIR family design, for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
(Photo: BMT Defence Services)
Whilst the exact requirements are yet to be finalised, government sources have stated that it will ideally feature modular mission payloads and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) capability, with a strong emphasis on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). Strong domestic political pressure on the Australian government means that it is very likely to be constructed at state-owned shipbuilder ASC’s facility in Adelaide, though it is possible that some work will take place elsewhere. By contrast, SEA1654 is to be constructed almost wholly offshore, with NAVANTIA also on the project shortlist.
DSME states that work is at a more advanced stage in Malaysia, which ordered six 1,800 tons Missile Surface Corvettes from the shipbuilder in November 2014. The project is currently awaiting Malaysian government authorisation to make the contract effective, with work expected to begin in South Korea from 2018. Construction is also continuing in this country on the RFA’s 2012 order of four 37,000 tons "Tide" class Fast Fleet Tankers. The first of these was floated in March 2015, with a naming ceremony to be held in the near future.
By Mitchell Sutton