by Curtis Hand; images from various companies
Dear Faithful Readers,
As many of you did not make it to DSEI – noticeable by a lack of offers to buy your old friend here a pint for all his hard labours this past half year writing about your company – this little round-up of naval news should prove to be interesting for you none-the-less. I give you advance warning now, that there will be a whole new slew of Coffee Klatch interviews coming, starting with one of my favourites Marine Alutech and wrapping up with another favourite Ullman Dynamics – which was uniquely founded on hard medical research.
BABCOCK 1: A £110 million contract for Defence Strategic Radio Service (DSRS) was awarded to Awarded to Babcock International Group.
- Nine-year contract delivers the radio service for critical military operations
- DSRS to boost communications across multiple terrains and domains
- Improves interoperability and enhances emergency comms
- Supports 150 UK jobs
DSRS uses the Earth’s ionosphere to send and receive radio signals to across thousands of kilometres beyond direct-line-of-sight.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace sees this multi-million pound investment in frontline radio communications will provide “(our) Armed Forces with cutting-edge technology that allows them to connect effectively across a range of challenging environments. Underpinned by commitments outlined in the Defence Command Paper, industry expertise will be at the core of developing this innovative capability…”
Commander of Strategic Command General Sir Patrick Sanders confirmed that
“…It is vital we have a range of robust communications options available to us, including
satellite, internet and high frequency, to offer Commanders and decision-makers in the field the information they need at the speed of relevance.”
The new system will also be critical for flight safety communications to all military aircraft while also supporting the ‘mayday’ fallback facility for the wider UK aviation community. While used by the UK Armed Forces, the radio system will also support civilian tasks when required, including mountain rescue and civilian aircraft emergency communications.
DSRS functions across all single service capabilities and can be integrated with communication systems of global allies, improving the UK’s ability to command and control its forces worldwide.
SAAB 1: Saab’s Giraffe 1X radar and C2 system successfully participated in the multinational Arctic Challenge Exercise 2021 (ACE 21) . They were operating alongside more than 70 military aircraft from eight different countries, which gathered in Norway, Finland and Sweden to develop air combat tactics, techniques and procedures.
Giraffe 1X together with a packaged, scalable C2 system was used to securely plan, monitor and evaluate flights, as well as participating in the exercise as a whole.
Fredrik Sämfors, Programme manager Surface Radar Solutions at Saab assured: “Our systems are designed to overcome tough challenges and this was proven during ACE21. The exercise was complex and put both Giraffe 1X and the Command and Control system in an advanced tactical and operating environment…”
RAFAEL: The recently unveiled SEA BREAKER maritime system also to be displayed for the first time at any global defence expo, underscoring its more than seven decades as a global pioneer in the field of defence R&D. During DSEI, Rafael showcased several of its famous solutions including:
- SEA BREAKER was unveiled in June 2021 (see MSD passim), Rafael’s SEA BREAKER is a 5th generation long-range autonomous precision guided missile system enabling significant attack performance against a variety of high-value maritime and land targets. By employing Rafael’s legacy of high-end precision guided munitions, SEA BREAKER serves as a pinpoint, surgical force multiplier both on land and at sea.
- DRONE DOME is an end-to-end, combat proven counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) providing all-weather, 360-degree rapid defence against hostile drones. DRONE DOME detects even small targets at distances over 3.5 km, intercepts and neutralises with soft and hard kill measures, while inflicting minimal damage to the surrounding environment yet maximum safety to friendly aircraft.
- SPIKE Missile Family 5th generation, multi-purpose, EO-guided missile systems providing pinpoint accuracy on land, at sea, and in the air. It can upgrade helicopters into powerful force multipliers, enabling ultra-long standoff ranges and enhanced lethality in a lightweight package and extended mission endurance.
- BNET SDR is an advanced, tactical Broadband IP Mobile Ad Hoc Network, Software Defined Radio providing reliable high-speed, low-delay connectivity for broadband data, voice and video on-the-move for ground and airborne platforms, HQs, and dismounted soldiers.
The modular, multi-band, multi-channel, netcentric system enables unprecedented data rates and user numbers, enabling all land, sea, and air units to participate in a single, seamless, scalable network.
ISRAEL AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES / IAI: Integrates Barak MX Interceptors on Sa’ar 6 Corvettes from Israel Shipyards (SK Group).
• Barak MX is IAI’s flagship Air & Missile Defence System and is a part of the Naval Combat Suite IAI is integrating on the Israeli Navy’s Sa’ar 6 premier defence warship
• Chosen by the Israeli Navy to be SAAR 6 primary defence system
• The system will provide a layer of defensive and offensive capabilities from air and sea
September 14, 2021—is integrating offensive and defensive systems, to enhance the Sa’ar 6 corvette’s capabilities and usher the Israeli Navy into a new technological era, under the guidance of Israel’s Ministry of Defence (IMoD) and the IDF.
IAI’s Barak MX interceptors along with IAI’s complete naval combat suite will provide advanced defence systems to the Israel Navy’s Sa’ar 6 corvettes. The systems will be used to protect Israel’s exclusive economic zone and strategic facilities that face diversified threats in the marine arena. The Barak MX system was chosen after it was demonstrated to meet the operational requirements and future challenges faced by the Israeli Navy.
IAI’s naval solutions are battle-proven naval systems and technology, IAI sets new standards for Maritime Domain Awareness, Naval Combat Systems, EEZ Protection and Coastal Security.
Boaz Levy, President and CEO of IAI, said: “The combat and air defence systems installed on the Sa’ar corvettes represents the significant tier now being integrated on the rest of Israel’s air defence array, an integral aspect of IAI’s system wide naval solutions…IAI’s air defence systems boast successful, combat proven operational experience and we are proud to be the home of the Israeli Navy’s systems”.
BABCOCK 2: Leading UK shipbuilder and naval systems innovator Babcock sells first new frigate design licence to Indonesia, which secured the first export contract
for its Arrowhead 140 (AH140) frigate through a design licence agreement with PT PAL
Indonesia (Persero), a state-owned enterprise that builds and maintains ships for military
and commercial use from its facilities in Surabaya, Indonesia.
The breakthrough deal comes two years since Babcock’s AH140 design was first
announced as the preferred bidder for the UK Type 31 frigate programme at DSEI 2019,
with the contract confirmed in November of the same year.
The design licence will enable PAL to build two Arrowhead 140 frigates in Indonesia with
bespoke design modifications for the Indonesian Navy.
The baseline Arrowhead 140 design can be configured to meet a broad range of naval
requirements and, with Babcock’s support PAL will now engineer the required modifications
to configure the Arrowhead 140 for the Indonesian customer.
This is rather inline with another announcement whereby Babcock introduces Arrowyard to its portfolio of global ship building and support as a dynamic new approach within global shipbuilding that enables international customers to build and support
the company’s Arrowhead 140TM frigate (AH140) in-country, delivering a range of potential
economic and social benefits to local and national communities.
According to the company, Arrowyard leverages Babcock’s rich engineering and shipbuilding
experience, to create and offer a comprehensive range of technology and knowledge transfer options to create the conditions for the domestic construction of the AH140 by optimising customers’ in-country shipbuilding and industrial capabilities.
PATRIA: Acoustic Mine-sweeping Systems for the Belgian and Royal Netherlands navies in collaboration with Belgium Naval & Robotics. Patria was awarded a contract for the delivery of Patria Sonac ACS Acoustic Mine-sweeping Systems to the Belgian and Royal Netherlands navies by Belgium Naval & Robotics, the consortium made up of ECA GROUP and Naval Group.
The systems will be part of a fully integrated hardware and software mine-sweeping system developed by ECA GROUP. Following earlier successes, this contract reinforces Patria’s strategic efforts to become one of the leading providers of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Mine Counter-measures (MCM) solutions and services.
Cleverly, Patria Sonac ACS fully supports Mine Setting, Target Simulation, as well as Mine Jamming modes of operation. The sweep is capable of accurately reproducing true pre-recorded or synthesised underwater or surface target acoustic signatures, which is critical against modern intelligent sea mines. Patria Sonac ACS supports stand-alone operation but can also be integrated as part of any multi-influence mine-sweeping system.
TEKEVER: The UK’s Home Office reports using TEKEVER’s UAS-as-a-Service as the key asset to survey the British Channel and help prevent illegal migration and other illicit sea-borne activities. Paul Weeb, TEKEVER UK Managing Director noted that “…Every day, dozens of asylum seekers and refugees set off on the dangerous journey across the English Channel to reach British soil, but small boats and treacherous conditions mean many lives are in danger along the way. We are proud to be a partner of UK authorities in fighting this kind of illegal human traffic. Drones can identify humans in distress in a much faster way and help rescue teams”.
Since 2019, TEKEVER operates its own AR5 system over the English Channel, a twin-engine fixed wing UAV designed for maritime surveillance missions. The AR5 can fly for more than 12 hours, and carry multiple payloads, including maritime radars, synthetic aperture radars, day and night cameras and AIS and EPIRB receivers. The specific payload package used to survey the Channel allows it to cover vast areas, detecting and recognising potentially illegal vessels, and then track and identify them, providing the authorities with real time and highly accurate intelligence.
TEKEVER’s unmanned systems are developed and produced in Europe, in development centres and manufacturing facilities in the United Kingdom and Portugal. TEKEVER offers a UAS-based surveillance-as-a-service solution, delivering actionable real-time intelligence across wide areas. With focus on gathering intelligence to support demanding missions, TEKEVER’s UAS product-line is designed and engineered to deliver advanced technical and operational capabilities, with ease and a business model that makes easily available at a global scale.
ELBIT SYSTEMS: $56 Million in Contracts to Supply Underwater Warfare Capabilities to an Asian-Pacific Navy (What? Them Again?) to be performed over a 12-month period.
Under the contracts, Elbit Systems will provide the Seagull USVs configured to perform ASW missions and the Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar (TRAPS) systems.
The Seagull USVs will integrate Helicopter / Ship Long-Range Active Sonars (HELRAS) and will be equipped with the Company’s autonomous suite, Combat Management System and Satellite Communication capability.
The TRAPS systems, which will be installed onboard the customer’s corvettes, are low frequency variable-depth-sonars intended for detection, tracking and classification of submarines, midget submarines, surface vessels and torpedoes.
Oren Sabag, Co-General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR & EW, commented: “Advanced autonomous and sonar capabilities are a key to addressing the expanding challenges in the underwater arena. We believe that our portfolio of proven maritime capabilities is well positioned to support the growing operational requirements of naval forces around the world.”
SAAB 2: Next Generation version of the Combat Boat 90 travelled for the first time outside of its native Sweden. It is based on the previous generation of more than 250 boats operating worldwide, and still designed to swiftly transport marines and other SOFs on-shore and depart again, be it a beach or an awkward, elevated rocky shore. The CB90 NG includes a new combat management system and sensors for surveillance, ballistic protection, as well as further improved stealth, manoeuvrability and speed. By providing amphibious forces with multi-mission capabilities, CB90 NG is an even more potent means by which to project force from the sea. The fast and agile combat boat has a top speed well beyond 40 knots and can carry up to 21 amphibious troops with full equipment. It can be armed with large calibre machine guns, a MK19 grenade launcher, naval mines and depth charges, as well as Saab’s own Trackfire (a remote weapons station that enable weapons to fire accurately while the boat is on the move).