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NATO Naval

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bug2 - 26-9-2017 at 12:56 PM

Pentagon Contract Announcement

(Source: US Department of Defense; issued Sept 22, 2017)

General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Connecticut, is being awarded a $341,161,778 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-14-C-2104) to exercise the option for design agent, planning yard, engineering and technical support for in-service nuclear submarines.

The contract provides for drawings and related technical data; design change documentation; logistics technical data; configuration management; hull, mechanical and electrical engineering; submarine safety design review; non-propulsion plant electrical system engineering; propulsion plant engineering; maintenance engineering; refit/availability technical support; on-site support; configuration change program design and installation support; configuration change program material support; submarine technical trade support; training and facility support; research, research, development, test and evaluation program support; research and development submarine/submersibles support; miscellaneous special studies; temporary alteration support; modernization of submarine/submersible systems/subsystems; and affordability/cost reduction technical support.

This contract involves Foreign Military Sales to Spain.

Work will be performed in Groton, Connecticut (73 percent); Bangor, Washington (9 percent); Norfolk, Virginia (6 percent); Newport, Rhode Island (4 percent); Quonset, Rhode Island (3 percent); Kings Bay, Georgia (3 percent); and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (2 percent), and is expected to be completed by September 2018.

Foreign military sales; and fiscal 2017 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $6,500,000 will be obligated at the time of award and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: It is not quite clear why Spain, which does not operate nuclear ships or submarines, would require a capability to support such vessels, except of course if it is buying such a capability to allow US Navy nuclear attack submarines to be supported, at its own expense, in Spanish military ports.)
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bug2 - 21-10-2017 at 01:54 PM

All of Germany's submarines are currently down

By: Sebastian Sprenger   10 hours ago

The U-33, U-34 and U-36 submarines are seen at the Eckerfoerde German Navy base Oct. 10, 2016. (Morris MacMatzen/Getty Images)

COLOGNE, Germany ― The German Navy’s six-strong fleet of submarines is completely out of commission after the only operational sub had an accident off the coast of Norway on Sunday.

The U-35 was moved into ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ shipyard in Kiel after a rudder blade was damaged during a diving maneuver, the newspaper Kieler Nachrichten reported.

The submarine was scheduled to participate in exercises in the Skagerrak, the strait between southern Norway, southeast Sweden and Denmark.

The U-35 is a 212A-class boat, the same type that TKMS will build for Norway under a multibillion-dollar deal announced early this year. Italy also operates two boats of the class.

In the fierce competition between the two remaining bidders on a submarine deal, Germany's TKMS beat out France's DCNS.

Exactly how long the U-35 will be out of service was still unknown on Friday. Service officials hope to make an assessment next week about the extent of the damage.

The submarine joins three ships already being overhauled at the Kiel shipyard. German military news service Augen Geradeaus, citing sea service data, reported that the U-31 will be in the yard until December, and the U-33 and U-36 are undergoing maintenance until February 2018 and May 2018, respectively.

Additionally, the U-32 and U-34 are out of service and awaiting maintenance spots at the shipyard.

Navy officials blame bottlenecks in the procurement of spare parts for the submarines’ downtime. While a comprehensive package of spare parts was a key aspect of any new acquisition during the Cold War, cost-saving measures adopted since then have resulted in parts no longer being kept in reserve, German Navy spokesman Capt. Johannes Dumrese told the newspaper group SHZ.

According to a statement by the sea service, the most recent acquisitions of the U-35 and U-36 will usher in improved maintenance policies. Irrespective of the U-35′s fate, the Germany Navy expects to have three or four submarines ready for service in mid-2018.

bug2 - 12-1-2018 at 06:39 PM

All Submarines Broken: German Fleet on Forced Leave

(Source: Stern; published Jan 10, 2018) (Unofficial translation by D-A.com)

By Gernot Kramper

Germany’s six Type U-212A submarines are intended to block the Baltic Sea in case of a military emergency, but at the moment they are all broken down, and being slowly repaired because of missing spare parts. Not a single submarine is ready for use.

October 15 was a black day for the German submarine fleet. U-35 hit a rock on the Norwegian coast with a fin, and then had to be repaired. So far, the story is not so unusual. But U-35 was Germany’s last remaining operational submarine, and since then, the entire submarine fleet has been on vacation indefinitely.

International reputation

The navy has six Type 212A submarines. These boats are not huge models like the superpowers’ nuclear submarines, which are equipped with long-range missiles. They are much smaller vessels, but they can travel silently and are very difficult to locate. German submarines, especially, enjoy a very good reputation. In the hands of an experienced crew, which knows how to exploit the currents of the different water layers, these boats are able to break through the defense of even large naval flotillas and attack the enemy's largest ships. The Type 212A is equipped with hydrogen fuel cells, so it can stay under water for more than two weeks.

Problems from the beginning

In case of war, these small boats are supposed to block the Baltic Sea. But only if the emergency does not happen now. Already, the commissioning of Type 212A reads like a story of bankruptcies and mishaps, as Der Spiegel reported back in 2015.

Add to this the long duration of individual repairs. The leader in this respect is U-31, which has been out of service since 2014. In December 2017, repairs were finally due to be completed, but it will take months before the regular service starts.

A NDR report clearly identifies the cause of the problem. Previously, the Navy maintained its own inventory of major spare parts, which were then immediately available in case of damage. The downside of the solution: These spare parts had to be stored and they were paid for if they were not even needed. This stockpiling was ended, for submarines as well as for other weapons systems, after the end of the Cold War.

Eternal spare parts drama

This is a decision that ultimately led only to additional costs and not to savings. With a VW Golf you can buy every spare part at the next VW dealer. The situation is different for the navy, as spare parts for submarines cannot be bought in water sports supply shops: they must be ordered, and usually custom-made as a special order. This takes a long time and is also far more expensive than if you had additionally built the spare part in the original production.

Nobody maintains a production environment in the hope of spare parts orders for several years. "This is a disaster for the Navy," the defense commissioner of the Bundestag Hans-Peter Bartels told the NDR. "Submarines are one of their capabilities, and this is the first time in history, I believe, that they have had nothing to do for months."

There are no sailors, either

The funny thing is that this disaster has no major impact because the German Navy would not be able to use their submarines anyway: there are only three trained crews available for the six boats.

In the context of NATO, the lack of available submarines again shows the readiness of the German armed forces in a bad light. Only a few weeks ago it became known that fewer than 100 Leopard 2 tanks are ready for use. Again, the lack of spare parts is the cause of the failure.

In the future, the management of spare parts will no doubt be better handled. It remains to be seen when the problems of operational readiness will be solved.

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bug2 - 16-1-2018 at 02:51 PM

Acquisition Process Launched for Two Frigates from France

(Source: Kathimerini; published Jan 12, 2018)

By Vasilis Nedos

A request for the opening of talks to acquire two FREMM frigates is expected to be sent by the Greek government to Paris within the next month. Contacts between Greece and France will begin initially at a military level, starting in February, when the relevant document by the Greek government is expected to have reached Paris.

Well-informed sources reported that this move comes after a verbal agreement between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and French President Emmanuel Macron during his last visit to Athens last September.

The original goal of Athens is to reach agreement on two FREMM multi-role frigates and the most optimistic think that they could possibly be expanded by two more ships, for a total four. However, due to the relatively high unit cost (EUR 500-600 million per frigate), the same sources reported that Athens is prepared to discuss the alternative supply of French Gowind-type Corvettes.

These corvettes are a much more cost-effective solution. In any case, FREMM's specifications are FREMM, as frigates with enhanced anti-aircraft capabilities and, above all, a presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, which is becoming increasingly important for Greece as well as the area of cooperation with Cyprus Democracy and Israel. It is noted that the supply of modern frigates is judged by GHMEA and GEN as an absolute priority, on the one hand due to the aging of the existing fleet and on the other hand due to the growing increase in Greece's need for the open sea.

Boat supply

In February, the supply of high-speed Mark-V (25 meters) boats, the release of which has already been approved by the US Congress, is likely to go ahead, and the Letter of Acceptance has been sent.

A delegation of Greek officers will be in the United States in February to inspect the concrete boats that will be used for the transport of the frogs' This commission follows the recent agreement with the US to acquire 70 KiWa-Warrior OH-58D helicopters, which was finally approved by the KYSEA and is expected to be a serious upgrade of the Army Air Force Army.

Early arrivals of helicopters will start in 2018 and their initial operational capacity is expected to have been achieved by 2019. The head of the Allied Air Force, Stephanie is the fastest possible integration into the structures of the Army Air Force with their dispersion in the Aegean islands. Of the 70 helicopters, 36 will arrive in Greece with their full equipment. The rest will be used for training and spare parts.

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bug2 - 13-2-2018 at 05:45 PM

'No More Missions for Germany's Navy,' Warns Armed Forces Ombudsman

(Source: Deutsche Welle German Radio; issued Feb 11, 2018)

Germany's parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces has urged the navy to stop deploying frigates to NATO, EU and UN missions. Hans-Peter Bartels says the military simply doesn't have enough ships.

Germany must think twice before agreeing to any new maritime missions with NATO, the European Union or the United Nations, according to the parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces, Hans-Peter Bartels.

In an interview published in the Sunday tabloid Bild am Sonntag, Bartels blamed bureaucracy and mismanagement for a lack of available frigates.

"The navy will soon run out of operational ships," the Social Democrat (SPD) politician told the paper.

Lack of parts

Bertels said a shortage of spare parts for German navy vessels would likely lead to longer repair stays in shipyards.

"There are too many administrative responsibilities, a lack of staff, and sometimes [ship repair] companies like to cling as long as possible to a given order," he warned.

Bild am Sonntag reported that one of the three largest ships in the German navy, the combat support vessel "EGV Berlin," along with the supply ship "EGV Bonn," was expected to be out of action for much longer than initially anticipated.

According to an internal navy report, the two vessels' 18-month overhaul at a shipyard in Hamburg, which began last year, is being delayed due to a lack of spare parts.

New frigates delayed

Bartels said the "retirement" of old German navy frigates was going according to plan but was being hampered by delays in rolling out their replacements.

"Six out of 15 old frigates have been retired from service, but none of the new F125 frigates has been released to the navy," he said.

Among its many missions, the German navy has been patrolling the Mediterranean crossing from northern Africa into Europe since May 2015 as part of an EU operation dubbed "Sophia." The mission is due to run until the end of 2018.

Vessels have also been deployed for similar responsibilities with NATO's Standing Maritime Group 2 in the Aegean Sea.

With a fleet of nearly 100 vessels, the German navy plays a key role in supporting NATO and UN missions around the world.

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unicorn - 13-2-2018 at 10:21 PM

The rest of NATO must be looking at the German Armed Forces and counting them out of any real role or capability in a half-way serious shooting situation.

bug2 - 8-3-2018 at 06:15 PM

French Navy Commissions “Auvergne” into Active Service

(Source: French Navy, issued March 06, 2018)

(Issued in French; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


The FS Auvergne after its commissioning. Under current plans, the French navy will have received six Fremm frigates in anti-submarine configuration by 2019. Another three will follow by 2022, two of them with enhanced anti-air capabilities. (French navy photo)

On February 14, 2018, the Chief of the Naval Staff admitted to active service Auvergne, the 4th multi-mission frigate (FREMM). Now declared fit for combat by the Navy, she joins Aquitaine, Provence and Languedoc, her three sister-ships in the FREMM class.

This admission is the culmination of a process of verification of the ship's military capabilities. In 2017, Auvergne was deployed for more than four months in diversified areas of operations: the Mediterranean Sea, the China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and the Pacific Ocean.

This deployment was marked by its integration into Task Force 50, formed around the US aircraft carrier Nimitz, and the Combined Task Force 150, the multinational naval force fighting against illicit trafficking. Auvergne also helped show France's commitment to respect for international law and the freedom of navigation, particularly in the China Sea.

Auvergne confirmed the already recognized qualities of the FREMM-class as modern, versatile, enduring and flexible vessels. They meet the needs of maritime rescue missions, the gathering of information in all three dimensions, and the requirements of high-intensity conflicts: control of a zone of air-sea operations, anti-ship, anti-submarine and anti-air missions, and support of projection operations, command of a national or combined naval air force, etc.

Two major assets are worth highlighting: the ability that France now has to strike accurately from the sea and in depth, with the MdCN naval cruise missile, and its unequaled performance in anti-submarine warfare, thanks to the alliance of the ship’s hull-mounted sonars and her embarked (NH90) Cayman helicopter.

With this fourth FREMM frigate, the French Navy reinforces its ability to ensure France’s security, both in its own waters and on the high seas.

The future LPM multi-year funding law confirms the importance of first-rank frigates that contribute to all strategic functions. Thus, to reach the target of 15 frigates of first rank, four intermediate-size frigates (FTI) will be ordered and two delivered by 2025.

The last four FREMMs will have been delivered in 2025, the final two with enhanced air defense capabilities.

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bug2 - 21-4-2018 at 11:31 AM

Hellenic Navy moves closer to leasing FREMM frigates from France

Kostas Tigkos, London and Alex Pape, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

20 April 2018


The Greek deputy defence minister has confirmed that an agreement has been reached to lease two FREMM frigates from France. Source: Naval Group

The Hellenic Navy is edging closer to leasing two FREMM (frégate européenne multi-missions) class frigates from France, the Greek Deputy Defence Minister has announced.

Fotis Kouvelis on 20 April confirmed that an agreement had been reached on a five-year leasing deal that could see two FREMM ships handed over to the Hellenic Navy as early as August 2018.

This follows years of inactivity since the original statement of intent to acquire the FREMMs and months of negotiations between the French and Greek governments.

Kouvelis also hinted that a further two vessels of unknown design could be procured in the future. It is widely speculated that the FREMM deal is a stop-gap solution until the Hellenic Navy formally agrees on the procurement of new vessels of the Gowind- or Belh@rra-class after the FREMM leasing agreement ends in about 2023.

Payment is believed to be connected to European Central Bank bonds, although precise details have yet to emerge.

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bug2 - 5-5-2018 at 07:38 PM

Multibillion Euro Impulse for the Navy

(Source: Defense-Aerospace.com; posted May 04, 2018)


The Dutch Navy will replace its two M-frigates (HNLMS Speijk seen here) and Alkmaar-class minehunters, and buy a second logistic support ship, under a 6.7 billion plan submitted to Parliament yesterday by the defense ministry. (NL MoD photo)

PARIS --- The Dutch Navy is on the verge of receiving a multi-billion euro investment, the Dutch daily De Telegraaf reported Thursday. In addition to the two M-Frigates, six minehunters are also being replaced by partly unmanned systems. There will also be new missiles, torpedoes and cannons, while the four air-defense and command frigates will undergo a thorough upgrade.

Secretary of State for Defense Barbara Visser officially announced this to Parliament’s Lower House on Thursday. In total, this involves an investment of 6.7 billion euros beyond the replacement of the submarines, for which an additional 2.5 billion euros has been earmarked.

According to a bilateral agreement on joint naval procurement signed in November 2016, the Netherlands is the lead nation for the procurement of frigates for both countries’ navies, while Belgium is to lead procurement of new minehunters for both.

Dutch tender

In the State Secretary’s memorandum, naval forces seem to benefit most from the extra funds that this government is spending on the armed forces. By the end this cabinet period, it will eventually receive a structural 1.5 billion euros.

Frigates are the backbone of the navy, and their replacement is therefore essential. Because of their power, they ensure safety at sea, defense of their national territory and that of allies, and unrestricted sea transport. Where the air defense and command frigates specialize in air defense, the M-frigates are designed for anti-submarine warfare, which is a capability that NATO has a great need for. In addition to combat operations, frigates are also suitable for, for example, anti-terrorism, drugs and piracy control and the provision of emergency aid.

The construction of a complex ship like a frigate takes more than 7 years. The first new frigate is expected to be operational from 2025 onwards.

The current multipurpose frigates, the HNLMS Van Speijk and the HNLMS Van Amstel were commissioned into Navy service in 1991 and 1995, with a planned lifespan of 25 years. By 2024, new frigates must enter service to replace them.

The replacement of the M-frigates is estimated to cost 1 to 2.5 billion euros, Visser estimates, and the ministry would like to stay close to home, preferring a tender in which Damen Shipyards in Gorinchem would be the biggest contender, according to RTL Nieuws. Defense procurement is not subject to European procurement rules.

Another major purchase is that of a second supply ship. The Netherlands now has one supply ship, the joint logistic support ship (JSS) Karel Doorman after one - the Zr. Ms. Amsterdam - was retired in 2014 and sold to Peru. For a new ship, 250 million to 1 billion euros will be allocated.

A second Combat Support Ship (CSS) should increase the effectiveness of naval vessels, as they would have to leave the area of operations less frequently for a port visit. With a second support vessel, the Dutch Defense organization can permanently have supply capacity at sea and also make it available to NATO.

The CSS must be launched relatively quickly from 2023 onwards. For this purpose, the Defense organization will take the existing design of the JSS. Buying “off-the-shelf” has several advantages: use can be made of existing knowledge and experience, and the maintenance and training and training of the crew can be pooled.

The CSS is smaller than the JSS, but still the same as much as possible. Think of architecture and design, the command system, the armament and the use of (sub) systems as radar.

For a new ship, 250 million to 1 billion euros will be allocated.

New mine hunters

The Dutch Navy operates six Alkmaar-class minehunters. Developed and built in the 1980s in a joint program together with Belgium and France, and have now reached the end of their lifespan.

The deteriorated security situation increases the chances that naval mines could be deployed, and there are also many explosives on the coat left over from the First and Second World War.

The future of maritime mine control lies in unmanned and partly autonomous systems. These are deployed at a safe distance from a manned mine-control vessel. In addition, the minehunters are designed in such a way that they can operate worldwide and under high threat. The Netherlands will receive the new units, both manned and unmanned, between 2025 and 2030.

The cost of the replacement of the six Dutch mine hunters will fall in the same order of magnitude and the CSS, or less than 1 billion euros.

Other expenses

According to the memorandum to Parliament, a selection of other acquisitions planned by the defense ministry in the coming years for the Royal Netherlands Navy includes:
-- New generation of anti-aircraft missiles for M-frigates: 250 million - 1 billion euros;
-- Softkill defense system against torpedoes: 100-250 million euros;
-- Replacement 127 mm gun LC frigates; 100-250 million euros;
-- Replacement Harpoon system (surface-to-surface missile): 100-250 million euros; and
-- Replacement Goalkeeper system for self-defense against short-range air threat: 100-250 million euros.

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bug2 - 5-5-2018 at 07:52 PM

UK and Norway Defence Ministers Plan Sub-Hunting Co-Operation

(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued May 03, 2018)

British defence minister Guto Bebb (2nd from top) hosted Norwegian undersecretary for defense Tone Skogen (top) at RAF Lossiemouth, in Scotland, to discuss cooperation when both countries begin to operate Boeing P-8A Poseidon ASW aircraft. (RAF photo)

The UK and Norway advanced their plans for international Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) co-operation in the North Atlantic, as the nations’ defence ministers flew in an American P-8A Poseidon from RAF Lossiemouth today.

Defence Minister Guto Bebb hosted Secretary Tone Skogen, State Secretary in Norway’s Ministry of Defence, on her visit aboard a US Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft – equipment which both the UK and Norway will soon own themselves.

The allies ramped up discussions around how the nations will work together and might deploy their submarine-hunting aircraft fleet in the future. Areas of co-operation could range from maintenance to training and operations, which would not only cut costs but also boost operational power in the North Atlantic, a key area of submarine activity.

The aircraft took off from RAF Lossiemouth, which will be the future home of the UK’s fleet. Investing £3 billion in the capability over the next decade, the UK is buying nine of the Boeing-built aircraft, whilst Norway are getting five. Their key role for the UK will be to protect the country’s submarine-based nuclear deterrent and its two new aircraft carriers - the Poseidons deploy sonobuoys to help them detect submarines, and can fire anti-ship missiles and launch torpedoes to destroy submarines.

Defence Minister Guto Bebb said: “These sub-hunters will take to the skies from RAF Lossiemouth and help us combat a range of intensifying threats, not least increasing submarine activity in the North Atlantic. We’re investing £3bn in our own capability, but working alongside Norway takes this to a higher level. Not only could we cut costs by sharing training, spares and repair facilities, but we can patrol the seas together, meaning we’ve got more eyes and ears on any potential aggressors.”

Norway’s Secretary Tone Skogen said: “Norway and the UK are natural partners given our shared values, as well as our history and geography. We can even further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation related to high-end capabilities such as the F-35 fighter and the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft.

“In my discussions with Guto Bebb, Minister for Defence Procurement, I find a like-minded ally. The UK and Norway continue to stand together in training and exercises in the North Atlantic and the Northern region, as well as operationalisation of the Joint Expeditionary Force.”

The nine P-8A Poseidons will be based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland. Last month, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson cut the first turf on a £132m facility for the new fleet. The new facility will be completed in 2020, to coincide with initial operating capability of the Poseidon aircraft being available in the UK.

Built by Elgin-based Robertson Northern, it will comprise a tactical operations centre, an operational conversion unit, squadron accommodation, training and simulation facilities and a three-bay aircraft hangar.

At the peak of construction, the project will support 200 local jobs. When the fleet is fully operational, some 470 additional service personnel will be based at RAF Lossiemouth, taking the total number of people employed there to 2,200. Further roles are also expected when the training and support services are established at the new facility.

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bug2 - 10-5-2018 at 11:16 AM

Thales kicks off production on supersonic missile-tracking sensor

By: Pierre Tran   5 hours ago


Thales started building the four-panel phased array antenna after three years of research into radar technology and architecture, backed by the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office. (Thales)

PARIS — Production has begun for the Sea Fire digital radar, a naval sensor designed to track new weapons including supersonic missiles, Thales said.

“Thales is pleased to announce that the first Sea Fire radar for the French Navy’s FTI future medium-size frigates program is now in production,” the company said in a May 9 statement. “It is tailored to evolving requirements and the new threats faced by the French Navy, particularly supersonic missiles.”

The company started building the four-panel phased array antenna after three years of research into radar technology and architecture, backed by the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office, the company said. The radar draws on work on big data and cybersecurity, and future software development will be written into the system to boost performance and reliability over the life of the system.

The DGA signed a contract with Thales for the Sea Fire radar separate from the April 2017 deal inked with Naval Group for design and production of five FTI frigates.

Thales is building the radar at its Limours facility, just outside the capital. The sensor is built to track conventional, asymmetric and emerging air and surface threats.

The company will deliver the first radar next year for qualification at the DGA facility at Saint-Mandrier, just outside the Toulon naval base, southern France. Thales will in 2020 ship the four radar panels to Naval Group’s Lorient shipyard, western France, where the five FTI frigates will be built.

The first of the 4,200-ton FTI frigates will be delivered in 2023 and enter service in 2025.

France has set a €3.8 billion (U.S. $4.5 billion) budget for the FTI program, which is intended to boost export sales and also arm the French Navy, which is struggling to meet its requirements.

The French service expects to sail a fleet of 15 frigates by 2030, the Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Christophe Prazuck told the defense committee of the lower house National Assembly Oct. 11. The Navy presently deploys 17 frigates, “and I do not manage to do all that I should do with that number,” he said.

The service should have a fleet of 18 first rank frigates, 18 of the upgraded ATL2 maritime patrol aircraft and 18 patrol vessels, he said.

bug2 - 23-5-2018 at 01:10 PM

German Navy leans heavy on simulation pilot training

By: Sebastian Sprenger   12 hours ago


Simulation is becoming more critical because the German Navy lacks the resources to devote the necessary flying hours. (German Navy)

NAVAL AIRBASE NORDHOLZ, Germany — The yellow-vested crewman is a stoic fellow. Perched overlooking the frigate’s helicopter landing deck, he stares into nothingness as incoming pilots attempt to set their Sea Lynx choppers onto the ship’s bobbing surface before his eyes. For a moment during the maneuver, the figure’s digital outline appears suspended in midair — a graphical glitch that somehow fails to surprise. This is, after all, a simulator. In here, reality cuts corners.

Such is the story of simulator training. It’s a known imperfection and a coveted improvement at the same time. There’s no shortage of innovation in the industry to boost the sense of realism for aspiring pilots sitting in virtual cockpits. Proficiency on certain tasks, especially the dull ones, is most economically practiced in dimly lit apparatuses on the ground, where failure carries no risk.

But it’s not the same as the real thing, adrenaline and heart-pounding and all. And it’s not meant to be, either, as both flight instructors and the companies supplying them with a never-ending stream of new technology will readily acknowledge. The question is how do military aviators find the sweet spot between lifelike and actual life.

Listening to German Navy officers during a recent visit at this base near Bremerhaven and the North Sea, it sounds like that choice has been made for them. A lack of personnel combined with an aging fleet of P-3C Orion planes and Sea Lynx and Sea King helicopters stationed here has pushed the ratio to 70 percent simulator training versus 30 percent live instruction for new pilots — the maximum allowed.

“It feels wrong,” Cmdr. Jan Keller, commanding officer of Naval Air Wing 5 Flying Group, told reporters. He said it is hard to truly recreate the “feel” of flying actual missions.

At the same time, simulation is becoming more critical because the sea service lacks the resources to devote enough flying hours, laboriously squeezed out of decades-old aircraft, to live training. Plus, fewer young Germans aspire to join the armed forces and become Navy pilots, which means there is very little room for error in graduating those who actually do.


How do military aviators find the sweet spot between lifelike and actual life? (Sebastian Sprenger/Staff)

Nordholz produces between 15 and 20 pilots annually across its helicopter and fixed-wing portfolio.

“The time when you had a lot of people to throw at a lot of systems are over,” Keller said. “We never had that in Germany anyway.”

There is a similar trend in other European countries, opening the possibility — or need — to join forces with other nations in filling training pipelines for similar aircraft.

The Lynx simulator at Nordholz, for example, trains naval aircrews from Germany, Denmark and Portugal under an arrangement called the Joint Lynx Simulator Training Establishment. Housed in a sizable hall near the base entrance, the machine’s hydraulic legs help simulate the movement of flight. But even without the feature turned on, the simulator offers a great degree of visual realism, much of which was derived from the gaming industry, explains the German Navy official in charge of it.

Next to the Lynx simulator, inside a large, black cube, sits an Sea King Mk41 simulator, upgraded last year with a new video-surround projection system and other features by Canadian-based contractor CAE.

The German Navy’s 21 Sea Kings are scheduled to leave service in 2023. With a service life of more than 40 years and counting, the helicopters are so old that officials said they routinely scour the globe — often in remote places — for spare parts to keep the aircraft flying.

Next door outside, workers have begun clearing a soccer field-sized patch for what will be the site of a new NH90 simulator at Nordholz, a much-anticipated replacement helicopter for the German Navy’s legacy fleet. Initially eyed for search-and-rescue missions, the NH90 Sea Lion, made by a European consortium of Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo and Fokker Aerostructures, could later pick up additional duties.


The P-3C Orion cockpit simulator here was initially booked almost every day. Now there are about 10 uses per month, a Navy instructor tells reporters. (German Navy)

The government is still collecting bids for the simulator contract, though officials said nothing will be built on the designated clearing here until after the envisioned October 2019 aircraft delivery date. That means naval pilot trainees will have to find yet another workaround.

Training and simulation companies are facing notably different market landscapes in the United States and in the more cash-strapped European militaries. In some ways, the sales proposition to the lavishly funded U.S. forces lies in the area of complementing and optimizing training programs. For many customers in Europe, including the German Navy, the fixation on simulation is more borne out of a lack of alternatives.

“The volume in the states is much higher” than in Europe, said Marc-Olivier Sabourin, CAE’s vice president and general manager for Europe and Africa. “But in the end, the result of producing readily trained pilots is the same.”

In the case of the German Navy, personnel shortages are so acute that simulators contracted for high availability are seeing usage rates drop because there aren’t enough crews available. The P-3C Orion cockpit simulator here, for example, initially was booked almost every day. Now there are about 10 uses per month, a Navy instructor told reporters.

According to Keller, there are only enough service members to fill five of the eight P-3C crews written into the base’s table of organization. The rates are even worse for the other platforms: The Sea Lynx fleet needs 12 crews but has only four; Sea King crews are at six out of 15.

Meanwhile, the simulation industry is shifting toward not just creating real-world experience but measuring student performance at the same time.

“We’ve reached a point where we can replicate flight 100 percent,” Philippe Perey, international development director at CAE, told Defense News.

The next step is automatically analyzing the data gleaned from students in simulators to derive an additional perspective about their performance besides a human’s judgment. “There is quite a bit of variation even among instructors,” Perey said.

The jargon for this approach is “closed-loop training,” and Perey was quick to point out that “we never override the instructor.”

At the same time, mining data about student decisions — the good and the bad — and adjusting syllabuses accordingly could unearth pilot weaknesses that humans don’t have the brains to see.

bug2 - 27-6-2018 at 09:42 AM

Spain cleared to buy five Aegis systems

By: Aaron Mehta   2 hours ago


The Aegis-class destroyer USS Hopper launches a weapon during a military exercise. Spain hopes to add similar capabilities with five new Aegis-carrying frigates.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department has cleared Spain to purchase five Aegis weapon systems, potentially worth $860.4 million.

The systems would be placed aboard Spanish frigates, which are interoperable with NATO allies such as the U.S. Spain currently operates five existing Aegis-equipped frigates.

Adding the systems to Spain’s fleet will “afford more flexibility and capability to counter regional threats and continue to enhance stability in the region,” according to an announcement posted by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

In addition to the five systems, the package includes six shipsets Digital Signal Processing, five shipsets AWS Computing Infrastructure MARK 1 MOD 0, five shipsets Operational Readiness Test Systems (ORTS), five shipsets MK 99 MOD 14 Fire Control System, five shipsets MK 41 Baseline VII Vertical Launching Systems (VLS), two All-Up-Round MK 54 Mod 0 lightweight torpedoes, twenty SM-2 Block IIIB missiles and MK 13 canisters with AN/DKT-71 warhead compatible telemeter, as well as other equipment.

Being cleared by the State Department does not guarantee a sale will be completed. Congress can still intervene, and final price and quantity are often altered during negotiations. The proposed sale is being handled under a Foreign Military Sales vehicle.

Should the sale clear, it primary work would be done by Lockheed Martin in Moorestown, NJ, and Manassas, VA; Raytheon in Waltham, MA; and General Dynamics in Williston, VT.

There are also a “significant number of companies under contract with the U.S. Navy that will provide components and systems as well as engineering services” to support the sale, the DSCA notes.

DEW - 27-6-2018 at 11:08 AM

Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
Spain cleared to buy five Aegis systems

By: Aaron Mehta

WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department has cleared Spain to purchase five Aegis weapon systems, potentially worth $860.4 million.

The systems would be placed aboard Spanish frigates, which are interoperable with NATO allies such as the U.S. Spain currently operates five existing Aegis-equipped frigates.



Oh for heaven's sake, turn down the SEA 5000 synergies. They're deafening! :smilegrin:

bug2 - 10-7-2018 at 06:50 PM

German Navy lacks at-sea refuelling capability

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

09 July 2018

The German Navy announced at the end of June that its two replenishment tankers are not available to refuel ships at sea because of wear and tear and engine problems.


Launched in 1974, the German Navy’s replenishment tanker <I>Spessart</I> is not available because of wear and tear and engine problems. (Bundeswehr/Christin Krakow)

German navy chief Vice Admiral Andreas Krause said, “We cannot make up for the unavailability of the tankers. The navy has become too small. This is another example of how urgent the modernisation and financing of the navy is.”

The German Navy’s three Berlin-class combat support ships are not available during the second half of 2018 because they are committed to or preparing for the EU’s Operation ‘Sofia’ migrant-monitoring mission in the Aegean.

Germany can therefore not commit a tanker to Standing NATO Maritime Group One.

The German Navy said it has to overhaul Spessart’s diesel engine to examine the exact cause of the problem.

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bug2 - 24-7-2018 at 09:00 AM

France makes progress on refitting submarine for M51 missiles

By: Pierre Tran   6 hours ago


France carries out a flight test of the M51 ballistic missile. (French Armed Forces Ministry)

PARIS — The ballistic missile submarine Téméraire has been taken to Ile Longue, the French naval base for nuclear boats, marking a key step in a major refit of the sub, shipbuilder Naval Group said in a July 23 statement.

That move, which comes “after 20 months of work,” marked “a significant step in the the last modernization and adaptation of nuclear ballistic submarines for the M51 missile,” the company said.

The submarine was towed Friday from dock 8 at Brest to the highly secure base on Ile Longue, a small peninsula in Brittany, northern France, where the French Navy maintains its fleet of four ballistic missile boats.

The overhaul and refit required the hull to be split open and new silos installed for the M51 missile, which is longer and wider than the outgoing M45 weapon. Work will continue some three or four months on the Téméraire on Ile Longue, with the boat expected to sail for a further nine years after returning to service.

“The adaptation to the new missiles is of primary importance,” said Maximilian Porter, program director at the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office, regional paper France Ouest Entreprise reported. Combat and navigation systems were also updated.

Téméraire is the third ballistic missile submarine to be refitted for the M51 weapon, following the Vigilant and Triomphant. That program of refits has taken some 10 years. The fourth ballistic missile boat, Terrible, was delivered equipped for the M51.

Naval Group was prime contractor on the major overhaul and refit, which takes some two years and four million hours of work on each boat.

Airbus Defense & Space is contractor for the M51 missile, which is assembled at its nearby Guenvénez plant and delivered to the Ile Longue base, where the atomic warheads are fitted.

The government’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission is assembling and fitting the nuclear warhead on the missile on Ile Longue. Each of the Triomphant-class submarines carry 16 M51 missiles, which can carry up to six independent warheads.

Studies are being conducted for a third-generation nuclear ballistic missile submarine and future versions of the M51. The M51.3 version is due to enter service around 2025. Under the newly adopted 2019-2025 defense budget law, the government has earmarked €25 billion (U.S. $29 billion) for work on the nuclear deterrent, including seaborne and airborne weapons.

bug2 - 26-7-2018 at 09:21 AM

More delays for Spanish S-80 submarine programme

David Ing, Madrid - Jane's Navy International

25 July 2018

The final delivery date for Spain’s new S-80 submarines is set to be pushed back another two years, Jane’s has learned.
In January Spanish Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Teodoro López Calderón said the first boat was due to be handed over at the end of 2021 and be operative by 2023, with the last boat to be delivered by 2025.

However, speaking to Jane’s on 22 July, a navy source said the scheduled handover for the last of the four boats is now expected in mid-2027.

Originally intended to start replacing the Spanish Navy’s three remaining S-70 class earlier this decade, the S-80 programme was interrupted in 2013 due to excess weight problems that threatened its buoyancy.

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bug2 - 31-7-2018 at 09:28 AM

Reprogramming the Annuities of the Submarine Program S-80

(Source: Spanish Council of Ministers; issued July 27, 2018)

(Issued in Spanish; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

The Council of Ministers has approved the rescheduling of the annuities that affect the Special Program for the Modernization of the Armed Forces corresponding to the S-80submarine, so as to adapt the financing to the current payment schedule.

With this action, the cost ceiling of the S-80 submarine program is raised to 1.771.703.930,42 euros.

Special Programs have particular financing characteristics that imply the realization of continuous adaptations during their development.

Currently, the Ministry of Defense has the need to reprogram the calendar of annuities corresponding to the submarine program S-80, which aims at the design and construction of four high-tech, non-nuclear submarines with superior capabilities to others in service.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The S-80 submarine program, designed by the Spanish Navantia shipyards group, which is also building the four boats, has a particularly troubled history.
First, it was discovered that the first boat was too heavy to be able to resurface after having dived, so it was decided to lengthen it by inserting a 10-meter plug so as to ensure its neutral buoyancy. By increasing its displacement by 800 tonnes.
It was then discovered that, once lengthened, the boats are too long to fit into the submarine pens at their base in Cartagena, which will have to be dredged and the docks lengthened.
These modifications require an additional budget of 1.77 billion euros, approved on July 27 as stated above which, when added to the initial budget of 2,132 million euros, puts the total cost at 3,907 million euros, or almost one billion euros for each of the four submarines -- practically twice the original estimate.
Their story is recounted here: http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/194869... )

-ends-

bug2 - 31-7-2018 at 09:40 AM

Delivery of the Maritime Action Ship “Audaz” to the Spanish Navy

(Source: Navantia; issued July 27, 2018)

(Issued in Spanish; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


Audaz, the most recent Buque de Action Maritima, belongs to the second batch of a class of Spanish-designed enhanced Offshore Patrol Vehicles ordered after the first batch was judged to have performed well during naval operations. (Navantia photo)

This morning, the ceremony for the handing over to the Navy of the fifth Maritime Action Ship (BAM), "Audaz" (P-45), took place in San Fernando.

The ceremony was chaired by Ángel Olivares Ramírez, Secretary of State for Defense, and was attended by the Government Delegate in Andalusia, Alfonso Rodríguez Gómez de Celis; the Chief of Staff of the Navy (AJEMA), Admiral General Teodoro López Calderón; the President of NAVANTIA, Susana Sarriá Sopeña and the General Director of Armament and Material (DIGAM), Admiral Santiago Ramón González Gómez, as well as other civil and military authorities.

After the arrival of the guests and the military authorities, the Secretary of Defense went to the podium where he was presented with military honors. He reviewed the forces present in the ceremony, accompanied by the AJEMA, and then received the rest of the civilian authorities in attendance, beginning the act of delivering the ship to the Navy.

The ceremony began with an inspection of the ship by a commission of the Navy, which gave its approval to the DIGAM, followed by the signing of the delivery documentation for the transfer from NAVANTIA to the DGAM, and then for the transfer from the Ministry of Defense to the Admiral in Command of the Cadiz Arsenal.

After the assumption of the ship’s command by its Captain, Lieutenant Commander Emilio Damiá Marques, the ship’s ensign was blessed and handed over to the ship’s crew.

The act was completed with the embarkation of the new ship’s crew, the raising of her flag and the parade of the Forces before the authorities.

"Audaz", which was launched on March 30, 2017 is the first of the two additional vessels ordered in the extension to the of the Spanish Navy’s BAM program, according to the execution order signed by the Government on November 21, 2014.

The BAM ships, vessels of totally Spanish design and construction, have stood out for their excellent performance in the international task forces into which they have been integrated, demonstrating their efficiency and availability in the most demanding scenarios.

About the BAM "Audaz"

The "Audaz", like its predecessors, is 93.90 meters long, is endowed with high-performance, flight deck and has an autonomy of food for 35 days. The latest-generation Integrated Platform Control System developed by Navantia Sistemas allows its operation with a reduced crew, specifically 46 men and women (including a medical officer).

The missions for which the Maritime Action Ship is conceived are, on the one hand, maritime security in low intensity scenarios, with a capacity to dissuade and react to asymmetric or conventional threats and, on the other hand, to protect national maritime interests, collaborating with state security forces and other ministerial departments, in surveillance missions, rescue, humanitarian aid, fight against illegal traffic or fight against marine pollution.

i.e. illegal immigrant dissuader.........

-ends-

bug2 - 7-8-2018 at 02:24 PM

UK and Norway 'sub-hunters' will work together to counter Russian naval threat

Dominic Nicholls, Defence and Security correspondent

6 August 2018 • 6:26pm

- Britain's new fleet of sub-hunters will work alongside Norwegian forces as a deterrent to the Russian threat, the MoD has said.
- Britain and Norway will combat the resurgent threat from Russian naval forces by sharing facilities for new Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA).

The “significant increase in Russian submarine activity” means Nato naval forces are at particular risk in the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea.

The UK will take delivery next year of the first of nine P-8A aircraft, at a cost of £3 billion. Norway is buying five in a move that reflects the 'changing security environment' in the North Atlantic, according to a statement jointly signed by the UK, Norway and the United States.

The UK aircraft will be based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland with operational and logistic support extended to the Norwegian planes.

The plan to share facilities comes in the wake of comments by Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, that increased Russian naval activity in the Atlantic “shows the increasing aggression [and] increasing assertiveness of Russia”.

He said the Royal Navy had responded 33 times to Russian warships approaching UK territorial waters in 2017 compared with just once in 2010.

The decision in 2010 to scrap Britain’s MPA capability was subsequently reviewed in light of Russia’s military actions in Georgia and the Ukraine, according to Nick Childs of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“The change of gear in the relationship with Russia meant filling the gap [in MPA capability] in the 2015 Defence Review was a significant priority,” he says.

Submarine hunting skills had been retained in the RAF by embedding personnel in the US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand armed forces. The decision was taken in 2015 to revive a sovereign British maritime patrol capability.

Submarines are the most potent part of the Russian navy, says Mr Childs. The fleet consists of about 60 to 70 vessels and only a handful could pose a headache for Nato naval forces. The decision to work closely with Norwegian forces is “a logical step when fielding exotic capabilities in small numbers”, he says.

The P-8 conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and shipping interdiction, along with an electronic signals intelligence role. This involves carrying torpedoes, depth charges, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons.

The Poseidon’s search radar is optimised for detecting small objects on the surface of the sea, such as submarine periscopes, as well as larger surface contacts. Wing-mounted Harpoon anti-ship missiles can be carried to attack hostile surface contacts and anti-submarine torpedoes can be carried in the internal weapon bay. As well as protecting the UK’s submarine-based nuclear deterrent and its two new aircraft carriers, the British Poseidon's will be able to deploy sonobuoys to help them detect submarines.

Plans for joint operations with Norway received a boost in May when Tone Skogen, State Secretary in Norway's Ministry of Defence, was hosted at RAF Lossiemouth.

"Norway and the UK are natural partners given our shared values, as well as our history and geography,” she said.

“We can even further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation related to high-end capabilities such as the F-35 fighter and the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft."

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "The UK will explore with Norway ways in which we together can leverage the maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities of the P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft to improve North Atlantic security, thereby enhancing NATO security".

bug2 - 8-8-2018 at 06:38 PM

German Naval Yards Kiel & TKMS Team Up for MKS 180 program

Posted On Wednesday, 08 August 2018 08:30

On August 3rd, 2018, GERMAN NAVAL YARDS KIEL (GNYK) signed an agreement with thyssenkrupp Marine Systems.

Marine Systems as subcontractor of GNYK, will contribute to the development and construction of the multi-purpose combat vessel MKS 180. GNYK is the only remaining German main contractor in the EU-wide tender of the German Navy.

Incorporating thyssenkrupp Marine Systems’ teams into the MKS program will further increase the German share in the MKS proposal.


Artist impression of what MKS 180 could look like (for illustration purpose only)

GNYK is integrating the best available naval competences worldwide into its MKS 180 offer. The selected Marine Systems specialists will focus on the coordination and integration of combat systems and the intensive usability of naval vessels.

"Our offer for the MKS 180 program becomes even stronger with the input of the two engineering houses Alion and thyssenkrupp Marine Systems,” said GNYK Managing Director Jörg Herwig. “Our combined skills and expertise are enabling us to address the needs of our customer and to serve the quality of execution in the best possible way. We are very happy to welcome thyssenkrupp’s engineers into our team with whom we have already successfully collaborated in the past,” Herwig added.

GNYK had previously contracted the US Navy supplier Alion for contributing cutting-edge engineering technology of the world’s strongest navy to its MKS 180 offer. The engineering house adds unmatched experience and references, having developed successful designs of similar programs for the US Navy.

The entire development and engineering of the vessels will take place in Germany. Further, the intellectual property rights and know-how related to the MKS 180 program will also remain in the country.

Dr. Rolf Wirtz, CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems: “We are bringing our decades of experience and expertise in naval shipbuilding to this partnership. We will strengthen the German Naval Yards bid in particular through the know-how of our engineers in integrating on-board systems of all kinds and their experience with the intensive use concept, a key requirement for the MKS 180 frigates. Our joint bid will secure the preservation of naval surface shipbuilding as a key technology for Germany. The awarding of the contract to German Naval Yards would secure jobs not only at our company but also to a significant degree at other German suppliers.”

In a next step it is expected that the German defense procurement agency BAAINBw will send the remaining bidders in the MKS 180 award procedure a precise specification for the naval vessels and request a best and final offer (BAFO). On this basis thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and German Naval Yards Kiel will work together to submit a convincing best and final offer. A final decision in the award procedure is not expected before 2019.


bug2 - 29-9-2018 at 05:04 PM

What will launch from France’s future aircraft carrier? The government and Navy are teaming up to find out

By: Pierre Tran   2 days ago

A French Navy Rafale Marine fighter aircraft launches from the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush during joint carrier flight operations. (Mark D. Faram/Staff)

PARIS — The French procurement office and the Navy will submit proposals to the Armed Forces Ministry based on definition studies for a future aircraft carrier, according to the head of the naval armaments operations unit at the Direction Générale de l’Armement.

The DGA and the Navy have been working on a “reflection for definition studies,” with those studies required to launch the carrier project, Laurent Sellier told Defense News on Sept. 24. Industry has served as observer, while the procurement office and service lead the discussions.

The studies will consider the future carrier’s capability to carry the Rafale fighter jet and its successor, as well as drones, he said. It will be up to the ministry to “greenlight” the contracts for the carrier.

Sellier was speaking on the sidelines of a news conference held by Gican, the industry association backing the Euronaval trade show, which opens Oct. 23.

Dassault Aviation, shipbuilder Naval Group and electronics specialist Thales have been sitting in on the discussions led by DGA and the Navy, an industry executive told Defense News. “There is close teamwork on tackling the overall problem,” the executive said.

The DGA and the Navy launched the first study at the end of August, examining lessons learned on aircraft carriers in operation and reviewing operational requirements of the future carrier, the executive said.

Thales could contribute its experience from working on the British carrier Queen Elizabeth. Other companies, such as MBDA, could be invited to take part in the studies.

A second study, largely steered by the DGA, will focus on technology and overall architecture, including onboard combat systems, system of systems and naval architecture, the executive said. That study is expected to be launched toward the end of October or early November.

The overall dossier comprising the two studies is expected to be completed at the end of 2019 or early 2020, and will allow the authorities to decide the capabilities of the ship. The studies will consider key factors such as size of the vessel, propulsion — both conventional and nuclear — and aircraft-launching capabilities.

The aircraft will not be included in the carrier budget but will be a major element in design and construction of the ship, which will be a system of systems. The studies will help determine the budget for the carrier.

There have been three large carriers built in the West — the U.S. Navy’s Gerald R. Ford and America, and the British Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth — since France launched the Charles de Gaulle, said Robbin Laird, an analyst with consultancy ICSA, based in Washington and Paris.

Any French study should look at those ships and see the technology available for a new carrier, such as an electromagnetic aircraft-launch system, he said. The French should consider the impact from an “evolving force system,” such as the use of direct-energy weapons for close-in defense and the integration of air and sea systems, he added.

Another major factor in designing a new carrier could involve France’s adaptation of the planned Franco-German jet fighter to a carrier-based version, he said. That future fighter will replace the Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon.

Britain and Italy will fly the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from their carriers, he said. That deployment of the F-35 calls for interoperability of the future French carrier and its aircraft with operators of the jet.

French Navy pilots have flown the Rafale from U.S. carriers as part of training, French Navy Rear Adm. Gilles Boidevezi told news conference attendees.

The French Navy sent pilots, support staff, 12 Rafale jets and a Hawkeye spy plane to the U.S. earlier this year to qualify and train with the U.S. Navy. The French pilots flew from the George H.W. Bush carrier, sailing out of Newport naval base.

bug2 - 2-10-2018 at 04:15 PM

4 Years and Counting: Germany’s New Warship Postponed Yet Again

(Source: RT Russian Television; posted Sept 29, 2018)


FGS Baden-Württemberg, lead ship of the German Navy’s latest F-125 class of frigates, was the first warship ever refused by the German Navy and returned to its builder to fix a large number of hardware and software deficiencies. (Luerssen Defence photo)

It looks top heavy........:no:

German Navy’s newest frigate should have been commissioned in 2014 to replace ageing Cold War-era warships, but it won’t be there until at least the next year due to faulty systems and snowballing cost, local media reported.

Commissioning of the ‘Rheinland-Pfalz’, the lead ship of the brand-new Baden-Wuerttemberg-class frigates, has now been postponed until the first half of 2019, according to Die Zeit newspaper citing a military spokesman. The vessel should have joined the Navy in 2014, but the troubling post-delivery issues plagued the fate of the ambitious project.

The four Baden-Wuerttemberg-class vessels the Navy ordered back in 2007 will come as replacement to the ageing Bremen-class frigates. It is understood they will feature a powerful cannon, an array of anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles as well as some stealth technologies, such as reduced radar, infrared and acoustic signatures.

Other important features include longer maintenance periods – it should be possible to deploy the newest frigates for up to two years away from home ports.

However, continuous delays mean that the cutting-edge warships – said to allow Germany to project power overseas – will already become outdated by the time they enter service, Die Zeit notes.

The ill-fated F125 frigate made headlines last year, when the German Navy officially refused to commission the vessel and returned it to Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg. This was the first time the Navy has returned a ship to a shipbuilder after delivery.

Little was known about the reasons behind the return, but German media cited a number of crucial “software and hardware defects” that made the warship useless if deployed on a combat mission. Software deficiencies were particularly important as the Baden-Wuerttemberg-class vessels will be operated by a crew of some 120 sailors – just half of the manpower on older Bremen class frigates.

Also, it emerged that the ship is dramatically overweight which reduces its performance and limits the Navy’s ability to add future upgrades. The 7,000-ton ‘Rheinland-Pfalz’ is believed to be twice as heavy as similar-class ships used by the Germans in the Second World War.

Aside from faulty hardware, the price tag of the entire project – including the training of the crew – is also becoming an issue. It is said to have reached staggering €3.1billion ($3.6bn) – up from initial €2.2 billion.

Problems gripping the newest frigates become especially of importance in light of recent warnings that Germany’s naval power is shrinking. Earlier this year, Hans-Peter Bartels, chief of the German parliament’s defense committee, acknowledged the Navy is actually “running out of deployment-capable ships.”

The official said the issue has snowballed over time, because old ships were decommissioned but no replacement vessels were provided. He lamented that none of the of the Baden-Wuerttemberg-class frigates were able to join the Navy.

-ends-

Mupp - 3-10-2018 at 12:39 PM

Just to add to the German news, 3 of their subs are back in service.

bug2 - 22-10-2018 at 10:29 PM

Romania set to choose four new corvettes, frigate upgrade

Richard Scott, London and Luca Peruzzi, Genoa - Jane's Navy International

22 October 2018


Damen Schelde’s SIGMA 10514 design. Source: Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding

Romania's Ministry of Defence is nearing a decision on the procurement of new multirole corvettes after receiving final bids at the beginning of October from Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding of the Netherlands, Italy's Fincantieri, and France's Naval Group.

The EUR1.6 billion (USD1.85 billion) programme covers the acquisition of four corvettes, as well as the combat system modernisation of the Romanian Navy's two ex-UK Royal Navy Type 22 frigates Regina Maria and Regele Ferdinand . A source selection is scheduled for 26 October, although industry sources suggest this could slip by a number of weeks.

Romania's requirement calls for a 2,500-tonne class multipurpose ship with capabilities across anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-air warfare, electronic warfare, naval gunfire support, and search and rescue. The design is also required to provide aviation facilities suitable for an IAR 330 Puma 10-tonne helicopter and a shipborne unmanned aircraft system.

In line with Romanian stipulations for local industry participation, all three contenders are proposing build and in-service support in conjunction with subsidiaries or partners based in country. Romania has asked for the first corvette to be delivered inside three years, with the programme to be completed in seven years.

Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding is bidding a variant of its SIGMA 10514 design with sister yard Damen Shipyards Galati. To meet the Romanian requirement, Daman has specified a Thales Nederland combat management system (CMS)/sensor fit, the Raytheon Evolved SeaSparrow Missile System and Boeing Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles. The underwater warfare suite would be provided by General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada.

Fincantieri, which owns the Vard Braila and Tulcea shipyards in Romania, is offering a customised variant of the Abu Dhabi corvette previously built for the United Arab Emirates. It is likely that Vard Braila would be the focal point for both construction and in-service support if Fincantieri is selected.

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bug2 - 23-10-2018 at 04:11 PM

To combat Russian subs, NATO allies are teaming up to develop unmanned systems at sea

By: David B. Larter   1 day ago


The unmanned submarine-hunting surface drone Sea Hunter gets underway on the Williammette River in Portland, Ore. The platform represents an enormous technological leap for unmanned maritime systems. (John Williams/U.S. Navy)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. and its NATO allies are teaming up to more closely cooperate on the development and fielding of unmanned maritime systems, according to an agreement signed by the defense heads of 13 NATO allies.

During the July summit, the powers signed onto a plan to jointly pursue technologies aimed at mine and sub hunting, according to an October news release making the agreement public.

“The use of unmanned systems is a potentially game changing leap forward in maritime technology,” the release read. “Working alongside traditional naval assets, these unmanned systems will increase both our situational awareness and our control of the seas.”

The release, while short on details, seems to open up the possibility that development of underwater and surface drones could be even more lucrative for companies involved, as it hints at the alliance seeking common, interoperable systems. That means a proven drone might be competing for business in 13 markets simultaneously instead of just one.

“Through this initiative, Allies will also be able to exploit economies of scale to reduce costs, allowing increasing defence budgets to go even further,” the release said.

The countries involved in the agreement are Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

For NATO watchers, the agreement is the latest sign of just how seriously the alliance is taking the threat from Russian submarines.

“NATO members are alarmed by the growing threat from Russian submarines, and are investing more resources to deal with it,” said Jorge Benitez, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who previously served as the lead on NATO issues for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. “Under [President Vladimir] Putin, Russia has deployed new, stealthier submarines in the north Atlantic that are much harder for NATO navies to track.

“This new multinational cooperation in undersea drones is the most recent example that NATO is taking the Russian threat in the north Atlantic much more seriously than it has in the past quarter century.”

Expanding role

The agreement also reflects the ever-expanding role of unmanned systems in the underwater domain, which countries are banking on to offset the ever-quieter and more advanced submarines.

As the U.S. submarine fleet has dipped to 56 attack and guided-missile boats, and the Navy projects that number is slated to further drop to 42 by 2028 and hold below 48 boats through 2032, according to a recent Congressional Research Service report.

The Navy’s 2019 30-year shipbuilding plan shows the number of attack submarines dropping precipitously in the mid-2020s, something CRS has warned about for years as the Los Angeles-class boats begin to retire in numbers.

That shortfall is prompting an all-out push on developing unmanned systems that can perform some functions to free up the big hunters for missions where they are more needed.

When it comes to cooperating in development of drones, monitoring the littorals in and around the Baltic — and in the Greenland, Iceland and the United Kingdom gap — is an area where this kind of cooperation could be helpful, said Bryan Clark, a retired submariner and analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

The Battle of the Atlantic

The renewed threat from Russian submarines has triggered what the U.S. Navy’s Europe commander, Adm. James Foggo, has dubbed “The Fourth Battle of the Atlantic,” harkening back to the fight with German U-boats in World War I, World War II and the standoff with Russia in the Cold War.

But with the expansion of NATO to former Soviet satellite states, the Battle of the Atlantic will sprawl from the Eastern Seaboard all the way to the Baltic and Black seas, areas that Russia has fortified with anti-access, area denial weapons and other capabilities in recent years.

That battlespace, however, extends not only to the undersea domain but all the way to the ocean floor, which is home to everything from pop-up mines to undersea internet cables that transmit the vast majority of the world’s data.

That means the alliance will need to know more than ever about what’s on the sea floor, a job that simply can’t be done with the declining number of attack submarines needed to shadow nuclear missile subs and conduct high-risk intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions around the globe.

In that arena, experts say that underwater systems — be it drones or stationary systems — will be necessary to monitor crucial chokepoints.

"We don’t have to know everything everywhere,” retired Vice Adm. Michael Connor, former head of American’s submarine forces, told the House Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee in a 2015 hearing. “But there are places where you would like to have very good knowledge. We have critical things we want to protect, like some of the undersea infrastructure that is so critical to our economy.

“There may be places we decide we want to have some volume of systems and that relatively small area around that infrastructure where you would have sufficient vehicles to obtain perfect knowledge.”

Pawns

Developing and using autonomous underwater unmanned vehicles has proven to be a challenge. The issues are multifarious, but they boil down to three core problems: communications, navigation and endurance.

Communicating underwater is a challenge in the best of circumstances, and surveillance drones aren’t worth much if they can’t tell others what they find. To that end, they must either have a home base to which they can navigate and upload data, or they need to surface and transmit, said Clark, the CSBA analyst.

A second challenge is navigating around obstacles. Fish, which know quite a bit about navigating underwater, have trouble avoiding commercial fishing nets that are common in sea lanes. Likewise, drones have issues finding and avoiding them, and that’s just one example.

Endurance is another challenge. Some of the best underwater drones in the U.S. Navy’s inventory, under ideal usage conditions, last a day underwater, Clark said.

“UUVs can only go a few knots, and that’s of limited duration,” he said.

Underwater drones are showing promise in the areas of mine hunting and mine sweeping, but perhaps even more promising — in terms of becoming an adequate stand-in for an attack boat — are some of the surface drones in development. Clark said programs such as the Sea Hunter, a medium-displacement unmanned surface vessel, could be a huge leap forward for monitoring chokepoints.

Developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel, or ACTUV, was designed to track enemy subs while avoiding collisions and abiding by the rules of the road. The first Sea Hunter was christened in 2016, and in January the project transitioned to the Office of Naval Research for further development.

The idea behind Sea Hunter is that one can field a multitude to cover a lot of area at a fraction of the cost of a frigate of destroyer.

“ACTUV represents a new vision of naval surface warfare that trades small numbers of very capable, high-value assets for large numbers of commoditized, simpler platforms that are more capable in the aggregate,” Fred Kennedy, head of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, said in a January news release. “The U.S. military has talked about the strategic importance of replacing ‘king’ and ‘queen’ pieces on the maritime chessboard with lots of ‘pawns,’ and ACTUV is a first step toward doing exactly that.”

Other technologies have also shown promise. Liquid Robotics’ Wave Glider, which uses ocean current and solar panels to power itself, can stay at sea for months at a time and provide persistent surveillance for anywhere from $250,000 to $300,000 a unit, a company representative told Defense News last year.

The agreement reached by 13 NATO powers is just the latest indication of how countries see unmanned systems impacting the future of warfare.

“It’s an important statement that NATO allies and partners are thinking seriously about these emerging capabilities — and they need to think about them,” said Michael Horowitz, a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania whose research has centered on unmanned systems. “It’s a reflection of how they see these systems impacting the maritime domain.”

bug2 - 1-11-2018 at 05:54 PM

FTI: A Weapon System of the Future at the Forefront of Technology

(Source: French Armed Forces Ministry; issued Oct 30, 2018)

(Unofficial English translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


Displacing 4,500 tonnes, France’s future intermediate-size frigates will be comparable in size to the US Nay’s FFG-9-class frigates, and will pack a heavy punch comprising anti-air and anti-ship missiles as well as torpedoes and guns. (French Navy image)

In 2013, the Defense White Paper stipulated that, by 2030, 15 frigates would have to equip the Navy. This directly implies the arrival of a new frigate in the forces, the intermediate size frigate (FTI). The lead ship of this class has now been ordered, and should be delivered before 2023. This ambitious project is the result of the collaboration of the Directorate General of Armament, Naval Group, Thales and MBDA.

The Intermediate Frigate (FTI) will be stealthy with a smaller and lighter size than other frigates. It will still be 120 meters long and will displace 4,500 tonnes. The FTI will have a permanent crew of 120 people and be able to accommodate up to 150 passengers. Among them, she will probably embark commandos because the FTI has the capability to operate two ECUME Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIB).

The vessel was also designed to operate an NH-90 NFH helicopter and well as a drone. According to Chief Engineer Grégory, who has worked extensively on this program, the Marine Aerial UAV System (SDAM) is a serious candidate, but may not be the only one.

An armed frigate to intervene on all fronts

According to the Armed Force Minister’s description, this vessel is "a jewel of technology." This frigate of the future is, in any case, an example of operational versatility because it will intervene against all kinds of threats, whether they are air, surface or underwater.

The great innovation of this of the FTI is in the equipment it aligns for the air defense mission. This will be the first French frigate to be equipped with a single mast in the middle of the hull, which will carry a SEA FIRE digital multi-function radar with fixed panels (other vessels are equipped with two masts with rotating radars). This new technology will provide the radar, and the other embarked sensors, with an unobstructed, 360° field of view.

To complete her anti-aircraft equipment, the FTI frigate will carry 16 Aster air-intersept missiles is vertical launchers on the forward beck. The peculiarity is that the SEA FIRE radar will combine the detection of the threat with the real-time update of the trajectory of the missiles after launch.

To engage surface threats, the FTI will be armed with 8 Exocet MM40 Block 3C missiles and 76mm guns. A small novelty compared to its bigger sisters is that the FTI frigate will be equipped with so-called "non-lethal" weapons. This is a new passive electronic warfare solution that, using light or sound stimuli, can deter attackers.

Finally, underwater operations will be conducted using two high-tech sonars: the CAPTAS-4-COMPACT towed sonar and KINGKLIP Mk2 hull-mounted sonar. They will detect the threat and unleash anti-torpedo decoys to deflect enemy attacks.

The frigate will also be able to respond to submarine assaults with MU90 torpedoes.

-ends-

ARH - 1-11-2018 at 06:05 PM

This is one of the more interesting naval projects being developed in the West; a frigate that is an 'actual' frigate!

bug2 - 1-11-2018 at 06:52 PM

I have two concerns with this design:

1) The tumble-home bow - I like the "stealth" aspect BUT have serious concerns about how wave effective it is, i.e. that is going to be a very wet area in bad weather conditions, far more so than a traditional bow.

2) The missile load-out is too small, and needs to be double the amount stated. 16 x missiles are a self-defence load-out, not an Escort Vessel load-out.

ADMK2 - 1-11-2018 at 08:52 PM

Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
I have two concerns with this design:

1) The tumble-home bow - I like the "stealth" aspect BUT have serious concerns about how wave effective it is, i.e. that is going to be a very wet area in bad weather conditions, far more so than a traditional bow.

2) The missile load-out is too small, and needs to be double the amount stated. 16 x missiles are a self-defence load-out, not an Escort Vessel load-out.


It is also missing any apparent form of ‘inner layer’ air defence capability, ie: a CIWS or secondary SAM capability. In saying that, MBDA seems to be doing some work on a quad-packed Aster 15 capability, so perhaps this is what the French have in mind? Perhaps it’s a translation issue (to be kind...) and/or the writer is unaware that if appropriately engineered, 16 VLS cells can carry more than 16 weapons?

If not, with a 76mm gun and only 16 SAM’s it’s actually pretty light on, combat capability wise...

bug2 - 1-11-2018 at 09:34 PM

Agree on the CIWS, although Crotale NG (VT1) missiles can be quad-packed in one cell, ASTER missiles cannot (too large).........it also depends on which SYLVER launch tube you have:



bug2 - 5-11-2018 at 09:12 PM

‘Trident Juncture’ enters tactical phase

Gerrard Cowan, Belfast - Jane's Navy International

05 November 2018


SNMG2 ships TCG Orucreis a Turkish Navy Barbaros-class frigate, left, and flagship HNLMS De Ruyter (a Dutch De Zeven Provincien-class frigate) are pictured berthed in Trondheim harbour prior to their participation in the NATO exercise 'Trident Juncture 2018'. Source: NATO

NATO's 'Trident Juncture' has entered its tactical phase, with naval elements forming a key focus of the alliance's largest exercise since the Cold War.

'Trident Juncture' is being held in Norway, covering the land, sea, and air domains, and involving more than 50,000 personnel from 31 NATO states and partner nations. It was launched in October and will continue until late November.

The exercise is "almost unprecedented" in scope, from both a joint and a purely naval perspective, said Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean of the French Navy, deputy commander of Allied Maritime Command, which is based in Northwood, UK. There are around 16 nations taking part in the exercise on the naval side, with equipment including 65 vessels (including submarines), and eight maritime patrol aircraft (MPA).

As of late October, 'Trident Juncture' had entered the live exercise phase, Vice Adm Bléjean told Jane's , having just completed force integration training to ensure that ships were prepared to integrate and participate in the exercise on various levels, from anti-submarine warfare to amphibious warfare. The live exercise will see the maritime forces divided into two elements, he said, with the naval assets and personnel equally split between both, meaning each will contain roughly 5,000 sailors and 30 vessels.

Rear Admiral Guy Robinson of the UK Royal Navy - who is deputy commander of NATO Striking and Support Forces (STRIKFORNATO) - will take command of Maritime Component North, while Vice Adm Bléjean will lead Maritime Component South.

The live phase will feature various scenarios that will sometimes pit the two components against one another, Vice Adm Bléjean said, testing "how they interact and how they detect one another, and how they conduct maritime interdiction operations", among other goals. The southern component will aim to protect sea lanes of communication, he explained, and will also focus on delivering amphibious assault capabilities to support the land elements of the exercise.

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unicorn - 6-11-2018 at 07:55 PM

Norway's a long way from home for a Turkish ship. Interesting that they've posted an obviously armed guard on the bow.

bug2 - 6-11-2018 at 07:57 PM

SOP for the Turks (and others) the USN has armed guards even when berthed n an Australian Port.

ARH - 8-11-2018 at 10:39 PM

Looks like Norway is about to lose one of its frigates...

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/24776/badly-damaged-nor...

bug2 - 8-11-2018 at 10:46 PM

Yeah saw various pics and a clip on FB...........

ARH - 8-11-2018 at 11:19 PM

They apparently ran it aground to stop it from sinking, so it should be salvageable.

bug2 - 9-11-2018 at 09:32 AM

Tanker collides with Norwegian frigate

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

08 November 2018

The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad has been seriously damaged in a collision with the Maltese-registered tanker Sola TS close to Bergen, Norway, on 8 November, the Norwegian Joint Headquarters (NJHQ) has confirmed.


The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad takes on water after a collision with the Maltese-flagged tanker Sola TS on 8 November 2018 in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen, Norway. (Marit Hommedal/AFP/Getty Images)

The collision occurred at 0426 h local time in the Hjeltefjord, north of Sotra, the NJHQ said in a statement on 8 November.

Helge Ingstad took on water and all 137 personnel were evacuated, according to the statement, which added that eight suffered minor injuries.

The frigate was part of NATO's Standing Naval Maritime Group 1 (SNMG 1), which participated in the live portion of Exercise 'Trident Juncture 2018', which ended on 7 November.

The Norwegian Armed Forces are leading the recovery operation in close co-operation with the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

The incident was reported to the Accident Investigation Board (AIBN), which said on its website that it would conduct an investigation in collaboration with the Defence Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN). The Marine Safety Investigation Unit (MSIU) of Malta will also participate in the investigation, the AIBN added.

(196 of 260 words)

bug2 - 9-11-2018 at 09:49 AM

Here's a series of pics from Max's Philippines Defense page on FB...............

https://www.facebook.com/MaxDefense/photos/pcb.8432148025158...

bug2 - 9-11-2018 at 11:01 AM

Completion of the Mid-Life Refit of the Aircraft Carrier: the Armed Forces Minister on the Charles de Gaulle

(Source: French Armed Forces Ministry; issued Nov 07, 2018)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


Charles de Gaulle, France’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, leaves the drydock after an 18-month refit that will keep her in service until 2038. She is now engaged in sea trials, and will be ready for her next deployment in early 2018. (FR Navy photo)

Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly will today visit the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle on the occasion of the official completion of the ship’s mid-life refit, carried out under the management of the Directorate General Armament (DGA) and the Fleet Support Service (SSF). The aircraft carrier is now again available for Navy operations.

From the first quarter of 2019, she will be able to leave on an operational mission with her entire air group. Florence Parly, who will spend the night aboard, will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Nuclear Naval Aviation, which implements the airborne component of the Navy’s nuclear deterrence.

After 15 years of operational life, the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle has undergone an in-depth refit and modernization to maintain her operational performance until her withdrawal from active service around 2038.

This renovation was necessary to enable the Charles de Gaulle to continue to carry out with the same effectiveness her missions in favor of our country’s sovereignty and security. A major strategic tool, the Charles de Gaulle is decisive for France's operational commitments, particularly against terrorism, and to ensure freedom of navigation

Carried out at Toulon and lasting 18 months under Naval Group’s project management, with the assistance of the Charles de Gaulle's crew, the refit and modernization work on the aircraft carrier involved three major areas:

-- The combat system with, in particular, the installation of a new 3-dimensional, longer-range surveillance radar and more accurate navigation radars, the digitization of its networks, the complete overhaul of the Operations Center, and the renovation of telecommunications systems;

-- Aircraft maintenance facilities are now optimized for the Marine Rafale, the only on-board fighter after the withdrawal of service from the modernized Super-Etendard;

-- The platform with, in particular, the modernization of the ship's automation systems, the renovation of the dynamic ship stabilization system, the replacement of two units of the ship’s refrigeration system and the complete refurbishment of one of the two galleys.

This mid-life redesign was also used for heavy maintenance operations of major facilities, such as the two nuclear boilers, including the replacement of their fuel; maintenance of the electrical plant, catapults, power lines. shaft, and stabilizer fins.

This extremely complex project mobilized an average of more than 2,000 people on board every day, half of whom came from the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

After a trial phase alongside and at sea, the Charles de Gaulle and her crew will now begin a training cycle under the authority of the admiral commanding the Naval Task Force (ALFAN) and Admiral Commander Naval Aviation (ALAVIA). The revival of the ship will lead to operational missions again from the first quarter of 2019.

To prepare for the future, an 18-month study phase for the aircraft carrier renewal program was announced on 23 October by Florence Parly at the Euronaval show.

(ends)

The Mid-Life Refit of the Charles De Gaulle Aircraft Carrier, A Real Industrial Challenge, Has Been Completed

(Source: Naval Group; issued Nov. 08, 2018)

The sole prime contractor for the entire mid-life refit of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, Naval Group has returned the vessel to the French Navy. The vessel will now start ramping up its systems before returning to its operational cycle.

One sole prime contractor for the entire project

Designed and built by Naval Group and entering service in 2001, the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, further to its modernisation, has now entered the technological era of the 21st century. This mid-life refit included unprecedented renovations and a density of work that gave the project a level of complexity unseen until now. This veritable industrial challenge required exceptional organisation to achieve the real-time coordination of the entire project, Naval Group’s core business.

“We are proud to have completed this exceptional project at the service of the French Navy within the imposed deadlines. I would like to thank in particular our clients, the DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) and the SSF (Service du Soutien de la Flotte), who entrusted us with the responsibility of overall prime contractor.

This success is the fruit of a collective effort made possible by the commitment of the aircraft carrier’s crew, Naval Group’s teams, those of the Defence sector’s major original equipment manufacturers such as Technicatome, Thales or Safran, the generalist companies and the SMEs originating mainly from the local and regional industrial fabric”, underlines Nathalie Smirnov, Senior Vice Président Services at Naval Group.

An in-depth refit

The in-depth renovation of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier was performed to ensure the vessel’s operational performance levels for the next 25 years and ensure that it maintains its technological advance at the service of France’s interests. This refit focused on three major challenges.

Firstly, the modernisation of the combat system in particular with the modernisation of the tactical system, the brain that manages the sensors and weapons, the installation of new digital networks, the complete replacement of the Control Room, the renovation of the telecommunications systems, the replacement of the air search and navigation radars.

Secondly, the modernisation of the aviation installations covered all the necessary modifications to switch to an “all-Rafale” setup: modification and renovation of the aviation spaces, renovation or replacement of deck-landing systems.

The third challenge of this refit relates to the renovation of the platform i.e., amongst other things, the modernisation of the vessel control PLCs, the renovation of the automatic stabilisation and steering control system, the replacement of two units of the vessel’s cooling system, but also the refit of the control simulator and of one galley.

Through-life support work

In addition to this renovation, the mid-life refit of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft also comprised through-life support work. This aspect of the project related essentially to the maintenance of major installations: the inspection of the two nuclear reactors and the replacement of their fuel elements, the maintenance of the electrical power plant, the maintenance of the propulsion system, the inspection of the catapults, shaft lines and stabilizing fins, and the painting of the underwater hull and topsides.

Key figures

-- 18 months of work (as a comparison: 4 years for a US aircraft carrier)
-- Over 200,000 tasks performed of which 50% by the crew
-- Over 4 million hours of work
-- On average, 2100 persons working each day: 1100 crew members, 1000 employees of Naval Group and its 160 subcontractors
-- 2000 tests performed
-- 5 years of preparation
-- A budget of €1.3 billion (as a comparison: €4.7 billion for a US aircraft carrier)

"Team France" at work

This exceptional programme was conducted by “Team France” bringing together the DGA, the French Navy, the SSF, the aircraft carrier’s crew and actors from French industry. Naval Group worked with major Defence original equipment manufacturers such as Technicatome, Thales or Safran, generalist companies but also SMEs originating mainly from the local and regional industrial fabric.

The timeline

The aircraft carrier entered dry dock in February 2017; it was floated out in May 2018 and at the end of July 2018 it docked at its operational quay for harbour acceptance trials. It then performed sea outings for the trials that must be performed in operational conditions, with the support of other French Navy entities. The final date on which the vessel was made available was 16 October 2018, after the complete recertification of the systems was completed.

Naval Group is a European leader in naval defence. The group designs, builds and supports submarines and surface ships. It also supplies services to shipyards and naval bases. The group reports revenues of €3.7 billion and has a workforce of 13,429 (data for 2017).

-ends-

ARH - 9-11-2018 at 12:47 PM

Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
Here's a series of pics from Max's Philippines Defense page on FB...............

https://www.facebook.com/MaxDefense/photos/pcb.8432148025158...


This made me lol.:lol:

Quote:
Maybe we can weaponize our merchant marine fleet as secret ramming ships lol.

unicorn - 9-11-2018 at 06:38 PM

There's a suggestion that the ship is continuing to sink, and may slide down the fjord slope into the deep. Those fjords tend to very steep walls.

She may not live long enough to become parts.

ARH - 9-11-2018 at 06:47 PM

What a way to lose 20% of your major surface fleet...

bug2 - 9-11-2018 at 07:06 PM

Quote: Originally posted by unicorn  
There's a suggestion that the ship is continuing to sink, and may slide down the fjord slope into the deep. Those fjords tend to very steep walls.

She may not live long enough to become parts.


Most of the fjords are VERY deep, very deep indeed..............

unicorn - 10-11-2018 at 08:02 AM

Yeah, NATO and Sov SSN's used to play silly buggars with each other inside some of the fjords, back in the first Cold War.

bug2 - 13-11-2018 at 09:59 AM

Warnings and confusion preceded Norwegian frigate disaster: here’s what we know

By: David B. Larter and Sebastian Sprenger   1 day ago


The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad, right, after a collision with the tanker Sola TS, in Oygarden, Norway, Thursday Nov. 8, 2018. Norway's military says the 137-man crew on a Navy frigate has been evacuated after the ship was rammed by a Malta-flagged tanker while docked in a Norwegian harbor. Seven people were slightly injured. (Marit Hommedal/NTB Scanpix via AP)

The Royal Norwegian Navy was dealt a devastating blow in the early morning hours of November 10 when one of its five capital Nansen-class frigates collided with a fully loaded oil tanker more than 10 times its size while returning NATO’s Trident Juncture exercise.

The frigate Helge Ingstad lost steering and drifted at five knots onto the rocky shore near Norwegian port of Sture, north of Bergen, saving the ship from sinking in the Fjord, according to media reports. The crew of 137 was forced to abandon ship. Ingstad is now resting on its side on three points while crews move to secure it.

The disaster has far-reaching consequences for the Norwegian Navy, which is facing the loss of one of its premier warfighting assets,

“This is a huge blow to the Norwegian navy,” said Sebastian Bruns, who heads the Center for Maritime Strategy and Security at the University of Kiel in northern Germany. The loss of the $400 million ship, which appeared likely, leaves the Norwegian Navy with a 20 percent cut to its most advanced class of ship, Burns said.

The situation is made all the more painful as evidence mounts that Ingstad was repeatedly warned to alter course before the collision and failed to take corrective action to avoid the collision.

Local media reported that the Maltese-flagged tanker Sola TS identified Ingstad and tried to avoid the disaster. The reports also revealed details that show that Ingstad did not have a firm grasp of the surface picture it was sailing into.

The disaster developed quickly, with Ingstad transiting the channel inbound at 17 knots and Sola TS traveling outbound at 7 knots.

Sola TS raised the Ingstad multiple times and was discussing the emerging danger with shore-based Central Station, according to the Norwegian paper Verdens Gang. The responses from Ingstad appear confused, at one point saying that if they altered the course it would take them too close to the shoals, which prompted Sola TS to respond that they had to do something or a collision would be unavoidable.

Contributing to the confusion, the Ingstad appears to have been transiting with its Automatic Identification System switched off. That seems to have delayed recognition by central control and the other ships in the area that Ingstad was inbound and heading into danger, the account in VG seems to indicate.

The AIS being off recalls the collision of the U.S. destroyer Fitzgerald in 2017. Fitzgerald inadvertently crossed an outbound shipping channel with its AIS turned off, which the U.S. Navy found was a contributing factor in the collision.

The Norwegian military has repeatedly declined to comment on the sequence of events, citing an ongoing investigation by an accident investigation panel.

Mismatch

While much remains unknown about the collision details, the extent of the damage to the Ingstad appeared consistent with the sheer size mismatch between the tanker and the warship, several European subject matter experts noted.

According to the shipping site Marine Traffic, the Sola TS when carrying its full load of crude oil displaces about 113,000 tons more than a U.S. aircraft carrier, and even when empty displaces 10 times as much as Helge Ingstad.

Warships typically are constructed of thinner metal than commercial workhorses because they need more speed and maneuverability in combat.

“Naval ships are no longer the biggest ships on the seas,” said Bruns, the University of Kiel professor. “In many cases, it's a bit like a mouse-vs-elephant comparison.”

What appears to have worked well in the aftermath of the collision is rushing all sailors to safety, said Bruns. That could well have something to do with a years-old trend among some European navies of adapting ship designs and crew procedures to so-called low-intensity operations, which includes fighting pirates and smugglers, and rescuing migrants in distress at sea.

A German shipbuilding executive noted a size difference between U.S. Navy ships, which tend to be bigger, and European models used for similar missions. In addition, “the Americans generally still build with more massive steel,” the executive added.

Salvage

Crews are in the process of securing the Ingstad with cables to the shore, and once they are sure the ship wont drift away and sink, the Navy will be able to get their people on board, according to the Norwegian paper Aftenposten.

Radio transmissions from Ingstad indicated that the Sola TS ripped a huge hole in the engine room, VG reported. Once crews are on board, the Navy will assess the level of damage to the ship, the Navy told Aftenposten.

The plan as it stands will be to see if the hole can be sealed up and the spaces dewatered, then the ship will be lifted on to a barge and brought to the Norwegian Navy base at Haakonsvern. The ship is carrying weapons that will be offloaded once it is safely on a barge, the Navy told Aftenposten.

Meanwhile, the Sola TS was cleared to leave Norway after being questioned by police and investigators and was in Britain on Saturday, Aftenposten reported.

bug2 - 14-11-2018 at 09:30 AM

HNoMS Helge Ingstad now almost completely sunk, Norwegian Navy photos


Photo: Royal Norwegian Navy

Latest photos of the stricken frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad shared by the Royal Norwegian Navy on Tuesday reveal that the frigate is now almost completely underwater.

In a social media update in the early morning hours of Tuesday, the navy said unexpected events “complicated” plans for the salvage operation.

The navy subsequently shared photos which show the majority of the frigate underwater with only part of the mast and aft deck still above water.

The navy did not specify what caused the frigate to slip from the rocks in the night between Monday and Tuesday and sink further.


Photo: Royal Norwegian Navy

HNoMS Helge Ingstad collided with a tanker in the Hjeltefjorden fjord near Bergen at 4:26 (local time) on November 8. Following the collision, all 137 crew were evacuated while the frigate was intentionally grounded in order to prevent her from sinking in deep water.

In an update on Monday, the navy said the frigate had been firmly secured to land with steel wires. A total of seven fixing points welded onto the frigate’s hull were fixed to anchors on land.

The navy further said plans for salvaging the frigate had been underway as anchor handling vessel Scandi Vega investigated the conditions of the sea bottom and a Hugin autonomous underwater vehicle mapped out the topography of the sea bottom around and below the frigate.

Plans were also in place for navy personnel to go onboard the vessel to evaluate the extent of damages that resulted from flooding and to try and insulate dry compartments from further water ingress. It is not clear how the latest development and the fact that the frigate is now almost completely submerged will affect the plans.


Photo: Royal Norwegian Navy

Two videos, captured by Norwegian Coastal Administration aircraft on Monday and Tuesday, provide a better picture of the frigate’s change in position.

VIDEO 1: https://youtu.be/jx_g_KBiFyg

VIDEO 2: https://youtu.be/NkLQv_CWc6A



bug2 - 14-11-2018 at 11:34 AM

New Photos Show Shipwrecked Norwegian Frigate Sinks Further After NATO Drills

(Source: Sputnik News; posted Nov 13, 2018)


Five days after colliding under unexplained circumstances with a Maltese tanker, the 5,500 tonne Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad finally sank this morning, leaving only her ensign and a few antennas showing above the surface. (Forsvaret photo)

Experts estimate that up to 80 percent of the equipment of the shipwrecked frigate, which cost the Norwegian Navy almost its entire annual budget, will have to be replaced.

The Norwegian daily Aftenposten has released fresh photos of the KMN Helge Ingstad frigate, which under unclear circumstances collided with the tanker Sola TS off Norway's coast when returning from a NATO drill.

The frigate received a huge hole in the starboard spanning across the waterline; seven seamen were injured. The crew abandoned the sinking ship which was subsequently tugged to shallow waters to prevent it from sinking.

A few days after the incident, which is still puzzling the Norwegian authorities, the frigate remains above surface, but has completely sunk to the bottom, with a 45-degree lurch to the starboard. Over 10 tons of helicopter fuel has leaked into the seawater.

No information about the status of the weapons abroad, including cruise and anti-aircraft missiles, torpedoes and artillery, is available as of today.

By contrast, the oil tanker Sola TS was not affected by the accident.

The reasons for the emergency are under investigation by a navy commission. Possible explanations for the collision include the frigate moving in stealth mode with the transponder switched off or bad communications with traffic controllers.

A veteran maritime expert estimated that the KNM Helge Ingstad has suffered so much damage that up to 80 percent of the equipment will have to be replaced, voicing doubt that the prized vessel will ever become operational again.

"I have my doubts about the wreck becoming a ship again. The vessel has been torn by the rocks, and the damage is huge," expert Erik Tveten, who has 35 years of experience in assessing marine damage, told the daily newspaper Aftenposten.

According to Tveten, most of the electrical equipment and the wiring on the frigate will have to be replaced. Since the control cockpit is partially under water, most of the furnishing will need to be replaced as well. The main engine and auxiliary motors will have to be replaced as well, together with the ventilation system, as they have already been severely damaged by severe rust and corrosion.

"With regard to the purely military material that has been in seawater, it must be replaced as well. It seems unlikely to be able to restore guns and ammunition that have been in seawater," Tveten told Aftenposten.

The NATO Trident Juncture drill, which involved about 50,000 troops from over 30 countries, including formally non-aligned Sweden and Finland, took place from October 25 to November 7. The Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the drill as "obviously anti-Russian" and "leading to deterioration of military and political situation in the region."

-ends-

bug2 - 20-11-2018 at 09:36 AM

U.S. Navy officer could face questions in Norwegian frigate collision


The Norwegian navy frigate KNM Helge Ingstad struck an oil tanker Nov. 8 and sank days later. (Handout/Reuters)

By Paul Sonne and
Dan Lamothe November 17

The U.S. Navy expects one of its officers to be questioned as part of an investigation into the collision of a Norwegian warship and a commercial oil tanker this month in one of the Scandinavian nation’s fjords.

The American officer, who has not been identified, was onboard the Norwegian navy frigate as part of a military personnel exchange, according to U.S. and Norwegian officials. The sailor’s role on the ship remains unclear.

The Nov. 8 incident ultimately sank the 439-foot Norwegian warship and left several people injured.

Norwegian naval officers beached the vessel — the KNM Helge Ingstad — in an attempt to save it, but the frigate sank five days later after the cables holding it in place snapped. The tanker it struck, the Sola TS, was nearly twice its size at 820 feet. It suffered only minor damage.

“The U.S. Navy has an officer assigned to the Personnel Exchange Program (PEP) with Norway as part of the crew of the KNM Helge Ingstad,” Cmdr. Kyle Raines, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet, said in a statement. “This program exchanges personnel from various military components to foreign countries to enhance interoperability with partner navies and services. The concept was born out of the need for partners and allies to share ideas and build relationships.”

Raines declined to identify the American officer by name, citing privacy interests. He said the U.S. Navy is supporting the Norwegian investigation.

Traditionally, investigators interview all officers onboard military ships involved in collisions, so the U.S. Navy expects the American officer to be questioned as well, officials said.

Ann Kristin Salbuvik, an official at the Norwegian Defense Ministry, confirmed that an American officer was onboard the ship but declined to specify the officer’s duties.

“The exchange program has been established to share experiences and create a basis for good cooperation between our navies,” Salbuvik said. “If incidents should occur or if there are situations that involve personnel on an exchange, there is a duty, according to the valid status agreement, to inform the sending state’s military authorities, as well as to ensure that relevant authorities are put in contact with relevant national authorities.”

Salbuvik said Norwegian authorities have notified their American counterparts but declined to elaborate.

The KNM Helge Ingstad was involved in a massive naval exercise last month — Trident Juncture 2018 — in which the U.S. Navy sent an aircraft carrier, the USS Harry S. Truman, north of the Arctic Circle for the first time in decades. The exercise was widely seen as a message to Russia.

The Navy has a tradition of hosting Norwegian military personnel and embarking its own personnel on foreign vessels through exchange programs. Participants typically serve two-year tours as a fully integrated member of the host nation’s navy.

U.S. service members who participate in such programs are required to obey all orders from host commanders and remain subject to the American military’s rules and regulations.

“Any individual who commits an offense against the host service code of discipline during the exchange assignment may be withdrawn from his or her assignment,” according to the March 2018 order outlining the program. “If the offense committed by U.S. Navy exchange personnel against the host service code is also an offense against the [Uniform Code of Military Justice], disciplinary action may be taken against the individual by U.S. Navy authorities.”

The incident comes at a sensitive time for the U.S. Navy, following two fatal collisions of guided-missile destroyers in the Pacific last year that together left 17 sailors dead.

Seven sailors died off the southern coast of Japan in June 2017 when the USS Fitzgerald struck a much larger container ship, and 10 sailors died two months later when the USS John S. McCain collided with another vessel off the coast of Singapore.

A Navy investigation of those disasters determined they were preventable and caused by “multiple failures” among service members who were standing watch the nights of the accidents. The service has since forced some personnel who were involved into retirement and launched court-martial proceedings against others.

bug2 - 23-11-2018 at 02:54 PM

Norway Reluctant to Disclose Role of US Officer in Frigate Collision

(Source: Sputnik News; posted Nov 22, 2018)

A US officer had a central role on the bridge ahead of the collision, which may set the Norwegian Navy back its entire annual budget; however, he had no formal responsibility, the national broadcaster NRK reported.

The US officer was receiving training from his Norwegian colleagues when the frigate KMN Helge Ingstad collided in the early hours of November 8 with the fully loaded oil tanker Sola ST off Norway's west coast. The frigate was under NATO command at the time, returning to its home port in Bergen after participating in NATO's huge Trident Juncture exercise off Trondheim, national broadcaster NRK reported.

When the collision occurred shortly after 4 a.m., there were seven people on the bridge of the frigate, which is usually manned by only five people. The US officer was being trained to become a duty chief, which was confirmed by NATO. Based on its sources, NRK claimed that the US officer had a central function on the bridge ahead of the collision, but no formal responsibility.

Previously, suspicions were raised that the frigate had long been on a collision course with the tanker and ignored all warnings. Maritime audio logs revealed that the frigate received several proximity warnings from the tanker, whose crew urged the frigate to immediately turn or 'do something'.

Despite having a US intern of the bridge, all communication was in Norwegian.

Norwegian defence officials have consistently declined to answer questions about the collision, prompting complaints about a lack of transparency on the navy's part. The official response has been to wait for the results of the official probe being conducted by Norway's state accident investigations board, which may take months.

Whereas all of the seven people on the bridge have been questioned by the police, inspector Frode Karlsen declined to disclose anything about the role of the US officer.

"For the sake of the ongoing investigation, we wish not to disclose the role of the crew member from NATO," Karlsen said.

As the case now involves a foreign citizen, Norway must obtain permission to conduct further questioning, which may lead to further delays. The state accident investigation board was reported to have sent a letter to US officials at NATO; its contents haven't been disclosed.

Norwegian defence officials, meanwhile, reported that the wreckage of the frigate has been considerably stabilised. Ongoing efforts to salvage the warship, drain it of water, empty it of ammunition and other sensitive military material and eventually transport it to the Haakonsvern Naval Base in Bergen have been assisted by unusually calm seas.

The helicopter-carrying KMN Helge Ingstad, one of the centrepieces of the Norwegian Navy, cost the state coffers about $420 million, a figure comparable to the navy's annual budget.

-ends-

bug2 - 30-11-2018 at 01:35 PM

Early report blames confused watchstanders, possible design flaws for Norway’s sunken frigate

By: David B. Larter and Carl Prine   31 minutes ago


The Norwegian frigate "KNM Helge Ingstad" is seen partly under water in the sea near Bergen, western Norway, on November 13. A new report from Norwegian investigators raises questions about the design of the ship.(MARIT HOMMEDAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Norway’s Accident Investigation Board is raising questions about the watertight integrity of the Nansen-class frigates and is pointing its finger at shipbuilder Navantia in the wake of the collision and subsequent sinking of the frigate Helge Ingstad in early November.

In a preliminary report released Thursday, the board reached an initial conclusion that confusion on the Ingstad’s bridge during watch turnover was the proximate cause of the accident, but the sinking of the ship was caused by progressive flooding that appeared to over-match Ingstad’s watertight integrity.

The board was so concerned that it issued a public addendum to the report and a pair of warnings that the issues that sunk Ingstad could also apply to other Navantia ships, raising questions about a widespread quality issue at the Spanish shipbuilder.

“The AIBN has found safety critical issues relating to the vessel's watertight compartments,” the report reads. “This must be assumed to also apply to the other four Nansen-class frigates.”

“It cannot be excluded that the same applies to vessels of a similar design delivered by Navantia, or that the design concept continues to be used for similar vessel models. The AIBN assumes that its findings are not in conformity with the required damage stability standard for the Nansen-class frigates.”

In a statement to Defense News, Navantia spokesperson Esther Benito Lope stressed that the report is “very preliminary” and that the company has offered to work with Norway on the investigation.

“Navantia has offered, since the very beginning, its collaboration with the [Royal Norwegian Navy] in order to clarify the accident,” Benito Lope said. “Navantia will analyze all the possibilities, considering that some of the mentioned possibilities … are concluded from a very preliminary investigation.”

The statement went on to say that the company has not received any official notice or fielded any consultations about the cause of the accident.

“Navantia has not received any official communication, neither any consults about possible causes, nor participated in any action … in Norway,” Benito Lope wrote.

Progressive Flooding

In the addendum to the report, the board found that the initial assessment by the crew in the wake of the accident was that some crew quarters, the aft generator room and the ship’s stores room were flooded, but that the ship was stable and could survive it the situation remained relatively controlled.

But then it didn’t.

The crew began seeing water quickly flooding into the gear room via the ship’s hollow propeller shaft, with flooding then creeping into the engine rooms through the bulkheads.

Propeller shafts have to pass through multiple engineering spaces through watertight openings in the wall known as stuffing tubes of stuffing boxes that are supposed to tighten down as water tries to get through, preventing progressive flooding.

The board’s initial assessment based on crew interviews is that the stuffing boxes did not work as designed on Ingstad.

“This meant that the flooding became substantially more extensive than indicated by the original damage,” the report reads. “Based on the flooding of the gear room, it was decided to prepare for evacuation.”

As a result of the findings, the AIBN issued two warnings: one to the Norwegian military to assess their ships to address the safety concerns, and one to Navantia to “conduct investigations into the issues identified during this initial investigation and to ascertain whether this is also an issue relating to other vessels.”

Confusion

Apart from the flooding that ultimately sank the Ingstad, the accident itself raises some vexing questions.

Ingstad collided with the Mata-flagged tanker Sola TS at around 4 a.m. in unlimited visibility just minutes after Sola had gotten underway from Norway’s Sture Terminal.

The report found that Ingstad was transiting the channel at about 17 knots well before dawn, faster than one might expect near a busy port at night. It also found that the collision took place about 10-15 minutes after a watch turnover.

The report concludes that Ingstad’s bridge watch team mistook Sola for an object on land, and that Sola’s illuminated deck lights obscured its navigation lights from view. Furthermore, even after the Sola got underway there would have been relatively little motion of Sola’s lights as it moved away from the quay.

In the last six minutes before the collision, Sola contacted Ingstad and instructed it to turn away from its course. Ingstad’s watch standers through they were communicating with one of the other ships in the channel, still thiking Sola was a stationary object, and said if they turned they’d run into the object that turned out to be the rapidly closing tanker.

By the time Ingstad’s bridge team recognized the error and tried to evade Sola, it was too late, the report found.

“The AIBN's preliminary assessment is that the accident was not caused by any single act or event, but can be explained by a series of interacting complex factors and circumstances,” the report reads. “The investigation team is seeking to identify and understand these factors.

“So far, the AIBN has not seen any indication of technical systems not working as intended up until the time of the collision.”

A Google Earth image of Sture Terminal, Norway. (Google)

More questions than answers

To retired Capt. Lawrence Brennan, a career Navy attorney and now an instructor at Fordham University’s School of Law, what’s interesting isn’t just what’s in the interim report but what was left out and will be explored later by other probes.

He pointed to the crew of the frigate Helge Ingstad and wondered what condition they had set the frigate to mitigate or prevent flooding.

He asked about the shift change on the bridge that seemed to coincide with the frigate entering waters bustling with commercial shipping in low visibility.

He indicated that more will be learned from engineers poring over the gash in the hull which “seemed to be opened up like a can opener” and interviews with crew members who can trace the quick decision-making process of a watch that realized, like aviators, that their vessel had “put itself in a box” and faced increasingly bad options as danger loomed.

As for the Accident Investigation Board Norway’s twin interim safety recommendations to shipyards and Oslo’s military leaders, Brennan said that’s exactly what everyone should expect from an initial probe.

“We saw the exact same sort of investigations into defects discovered in Japanese-built container ships,” Brennan said.

bug2 - 1-12-2018 at 02:26 PM

Investigation of Marine Accident, Collision Outside the Sture Oil Terminal in Hjeltefjorden, Norway

(Source: Accident Investigation Board Norway; issued Nov 29, 2018)

One would hope and wish that someone from the RAN is watching this closely, and taking note of the technical points raised............

On the morning of Thursday 8 November 2018, the Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) was informed of a collision between the frigate 'KNM Helge Ingstad' and the Maltese registered tanker 'Sola TS' in Hjeltefjorden, outside the Sture terminal in Øygarden Municipality in Hordaland County, Norway.

The AIBN contacted the Defence Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN) and it was decided to initiate a joint investigation into the accident, led by the AIBN. The AIBN then contacted the Marine Safety Investigation Unit of Malta (MSIU), which is also a participating party in the investigation; cf. Chapter 18 Section 474 of the Norwegian Maritime Code.

On 29 November 2018, the AIBN publishes a preliminary report on the accident and two interim safety recommendations. This preliminary report is published to communicate the information obtained during the initial phase of the ongoing investigation. The purpose is to provide a brief update on how the investigation is progressing as well as a preliminary description of the sequence of events and disseminate safety-critical issues identified at this stage of the investigation.

This preliminary report also identifies areas that need further investigation and describes lines of investigation that will be followed up.

Click here for the full report (5 PDF pages) on the AIBN website.

https://www.aibn.no/Marine/Investigations/18-968?iid=25573&a...

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bug2 - 4-12-2018 at 09:35 AM

Norway Blames Navantia for the Sinking of A Frigate Due to "Critical" Design Failure

(Source: El Pais; published Nov 30, 2018)

By Miguel González (Unofficial English translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

MADRID / COPENHAGEN --- The Norwegian investigation board blames [Spanish shipbuilder] Navantia for the sinking of the frigate KNM Helge Ingstad (F-313) after she collided with an oil tanker on November 8.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) claims to have detected a "critical" failure in the design of the ship, delivered by the Spanish shipyard in 2009. Navantia, on the other hand, says that it has not received official communication of the report nor has it been able to participate in the investigation. Spanish military experts question the Norwegian version, and stress that the accident was due to negligence.

The Appendix to the board’s preliminary report says that the failure would be related to the “watertightness” of the KNM Helge Ingstad, and could also be found in the five frigates built in the first decade of this century by Navantia for the Norwegian Navy for about 1.050 million euros each.

The board maintains that the failing "is not in conformity with the required standard of stability against damage," and assumes that "this also affects the other four frigates of the Nansen class," displacing 5,300 tonnes and 143 meters of length.

The watertightness of the compartments guarantees that, in case of opening of a bulkhead, it does not flood the rest of the ship, causing it to sink. According to an annex to the preliminary report, the flood affected three compartments (the aft generator quarter, crew cabins and the storage compartments). Initially, the crew believed that the ship could stay afloat, but when warning that the water fell from the generator room to the gear unit through the hollow of the propellers and that it flooded quickly, it chose to evacuate.

"It was discovered that water was flowing through the shaft into another compartment. They were not hermetic," Kristian Haugnes, member of the commission, told a news conference, admitting that the investigation is still in the preliminary phase and that "the circumstances could be the object of further investigation."

More cautious was the Norwegian Navy chief, Admiral Nils Andreas Stensones, who considered it "premature" to draw conclusions about the causes of the incident.

The accident, in which eight of the 136 crew members of the frigate were slightly injured, occurred at dawn on the 8th, on the west coast of Norway, north of the city of Bergen, when the ship was returning to its base. after having participated in the NATO Trident Juncture exercise. Although the circumstances of the wreck have not been clarified, the sources consulted by EL PAÍS explain that the frigate and the tanker, who found themselves facing the interior of the fjord, exchanged messages before colliding. The captain of the tanker told the frigate to fall to starboard (right), but he refused alleging the proximity of the coast (900 meters). The two ships maintained their course without altering it and, at the last moment, the frigate fell to port (left), which precipitated the shock.

The frigate also was steaming at high speed (17.5 knots) and with the AIS (Automatic Identification System) turned off, despite navigating in restricted waters. It is, according to the sources consulted, a serious negligence in the maneuvering of the ship. The frigate sank a week after the collision, failing all attempts to keep it afloat.

The announcement of the investigation board’s report was received with stupor by Navantia. "We have no official communication of the report, we have not been consulted as to the possible causes, nor have participated in any of the proceedings," said a spokeswoman.

"Navantia offered from the beginning to collaborate with the Norwegian Navy on whatever was required. We are going to analyze the circumstances and the hypotheses that have been made public," she added. In any case, according to the public shipyard, "the design complies with all certifications and satisfies the sealing conditions applicable to military vessels".

Experts in naval accidents expressed surprise at the fact that the commission had reached these conclusions before refloating the ship and without the advice of the manufacturer. "The shaft could have moved as a result of the collision, breaking the watertightness of the ships, but it would be an unexpected circumstance, not a design problem," they explain. The violence of the collision was such that it opened two gashes in the hull of the frigate, one of them of around 40 meters long -- almost a third of the ship's length – which is the maximum without compromising her buoyancy.

The sealing of the ship, add the same experts, must be checked before delivery, not only by Navantia, but by the inspectors of the Norwegian Navy itself. These frigates also have a hatch closure system to reinforce watertightness when navigating in areas where there is a risk of collision.

Click here for the original article, on the El Pais website.

https://elpais.com/economia/2018/11/29/actualidad/1543515235...

Click here for the Preliminary Report (5 PDF pages), on the AIBN website.

https://www.aibn.no/Marine/Investigations/18-968?iid=25573&a...

-ends-

bug2 - 8-12-2018 at 11:34 AM

Spanish Shipyard Says Norwegian Navy 'Passes the Buck' Over Sunken Frigate

(Source: Sputnik News; posted Dec 07, 2018)


The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad resting on rocks before sinking. Investigators found that the propeller drive shafts allowed flooding to spread, but it is not clear whether this is a design fault or a consequence of the collision. (Forsvarets photo)

While the Norwegian Navy has taken urgent measures [aboard the sister-ships] of the sunken frigate KNM Helge Ingstad to prevent [flooding], the Spanish shipyard that manufactured the hapless warship has accused the Norwegian authorities of looking for excuses.

Following an interim report by the Norwegian accident investigation commission, which blamed technical errors in waterproof bulkheads on board the KNM Helge Ingstad that sank after a collision with an oil tanker while returning from NATO drills, the Norwegian Navy has completed temporary measures to prevent rapid [flooding] of warships of the same class in the event of similar collisions, the tabloid daily Verdens Gang reported.

The [Norwegian] Defence Material Agency said inflatable belts were installed as a temporary solution to seal the hollow propeller shaft in order to prevent water from entering the frigate's engine room in case of an emergency.

According to the report, which blamed the frigate's rapid sinking on a construction error, saltwater first penetrated the generator room of the KNM Helge Ingstad, before spreading to other rooms and finally reaching the engine room.

"All the [Nansen-class] frigates are built in the same way. The Navy has implemented interim measures on three out of four frigates", Steinar Nilsen, maritime chief at the Defence Material Agency, told Verdens Gang.

The fourth frigate, the flagship KNM Fridjof Nansen is currently in the process of a major, planned maintenance. The vessel will receive inflatable belts when it is re-launched in April next year.

However, the claims of the warships being less waterproof than stated made the Spanish shipyard that manufactured the Nansen-class frigates, currently considered the backbone of the Norwegian Navy, see red.

"We have never received such complaints ever before. Not even once", Navantia Shipyard official and union leader Javier Galán told national Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

He dispelled the Norwegian Navy's allegations of a faulty construction of the propeller shaft being the culprit.

"Had the shaft leaked water in this way, it would have become obvious far earlier. Also, the frigate would have sunk long ago", Galán said.

According to him, the propeller shaft must have been damaged during the collision itself, which is the only explanation why water appeared between the sections altogether.

"Imagine you have a car. Even if it's a good one, it will run into problems if you crash it", Galán said.

Galán blamed erroneous navigation, venturing that the crew had misinterpreted the lights from the Maltese-flagged tanker Sola TS, mistaking it for solid land.

"I believe the only thing they are looking for is cop-outs. The way I see it, it's just passing the buck. The crew should have avoided the collision", Galán said.

Navantia issued a statement ensuring that the Nansen-class frigates shipped between 2006 and 2011 to the tune of NOK 21 billion ($2.5 billion), fulfilled all technical requirements before handed over to Norway. (This statement has not been posted on Navantia’s websites, and the company could not be reached for comment—Ed.)

Meanwhile, Galán stressed that the accusations may lead to the company's reputation being damaged, which is the fifth-largest in Europe and ninth-largest internationally.

"We are an international company. And this makes a terrible damage, because it leaves an impression that we are unable to make ships. Even though we have been doing it for centuries", Galán said.

Navantia dates back to military shipyards established by the Spanish crown in 1730. Over centuries, it has gone through several name changes, the recent one in 2005. It is 100 percent owned by a government holding.

The KNM Helge Ingstad collided with the Sola TS on November 8, while returning from the NATO drill Trident Juncture off Trøndelag's coast. The vessel suffered a large hull breach, lost control and was manoeuvered into a shallow bay to prevent rapid inundation.

The Sola TS is currently being repaired in Gdansk, Poland. According to its owner, the Greek shipping company Tsakos Energy Navigation, it will be back in the water by mid-December.

-ends-

bug2 - 8-12-2018 at 12:38 PM

Rheinmetall Transfers Nautical Training Facility to German Navy

(Source: Rheinmetall Defence; issued Dec 06, 2018)


Rheinmetall’s AANS includes two large and four small bridge simulators, six trainer stations, an auditorium for post-operation briefings as well as supporting infrastructure; it has now been handed over to the German Navy. (RhM photo)

Today Rheinmetall formally transferred a new nautical training facility to the German Navy School in Mürwik on the Baltic. One of the most advanced facilities of its kind, the German Navy will use it for training its bridge personnel.

Ordered almost exactly three years ago, the system – known as the “Ausbildungsausstattung Nautische Schiffsführung”, or AANS – will be used for training all German Navy cadets, all future watch officers, and for preparing bridge personnel for nautical operations. The capability spectrum ranges from basic navigation and nautical training through to crew resource management, e.g. for helping bridge teams prepare for operations.

The AANS includes two large and four small bridge simulators, six trainer stations, an auditorium for post-operation briefings as well as additional infrastructure for planning exercises and administrating and updating the database. Every surface combatant now in the German inventory – from minesweepers to supply ships – is modelled in the AANS. This applies not only to the physical depiction of various ships and boats, but to their exact performance characteristics.

In addition, numerous German and NATO maritime training areas are replicated, as are current and potential areas of operation.

This state-of-the-art training facility will also be used by the German Federal Police.

For over forty years, Rheinmetall has numbered among the world’s foremost developers and manufacturers of simulation technology. The Group’s product spectrum here ranges from computer-supported learning to systems for training the crews of ground vehicles, aircraft and ships, right through to major training areas where entire formations can engage in tactical exercises using their original equipment.

-ends-

bug2 - 8-12-2018 at 03:17 PM

Greek defense minister makes crowd-funding plea to afford new warships

By: Sebastian Sprenger   11 hours ago


Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos (center) speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a family photo set after the North Atlantic Council (NAC) of Defence Ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels on February 10, 2016. (Photo by Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images)

COLOGNE, Germany – Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos has asked wealthy citizens to help fund new warships for the country’s navy.

“We now need the great donors and benefactors of our country,” Kammenos was quoted by local news outlet Ekathimerini.com as saying in a Dec. 6 speech at the Naval Academy in Piraeus. “I call on Greek ship owners and all Greek citizens to assist in the national effort as of January 1, 2019, when the bank account will open to support the Navy and purchase new frigates and a flagship.”

Kammenos said he would personally make a contribution to the fund.

His speech made reference to George Averoff, a 19th-century Greek businessman whose fortune helped fund a warship in 1910 that was named after him.

The call for crowdfunding donations came on Saint Nicholas Day, which marks the patron saint of the Greek navy.

“Greece is showing its strength through its martial and merchant navy, and due to instability with neighboring countries, such as Turkey, responsibility will grow,” the Australia-based website Greek City Times quotes Kammenos as saying.

Athens is still reeling from a national debt crisis so severe that it required significant intervention from the European Union through the prescription of harsh austerity measures.

Fotios Amanatides, a political scientist and regional expert at the University of Cologne, said the defense minister’s crowdfunding plea made headlines internationally, but less so in Greece.

“I consider the proposal as one of his typical, shrill rants with little substance,” Amanatides told Defense News, adding that he believes Kammenos' populist, right-of-center party may not make it back into parliament after the next election.

“If the message was intended for anyone outside the Greek navy, then it was aimed at the big Greek shipbuilder families, who have financially evaded the government for years,” Amanatides said.

bug2 - 15-1-2019 at 03:31 PM

An ocean apart: Few naval vendors manage to pierce US and European protectionism

By: Tom Kington , Andrew Chuter , and Sebastian Sprenger   16 hours ago

ROME, LONDON and COLOGNE, Germany — The U.S. and European shipbuilding industries lead largely separate lives against the backdrop of a massive Asian naval buildup, but some trans-Atlantic projects still manage to thrive.

The building of warships has always been a prime example of nations nurturing a highly specialized industry deemed so crucial that outside economic forces cannot be allowed to intervene. And while some European nations have begun to think about pooling shipbuilding forces on the continent, analysts and industry executives in Europe say the wall separating the U.S. and European naval markets remains high.

Barring missile launchers and the Aegis combat management system, U.S. firms have not grabbed a large slice of naval work in Europe, and no change is on the horizon, according to Peter Roberts, director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

“Warships are historically linked to national power, and if you stop building them you are no longer seen as a great power — you are at the bidding of others,” Roberts said.

“The Spanish, the British, the French — they haven’t given up shipbuilding, even if they were better off buying off the shelf, and we are unlikely to see a reduction of yards in Europe,” he added.

At the same time, the U.S. market has been relatively closed off to European shipbuilders, though there is a chance that could change somewhat with the Navy’s Future Frigate program.

“It’s a bit like two different planets,” said Sebastian Bruns, head of the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University in northern Germany. The reflex to buy only American-made warships is especially strong in the current political climate, he added.


HMS Daring, a destroyer of the Royal Navy, leaves Portsmouth Harbour on Jan. 11, 2012, in Portsmouth, England. HMS Daring, was first of six new Type 45 destroyers embarked from Portsmouth on its maiden deployment, a seven-month mission to the Middle East. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The sheer number of ships needed on each side of the Atlantic creates a natural differentiator, according to Bruns, who spent time working U.S. naval policy as a House staffer on Capitol Hill. He said the Navy tends to prefer no-frills designs made for maximum war-fighting power in a great powers competition, while Europeans have taken to building vessels with a kind of peace-maintenance role in mind, affording a greater level of automation and comfort for the crew, for example.

One British naval executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the lack of trans-Atlantic industrial touch points wasn’t limited to market access, arguing that cost-effectiveness was also an issue.

“Despite the problems we have and the programs that don’t go exactly according to plan ton for ton and capability for capability, the U.K. manages to build and deliver surface ships at a much lower cost than the United States,” he said.

“The U.S. shipyards know they would have difficulty competing in the region, particularly if you are talking about yards that have built a good track record. Naval Group, Fincantieri, Damen Shipyards, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems — these are yards that have been competitive and build with export experience behind them. They are already ahead of the game and I do think it comes back to the cost base, I think it is difficult for the United States to build as cost-effectively as the Europeans,” the executive argued.

If hull building is still jealously guarded by home players, naval systems are another matter, with Spain’s long-term partnership with Lockheed Martin to supply its Aegis combat system shaping the fundamental design of vessels emerging from the local Navantia shipyard.

The U.S.-Spanish partnership has led to the delivery of frigates to Spain, but also five Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates to Norway and Hobart-class vessels for Australia.

Another good example of the impact U.S. systems suppliers are having on the market is the foothold Lockheed Martin UK has secured in Britain, securing navigation radar upgrades, support of warship electronic chart display information systems across the fleet, and upgrading naval compass systems.

A spokesman for Lockheed Martin UK said in a statement there are a number of future capability requirements the company is also eyeing in the region.

The statement listed the British Royal Navy’s maritime electronic warfare program upgrade (MEWP), a long-range anti-ship missile (LRASM) requirement, laser weapon technology and cyber resilience as being among the opportunities.

One notable success for U.S. industry in this area is the Type 45 destroyer fleet fitted with Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine’s supplied platform management system. More recently, the U.K.-based subsidiary of Northrop Grumman was responsible for equipping the two aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy with an integrated navigation and bridge system.

“Of course the British will buy U.S. capability, particularly where they don’t have it themselves, which is to my mind why the systems houses are successful and stand to be even more successful in surface and submarine requirements of the future,” said another British naval executive. “Companies such as BAE Systems and Thales do feel the competitive pressures of their trans-Atlantic rivals in sensors and weapons.”

There may be other major opportunities in Britain for foreign suppliers in the next 18 months, as plans for new frigates and logistics ships take shape.

bug2 - 16-1-2019 at 11:42 AM

German Navy chief sees challenging year ahead

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

14 January 2019


German Navy Chief Vice Admiral Andreas Krause addressed the service's 59th Historical-Tactical Meeting in Dobbin-Linstow, close to Rostock, on 10 January. Source: Bundeswehr/Steve Back/PIZ Marine

The German Navy has a challenging year ahead, with new ships entering service, the Inspekteur der Marine (Germany's navy chief), Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, told the service's 59th Historisch-Taktische Tagung (Historical-Tactical Meeting) held in Dobbin-Linstow, close to the Baltic port of Rostock, on 10 January.

The admiral expected Germany's first two F125 frigates to enter service in 2019, with the first-in-class Baden-Württemberg during the first half of the year followed by the Nordrhein-Westfalen later in the year and the two other ships of the class in 2020.

He said the first steel would be cut for the Köln, the first of five new corvettes, on 7 February. The other four ships of the class will be named Emden, Karlsruhe, Augsburg , and Lübeck.

Turning to the MKS 180 multirole combat ship, Vice Adm Krause expected the best and final offer to be selected in the spring and parliamentary approval during the second half of 2019. The first MKS 180 ship will enter service in 2027 following a two-year delay, he explained.

(195 of 232 words)

bug2 - 22-1-2019 at 02:09 PM

Italy prepares to launch submarine rescue vessel programme

Luca Peruzzi, Genoa - Jane's Navy International

21 January 2019


The new multirole submarine rescue vessel will replace the Italian Navy's salvage ship. Source: Italian Navy

The Italian Ministry of Defence's Naval Armament Directorate is gearing up to launch its acquisition programme for a new multirole submarine rescue vessel by mid-2019.

The Special and Diving Operations - Submarine Rescue Ship (SDO-SuRS), for which EUR424 million (USD481.7 million) has been earmarked from 2018, is intended to replace the ageing salvage ship, Anteo . Jane's understands that the vessel will have a modular design in order to carry out its three main tasks of submarine rescue in addition to supporting special forces and diving operations carried out by the Italian Navy's Comando Subacquei ed Incursori (COMSUBIN) special forces and divers command.

Basic specifications include a full-load displacement of about 8,500 tonnes, an overall length of 120 m, and a 20 m beam. The ship will be powered by an integrated full-electric propulsion system (IFEP) - using two azimuthal propulsion pods and two bow-mounted thrusters - able to achieve a maximum speed of 15 kt.

The ship will be capable of embarking US Navy and NATO submarine rescue systems, a 12-man integrated saturation diving system, a suite of survey and rescue underwater vehicles (including an AUV capable of operating to depths of 3,000 m and two remotely controlled underwater vehicles), an atmospheric diving system capable of operating to a depth of 300 m, a McCann rescue chamber, and a hyperbaric simulator.

A dedicated underwater operations medical facility is to be fitted in addition to extensive special forces and command and control (C2) facilities and provisions for expeditionary operations.

The ship will feature aviation facilities for a medium-sized helicopter such as the Leonardo Helicopters AW101 and a stern area equipped for underwater and special forces operations.

Accommodation will be provided for 200 personnel in about 60 cabins. The new platform will be equipped with a comprehensive C4I suite with internal large-band wireless communications.

(327 of 381 words)

bug2 - 23-1-2019 at 10:03 PM

Italian Navy to launch its submarine rescue vessel with Fincantieri

POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 23 JANUARY 2019 11:36

From 2018, Italy had discussed its Special and Diving Operations - Submarine Rescue Ship (SDO-SuRS) programme for which an amount of € 424 million ($US 480 million) has been unblocked. This year, this acquisition programme is to be launched by the Naval Armament Directorate of the Italian MoD.


Italian Navy to launch its submarine rescue vessel programmeUSSP ship design (Picture source : Fincantieri)

This programme, which began in 2010, is to replace the ageing rescue ship Anteo in the near future by a brand new multirole submarine rescue vessel providing space for 200 people.

This new ship, built by the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, is a multipurpose submarine rescue vessel (Unità Supporto Subacqueo Polivalente - USSP in Italian) which will be able to accomplish different missions.

These missions include submarine rescue (through a deployable Submarine Rescue System - SRS - embarked on the weather deck), diving support (through an organic saturation system - SAT - including two hyperbaric chambers, one transfer under pressure system, one hyperbaric boat and one working bell), hydro-oceanographic activities (specific sensors and hardware, including echo-sounder, doppler log, sub bottom profiler, acoustic doppler current profiler, ...) and also Navy Seals support (through hosting and deploying them and their relevant equipment).

This ship is scheduled to be equipped with a wide range of sensors, including 2 high precision acoustic positioning, 1 single beam echo-sound, 3 multi beam echo-sound, an underwater telephone, etc... It will also accomodate some deployable equipment such as a McCann rescue chamber, an Atmospheric Diving Suit (ADS), 3 Remotely Operated Vehicles (1 ROV working down to 3,000m depth, 1 ROV watching down to 3,000m depth and 1 ROV light working down to 1,000m depth) and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV going down to 3,000m depth).

This suite that has been mounted on the USSP will permit it to take over a lot of situations related to submarines being in troubles. Therefore, in the future, we could hope to see less casualties during submarine rescue missions.

bug2 - 23-1-2019 at 10:11 PM

Italian Navy to launch its submarine rescue vessel with Fincantieri

POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 23 JANUARY 2019 11:36

From 2018, Italy had discussed its Special and Diving Operations - Submarine Rescue Ship (SDO-SuRS) programme for which an amount of € 424 million ($US 480 million) has been unblocked. This year, this acquisition programme is to be launched by the Naval Armament Directorate of the Italian MoD.


Italian Navy to launch its submarine rescue vessel programmeUSSP ship design (Picture source : Fincantieri)

This programme, which began in 2010, is to replace the ageing rescue ship Anteo in the near future by a brand new multirole submarine rescue vessel providing space for 200 people.

This new ship, built by the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, is a multipurpose submarine rescue vessel (Unità Supporto Subacqueo Polivalente - USSP in Italian) which will be able to accomplish different missions.

These missions include submarine rescue (through a deployable Submarine Rescue System - SRS - embarked on the weather deck), diving support (through an organic saturation system - SAT - including two hyperbaric chambers, one transfer under pressure system, one hyperbaric boat and one working bell), hydro-oceanographic activities (specific sensors and hardware, including echo-sounder, doppler log, sub bottom profiler, acoustic doppler current profiler, ...) and also Navy Seals support (through hosting and deploying them and their relevant equipment).

This ship is scheduled to be equipped with a wide range of sensors, including 2 high precision acoustic positioning, 1 single beam echo-sound, 3 multi beam echo-sound, an underwater telephone, etc... It will also accomodate some deployable equipment such as a McCann rescue chamber, an Atmospheric Diving Suit (ADS), 3 Remotely Operated Vehicles (1 ROV working down to 3,000m depth, 1 ROV watching down to 3,000m depth and 1 ROV light working down to 1,000m depth) and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV going down to 3,000m depth).

This suite that has been mounted on the USSP will permit it to take over a lot of situations related to submarines being in troubles. Therefore, in the future, we could hope to see less casualties during submarine rescue missions.

bug2 - 25-1-2019 at 02:13 PM

German Navy returns to treating the Baltic Sea as a potential theater of war

By: Sebastian Sprenger   1 day ago


The Bundeswehr Navy frigate Hessen returns to port on July 21, 2018, in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. (David Hecker/Getty Images)

COLOGNE, Germany — The German Navy inaugurated its first-ever class of officers leading the multinational Baltic Maritime Component Command on Wednesday, providing fresh evidence that military planners are seriously considering the possibility of a military confrontation with Russia in Germany’s once-pacified backyard.

Navy chief Vice Adm. Andreas Krause established the German Maritime Forces Staff in the northeastern German city of Rostock, where the BMCC headquarters is being built. The German officers, led by a Navy captain, form the core of a small planning cell that will offer its services to the militarized NATO Command Structure once fully operational in 2025 or so.

The move, though largely symbolic at this point, is something of an about-face for the German sea service, which had focused its attention on low-intensity operations in more distant waters following the Soviet Union’s fall.

Relations with Russia have become icy once again, however, with Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and an aftermath of military posturing near the borders with NATO countries. Reports of Russia bolstering its enclave Kaliningrad, which borders the Baltic Sea between alliance members Lithuania and Poland, have further increased tensions.

“The north Atlantic and the wider northern flank have returned to our attention as potential areas of operations,” Krause said at the ceremony in Rostock. “The Baltic Sea has grown to a never-seen strategic significance in the past years.”

During the Cold War, the German Navy viewed the western part of the Baltic Sea as a barrier against Warsaw Pact ships seeking to break through to the North Sea to attack supply lines from the United States. Today, “the whole of the Baltic Sea is a vital lifeline, linking allies in Poland and the Baltic states as well as our close partners in Finland and Sweden with the rest of Europe,” Krause said.

For Germany, the Baltic Sea presents a unique challenge because nowhere else does homeland defense and the defense of allies so immediately overlap, said Sebastian Bruns, head of the Center for Maritime Strategy and Security at the University of Kiel. It is also an area where Germany, whose governments have preferred supporting roles — or none at all — in global crises, is truly on the hook. “The United States, the United Kingdom or France don’t appear to have a lot of interests there,” Bruns said.

The German Navy’s acquisition pipeline already bears the imprint of a return to traditional naval warfare preparedness, industry executives and analysts have said.

For example, the service has plans to build four new corvettes optimized for “confined and shallow waters,” conditions found in the Baltic Sea, according to Bruns. Also on the wish list are at least four copies of the MKS 180 multipurpose combat ship, as well as a modernization of the country’s mine-warfare fleet.

bug2 - 5-2-2019 at 09:32 PM

German Navy eyes new sensors, BMD for air-defence frigates

Grant Turnbull, London - Jane's International Defence Review

04 February 2019

Germany has officially begun a tender to replace the long-range SMART-L search radars fitted to the navy's three in-service Sachsen-class (F 124) air-defence frigates, with the service also looking to introduce an expanded ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability during the sensor retrofit.

A request for bids was released in late January and outlined a requirement for the production, delivery, and ship integration of three new radars, along with associated identification friend or foe (IFF) systems. One more radar and IFF system are to be purchased for test, reference, and training purposes at the Maritime Engineering School (Marinetechnikschule) in Parow.

A spokesman for the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr: BAAINBw) told Jane's that a contract winner was likely to be announced by mid-2020.

(159 of 376 words)

bug2 - 7-2-2019 at 05:14 PM

Measures Taken After the Frigate Accident

(Source: Norwegian Ministry of Defence; issued Feb 05, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


After colliding with a tanker in unexplained circumstances on Nov. 8, the Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad foundered and later sank, wiping out one-fifth of Norway’s frigate force. The defense ministry is taking steps to remediate this loss. (RNN photo)

The operational consequences of KNM Helge Ingstad's accident on November 8, 2018 are substantial. The Government has decided on temporary measures. The material damage that the frigate suffered is considerable, and so far the work on securing and raising her has cost just under NOK 500 million.

The accident has significant operational consequences. With one of five frigates out of service, the Armed Forces' operational capability has been reduced, and the ability to maintain a presence in priority areas is weakening over time.

The Government is concerned that the operational ability should be re-established. The Armed Forces have already implemented measures to reduce the operational consequences. Among other things, one of the remaining frigates will sail with a double crew; This means that planned sailing days for the frigate flotilla are maintained in a short-term perspective of one to two years.

Acquire lost equipment

The Government has identified further measures that can be implemented in the short term. This includes reproducing lost spare parts and doubling the number of crews on the KNM Maud logistics vessel from one to two. The latter will increase the ability to support the frigates, which in turn extends the vessels' operational availability. Maud, who is scheduled to arrive in Norway in the middle of the year, will also increase the capacity to contribute to international operations.

The weapon holdings on board were part of Norway's emergency stock, and the government is considering whether they will also be replaced. Such a replacement will be considered in the budgets for the coming years.

However, these measures will not restore the operational ability at the level it was before the loss of Ingstad. If it should not prove possible or economically appropriate to repair the ship, alternative permanent measures will therefore have to be implemented. These assessments have already been undertaken.

Raising depends on weather conditions

The costs associated with the work on raising and transporting the frigate are characterized by many uncertainties. The weather is the biggest challenge, and bad weather has been the main cause of the delays. In order to carry out the raising as planned, sufficiently stable, good weather is needed over a period of one week.

The timing for the actual raising, and thus also for the entire salvage operation, is therefore uncertain.

After raising, security measures for equipment and materials that can be reused will be immediately implemented. When this work is completed and the vessel is secured, it will be transported to the Navy's main base at Haakonsvern, where further inspections and assessments of the extent of the damage will be carried out.

In consultation with the classification company Det Norske Veritas, temporary measures have been implemented on the other frigates in order to safeguard the vessels’ 'waterproof integrity and ensure their seaworthiness.

These measures prevent the transfer of water between the relevant watertight sections, and thus correct the safety-critical conditions. Work has also been initiated which will provide a permanent remedy for the deficiencies.

A permanent solution is planned to be installed on all frigates by March this year.

-ends-

bug2 - 9-2-2019 at 12:44 PM

Norway awaits arrival of new LSV

Richard Scott, London - Jane's Navy International

08 February 2019


KNM Maud has begun its delivery voyage. Source: RNoN

The Royal Norwegian Navy's (RNoN's) new and much-delayed Logistics and Support Vessel (LSV), KNM Maud , has begun its delivery voyage from South Korea.

Separately, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence (Forsvarsdepartementet) has announced that Maud will be dual-crewed to maximise operational availability. This move follows the sinking of the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate KNM Helge Ingstad in Hjeltefjorden last November following a collision.

Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), partnered by BMT Defence Services, was awarded a NOK1.32 billion (USD153.2 million) contract in June 2013 by Norway's Defence Logistics Organisation for the design and build of the LSV under Project 2513. The new ship is intended to meet the RNoN's long-standing requirement for a multirole auxiliary vessel to provide afloat and logistics support for a maritime task group, and to contribute to NATO-led international operations.

Construction work on Maud began at DSME's Okpo shipyard in May 2015 after a programme critical design review the previous month. Keel laying occurred in December 2015, followed by launch in June 2016.

Under the original programme schedule, ship acceptance had been planned for September 2016. However, the construction programme suffered significant delays attributable to DSME's financial situation and the complexity of the build and integration. As a result, the LSV delivery schedule was pushed back to April 2018.

Sea trials began in December 2017, but the programme encountered a further delay after the ship's main machinery suffered damage during testing. Rectification and repair work meant Maud was not accepted off contract until 16 November 2018, more than two years later than original planned.

Maud departed DSME's Okpo yard on 3 February to begin the first part of its delivery voyage across the Pacific to San Diego. After transiting through the Panama Canal and crossing the Atlantic the vessel is expected to reach Haakonsvern naval base in Bergen in late March.

(329 of 579 words)

bug2 - 21-2-2019 at 09:38 AM

Helge Ingstad Salvage Delayed Still Further

(Source: Forecast International; issued Feb 19, 2019)

OSLO --- The Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad that sank on November 2 following a collision with the tanker Sola TS will not now be salvaged until after Easter.

Officially, the problem is that adverse weather conditions are preventing the wrecked frigate from being raised. However, other reports from the area had suggested that the damage to the ship's hull is so bad that there is a significant danger she will break up if an attempt to raise her is made.

The projected remedy for this situation is a very carefully calculated dewatering of the hull at each stage of the ship's recovery.

Meanwhile, a legal controversy appears to be developing over the sinking of the Helge Ingstad. In a letter from Legal Director Johan W. Kvandal of the Norwegian Defense Materials Department to the Spanish shipyard Navantia, the Norwegian Navy appears to be claiming that they will use "all legal steps or claims" against both the Spanish shipyard and the subcontractors.

In his reply, Esteban Garcia Vilasanchez of Navantia says that the shipyard does not see any grounds for claims from Defense Material. He added that Norway has notified Navantia too late about any alleged deficiencies in the frigate, and that the Norwegian Navy has already waived claims relating to the frigates.

-ends-

bug2 - 2-3-2019 at 07:23 PM

Norway begins refloating Spanish-built frigate that sank after collision

efe-epaCopenhagen26 Feb 2019


A support boat (L) begins the salvage operation of the shipwrecked Norwegian navy frigate KNM Helge Ingstad in Hjeltefjorden near Bergen, Norway, Feb 26,, 2019. EFE-EPA/VIDAR RUUD NORWAY OUT

Norwegian authorities announced on Tuesday they had started salvage operations to refloat a Spanish-built Norwegian Navy frigate that listed and sank in shallow waters after colliding with a large tanker.

The 5,290-ton "KNM Helge Ingstad," a Nansen-class multi-role frigate of the Royal Norwegian Navy, with a crew of 137 on board, collided with 62,557 ton Malta-registered tanker Sola TS with a crew of 23, near the Bergen (West) oil terminal in Nov.

The decision to raise the stricken ship was taken early Tuesday jointly by the Royal Norwegian Navy, the Defense Ministry and the Salvage company BOA, a rescue operation that could take from 5-6 days to two weeks, depending on local weather conditions in the Hjelte fjord, authorities said.

Norwegian officials said they hoped that by this weekend they could tow the frigate back to Haakonsvern naval station where they will evaluate whether to repair or decommission it.

The salvage operation has been marred by bad weather and constant delays due to its complexity as it requires two massive floating crane vessels, the Rambiz, and the Gulliver, which will lift the frigate simultaneously using four large booms.

The lifting operation must be perfectly synchronized as the crane barges must remain completely stationary next to each other before raising the frigate and depositing it on a semi-submersible floating pontoon, on to its final destination.

The Norwegian Navy has warned that worsening weather conditions could suspend or even halt the salvage operation involving around 300 people.

The warship, which has remained secured to the mainland by pairs of tensor chains, had its chains cut at the stern early this morning to facilitate the complex maneuvres required to raise it the now completely sunken frigate in the fjords shallow waters.

Three weeks ago, Frank Bakke-Jensen, Norway's defense minister, pointed out the salvage operation's provisional costs ascended to some 500,000 Norwegian crowns (around 59,000 euros, $67,000).

The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) issued on Nov. 28 a provisional report suggesting the accident "was not caused by any single act or event" but by a series of "interacting complex factors and circumstances."

However, in an AIBN additional safety alert appendix, it also reported "safety critical issues relating to the vessel's watertight compartments."

The AIBN also called for shipbuilder Navantia to "issue a notification to relevant shipbuilding yards, owners and operators, advising on necessary measures to address safety"

The Norwegian report added the incident was "not in conformity with the required damage stability standard for the Nansen class frigates," and assumed it could also "apply to the other four Nansen-class frigates" which the Spanish shipbuilder Navantia built in the past decade.

A Navantia source contacted by EFE in Madrid assured the frigate's design was fully in conformity with international warship standards and more specifically it followed the provisions on maximum flooding capacity that enables a ship to remain afloat even if a number of watertight compartments are compromised.

The Spanish shipbuilder told EFE that from the onset of this incident it had offered Norway its absolute disposition to assist in its inquiries.

According to the initial AIBN report, the accident was caused by a series of confused visual and radio communications exchanges between the frigate, the tanker, and the oil terminal which culminated in the frigate being struck, losing its main propulsion, and soon afterward, the evacuation and abandoning of ship as it steadily took in water.

That day, the "KNM Helge Ingstad" was returning to its home-port after participating in the "Trident Juncture 2018" NATO war games when it collided with a tanker, lightly injuring eight sailors and forcing the shut-down of nearby oil terminal operations for a few hours.

Norway's Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, stated last Nov. her government would not enter any claims or liabilities against Navantia until the AIBN investigation was completed.

bug2 - 22-3-2019 at 09:12 PM

Decision On Naval Ship Probably Not Before End of the Year

(Source: Defense-Aerospace.com; posted March 21, 2019)

PARIS --- The decision to launch the German Navy’s new MKS 180 class of multipurpose frigates is unlikely before the end of the year, and could well slide into the first quarter of 2020, the President of the German Senate, Daniel Günther, told the DPA news agency in Paris.

The multi-purpose MKS 180 is considered the future flagship of the German Navy and intended for long-duration missions and blue-water operations, and will have air-defense, anti-ship and anti-submarine capabilities, as well as having the capability to carry and land commandos or marine infantry troops.

Two groups are bidding for the contract: German Naval Yards in Kiel, teamed with Germany’s TKMS, and the Dutch shipyard Damen Shipyards and its German partner Blohm &Voss.

VIDEO: MKS 180 / F-126 Saxony Class Frigate:https://youtu.be/TkQJsM0mCuQ

The Navy hopes for a decision in the current tendering process in the spring and the required parliamentary approval in the second half of the year.

The program, which is considered as a prestige program for the German Navy, is operationally significant because its current frigates, including the latest F125 class, were designed to operate in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the North Atlantic, and have an endurance of about 30 days at sea.

The MKS 180 class was initially due to cost around four billion euros for four ships, but is expected to end up costing over 5 billion euros.

bug2 - 1-4-2019 at 10:55 PM

Observation Voyage

(Source: Accident Investigation Board Norway; issued April 01, 2019)

The investigation of the accident with the tanker Sola TS and the frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad, has been ongoing since 8 November 2018. Considerable amounts of information have been collected, both through conversations with those involved, inspections of HNoMS Helge Ingstad and in form of technical and electronic data.

To obtain an even better understanding of the course of the events, both the police and the Accident Investigation Board want to carry out a voyage in the accident area with one of HNoMS Helge Ingstads sister ships, at the same time as Sola TS leaves the Sture terminal.

The aim is to carry out the voyage under conditions that are as similar as possible to those at the time of the accident.

The shipping company that owns Sola TS, Equinor, the Norwegian Coastal Administration and the Norwegian Navy will assist the AIBN and the police with carrying out such a voyage.

The Sola TS is planned with loading at the Sture terminal Monday 1 April, and unless something unforeseen occurs, the voyage will be carried out the night of April 2.

-ends-

bug2 - 5-4-2019 at 02:21 PM

Three Named as Suspects in Helge Ingstad Collision (excerpt)

(Source: Maritime Executive; posted April 02, 2019)

Norwegian police have named three suspects in the investigation into the collision that sank the Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Instad last November.

An employee at the local Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), an officer aboard the Ingstad, and the pilot who had the conn on the other vessel, the tanker Sola TS, are now considered suspects. No one has yet been charged in connection with the casualty.

Seven individuals were on the bridge of the Ingstad at the time of the casualty, including one U.S. Navy trainee. According to a preliminary report from the Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN), the frigate's bridge team members were confused by Sola TS' deck lights and incorrectly believed that the oncoming tanker was a fixed object.

Despite extensive attempts at communication between the tanker, the VTS center and the Ingstad, the Ingstad's team did not attempt to alter course until they were in extremis. The tanker's bow struck Ingstad amidships on the starboard side, suggesting a starboard-to-starboard passing attempt.

Post-accident photos show that the 140,000-ton displacement Sola TS sustained superficial damage to her starboard side anchor guard and a small hole above the waterline on her starboard bow.

The 5,000-ton displacement Ingstad suffered extensive hull damage along her starboard side, lost propulsion and steering control, experienced flooding in three compartments, and quickly drifted aground. Eight personnel were injured.

Despite salvage efforts, Ingstad sank within several days, and salvors worked through difficult Norwegian winter weather to raise her again. She was refloated in late February and taken to the port of Hanytangen for an investigation. Based on her condition after several months under water, the Royal Norwegian Navy will determine whether to salvage surviving equipment and scrap her or to attempt a restoration. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Maritime Executive website.

https://maritime-executive.com/article/three-named-as-suspec...

-ends-

bug2 - 6-4-2019 at 01:42 PM

Naval Surface Shipbuilding to Become Key Defense Technology

(Source: Defense-Aerospace.com; posted April 04, 2019)

PARIS --- Surface shipbuilding should be recognized as a key defense technology, the Maritime Coordinator of the Federal Government, Norbert Brackmann, told German radio Deutschlandfunk on Thursday.

This is equivalent to a fundamental policy decision, and the corresponding Cabinet decision should therefore follow in the fall.

Germanys northern states have long been calling for the government to declare surface shipbuilding as a key national defense technology, just like it has already done for submarine construction. Among other things, this will allow the German Navy to award warship orders without having to tender throughout Europe, and instead buy directly from German shipyards.

Schleswig-Holstein's Prime Minister Daniel Gnther (CDU) welcomed the decision. He also told Deutschlandfunk that they had been fighting to obtain this status for a long time, and that it was indeed part of the coalition agreement. After all, in Schleswig-Holstein, there is a high level of expertise in surface marine shipbuilding. Our yards are also in competition with state-owned companies, and the fact that we've finally got this priority right is also good news for the entire region.

-ends-

bug2 - 26-4-2019 at 05:10 PM

First air defence-enhanced FREMM launched

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

25 April 2019

Alsace , the first Frgate Europenne Multi-Missions (FREMM) frigate with enhanced air defence capabilities, was launched by Naval Group at its site in Lorient on 18 April, the French shipbuilder has announced in a press release.


The Alsace, the first Frégate Européenne Multi-Missions (FREMM) frigate with enhanced air defence capabilities, was launched by Naval Group at its Lorient site on 18 April. (Naval Group)

Naval Group said Alsace, which is designated FREMM DA, has the same anti-submarine warfare capabilities as FREMMs launched before it. FREMM DA programme director Pierre-Jean Cusinier said the frigate has retained its multi-mission character but that its increased anti-air warfare capabilities were achieved by modifications mainly to the combat system.

Naval Group said Alsace has a more powerful Herakles multifunction radar, improved communication systems, a new radar and electro-optical fire control system, SETIS combat management system with anti-air defence functions, and Aster 15 and 30 missiles. It can also be armed with Exocet MM 40 surface-to-surface missiles and MU 90 torpedoes.

(161 of 305 words)

bug2 - 26-4-2019 at 07:30 PM

Navantia Signs the Contract for the Construction of F110 Frigates with the Ministry of Defense

(Source: Navantia; issued April 23, 2019)


Almost a month after the Spanish Cabinet authorized its award, the Spanish Ministry of Defense has signed a contract worth 4.317 billion euros with Navantia, its national shipbuilder, for the construction of five F110 frigates of its design. (Navantia image)

Navantia and the Spanish Ministry of Defense have signed today the contract for the construction of five F-110 frigates for the Spanish Navy. The contract was signed by the Deputy Director of Acquisitions of Weapons and Material, Alfonso Torn; by the Director of Operations and Business of Navantia, Gonzalo Mateo and by the Commercial and Business Development Director of Navantia, Sofia Honrubia.

In addition, the signing, held at the headquarters of the Ministry, was attended by the Secretary of State for Defense, Angel Olivares; the Director General of the DGAM, Santiago Ramn Gonzlez and the President of Navantia, Susana de Sarri.

This new generation of F-110 frigates, whose construction will begin shortly in Ferrol, stands out for having its own Spanish design and a high degree of industrial and technological sovereignty. About 80% of purchases and supplies will be made from Spanish companies.

The design of this new frigate will incorporate remarkable technological advances, such as the new integrated mast configured with different solutions of sensors and antennas, the incorporation of a multi-space mission that expands the capabilities of the ship in all the segments of defense and a new hybrid propellant plant more efficient and silent endowing the ship with great versatility. In addition, it will integrate unmanned vehicles on board and will have the capacity for the future installation of directed energy weapons.

The frigates will be equipped with a Spanish combat system, SCOMBA, developed by Navantia. This system acts as the vessels brain and integrates all the frigates sensors and weapons, such as surface sensors, EW and IFF supplied by Indra, Band S radar and Lockheed Martin vertical launcher, AAW SM-2 from Raytheon, the antisubmarine warfare systems and SAES sonars and the navigation and communications systems from Navantia Sistemas.

It should be noted that the frigate F-110 will be the first major Spanish naval program developed within the framework of Astillero 4.0 which will involve the most advanced integrated control and simulation systems, with the digital twin, which will be complemented by an intelligent management and communication nervous system without cables, which will permanently connect the crew to each other, and the crew to the ships systems.

In addition, it will incorporate processes and components with additive fabrication or 3D printing and will be the first ships in the fleet to have an integrated cybersecurity system that shields ships against increasing threats. This makes it possible for the ship to have reduced crew for its operation and high standards of habitability.

This program will benefit all the shipyards of Navantia with an impact on the employment of approximately 7.000 jobs annually for almost a decade, between direct and induced jobs. In addition to the workload for the Ferrol Shipyard, it will also generate activity in the Bay of Cadiz, through Navantia Sistemas with the development of the frigates combat system.

(EDITORS NOTE: When it approved the contract on March 29, the Spanish Cabinet said it was worth 4,317 million.)

-ends-

bug2 - 26-4-2019 at 07:46 PM

Norway Considers Selling Salvaged Frigate for Scrap Metal to Cut Losses

(Source: Sputnik News; posted April 24, 2019)


Finally raised after five months underwater, the Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad is beyond repair, and may be sold for scrap to recover some financial costs. Norway may also seek damages from the shipyard that built her. (Forsvaret photo)

I foresee a monumental shit-fight between the Norwegian Navy and the Yard, that almost certainly will drag into involvement the respective governments..........:no: :no: :no:

Following a fateful collision in the aftermath of NATO drills in late 2018 and after spending four months under water, the KNM Helge Ingstad is estimated to have lost half of its value. The salvaging of the frigate alone cost $85 million.

A recent annual report by the Norwegian Armed Forces features the first estimate of the expected costs of the salvaging operation to lift the KNM Helge Ingstad, which sank in November 2018 following the Trident Juncture NATO drills.

The total price tag for the salvage operation that included raising, securing and towing reached NOK 726 million ($85 million), almost 100 million more that the previous estimate provided by Norwegian Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen.

The loss of the Helge Ingstad has left Norway's defence capabilities drastically weakened, the report said. The strain on the remaining four frigates has also increased as they have to sail more frequently than usual to offset the loss.

"The accident will affect the Armed Forces' operational ability and preparedness," the report said.

Last year, the Navy's operating expenses exceeded the budget by NOK 82 million ($9.6 million), mainly due to the KNM Helge Ingstad, national broadcaster NRK reported.

After being submersed for four months in salt water, the frigate's value has been written down by NOK 2.2 billion ($260 million). This means that the KNM Helge Ingstad has lost more than half of its initial value of NOK 4.3 billion ($500 million).

Evaluations of how much of the equipment on board can be saved are underway. The Armed Forces is also considering selling the steel to cut the losses.

"It should also be considered whether parts of the frigate can be used for the remaining vessels, or whether it is possible to sell the steel", the report said.

The KNM Helge Ingstad collided with the Maltese-flagged tanker Sola TS in Hjeltefjorden in Hordaland on 8 November. The ship suffered a 45-metre-long gash in its hull on its starboard side and went down shortly thereafter.

Starting from mid-November, it was completely submerged for several months. On 4 March, it was ultimately salvaged after months of preparations and transported to the naval base of Haakonsvern.

On 2 April, it was announced that three people were suspected in connection with the accident, the pilot on board the Sola TS, the security officer on the bridge of the frigate and an employee at the sea traffic centre at Fedje, Norway.

On 10 April, the frigate was relaunched after the gash was plugged using steel plates.

-ends-

bug2 - 3-5-2019 at 09:34 AM

F125 frigate Baden-Wrttemberg handed over to Bundeswehr

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

02 May 2019


The F125 frigate Baden-Wrttemberg was handed over to the Bundeswehr on 30 April. Source: Bundeswehr/Carsten Vennemann/Redaktion der Bundeswehr

Key Points

- The Bundeswehr received the frigate Baden-Wrttemberg from the ARGE F125 consortium on 30 April
- The first-in-class Baden-Wrttemberg is scheduled to enter service in June

The frigate Baden-Wrttemberg is slated to enter service with the German Navy in June after the Arbeitsgemeinschaft (ARGE) F125 consortium delivered it to Germany's Federal Office of Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) at the Wilhelmshaven naval base on 30 April.

The German Navy said on its website that it and industry would conduct further sea trials and safety tests with Baden-Wrttemberg and test the radiation emissions of its IT systems over the next seven weeks. In parallel, these systems will be integrated into the Bundeswehr's communications network.

The German Navy said the F125 class is highly automated, allowing the crew to be reduced to 126 compared with 200 for the oldest F122 frigates. In addition, the F125 class can remain in a deployment area for two years, with the rotation of entire crews.

(185 of 260 words)

bug2 - 18-5-2019 at 11:57 AM

'Cheaper to Buy a New One': Norway Discovers Sunken Frigate's True Repair Costs

(Source: Sputnik News; posted May 14, 2019)


Finally raised after spending four months underwater, the Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad is now estimated to cost up to 12 billion kroner to restore it to operational condition, or about three times its original cost. (Forsvaret photo)

Although raised and set afloat after four months underwater, the frigate Helge Ingstad, which sank following NATO drills in late 2018, is far from operational and still demands enormous investments.

Repairing the frigate KNM Helge Ingstad will cost over NOK 12 billion ($1.37 billion), which is three times as much as its original cost, the newspaper Bergens Tidende reported.

"The cost of repairing the frigate will exceed NOK 12 billion. Building a new one will be cheaper", the damage assessment to be presented on Wednesday said.

Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency communications adviser Vigdis Hvaal said that no comments will be issued until the Wednesday condition report, which will determine the frigate's future.

It set the Norwegian military budget back NOK 4.3 billion (almost $500 million) to buy the frigate. The ship was delivered in 2009. The costs of the Helge Ingstad's replacement haven't been estimated yet, but the defence department reckons that ordering several ships at once will be much cheaper, as restarting production for just one ship could result in a disproportionately high per ship cost.

"When you talk about the costs associated with building a new frigate, it is important to remember that building just one is far more expensive than building more", the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency concluded.

The price for a new frigate is expected to be lower than the cost of repair.

In their annual report, the Armed Forces wrote that it is relevant to consider re-using the details for remaining vessels or sell the steel.

The loss of the KNM Helge Ingstad has left Norway's defence capability weakened, adding an extra burden on the four remaining frigates. "The accident will affect the Armed Forces' operational ability, deliveries and preparedness", the Armed Forces admitted.

The Helge Ingstad collided with the Maltese-flagged tanker Sola in November of last year while heading back after the major NATO exercise Trident Juncture, billed as the largest on Norwegian soil in decades. While some of the 137-member crew sustained light injuries, the frigate suffered a 45-metre-long gash on its starboard and went down shortly after. The tanker, by contrast, emerged from the collision with only minor damage and is back in service.

The frigate remained underwater for almost four months before it was raised and transported to Haakonsvern in Bergen. On 10 April, the frigate was relaunched after the gash was plugged using steel plates. So far, rescuing, salvaging and transporting costs associated with the accident cost NOK 726 million ($83 million), according to the 2018 Armed Forces annual report.

-ends-

bug2 - 18-5-2019 at 11:58 AM

NOT surprised about this. There has to be very little worth saving, and trying to remove most of what is there to refurbish or replace is just economic nonsense............

ARH - 18-5-2019 at 08:14 PM

I have to wonder what they are doing to replace it with. A multi-ship purchase with someone else makes sense, but who else and what?

bug2 - 18-5-2019 at 11:38 PM

The wording used tends to make me think that whatever it is is going to be procured in 2 or three units.........NANSEN or not, is a whole different question.

Type 26 anyone?

ARH - 18-5-2019 at 11:42 PM

T-boning a tanker may well end up proving to be a bit of a boost for the Norwegian navy...

bug2 - 18-5-2019 at 11:44 PM

Sure looks that way............:cool:

bug2 - 24-5-2019 at 09:25 AM

Maritime 2050+: Future Study of Industry and Research Institutions Demands More Responsibility for Maritime World and International Leadership Role of Germany

(Source: Atlas Elektronik Group; issued May 22, 2019)

The maritime space is essential to human life. Marine resources feed a growing world population, which is increasingly concentrated in coastal areas. Maritime corridors are the backbone of globalization. However, prosperity is not only built upon the unrestricted exchange of resources, goods, information and mobility of people, but especially on the preservation of this unique ecosphere.

"Maritime 2050+" is a joint future study of Atlas Elektronik, the German Aerospace Center and the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE. It is dedicated to the development of the maritime space in the next decades and shows measures to improve the quality of life by bringing together the different economic and ecological interests.

In addition to climate change and immense population growth, the authors of the future study expect an increasing exploitation of the oceans in the coming decades for drinking water and food, but also in the use of marine resources.

Michael Ozegowski, CEO of Atlas Elektronik: The growing need for maritime resources is increasing the potential for conflicts between countries. We need to work closer together at national and international level, create new technologies and establish rules that will enable a peaceful management while at the same time protecting the maritime space.

Dr. Dennis Gge, Executive Board Representative Defence and Security Research, DLR: We hope that politicians will maintain and ideally intensify the already existing focus on the maritime domain. In order to better bring technological solutions from research into application, we need targeted funding programs. Independent testing facilities, greater support for qualification and training as well as the creation of cross-sectoral synergies are necessary for a sustainable use of the maritime space.

Prof. Dr. Peter Martini, Head of Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE: Digitisation and cyber security are the two drivers to further develop the maritime industry. In doing so, we must find user-friendly solutions, integrate AI responsibly and install pragmatic protection mechanisms.

The authors of the future study "Maritime 2050+" identified the following fields of action as crucial in order to align the different economic, ecological and security-related interests.

Common understanding and clear rules

All relevant stakeholders should develop a shared holistic view of the maritime domain that reflects the complexity of this fragile system. Careless or even criminal behavior has in the past repeatedly led to serious ecological incidents with dire repercussions. There is a need for rules and strictly enforced limitations that apply to all users.

International cooperation

Governments, businesses, research institutions and other key players need to work together to drive initiatives around the world. Only then we can jointly take responsibility for a living space that we all share. There needs to be a guiding hand, but each government must also contribute its intellectual and budgetary share to support the development of joint solutions.

Technological research

It takes a long-term perspective to solve the technological challenges we face. We need global surveillance solutions for maritime applications, the development of autonomous vehicles for transport, exploration, and maintenance, the seamless integration of heterogeneous systems and the fusion of big data streams to exploit the full potential of digitisation.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence will greatly change the ability to use and protect our maritime world. At the same time, intelligent systems cannot completely replace human reasoning in critical situations. Research must therefore deal with responsible decision-making. This includes aspects such as data integrity, causal transparency, or system reliability

Cyber security

Increasing digitisation goes along with increased cyber security threats. With its critical infrastructure, the maritime sector is particularly threatened. In order to be better protected against theft, manipulation, sabotage and disruption, suitable solutions must be developed and implemented in areas such as common standards, certifications, improved system stability and nationwide monitoring. Governments play a key role to achieve this internationally.

Towards German politics, the authors of the future study see above all the need to invest more so that Germany can effectively pursue its economic, environmental and security-related maritime interests.

The report "Maritime 2050+" was handed over on 22 May 2019 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, to the responsible Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry, Norbert Brackmann. "Maritime 2050+" was jointly created by Atlas Elektronik, the German Aerospace Center and the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics.


The Atlas Elektronik Group stands for maritime and naval solutions above and below the ocean surface. The company holds a leading position in all fields of maritime high technology, from command & control systems including radio & communication systems for submarines, surface combatants and mine warfare systems and ranging to heavyweight torpedoes, coastal surveillance systems and in-service support. ATLAS has established a worldwide customer portfolio. The electronics specialist is an operational unit of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. The company has a workforce of around 2.200 highly skilled employees.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is one of the worlds leading system suppliers for submarines and naval surface vessels as well as for maritime security technologies. The company has a history of naval shipbuilding that dates back centuries and offers state-of-the-art technologies, innovations and extensive and dependable services to customers around the world. With its Operating Units Submarines, Surface Vessels, Naval Electronic Systems and Services, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is part of the ThyssenKrupp Group.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is the national aeronautics and space research centre of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, energy, transport, digitalisation and security is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. In addition to its own research, as Germanys space agency, DLR has been given responsibility by the federal government for the planning and implementation of the German space programme. DLR is also the umbrella organisation for one of Germanys largest project management agencies.

At its core, the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE is geared towards supporting government institutions in the field of external and internal security. In the economic sector, the FKIE focuses on security at airports, in air traffic, for maritime systems and in the IT sector. With its approximately 450 employees at its Bonn and Wachtberg locations, the FKIE is a leading institute for applied research and practical innovation in information and communication technology as well as in the field of human-oriented technology design

-ends-

unicorn - 25-5-2019 at 02:29 PM

Quote: Originally posted by ARH  
I have to wonder what they are doing to replace it with. A multi-ship purchase with someone else makes sense, but who else and what?


I would recommend that they go look at the Danish Navy. Their Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates are good value and they could also acquire an Absalon-class support ship.

bug2 - 25-5-2019 at 08:17 PM

I'd be astonished if they go back to the Spanish..........

unicorn - 26-5-2019 at 09:44 AM

Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
I'd be astonished if they go back to the Spanish..........


I understand your point but it would mean they would be getting a sister ship to what they already have, rather than introducing an orphan into the fleet.

Over several decades of use those costs mount up.

bug2 - 26-5-2019 at 03:37 PM

Quite, BUT the inference from the Norwegian Navy is that they are looking for 2-3 new vessels to replace the lost one. IF this is funded properly, then sticking with what you've got in the way of design, etc is not an absolute necessity. The Norwegians are more than a little concerned about the resurgent Russian Navy, and this may be reflected in the final choices they make.

The other factor against the Spanish is that the 'blame' case is far from over or complete. Until that is resolved, Spain is not a possibility in my opinion.

ADMK2 - 26-5-2019 at 10:59 PM

You wouldnt think politically that would fly? Oh, hey! You know that frigate that sank? Can we buy another one off them?

The guys we are currently sueing?

Yep. The very same...

Ah, no...

bug2 - 27-5-2019 at 09:16 AM

Exactly.....

bug2 - 28-5-2019 at 04:03 PM

Trieste Launched - the Italian Navys Amphibious Assault Ship of the Italian Navy

(Source: Italian Navy; issued May 25, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


The Italian Navys future LHD, Trieste, was launched on Saturday by Fincantieri in its Stabia shipyard. Displacing 33,000 tonnes, she is the largest warship built in Italy since 1945, and will be handed over to the customer in 2022. (Fincantieri photo)

This is the what has been called the Big Launch, the launch of the ship that will be delivered to the Italian Navy after the necessary fitting out. The multi-role and multi-function amphibious assault ship, funded under the naval defense support program launched in May 2015 is, with a length of 214 meters, the largest Italian naval ship built after the war, and is destined to become the future flagship of the fleet.

Nave Trieste touched the sea today, christened by her godmother, Ms. Laura Mattarella, daughter of the Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who also attended the ceremony. He was welcomed by the President of Fincantieri, Giampiero Massolo, and Managing Director Giuseppe Bono, by Minister of Defense Elizabeth Trenta as well as the Chief of Defense Staff, General Enzo Vecciarelli, and of the Navy, Admiral Valter Girardelli. To support her designated commander, Commander Enrico Vignola, other authorities included also Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio.

During their speeches, Fincantieris Bono, presented Nave Trieste as "a company". According to Minister Trenta, she is "the expression of the excellence of the country". General Vecciarelli identified the ship as "the collective defense concentrate," while Adm. Girardelli called her A modern and irreplaceable multi-purpose instrument that the Defense can use effectively.

An added value that increasingly sees the best and most efficient use of investments made by the country in the comprehensive and versatile use of military assets. Trieste is not the point of arrival, but of departure in the development of the plan for the renewal of the Navys operational assets, now well underway that certainly will find further impulse, support and sharing," Girardelli said.

Nave Trieste was conceived by the Projects Team of the Naval Staff to be a flexible instrument, a multi-purpose by design, modular, and with low environmental impact. It is a LHD type (Landing Helicopter Dock) vessel because of its ability to use aircraft and amphibious vehicles thanks to the availability of a flight deck and a floodable dock inside the ship.

Ship "Trieste" will be certified by RINA Services in accordance with international conventions for pollution prevention, both for more traditional aspects such as those covered by the MARPOL Convention, and for those that are not yet binding, such as those included in the Hong Kong Convention relative to the issuing of a "Green Passport".

Unit features: LHD - Landing Helicopter Dock

The ship has a length of approximately 214 meters, a maximum speed of 25 knots, and will be equipped with a CODLOG-type propulsion system (COmbined Diesel and Electric Or Gas) that uses electric propulsion for low speeds, in line with the environmental policy of the Navy ("Green Fleet").

The construction and equipment characteristics of Ship Trieste will allow it to project and sustain - in crisis areas Navy landing forces of the Navy as well as the national capability to project force from the sea; to ensure the strategic transport of a large number of vehicles, personnel and equipment; and to contribute with the Civil Protection Force to relief activities for populations struck by natural disasters by its ability to provide drinking water, electricity and medical support.

The ship can also perform the functions of command and control in the context of emergencies at sea, of civilian evacuation from crisis areas, and humanitarian assistance.

With over 1,000 available beds, the new LHD will also be equipped with a helicopter flight deck of about 230 square meters, and will be capable of supporting operations of a 600-man battalion, and a large garage deck capable of accommodating 1200 linear meters of vehicles, both wheeled and tracked.

The floodable basin, 50 meters long and 15 meters wide, will allow the ship to operate with the most modern amphibious equipment supplied to the NATO and European Union navies.

The various cargo storage areas will be accessible via cranes, stern and side ramps, and cargo handling will be enabled by internal ramps and elevators.

A fully equipped hospital will be on board, with surgical rooms, radiology and analysis, a dental cabinet and a hospital area for 27 seriously hospitalized patients (further admissions are possible in appropriately equipped container modules).

(ends)

Fincantieri: The Multipurpose Amphibious Unit Trieste Launched in Castellammare di Stabia

(Source: Fincantieri; issued May 25, 2019)

TRIESTE, Italy --- The launching ceremony of the multipurpose amphibious unit (LHD or Landing Helicopter Dock) Trieste took place today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia, in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, welcomed by Fincantieris Chairman Giampiero Massolo and CEO Giuseppe Bono.

This multirole and multipurpose amphibious vessel has been designed [from] the beginning as a flexible, multi-purpose by design, modular unit with a low environmental impact. It is a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) capable of deploying aircraft and amphibious vehicles and equipment, relying on a flight deck and a floodable basin located on the stern of the ship.

The new unit will be delivered in 2022 and falls within the naval program of the maritime capability of Defence, approved by the Italian Government and Parliament and started in May 2015 (Naval Act).

Godmother of the ceremony was Mrs. Laura Mattarella, daughter of the Italian President.

The ceremony was also attended, among others, by the Italian Minister of Economic Development, of Labour and Social Policies and Deputy Prime Minister of Italy Luigi Di Maio and the Italian Minister of Defence Elisabetta Trenta, by the Governor of Campania Vincenzo De Luca, by the Chief of Defence Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli and the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy Adm. Valter Girardelli.

The unit Trieste will be classified by RINA Services pursuant to international conventions for the prevention of pollution regarding traditional aspects - like those addressed by the MARPOL Convention, as well as those not yet mandatory, like the ones covered by the Hong Kong Convention introducing the Green Passport concept.

Vessels characteristics: LHD - Landing Helicopter Dock

The unit will be approx. 214 meters long with a maximum speed of 25 knots. It will be equipped with a COmbined Diesel eLectric Or Gas (CODLOG) propulsion system and an additional electric propulsion system to be used for low speed sailing, in line with the Italian Navys environmental policy (Green Fleet).

Thanks to her characteristics in terms of construction and weapon systems, the LHD Trieste will be able to project in crisis areas the landing force of the Italian Navy and support the Defence national capability projection from the sea, as well as to ensure the strategic transport of vehicles, personnel and equipment, and to support the Civil Protection in providing assistance to countries and populations in case of natural disasters, thanks to her capability to provide drinking water, power supply, healthcare and medical support.

The Unit has also been conceived to carry out command and control functions in case of emergencies at sea, evacuation of nationals and humanitarian assistance operations.

With over 1,000 sleeping accommodations, the new LHD will feature a 230-metre long helicopter flight deck, allowing the operation of a battalion consisting of 600 personnel, and a dock-garage for 1,200 linear metres of wheeled and tracked vehicles, both civilian and military.

The floodable dock - 50 metres long and 15 metres wide - will enable the ship to deploy the most technically advanced amphibious equipment and vehicles of EU and NATO Navies.

The different areas of cargo securing are accessible through cranes, stern and side ramps, and cargo handling will be managed by internal ramps and elevators.

A fully equipped hospital will also be available onboard, complete with operating rooms, radiology and analysis rooms, a dentists office, and patient rooms capable of hosting 27 seriously injured patients (further admissions are possible through duly equipped container modules).

-ends-

bug2 - 28-5-2019 at 04:25 PM

Faster and More Resilient Communications for NATO Naval Forces

(Source: Thales; issued May 24, 2019)

For armed forces on joint and allied operations, the ability to share vast amounts of tactical information in the battlespace is crucially important.

By 2025, the new Link 22 tactical datalink will replace Link 11, the digital radio link standard currently used by NATO and its allies.

Operating in the HF and UHF frequency bands, Link 22 will enable naval units to communicate in real time and adapt to a situation as it unfolds so they can accomplish decisive missions effectively.

Link 22 will soon be a vital capability, enabling all components of a NATO naval force to take part in the connected collaborative combat of tomorrow.

Together with Atos, Thales is supporting the transition to collaborative combat in a secure environment through the development of advanced Link 22 functionalities for Thaless TopLink tactical datalink processor. TopLink is already in service with a dozen countries and also manages tactical messages for airborne units using the Link 16 and Joint Range Extension standards.

To deliver a highly capable, dependable and competitive solution, Atos is contributing its expertise in Link 22 datalink management, while Thales brings its experience in critical multi-link systems to the table.

The agreement builds on a partnership that began in 2009 for initial testing of Frances Link 22 capabilities.

-ends-

ADMK2 - 28-5-2019 at 04:51 PM

Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
Trieste Launched - the Italian Navys Amphibious Assault Ship of the Italian Navy

(Source: Italian Navy; issued May 25, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


The Italian Navys future LHD, Trieste, was launched on Saturday by Fincantieri in its Stabia shipyard. Displacing 33,000 tonnes, she is the largest warship built in Italy since 1945, and will be handed over to the customer in 2022. (Fincantieri photo)

This is the what has been called the Big Launch, the launch of the ship that will be delivered to the Italian Navy after the necessary fitting out. The multi-role and multi-function amphibious assault ship, funded under the naval defense support program launched in May 2015 is, with a length of 214 meters, the largest Italian naval ship built after the war, and is destined to become the future flagship of the fleet.

Nave Trieste touched the sea today, christened by her godmother, Ms. Laura Mattarella, daughter of the Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who also attended the ceremony. He was welcomed by the President of Fincantieri, Giampiero Massolo, and Managing Director Giuseppe Bono, by Minister of Defense Elizabeth Trenta as well as the Chief of Defense Staff, General Enzo Vecciarelli, and of the Navy, Admiral Valter Girardelli. To support her designated commander, Commander Enrico Vignola, other authorities included also Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio.

During their speeches, Fincantieris Bono, presented Nave Trieste as "a company". According to Minister Trenta, she is "the expression of the excellence of the country". General Vecciarelli identified the ship as "the collective defense concentrate," while Adm. Girardelli called her A modern and irreplaceable multi-purpose instrument that the Defense can use effectively.

An added value that increasingly sees the best and most efficient use of investments made by the country in the comprehensive and versatile use of military assets. Trieste is not the point of arrival, but of departure in the development of the plan for the renewal of the Navys operational assets, now well underway that certainly will find further impulse, support and sharing," Girardelli said.

Nave Trieste was conceived by the Projects Team of the Naval Staff to be a flexible instrument, a multi-purpose by design, modular, and with low environmental impact. It is a LHD type (Landing Helicopter Dock) vessel because of its ability to use aircraft and amphibious vehicles thanks to the availability of a flight deck and a floodable dock inside the ship.

Ship "Trieste" will be certified by RINA Services in accordance with international conventions for pollution prevention, both for more traditional aspects such as those covered by the MARPOL Convention, and for those that are not yet binding, such as those included in the Hong Kong Convention relative to the issuing of a "Green Passport".

Unit features: LHD - Landing Helicopter Dock

The ship has a length of approximately 214 meters, a maximum speed of 25 knots, and will be equipped with a CODLOG-type propulsion system (COmbined Diesel and Electric Or Gas) that uses electric propulsion for low speeds, in line with the environmental policy of the Navy ("Green Fleet").

The construction and equipment characteristics of Ship Trieste will allow it to project and sustain - in crisis areas Navy landing forces of the Navy as well as the national capability to project force from the sea; to ensure the strategic transport of a large number of vehicles, personnel and equipment; and to contribute with the Civil Protection Force to relief activities for populations struck by natural disasters by its ability to provide drinking water, electricity and medical support.

The ship can also perform the functions of command and control in the context of emergencies at sea, of civilian evacuation from crisis areas, and humanitarian assistance.

With over 1,000 available beds, the new LHD will also be equipped with a helicopter flight deck of about 230 square meters, and will be capable of supporting operations of a 600-man battalion, and a large garage deck capable of accommodating 1200 linear meters of vehicles, both wheeled and tracked.

The floodable basin, 50 meters long and 15 meters wide, will allow the ship to operate with the most modern amphibious equipment supplied to the NATO and European Union navies.

The various cargo storage areas will be accessible via cranes, stern and side ramps, and cargo handling will be enabled by internal ramps and elevators.

A fully equipped hospital will be on board, with surgical rooms, radiology and analysis, a dental cabinet and a hospital area for 27 seriously hospitalized patients (further admissions are possible in appropriately equipped container modules).

(ends)

Fincantieri: The Multipurpose Amphibious Unit Trieste Launched in Castellammare di Stabia

(Source: Fincantieri; issued May 25, 2019)

TRIESTE, Italy --- The launching ceremony of the multipurpose amphibious unit (LHD or Landing Helicopter Dock) Trieste took place today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia, in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, welcomed by Fincantieris Chairman Giampiero Massolo and CEO Giuseppe Bono.

This multirole and multipurpose amphibious vessel has been designed [from] the beginning as a flexible, multi-purpose by design, modular unit with a low environmental impact. It is a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) capable of deploying aircraft and amphibious vehicles and equipment, relying on a flight deck and a floodable basin located on the stern of the ship.

The new unit will be delivered in 2022 and falls within the naval program of the maritime capability of Defence, approved by the Italian Government and Parliament and started in May 2015 (Naval Act).

Godmother of the ceremony was Mrs. Laura Mattarella, daughter of the Italian President.

The ceremony was also attended, among others, by the Italian Minister of Economic Development, of Labour and Social Policies and Deputy Prime Minister of Italy Luigi Di Maio and the Italian Minister of Defence Elisabetta Trenta, by the Governor of Campania Vincenzo De Luca, by the Chief of Defence Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli and the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy Adm. Valter Girardelli.

The unit Trieste will be classified by RINA Services pursuant to international conventions for the prevention of pollution regarding traditional aspects - like those addressed by the MARPOL Convention, as well as those not yet mandatory, like the ones covered by the Hong Kong Convention introducing the Green Passport concept.

Vessels characteristics: LHD - Landing Helicopter Dock

The unit will be approx. 214 meters long with a maximum speed of 25 knots. It will be equipped with a COmbined Diesel eLectric Or Gas (CODLOG) propulsion system and an additional electric propulsion system to be used for low speed sailing, in line with the Italian Navys environmental policy (Green Fleet).

Thanks to her characteristics in terms of construction and weapon systems, the LHD Trieste will be able to project in crisis areas the landing force of the Italian Navy and support the Defence national capability projection from the sea, as well as to ensure the strategic transport of vehicles, personnel and equipment, and to support the Civil Protection in providing assistance to countries and populations in case of natural disasters, thanks to her capability to provide drinking water, power supply, healthcare and medical support.

The Unit has also been conceived to carry out command and control functions in case of emergencies at sea, evacuation of nationals and humanitarian assistance operations.

With over 1,000 sleeping accommodations, the new LHD will feature a 230-metre long helicopter flight deck, allowing the operation of a battalion consisting of 600 personnel, and a dock-garage for 1,200 linear metres of wheeled and tracked vehicles, both civilian and military.

The floodable dock - 50 metres long and 15 metres wide - will enable the ship to deploy the most technically advanced amphibious equipment and vehicles of EU and NATO Navies.

The different areas of cargo securing are accessible through cranes, stern and side ramps, and cargo handling will be managed by internal ramps and elevators.

A fully equipped hospital will also be available onboard, complete with operating rooms, radiology and analysis rooms, a dentists office, and patient rooms capable of hosting 27 seriously injured patients (further admissions are possible through duly equipped container modules).

-ends-


And being Italian, it will no doubt mount about 17x 76mm deck guns...

bug2 - 28-5-2019 at 06:24 PM

Not quite BUT she does get three.........

3 Oto Melara 76/62 mm Strales Anti-aircraft guns

3 Oto Melara KBA 25/80 mm, remotized

2 x Oto Melara ODLS-20 (decoys launchers)

FFBNW 2x8-cell SYLVER A50 VLS for 16 Aster 15 and 30 missiles or 32 CAMM ER missile.

The CAMM count is wrong...... 4 x CAMM fit in each ASTER launcher, same as US launchers........

ADMK2 - 29-5-2019 at 12:48 AM

Still bloody well armed for an LHD. Makes the 25mm pop-guns attached to the Canberra class look positively anaemic...

bug2 - 29-5-2019 at 08:52 AM

Yup!

bug2 - 30-5-2019 at 09:09 AM

Thales to supply Mirador Mk 2 for new K 130 corvettes

Richard Scott, London - Jane's Navy International

29 May 2019

Thales is to supply its latest Mirador Mk 2 electro-optical (EO) director for the German Navys second batch of K 130 corvettes, the company announced on 24 May.


The original Mirador electro-optical director is already in service on the five batch 1 K130 corvettes. The second batch will receive the all-digital Mirador Mk 2. (Richard Scott/NAVYPIX)

Under contract to the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), Thales will deliver 12 Mirador Mk 2 systems to the K 130 programme. Each of the five new corvettes will be equipped with two Mirador Mk 2 systems for passive surveillance and fire control; the remaining two systems will be used as land-based test and training assets.

The five K 130 corvettes already in service are equipped with the original version of Mirador EO director. The new Mk 2 version introduces digital technology throughout to provide improved sensor performance (to enhance detection, recognition, and identification) and more accurate data tracking.

(157 of 201 words)

bug2 - 5-6-2019 at 10:04 PM

France Wants To Retain Its Carrier Edge

Jun 5, 2019

Tony Osborne | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Carrier aviation has been a staple of Frances defense capability since the end of World War II, a symbol of the countrys ability to act independently and provide support for its extensive overseas territories, all while supplying an additional component of the countrys nuclear deterrent.

Now, as the French Navys recently refitted flagship, the Charles de Gaulle, is embarked in the Far East with a full complement of aircraft, planners are beginning to mull a new generation of carrier and, crucially, how many might be needed.

Prior to the introduction of the nuclear-powered 42,000-metric-ton Charles de Gaulle in 2001, France had two carriers, Clemenceau and Foch, with one always on standby.

- Future carrier will likely operate a naval version of the Franco-German FCAS
- Charles de Gaulle embarked with largest complement of Rafales

But by replacing them with one ship, critics have argued that the appearance of capability has been somewhat undermined because the ship has not always been available. The air wing, however, has been able to operate from U.S. carriers on several occasions.

France is the only nation that routinely cross-decks its aircraft onto U.S. nuclear-powered carriers. Paris had been looking at closing that gap by developing a second carrier to be a sister ship to the Charles de Gaulle and based on the design of Britains Queen Elizabeth-class carriers. Those plans were abandoned in a 2013 white paper.

Studies for the new ship, which will likely be designed around a naval version of the Next-Generation Fighter (NGF), the manned component of the Franco-German Future Combat Air System, began last October, with teams studying the architecture as well as the industrial organization for the ships construction.

It [the carrier] is a strategic capability of our national defense and our navy . . . an efficient and effective capacity. [It is] an ability that we must maintain and renew, says armed forces minister Florence Parly.

The 18-month-long studies not only are expected to consider French requirements but also those of its European neighbors as the EU strengthens its defense capability. European governments could be invited to participate in a carrier program or put their own aircraft on board. Such cooperation could even extend to the ships construction, Parly suggests. This has led to questions about the potential of a European carrier with its operation shared between nations, proposals that garnered interest in Germany.

This aircraft carrier could serve until the last decades of the 21st century. We cannot afford to design it with a narrow horizon, Parly explains.


The Charles de Gaulle is currently operating in the Far East with a complement of 30 Dassault Rafales. The ship is expected to be in service until the mid-to-late 2030s. Credit: Seaman Joshua L. Leonard/U.S. Navy

French officials are believed to be in discussions about the potential use of U.S.-developed electromagnetic catapults for the ships. This would enable the launch of smaller, lighter air vehicles such as UAS and so-called remote carriers or loyal wingmen, which are expected to accompany the NGF on its operational mission. Other key decisions to be made will include whether to adopt nuclear or conventional propulsion as well as the size of the ship.

French officials tell Aviation Week that a nuclear carrier needs to refuel its tanks of aviation fuel every 10 days, while a conventional carrier needs to replace its own fuel every four days, a possible hint that the nuclear option may be favored.

The Charles de Gaulle is due to retire around 2040, after 40 years of service. The new ship is expected to enter service in the mid-to-late 2030s, and the two could operate alongside each other for a short period.

The price tag could be as much as 5 billion ($5.6 billion), or even more if it is decided to use nuclear propulsion, senior naval officers told a committee of the French National Assembly in March. A decision on the number of ships needed is expected to be announced in early 2020.

The Charles de Gaulle is continuing a cruise that has taken it through the Mediterranean, into the Indian Ocean and onward to the Far East, a test of the 1.3 billion, 18-month-long midlife refit completed last October that was designed to keep the ship in service through 2038.

Engineers also undertook inspections of the two nuclear reactors, replaced the fuel elements and performed maintenance on the ships electrical power plant, propulsion system and steam catapult system.

The carrier also received a new combat system, with modernized networks and radars. The refit included removing the last vestiges of the ships association with the Dassault-Breguet Super Etendard, the 1970s-era attack aircraft, which served on the ship until July 2016.

The ships aviation facilities are being updated to support the Dassault Rafale M. Thirty are on the current voyage, the largest complement taken to sea yet. The ship has the capacity to carry up to 40 of the fighters, almost the entire complement of the French Navys Rafale M fleet of 42. Also onboard are several helicopters and two Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning platforms.

bug2 - 6-6-2019 at 09:29 AM

U36 - More Than 5,000 Nautical Miles Under Water

(Source: German Navy; issued June 04, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


The German Navy submarine U36, an U-212A class submarine displacing 1,800 tonnes submerged, returns to her homeport on Friday, after an 8,800 nautical mile cruise during which she sailed 5,000 nautical miles while submerged. (GE Navy photo)

ECKERNFRDE, Germany --- Submarine U36 returns to her home port of Eckernfrde on Friday, June 7, at 10:00 am from a sea voyage of about five months. During her 136 days absence, the Delta crew participated in several international exercises.

The joint training sessions over the past five months have further strengthened German-Norwegian cooperation. At all levels there was a lively exchange between German and Norwegian soldiers. "The decision to support U36 for the entire period was a complete success, and our cooperation with the Royal Norwegian Navy has further intensified, adding another milestone to the acquisition of new submarines," said Fregattenkapitn (Cmdr.) Timo Cordes (43), Commander 1. Uboot Squadron.

In the British exercise "Joint Warrior," U36 sailed for three weeks without a break and also completed the naval parts of the commander's course. After the maneuver, the crew at FOST ("Flag Officer Sea Training") off Plymouth (England) supported the training of the British Navy.

Afterwards the boat went to the Bay of Biscay to train with the French Navy on submarine hunts, including helicopter missions. At the beginning of May, the Delta crew entered the base of the Royal Norwegian Navys main base in Haakonsvern to prepare for the upcoming torpedo firing section. This simulated several torpedo attacks and over a dozen practice torpedoes were launched.

"During our time we have been able to intensify the German - Norwegian co - operation. The Royal Norwegian Navy has received us very well into the submarine community," says the commander of U36, Korvettenkapitan (Lt. Cdr.) Michael Rudat (38). "Bergen has become a second home port for my crew and me," Rudat continued.

Eleven other nations participated in the exercises: Norway, Great Britain, France, Australia, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Turkey, Poland, the USA and the Netherlands. Overall, the submarine U36 has sailed about 8,800 nautical miles (about 40% of the distance around the globe), of which about 5,000 submerged.

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bug2 - 13-6-2019 at 08:25 PM

PICTURES: Rafale M in marathon carrier deployment

13 June, 2019 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Greg Waldron Singapore

Dassault Rafale M fighters operating from the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle are performing well during an epic long-range deployment.

FlightGlobal visited the ship in Singapore three months into a cruise that has included the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Indian Ocean and finally the Straits of Malacca.

The carrier's air wing comprises 20 fixed-wing assets: 18 Rafale Ms and a pair of Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning and control system aircraft. In addition, the vessel carries three Airbus Helicopters AS365 Dauphin helicopters. A frigate in the French strike group also carries an NH Industries NH90 anti-submarine warfare helicopter.


The USS Stennis (left) and Charles de Gaulle (right), with escorts
US Navy

Typically, the carrier's air wing includes 24 Rafales divided into two squadrons, but six aircraft remained in France for upgrade work. Using a pair of steam catapults, the ship can launch one aircraft per minute.

Service reliability for the Rafales is 95%, says the Charles de Gaulle's captain, Marc-Antoine de Saint Germain.

"This ship and Rafale can work far away from France with a maximum of autonomy and without a huge logistical link," he says. "We have many spare parts and many repair shops aboard. This ship is really a success for this purpose...

Sustainability is very good. We have one month before returning to France. I hope we maintain this level of serviceability."


Rafale Ms seen from the navigation bridge
Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal

The nuclear-powered carrier is fresh out of a major upgrade completed in September 2018. This focused on better resistance to cyberattack and electronic warfare. The voyage is only the second time the Charles de Gaulle has deployed with a fighter element comprising entirely Rafales, following the retirement of the French navy's last Dassault Super Etendard Modernise platforms in 2016.

"Mission Clemenceau, our current deployment, is a very important effort for France," says task force commander Rear Admiral Olivier Lebas.


The bow catapult
Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal

As a carrier strike group we have operated in areas of strategic interest through which flows a large percentage of shipping on which a large part of world economy relies.

In the Red Sea, the ship rendezvoused with the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Stennis, so that the pairs air wings could conduct dissimilar air combat training. Rafale Ms conducted touch-and-go landings aboard the US vessel, and conducted air-to-air refuelling training with Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

The carrier also participated in the annual Varuna naval exercise with the Indian navy off the coast of Goa. This saw the Charles de Gaulle operate with the INS Vikramaditya, which operates RAC MiG-29K fighters.


A Rafale M and E-2C Hawkeye on the stern of the ship
Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal

While the focus of the Varuna manoeuvres was interoperability, it also offered New Delhi the opportunity to observe the Rafale M in action. The French type is contending against the Super Hornet for a 57-aircraft Indian navy requirement.

Subsequently, the Charles de Gaulle exercised with ships from other nations in the Bay of Bengal. These included the JS Izumo, a Japanese helicopter carrier that is eventually set to receive Lockheed Martin F-35B fighters.

Following its current port call, the French strike group will hold exercises with Singapore's air force and navy, prior to a month-long voyage back to its home port of Toulon, via the Indian Ocean.

The Charles de Gaulles air wing made headlines in the region on 20 May, when seven Rafale Ms were forced to divert to Banda Aceh, instead of recovering on the ship, which was then involved in an exercise 54nm (100km) off the island of Sumatra.


The Charles de Gaulle at dockside in Singapore
Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal

De Saint Germain says conditions became very cloudy and windy while the fighters were still airborne, and that it is standard procedure to have a diversion airfield in case of bad weather or an issue aboard the ship.

"This is the normal way to operate and to ensure that, in the worst case, there is no ejection of the pilots. It was not a concern, but it took a bit of energy to recover them. We are trained for it."

The weather cleared, and the fighters returned after 10h on the ground.

Speaking aboard the Charles de Gaulle, French ambassador to Singapore Marc Abensour noted the close defence aerospace links between France and Singapore. The air forces of both countries now operate the Airbus Defence & Space A330 multi-role tanker/transport, and both also employ variants of Airbus Helicopters' Super Puma family. Singapore also operates its Leonardo M-346 advanced jet trainers from Cazaux air base in southwest France.

bug2 - 19-6-2019 at 02:45 PM

F125 "Baden-Wrttemberg": Germany's Most Modern Frigate Entered Service

(Source: ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems; issued June 17, 2019)


After having been originally refused by the German Navy for a series of significant flaws, the first F125 new-generation frigate, optimized for long-range deployments, has now been commissioned into the German Navy. (TKMS photo)

On 17 June 2019, the F125 "Baden-Wrttemberg" was officially commissioned in a ceremony in the presence of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. The German Navy now has in service the most modern and powerful frigate which was ever built in Germany. "Baden-Wrttemberg" was built by ARGE F125 with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as lead company.

The newly designed class F125 ships, with their highly complex systems and approximately 28,000 sensors, have a very high degree of automation, which makes it possible to halve the crew size in comparison to previous German frigate classes. The ships can remain in their operational area for up to two years. This way, the number of the usually very long transits can be significantly reduced. The F125 "Baden-Wrttemberg" is the first ship worldwide to successfully implement the intensive use concept.

Next to the traditional tasks of national and alliance defense, the ships are designed for conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention and stabilization operations in the international arena. In addition to the ability to fight offshore and onshore targets, they also have anti-aircraft systems and helicopters specially equipped for submarine hunting.

The contract for the construction of the four frigates became effective in June 2007. The concept, design and a detailed design phase followed. Around 90 percent of the highly complex systems on board the F125 were specially developed for this new class of ships. Due to this high complexity and the related, different challenges as well as the further modular development of the ship during the project, "Baden-Wrttemberg" was delivered about 3 years after the contractually agreed date.

The second class F125 ship, the "Nordrhein-Westfalen" ("North Rhine-Westphalia"), will be ready to be handed over to the customer in 2019. The handing over of the 3rd and 4th ship is planned to take place successively within the next 2 years.

The ARGE F125 consortium comprises ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and Fr. Lrssen Werft in Bremen. The pre-fitted bow sections are being manufactured at the shipyards of the Lrssen Group in Bremen and Wolgast. Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two sections and further fitting out was being carried out at Blohm+Voss Shipyards in Hamburg under the leadership of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

Key data for the F125:
-- Length: 149 m
-- Width: 18 m
-- Maximum speed: >26 knots
-- Displacement: approx. 7,000 t
-- Crew: max. 190 (of which up to 120 regular crew members)

With around 6,000 employees, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is one of the world's leading marine companies and a systems provider in submarine and surface shipbuilding as well as maritime electronics and security technology. Over 180 years of history and the constant pursuit of improvements are the basis for the company's success in constantly setting new standards.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems offers customized solutions for highly complex challenges in a changing world.

Since 1875, the northern German group of companies, Lrssen, has been renown worldwide for the highest product quality as well as innovative technologies in yacht and naval shipbuilding.

This family-owned company, based in Bremen-Vegesack, specialises in the design and manufacture of yachts, marine and coastguard vessels. With six highly specialised production sites in Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, the family company will continue to rely on the proven shipbuilding traditions of North German shipyards.

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bug2 - 26-6-2019 at 09:43 AM

End of Mission for the Saphir ... Waiting for the Suffren

(Source: French Armed Forces Ministry; issued June 24, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

PARIS --- After 35 years of service, the Saphir nuclear attack submarine (Sous-marin Nuclaire dAttaque SNA in French) is the first of six Rubis-class SNAs that will be retired from active service beginning in the end of July 2019.

The 2019-2025 Military Program Law ensures the renewal of the Rubis-class nuclear attack submarines by Suffren-class boats, the first of which will be officially launched in Cherbourg on July 12, 2019.

SNA are true instruments of sovereign power, enduring and discreet. Their missions are varied: support for nuclear deterrence, protection of the carrier air group, intelligence gathering, submarine warfare.

Sapphire is the second of six French Rubis-class boats. Laid down in Cherbourg on September 1, 1979, she was christened Saphir (Sapphire) two years later, and Commander Roy took command of the first crew on June 26, 1982.

Since July 6, 1984, when it was commissioned into active service, Saphir has traveled over 1,200,000 nautical miles, spent more than 120,000 hours (more than 13 years) submerged, and made a hundred port calls.

Faithful to the memory of her glorious homonyms of the two world wars, Saphir has taken part in many missions, from the Indian Ocean to the Caribbean and from the Far North to the South American coasts. Among its more emblematic missions were Operations Balbuzard in 1993, Kotor in 1999, and Harmattan in 2011.

Commanded today by Commander Frenais de Coutard, the Saphir is currently sailing to Cherbourg, where she will be dismantled. Disarmament operations will be carried out under the control of the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA).

The first of the new-generation attack submarines, the Suffren, will be delivered to the French Navy in 2020. Her official launch on July 12 marks the end of the construction period and is the last step before the beginning of the test phase.

A complex program whose project management is ensured by the DGA and the CEA (the French atomic energy commission), with Naval Group and Areva-TA as prime contractors, it demonstrates Frances industrial know-how.

With the Suffren-type boats, France will have more enduring, more discreet and more modern submarines, among the most powerful in the world. In addition to the traditional missions assigned to the SNAs, they will also be able to perform strikes against ground targets, and will be optimized for supporting special forces.

Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said "In a few days, a historic torch-passing will take place, but beyond the symbolism, it is all the French excellence which is demonstrated by these two events: first an SNA, which for decades will never fail in its mission, followed by the arrival of a technological gem that will allow France to keep its status and its rank of military power. I congratulate all submariners of Saphir, past and present, for their professionalism commands our admiration."

The first crew, whose core has been formed in parallel to the construction phase, will be formally created on July 12, to prepare for sea trials in preparation for future operations.

In service until the 2060s, Suffren-type SNAs will be one of this centurys major programs for our defense.

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