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[*] posted on 4-9-2018 at 09:11 PM
Anti Submarine Warfare


Digital surround sound: ASW comeback drives Thales to rethink beneath the surface

Richard Scott, London - Jane's Navy International

04 September 2018

The underwater systems business line of Thales has set out to transform its business model through the exploitation of advanced digital technologies. Richard Scott reports.

After a quarter of a century of disinvestment, major first-world navies are once again seeking to recapitalise their anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities in light of a resurgence in Russian submarine activity and China's continuing development of its undersea capabilities. For the underwater systems business line of Thales, one of the world's major suppliers of ship and submarine sonar systems, this upswing is bringing new opportunities worldwide.


The active towed body associated with the CAPTAS-4/Sonar 2087 variable depth sonar. Thales has seen a marked upswing in interest for ASW sonar systems. (NAVYPIX/Richard Scott)

At the same time, there is a recognition within the company's senior management that the ways and means required to hunt submarines have changed significantly in the period since the Cold War reached its denouement.

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[*] posted on 24-10-2018 at 06:35 PM


Euronaval 2018: ECA launches new T-18M towed sonar

POSTED ON TUESDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2018 19:01

Experts in towed sonars for 40 years and in AUV for 30 years, the engineers of ECA Group imagined, from the beginning of its design in 2016, to convert the AUV A18-M in a towed sonar: the T18-M, which is being launched at this year's Euronaval exhibition in Le Bourget, Paris.


ECA new T 18M 001ECA Group's new T-18M towed sonar presented at Euronaval 2018

Ideal for implementation from a USV, the T18-M has the same launching and recovery system (LARS) as well as shared logistics with the A18-M.With the increasing number of drones, the pooling of LARS and logistic support has become a key point for the compactness and efficiency of both motherships and USVs carrying drones.

The T18-M is an A18-M on which the nose is replaced by one equipped with rudders and a towing point and thruster was removed at rear. Subsequent free space makes it possible to integrate a longer interferometric SAS sonar antenna to achieve the detection performance at highest speeds.

Like a conventional towed sonar, the T18-M meets all mine warfare recommendations (especially the detection or classification phases). Like the A18-M, it is produced in accordance with the STANAG 1364 to minimize acoustic and magnetic signatures and to be able to fly near mines without triggering them.

The T18-M is equipped with the AUV A18-M's inertial navigation system (FOG - INS + DVL) which, together with the USBL system of the USV, ensures very precise positioning in the minefield.

Conventional towed sonars receive their energy from the towline when the T18-M is self-powered. Without electrical conductors, the towing cable can be smaller and lighter which has several advantages.

First, the performance of towed sonar at great depths is very much related to the drag of the cable and therefore to its diameter. As a result, the T18-M has outstanding navigation performance even when a long cable length is in the water and even at high sea speeds thanks to the reduced diameter of the cable.

Second, a smaller cable can reduce the size and power of the winch on the carrier boat and the towing power requirement, and therefore the size of the boat's engines, which is particularly important when towed sonar is launched from a USV (The drone reduces crew exposure to the minefield). In order to avoid too large motherships, the USVs shall be as compact as possible: The smaller the USVs are, the smaller will be the boats which embark them.

Third, energy on board the towed vehicle avoids having an electric generator on towing boat, which saves space and weight (very useful for a small USV) and provides as well greater operational reliability and greater safety (electrical) for crew when operated towing boat.

Since the A18-M and T18-M are very similar, ECA Group teams have designed a common LARS for automatic launching and recovery of both of them from a USV. This point significantly reduces the reconfiguration time of the USV between an AUV mission and a towed sonar mission which is a great operational advantage.

Derived from the A18-M, the T18-M benefits from all the experience of ECA Group in AUV.

It inherits, on the one hand, the A18-M's positioning and navigation qualities and, on the other hand, the complete integration with ECA Group's UMIS systems and in particular the UMISOFT C2 suite.

With T18-M coupled with the A18-M in their UMIS system configuration, the logistics of the UMIS systems are optimal: The two underwater systems, which are the most bulky on USV, share the same LARS. The number of equipment and supervision software is reduced accordingly. As a result, USVs can be smaller at equal performance.

The logistic footprint of the UMIS system is doubly reduced on the one hand because T18-M and A18-M share tools, spares or maintenance benches and, on the other hand, because the USVs take up less space on board. Similarly, maintenance training and maintenance of both systems are common.
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[*] posted on 22-11-2018 at 11:59 AM


Acoustic Data Lakes: a Game Changer for Anti-Submarine Warfare?

(Source: Thales; issued Nov 20, 2018)

For decades now, in anti-submarine warfare (ASW), the hunter and the hunted have been playing a game of cat and mouse with progressively rising stakes. Modern submarines are becoming quieter, even “near-invisible”—driving sonar manufacturers to improve, and expand sensor arrays, if they are to maintain detection ranges.

Navies’ ever-greater sonar needs

Traditional sonar-processing involves gathering incoming data and using on-board systems to present it in real time to operators in a form that enables them to classify and localise a potential target—and take the right decisions. But this conventional approach is under strain. Ever-developing sensor arrays now produce a deluge of data at the limits of what operators can process in real time. In addition, an emphasis on littoral operations, geographically-dispersed missions, and “new-normal”, budgetary constraints, add to the complexity and pressure.

At a time when half the world’s submarines are soon expected to be operating in the Asia-Pacific and powerful navies are investing heavily, the search for a better approach to sonar processing is occupying the minds of many a naval planner. Yet, the answer to navies’ needs may be on the horizon, driven by rapid advances in computing power and disruptive technologies…

The acoustic data lake: a game-changing concept

The potential game changer is the acoustic data lake concept. It exploits massive advances in processing power and storage capability to enable vast volumes of data to be stocked and allows operators to rapidly call up historical information in addition to seeing real-time flows. This, in turn, opens up a raft of other possibilities. The data lake’s capacity enables all data captured from sensors to be stored, as well as relevant information from previous missions, or other ships, that has been pre-processed by onshore centres.

Unlocking a virtuous circle of improvement

With a large stock of relevant data in hand, the powerful statistical algorithms of Big Data Analytics can be applied to the problem, aided by Artificial Intelligence (AI). This allows the processing of both real-time and historical data, which results in a leap in the quality of information presented to operators—and the quality of decisions. The powerful combination of data lake and historical analysis also has the potential for a virtuous circle of rapid improvement, both on-board and post-mission—with the data lake’s contents downloaded at onshore processing centres. With large volumes of relevant, real data in hand, these techniques can be used to train both algorithms and operators to better interpret it, especially when gathered from weak signals or in complex environments. Improvements can then be exploited in the next mission, leading to even further advances.

Thales: harnessing digital for tomorrow’s sonar—today

But this step change in sonar processing is no pipe dream: Thales is already bringing the acoustic data lake concept to life. We are committed to investing heavily in key digital technologies like AI; and, backed by the expertise of Guavus, the Big Data Analytics pioneer that is now part of Thales, we are developing a sophisticated new platform incorporating both the lake and powerful processing capability. In ASW then, the game of cat and mouse is far from over, but by harnessing the power of digital, the cat may just be sharpening its teeth…

-ends-
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[*] posted on 27-9-2019 at 11:48 AM


Pacific 2019: DSIT Launches SwordFish TAS

At Pacific 2019 DSIT Solutions, a subsidiary of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, will launch its new SwordFih towed array sonar (TAS), designed for submarine detection and tracking at various depths.

Designed for a variety of missions, SwordFish is suitable for use on vessels of various sizes, including frigates, corvettes, offshore patrol vessels (OPV) and other small vessels. It complements DSITs BlackFish hull-mounted sonar (HMS) system: when used close to the shoreline as a standalone solution, all DSIT's sonar systems can now be operated via one onshore control station.

DSITs Fish anti-submarine warfare (ASW) family is capable of underwater target search, detection, tracking and classification in passive, active and parallel modes. Each sonar system includes machine learning technologies for automation of algorithms and reduction of operator workload or knowledge requirement. Designed to operate with the medium frequency of both the BlackFish HMS and bow-mounted sonar (BMS) in littoral and deep-water ASW operations, the low-frequency SwordFish TAS is the latest solution to join the family.

The SwordFish TAS system is connected to the vessels stern via a light winch, the cable length of which is determined by mission type and requirements. The lightweight TAS system, with its low deck signature, is suitable for surface vessels of various sizes, even small vessels such as fast patrol craft (FPC).

We identified the operational need to locate and track submarines at various depths and in different mission environments, including when using small vessels for either offshore or green waters missions, commented Hanan Marom, VP Business Development & Marketing at DSIT. SwordFish TAS is designed as a complementary system to the BlackFish HMS and BMS to meet the requirements of a wider range of missions.

Other DSIT solutions that will be displayed at Pacific 2019 include the SeaShield Underwater Coastal Surveillance System - a long-range underwater passive and active detection system, warning against underwater and abovewater targets including submarines, semisubmersible vehicles and surface ships; AquaShield an advanced diver detection sonar (DDS) system; and PointShield a portable and/or stationary PDDS for medium-range ship or asset protection.


SwordFish will be launched at Pacific 2019, joining a growing family of DSIT ASW systems. (Photo: DSIT Solutions)

Published: 26 September 2019
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[*] posted on 5-10-2019 at 05:49 PM


JSK and Kraken join to develop ASW autonomous capability for Canada

4th October 2019 - 14:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team



JSK Naval Support is collaborating with Kraken Robotic Systems to jointly develop an AUV-based sonar capability that will be offered to the Royal Canadian Navy.

Anti-submarine warfare specialist JSK will work with the marine sensor and underwater robotics company to develop the system based off their joint expertise in open mission and unmanned sub-surface technologies, they say.

The ThunderFish AUV from Kraken will host the KraitArray sonar system from JSK, which the companies say will be suited to the requirements of the Royal Canadian Navy and other export customers.

It will combine a small, wet winch supplied by Krakens Handling Systems group with JSKs KraitArray, which is a thin 20mm modular array that detects acoustic signatures from submarine contacts.

The winch can be used to lower and recover the KraitArray from the ThunderFish AUV.

This is a partnership based on the innovation of both our of companies, Brian March, president of JSK Naval Support, said.

KraitArray is the only array small enough to fit Krakens industry leading ThunderFish platforms, which increases the adaptability of the array and enables the use of the KraitArray in underwater missions of increasing depth and duration.

This collaboration will offer end users significantly improved flexibility across a wide range of underwater situations, Karl Kenny, president of Kraken Robotic Systems, added.

ThunderFish is a versatile and compact vehicle which, when combined with JSKs lightweight sonar capability, offers an agile, high performance solution for the detection of underwater threats.
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[*] posted on 9-10-2019 at 08:26 PM


Pacific 2019: DSIT launches SwordFish towed array sonar for export market

Ridzwan Rahmat, Sydney - Jane's Navy International

08 October 2019


The towed body unit of the SwordFish towed array system. Source: DSIT

Key Points

- DSIT has received approval to market a lightweight anti-submarine sonar system to international customers
- The system allows operators to conduct anti-submarine patrols from vessels as light as 400 tonnes

Israeli company DSIT Solutions has received approval from its government to export the SwordFish towed array sonar system, and is showcasing the product outside the country for the first time.

The product is being showcased at the Pacific 2019 international maritime exposition, which runs from 7-10 October in Sydney.

It is being marketed as a lightweight, low-frequency anti-submarine system that can be operated and monitored remotely from shore without too much intervention from personnel at sea.

"There has been an increase in submarines in recent years and we estimate that navies worldwide do not have sufficient number of frigates or large ships to perform anti-submarine operations," said retired Commodore Hanan Marom, vice-president of business development and marketing at DSIT.

"Our proposition is for operators to free their frigates and larger ships for operations further out at sea and utilise smaller vessels, such as the offshore patrol vessels or smaller patrol craft, for anti-submarine patrols that are required closer to the littorals," added Marom in an interview with Jane's at Pacific 2019.

"Operations are co-ordinated from an onshore control station and personnel on the host vessel only need to winch in, or winch out the system from deck when commanded," he said.

The SwordFish is also equipped with machine learning algorithms and automated classifiers. As such, it reduces the number of sonar operators required for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations.

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[*] posted on 1-11-2019 at 09:13 AM


KraitSense ASW towed sonar tested in NATO REP(MUS) experiment

Richard Scott, London - Jane's Navy International

31 October 2019



UK-based maritime systems group SEA has successfully completed sea trials of its KraitSense thin-line passive sonar system as part of the recent NATO Recognized Environmental Picture augmented by Maritime Unmanned Systems REP(MUS) 2019 experiment.

Installed on board a Portuguese Navy offshore patrol vessel (OPV), NRP Figueira da Foz , the KraitSense system successfully "detected tracked and classified a submarine," according to the company.

NATO REP(MUS) 2019 took place in waters off Lisbon from 8-27 September. Designed to provide alliance partners with an opportunity to test and evaluate autonomous and unmanned capabilities, the operational experiment drew approximately 800 military participants from Belgium, Italy, Portugal, the UK, and the US, together with participants from academia and industry.

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[*] posted on 13-11-2019 at 04:14 AM



Quote:
Maritime Unmanned Anti-Submarine System (MUSAS)Portugal, France, Spain, Sweden
The Maritime Unmanned Anti-Submarine System (MUSAS) aims to develop and deliver an advanced command, control and communications (C3) service architecture, for anti-submarine warfare, taking advantage of cutting-edge technology and artificial intelligence, in order to counter area denial methods of adversaries.
Moreover, it will enhancethe protection of underwater high-valueinfrastructures as well as sea-based energy systems, providing quick response with appropriate levels of force to intrusion or threat to sea lines of communication





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