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  • #51
    They rejected Spain's bid because they think Spain is too soft on Turkey. Although why they don't think the same with the Dutch or UK ones is baffling.


    • unicorn11
      unicorn11 commented
      Editing a comment
      I suppose it's because the Spanish worked with the Turks to build in Turkey a Juan Carlos / Canberra class sister ship, which the Greeks probably consider is designed to allow the Turks to capture Greek islands. No one said it had to make sense.

  • #52
    Cannibalizing SSNs For Parts

    June 9, 2021:

    In March 2021 a French SSN (nuclear attack submarine) was successfully repaired by having the front section of a recently (2019) retired SSN of the same Rubis class replacing the same section of the SSN Perle, whose front half was severely damaged by a shipyard fire in 2020. Following the example of a similar procedure for two American SSNs in 2006, the French shipyard devoted 100,000 man hours to planning the operation and 250,000 hours by 300 shipyard workers to successfully take the usable front half from SSN Saphir and put on the SSN Perle, after the same fire damaged front end of the Perle sub was removed. Estimated cost was under $40 million and was considered a worthwhile expense because France only builds six SSNs every thirty to forty years. The six, 2,600-ton (surface displacement) Rubis class SSNs entered service between 1983 and 1993. Saphir was the first one to be decommissioned, after 35 years’ service. The Perle was the youngest of the class, and was undergoing an upgrade that was to keep it in service into the late 2020s.

    By late 2021 the first of six new French Barracuda class SSNs, the Suffern, will enter service. All six will enter service in the 2020s. Putting a new class of SSNs into service in timed to overlap with the retirement of the previous class so that at least six SSNs are always in service,

    Back in 2006, France decided to buy six new Barracuda class SSNs, for about $1.5 billion each. The 4,700-ton boats are smaller than America's new 7,300- ton Virginia class subs, which cost about $2.8 billion each. A new class of Russian SSNs will displace 6,000 tons. The older American Los Angeles class boats were about 7,000 tons. Size does matter, as it indicates how much space you have available for sensors and weapons. Larger boats are better equipped and more heavily armed. The new Russian SSN construction was delayed by shortages of cash and qualified shipyard personnel. The U.S. already had two Virginia's in service by 2006 and now there are 17 with 11 under construction. Two Virginia's a year are entering service, for an eventual total of about 60 subs.

    The U.S. Navy was also the first to keep an older SSN in service by replacing a damaged section of one with the same section from a recently retired boat. The work took two years and cost $79 million. The expense was justified by the fact that damaged San Francisco had recently (2002) completed a mid-life refueling and upgrade that was to keep the boat in service until 2017. The San Francisco is still in service and expected to be retired later in the decade. This is because in 2016 the San Francisco was withdrawn from sea service and, for at least ten more years, given a stationary assignment as one of two moored training ships for new Los Angeles SSN crew. The Los Angeles class SSNs were put into service between 1976 and 1995 and were designed to serve up to 40 years. All 62 Los Angeles class boats are to be retired by the early 2030s, replaced by about the same number of Virginia class SSNs. Currently about half the Virginias have been completed, with the first entering service in 2004.

    Meanwhile in France construction on the first Barracuda began in 2007 and it was supposed to be launched by 2012. That launch date was tentative because the development of the Barracuda nuclear power plant began in 2003 and soon ran into problems. Problems with the power plant were no surprise because France, unlike Britain, did not license the American submarine power plants. This would make it more difficult to export French nuclear subs and so on. The French chose a different design that used commercial (not weapons) grade nuclear fuel. This meant French nuclear subs had to be refueled more often but this was made easier by building the hull with special large hatches that could be quickly opened for the once every 7-10 years refueling then sealed again. France is the only nation using this type of ship power plant and has to handle development and maintenance procedures itself. With a small fleet of nuclear subs, this drives up the cost per sub. Britain, by licensing the American tech, gets the benefit of a much larger American nuke fleet and the larger budget for work on the power plants. Ever since the first Barracuda began construction, the delays have come from power plant problems. By 2012 it was believed that launch date could be 2017 but delays perfecting the power plant continued. The sub could not be launched until the power plant was completed and the hull made watertight

    The Barracudas will rely on a lot of automation and have a crew of sixty, plus berths for 12 passengers. These will usually be commandos and their gear will be stored in a pod attached to subs sail. The Barracuda design emphasized silencing, making it more difficult to detect. The Barracuda's have four 533mm (21 inch) torpedo tubes, which can also be used to launch missiles, mines or torpedoes. Twenty weapons are carried with the mix of torpedoes, mines and missiles depending on the mission. French SSNs have two crews which each operating the boat for three months. Enough food is carried to sustain the crew for 70 days.


    • #53

      212A of the German Navy. (Credit: TKMS)

      German Submarine Takes Part In EU Operation Irini

      On Saturday, June 12, 2021, the submarine "U 35", which belongs to the 1st Submarine Squadron, left its home port of Eckernförde and headed for the Mediterranean to take part in the EU operation "Irini".

      Martin Manaranche 15 Jun 2021

      German Navy press release

      Under the command of Corvette Captain Oliver Brux, the boat’s 29-member crew headed to warmer waters for just over four months. The maximum capacity of 36 people will be fully utilized by additionally embarking some students from the squadron, who will use this opportunity for intensive training on board.
      “After the long and strenuous preparation for deployment, there is great anticipation within the crew for the upcoming deployment. It is both a reward and a strain. Both the crew and the families at home will be challenged in equal measure. Only together is it possible to tackle such a long absence of more than four months with the necessary composure.”
      Corvette Captain, Oliver Brux

      The boat was en route to the area of operations for about three weeks, including a supply stop in Rota, Spain. The area of operations extends in the central and southern Mediterranean south of the island of Sicily to the territorial waters of Libya and Tunisia. The mission of the European Union’s Operation Irini is to monitor and enforce the arms embargo against Libya, but also to disrupt smuggling activities on the refugee routes in the Mediterranean. U35 will be based at several ports in Italy and on the island of Malta. In addition, a longer port stay with the possibility of family reunification on the Greek island of Crete is planned around the middle of the deployment.

      The boat and crew are expected back in their home port of Eckernförde in mid-October. The long journey home will again be interrupted by a supply stop, then in the Portuguese capital Lisbon.

      Background information

      After the European Union Foreign Ministers agreed on February 17, 2020 to monitor the UN arms embargo against Libya, Operation “Irini” was decided by the EU Council one month later.

      The European Union is stepping up its efforts to enforce the UN arms embargo against Libya, contributing to the peace process in the country by launching a new Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) military operation in the Mediterranean. “Irini” (Modern Greek for “the peaceful one”) has as its core mission the implementation of the UN arms embargo through aircraft, satellites and ships. This includes detecting, stopping, and searching arms smuggling into Libya, suspected ships in the area of operations (UN Security Council Resolution 2292 [2016]).

      Other mission tasks include monitoring and gathering intelligence on illegal exports of petroleum, crude oil, and refined petroleum products from Libya. European Union Naval Forces Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED) assists with Libyan Coast Guard/Navy capacity building and maritime law enforcement training. Furthermore, Operation “Irini” contributes to disrupting the business model of human smuggling and trafficking by gathering intelligence and sharing it with the relevant law enforcement agencies of EU member states.

      The operational area of “Irini” covers the high seas outside the coastal seas of Libya and Tunisia, south of Sicily, within the Central and Southern Mediterranean region. In addition, the airspace above these areas and adjacent sea areas used for the detour and transfer of ships to a European port. This excludes Malta and the enclosing sea area within 15 nautical miles. The area of operations is approximately the size of the Federal Republic of Germany.



      • #54

        Some French Naval Programs Will Be Impacted By Latest Budget Update

        A Senatorial report indicates that some French naval programs will be impacted by latest defence budget update because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

        Martin Manaranche 22 Jun 2021

        On June 16, the French Senate submitted its report about the update to the current military planning law, which allocates the defense budget for six years. One major naval program is set to be affected by the re-allocation of budget: SLAMF.

        According to the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, the scope of the 2021 update represents 1 billion euros corresponding, at a constant budget, to accelerations of certain programs. The effort is therefore financed by savings and postponements in other programs.

        At least one naval program planned to replace ageing ships and equipment will be delayed, while others will be subject to increased costs due to support to the French naval industry. The report outlined three major programs, initially planned in the current military planning law (Loi de Programmation Militaire – LPM), that will be partly deferred, probably to the next LPM covering the 2026-2032 period.

        Among those programms, is SLAMF (Système de lutte anti-mines futur) Future Mine Warfare System Program that will replace all current mine warfare means (Tripartite-class mine hunters, sonar towing vessels, diver support vessels) of the French Navy.

        For record, the SLAMF program includes:
        • 8x Unmanned systems (details below) including 4 to be delivered by 2024
        • 6x motherships for UAV/USV/UUV known as “bâtiments de guerre des mines” (BGDM)
        • 5x EOD divers support vessels known as “bâtiments base plongeurs démineurs nouvelle generation” (BBPD NG)
        • 1x Mine Warfare Data Operating System (SEDGM)

        Each of the “unmanned systems” mentioned above represents a mine warfare module consisting of:
        • 1x Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), to identify and neutralize sea mines.
        • 3x Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV),
        • 2x Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV), to detect, classify and locate (DCL functions) the mines.
        Artist impressions / rendering (screencaptures from a video) shown during the Forum Innovation Defense organized this week by France’s DGA. It is not clear if this vessel if the BGDM, BBPD NG or just a vessel of opportunity.

        The current LPM planned to acquire two BGDM and three BBPD NG ships but following the review, only one of each is still in effect.

        In addition, the replacement of hydrographic vessels will be undoubtedly postponed to the next LPM. The only one planned has been cancel for now.

        But the after-effects of the pandemic crisis don’t stop at delays. Indeed, in order to help the naval industry, the government decided to accelerate the FDI program. The two 4,000 tons frigates – the second and third in a series of five – will both be delivered in 2025, whereas the original plan was to deliver them every 18 months. This will result in additional costs of approximately €750 million (which is more than the cost of a 6,000 tons FREMM frigate). Industry sources also argue that this acceleration in deliveries is linked to the potential Frigate deal with Greece.

        Another extra cost to think about is the repair of the fire-damaged attack submarine SSN ‘Perle’ which happened last year. The bill is estimated to €60 million. The submarine is set to get back in active service in 2023.

        Admiral Pierre Vandier – Chief of Staff of the French Navy – was auditioned on June 16, in front of the Defense Commission of the Parliament and a report is still expected. When published, his comments and those of the MPs will shed more light on the matter.


        • #55

          The new AGI ships will replaced the three in-service Oste-class ships. German Navy picture

          Lürssen To Build New AGI Intelligence Ships For German Navy

          With the aim of maintaining a flawless capability for sea-based signal intelligence, the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) signed a contract with Lürssen Werft GmbH on June 23, 2021, for the design and construction of three Class 424 AGI (Auxiliary, General Intelligence) ships.

          Martin Manaranche 28 Jun 2021

          Bundeswehr press release

          Sea-based signal intelligence is an elementary prerequisite for a national analysis, assessment and command capability. It provides an indispensable and continuous contribution to an interdepartmental situation picture. The Bundeswehr is therefore procuring three new Class 424 AGIs (German Navy designation: fleet service ships) as well as a reconnaissance training and reference facility. The new boats are to replace the previous Oste-class ships: “Oker”, “Alster” and ,”Oste”.

          The special requirements placed on the surface and underwater reconnaissance components in conjunction with specific military requirements such as self-protection, command and control capabilities and the need for extremely low-noise propulsion systems exemplify the high complexity of the project.

          To ensure the most economical procurement possible, the new boats are based on civilian shipbuilding standards. The first of the three boats is scheduled to enter service in 2027, seamlessly replacing the Oker, Alster and Oste class 423 fleet service ships, which have been in service for over 30 years.
          “We are pleased that, following the approval of the German Bundestag’s budget committee, the Federal Ministry of Defense has entrusted us with the responsibility of acting as general contractor for this important procurement project.”

          “We will now immediately enter in the design phase and start discussions with potential partners from the shipyard and systems engineering industry. Through inter-ship cooperation, we want to combine the know-how and skills of the Lürssen Group shipyards with the capabilities of other shipyards in northern Germany in order to launch the urgently needed new service vessels in the fleet by integrating all necessary resources.
          Tim Wagner, managing director of Fr. Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co. KG.


          Naval News comments:

          According to the financial plan approved by the Parliament, the successors to the three existing fleet service ships Oste, Oker and Alster, including a reconnaissance training and reference facility, will cost just under 2.1 billion euros. The technology of these warships, which will use modern electronics to detect enemy ship and aircraft movements, involves several so-called national key technologies.


          • #56

            Clockwise: Damen SIGMA 11515 HN, Naval Group FDI-HN, Babcock Arrowhead 140, Lockheed Martin HF2.

            New Developments In Greece : A Shortlist For The Fleet Modernization Program

            Recent news from Greece points towards a shortlist concerning the selection of the future ships of the Hellenic Navy.

            Lorenzo Tual 30 Jun 2021

            The Hellenic Navy released a detailed shortlist, ranking the proposals of the various companies involved in this competition.

            Recent publications from the local media Naval Defence , (which belongs to the reliable Ptisi magazine) point towards a shortlist for the candidates of the competition for the 5 billion dollars contract to modernise the Hellenic Navy.

            This new development follows what Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced on June 5, stating some proposals had been shortlisted by the Hellenic Navy. We previously outlined his declaration here.

            As a quick reminder, this contract aims to procure 4 new frigates, with two interim solutions and the modernisation of the in-service MEKO 200HN frigates. It follows the failure of the previous negotiations with Lockeed Martin and their Freedom class against Naval Group’s [email protected] frigate, an export version of the French Navy’s FDI.

            This time, the contract increased its scope to achieve even more and thus is open to more compagnies.

            Competitors include the Dutch Damen with the Sigma 11515HN, the Italian Fincantieri likely with the FREMM, Lockheed Martin again with the HF2 (the Greek version of the MMSC / Freedom class), Babcock of the UK with the Arrowhead 140 (basic design of the Type 31 of the Royal Navy), Navantia from Spain with their F110 design, and Naval Group with the FDI-HN.

            The shortlist ranked proposals in 3 categories. The first is made of the ones who were mature and well-rounded enough to pass. The second is for the proposals which still require a few adjustments to make the cut and finally, the last regroups the ones that are out of the competitions for various factors.
            Thus, the list announced is as follows :

            1st category :

            -SIGMA 11515 HN (Damen)

            -FDI-HN (Naval Group)

            -FREMM (Fincantieri)

            2nd category :

            -HF2 (Lockheed Martin)

            -Arrowhead 140 (Babcock)

            -MEKO A200 (Blohm + Voss)

            3rd category :

            -F110 (Navantia)

            -MEKO A300 (Blohm + Voss)

            -Gibbs & Cox proposal

            For the three main proposals included in the first category, the Sigma 11515HN, the FDI-HN and the FREMM, a more detailed analysis will be proposed in a follow-up article.

            The proposals in the second category are all very capable but will require some adjustments to truly be on par with those found in the first category. All of these proposals are modular designs, capable of integrating a variety of sensors and equipment to more adequately fit the requirements of the Hellenic Navy. This was most notably seen with Lockheed Martin who extensively re-adapted their Freedom class design multiple times to reach what is now the HF2.

            The biggest surprise for the third category, was by far the exclusion of the Navantia proposal with their F110 frigate. While probably one of the most potent and most modern ship on the list, it was eventually rejected as it lacked maturity and stressed the budget imposed on the navy.

            This shortlist is thus another step towards the final decision of the Hellenic Navy for this competition. For now we can only wait and see what proposal will be the one to be selected for this incredibly competitive contract.

            According to information obtain by Naval News from various industry sources with direct knowledge of the matter, the winning bidder is now unlikely to be announced until the end of the Summer. For the record, the choice of the Hellenic MoD was originally set to be announced ahead of the DEFEA show, in June.


            • unicorn11
              unicorn11 commented
              Editing a comment
              Navantia was excluded for political factors, Greece was not happy that Navantia assisted Turkey with the construction of a Juan Carlos / Canberra class sister ship, which Greece sees as intended for invasions of disputed islands claimed by both Greece and Turkey.

              Basically settling for less capable vessels because of politics

          • #57

            Official rendering of the F126 frigate formerly known as MKS 180. It will be designed and built by Damen. German MoD image.

            German Parliament Approves Budget For The Development Of Many Naval Programs

            On June 23, 2021, the German Parliament - Bundestag - approved a defense budget of approximately €50.3 billion for 2022, described as historic by Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. This approval has made it possible to proceed with numerous naval programs.

            Martin Manaranche 01 Jul 2021

            “For me it is clear: The defense budget is a welfare budget! It is the ‘budget for life in peace and freedom’. It secures the rights of future generations.”
            Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, German MoD.

            According to the government’s plan, the defence budget of about 50.3 billion euros is about 3.5 billion euros higher than the original estimate in the financial plan and will allow the continuation of ongoing armaments projects. But one last step remained to be passed, that of the approval of the programs by the budget committee of the parliament.

            For the record, in Germany, any development and procurement program with a total value of more than €25 million must be approved by the parliamentary budget committee. On June 23, the majority of the Bundeswehr’s development and acquisition programs were authorized.

            Among those programmes, numerous will benefit to the German Navy (Deutsche Marine) including development of submarines type 212 CD and future naval strike missile, the acquisition of new NH-90 helicopters – Sea Lion and Sea Tiger, P-8A Poseidon MPA, AGI intelligence ships, replenishment oiler vessels as well as the modernisation of minehunter vessels’ systems. Those are some of the many.

            About Type 212CD submarine

            Type 212CD for Royal Norwegian Navy

            After a comprehensive evaluation process, the Norwegian Government decided on Germany as strategic partner for new submarines in February 2017. The partnership is based on a German-Norwegian common purchase and lifetime management of identical, new submarines. The submarines will be based on the Type 212A and specifically tailored to the requirements of the two nations. The Type 212CD (Common Design) will combine the low signatures of the 212A with extended range, speed and endurance to allow worldwide operations. As part of the cooperation with Norway, Germany is set to procure two more submarines of the type (in a group purchase with Norway who will get four). The German Navy already operates six 212A submarines.

            According to the agreement reached in March 2021, the first submarine will be delivered in 2029. The total cost framework for submarine projects is NOK 45 billion. In addition to the submarine contract, this framework includes arms procurement, implementation costs and contingency provisions like the future naval strike missile.

            ORCCA will be the combat management system of these new submarine.
            About NH-90 helicopters:

            A NH-90 NTH Sea Lion from Marine Aircraft Squadron 5 (MFG 5) flies along the North Sea coast on June 10, 2020 (Credit: Bundeswehr/Maylin Wied)
            Airbus Helicopters Deutschland delivered the first NH-90 Sea Lion to the German Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Utilisation of the German Armed Forces (BAAINBw) on October 24, 2019, but due to insufficient and incomplete technical documentation, the German Navy did not start initial flight operations. The German MoD announced that significant irregularities prevented safe action during operation of the helicopter on November 27, 2019.

            In total, 18 Sea Lions have been ordered for the German Navy, with deliveries expected to be completed in 2022. The selection of the Sea Lion as the successor to the Sea King was made in March 2013 and the corresponding contract was signed in June 2015.

            Nine have been delivered to date (as of April 30, 2021), and according to the contractual agreement, five more aircraft are to be delivered in 2021 and four in 2022. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry has already announced that delivery of one of the five production helicopters will likely be delayed from 2021 to 2022.

            Delivery of the first NH90 Sea Lion in Step 1 configuration occurred on October 24, 2019, with the Navy beginning flight operations in early June 2020. Final build status (Step 2 configuration) is still scheduled for early 2022 due to delays in avionics qualification and integration. Upgrade from Stage 1 to Stage 2 is planned for 2022 to 2024. Delays in development, qualification and delivery must be avoided to ensure uninterrupted task performance after the Sea King Mk41 end-of-life in 2023.

            About Naval Strike Missile Block 1A

            The Naval Strike Missile (NSM) Block 1A weapon system is a long-range sea-going missile system but that can also be used against land targets in a secondary role that will feature in 124, 125 and 126 class frigates in the future. It replaces the Harpoon guided missile system, which has reached the end of its service life.

            Based on the German-Norwegian naval armament cooperation, procurement will be carried out by Norway as the lead nation. In a further step, a joint German-Norwegian development of a new Future Naval Strike Missile sea-going missile system is planned. This development project will be carried out as a stand-alone project and offers the opportunity to achieve urgently needed capabilities with the participation of German industry.

            About replenishment oiler 707-class

            The Type 704 Rhön oiler (Credit: Bundeswehr/Christin Krakow)

            On July 17. 2019, the Bundeswehr Inspector General announced the procurement of the future Type 707 replenishment oilers for the German Navy. In 2018, Germany announced that the two existing Type 704 Rhön-class tankers “Rhön” and “Spessart” – that have been in service since 1977 – will be decommissioned in 2025.

            The approved project on June 23. 2021, includes the design and construction of the new Class 707. In addition, the services to be provided to achieve readiness for supply include initial spare parts requirements, special tools and training. Germany has consistently indicated two ships to NATO through 2040 to provide the capability to supply operating materials to allied navies as well.

            Specifications compared: Type 704 (Rhön-class) / Future Type 707
            130 Meters 170 Meters
            19 Meters 24 Meters
            8 Meters 8 Meters
            16 Knots 20 Knots
            14.200 Tons > 20.000 Tons
            11.500 Tons 15.000 Tons
            2 20
            42 42


            • mupp
              mupp commented
              Editing a comment
              "“For me it is clear: The defense budget is a welfare budget! It is the ‘budget for life in peace and freedom’. It secures the rights of future generations.”
              Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, German MoD"

              Clever move...

          • #58
            Italian Navy aircraft carrier to get first F-35B ‘within a few days’

            By: Tom Kington   8 hours ago

            The Italian Navy aircraft carrier Cavour is seen from the German Navy frigate Werra as they sail in the Mediterranean Sea, close to Libya's territorial waters, on Sept. 23, 2015. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images)

            ROME — The Italian Navy aircraft carrier Cavour will receive its first F-35B this month after the vessel started certification work in the U.S. earlier this year to host the aircraft.

            The fighter jet is undergoing final checks at the Cameri air base in Italy, home to the country’s F-35 final assembly and checkout facility, which is due to turn out 90 F-35s for Italy, including 30 F-35Bs.

            “The test flights have been completed, so within a few days [the aircraft] will be available for the Navy to collect and it will [be] delivered directly to the Cavour,” said Rear Adm. Dino Torresi, the head of the Navy’s air operations.

            The Navy previously took delivery of two other F-35Bs, which were sent to the U.S. to join a training program for pilots and technical personnel. The new delivery makes it three out of a final order of 15 aircraft for the Navy. The “B” variant can land vertically and take off on short runways.

            Meanwhile, the Cavour undertook certification work in the U.S. this year including sea trials with American jets.

            “The Cavour has done a series of activities of certification in the U.S., and this will be completed with an Italian aircraft. Until we base an Italian aircraft on the Cavour, we cannot complete this phase,” Torresi said.

            “Now the job is to train the personnel on the ship and flight personnel,” he added. “That is the carrier qualification phase.”

            Pilots and technicians who trained in the U.S. are now back in Italy to await the jet’s arrival, he said.

            The two jets now in the U.S. will stay there until 2024 to continue training more Italian pilots before they are sent to the Cavour, which at that time will declare initial operating capability for the jets, Torresi explained.

            The Italian Air Force, which is also expecting 15 F-35Bs and 60 F-35As, has so far received just one “B” model, but Torresi said the next one coming off the Cameri line will go to the Air Force. Then the next F-35B delivered will go to the Navy, giving it a total of four jets.

            “That will be in 2022. It was meant to be this year, but everything has slipped due to coronavirus,” Torresi said.


            • #59

              Elli-class frigate Navarinon (F-461) Φ/Γ Ναυαρίνον of the Hellenic Navy. The new frigates will replace some of the Elli-class frigates. Likely the three non modernized ones: Themistocles, Kanaris and Nikifiros Fokas. Hellenic Navy picture.

              A Close Look At 3 Frigates On The New Shortlist For The Hellenic Navy

              A shortlist was recently leaked for the future frigate of the Hellenic Navy. Naval News reviews in detail the three frigates at the top of this list.

              Lorenzo Tual 09 Jul 2021

              In a previous article we reported about the alleged shortlist for the Hellenic Navy’s frigate competition. With the DEFEA defense exhibition in sight, we are now taking a close look at the ships in the so called “1st category” of this shortlist.

              Sigma 11515 HN – Damen

              One of the proposed designs for the Sigma 11515 HN, seen here with the more advanced integrated mast and APAR radars

              It is not surprising to see Damen and their proposal at the top of this list. Indeed, it is a very cost effective choice with its powerful equipment at a relatively low price, complemented by additional options to further increase the ships’ capabilities if required, their Sigma 11515 HN frigate proposal is more than fitting for the Hellenic Navy.

              The standard version proposed offers a 4,440 tons ship, equipped with CODLOG (Combined Diesel-Electric Or Gas) propulsion, allowing it to reach up to 30 knots and still be able to conduct ASW operations with the quieter electric motors.

              The Sigma 11515 HN is equipped to face a wide range of threats, and as such is fitted with an array of advanced sensors and armament to effectively detect and destroy potential targets, all while ensuring the protection of the ship.

              As such, this frigate is capable of protecting itself and other assets with its comprehensive surface-to-air defensive equipment. Proposed with 16 Mk 41 VLS cells, it will be able to fit up to 32 ESSMs SAMs or a mix of ESSMs and SM-2s for longer range defense. With a Mk 49 CIWS for an additional 21 RAM surface-to-air missiles, this ship can defend both from long range threats and saturation attacks.

              Morevover, the Sigma 11515 HN is well equipped for ASW missions. Indeed, it is fitted with advanced sensors, Kingklip Mk.2 hull mounted sonar and CAPTAS variable depth sonar (VDS), both from Thales, as well as effectors with a pair of triple torpedo tubes.

              For surface targets, the Sigma 11515 HN is fitted with the classic configuration of eight SSMs, here AGM-84 Harpoons. Naval artillery is not lacking either, with a 76mn/62cal Super Rapido main gun from Leonardo and three 20mn Narwhal remote weapon stations (RWS) from Nexter.

              The protection of the ship is assured both from the numerous decoys launchers, for a total of 36, to defend from any threats, as well as its extensive electronic warfare equipment. It is composed of electronic support measures, communication support system, jammers, communication interception capabilities and laser warning receivers.

              While this standard configuration is offered at the very competitive price of approximately 550 millions euros per unit, Damen offers different options to further the ship’s capabilities.

              For instance, the main gun can receive the STRALES upgrade which brings improved capabilities in anti air warfare (including against incoming missiles). The RWS can be replaced by 30mn ones, the number of the VLS cells can be doubled to 32 and the NS110 radar can be switched for the more powerful NS200 or Sea Master 400 also from Thales.
              The latest configuration of the Sigma 11515 which came out in early June.

              The most notable option is the version aimed at increasing AAW missions is offered for 600 millions euros with the standard equipment plus STRALES and the NS200 radar.

              Like any other proposed ship here, this is not a perfect ship. However, while it can be critiqued on some aspects, most of the attacks against Damen’s frigate have been pushing the idea of a paper design, not mature enough to be selected by the Hellenic Navy.

              These critiques are unfounded. First of all, the same could be argued about the other proposals, and would still be incorrect. The FDI-HN for instance, while originating from a design selected by the French Navy is technically also a paper design with the first ship delivered to the Marine Nationale only in 2023.

              More importantly, major elements of the Sigma 11515 HN already are built, tested and operational. The complex diesel-electric engines for the CODLOG propulsion of the ship are already in place on the Holland class offshore patrol vessels of the Royal Netherlands Navy, built by Damen. Similarly, the SM400 radar proposed in some of the more advanced options for the ship is also fitted on the Holland class. This shipbuilder has vast experiences with this type of hulls, the 11515 HN being a variant of the Sigma family with the 9113 and the 10514. The armament itself is also fairly generic and proven, composed of Mk.41 VLS cells and a 76mn main gun from Leonardo, a common combination. As such, claims of immature or paper design do little sense.

              As seen above, Damen proposed with this Sigma 11515 HN a cost efficient package, able to successfully meet the requirements of the Hellenic Navy and potentially exceed them with the different upgrades proposed in parallel with the standard version.
              FDI-HN – Naval Group

              Artist impression of the proposed FDI-HN from Naval Group (seen here with a STRALES main gun). Naval Group image.

              This new announcement of the FDI-HN being selected in the first category is particularly good news for Naval Group considering the difficulties they encountered with this Greek contract and the efforts they made to improve their proposal each time.

              Indeed, Naval Group was aiming for a Greek purchase of the FDI since 2018 with the initial negotiations between them and Lockheed Martins. Eventually these exclusive talks were stopped in favor of a contract opened to a wider range of competitors.

              Still, Naval Group carried on and adapted to the new situation. The requirement of the Hellenic Navy required an improved proposal to add the necessary equipment while still fitting within the tight budget. These changes led to the current proposal with the FDI-HN frigate.

              The selected design is a frigate of around 4,500 tons of displacement, 122 meters in lengths with a 17 meters beam. The propulsion would remain in the CODAD (Combined Diesel And Diesel) configuration found on the French version of the frigate, with a maximum speed of 27 knots.

              The main improvement from the original French design concerns saturation attacks. Since it is equipped with the excellent Sea Fire radar from Thales and the Aster-30 surface to air missile, the FDI is more than capable to serve as an area-denial frigate. However, with only 16 missiles in the initial proposal, one per Sylver A50 VLS cell, its resistance against saturation attacks appeared to be limited.

              To remedy this issue, the newest design incorporates 32 Sylver A50 VLS cells for a mix of Aster-15/30 and VL-Mica NG (which, unlike ESSM, can not be quad-packed). This puts the total missile output of the cells to 32, double that of the original proposal. Moreover, this new frigate is also equipped with the Mk 49 CIWS with its 21 RAM missiles for close defense. This new package ensures the ship’s protection even against the most potent attacks.

              As usual with French frigates, the ship proposed by Naval Group is well equipped for ASW missions. With a Kingklip Mk.2 hull mounted sonar and a CAPTAS 4C variable depth sonar, both from Thales, this frigate is equipped with some of the most advanced sensors available today for submarine hunting missions. MU90 lightweight torpedoes in twin tubes on each side of the hull are set to ensure the destruction of the detected threats.

              Armed with eight SSMs in the form of MM40 Exocet Block IIIc (the latest variant of the missiles, with the new coherent seeker), a Leonardo Super Rapido 76mn/62cal main gun (or STRALES as an option) and two 20mm Narwhal RWS, the compact hull packs a rather powerful punch.

              There still are issues with the French proposal, most of them originating from the initial French Navy requirements for their version of the FDI, shaping research and development.

              Indeed, with all its qualities the ship still lacks any form of ECM, a significant flaw for a 21st century front line warship, set to operate in contested waters. In addition, while the ship is equipped for the naval version of the SCALP cruise missile, and is proposed with it, there are still concerns on whether or not the its integration price will be included in the final proposal.

              Thus, we still have to wait to see what the final result will be but it is certain that Naval Group have now a solid proposal for the Hellenic Navy and have shown their determination and adaptation skills in this competition.

              FREMM – Fincantieri

              The Carlo Bergamini from the Italian Navy, a FREMM in General Purpose (GP) variant

              Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri is the third company that made on this shortlist for the future frigate of the Hellenic Navy. This comes as quite a surprise since Fincantieri remained quite secretive on their offer as far as to what ship they would actually offer to Greece.

              Rumours went all over the place, with some contradictory elements being mentioned from reputable sources. The main question was whether the FREMM-IT would be proposed or if it would be another ship such as a design derived from the Doha class air defence corvette.

              However, with the recent successes of the FREMM design, the basic design of which was adopted for the US Navy’s Constellation class frigate, the two ships sold to Egypt in 2020 or the recent contract for the Indonesian Navy, it is quite likely that Fincantieri will try to capitalize on these achievements to promote the design to the Hellenic Navy, and as such it will be the ship we will study here.

              The FREMM is a ship originating from a Franco-Italian agreement to build a common class of frigates. In the end two different designs emerged with two subclasses within the Italian FREMM, the general purpose (GP) and anti submarine warfare (ASW) versions. Initial rumors concerned the GP, general purpose, version for the Hellenic Navy.

              This is a quite heavy frigate, displacing 6,700 tons for 144 meters and a nearly 20 meters beam. The Italian selected a CODLAG, Combined Diesel-Electric And Gas, propulsion configuration to allow for speeds in excess of 30 knots. With its size, this frigate can accommodate two helicopters in its two dedicated hangars, as opposed to only one on the French version.

              The FREMM is fitted with an impressive set of sensors allowing it to adequately detect potential threats early on to ensure the protection of the ship and neighboring critical assets. Notable elements here include the excellent Kronos 3D radar from Leonardo, capable of more than 300km range, as well as the long list of complementary radar equipment such as the RAN-30X 2D medium range radar, the IRST SASS, silent acquisition and surveillance system, the 2D LPI, low probability of interception, surveillance radar and even the UMS 4110 CL hull sonar from Thales. This list is not exhaustive, many others equally as vital sensors being installed, but it is not desired to list all of them here, the excellent blog of Dimitri Mitch, Naval Analyses, should help those interested.

              For its protection the frigate can count on a capable complement of decoys with the SLCAR-H decoys launchers, as well as the advanced electronic warfare systems present on the vessel. These are the NETTUNO 4100 ECM from Elettronica, found on all versions of the FREMMs and the ALTESSE C-ESM and COMMIT system from Thales.

              The FREMM-It is armed with 16 Sylver A50 VLS cells for Aster 15/30 with another 16 behind available for 16 A70 if need be to equip cruise missiles. It is also fitted with eight SSMs, in the form of Teseo Mk.2 from MBDA, which can be changed for the MILAS ASW version if required. To complement this ASW capability, triple torpedo tubes are present on each side for the MU90 lightweight torpedo.

              As it is often the case with Italian designs, the naval artillery is more than adequate. Indeed, it is armed with a 127mn/64cal main gun from Leonardo with the VULCANO upgrade, allowing it to reach targets at 100km with precision. A 76mn/62cal cannon is also equiped at the rear with the STRALES upgrade to enhance its capabilities and serve as a CIWS. Finally, two remotely controlled 25mn autocannons on each side complete this impressive display of firepower.

              As seen here, the FREMM-IT from Fincantieri is a more than capable design. However, this also reflects in its price with it being the most expensive option on this list, at around 700 millions euros per unit. It must still be said that in the end, with crew training, maintenance and all other often overlooked factors, the original price difference might actually not differ significantly from each proposal, depending on how they are compared.

              If this is the ship that ends up being proposed by Fincantieri, the Hellenic Navy will potentially have a very powerful new navy in its hands, if they can afford it. While initial rumors mentioned a FREMM in GP configuration, new ones tend to point towards an export variant of the “American FREMM” (i.e. Constellation class frigate) or a FREMM GP with US-made weapons and sensors. Naval News will make sure to shed light on this next week directly with the Italian shipbuilder, during DEFEA.


              As seen here all of the shortlisted proposals for the Hellenic Navy would deliver a perfectly capable frigate, some more armed, some more expensive. And don’t forget the proposals in the so called “2nd” and “3rd” categories too, which may still win the tender. In the end we have to keep in mind that this is a non-exhaustive overview of an incredibly complex selection process, and that these ships are not in a vacuum, they are a part of a larger proposal and that other geopolitical factors will inevitably play in the final decision. Moreover, and as we have seen throughout this competition, things can change, these proposals are not set in stone and could evolve to better adapt to the situation. We only have to wait and see what the final result will be, and probably the best place to follow these events directly from Greece would be the excellent Naval Defense website.
              Last edited by Bug2; 10-07-21, 07:25 AM.


              • #60
                I'm a bit surprised they are doing all of this, they are not even in the Tier One short-listed bidders.......perhaps they are viewing their offer from the basis of Value for Money?


                • #61

                  DEFEA 2021 Video: Hellenic Navy’s Future Frigate

                  Day 1 for Naval News at DEFEA 2021, the International Defense Exhibition held in Athens, Greece. We focused on the future frigate requirement of the Hellenic Navy and interviewed five of the six contenders.

                  Xavier Vavasseur 14 Jul 2021

                  The Hellenic Navy is seeking next generation frigates as well as a so-called “stop-gap” (interim) solution (consisting in the procurement of second-hand vessels or a lease of existing vessels). They also want to upgrade to the in-service Hydra-class frigates.

                  Here is the shipbuilders and designs we covered:
                  • Fincantieri FREMM
                  • Damen Sigma 11515
                  • Naval Group FDI
                  • Lockheed Martin HF2
                  • Babcock Arrowhead 140


                  • #62

                    Graphic representation of the new experimentation and support vessels. BAAINBw picture.

                    Deutsche Marine Renews Her Experimentation And Support Vessels

                    On July 22, 2021, the Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Utilization (BAAINBw) signed a contract with the company Fassmer GmbH & Co. KG for the procurement of new measuring ships for the Defence Technological center - Wehrtechnische Dienststelle (WTD) 71.

                    Martin Manaranche 22 Jul 2021

                    BAAINBw press release

                    As a testing center for ships, naval weapons and maritime technology, WTD 71 has a total of nine sea-going vessels with special capabilities for the performance of its tasks. The procurement now under contract will replace the Class 745 “Breitgrund” and “Mittelgrund” multipurpose ships after 32 years of service, as well as the Class 741 “Wilhelm Pullwer”, which were on duty for 55 years.
                    “WTD 71 is looking forward to the new ships with their modern and contemporary equipment, which will be delivered in 2023, and which will be then the highly visible expression of defense-related investigations and tests in the Eckenförder Bay for the next 30 years.”
                    Project Manager Thomas Wallner from WTD 71.

                    The two new ships “Messboote Seeversuche Küste” are identical ships, designed according to civilian standards and modified for the special requirements of defence tests.

                    The concept of the multi-purpose vessel makes it possible to adapt the equipment for completing the tasks simply, flexibly and individually to the respective mission and testing purpose and thus always to produce a targeted configuration of the ship’s capabilities.

                    In the future, the new experimentation and support vessels will support, among other things, the securing and recovery of torpedoes during trials, the escorting of submarines during shallow water trials, but also the deployment of underwater autonomous vehicles (UAV) as well as diving missions within the scope of defense-related investigations of diving devices and equipment.



                    • #63

                      Artist impression: A French Navy FREMM frigate fitted with a laser weapon system. French Navy image.

                      French Navy To Test New Laser Weapon System At Sea

                      The French Armament General Directorate (DGA), French Company CILAS and the French Navy (Marine Nationale) are set to test the HELMA-P laser weapon system from a vessel at sea in 2022.

                      Martin Manaranche 23 Jul 2021

                      The DGA, in cooperation with CILAS, demonstrated the destruction of a drone by a laser weapon system on July 7, 2021. This demonstration took place at the DGA’s missile test center located in South Western France.
                      “I am proud to have seen this excellence at work today. This is an exceptional experiment. A drone has just been destroyed by a high-powered laser, a major step in the fight against drones has just been taken. Thanks to you, France is proving today that she is up to the task and will be able to defend herself against her enemies.”
                      Florence Parly, Minister of Armed Forces

                      This development was made in a context where drones are taking an increasingly important place on the battlefield with the use by terrorist organizations of civilian drones – transformed into reconnaissance drones – or military-made kamikaze attack drones used in recent conflicts.

                      Experimentation of the HELMA-P laser system for anti-drone warfare

                      The system tested was the HELMA-P (High Energy Laser for Multiple Applications – Power) laser system. The HELMA-P system was designed from a joint relationship between CILAS and Ariane Group, whose development took place from 2017 to 2019. The system consists in a 2-axis turret with a set of optical sensors and the laser weapon itself which has a power of 2 Kilowatts. This turret is operated by a single operator through a man-machine interface. It has a capability to reach targets up to 1 kilometer away, which 3 to 4 times greater compared to competing anti-drone technologies, according to the Director of CILAS innovation department.

                      The DGA started tests in 2020. As the results were better than expected according to the engineering project manager, the military hopes to make this experimental system operational by 2024 for the Olympic Games in Paris.

                      HELMA-P, up until now, was tested only from land. But it will also be installed on vehicles and ships announced Florence Parly during the event:
                      “The success of the demonstrator is very promising. I believe in you to perfect this technology with the CILAS teams. In terms of power, range and mobility: the smaller the systems will be, the easier they will be to deploy. In fact, I have asked for these laser weapons to be tested on French Navy ships in the first half of 2022.”
                      Florence Parly, Minister of Armed Forces

                      Naval News contacted CILAS to get more details about the upcoming French Navy laser trials.

                      The primary objective is to test the “stability and the quality of the laser firing in a marine environment” CILAS told us.
                      “Knowing that the tests on July 7, 2021 in Biscarrosse took place under a heavy rain and with a low cloud cover, this is positive for the future in this new environment.”
                      Romane Dalla Vera, CILAS Communication Manager.

                      In addition to anti-drone warfare, the aim is to go further and test it against asymmetric threats such as floating objects at sea, fast in-shore attack crafts (FIAC) but also for optical jamming or even destruction of antennas.

                      Artist impression: A French Navy FDI frigate fitted with a laser weapon system. TALOS image.

                      The ship on which the system will be tested has yet to be disclosed, but in the future, the final objective is to equip the laser weapon on frigates (FREMM, FDI) or patrol vessels “sailing through dangerous or coastal areas from which asymmetric threats can be launched” said CILAS.

                      According to the company, ships produce enough energy and resources to keep the HELMA-P system running.

                      Naval News reached out to DGA for comments, but has yet to receive a response. The story will be updated accordingly.


                      • #64
                        French Navy to receive two additional FREMM frigates

                        POSTED ON TUESDAY, 27 JULY 2021 15:03

                        According to a tweet published by Florence Parly, the French Ministry of the Armed Forces on July 26, 2021, the French Navy will receive two additional FREMM frigates.

                        French Company Naval Group launches its new FREMM Lorraine for the French Navy on November 13, 2020 (Picture source: Pan)

                        Six FREMM frigates for the French Navy have already been delivered between 2012 and 2019. Aquitaine in 2012, Provence in 2015, Languedoc in 2016, Auvergne in April 2017, Bretagne in July 2018 and Normandie in July 2019. As for export markets, Morocco received Mohammed VI in 2014 and Egypt Tahya Misr in 2015.

                        The FREMM ("European multi-purpose frigate"; French: Frégate européenne multi-mission; Italian: Fregata europea multi-missione) is a class of multi-purpose frigates designed by French company Naval Group and Fincantieri from Italy for the navies of France and Italy. The FREMM program consists of the construction of 18 ships: 8 for France, 10 for Italy. The first FREMM was delivered in 2012 and the objective of contractual delivery is 2022 for the whole 18 frigates.

                        The French FREMM frigates are being developed in two designs: Anti Submarine Warfare (ASM) and Anti Air Warfare (FREDA). Both of them deliver anti-surface weapons. The final crew number is 108 (helicopter detachment included), which is much lower than for similar contemporary ships. The crew reduction was reached thanks to the use of advanced technology solutions and a centralized combat system.


                        • Bug2
                          Bug2 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I'm assuming these two new ons are to replace the two they sold to Morocco and Egypt?

                        • unicorn11
                          unicorn11 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I believe so.

                      • #65

                        Norwegian Defence congratulates Navantia for the successful of tropicalization works of F-311 frigate

                        27 July 2021.- The Norwegian Defence Material Agency (NDMA) has congratulated Navantia and its subcontractors for the successful completion of the tropicalization of HNoMS F-311 Roald Amundsen, second of the Fridjof Nansen Class (F310) that Navantia designed and built for the Norwegian Navy between 2000 and 2011.

                        These works, for which the contract was signed on July 2020, has significantly improved the cooling capacity of the F311 frigate, which will allow it to navigate in conditions of much warmer ambient and water temperatures than the traditional operational scenarios of the Royal Norwegian Navy.

                        The modification, taken place from January to June 2021, has consisted on the replacement of the 3 refrigeration plants and the modification and increase of the air-cooling equipment in the engine rooms. The installation of this new equipment also has entailed the change of pipes, conduits, wiring, electrical panels, etc. that has made this program a great challenge both for the development of all the necessary engineering and for the execution of the works, both dismantling and installation, between Ferrol and Norway.

                        Another great challenge of this program is the platform on which the engineering has been developed. The F310 was developed with currently inoperative computer tools, so the decision has been made to develop the program already in Siemens NX in order to align it with the new Navantia digital platform. For this, 3D models of the necessary blocks were already migrated, and construction engineering work was developed in this tool.

                        The whole contract has been conducted under rigid sanitary protocols due to Covid 19, from travel restrictions, meeting restrictions or quarantines of the staff moved to Bergen, witch has been an additional challenge for all the workers. NDMA has praised the team abilities for adapting to this situation.

                        In words of Commander Espen Holtar, “during the project, Navantia has shown themselves as a relevant and trustworthy supplier with knowledge and ability to deliver in accordance to original and new requirements in the project”. Furthermore “it is worth mentioning that NDMA will be using this project as a model for future projects on the Nansen class frigates”.

                        Miguel Diaz, Navantia liaison engineer and works manager in Norway has highlighted the support and collaboration of all Navantia team and other subcontractors as Quest Global, Imafer, Soamar, Electro Rayma and Bulbo.

                        “We have been scored 9,5 out of 10 by the NDMA, for the fourth year in a row, and this has been possible thanks to a team of extraordinary professionals who have performed their work with the highest level of competence, qualification and ability” he adds.

                        Photo courtesy US Navy


                        • Bug2
                          Bug2 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I wonder what's happening to replace the one that sank? They have said previously that they will replace it, just they were not sure what with..........there is also the question of why it sank so quick and completely in any case? The Norwegians were making noises about suing.........

                        • unicorn11
                          unicorn11 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          The court case was abandoned after the delivery of a second accident report by the Norwegian investigations commission (Havari-kommisjonen) delivered on the 21 April 2021, which exonerated Navantia: the ship suffered damage "above that for which it was designed", and did not make any recommendations for the ship builder.[34] The report mentioned that "If the crew had been better trained, they would have had a better understanding of how to save the ship", and "They didn't understand that various systems were still functioning", noting that the crew evacuated the ship without closing doors, hatches, and other openings that would have maintained stability and buoyancy, avoiding the capsizing and sinking of the vessel, and saving the ship from total loss.

                          Basically the report cut the legs out from under any court case.

                        • Bug2
                          Bug2 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Interesting, I must admit i didn't follow up on what was doesn't, most certainly, read very well for the Norwegian Navy...........

                      • #66
                        Spanish Isaac Peral S-80 class submarine takes next step

                        POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 28 JULY 2021 10:36
                        According to a tweet published by the Spanish Ministry of Defense on July 27, 2021, Isaac Peral S-80 class submarine takes the next step with the installation of the attack periscope and successfully completed verification of water tightness. In the last quarter of the year, the Spanish Navy expects to start up the diesel engines of the submarine.

                        Isaac Peral S-80 class submarine (Picture source: David Merta)

                        The S-80 Plus class (or Isaac Peral class) is a Spanish class of four submarines in production by the Spanish company Navantia in its Cartagena shipyard for the Spanish Navy.

                        They are oceanic submarines of medium tonnage with the capacity to carry out long-duration missions in scenarios far from their base, acting with a minimum level of indiscretion. They will have an integrated platform control system that allows operation with a reduced endowment and a high degree of automation with remote control. The characteristics of this class of ships place them at a level close to those of nuclear propulsion.

                        The S-80's air-independent propulsion (AIP) system is based on a bioethanol-processor consisting of a reaction chamber and several intermediate Coprox reactors. Provided by Hynergreen from Abengoa, the system transforms the bioethanol (BioEtOH) into high purity hydrogen. The output feeds a series of fuel cells from the UTC Power company.

                        The S-80 Plus-class submarines have a full load displacement of 3,200 tons, a total length of 81.05 m (265.9 ft), a beam of 11.68 m (38.3 ft), and a draught of 6.20 m (20.3 ft). With a cruising speed of 12 knots, the S-80 Plus-class submarines offer a range of 8,000 nm. The submarine can accommodate 32 personnel (plus 8 troops).

                        The S-80 Plus-class submarine can be armed with the DM2A4 heavy torpedo SeaHake, the UGM-84 anti-ship missile Sub-Harpoon, and SAES mines. It was also planned to equip the submarines with the UGM-109 land-attack cruise missile Tomahawk which would have placed the Spanish Navy in an elite group of submarine operators with a strategic attack capability (so-called deep fire). The order Tomahawk was not realized but the submarine retains the ability to transport them in case they are acquired in the future.


                        • Bug2
                          Bug2 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          They had serious problems with this design..........

                          In May 2013, Navantia announced that a serious weight imbalance design flaw had been identified which will delay the delivery of the first submarine to the Spanish Navy until possibly 2017. Lengthening the submarine created additional buoyancy. Navantia signed on the US company General Dynamics Electric Boat to help solve the excess weight. In September 2014, the detected overweight was reported to have been resolved and the construction work to be ready to resume in late October 2014. In November 2014, Navantia again reported having completed the redesign work to address the problem of overweight. In all, the hull will be lengthened by ten metres, and the displacement increased by 100 tons. As of January 2018, the intended delivery date of the first submarine was in September 2022. However, at the time of the boat's launch in 2021 it was indicated that the plan was for the first boat to start sea trials in 2022 and be delivered in 2023. In January 2017, it was reported that the AIP system would not be ready in time for the delivery of the first submarine. In November 2018 Abengoa and Tecnicas Reunidas companies stated that the test for the revolutionary AIP engine of the submarine were a complete success.

                      • #67
                        Poland to order Miecznik frigates at local shipbuilding consortium

                        POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 28 JULY 2021 15:34
                        According to information published by the Polish Ministry of Defense on July 27, 2021, in the Naval Shipyard Gdynia, an agreement was signed between the Polish Armament Inspectorate and the PGZ-Miecznik Consortium for the delivery of three frigates for the Polish Navy as part of the Miecznik program.

                        Signature of the agreement by the Polish Ministry of Defense, Marius Blaszczak (Picture source: Polish Ministry of Defense)

                        Earlier on May 14 this year, the Consortium PGZ-MIECZNIK, consisting of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa SA as a leader and PGZ Stocznia Wojenna sp. z o.o. (PGZ SW) as well as Remontowa Shipbuilding SA signed an agreement to form a tripartite consortium to carry out the MIECZNIK program.

                        The program pk. MIECZNIK program assumes the construction of three modern, surface vessels of frigate class for the Polish Navy.

                        These multi-purpose units will increase the operational capability to perform tasks at sea, which will contribute to the protection of shipping routes, increase military security and deterrence potential, as well as strengthen the position of Poland in the international arena.

                        The Coastal Defence Vessel, code name MIECZNIK, is an important component project of the Programme. Its purpose is not unlike that of a traditional multi-purpose corvette, although there will be differences in both the Miecznik’s task priorities and its equipment.

                        The Polish Ministry of Defense, Marius Blaszczak said in an interview that the ships will be equipped with anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, water-to-water and water-to-land firing systems, and torpedoes for countering submarines


                        • #68

                          Deutsche Marine picture.

                          Saab Receives Order To Modernise German Navy’s Brandenburg-Class Frigates

                          Saab has signed a contract with the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), and has received an order to deliver and integrate new naval radars and fire control directors for and in the German Navy’s Frigates of the Brandenburg-Class (F123).

                          Martin Manaranche 30 Jul 2021

                          Saab press release

                          The contract includes a new combat management system in order to completely overhaul the system currently in use on the F123, allowing a low risk integration of the new naval radars and fire control capabilities. The order value is approximately 4,6 billion SEK. Deliveries and other services will take place between 2021 and 2030.

                          Saab will be the prime contractor and will contract the German shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen for the shipbuilding work while the German company ESG will carry out logistical support.
                          “We are proud that Germany has selected Saab as the combat system provider and integrator for the frigates to be overhauled. We look forward to contributing to strengthening Germany’s domestic combat systems integration capability, creating a high proportion of value and service provision in Germany. This contract will further strengthen our relationship with Germany for many years to come.”
                          Micael Johanssen, Saab’s President and CEO

                          The contract includes delivery and integration of Saab’s 9LV Combat Management System, Sea Giraffe 4A and Sea Giraffe 1X radars, Ceros 200 fire control director as well as third party systems, including IFF capability. It also includes a comprehensive, performance-based logistics package supporting the frigates’ operational capabilities.

                          Saab will carry out the work in Germany, Sweden and Australia.


                          About Brandenburg-class frigates

                          German Navy picture

                          Brandenburg-class or also known as F123-class is a class of four frigates mainly use for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) even tough they can perform surface-to-surface and anti-aircraft warfare (AAW). The ships named as follow: Brandenburg (F215), Schlewsig-Holstein (F216), bayern (F217) and Mecklenburg-Verpommern (F218). Those were commissioned between 1994 and 1996.

                          Technical specifications

                          Length: 139 m (over all)

                          Beam: 16.7 m

                          Draft: 6.3 m

                          Displacement: 4,900 t

                          Speed: 29 knots

                          Propulsion: Type CODOG

                          Sensors: 1 × multifunction radar SMART-S; 1 × air surveillance radar LW 08, range: more than 260 km; 2 × fire control radar STIR 180; 1 × DSQS-23BZ bow sonar; 1 × video and infrared target tracking MSP 600; 1 x EK system FL 1800 S (electronic reconnaissance/electronic warfare)
                          2 × navigation radar

                          Weapons: 1 x main gun 76 mm , 2 x 27 mm MLG naval light gun; 4 x 12.7 mm; 2 x launcher RGM-84 Harpoon; 1 x vertical launch system VLS Mk41 for anti-aircraft missiles NSSM and ESSM; 2 x launcher RIM-116 RAM; 2 x torpedo tube for lightweight torpedo Mk46; 4 x decoy launcher MASS

                          Crew: 214


                          • #69

                            The "Bayern" was in the Indian Ocean for the last time in 2016. German Navy picture.

                            German Navy To Deploy A Frigate In Indo-Pacific Region For The First Time Since 2016

                            With the deployment of a frigate in Indo-Pacific region, the German Navy wants to send a signal for free sea routes and the observance of international law in the region.

                            Martin Manaranche 30 Jul 2021

                            German Navy press release

                            The ship will be underway for a good six months. It will sail through the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal via the Indian Ocean to Australia and East Asia. On the way, exercises are planned with the navies of Australia, Singapore, Japan and the United States of America. In addition, there will be formal visits, port visits at the highest diplomatic level.

                            By sending the “Bayern” to the South China Sea, the German government is underscoring its guidelines on the Indo-Pacific published last year. The region is of great strategic importance.
                            “Stronger defense and security cooperation fills the multilateralism that is so important to us with life and strengthens the partnership with friends in Australia, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.”

                            “Our prosperity is generated globally. What happens in Asia has direct consequences for us. I am pleased that we are flying the flag with our ship at sea.”
                            Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, German Minister of Defense

                            More than 90 percent of the world’s foreign trade is conducted by sea, much of it via the Indian and Pacific Oceans,” the guidelines state. These maritime trade routes, and with them the supply chains, must be kept free and secure.

                            The voyage of the frigate “Bayern” to the Indo-Pacific sends a signal that Germany is becoming more involved in the geopolitically central region of the 21st century. Together with its value partners, the Federal Republic stands up for the preservation and defense of a rule-based international order.

                            “The world’s oceans belong to all of us,” says Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach, Chief of Naval Operations. Against the backdrop of territorial disputes in the Indo-Pacific, he said, it is important to stand by our value partners. Since Germany is committed to global prosperity and human and international rights, it cannot duck out of the way.

                            At the same time, however, the Federal Republic does not want to behave confrontationally in the South China Sea, he said. “We will use the usual trade routes, where everyone can sail,” the admiral explained.

                            Until the end of February 2022, the frigate “Bayern” will be underway with more than 230 crew members on board. She will leave her home port of Wilhelmshaven on August 2. Among other things, she will support NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean and the EU’s Atalanta anti-piracy mission in the Horn of Africa during her voyage, as well as taking part in monitoring the United Nations sanctions against North Korea.

                            Highlights include joint exercises with friendly naval forces and naval diplomacy in the form of formal port visits. This is also intended to further deepen strategic partnerships, for example with Australia, Japan and South Korea.


                            About Brandenburg-class frigates

                            German Navy picture

                            Brandenburg-class or also known as F123-class is a class of four frigates mainly use for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) even tough they can perform surface-to-surface and anti-aircraft warfare (AAW). The ships named as follow: Brandenburg (F215), Schlewsig-Holstein (F216), bayern (F217) and Mecklenburg-Verpommern (F218). Those were commissioned between 1994 and 1996.

                            Technical specifications

                            Length: 139 m (over all)

                            Beam: 16.7 m

                            Draft: 6.3 m

                            Displacement: 4,900 t

                            Speed: 29 knots

                            Propulsion: Type CODOG

                            Sensors: 1 × multifunction radar SMART-S; 1 × air surveillance radar LW 08, range: more than 260 km; 2 × fire control radar STIR 180; 1 × DSQS-23BZ bow sonar; 1 × video and infrared target tracking MSP 600; 1 x EK system FL 1800 S (electronic reconnaissance/electronic warfare)
                            2 × navigation radar

                            Weapons: 1 x main gun 76 mm , 2 x 27 mm MLG naval light gun; 4 x 12.7 mm; 2 x launcher RGM-84 Harpoon; 1 x vertical launch system VLS Mk41 for anti-aircraft missiles NSSM and ESSM; 2 x launcher RIM-116 RAM; 2 x torpedo tube for lightweight torpedo Mk46; 4 x decoy launcher MASS

                            Crew: 214


                            • #70

                              Italian Navy F-35B Lands Aboard ITS Cavour For The First Time

                              The Italian navy (Marina Militare) has received today the first F-35B fighter being deployed on board the Cavour aircraft carrier, which this year received the certification to operate with fifth generation aircraft in the US.

                              Luca Peruzzi 31 Jul 2021

                              Italian Navy press release, translation by Luca Peruzzi

                              Gulf of Taranto, Ionian Sea. Today, 30 July, The first Italian Navy F-35B has landed for the first time on board the Cavour aircraft carrier, after the test and certification activity carried out with US aircraft during the “Ready for Operations” (RFO) campaign concluded at the end of April this year. This is the third aircraft assigned to the Navy and just being accepted from the assembly plant in Cameri (NO), while the previous two are in the United States to support the training of pilots for the Italian Armed Forces.
                              “Today we are witnessing the landing on the Cavour aircraft carrier of the first Italian Navy’s F-35 : a great step towards the strategic goal of providing Defense and Italy with an aircraft carrier capability equipped with the latest generation of aircraft. A capacity that projects us into an elite of a few countries in the world, thus raising the level and international weight of Italy “,
                              Italian Navy’s Chief of Staff, admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone.

                              The arrival of the aircraft represents a fundamental step in the process of replacing the AV-8B Plus Harriers. The Navy expects to obtain the initial operational capacity (IOC) by 2024 and, subsequently, the Final Operational Capability – FOC, after the delivery of the last F-35B to the Navy.

                              Its arrival on board the aircraft allow pilots to soon begin training for the acquisition of the so-called “Bravo Capability”, or the qualification for landing and take-off from the flight decks of the Navy’s ships, which in the case of fixed-wing aircraft operating from aircraft carriers, is called Carrier Qualification (CQ).

                              During the Sea Trials, carried out in the Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast of the United States, two American F-35B aircraft equipped for the test activities, embarked on the Cavour, completed all the planned tests, carrying out over 50 flight missions, in different weather conditions and sea conditions, night activities, about 120 vertical landings and as many short take-offs with the help of the ski jump, as well as vertical take-off activities. The sea trial required an enormous commitment from the teams involved both on the flight deck and in the aircraft carrier hangar as well as in the operational premises of the unit, from where the flight activities were managed. On board the aircraft carrier, an extraordinary integration between the Italian and American personnel was achieved, a real added value to ensure that the delicate activities of the F-35Bs were conducted safely, obtaining maximum effectiveness.

                              The Ready For Operations (RFO) campaign, which lasted 3 months in which the Cavour traveled over 15,000 nautical miles, strongly affirming the Navy’s cooperative bond with the US Navy and Marine Corps.

                              Cavour also conducted flight deck certification activities to operate the MV-22 “Osprey” tiltrotor operated by the United States Marines. The MV-22 “Osprey” aircraft is a twin-engine aircraft, with vertical take-off and landing capability thanks to the tilting rotors. The primary function of the aircraft is to support amphibious operations, by transporting troops, equipment and supplies for naval units equipped with a flight deck and ground bases. Another element added to the interoperability with the US armed forces and to the projection capability on the sea and from the sea.



                              • #71
                                UK to offer two Type 23 frigates at Hellenic Navy

                                POSTED ON MONDAY, 02 AUGUST 2021 10:19
                                According to information published by the Times on August 2, 2021, as part of the Greek procurement of new frigates, the Royal Navy will offer two Type 23 frigates, HMS Monmouth and HMS Montrose with the Babcock offer of four Arrowhead 140 Type 31e frigates.

                                Type 23 frigate HMS Monmouth (Picture source: Flickr)

                                The HMS Montrose is a Type 23 or Duke class of frigates in service with the British Navy. She was laid down in November 1989 by Yarrow Shipbuilders on the Clyde, and was launched on 31 July 1992. She was commissioned into service in June 1994.

                                HMS Montrose – the 5th of the frigate fleet – has highly sensitive suite of radars which allows the ship to track aircraft and missiles up to 120 miles, and a missile system with a 20+ mile range.

                                She is equipped with sonar to detect submarines and a helicopter armed with torpedoes and depth charges, which means – if we have to – she can take the fight to submarines many miles away from the ship.

                                HMS Monmouth was the sixth "Duke"-class Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy. She was the seventh ship to bear the name and was launched by Lady Eaton in 1991, being commissioned two years later.

                                The Type 23 or Duke-class frigate was designed to conduct anti-submarine warfare missions, but the ship is equipped with an additional vertical-launched Seawolf naval surface-to-air missile system and the Boeing Harpoon surface-to-surface missile to be used as anti-surface warfare (ASuW) ship. The ship is armed with one 32-cell Sea Wolf GWS.26 VLS canisters for able to fire Sea Wolf (range 1–10 km) or Sea Ceptor missiles (1–25+ km), two quad Harpoon launchers, two twins 12.75 in (324 mm) Sting Ray torpedo tubes, one BAE 4.5 inch Mk 8 naval gun, two 30 mm DS30M Mk2 guns, or, 2 × 30 mm DS30B guns, two Miniguns, and four General-purpose machine guns.


                                • unicorn11
                                  unicorn11 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Old and tired ships, the Brits have run them into the ground.

                                • Bug2
                                  Bug2 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Stop-gaps, same as other nations have offered, and these are younger than a good chunk of the Greek navy. Only one has gone through mid-life refit and has Sea Ceptor.......the other needs to go through the same for approx 50 million sterling. Babcock is offering 4 x new Type 31 derivatives..........

                              • #72
                                Report is only half credible. Montrose has been stripped of parts and is in poor condition
                                more likely UK will offer Monmouth and one other 'hot' transfer, direct from service (at the expense of a temp reduction in RN numbers)

                                these are the best ships offered for the stop gap tender. Smart money seems to be on the Dutch offer for the new build quartet


                                • #73

                                  HF2 model at DEFEA 2021.

                                  Lockheed Martin Teams With Greek Industrials For Hellenic Navy Modernization Program

                                  In support of the Hellenic Navy Modernization program, Lockheed Martin has entered into teaming agreements with key Greek industrial partners. These agreements include specific areas of collaboration matched to partner capabilities and will enable the Greek – U.S. industry team led by Lockheed Martin to quickly begin work on this important program.

                                  Martin Manaranche 03 Aug 2021

                                  Lockheed Martin press release

                                  At the same time, the agreements will expand Greek employment opportunities into the future in a number of maritime industry specialties and support efforts to re-capitalize Greek shipyards. This work will include combat systems integration, test, maintenance, and shipboard modernization.

                                  At a working event last week, partner companies met with Lockheed Martin to begin developing more specific plans for industrial participation to meet the schedule set for the MEKO-200 upgrades and the Hellenic Future Frigate program. Companies that have joined onto the Lockheed Martin-led team include:
                                  • Oceanking Technical and Trading
                                  • Intracom Defense Electronics – IDE
                                  • Endeavor Integrated Solutions
                                  • Akmon S.A.
                                  • METKA S.A.
                                  • Aeroservices S.A.
                                  • ALS Naval Ship Design
                                  “Lockheed Martin has partnered all around the world with ship builders to deliver capability inclusive of local industrial participation,
                                  “With Greek industry as strategic partners, we are convinced that together we not only provide incredible capability to the Hellenic Navy but help to re-build a proud and historic shipbuilding industry here in Greece”.
                                  Tom Rowden, vice president, international business development, Lockheed Martin.
                                  Lockheed Martin picture.
                                  “The U.S. government is 100% committed to the U.S. Navy proposal for the Hellenic Navy’s Frigate Modernization Program, which represents a generational opportunity to expand and deepen our outstanding U.S.-Greece naval partnership. Our proposal is backed by a government-to-government agreement, offering a real and highly capable ship, not just an idea on paper, with an unmatched plan for building in Greece,

                                  “It will boost the revival of the Greek shipbuilding industry and create over a thousand direct shipbuilding jobs, and over a thousand indirect ship-related jobs across the Greek maritime sector, spurring further the revival of Greece’s long maritime traditions. I know that Lockheed Martin is eager to participate in the renaissance of Greek shipbuilding, and they are also very committed to partnering with George Prokopiou, a great friend of the United States, who has just acquired the Skaramangas shipyards.”
                                  U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey R. Pyatt.

                                  Lockheed Martin will work with our Greek industry partners including the Shipyards as appropriate completely focused on successful program execution in coordination with U.S. Navy and Hellenic Navy. Lockheed Martin will look to introduce more Greek teammates in the weeks to come. The team will leverage and build upon the deep knowledge and expertise of the Greek defense industry expanding capabilities in ship design, logistics, training, and sustainment.

                                  Lockheed Martin’s partnership with Greece spans more than 75 years including numerous successful programs, such as the F-16, C-130 and P-3. In 2020, Greece added the MH-60R to their fleet. In parallel with this acquisition, the Hellenic Navy, U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are working together with local industry for the sustainment and modernization of the existing S-70B fleet. Lockheed Martin highly values its enduring relationship with Greece, the Hellenic Armed Forces and Greek industry and looks forward to building upon that successful heritage.


                                  Naval News comments

                                  Naval News interviewed Lockheed Martin’s Vice President and General Manager of naval combat and missile defence at DEFEA 2021 – Defence Exhibition in Athens – to get further details about Lockheed Martin’s offer to the Hellenic Navy for their frigate replacement program.


                                  • #74

                                    Autonomous systems to help NATO examine climate change effects in Arctic waters

                                    By Vivienne Machi

                                    Aug 7, 01:20 AM
                                    Norwegian Motor Topedo Boat (MTB) KNM Skudd is pictured from onboard of USS Mount Whitney of the US Navy during the NATO-led military exercise Trident Juncture on November 3, in Trondheim, Norway. The alliance is employing autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence to understand the effects of climate chance in the High North on defense and security. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images) (AFP via Getty Images)STUTTGART, Germany — NATO sees continued investment in autonomous platforms, artificial intelligence and big data as critical to understanding how a thawing Arctic Ocean will impact military operations, planning, and infrastructure in the High North.

                                    Scientists from the alliance’s Center for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) want to use autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to ensure they have continuous and sustained samples from the Arctic region. Investments in AI will be key to ensuring those systems remain in operation for long periods of time in the changing, but still austere conditions, said Catherine Warner, CMRE director.

                                    “We have to improve the autonomy and the artificial intelligence of our systems,” Warner said in an Aug. 5 virtual roundtable with reporters. “We have to improve the intelligence, so that if there’s something wrong — just like with the Rover on Mars — if it knows that there’s something wrong with itself, that it can send the error codes back home so that we can try and fix it remotely.”

                                    The CMRE, which falls under NATO’s Science and Technology Organization (STO), has been collecting data from global waters for decades, testing sound propagation and acoustics, and trying to correlate that information to water depth, salinity, and temperature, Warner noted. This longtime experience in the maritime domain puts the center in a unique position to support a key element of the NATO 2030 agenda: to become the leading international organization to understand and adapt to the impact of climate change on security issues.

                                    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently revealed that ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet increased seven-fold in nearly three decades, from 34 billion tons per year between 1992-2001, to 247 billion tons per year between 2012 and 2016. This is one of several factors contributing to rising global sea levels, per the agency.

                                    Meanwhile, geopolitical interest in the Arctic has similarly swelled in recent years, causing nations including the United States, Russia, China, and others to boost military investments and try to gain a foothold in the resource-heavy area. Moscow’s buildup in particular has prompted some Arctic nations in the alliance to push NATO to place a stronger focus on the region.

                                    In the 1980s, the CMRE collected a significant amount of environmental data in the Greenland, Iceland, United Kingdom (GIUK) gap of the northern Atlantic Ocean, and has returned to that site several times since 2017, Warner said. Its most recent venture, dubbed the Nordic Recognized Environmental Picture 2021 (NREP21), took place this past July aboard the CMRE’s custom-built research ship, the Naval Research Vessel Alliance.

                                    In recent years, the center has noted “major changes in the ocean’s characteristics since our experiments that we conducted 20 to 30 years ago,” Warner said. Those changes will significantly impact geopolitical, defense, and security challenges in that region, she noted.

                                    The center, in conjunction with other NATO stakeholders, developed an Arctic science-and-technology 2021-2030 strategy to help identify critical environmental factors and areas of the region that would need to be monitored and forecasted. The strategy will be a living document, reviewed each year to allow its authors to add or remove components as priorities change, or new research developments occur, said Alberto Alvarez, head of environmental knowledge and operational effectiveness section at the CMRE.

                                    Part of the strategy will focus on the development and preparation of autonomous platforms and other technologies that can help monitor these changing conditions, Alvarez noted. Managing the health of such remotely directed platforms is “a very big challenge” for the center to beat, he added.


                                    • #75

                                      Babcock Arrowhead 140 Frigate. Babcock image.

                                      Babcock Shortlisted To Build Three Frigates For The Polish Navy

                                      Babcock is pleased to be one of the companies down selected by the Polish Government, to provide a potential design solution for the Polish Navy’s Miecznik (Swordfish) frigate programme.

                                      Martin Manaranche 06 Aug 2021

                                      Babcock press release

                                      Supported by the UK Government, we look forward to working with the PGZ-Miecznik consortium to deliver a proposal based on our modern, highly-capable and versatile Arrowhead 140 frigate platform.
                                      “We are hugely excited about this opportunity. This work would bring significant social and economic benefits to Poland by enhancing and reinvigorating Polish shipbuilding for years to come.”
                                      Babcock CEO David Lockwood


                                      Naval News comments:

                                      Navantia and TKMS are the two other finalists. Navantia’s offer is based on the design of the F-100 and TKMS’ one is the MEKO-A300.

                                      MEKO-A200. TKMS picture,

                                      TKMS Shorlisted For The Polish Navy Frigate Acquisition Program

                                      Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems has been shortlisted to prepare a concept design and feasibility study as part of Project MIECZNIK, the acquisition of multi-mission frigates for the Polish Navy.

                                      Martin Manaranche 06 Aug 2021

                                      TKMS press release
                                      “As a leading supplier of frigate warship technology to 19 navies worldwide to date, including 6 NATO navies, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems is proud to be able to offer Poland the MEKO® A-300 PL, our most up-to-date variant of the famous MEKO® technology frigate family.”
                                      CEO Dr Rolf Wirtz

                                      If selected, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems will form an enduring Technology Partnership with Polish industry for the building, integration and lifecycle support of the MEKO® A-300 PL frigates entirely in Poland. Partnering with the industry of other nations to build our designs is ‘standard practise’ for thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, with over 50% of our exported warships having been built by our customer shipyards over the years.


                                      Naval News comments

                                      For record, an agreement was signed between the Armament Inspectorate and the Consortium PGZ-Miecznik for the delivery of three frigates for the Polish Navy within the program “Miecznik” on July 27, 2021.

                                      At this occasion, the Polish Minister of Defence said: “These ships will be produced in Poland by a consortium. I said that I expect that the process of building these ships will be as fast, as efficient as in the case of the mine destroyers ‘Kormoran’”.

                                      The program of acquiring new frigate class vessels for the Navy under the codename “Miecznik” is one of the projects of Technical Modernization Plan 2021-35.

                                      The Minister detailed the work plan regarding the frigate acquisition program.
                                      “By the end of November three conceptual projects will be prepared by the consortium. Then, no later than at the turn of this year and next year the best of the three concepts will be selected. As far as military requirements and costs are concerned, of course. Then, the consortium will start work on the technical design and later on the construction of the first ship. According to the adopted schedule, we want the first ship to be launched within four years.”

                                      Regarding TKMS offer, no details have been unveiled yet on its technical specifications and its design.

                                      Navantia has also been shortlisted with their offer based on the design of the F-100, in service within the Spanish Navy.

                                      Navantia picture.

                                      Navantia Shortlisted To Build Three Frigates For Polish Navy

                                      The offer submitted by Navantia to the Polish Ministry of Defence to build three frigates in a Technology Transfer (ToT) program has been selected in a ‘short list’ along with two other finalists.

                                      Martin Manaranche 06 Aug 2021

                                      Navantia press release

                                      Now, Navantia will participate in the Viability Phase in order to propose a design that further adjusts to the requirements of the Armaments Inspectorate of the Polish Ministry of Defence. The final decision on the contractor is expected in 2022.

                                      The offer presented by Navantia is based on the design of the F-100, in service for the Spanish Navy, which has been the starting point for successful export contracts to Norway and Australia.

                                      The Miecznik program launched by the Polish Government envisages the construction of three multi-mission frigates at the local PGZ shipyard in Gdynia through a Technology Transfer (ToT) contract with an international company, a business model in which Navantia has a robust experience.

                                      Navantia has long track in the design and construction of a wide range of frigates, with proven flexibility, therefore, to suit the needs of the Polish Navy.

                                      The company has also proved its ability to efficiently execute different models of ToT programs that have helped develop local capabilities in shipbuilding and life cycle support. It is a business model of high added value in which Navantia has success stories through its contracts in Turkey, Saudi Arabia or Australia.
                                      “Navantia is ready to have a local presence in Poland in order to support the construction and sustainment of the ships. We are proud to offer the Polish Navy a collaboration model that has proven to be of mutual benefit and that will allow Poland, a friend and ally, to have a highly technological naval defense capability, proven both by the Spanish Navy and by other international clients”.
                                      Commercial and Business Development Director of Navantia, Javier Herrador.

                                      The Miecznik program for the construction of frigates is part of an ambitious plan launched by the Polish Government to modernize its Armed Forces with an investment of 115 billion euros until 2035.


                                      Naval News comments

                                      For record, an agreement was signed between the Armament Inspectorate and the Consortium PGZ-Miecznik for the delivery of three frigates for the Polish Navy within the program “Miecznik” on July 27, 2021.

                                      At this occasion, the Polish Minister of Defence said: “These ships will be produced in Poland by a consortium. I said that I expect that the process of building these ships will be as fast, as efficient as in the case of the mine destroyers ‘Kormoran'”.

                                      The program of acquiring new frigate class vessels for the Navy under the codename “Miecznik” is one of the projects of Technical Modernization Plan 2021-35.

                                      The Minister detailed the work plan regarding the frigate acquisition program.
                                      “By the end of November three conceptual projects will be prepared by the consortium. Then, no later than at the turn of this year and next year the best of the three concepts will be selected. As far as military requirements and costs are concerned, of course. Then, the consortium will start work on the technical design and later on the construction of the first ship. According to the adopted schedule, we want the first ship to be launched within four years.”
                                      Minister of National Defence,Mariusz Blaszczak.


                                      • unicorn11
                                        unicorn11 commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Good ships for Poland's requirements, where they will be replacing, amongst other vessels, a Perry class FFG. Poland did consider HMAS Melbourne and Newcastle but in the end decided new ships were a better bet, something Chile couldn't afford.

                                    • #76
                                      New Landing Helicopter Dock LHD Trieste for Italian Navy conducts sea trials

                                      POSTED ON SUNDAY, 15 AUGUST 2021 14:25
                                      According to pictures released on the Twitter account of Seb H on August 13, 2021, the new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Trieste (L9890) for the Italian Navy conducts sea trials.

                                      New Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Trieste for the Italian Navy during sea trials. (Picture source Twitter account Seb H)

                                      The LHD (Landing Helicopter Dock) Trieste was officially launched on May 25, 2019, at the Fincantieri shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia, in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, welcomed by Fincantieri’s Chairman Giampiero Massolo and CEO Giuseppe Bono. It is expected to be commissioned in June 2022.

                                      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 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 LHD Trieste will be the largest vessel of the Italian Navy. The ship will have an overall length of 245 m, a beam of 47 m, a depth of 7.2 m, and a fully loaded displacement of 33,000 tons. The ship will be powered by a COmbined Diesel eLectric Or Gas (CODLOG) propulsion system and an additional electric propulsion system to be used for low-speed sailing. The propulsion system will include two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines providing 102,000 hp, two MAN 20V32/44CR diesel engines, four diesel engines generators MAN 9L32/44CR, developing 28,110 hp., two 2,250 kW (3,020 hp) electric engines, and two shafts. She will be able to reach a top speed of 25 knots (46 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 7,000 nautical miles (13,000 km) at 16 knots (30 km/h).

                                      The ship will be able to operate up to 12 medium helicopters AgustaWestland AW101 or NH90 naval helicopters or a combination of naval helicopters or Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft.

                                      With over 1,000 sleeping accommodations, the new LHD will feature a 230-meter long helicopter flight deck, allowing the operation of a battalion consisting of 600 personnel, and a dock garage for 1,200 linear meters of wheeled and tracked vehicles, both civilian and military.

                                      The floodable dock of 50 m long and 15 m wide will enable the LHD Trieste 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 dentist’s office, and patient rooms capable of hosting 27 seriously injured patients.


                                      • #77

                                        Italian Navy (Marina Militare)'s future LHD ITS Trieste (L 9890) conducting its fist sea-going on August 12, 2021, out of Muggiano shipyard near La Spezia. Giorgio Arra picture.

                                        First Sea-Going For Italian Navy’s New LHD Trieste (L 9890)

                                        The Fincantieri shipbuilder conducted the first sea-going of the Trieste (L 9890) Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) on 12 August.

                                        Luca Peruzzi 18 Aug 2021

                                        The largest warship built and outfitted under the so-called latest Legge Navale (Naval Law)’s fleet renewal programme by the temporary industrial consortium led by Fincantieri shipbuilding group as prime contractor and Leonardo as combat system integrator and main sub-contractor, the new platform was ‘traditionally’ launched at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia (near Naples) shipyard on 25 May 2019, at the presence of Italy’s President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella and his daughter Laura, the latter as ship’s godmother.

                                        The shipbuilding contract was awarded by Italian MoD’s Naval Armament Directorate (NAVARM) and became effective on July 2015 for about €1.1 billion value. The latter also includes a logistic and training package with support during the shipbuilding (including courses, spare parts and technical documentation) and for the first ten-years of service (ISS, In-Service Support).With the first steel cut celebrated in July 2017 followed by the keel block laying on February 2018, the overall shipbuilding activities were conducted at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia shipyard, where the ship completed the propulsion and ship management fitting-out before being transferred to the Fincantieri’s Muggiano shipyard (near La Spezia) to complete the platform systems and combat system outfitting.

                                        Giorgio Arra pictures.

                                        With the first sea-going conducted on 12 August, the shipbuilding and sea-trials programme is on schedule as originally planned. After completing the first sea trials, the new platform is expected to move to Fincantieri’s Palermo shipyard by the month-end, where dry-dock with overhaul activities are usually conducted on large ships for the dock dimensions, after the ship has been berthed at Muggiano shipyard since its arrival from Castellammare di Stabia in 2020.

                                        The LHD will then return to Muggiano shipyard near La Spezia to conduct final outfitting and sea trails, followed by acceptance trials. The shipbuilding, outfitting and acceptance trials programme schedules a delivery in October 2022, with a few months delay due to the pandemic.


                                        • ADMk2
                                          ADMk2 commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          And in true Italian style, it is festooned with 76mm guns… 😂

                                      • #78

                                        Photomontage of the F 124 class frigate "Hesse" (F 221) with the new radar system. BAAINBw picture.

                                        German Navy Upgrades Radar Systems On F124 Sachsen-Class Frigates

                                        The German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) signed a €220 million contract on August 23,2021, with Hensoldt Sensors GmbH for the manufacture, delivery and installation of four radar systems for the Sachsen-class frigates (F124).

                                        Martin Manaranche 24 Aug 2021

                                        BAAINBw press release

                                        In addition, necessary training services as well as the production of supply readiness were agreed upon with the conclusion of the contract.

                                        The new radars are TRS-4D/LR ROT wide-range air and sea surveillance radars, which will replace the SMART-L radars currently used on the three frigates from 2025. In addition, another system will be installed as early as 2023 at the Naval Technology School’s Parow Reference and Training Facility. In addition to hands-on training, this will allow any system modifications to be tested on the radar before it is fielded.

                                        The three F124 class units were commissioned between 2004 and 2005. They are designed as multi-purpose escort and sea control frigates. All sensors and weapons on board are optimized for air defense. In addition, the F124 class frigates are the only ships in the German Armed Forces with anti-aircraft fighter capability.

                                        With the TRS-4D/LR ROT, the ships will in future have one of the world’s most powerful and modern radars, which in addition to better reconnaissance and target tracking characteristics also have the capability to detect and track ballistic missiles. The radar’s AESA (Active Electronically Scanning Array) technology enables precise detection of particularly small and maneuverable objects at a range of more than 400 km for air targets and up to 2,000 km for objects in Earth orbit.

                                        The conversion of the ships will begin in 2024 and is expected to be completed by 2028. The project management at BAAINBw has thus succeeded in selecting a powerful long-range radar capable of meeting the challenges of future air defense in the changed threat spectrum.


                                        About Sachsen-class / F124 frigates

                                        German Navy’s Hamburg air defense frigate (Credit : Bundeswehr)

                                        The German Navy has a total of three Sachsen-class F124 frigates. They are designed as multi-purpose vessels for escort, protection and maritime control. Its focus is on air defense: With its SMART-L radar, a single vessel class can, for example, monitor the airspace over the entire North Sea. The radar of the Sachsen-class is able to detect more than 1,000 targets at the same time.

                                        Sachsen-class frigates are fitted with 32x Mk41 VLS for SM-2 and ESSM missiles and two RAM launchers. The can also deploy Harpoon anti-ship missiles and torpedoes.

                                        General characteristics

                                        143.0 m in length
                                        17.4 m wide
                                        6.0 m draft
                                        5,800 t displacement
                                        Crew complement: 230 sailors + 13 aircrew


                                        • unicorn11
                                          unicorn11 commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          WTF is this attachment to outdated rotating arrays in so many European navies?

                                        • Bug2
                                          Bug2 commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          Cheaper, no other reason............

                                      • #79
                                        Germany readies frigates for ballistic missile defense missions

                                        By Sebastian Sprenger

                                        Aug 25, 12:50 AM

                                        Germany's Sachsen-class air defense frigate Hamburg crosses the Suez Canal near Egypt's port city of Ismailia, east of Cairo, in 2013. The frigate, along with its two sister ships, is in line for radar upgrades supporting a ballistic missile defense capability for Germany. (AFP via Getty Images) (AFP via Getty Images)

                                        WASHINGTON — The German Navy plans to equip its F124 frigates with new radars that expand the vessels’ capabilities into the field of ballistic missile defense, the German military acquisition branch announced Aug. 24.

                                        To that end, the Bundeswehr awarded a €220 million (U.S. $258 million) contract to German sensor specialist Hensoldt in conjunction with Israel Aerospace Industries’ Elta Systems. The two companies will enter into a “strategic cooperation,” as Hensoldt calls it, to deliver four radar sets based on Germany’s TRS-4D product and beefed up with Elta’s long-range capabilities.

                                        Officials plan to install the new equipment on three air defense frigates of the Sachsen class between 2024 and 2028, according to a statement from the military acquisition office. A fourth system will be set up on land to help the German Navy train its sailors.

                                        The new radars would elevate the ships’ surveillance and target-tracking capabilities for various aerial threats, including ballistic missiles, the office said.

                                        The Navy’s foray into ballistic missile defense follows the government’s strategy of inserting requisite sensor capabilities into its arsenal whenever substantial weapon upgrades are on the books anyway. Berlin has pledged missile defense contributions to NATO as the alliance assembles a network of sensors and interceptors in Europe meant to one day protect the entire continent from such attacks.

                                        Naval vessels are considered especially desirable in that equation because they can be moved around and seek the most advantageous positions when it comes to detecting and intercepting missiles.

                                        Hensoldt and Elta are already teamed up on an upgrade for the land-based Hughes Air Defense Radars, which marks another step in Berlin’s quest for greater ballistic missile defense capabilities.

                                        For years, Germany’s missile defense ambitions rested on a replacement of its Patriot fleet with the TLVS weapon, short for Taktisches Luftverteidigungssystem.

                                        Officials shelved that program earlier this year to free up money for drone defense, though it’s unclear what the Defence Ministry intends to field to that end.


                                        • ADMk2
                                          ADMk2 commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          And how exactly are they going to perform ballistic missile defence? Sensors are great… Oh, here come the BM’s…

                                          SM-2 Block IIIA however is not a BMD capable weapon though…

                                      • #80

                                        Latest concept artist impression of Belgian, Dutch Navies future frigate (Credit: Dutch MoD)

                                        Netherlands Issues RFI For Future Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigates’ Sonar

                                        The Defence Materiel Organisation (Defensie Materieel Organisatie - DMO) of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence issued a request for information (RFI) on August 18, 2021 about a sonar for the future frigates of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

                                        Martin Manaranche 24 Aug 2021

                                        In this request for information, the agency asked for a market consultation to obtain further informations and details regarding a mine and obstacle avoidance sonar (MOAS).

                                        According to the RFI released: “The DMO is setting up a market consultation in order to obtain more information about a MOAS. The market consultation will be held in order to determine whether the market can meet certain requirements and the added value of a dedicated MOAS.”

                                        This RFI is made as part of the Karel Doorman-class frigates replacement program. Those frigates will be replaced by new ones referred to as Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigates (ASWF).

                                        About ASWF – Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigate

                                        Dutch MoD image showing the early design of the future frigate.

                                        The Future Surface Combatant is a project of the Royal Netherlands Navy and Belgian Navy to replace the ageing Multipurpose- or M-frigates (Karel Doorman-class). The future frigates will be replacing HNLMS Van Amstel and HNLMS Van Speijk in the Dutch Navy and Leopold I and the Louise-Marie in the Belgian Navy.

                                        The Dutch MoD started design studies for the M-frigates replacement in 2013. The new frigates are set to fulfill a general purpose role with ASW as its specialty. However, given the limited number of frigates in the Royal Netherlands Navy (six) and Belgian (two) fleets, the Future Surface Combatant are required to excel in all area (air defense, anti surface warfare…). While the Belgian Navy is in charge of the MCM replacement program for both navies, likewise the Dutch Navy is in charge of the M-Frigates replacement program for both the Netherlands and Belgium.

                                        M-Frigate Replacement Specifications
                                        • Displacement: Approx. 6.000 tonnes
                                        • Length: 146 meters
                                        • Speed: +30
                                        • Complement: 120
                                        Weapon systems

                                        The future frigate will receive RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2 anti-aircraft missiles and a successor of the Goalkeeper close-in weapon system. These new weapon systems are complemented by heavy-duty remotely operated machine guns (RWS) and light machine guns for use against small surface threats. To combat larger surface targets, the Dutch Ministry of Defense is purchasing a successor to the Harpoon anti-ship missile.

                                        The main submarine weapon system is a new torpedo purchased through the “Replacement Mk46 Lightweight Torpedo” project. For defending against enemy torpedoes, the frigates will be fitted with a system capable of deceiving enemy torpedoes. In the future, a so-called hardkill system, an « anti-torpedo system », is yet to be developed. The frigate has room for a 110-strong crew, but 40 extra beds and various rooms are available for mission-specific personnel and their equipment.


                                        • #81
                                          Naval Group starts Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier refit

                                          POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 01 SEPTEMBER 2021 10:40

                                          According to a tweet published by Naval Group on August 31, 2021, the French company starts refit and modernization of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in Toulon.

                                          Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier (Picture source: Twitter account of Naval Group)

                                          The first of this class, named Charles de Gaulle (also referred to as de Gaulle), was ordered in February 1986; construction was started in November 1987. The keel was laid in April 1989, and the ship was launched in May 1994.

                                          De Gaulle is approximately 261 meters long and has a displacement of approximately 40,000 tons. It will accommodate 40 aircraft, including the new Rafale SU 0 class, the Super Etendard (to be replaced by the Rafale SU 2 in 2005), and E-2C Hawkeye early-warning aircraft, as well as several helicopters. There are two catapults, each capable of launching an aircraft every minute. Propulsion is provided by two nuclear reactors of the same design as those used for the new-generation SSBNs.

                                          The flight deck is 261.5 m long, with a 195-m, 8.3° angled-deck portion. Maximum flight deck width is 64.36 m. There are two 75m U.S. Type C13-3 steam catapults, each capable of launching aircraft weighing up to 25t, with one on the angled deck and the other on the port side of the bow, an arrangement that emphasizes deck parking arrangements over ability to launch and land simultaneously.

                                          The hangar can accommodate 23 fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters at one time. The munitions magazines can accommodate 2,100 tons. The ship has the Matra Defense DALAS (Dispositif díaide à I'Appontage au LASer) deck approach and landing laser system.


                                          • DEW
                                            DEW commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            Whenever they replace it, I'll bet we end up paying for most of it.

                                          • Bug2
                                            Bug2 commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            Don't quote me on it, but I seem to remember 2035 as a date..........they've been looking at designs to supplement and then replace her, but so far no contracts...............

                                          • unicorn11
                                            unicorn11 commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            Probably can't afford a new carrier as the money they were expecting to siphon off from the Australian Sub project now won't be eventuating.

                                        • #82

                                          Polish ORP Orkan fast attack craft successfully fires RBS-15 missile

                                          POSTED ON MONDAY, 06 SEPTEMBER 2021 15:14
                                          According to a tweet published by the Armed Forces General Command of Poland on September 2, 2021, the Polish ORP Orkan fast attack craft successfully fired RBS-15 surface-to-surface missiles.

                                          ORP Orkan fast attack craft from the Polish Navy (Picture source: Twitter account of the Armed Forces General Command of Poland)

                                          ORP Orkan is an Orkan-class fast attack craft and sister ship of Grom and Piorun.

                                          The original project was prepared by the German Democratic Republic for its navy and was named Project 660 (Sassnitz class). After the Unification of Germany the unfinished hulls were bought by the Polish Navy from VEB Peenewerft shipyard in Wolgast and successfully completed in Northern Shipyard in Gdańsk.

                                          The RBS-15 (Robotsystem 15) is a long-range fire-and-forget surface-to-surface and air-to-surface anti-ship missile. The later version Mk. III has the ability to attack land targets as well. The missile was developed by the Swedish company Saab Bofors Dynamics.

                                          The RBS15 Mk3 missile has a length of 4.35 m, a fuselage diameter of 0.5 m, and a wingspan of 1.4 m. The launch and in-flight weights of the missile are 800 kg and 650 kg respectively. It can strike targets within the range of 200 km while traveling at a subsonic speed of 0.9 Mach.


                                          • #83
                                            Karel Doorman-class frigate Leopold I to join Standing NATO Maritime Group 1

                                            POSTED ON FRIDAY, 10 SEPTEMBER 2021 11:21
                                            According to information published by the Belgian Navy on September 9, 2021, Karel Doorman-class frigate Leopold I departed from Zeebruges to join the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 or SNMG1.

                                            Karel Doorman-class frigate Leopold I F930 (Picture source: Belgium Navy)

                                            The Leopold I (F930) is a Karel Doorman-class frigate of the Marine Component (Belgian Navy) of the Belgian Armed Forces. It is one of the two frigates of this class purchased from the Royal Netherlands Navy on 22 December 2005.

                                            In December 2005, the defense ministers of the Netherlands and Belgium signed a contract for the sale of two Karel Doorman frigates to the Belgian Navy. Karel Doorman (F827) was transferred to the Belgian Navy in March 2007 and christened Leopold I (F930).

                                            The Leopold I frigate is armed with 16 × RIM-7 Sea Sparrow anti-air VLS (Vertical Launching System), eight Boeing Harpoon anti-ship missile, 2 to FN MAG 7.62 mm machine gun, 2 to 4 Browning M2 12.7 mm machine gun, two Twin-Mark 46 torpedo tubes, one OTO Melara 76 mm naval gun and 1 Goalkeeper CIWS Close-In Weapon System.

                                            The Leopold I ship carries one NH90 NFH NATO frigate helicopter for autonomous anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface ship warfare (AsuW) role.

                                            The Karel Doorman-class frigates are a series of eight multi-purpose vessels built for the Royal Netherlands Navy. Its namesake is Karel Doorman, a Dutch naval officer whose ship was struck by a Japanese torpedo in the battle of the Java Sea in 1942, and who, as a result of which, went down with his ship. Frigates of this class displace 2,800 tonnes and measure 122 meters long. They can reach a maximum speed of 30 knots.


                                            • #84

                                              Lockheed refines bid to modernize the Greek frigate fleet. Here’s what it’s offering.

                                              By Megan Eckstein

                                              Sep 17, 02:09 AM

                                              An artist's rendering of Lockheed Martin's Hellenic Future Frigate design for Greece. (Lockheed Martin)

                                              WASHINGTON — American defense company Lockheed Martin is continuing to update its bid to build the Hellenic Navy’s new frigates and modernize its current ones, with Greece set to choose a path forward for its surface fleet by the end of the year.

                                              Greece has asked for a three-part solution to modernize its surface fleet amid increases in Russian submarine presence in the Mediterranean Sea, migration from Africa across the sea and tension with neighboring Turkey. The Hellenic Navy wants to buy four new frigates, modernize the combat capability of its four current Hydra-class MEKO 200 frigates and receive some kind of interim capability to operate while the MEKOs undergo their upgrade process.

                                              Lockheed Martin — alongside the U.S. Navy, with which the firm is paired for the official United States bid in the competition — thinks it has a winning solution due to the way its Aegis Combat System would link these frigates with the rest of the Hellenic fleet across a network, and due to the company’s promise to send the bulk of construction work to Greek companies.

                                              Additionally, “one of the big benefits of the U.S. offer, as compared to all the other offers, is that this is being done through the U.S. government Foreign Military Sales process. Greece has transacted somewhere near 2,000 Foreign Military Sales cases with the U.S. It’s a very well-established process, it’s a very transparent process,” Jon Rambeau, Lockheed’s vice president and general manager for the Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors business line, told Defense News in a Sept. 10 phone interview.

                                              Five other bids from European shipbuilders appear to be still in contention, but he said Lockheed’s proposal is the only one that is part of an official Foreign Military Sales program, and that therefore comes with all the cost and schedule guarantees the U.S. Navy would expect if it were spending its own money.

                                              In June, Naval News reported that Greece named the six bids on its short list: the Netherland’s Damen (SIGMA 11515 HN); France’s Naval Group (FDI-HN); Italy’s Fincantieri (FREMM); the United Kingdom’s Babcock (Arrowhead 140); Germany’s Blohm+Voss (MEKO A-200); and the United States’ Lockheed Martin.

                                              Rambeau said those bids were given an initial ranking by Greek officials, but that order was not shared with industry.

                                              Rambeau also said that if the American pitch wins, the U.S. Navy would act as “the custodian of Greece’s money” and “will contract with Lockheed Martin, and they will negotiate with us just as hard as if they were procuring this for the U.S. government. And at the end of the day, if there’s money left over in that case, by law the United States will have to return that money back to Greece.”

                                              He’s hoping Greece’s familiarity with the FMS process and with Lockheed Martin, with which the Greek military has worked for more than 50 years, will give the bid an extra boost this fall. Bids are due in November, with a decision expected by the end of the year.

                                              What is Lockheed offering?

                                              Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager for naval combat and missile defense systems, told Defense News in a June interview that Greece’s requirements are based on a need for improved anti-submarine warfare and expanded-area air defense capabilities.

                                              The new construction portion of the U.S. pitch is based on Lockheed’s Freedom-variant littoral combat ship for the U.S. Navy. The LCS was also used as the starting point for the Saudi multimission small combatant currently under construction.

                                              This new frigate, dubbed Hellenic Future Frigate, would be centered around the COMBATSS-21 version of the Aegis Combat System and would be armed with eight Naval Strike Missiles, a 76mm Strales gun, 11 Mk 41 Vertical Launching System tubes and 21 RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles. The ship would include Link 16, Link 22 and Tactical Common Data Link connectivity, enabling it to connect across a network to the rest of the Hellenic military, DePietro told Defense News.

                                              The ship would also come ready to accept the Common Anti-air Modular Missile Extended Range, which features two-way communication between the ship and the missile for better targeting and in-flight updates.

                                              The ship would also be optimized for anti-submarine warfare with many of the systems that are included in the LCS anti-sub warfare mission package, DePietro explained. The SQQ-89 combat suite would help the frigate make sense of the whole operating area by combining information from the frigate’s variable-depth sonar — from dipping sonars employed by MH-60R helicopters and from hull-mounted sonars on other ships in the fleet. That information would inform the firing of anti-submarine rockets either from the frigate or its helicopters.

                                              When it comes to modernizing the MEKO frigates, Lockheed is offering to install an Aegis-based combat system that would integrate these 1990s-era ships with the new frigates, the fleet of MH-60R helicopters, the Hellenic Air Force’s F-16s and more.

                                              DePietro said the MEKO hulls are in decent shape but would need upgrades to their generators and turbines. But the top modernization priorities are to add a common combat system as well as Link 16 and Link 22 compatibility.

                                              Rambeau said the ability to create a link across a network with the rest of Greece’s existing and future aircraft and weapons systems “has been a consistent theme as we think about the upgrades.”

                                              The U.S. Navy would be the one offering the interim solution — likely a few decommissioned ships from the service that could temporarily be given to Greece — until the MEKO upgrades are complete.

                                              A source familiar with the bid but not authorized to talk about the ongoing negotiations between the two countries told Defense News that if the U.S. Navy retires some of its Aegis cruisers or Freedom-class LCSs in fiscal 2022, as it asked Congress to do, then those ships could be the ones sent to Greece for the interim capability.

                                              The Ticonderoga-class cruisers sport the Aegis Combat System that Lockheed is pitching in the new-build and MEKO-upgrade portions of the bid, and the Freedom-variant LCSs would be very similar in design to the new frigates; both are 118 meters in length, with largely the same hull, mechanical and electrical systems and with some of the same combat systems. However, much of the power for anti-submarine warfare capabilities on the LCS comes in an optional mission package, rather than built into the hull.

                                              Industrial base considerations

                                              Lockheed’s Hellenic Future Frigate design is nearly complete, and the company is in varying stages of talks with companies in Greece and throughout Europe to discuss their involvement in construction and in supplying weapons and sensors that Greece requested in its technical specifications.

                                              Last month, Lockheed announced a list of key industry partners on the frigate modernization side of the bid. Companies who have signed formal agreements with Lockheed include Oceanking Technical and Trading, Intracom Defense Electronics, Endeavor Integrated Solutions, Akmon, Metka, Aeroservices, and ALS Naval Ship Designs.

                                              An MH-60S Seahawk helicopter transfers suspected contraband from the Freedom-class LCS Billings to the LCS Sioux City on July 23, 2021. (MC2 Marianne Guemo/U.S. Navy)

                                              Lockheed has been talking to the Skaramangas, Greece, shipyard about working together to build some of the four new frigates there; about what investments would be made to facilities there for this frigate program; and more potential work it could take on.

                                              DePietro said Lockheed previously partnered with shipyards in Spain, Canada, Japan and South Korea, as well as in the U.S. when it paired with Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine Shipyard in Wisconsin for the LCS program. Lockheed helped modernize the foreign yards to build ships to American standards, he added.

                                              The ongoing dialogue with the Skaramangas shipyard“very much reminds me of Marinette circa 2006, and a big part of this program is being able to revitalize and recapitalize Greek shipbuilding and its defense industry, which has kind of fallen off from where they were some 20 years ago in capabilities,” he said.

                                              Rambeau said that an analysis of Lockheed’s proposal shows about a third of the money would be spent in the U.S., a third in Greece and a third elsewhere in Europe. About 70 percent of the labor, though, would take place in Greece to “put money back into the local economy.”

                                              According to a Lockheed document, the frigate program would create 7.7 million hours of labor across a five-year construction timeline for the Greek workforce, with 2,500 skilled jobs at the shipyard alone.

                                              DePietro said a range of options are under discussion with the Greek shipyard regarding which ships the yard would participate in building versus fully constructing. For any ships that are not fully built in Greece, he added, the Fincantieri Marinette Marine yard would be able to take on the work without disrupting the tail end of the LCS production there, the beginning of the U.S. Navy’s Constellation-class frigate construction, or the four-ship Saudi multimission combatant program.

                                              He added that the Hellenic frigate project would benefit the supply chain, where many but not all the companies involved will transition to the Constellation class that Fincantieri will build in Marinette. Fairbanks Morse, for example, provides the LCS engines but is not on the Constellation program. Lake Shore Systems also provides several items for the LCS hull that will not be in the Constellation design.

                                              For companies like them, keeping their production lines hot through their work on the Greek frigate program would benefit the U.S. Navy by allowing it a longer period of time to make decisions on how many spares it wants in the inventory.

                                              Between now and the formal bid submission in November, the U.S. government is seeking congressional approval for the FMS case, and Lockheed is shoring up industry agreements.


                                              • #85
                                                Naval Group launches construction of second FDI frigate

                                                POSTED ON FRIDAY, 24 SEPTEMBER 2021 09:59

                                                According to information published by Mer et Marine on September 23, 2021, the French firm Naval Group launches construction of the second Frigate for defense and intervention or FDI in La Montagne, West France.

                                                Artist rendering of Frigate for defense and intervention or FDI (Picture source: Twitter account of Naval Group)

                                                The FDI frigate is the 5th generation of combat ship for naval supremacy and crisis management. This warship is designed for navies looking for a compact frigate able to perform a large range of missions stand-alone or within a task force either. Like the FREMM, the FDI frigate features high level capabilities in anti-air, antisurface, anti-submarine and asymmetric warfare domains, taking into account French Navy operational legacy acquired in wartime situation.

                                                Its maximum speed is 27 knots and it has an autonomy of 45 days with operational availability of 3500 hours per year. The frigate can accommodate 125 men and women + 28 passengers and will be able to carry at the same time a helicopter (capacity of 10 t, the actual helicopter will weigh 5t) and an Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), developed as part of the SDAM program with Airbus Helicopters.

                                                As the first digital frigate, FDI frigate integrates latest-generation systems around a naval digital distributed cloud architecture, natively cyber-secured and compatible with the new Information Technologies developments and evolutions and provides sailors with adapted services. Different versions are available to embrace the specific needs of each navy.


                                                • #86

                                                  A render from Naval Group illustrating the offered configuration for the Hellenic version of the [email protected]

                                                  New Development In Greece : French Frigates For The Future Hellenic Navy ?

                                                  The newest and most reliable sources have, this week, highlighted the possibility of a French victory in the contract to provide the Hellenic Navy with its future frigates.

                                                  Lorenzo Tual 26 Sep 2021

                                                  The offer would be for 3 FDI-HN frigates and 3 Gowind 2500 corvettes.

                                                  This new turn of events would come at the most opportune time for Naval Group, still shocked by the sudden cancelation of the “contract of the century” for the Attack class with Australia. If the rumours turns true, which often does concerning the Greek program, it would offer them some well awaited good news.

                                                  This would follow the logic of the shortlist released some months ago, which we covered here, where the French offer was placed in the top category along with the Dutch offer from Damen and the Italian one from Fincantieri. We previously analyzed in detail all three ships in this article

                                                  It would end this long running effort from Naval Group to sell the FDI in Greece, following the bilateral talks that soon transformed into a dual competition with Lockeed Martin, only to merge into an international contract featuring all of the world’s greatest shipbuilders.

                                                  The Proposed Ships

                                                  A closer look at the FDI-HN, infographic from Naval Analyses

                                                  The FDI-HN would be offered in the configuration already proposed on the shortlist. Briefly, a 4500 tons frigate equipped with the best radars, with the extremely capable Thales Sea Fire AESA radar, and sonars, with the Kingklip Mk.2 hull mounted sonar and a CAPTAS 4C variable depth sonar, both also from Thales. It would be armed with 32 Sylver A50 cells for Aster 30 SAMs, a RAM CIWS, eight Exocets SSMs in their latest upgrade, two twin launchers for MU90 torpedoes, one 76mn gun and finally, two remotely controlled autocannons.

                                                  The build plan supposedly proposed by Naval Group would be for the three frigates to be built in France with delivery of the first two by 2025 and the third in 2026. One remains in option and could be built by Greek shipyards. With these extreme delivery rates the French avoid the issue of the interim solution, where they did not have a convincing offer.

                                                  However, the principal issue of the FDI-HN still remains. Indeed, the class still lacks any kind of ECMs due to initial French budgetisation and an estimate of 100 million euros will be needed in the future to equip them with such vital systems.

                                                  The Gowind 2500 corvette

                                                  The Gowind 2500 corvette is a newcomer for the Greek contract. This is a mature design also built by Naval Group in their joint venture Kership with the French shipyard Piriou. The corvette has already been chosen by four navies, Egypt, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Romania, for a total of 16 ships ordered.

                                                  This 2400 tons corvette is built for anti-submarine and anti-ships missions while also able to defend itself from aerial threats. For this, it is fitted with the Thales 3D SMART-S mk2 radar as well as the Kingklip Mk.2 hull mounted sonar and a CAPTAS VDS sonar, also from Thales.

                                                  It is armed with a 16 VL-MICA NG in the Greek case, and similarly to the FDI-HN, eight Exocets SSMs, two twin launchers for MU90 torpedoes, one 76mn gun and two remotely controlled autocannons.

                                                  These corvettes are offered instead of the modernisation of the MEKO frigates. The modernisation was planned to cost around a Billion euros, while a Gowind 2500 is estimated at around 350 millions euros, for completely new ships.

                                                  Geopolitical consequences

                                                  Picture of French President Macron and Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis

                                                  This purchase of French frigates for the Hellenic Navy could be announced tomorrow, with the visit of the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Paris, possibly with the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs.

                                                  This would concretize the Franco-Greek relationship, strengthened previously by the order for 18 Rafales in January for 2.5 Billions euros, followed by another order for 6 more, for a total of 24.

                                                  Thus, France plays a significant role in the modernisation of the Hellenic armed forces following increasing tensions with Turkey. France is positioning itself with Greece during these clashes, having experienced it first hand when a Turkish frigate locked onto a French one, causing a major scandal.

                                                  This would be the logical conclusion of this long and eventful story and signify a new age for the Franco-Greek partnership.


                                                  • ADMk2
                                                    ADMk2 commented
                                                    Editing a comment
                                                    The Greeks should now cancel… 😆

                                                  • unicorn11
                                                    unicorn11 commented
                                                    Editing a comment
                                                    That would be beautifully poetic.

                                                • #87
                                                  Naval deployment shows Germany’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific

                                                  28 Sep 2021|Johannes Peters and Justin Burke

                                                  In a week when Australia’s relationship with France was left hanging by a thread due to the cancellation of the Attack-class submarine project, Germany quietly doubled the number of upcoming port visits to Australia by the frigate Bayern during its six-month Indo-Pacific tour, the first mission to the region in more than 20 years.

                                                  While the timing was certainly coincidental, the significance is unmistakeable: China’s loss has been Australia’s gain. Long before FGS Bayern departed Wilhelmshaven last month, Germany sought permission for a port visit to Shanghai. The request arose not for operational reasons, but from dissent within Germany’s coalition government. The Defence Ministry wished to send a clear message with the deployment, whereas the Chancellery and Foreign Office insisted on appeasing China. The appeasers won.

                                                  But the request put China in a position of being able to withhold its consent pending promises of ‘good behaviour’ in relation to the Bayern’s transit through the South China Sea. That China prematurely yielded this card in refusing to grant access far in advance of the Bayern’s arrival might hint at a discreet effort at damage control by German diplomats. Australia was quick to capitalise and roll out a second welcome mat in Darwin, timed to follow the long-planned visit to Western Australia.

                                                  Currently in Perth, where strict Covid-19 restrictions remain in place, the crew of FGS Bayern will be officially welcomed to naval base HMAS Stirling with a commanding officer’s luncheon on 30 September—‘VIP attendance is expected’, says the Department of Defence—to be followed by an official reception and wreath-laying ceremony to mark Germany Unity Day at Kings Park on 3 October.

                                                  As is typical on a naval diplomatic mission, the German frigatewill participate in a number of exercises at sea with the Royal Australian Navy and various other regional navies. Other activities with the Australian Defence Force are also planned. No major announcements have been flagged, but observers will be watching for the possibility discussed earlier this year by German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer of German officers being deployed within the RAN. ‘Germany is a valued defence partner, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to strengthen cooperation between our navies in this region,’ a Defence spokesperson told The Strategist. It comes after Germany participated as an observer nation for the first time this year at Exercise Talisman Sabre.

                                                  Germany and Australia have common interests in a free and open Indo-Pacific. Germany launched its Indo-Pacific guidelines last year, emphasising its concerns about global supply chains and the security of its maritime trading routes. This was followed by the launch of the largely congruent EU Indo-Pacific strategy this month.

                                                  In Germany, the deployment is seen as a remarkable gesture, due in part to the society’s general reluctance to deploy military forces and the fact that the Deutsche Marine has only 10 similar ships of various classes, rendering them a scarce commodity with many competing operational demands.

                                                  It’s inescapable that one frigate is a modest signal in comparison to the astonishingly high levels of activity in the region, not least the British carrier strike group, comprising aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth with several destroyers, frigates, logistics ships and a submarine. The UK is following this with a five-year Indo-Pacific deployment of two offshore patrol vessels. For its part, Australia is currently conducting Indo-Pacific Endeavour ’21—its premier naval diplomatic activity—across Southeast Asia under the command of Commodore Mal Wise.

                                                  The Bayern’s deployment can also be seen in the context of ‘clearing of the decks’ before a seismic moment in German politics: the retirement of Angela Merkel after 16 years in office and the election held on Sunday. In June, before the campaign period, the Germany parliamentary budget committee also approved €19 billion ($30 billion) in long pending and sometimes controversial defence acquisitions, including the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, two new Type 212CD submarines, new fleet oilers and the replacement of the Deutsche Marine’s signals intelligence ships. As a new coalition government is hammered out in the coming months, significant uncertainty about defence policy and procurement priorities will persist.

                                                  In any case, some have argued that too much European naval commitment to the Indo-Pacific could also be undesirable, if it comes at the expense of focusing on the increasing security challenges posed by Russia. The point was made by retired Australian rear admiral James Goldrick in a recent publication:
                                                  Australia welcomes European powers having an active role in the Indo-Pacific and regular deployments of European naval forces in the region, but a more coherent geostrategic approach would see Europe focus—and increase—its naval and military efforts on Europe, while the United States and other Indo-Pacific powers continue to reorganise to balance China.

                                                  US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin echoed that sentiment during remarks at the Fullerton Lecture in Singapore in July.

                                                  Accordingly, the modest but important German deployment of FGS Bayern, with its two visits to Australia, may prove to be genau richtig, or just right.


                                                  Johannes Peters is head of the Center for Maritime Strategy and Security at the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK). Justin Burke is a non-resident fellow of Center for Maritime Strategy and Security at ISPK and a PhD candidate in naval strategy at Macquarie University in Sydney. Images: German Embassy in Australia/Twitter and German Ministry of Defence/Twitter.


                                                  • Bug2
                                                    Bug2 commented
                                                    Editing a comment
                                                    What Merkel's government is doing in it's dying days is irrelevant to what the next government does, IF anything.

                                                  • unicorn11
                                                    unicorn11 commented
                                                    Editing a comment
                                                    One frigate tour every 5 or 6 years isn't going to impress anyone in the Asia Pacific, nor is it going to influence anyone's policy position one iota.

                                                • #88

                                                  Greece Signs MOU With Naval Group And MBDA For FDI Frigates

                                                  Greece signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Naval Group and MBDA opening negotiations for the supply of three FDI HN frigates plus one in option.

                                                  Naval News Staff 28 Sep 2021

                                                  Naval Group press release

                                                  Nikólaos Panayotópoulos, Greek Minister of Defense, Pierre Eric Pommellet, Chairman and CEO of Naval Group, and Eric Béranger, Chairman and CEO of MBDA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on September 28 to open negotiations for the supply of three FDI HN frigates and their equipment to the Hellenic Navy, with an option for one additional frigate.

                                                  The FDI frigates will be built at Naval Group’s Lorient shipyard, where the second in the series has just entered production.

                                                  The FDI HN will be an asset of power and sovereignty for Greece.

                                                  With the HN defence and intervention frigates, the Hellenic Navy will have a state-of-the-art, high-performance surface fleet.

                                                  A first-class frigate, the FDI HN combines the best technologies from Naval Group, Thales and MBDA, which will supply the ASTER 30 B1 and Exocet MM40 Block 3c missiles. It will be fully interoperable with European and NATO fleets.

                                                  Greece will become the second customer for this multi-mission frigate, bringing the total number of units produced from five for the French Navy to eight plus one as an option.


                                                  • unicorn11
                                                    unicorn11 commented
                                                    Editing a comment
                                                    Now we just need the Greeks to play along for a few months, then cancel.

                                                    It would be great to see Macron's head explode.

                                                  • ADMk2
                                                    ADMk2 commented
                                                    Editing a comment
                                                    Would be amazing, but I doubt it.

                                                    Deal is for 3+1 HDI Frigates and a pair of existing Gowind frigates, plus an additional 6x Rafale fighters pushing the HAF fleet up to 24x Rafales.

                                                    Handy upgrade to Greek forces. I’m sure the Turks are not particularly impressed.

                                                • #89
                                                  Greece signs pact to buy three frigates from France

                                                  By Sebastian Sprenger

                                                  Sep 29, 05:17 AM

                                                  Two Naval Group FDI frigates are shown at sea in a notional combat situation in this graphic supplied by the French shipbuilder. (Naval Group)

                                                  WASHINGTON – The Greek ministry of defense has committed to buying three frigates from France’s Naval Group with weaponry supplied by MBDA in a potential $3.5 billion deal, the companies announced Sept. 28.

                                                  The memorandum of understanding comes as French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a strategic defense partnership between the two countries in Paris on the same day.

                                                  The details of a contract will be negotiated during the next three months, according to French defense spokesman Hervé Grandjean.

                                                  The three frigates, plus one as an option later on, are of the FDI configuration, which stands for frégate de defense et d’intervention. Workers at Naval Group’s shipyard in Lorient, Brittany, would build the vessels, the company said in a statement.

                                                  If it comes to a contract, the Hellenic Navy’s first two vessels would be able to jump the line in the French Navy’s production run, with delivery dates eyed for early and late 2025, respectively, Grandjean told reporters in Paris. The third ship is slated for delivery in 2026.

                                                  The vessels’ armaments include the Aster 30 B1 and Exocet MM40 Block 3C missiles.

                                                  The French defense establishment remains shaken after suddenly losing a $66 billion deal for Naval Group to build diesel-electric submarines for Australia. The Australians decided to change course and pursue a new fleet of nuclear-powered boats with help from the United Sates and the U.K.

                                                  That deal was also underwritten on the government level by a strategic partnership on defense matters — similar to language used today by Greek and French leaders.

                                                  Asked about the prospect of Greece’s commitment similarly falling through, Grandjean said officials had “no doubt about a good outcome” by year’s end.

                                                  Greece is already buying 24 Rafale fighter jets — some used, some new — from French maker Dassault.

                                                  U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin also had been vying for the Greek naval contract. The company recently refined its bid, based on the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship for the U.S. Navy, Defense News reported.


                                                  • #90

                                                    Artist Rendering of OSI Maritime Systems’ Integrated Bridge Management System for the F126 Program

                                                    OSI To German Navy F126 Program With Integrated Bridge Management Systems

                                                    OSI Maritime Systems (OSI) announced that it has been selected by Damen Naval to provide a comprehensive navigation suite to the Federal German Navy’s F126 program.

                                                    Naval News Staff 08 Oct 2021

                                                    Powered by ECPINS, OSI’s IBMS is Proven, Compliant and Certified. German Navy becomes OSI’s 24th Naval Customer.

                                                    OSI Maritime press release

                                                    The contract includes Integrated Bridge Management Systems (IBMS) for the frigates and land-based test and training sites (Landanlage), all powered by ECPINS.

                                                    ECPINS forms the heart of OSI’s IMO type-approved Integrated Navigation System – MSC 252(83), and is the leading WECDIS among NATO and Allied navies, representing over 35 years of continuous development. Already 80% compliant to STANAG 4564 Edition 3, ECPINS is on a funded development track to full compliance.
                                                    “It’s an honour to have the German Navy as our 24th customer and have the Navy experience the exceptional capabilities of OSI’s Warship IBMS and WECDIS systems. More so, the system design will share the same commonality, scalability, and ECPINS navigation performance with that of other NATO and Allied customers.”
                                                    Ken Kirkpatrick, President and CEO.

                                                    The ECPINS family consists of versions for Surface Ships, Submarines, and High-Speed Small Craft, enabling fleet commonality, interoperability, and reduced maintenance and training costs. In addition, ECPINS and OSI’s IBMS underlying technology allows for integration into an array of other warship systems. As part of this program, the IBMS will be integrated into the Thales TACTICOS Management System and provide the Position Navigation and Time (PNT) for all the F126 systems and networks.

                                                    Jim Davison, VP Business Development, added:
                                                    “ECPINS is ideally suited to the German Navy because ECPINS pilotage features are all based upon the Royal Navy BR45 Navigation series and are employed by the majority of NATO and close Allied navies. In addition, ECPINS also provides powerful operational benefits such as a military-grade chart engine, advanced automatic Pool of Errors, GNSS Denied, and Tactical Data Sharing between Surface ships and small craft ECPINS”.

                                                    As a result of OSI’s growing regional customer base and commitment to service, the company is extending its support hub in the UK. Over 40 program managers, system engineers and maintenance experts will support its customer Navies in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Also, OSI is finalizing arrangements for German local industrial participation for the F126 and other German Naval programs.


                                                    • #91

                                                      MEKO A-300 infographic (Credit: TKMS)

                                                      TKMS Lifts Veil On Powerful MEKO A-300 Class Frigate

                                                      On September 29-30, a representative from Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) provided data on the Meko-A300 class frigate design that the company is proposing to the Polish Navy as part of the Miecznik program at a conference hosted by the Polish defence media outlet Defence 24.

                                                      Tayfun Ozberk 10 Oct 2021

                                                      The MEKO-A300 is a powerful frigate sporting 68 surface-to-air missiles, 42 point-defence missiles and 16 anti-ship missiles...

                                                      On September 29-30, a representative from Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) provided data on the MEKO A-300PL class frigates that the company is proposing to the Polish Navy as part of the Miecznik program at a conference hosted by the Polish defence media outlet Defence 24.

                                                      According to the information and infographics provided by the firm, MEKO A-300 class frigates will be strongly equipped and fully functional assets capable of fighting in three operating environments: the air, the surface, and the subsurface.

                                                      TKMS representative retired Admiral Kamerman said:
                                                      “The MEKO A-300 project was specifically developed to secure actions in high-risk air, surface, and subsurface conditions, such as those present on NATO’s eastern flank in the Baltic Sea region,”

                                                      Survivability (resistance to adversary operations), detection reduction by all available technical observation systems (stealth technology), lethality (ability to hit specific targets), and adaptability to diverse missions were presented as the four key strengths of the MEKO A-300.
                                                      MEKO-A300 design:

                                                      TKMS infographic

                                                      To improve firefighting and NBC protection, the ship is divided into two primary zones (front and aft islands, a feature already adopted in the F125 class frigate of the German Navy). Furthermore, the ship’s weaponry and sensors are split into two islands in order to keep the ship fighting while also coping with fire or damage.

                                                      The frigate’s missile, gun, and torpedo weapons are specifically zoned. Aside from the ECD antenna system, the sensors were further divided by placing two navigation radars on the front mast and one on the back mast, for example. The Combat Information Center (CIC) has also been doubled. The primary CIC is usually found in the forward section, while a backup (smaller) CIC has been located near the stern (behind the task deck under the hangar).

                                                      The ship will be constructed with stealth technologies to lower radar cross-section and thermal signature in comparison to similarly-sized frigates.

                                                      MEKO A-300 Armament:

                                                      Armament infographic of the Meko-A300 frigates

                                                      The MEKO A-300 frigates will be armed with two VLS systems, according to the infographics: a Mk 41 VLS 4×8 cells in the forward section loaded with SHORAD/MRAD/LRAD/TBMD missiles, and a 36-cell VLS between masts launching MRAD. The ships would be armed with 2 RAM launchers (carrying 21 missiles each) for close-in missile defence. The new frigates appear to be outfitted with a multi-layered air defence system that includes a range of SAMs. As a result, the MEKO A-300 frigate can engage sixteen air targets simultaneously with at least two missiles.

                                                      Four quad launchers will be mounted between two masts and will be used to launch anti-ship or land-attack missiles against surface and land targets. Two triple 324 mm torpedo launchers will be deployed on the starboard and port sides to engage subsurface targets.

                                                      The main gun will be a 127/64 mm Vulcano. Along with the RAM point defence missile system (PDMS), the ships will receive two High Energy Laser (HEL) systems (front and rear), which will most likely be used to counter low-slow flyers like drones. The ships will be armed with two 35/40 mm cannons and two 12.7 mm remote weapon systems.

                                                      Mission Modules:

                                                      Mission Module part of MEKO A-300

                                                      Mission Modules are one of the most significant components of the MEKO A-300 frigates. The stern slip on the module provides for the very quick release and retrieval of at least two flat-bottomed motorboats up to 11 m in length. This technology provides the use of boarding and inspection units, sea commandos, and other types of unmanned surface vessels.

                                                      These modules can also be outfitted with towed array sonar for anti-submarine warfare.

                                                      Container-based task modules may also include 533 mm heavy-torpedo launchers, sea mines, additional stations for ship system operators, field medical components, spare BCI elements, and additional embarkation points, among other things. Everything is predicated on the available options and the mission plan.

                                                      As part of the Miecznik (Swordfish) initiative, Poland has formed a consortium comprising of the Polish Armaments Group and the PGZ Naval Shipyard to purchase three frigate-sized coastal defence boats for the navy. According to the schedule, qualification testing on the single prototype frigate is planned to be completed by June 2028. The second frigate will be delivered to the Polish Navy in 2033, followed by the third ship in 2034. It was announced in early August that three shipbuilders, TKMS of Germany, Babcock of the UK and Navantia of Spain have been shortlisted by the Polish Government to prepare a concept design and feasibility study as part of Project MIECZNIK.

                                                      TKMS was previously proposing the MEKO A-300 design to Greece for the future frigate program of the Hellenic Navy. This bid however appears to have been unsuccessful following the announcement of an MOU between the Greek Government and French shipbuilder Naval Group for 3 FDI frigates.


                                                      • Bug2
                                                        Bug2 commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        Sorry mate, I know what you mean, just couldn't help myself..........very amused I was!

                                                        I have been on a Supply Boat in seriously bad weather, a really big one. We were carrying an urgently needed diesel generator, again a bloody big one, but had to run before the storm to try and make the Fjord, best place to be in bad weather.........anyways..........

                                                        I agree modern science and Sat info is utterly priceless for modern naval warfare OR merchant marine. They provide vital info to allow safe travel way beyond anything ever achieved previously.

                                                        However, this TKMS design still suffers from nose forward, and heavier than it should be. From this aspect, Type 31 is far better and more robust in any bad weather they cannot run from, and you'd still be able to load the 31 with as much weaponry IF people needed. This design looks very "glitzy" with all of the hardware, but reality may result in a final layout that bears little resemblance.
                                                        Last edited by Bug2; 12-10-21, 10:01 AM.

                                                      • magnify
                                                        magnify commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        lol ... not a problem.

                                                      • unicorn11
                                                        unicorn11 commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        I was referring to the sort of weather being experienced by the French destroyer Latouche-Treville, as seen in this video. I've encountered similar weather in a RAN DDG in the southern Tasman and it was...extremely unpleasant.

                                                        D 646 Latouche Treville in huge sea storm, filmed from an helicopter. Video clip is from the 2009 Disneynature movie, OceansAt the beginning and at the end o...

                                                    • #92

                                                      French Navy picture.

                                                      French Aircraft Carrier Back At Sea Following Maintenance Period

                                                      The flagship of the French Navy (Marine Nationale), aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, went back to sea in late September following a three-month long maintenance period. The vessel is set to take part in a large scale "high intensity combat" exercise by year-end.

                                                      Xavier Vavasseur 11 Oct 2021

                                                      According to the French Navy, the aircraft carrier has sailed after a major maintenance period. Work focused on the modernization of its combat system, but also after improving the living conditions of the crew.
                                                      Now it’s time for the ship to get back up to speed. For this new crew, which has been in place for three weeks now, it is a matter of continuing to learn about this complex ship; to get to know it in its smallest details for those who have just arrived and to share their knowledge for the older ones.
                                                      French Navy

                                                      The sea trials which took place in late September allowed the crew to operate the aircraft carrier “in real conditions”, to test and refine the settings of the platform, the installations and the combat system, while re-training on the fundamentals. After only a few hours out at sea, several Rafale M trapped on the carrier.

                                                      The ramp-up of the aircraft carrier and its crew will continue in the coming weeks with the School of Embarked Aviation, with the aim of qualifying new French Navy pilots for day and night landings.

                                                      The advanced exercise “POLARIS” will follow: It will place the aircraft carrier and French carrier strike group in a high-intensity combat preparation scenario. The large scale exercise will involve the French Army and French Air Force, as well as nearly 50% of the first rank (front line) surface combatants of the French Navy.


                                                      • #93
                                                        Navantia will build the BAM-IS for the Spanish Navy

                                                        Virtual image of the future BAM IS (Maritime Action Ship of Underwater Intervention) of the Spanish Navy. (Image: Navantia)

                                                        The vessel will be built at the Navantia shipyard in Puerto Real, specialized in large vessels

                                                        Translated from Spanish hence the weird Engrish at times............

                                                        The construction of the Maritime Action Ship of Underwater Intervention (BAM-IS) for the Spanish Navy by Navantia will involve more than 1.3 million hours of work in the Bay of Cádiz (Spain).

                                                        The BAM-IS work, including engineering work, will generate around 1,100 jobs over three and a half years, adding direct, indirect and induced employment. Almost 160 will be direct employees of Navantia, about 300 will correspond to the collaborating industry and another 660 will be generated in suppliers and other companies.

                                                        All this will mean that, for three and a half years, a direct and indirect added value for the economy of approximately 54 million euros per year will be generated, and an aggregate demand of 159 million euros per year.

                                                        Navantia works at the same time on the Avante 2200 program for Saudi Arabia at its San Fernando shipyard, the F-110 frigate program for the Spanish Navy in Ferrol and the S-80 submarine program in Cartagena.

                                                        The future BAM-IS will have among its missions diving operations, rescue, support for the rescue and rescue of stricken submarines, intervention and rescue in accidents and shipwrecks and surveillance and monitoring of underwater heritage.

                                                        The construction of this vessel poses a challenge from the point of view of integrating the systems, sensors and equipment it must carry to address its wide range of missions. It will therefore represent a new technological advance for Navantia, which already has a recognized experience as a systems integrator, and will allow it to expand its product catalog and potential markets.

                                                        Ships with underwater intervention capability are expected to be a product with increasing international demand given the expected increase in the number of submarines.


                                                        • ARHmk3
                                                          ARHmk3 commented
                                                          Editing a comment
                                                          Translated from Spanish hence the weird Engrish at times............
                                                          The official term is Spanglish. Engrish is the more Asiatic languages.

                                                        • Bug2
                                                          Bug2 commented
                                                          Editing a comment
                                                          I stand corrected...........well, actually, sitting on the couch!

                                                      • #94

                                                        Patrouilleur de haute-mer (PHM) "Commandant Birot". French Navy Ageing PHMs and PSPs Patrol Vessels to be Replaced with 10 new OPVs. French Navy picture.

                                                        Naval Group Secures Design Contract For French Navy’s Future Ocean Patrol Vessels

                                                        On 5 October 2021, the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) awarded Naval Group the contract for the preliminary and detailed design of the Ocean Patrol Vessel (PO for "Patrouilleurs Océanique" in French) program.

                                                        Naval News Staff 14 Oct 2021

                                                        Naval Group press release

                                                        This award follows on from the signature of the framework agreement carried by the French Defence Procurement Agency on 23 October 2020 for the study, development, production and initial operational maintenance of ten ocean patrol vessels for the French Navy.

                                                        A first contract had been awarded to Naval Group for the design and value analysis and was approved by the French Defence Procurement Agency on 23 June 2021. The company has now been awarded a second contract for the preliminary and detailed design of the Ocean Patrol Vessels. Another contract will then be awarded to Naval Group for a ship construction monitoring service.

                                                        The Ocean Patrol Vessels program aims at the renewal of the patrol vessels stationed in mainland France, namely the high seas patrol vessels (ex-avisos A69) based in Brest and Toulon, and the public service patrol vessels based in Cherbourg. The mission of these ocean patrol vessels will include support to deterrence, autonomous situation assessment in areas of sovereignty or interest, escort, evacuation of nationals, sovereignty and protection of national interests in the maritime approaches.

                                                        This program is part of an innovative industrial scheme involving collaboration between civil and military entities. Naval Group, as overall project architect, is in charge of the design of these ships. The French Defence Procurement Agency will then entrust the construction to all or part of the production shipyards who were awarded the framework agreement for deliveries between 2025 and 2029.

                                                        Naval Group welcomes the launch of this second phase of the Ocean Patrol Vessel program and states:
                                                        Faced with the increase in maritime traffic and the proliferation of threats at sea, Naval Group is proud to contribute to the renewal of France’s naval capabilities by designing multimission vessels that offer the French Navy genuine operational superiority with a situational awareness capability superior to that of the patrol vessels currently in service.


                                                        Naval News comments:

                                                        The future ten ocean-going patrol vessels known as PO (Patrouilleurs Océanique) programme will replace the current fleet of aging A69 type PHM (formerly Aviso/light frigates and then reclassed as patrol vessels) based in Brest and Toulon and the Patrouilleurs de Service Public (PSP) or Flamant-class (OPV 54 class) based in Cherbourg.

                                                        With a displacement of around 2,000 tonnes and a length of around 90 meters, the new PO platform will be able to achieve a maximum speed of 22 knots and an endurance of 5500 nm or 40 days of sea operations, revealed the head officer of French Navy’s Protection and Safeguarding Office, Future Naval programmes, at the recent IQPC’s OPV International 2020 conference. The new platform lifetime is indicated in 35 years with a requested availability of 140 days at sea per year (aiming to 220) and total availability of 300 days per year.

                                                        The “PO” OPVs are set to be fitted with a 40mm main gun, the RAPIDFire by Nexter and Thales. They will also be fitted with the ‘SMDM’ Aliaca fixed-wing UAV by Surveycopter (an Airbus company).


                                                        • #95

                                                          Courbet berthed in Toulon naval base following her upgrade (note the Sadral launcher on top of the helicopter hangar).

                                                          First Upgraded La Fayette-Class Frigate Back Into The French Fleet

                                                          The French Navy's first upgraded La Fayette-class frigate, "Courbet", was handed over to the French defense procurement agency (DGA) on 13 September 2021 following sea trials. Meanwhile, upgrade work on a second frigate, first-in-class ship La Fayette, started on 4 October 2021.

                                                          Xavier Vavasseur 18 Oct 2021

                                                          Upgrade work on La Fayette is set to be completed in the Summer of 2022. The final upgraded frigate, Courbet, is set to be delivered in 2023. Three of the French Navy’s five La Fayette-class frigate (local designation: FLF for light stealth frigate) are concerned by the upgrade work: the Courbet, the La Fayette and the Aconit. The nine-month long upgrade work provides them with new capabilities, while extending their service life beyond 2030. The three frigates will sailing alongside the future FDI frigates. They will even help “fill the gap” caused by the small delay in deliveries caused the procurement of FDI frigates by the Hellenic Navy.

                                                          Worth around 400 million euros, the upgrade consists in the addition of a KingKlip Mk2 hull-mounted medium-frequency sonar from Thales to provide the three frigates with anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities. The combat system and electro-optic surveillance capabilities are also upgraded while the frigate’s structural strength and stability are improved.

                                                          One of the two MBDA Sadral systems aboard Courbet. Note the Crotale launcher in the background, aboard sistership Guepratte.

                                                          The obsolete CROTALE anti-air warfare system is replaced by two MBDA Sadral sextuple launchers taken from decommissioned Georges Leygues-class ASW frigates. They are refurbished in order to operate the new MISTRAL 3 missile. While the missile doesn’t have the range and payload of the Crotale, it is adapted to counter new asymmetrical threats as well as sea skimming anti-ship missiles. Alongside its anti-aircraft and anti-missile ability, the Mistral 3 can destroy fast surface vessel, including USVs and fast attack boats.

                                                          The DGA acts as project authority, while Naval Group is in charge of the industrial project. Maintenance work is being carried out simultaneously by Chantiers de l’Atlantique under the supervision of the Fleet Support Service (SSF) of the French Navy, in the form of a collaborative work platform involving all partners at the Toulon naval base.

                                                          According to the DGA, the project is on schedule despite the pandemic. The upgrade work on Courbet ended with a sea trials phase. These tests demonstrated:
                                                          • the ship’s maneuverability capabilities despite the increase in its displacement (over 80 tons)
                                                          • confirmed that acoustic discretion levels (one of the strength of the La Fayette-class) remained low
                                                          • achieved the maximum speed objectives
                                                          • validated the integration of a the new combat management system (The original Thales TAVITAC CMS has been replaced by a new SENIT FLF system which is a scaled version of the upgraded SENIT 8 CMS fitted to the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle).

                                                            Finally, the technical feat is the physical and functional integration of the underwater detection capability: a sonar dome measuring 1.5 m wide by 5 m long and 1.8 m high. The performance of this sonar, the KingKlip Mk 2, has proven to be very satisfactory.

                                                          Naval News was aboard Courbet in July 2021. To learn more about the La Fayette-class upgrade program, check out our video at this link:


                                                          • ARHmk3
                                                            ARHmk3 commented
                                                            Editing a comment
                                                            I really think they could have done better than Mistral...

                                                          • Bug2
                                                            Bug2 commented
                                                            Editing a comment
                                                            They could have installed MICA NG preferably in a VLS set-up, but equally in the current launcher in new boxes, 40km range...........BUT Mistral is dirt cheap compared, and therein lies the reason for the selection!

                                                          • ADMk2
                                                            ADMk2 commented
                                                            Editing a comment
                                                            They are also extremely lightweight installations too, that can be mounted just about anywhere… The original ANZAC Class warfighting improvement program was going to include no less than four of these per ANZAC frigate. The whole mount plus 6 missiles combined only weighs 1000 odd kgs, compared to about 6000kg for something like SeaRAM.

                                                            If the Arafura were to get a ‘survivability upgrade’ something like this could see 2 systems installed with 12 reloadable missiles with up to 10k range for about 2000kgs in total and installable almost anywhere on the vessel…

                                                            Putting a 20k surface to air missile bubble around an Arafura makes it a much more survivable asset…

                                                            I think 4 of these sited alongside the existing 25mm guns on the LHD’s would be a worthwhile investment as well…

                                                        • #96

                                                          Suffren SSN during sea trials in 2020, South of Toulon. French Navy picture.

                                                          World’s Newest Class Of Nuclear Attack Submarine: Rare Access Inside Suffren

                                                          Leading Navies are secretive about the full capabilities of their submarines. In a rare privilege, Naval News has been allowed aboard the French Navy's (Marine Nationale) newest boat, Suffren. Here is what it is like to step inside a next generation nuclear-powered attack submarine.

                                                          Xavier Vavasseur 21 Oct 2021

                                                          We were first welcomed at Toulon naval base by the commander of ESNA (Escadrille des Sous-Marins Nucléaire d’Attaque), the French SSN fleet, Commander Jérôme Colonna d’Istria who introduced the French submarine force.

                                                          The force has a total of 3,200 sailors, 1,500 of them serve aboard the SSBNs and SSNs. France currently has four Le Triomphant-class SSBNs, and six attack submarines: five Rubis-class and the first-in-class Suffren.

                                                          Commander Colonna D’Istria explained while Suffren was delivered last year, operational missions are still being fulfilled by the 5 remaining Rubis-class SSNs which have now been serving the French Navy for three decades:
                                                          “These are submarines that we have kept up to date in a remarkable way and that have reached a significant operational maturity. The participation of the Emeraude in an Indo-Pacific deployment in early 2021 is the most obvious example of that maturity”.

                                                          That being said, the arrival of the Suffren-class submarines brings a lot of change for the ESNA.
                                                          “The Suffren is more stealthy, brings more endurance and firepower compared to the Rubis-class submarines. All this calls for new developments on our part, new tactics, new know-how which is currently our main focus with the Suffren: We have a lot of experimentation and tactical developments to do […] it is more agile, it is more stealthy therefore it calls for new tactics in all warfare domains”.
                                                          Commander Colonna D’Istria
                                                          Barracuda type SSN Suffren navigating South of Toulon. ©Axel Manzano/Marine Nationale/Défense.
                                                          The trials are now in the phase of “validation of military characteristics”. They are currently focusing on the weapon systems: The Suffren comes with two new weapons for the French Navy: The Naval Cruise Missile (MdCN by MBDA) and the F21 heavyweight torpedo by Naval Group. The validation of military characteristics consist in checking if the platform that was handed over last year by Naval Group to the procurement agency DGA meets the military need of the Navy. It is a lengthy process:
                                                          “The Suffren already spent more than 120 days at sea so far in 2021, over 3,000 hours dived […] we sailed the boat all the way to the Equator, we were able to evaluate its endurance over several dozen days.”
                                                          “The boat already fired about a dozen torpedoes. More firings will be conducted because we are in an incremental development process”
                                                          “We also validated the lock-out chamber for the naval special forces”.

                                                          Naval News also learned that Suffren called at Crete Naval Base (NATO Naval Support Activity, Souda Bay) to validate the submarine’s ability to interface with NATO standard naval bases and berths. The Suffren is set to enter active duty “in the coming months”.
                                                          “In terms of displacement, the Suffren-class is double the displacement of the Rubis-class, 5,100 tons compared to 2,600 tons, but at the same time Suffren has a smaller crew (63 compared to 72)”

                                                          The Suffren-class SSN is designed to perform in both blue water and littoral areas, and to do so further, longer and with more firepower than its Rubis-class predecessors. It is equipped with a highly automated platform management system and an innovative propulsion system. The Suffren‘s “silent speed” is double that of the Rubis-class SSN.

                                                          Another field where Suffren brings a revolution: Maintenance. The new submarine need just one technical stop per year (which lasts about 2.5 months) and may spend over 200 days at sea following these overhaul periods. This is thanks, among other things, to the implementation of predictive maintenance. To accommodate the Suffren-class, new infrastructures (berth, docks, cranes…) are being built at Toulon naval base.

                                                          Importance of the ENSM/BPN training faciliy

                                                          Training of submariners on the “Neptune” simulator. French Navy picture.
                                                          “For ESNA, the challenge of the decade to come will be to train our 1000 submariners for the new capabilities brought by the Suffren. For this, the key to success is the human resource tool that is the school of underwater navigation”
                                                          “One of the great successes of the Barracuda program was to think of this tool well in advance of the boat’s arrival. The simulators were delivered in 2015.”
                                                          Commander Colonna D’Istria

                                                          We were then shown the facility where French submariners are trained. Located right by the ESNA headquarters, it is the submarine navigation school (ENSM/BPM for école de navigation sous-marine et des bâtiments à propulsion nucléaire). For the past 100 years, this school is training French submarine crews (as well as the personnel in charge of the nuclear power aboard aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle). Over 600 sailors are trained every year, 20% of them officer grade. The school has 8 full scale simulators which train in the field of nuclear propulsion, platform management and even tactical combat in land attack, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare (for this, some of the simulators can be network allowing 1 on 1 or cooperative engagement). The school also use virtual reality technology to train the “rondiers” (sailors conducting security rounds, there are 6 of them aboard Suffren-class SSNs) with a fully immersive 3D representation of the submarine. It features interactive knobs and valves. The tool was developed by Naval Group who worked with a video game producer for the visual aspect. The tool is impressive and proves to be very effective with new generation of sailors.

                                                          Having access to the advanced simulators so early in advance helped ESNA to not only train the first crews of Suffren on how to operated the submarine, but also to work on the organization inside the submarine, to work on training programs and to start developing new tactics.

                                                          Aboard Suffren

                                                          At the Propulsion control station (Poste de contrôle propulsion or PCP), the helmsman is supervised by the XO. The submarine is driven by two joysticks. French Navy picture.

                                                          It was time to step aboard the Suffren. Commander Antoine Richebé, the commanding officer of Suffren welcomed us. We had to leave our smartphones and smartwatches behind us. The French Navy treats Suffren as a very sensitive asset. We accessed the submarine via a ladder located aft of the sail, in the same area where the lock-out chamber for special forces is located. We then entered the CIC. My main impressions were “space” and “modernity”. I previously had the privilege to step inside only two submarines: HNLMS Bruinvis, a Dutch Walrus-class submarine and HSwMS Södermanland of the Swedish Navy. Both are from the late 1980ies, both are much smaller diesel submarines. Therefore the comparison is not fair: The CIC of Suffren (and generally speaking every compartments aboard) is much more modern and much more spacious (relatively speaking). You really feel you stepped in a next generation and state-of-the-art vessel. Yet, I was naively expecting a fully digital set up. However there are still “good old” manual and physical valve wheels, knobs, pressure gauges a little bit everywhere onboard (expect in the mess, berthing compartments and maybe a lot less, but still present here and there, in the CIC). I was told this was obviously for safety reasons and that “full digital” setups aboard submarines is not likely to happen any times soon…

                                                          To give you a good idea of how the CIC of Suffren is, this CGI video is a pretty accurate representation:

                                                          The CIC consists features 10 multifunction consoles, plus a central seat for the commanding officer and a large tactile table which can be used for cooperative mission planning, navigation, show footage from the optronic masts…

                                                          While all consoles are multifunction and the same (except two which feature joysticks to steer the various masts), the CIC aboard Suffren is organized in the following way:
                                                          • Two consoles to the right of the commanding officer (CO) are dedicated to sonars
                                                          • One console to the right of the CO is dedicated to the acoustic analyst (the so called “oreille d’or”, French for golden ear)
                                                          • The next console on the right is dedicated to the MOAS and terrain following. Fun fact: The CO explained that the French Navy is working on a technology that would allow to submarine crew to precisely identifying their location by analyzing the shape of the bottom of the sea. He showed us on the screen a 3D representation of the sea bottom. This would obviously only work in well documented area but it a big plus in GPS denied environment or if the submarine needs to remain dived for extended periods and can not re-calibrate its INS.
                                                          • The final console on the right hand side is dedicated to the optronic masts.
                                                          • To the left of the CO is the second console dedicated to the optronic masts.
                                                          • Two tactical consoles (including EW)
                                                          • One console for weapons engagement
                                                          • One console for the F21 torpedo (where the operator can steer the torpedo as long as the optical fiber is still attached to it)
                                                          In the CIC, around the chart table, the CO, the XO and acoustic analysts plan the continuation of the transit according to the tactical situation of the submarine. French Navy picture.

                                                          Virtually all the equipment in the CIC is of French origin. I did spot however a “Falcon II” radio by Harris. I enquired about it and the Commanding Officer explained that this radio is needed in specific situations involving NATO or US units because of specific encryption.

                                                          Commander Richebé explained that in combat operations, there can be up to 15 sailors in the CIC. Forward of the consoles but in the same “room” are two positions which combine damage control, platform management and “driving of the boat”. We were told that the Suffren is very easy to drive. It is done via two joysticks. One of the helmsman of the submarine is just 19 year old.

                                                          We then went into the officer’s mess. It was roomy, modern and very comfortable. We spotted some wifi routers in there and the CO confirmed: There is a private/closed wifi aboard which allows the crew to access key data from wherever aboard the boat. The wifi network also is a security feature allowing to located 24/7 the location of each crew member (via an RFID chip in the sailors uniform). We were then shown a berthing compartment: 6 berth per compartment. There too it “appeared” to be comfortable: Each bunk gets its own light, power outlet and USB port. The USB port gives the sailor access to an entertainment platform where they can watch movies on their free time. Naval Group used a contractor experienced in cruise ship furnishing to design the interior of some of the living quarters such as the messes and berthing compartments in order to increase crew comfort.

                                                          Commander Antoine Richebé then took us down one deck (there is a total of 3 decks aboard), and we entered the torpedo room. The torpedo handling system is as follows: 5 rows on two levels on the left and 5 rows on two level on the right (we were standing in between each). While we were aboard there were:
                                                          • 1 training torpedo (recognizable by its orange paint)
                                                          • 4 black F21 heavyweight torpedo (the CO confirmed those were “live rounds”).
                                                          • 4 naval cruise missiles.
                                                          • 3 SM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles.

                                                          The missiles (both anti-ship and naval cruise missiles) were wrapped in some kind of fabric sleeves. We were told that these were thermal protection necessary because of the fuel of the missiles. Suffren can carry a total of 20 weapon in the torpedo handling system. Commander Richebé added that the maximum load out is 24 if the submarines sails out with pre-loaded torpedo tubes. He confirmed to be that even in this situation, weapons can still be swapped around. “It becomes like a Tetris game and is a bit cramped but it is do-able”.

                                                          We were then showed the large fridge (large enough to store 70 days worth of food for the entire crew) and we climbed our way back up to the lock-out chamber compartment. Up to 5 fully equipped “Commando Hubert” operators (the combat divers unit of the French Naval Special Forces) can fit in the chamber. The device can also serve as the aft emergency escape hatch.

                                                          About Suffren

                                                          The Suffren-class features a sail cusp: A single-piece composite fairing structure attached to the submarine sail and hull. It improves hydrodynamic performance by allowing smooth laminar flow of water over its surface. ©Axel Manzano/Marine Nationale/Défense.

                                                          Six new attack submarines will form the vanguard of the French Navy (Marine Nationale) for the coming decades. Developed as the Barracuda program, the lead boat of the new class, Suffren, was launched in July 2019 is expected to formally join the fleet next year. The new submarines will offer a massive capability leap over the current Rubis-class boats.

                                                          Suffren in numbers:
                                                          • Surface displacement: 4,700 tons
                                                          • Diving displacement: 5,100 tons
                                                          • Length: 99 meters
                                                          • Diameter: 8.8 meters
                                                          • Maximum depth: > 350 meters
                                                          • Speed: > 25 knots
                                                          • Armament: naval cruise missiles, F21 heavy-weight wire-guided torpedoes, modernized Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles, FG-29 mines, D-19 UUV (future development)
                                                          • Hybrid propulsion: pressurized water reactor (150MW) derived from the reactors on board the Triomphant-class SSBN and Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier, two propulsion turbines, two turbo generators and two electric motors
                                                          • Crew: 63 crew members + approx. 15 commandos
                                                          • Endurance: 70 days at sea (or until food supplies run out)

                                                          Innovation for naval combat

                                                          The Suffren is equipped with numerous innovations that allow it to demonstrate differentiating capabilities in many areas. The French Navy’s new submarine is able to strike deep behind enemy line all while remaining stealthy thanks to the torpedo tube-launched naval cruise missile (MdCN). The integration of state-of-the-art sensors also gives it superior anti-submarine warfare and intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. Commander Colonna D’Istria mentioned that the non-penetrating optronic masts (by Safran Electronic and Defense) were a disruptive technology. They bring unmatched high quality (4K) imagery and every sailor in the CIC can access them. Finally, Suffren comes with systems that facilitate the deployment of naval special forces. In particular, the Dry Deck Shelter, a removable deck hangar, allows the deployment of the new PSM3G swimmer delivery vehicle (SDV) and a dozen combat swimmers.

                                                          Suffren with the Dry Deck Shelter (DDS) fitted behind the sail. The DDS allows the transport, launch and recovery of the PSM3G swimmer delivery vehicle (SDV) of the “Commando Hubert”. French Navy picture.

                                                          Further, longer, with a smaller crew

                                                          The Suffren also brings its share of improvements to the benefit of the 63 sailors who constitute each of its two crews (the French Navy uses a dual crew system for all its submarines and some of its surface ships). Many equipment have been automated, or their use simplified. Living conditions have also been improved, with the sailors gaining in privacy and comfort with more personal space compared to the Rubis-class SSN, as well as a greater number of showers.


                                                          • #97

                                                            The Sea Fire is the latest-generation solid-state modular multifunction radar, with a four-panel AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) antenna, simultaneously performing long-range air and surface surveillance, as well as missile guidance, to protect frigates from all types of threats in complex environments. Thales picture.

                                                            Thales SeaFire Radar Qualified And Ready For Integration On FDI CMS

                                                            Thales Sea Fire, full digital radar is qualified by the DGA after exhaustive and thorough testing in Saint-Mandrier, the reference trial centre for the French naval forces. The radar is now handed over to Naval Group for integration into combat system on-board the FDI frigates.

                                                            Naval News Staff 21 Oct 2021

                                                            Thales press release

                                                            Over a period of 18 months, the Sea Fire radar underwent a substantial number of land-based tests, mobilising a vast panel of resources and combined teams from the DGA, Thales and Naval Group. All testing took place at the Shore Integration Facility (SIF) on the DGA’s SESDA site in Saint-Mandrier in the South of France – a major testing reference centre in Europe for the naval sector. Since 1969, this facility has been testing and qualifying ashore every combat system and critical sensors of major ships (frigates and aircraft carriers) in service within the French Navy.

                                                            Evaluated and tested against an extensive range of situations including surface targets (light boats, surface vessels…), air targets (helicopters, jets, missiles, drones, etc.) in various environments. – the Sea Fire assured its ground-breaking ability to search simultaneously for air and surface targets in a difficult environment, scanning a range of several hundred kilometres with 90° in elevation and an unmatched refresh rate.

                                                            Thanks to the Sea Fire’s unique full digital technology (for instance digital beamforming), the radar delivers enhanced performance for all missions through dynamic radar resource management with very short response time. This digital radar is at the forefront of technological innovation and benefits from all Thales’s Big Data and cybersecurity expertise.

                                                            The first SeaFire radar array in Limours, back in 2019.

                                                            Assembled in Limours, south of Paris, with the contribution of a network of French small and medium- sized companies, Sea Fire production started in May 2018 and the first FDI shipset was delivered in May 2021 (4 panels).
                                                            “The qualification of the Sea Fire by the DGA is a key milestone of the radar development. We are proud that the Sea Fire is now ready for integration by Naval Group on the FDI frigate.”
                                                            François Luc, VP Multi-Function Radars Business Segment.

                                                            Artist rendering of Sea Fire radar on future FDI frigates (Picture source: Thales)
                                                            Last edited by Bug2; 22-10-21, 11:19 AM.


                                                            • #98

                                                              European Commission Relies On Elwave’s Biomimicry To Revolutionize Underwater Robotics

                                                              Founded in 2018, ELWAVE is growing fast and has caught the eye of industrialists and public authorities. Nine months after its first fundraising in December 2020, ELWAVE received a large grant of €1.7 million from the European Commission in September 2021, dedicated to maritime innovation.

                                                              Naval News Staff 26 Oct 2021

                                                              Elwave press release

                                                              ELWAVE, a young innovative company from Nantes, is a winner of the “Blue Economy Window” call for projects for its “ESENSE” project and will therefore receive a €1.7 million grant. The call for projects constitutes the “league of champions” for innovative European start-ups and SMEs with a very low success rate of around 5%. ELWAVE is thus recognised as one of the leading young innovative European industrial companies of the “Blue Economy”.

                                                              This grant marks the start-up’s rise to prominence and reinforces its vocation to become a world reference in underwater and industrial robotics with its “electric sense” technology. As a pioneer in the commercialisation of “electric sense”, ELWAVE sees this European grant reinforcing its ambitions in 4 areas: Recruitment, perfecting the technology, industrialising it, and finally commercial deployment in Europe for the offshore wind market in the first instance.

                                                              ELWAVE is a French deep tech company that is leveraging more than 10 years of applied research of the Bio-Robotics Laboratory of the Institut Mines Telecom (IMT) Atlantique in Nantes on the “electric sense” technology (active electrolocation). ELWAVE is the first and only company in the world to develop subsea sensors based on its proprietary electric sense technology called “BLUESENSE”.

                                                              “Electric sense” is a mode of sensing used by tropical fish living in muddy and heavily congested waters, where vision and acoustics are ineffective. Natural evolution has led these fish to acquire this alternative mode of perception adapted to their environment. Based on this biomimetic approach, the ELWAVE solution is the only one in the world to provide the detection, localisation, and characterisation of the environment at 360 ° and in real time for underwater and industrial robots – remotely operated (ROV, ROTV) and autonomous (AUV).

                                                              As part of the European “Green Deal”, ELWAVE is taking another step towards more environmentally friendly offshore solutions through its ESENSE project.

                                                              ELWAVE’s ‘BLUESENSE’ technology is particularly key to the safe and efficient use of underwater drones that can autonomously change their objectives during a mission, based on instantaneous and reliable perception of the environment.

                                                              The objective of the ‘ESENSE’ project is to market solutions that will allow IMR (inspection, repair, and maintenance) operations of offshore wind infrastructure to be performed by these intelligent drones as well as by small observation ROVs. Based on the “Green Deal” objectives of 100 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, ELWAVE’s technology will enable the large-scale deployment of subsea drones and will generate a reduction in the operating costs of offshore wind turbines to the tune of 500 million euros.

                                                              The company conducts its research, development, and qualification activities in its new high-tech premises near Nantes, equipped with test pools. These pools are equipped with automatic, three-dimensional test benches that allow for customised tests that are representative of real-life conditions. Indeed, the pools are filled with saltwater and one of them is lined with 50cm of sand to be able to simulate, as close as possible to reality, the seabed, and buried objects.

                                                              ELWAVE is currently preparing its first operational deployments scheduled for 2022 in collaboration with world leaders in offshore surveys, and offshore wind farms operators in search of better inspection solutions for subsea structures and cables.

                                                              The submarine market directly addressed by ELWAVE’s solutions was worth €1 billion in 2020 and should reach €2 billion by 2025.


                                                              • #99

                                                                French Rubis-class submarine Perle following repairs at Naval Group submarine shipyard in Cherbourg. Its overhaul will resume at Toulon naval base. French Navy picture.

                                                                French SSN Perle Overhaul To Resume Following Unique Repair Work

                                                                The French Ministry of Armed Forces announced that the fire-damaged Rubis-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) Perle is now repaired and on its way back to Toulon naval base where its overhaul will resume.

                                                                Xavier Vavasseur 26 Oct 2021

                                                                Perle was transferred from Toulon to Cherbourg in December 2020 in order to repair severe damages the submarine sustained following a fire which took place in June 2020. During the fire which lasted 13 hours, the high temperature altered the the quality of the submarine’ steel in the forward section of the hull. In order to “save” the submarine, the forward section of Perle was cut off and the forward section of another Rubis-class SSN, the Saphir, was welded back to Perle‘s aft section. The Rubis-class SSN Saphir (second boat of the class) was decommissioned in July 2019.

                                                                The “transplanting” operation of the two submarines took place in the following way:
                                                                • cutting of the two submarines – January to March 2021
                                                                • movement and alignment of the submarines halves – May 2021
                                                                • welding of the thick hull
                                                                • splicing of hundreds of cables and manifolds (130 electrical cables and 70 hydraulic pipes had to be reconnected)
                                                                “Today Perle is back in the state she was in a few hours prior to the fire. We have erased the damages caused by the fire. As soon as the boat is back in Toulon, the major overhaul will resume […] Sea trials will begin at the end of 2022 and Perle will be operational again in the first half of 2023.”
                                                                French MoD spokesperson Hervé Grandjean

                                                                Perle is expected to remain in service until the 2030ies. During the upcoming overhaul, the flank array sonars will be upgraded.

                                                                Repair yard of Perle SSN at Naval Group shipyard in Cherbourg. Naval Group image.

                                                                Cutting, hull welding and connection work was carried out at the Naval Group submarine shipyard in Cherbourg Normandie. Perle is now on its way back to Toulon naval base (aboard the Rolldock Storm vessel) where Naval Group will resume the overhaul of the submarine which was interrupted in June 2020.

                                                                Contacted by Naval News, a Naval Group spokesperson said “all critical stages of the repair work have been completed. We will be able to resume work on the overhaul in Toulon for delivery in 2023”.

                                                                About 300 personnel took part in the repair work, including 100 from the Naval Group site in Toulon. They were transported to the Cherbourg shipyard by plane on a weekly basis. The repair took a total of 350,000 hours overall (including 100,000 hours of studies).

                                                                Perle SSN following repairs in Cherbourg. French Navy picture.

                                                                1.4 meters longer, 68 tons heavier

                                                                Perle now features an additional section and is therefore longer by approximately one meter. This is because the two “half hulls” were not cut at the exact same spot, in order to facilitate the connections of internal equipment (such as pipe and cables). The submarine’s displacement is increased by 68 tons. The additional section provides the crew with two new compartments aboard the submarine.

                                                                About Perle’s fire

                                                                French Navy picture taken on 17 June showing the aftermath of the fire aboard Perle SSN, in its dry dock in Toulon; ©Benoit Emile/Marine Nationale/Défense

                                                                For the record, on June 12 2020, at 10:35 am, a fire broke out in the fore zone of the Rubis-class SSN Perle in a basin within the naval base of Toulon (South of France). The blaze was put out at 12:50 am the next day, after more than 14 hours of a fight that mobilized a hundred firefighters and more than 150 sailors in support.

                                                                Perle’s fire leaves a capability gap affecting the French submarine force as well as the security of the French nuclear deterrence. The French Navy is left with only 4 operational SSN. The next class of SSN, the first ship-in-class Suffren , won’t be fully operational for a few weeks still.

                                                                About French Navy Rubis-class SSN

                                                                Rubis-class SSN Emeraude

                                                                According to Covert Shores’ World Submarines Recognition Guide, The first of the six Rubis-class submarines was commissioned in 1983 and the final one in 1993. They are the smallest nuclear-powered submarines in the world with a length of just 73.6 meters and a submerged displacement of 2,600 tons.

                                                                From the beginning, the boats were disappointingly noisy and failed to achieve some of the performance objectives (such as top speed). As a consequence, the French Navy and industry embarked on the Amethyste upgrade program in 1989. AMETHYSTE stand for Amélioration tactique, hydrodynamique, silence, transmission, écoute (Silent Acoustic Transmission Tactical Hydrodynamic Improvement). It brought a number of upgrades including a major change to the hull form and bow. By 1995, all six boats of the class had been upgraded. Rubis-class submarines are now regarded as very capable boats. The French Navy deployed the Emeraude all the way to the Pacific Ocean earlier this year. It also conducted a South China Sea patrol.

                                                                Rubis-class submarine specifications

                                                                • Displacement: 2,400 tons surfaced; 2,600 tons submerged
                                                                • Length: 73.6 meters (241 feet)
                                                                • Beam: 7 meters (25 feet)
                                                                • Speed: 18 knots surfaced; 25+ knots submerged
                                                                • Depth: 300 meters (984 feet) operational
                                                                • Propulsion: K48 pressurized water reactor (64,000 hp); 2x turbo-alternators; 1x 9400 hp electric motor, one shaft
                                                                • Complement: 70 sailors
                                                                • Weapon systems: 4x 533mm torpedo tubes for 14x F17 torpedo or 14x Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles
                                                                • Sensor systems: DMUX-20 active/passive sonar; DSUV-62C towed array


                                                                • Netherlands agrees possible transfer of 2 M-Class frigates and 6 Alkmaar-class Minehunters to Greece

                                                                  POSTED ON SUNDAY, 31 OCTOBER 2021 11:21

                                                                  According to information published by the GDDIA on October 29, 2021, the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense General Directorate For Defense Investments And Armaments, in the margins of the NATO Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD), which was concluded on the 27th of October, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Netherlands for the possible transfer of 2 Royal Netherlands Navy M-class also called Karel Doorman-class frigates and 6 Alkmaar-class Mine Counter Measures Vessels to the Hellenic Navy.

                                                                  Dutch Navy M-frigate Hr.Ms. Van Speijk F828. (Picture source Warshipsresearch Blog)

                                                                  The Letter of Intent (LOI) was signed between the Hellenic GDDIA (General Directorate for Defense Investments And Armaments) General Director, Vice Adm. (rtd) Aristeidis Alexopoulos, and his Dutch counterpart, Director of Dutch Defense Materiel Organisation (DMO), Vice Admiral Arie Jan de Waard.

                                                                  Currently, the Hellenic Navy already uses Elli-class frigates that were transferred to the Hellenic Navy in the 1990s and early 2000s. Six ships were modernized in 2004-2009.

                                                                  The Hellenic Navy has launched the process for the procurement of four new multi-role frigates, while at the same time, it will modernize and upgrade four existing MEKO frigates. Mr. Mitsotakis left open, what these ships will be, and several countries are looking at the tender for their own shipyards or design bureaus. The new ships will also be accompanied by four MH-60R (Romeo) naval helicopters.

                                                                  On September 2021, Navy Recognition has reported that Nikólaos Panayotópoulos, the Greek Minister of Defense, Pierre Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group, and Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to open negotiations to provide the Hellenic Navy (HN) with three Defense and Intervention frigates (FDI HN) and their equipment as well as an optional additional frigate.

                                                                  The Karel Doorman-class frigates are a series of eight multi-purpose vessels built for the Royal Netherlands Navy. The ships can be used in anti-submarine, anti-aircraft, or surface combat roles. Their primary surface armament consists of two quad RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship launchers with a range of up to 120 kilometers (75 mi). Also available is an OTO Melara 76 mm gun, which has both anti-ship and anti-air capabilities.

                                                                  Air defense of an M-class frigate is provided by an AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range semi-active radar homing air-to-air missile with a range of up to 14 kilometers Sixteen VLS cells are mounted on the port external bulkhead of the hangar. The Goalkeeper close-in weapon system provides close-range air defense and can fire up to four thousand 30 millimeters rounds per minute at a range of 200 to 3,000 meters.

                                                                  For anti-submarine warfare, the M-class frigate is equipped with two twin torpedo launchers, firing Mark 46 torpedoes; and carries one Westland Lynx helicopter. The helicopter is also armed with 2 Mk 46 torpedoes and carries dipping sonar and forward looking infrared systems.

                                                                  The Alkmaar class also named Tripartite class is a series of minehunters developed from an agreement between the navies of Belgium, France and the Netherlands. A total of 35 ships were constructed for the three navies. The minehunters were equipped with DUBM 21B sonar that could detect and classify ground and moored mines to a range of 80 meters. The ship was also equipped with Racal Decca 1229 radar. She carried two ECA PAP 104 remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs). Beginning in 2003, the Dutch Alkmaar-class minehunters were upgraded with improved electronics, including Atlas Elektronik INCMS combat data system, Thales 2022 Mk III hull-mounted sonar, Atlas Seafox Mine Identification and Disposal System and a Double Eagle Mk III Mod 1 ROV.