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  • Bug22
    Navy chiefs stress at the naval conference the need to accelerate technology delivery to speed up operator decision making
    A T38 Devil Ray unmanned surface vessel is pictured at sea in US Navy (USN) Task Force 59 trials, off the coast of Bahrain in April 2022. Task Force 59 is a key testing construct for the USN to demonstrate how artificial intelligence can enhance the impact of unmanned systems in naval operations. (US Navy)

    Navy Chiefs Stress Need To Accelerate Technology Delivery To Speed Up Operator Decision Making

    The chiefs of the US Navy, Royal Navy and French Navy discussed technology developments at the inaugural Paris Naval Conference held on January 18, 2022.

    Dr Lee Willett 26 Jan 2023

    Technologies, procurement strategies, and operational approaches that accelerate operator decision-making and enhance the effect of technology are critical factors shaping current operations and capability investment, naval chiefs explained at a major new naval conference in Paris, France.

    Particularly, this issue is a critical lesson learned from the Ukraine conflict, they added.

    The inaugural, French Navy-hosted “Paris Naval Conference” took place at IFRI (the French institute for international relations) on 18 January, and was opened by the heads of the French Navy, US Navy (USN), and UK Royal Navy. The three chiefs discussed the lessons being learned from Ukraine for their navies and associated technology investments.

    “What is decisive are technologies that are relevant to accelerating the OODA loop,” said Admiral Pierre Vandier, French Navy Chief of Staff, referring to the observe/orient/decide/act (OODA) process. “This is one of the biggest lessons […] Between our navies, the core is data interoperability because, if we want to act together, it is the OODA loop that is decisive. So, it is sharing this data, this process, and this software that makes us efficient in warfighting, much more than weapons.”

    Illustrating his point with a hypothetical example from the war, he explained:

    “You need 1,000 NLAWs to kill 1,000 tanks – but if you have a proper OODA loop, you will send two HIMARS munitions to strike the depot […] This is what Ukraine is [doing], with good success.”
    Admiral Pierre Vandier

    Admiral Michael Gilday, the USN’s Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), underscored the need to use technology to optimize navies’ existing force structures:

    “Given the fact that we’re going to fight with what we have, it’s important we make investments now in those game-changing technologies and training aids that will make us more capable and more lethal. What’s changed over the past few years is that the problem is not the availability of the platforms […] Everybody has the platforms: the magic is the artificial intelligence (AI) software. AI is what really brings that platform alive, and gives it operational relevance.”
    Admiral Michael Gilday, the USN’s Chief of Naval Operations

    Moreover, Adm Gilday underscored the importance of enabling the operator to integrate software into systems to provide the required outputs, supported by micro processing applications that can accelerate this integration. “I want to be the integrator. I want those sailors at the tactical edge making the decision on what’s the best software patch matched against that platform to produce what they need with respect to useful information,” said CNO.

    As regards applications, Adm Gilday stated that applications like those used in commercial smart phones can help tap into the large ‘data lake’ of information that unmanned systems collect. “Users at the tactical edge say ‘I want to make these changes to this application’: some of them can [write] code, and they can make that change themselves; we can test it and then apply it very quickly,” said the CNO. “So, the ‘development operations’ cycle we’re in right now with unmanned systems has allowed us to learn very quickly, and make informed decisions about what we’re going to invest in.”

    UK First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sir Ben Key underlined the importance of the learning process itself. “What we’re discovering is that the learning is the investment,” said Adm Key.
    “How we create that environment within our structures will allow us to leverage the technology at the speed of relevance […] We need to create an environment in which the practitioners feel permission to ‘fail fast’ and move on.”
    Admiral Sir Ben Key

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  • unicorn11
    commented on 's reply
    The issue is, what if there isn't a convenient SM-3 armed Burke class available?

  • Bug22
    ITS Andrea Doria HMS Diamond HNLMS Evertsen
    Back to front: Italian Navy Andrea Doria-class destroyer Andrea Doria, Royal Navy Daring-class destroyer HMS Diamond and Royal Netherlands Navy De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate HNLMS Evertsen. All ships are fitted with Thales' SMART L long range radar. Royal Navy phot, Unaisi Luke.

    CEC Is The Future Of Naval Warfare For Thales

    Last week, Naval News travelled to Den Helder with Thales in order to visit one of the four De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates – HNLMS De Ruyter – having recently undergone an upgrade. Throughout the trip, which also included a visit to Thales’ Hengelo site, a sense of urgency for the development and integration of Collaborative Engagement Capabilities was deeply felt.

    Alix Valenti 25 Jan 2023

    The North Sea is in a state of high alert, much like most of the High North. The range, speed, power and variety of threats, such as ballistic missiles, has significantly grown over the past decades, making it increasingly difficult to ensure constant protection of surface and sub-surface critical infrastructure. “It is not only a matter of capabilities and systems,” Geert van Der Molten, Vice President of Sales of Thales NL, told the media, “it is also about shortages of components, inflation and shortage of human resources adding to those threats.” As a result, it is difficult to envisage one nation alone being capable of tackling such wide variety of threats.

    In such context, Collaborative Engagement Capabilities (CEC) has become a critical capability over the past few years. Central to CEC is the notion of networking different sensors and systems in order to increase situational awareness and, where necessary, extend the fire control loop to more than one unit. The crucial importance of this sensor netting was evident throughout the press trip last week, and a couple of examples demonstrated Thales’ and, more broadly, navies’ growing focus on such area. Launch on remote

    Rogier Noorland, Product Manager Integrated Air Missile Defence (IAMD), explained how the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) and the US Navy (USN) used the Formidable Shield 2021 exercise to test ‘launch on remote’ capabilities. During an exercise, HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën’s new SMART-L MM (multimission) radar – which replaced the legacy SMART-L – detected a simulated ballistic missile launch. Two courses of action were possible:
    • Triggering the early warning capability, “which can result in either passive air defence – and alerts civil authorities of the danger – or active air defence means;”
    • Switching to engagement support mode with another platform. In this case, HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën data was used to launch an SM-3 (an exoatmospheric interceptor) from nearby USS Paul Ignatius, successfully destroying the ballistic missile flying 14,000km per hour through space.“The exercise demonstrated launch on remote capabilities, that is, the Dutch frigate becomes part of the US destroyer’s fire control loop,”
    Rogier Noorland, Product Manager Integrated Air Missile Defence (IAMD) at Thales
    Royal Netherlands Navy frigate “De Ruyter”. French Navy picture.

    Plot Level Data Exchange and Fusion (PLDEF)

    The next step for Thales, Noorland also told reporters, will be facilitating the exchange and integration of radar data. This new capability, called Plot Level Data Exchange and Fusion (PLDEF), aims to provide a more precise, near real time, continuous picture for radar operators on each ship involved in the network: if all connected radar receive the same information, there are no track drops across the force. Finally, the PLDEF could also significantly contribute to Electronic Warfare (EW) resilience. “While jamming one or two radars in a task force is standard, jamming all radar on all bands would be far more complicated”, Noorland pointed out.

    While the Thales teams could not comment on the PLDEF’s technology readiness level (TRL), they did mention two key milestones:

    First, initial tests have been carried out between a Dutch and a French frigates. In this instance, the two ships exchanged radar measurements through each navy’s respective battlespace labs, thus facilitating accreditation for the exchange of highly confidential data.

    Second, Thales has submitted a bid for the 2021 call of the European Defence Fund (EDF) on “Naval collaborative surveillance” to support work on this new CEC capability. Bid winners should be announced mid-2023. A large share of the work that remains to be done on the PLDEF lies in the ability to exchange high volumes of data between two countries. “Effectively we are aiming to create a new exchange standard,” Noorland told Naval News.
    The Royal Netherlands Navy Air Defense and Command Frigate (ADCF) HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën (F802) engages a subsonic target with two Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM), May 19, 2021. Courtesy photo: Royal Danish Navy CEC: The future of naval warfare

    CEC is, undoubtedly, the future of naval warfare. By facilitating collaborative early warning and engagement across different units, it offers navies the ability to tackle increasing resource issues – human, components and funding. The four De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates are an excellent example of this trend. All four ships will be fitted with the new SMART-L MM, allowing them to perform tasks and collaborative engagement like HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën did during the Formidable Shield 2021 exercise. Not all four frigates, however, will receive the new APAR (Block II) and the new Sabre Electronic Counter Measure (ECM) due to cost concerns, as announced by an RNLN press release published in May 2022.

    Two of the four frigates are now back to being operational – HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën, which participated in Formidable Shield 2021 and HNLMS Tromp, which will participate in Formidable Shield 2024. HNLMS De Ruyter, which the media visited last week, will see her maintenance period end in March 2023, marking a longer refit period than usual due to the many upgrades the ship received. The work-up will start soon after, but it will be interrupted midway to allow for crew training and will resume only in the spring of 2024 in time for meeting the scheduled return to operations in the summer of 2024.

    HNLMS Evertsen is still undergoing maintenance and will be the first of the four frigates to receive the new 127mm Leonardo naval gun system – which will significantly alter the forward part of the ship, beyond the VLS.

    Welmer Veenstra, De Ruyter’s Commanding Officer, told the media that the frigates would continue receiving upgrades until the new Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigates (ASWF) are operational. According to Marco Strijker, Marketing Manager at Thales Netherlands, the contract should be awarded this year, for a first ship to be operational by 2028.

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  • Bug22
    Burke FREMM
    US Navy destroyer USS James E. Williams sailing alongside French Navy Air Defense FREMM Frigate Alsace. NATO picture.

    US Navy, French Navy And Royal Navy See Eye To Eye On Interoperability

    The heads of the three leading NATO navies, the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Admiral Mike Gilday, First Sea Lord, Admiral Ben Key, and the Chief of Staff of the French Navy, Admiral Pierre Vandier, met last week in France for the first ever "Paris Naval Conference".

    Xavier Vavasseur 24 Jan 2023

    Organized by Ifri and the French Navy, the theme of the conference was “the return of naval combat”: The world has entered a new strategic cycle, characterized by the assertion of new powers eager to revise the international order, the predominance of unilateralism, and the increased risk of confrontation between States. In such a context, naval combat appears as a plausible hypothesis that can arise in the context of a high-intensity conflict.

    French Navy picture

    Interoperability and Interchangeability

    During a press conference held at the end of the conference, Naval News asked the three head of navies to share their vision of what interoperability and interchangeability is, and if this means “procuring the same piece of kit”.

    Admiral Sir Ben Key answered first, explaining that to his mind, interoperability doesn’t mean procuring the same piece of kit “because in doing so, we lose resilience, and we lose broader innovation. And one of the themes of the conference has been about the need to adapt at the speed of relevance”.
    “Interoperability and interchangeability means to me two things, one, that we have a flow of ideas moving very seamlessly, where we can set to one side some of the traditional senses of classification, so that the practitioners can continue to communicate and share their thinking at the front edge of the leading edge. National concerns about protection of information between militaries are set as much as possible to one side, because as Admiral Vandier has made it very clear in his presentation, it is the ability to operate at a quicker cycle of decision making, than the adversary, that is absolutely key to being able to secure operational advantage. That is not to say that we shouldn’t be able to operate in close company with each other. We continue to invest in opportunities where our ships can operate and move between international task groups. Without any said loss of capability for the commander. It means, as we have seen, between myself in 2021, that we had United States F-35s fly from HMS Queen Elizabeth. And we have also seen American and French jets operating from each other’s carriers. And we do that with confidence not just to take a photograph, but actually because you can deliver warfighting and that gives commanders enormous flexibility. That is the kind of tactical manifestation of interchangeability, that interoperability, which is a loosely defined term, is actually that we can move collectively faster than our adversary.”
    Admiral Sir Ben Key, First Sea Lord, Royal Navy

    A French Navy E-2C Hawkeye, four French Navy Rafale M and four British F-35B fly in formation above the two aircraft carriers. ©Johann Guiavarch/Marine Nationale/Défense

    Admiral Pierre Vandier then shared his vision of interoperability, explaining that warfare is a continuous process.
    “You have new assets, you have new technology, new procedures, new tactics. So, because we do not work each day together, but we encounter each other, we share things. So the process is first to develop things, you know, then to let the others know, and share and confront and see if it’s feasible to do things together. And then [the next step is] to establish standards, technical and operational standards, especially the procedures. So it’s much more than buying or building something together, it is employing together capabilities, which are a one day, at one stage of their development fitted to be interoperable. And so they can be plugged in. But the plug is not just mechanical or digital, it is a concept plug. We then can operate on the same theatre. Keep in mind that the naval forces, the width of their deployments spreads over thousands of kilometers. We are not all the time we are on the same net, in the same combat, but the strategic and operational effects have to be synchronized. And this is interoperability.”
    Admiral Pierre Vandier, Chief of Staff , French Navy
    Prosecuting Russian Submarines

    Admiral Mike Gilday used a real life and current example of where interoperability mattered: Prosecuting Russian submarines:
    “One other aspect of that is the step above the tactical to the operational level, where our staffs can operate together seamlessly as well. Sometimes it happens quickly, when you step into crisis or conflict, our staff have to be able to work together well. So I would point to examples, like most recently, our work together in the prosecution of Russian submarines. So we do that with a very, very high degree of professional competency. And we do that not only because for all the reasons that the admiral stated at the tactical level, but also at the operational level. Another very good example of that was the strikes against Syrian chemical facilities a few years ago, where those strikes were primarily executed from the maritime [side], they were done with precision and they were done with a very high degree of collaboration across the nations that are present [here today].”
    Admiral Michael M. Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy

    As reported previously, Suffren, France’s latest SSN was spotted in Faslane, Scotland back in September 2022. A US Navy Virginia-class SSN and Royal Navy Astute-class SSNs were also spotted in the same timeframe. This means all three navies were likely hunting Russian submarines in the GIUK gap where submarine presence is reportedly on the rise. This is likely what Admiral Gilday was alluding to. While interoperability doesn’t mean “procuring the same piece of kit” as explained by Admiral Sir Key, cooperation in Anti-Submarine Warfare between the three navies will likely increase further moving forward: The US Navy having procured CAPTAS-4 variable depth sonars for its future Constellation-class frigates, a proven system that the French and British have been using for years. This will allow multi-static ASW operations between the three allied navies.

    French Navy picture Trust between allies brings asymmetric advantage

    Naval News regular contributor Dr. Lee Willet then jumped in and asked a follow on question related to interoperability: One can imagine that putting an aircraft wing or even a single aircraft, on board somebody else’s aircraft carrier, requires an awful lot of planning and an awful lot of logistics, weapons, fuel and everything else… But build on the points that you’ve all made about how you can do interchangeability with the right sort of planning, can we do it faster? Are there ways that it can be done more quickly if it needed to be?

    Admiral Gilday replied that potentially, timelines can be accelerated. “I think a fundamental piece of this for interoperability and interchangeability, is it’s all grounded on trust, we have our level and it permeates down our chains of command.”
    “We have explicit trust in each other. And I think that’s fundamental. And that’s something that the Russians don’t have. And that’s something that the Chinese don’t have. And that’s an asymmetric advantage that we bring to the table.”

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  • ADMk2
    commented on 's reply
    Can’t be Italian either. There isn’t a single 76mm gun on it…

  • Bug22
    Push for naval ‘interchangeability’ will require help from industry

    By Megan Eckstein

    Jan 18, 05:12 AM

    A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey lands aboard the Royal Australian Navy landing helicopter dock HMAS Canberra during the Rim of the Pacific exercise in 2022. (Leading Seaman Matthew Lyall/Royal Australian Navy)

    ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Navy and its closest allies and partners continue their quest to become interchangeable — a step up from previous calls to be interoperable — but they say they can’t do it without international supply chains joining the effort.

    Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday rattled off a list of examples of international navies tactically approaching interchangeability, including:
    “We are trying to entice our high-end partners to go beyond interoperability into interchangeability,” Gilday said at the Surface Navy Association’s annual conference last week. “It’s a push to put us in a position where, if we do have to fight tonight, we’re not stumbling.”

    But one Australian officer said allies and partners need to go beyond tactical interchangeability; there needs to be more work on the strategic side, and an inclusion of industry.

    Commodore Darren Grogan, the naval attache at the Australian Embassy in Washington, said the U.S., Australia and other close Pacific partners already have common aircraft, such as the F-35 fighter, the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and the MH-60R helicopter.

    However, he added, “I still can’t embark these on my ship, I can’t land one of those [MH-60] Romeos on my deck. They’re the challenges we need to overcome.”
    A U.S. sailor displays post-flight signals to an MH-60R helicopter crew during flight operations aboard the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Midgett during the 2022 Rim of the Pacific drills. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Taylor Bacon/U.S. Coast Guard)

    During remarks at an international navies panel at the conference, Grogan said that, ideally, if one of his MH-60Rs broke down and the nearest repair facility was an American one, he could bring the broken helo there, fly away with a recently repaired one, have the repair facility work on his aircraft, and then the navies could swap out the airframes at a later time to avoid operational hindrance.

    But today, that would face roadblocks: U.S. Navy personnel and parts are funded to maintain U.S. Navy aircraft, not allied ones. And though the helicopters are the same, each country has different suppliers providing spare parts, and engineers may need to certify the swapping of parts.

    Grogan told Defense News that the MH-60R program is one of the most successful partnerships between the U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy — and it’s perhaps the closest they are to interchangeability.

    “The more we work together, the closer we’re going to get with that. We still have, obviously, issues with the parts; there’s American parts and Australian parts,” he said.

    During the panel, Grogan noted “this is a really lofty job” that may not be accomplished during his naval career, but added that leaders must think about these issues now.

    During the 2022 Rim of the Pacific exercise in Hawaii, the two navies took a significant steps toward interoperability and interchangeability when they embarked a pair of MV-22B Ospreys on the Australian amphibious ship Canberra for an at-sea drill.

    American CH-53s, MV-22s and MH-60 helicopters, as well as Japanese MH-60s, also landed and took off from the flight deck at sea to increase interoperability.

    Still, this falls short of the call for interchangeability, which might see American MH-60s embark on the Australian ship, while the two countries share maintainers and spare parts.

    Col. Henrik Rosen, the naval attache at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, said during the panel discussion that Sweden, Finland and NATO have done much in a controlled environment and exercises to show they can share target tracks and other data to fight together.

    But in reality, he said, they need to build up a common stockpile of weapons. One nation’s missiles must fit in another’s missile tubes to create deeper magazines, more robust supply chains and a better competitive edge over adversaries. Rosen said it would take a while to make this a reality, and so nations need to start work now.

    “We can’t become interchangeable without industry; we need to bring industry along,” Grogen added during the panel discussion.

    The head of the U.S. Navy surface force, Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener, said in separate remarks at the conference that the fleet is becoming more interchangeable from a tactical perspective. For example, a Japanese ship recently participated in advanced predeployment training for U.S. Navy vessels off Okinawa, he said.

    But recently, after finding out about some industry and supply chain concerns — including the ability to use other’s parts and system commonality — he’s now looking into those further. He’s also eyeing an increase in ship repairs at foreign yards, and conducting repairs on foreign ships in American facilities.

    In the meantime, Rosen and Grogen each pointed to policies and practices that can bolster trust among allies and partners in the short term, even as the technical interchangeability and industry pieces are addressed over the longer term.

    Rosen pointed to the 2019 BALTOPS exercise in the Baltic Sea, where Sweden embedded one of its intelligence officers with NATO staff on the U.S. Navy command ship Mount Whitney. This involved working with lawyers ahead of time, Rosen said, but Sweden’s military intelligence in Stockholm was able to inform and be informed by the operations of 50-some ships at sea, rather than just the two Swedish vessels participating in the exercise.

    Rosen described this as a significant development that deserves expansion.

    Grogen said that last year U.S. Pacific Fleet created a new job — deputy director of maritime operations — that is filled by an Australian two-star admiral. If the director were to be on leave or otherwise out of the office, the Australian leader could conceivably direct U.S. naval operations, which Grogen called a huge leap of faith that requires accepting some risk.

    “He’s going to hit so many brick walls, it’s insane. He’s going to keep banging his head against the wall, and the good admirals there who are amazing leaders who have got the vision will go, ‘OK, let’s see if we can get him around that wall’ — and that’s how” the navies can make process toward interchangeability, the commodore said.

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  • unicorn11
    commented on 's reply
    Insane location for the helicopter pad, at the very worst point for roll in particular.

  • Bug22
    France's new Submarine Suffren completes first operational deployment
    French Navy picture

    France’s New Submarine Suffren Completes First Operational Deployment

    The French MoD announced that the French Navy' Suffren nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) and its blue crew completed their first operational deployment with the Charles de Gaulle carrier strike group on January 4, 2023.

    Nathan Gain 06 Jan 2023

    Suffren entered “active duty” (admission au service actif in French) on 3 June 2022. Starting last november, Suffren took part in the ANTARES mission, an operational deployment in the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean. The presence of France’s most advanced SSN in the Charles de Gaulle CSG was first announced by French President Emmanuel Macron:

    France's New Submarine Suffren Escorts CSG for the First Time - Naval News

    During this deployment, the submarine contributed to the knowledge and anticipation of crises in areas of strategic interest, thus contributing to France’s autonomous decision-making capability, the MoD added.

    Through these missions and its contribution with other deployed units, Suffren participated in the preparation of Navy future operations in the region. Under the authority of the Task Force 473 staff, the Suffren SSN also validated its ability to conduct a strike against land-based targets with a naval cruise missile (MdCN), in coordination with other units of the CSG, particularly the multi-mission frigates and Rafale Marine fighter jets.

    During this operational deployment, the crew made a stopover in Souda Bay (Greece) before heading back to sea during the end-of-year celebrations. Completing a mission started on November 22, Suffren’s crew members were reunited with their families upon their arrival at the quay. The submarine will now begin its annual maintenance period.

    This operational deployment completes three cycles carried out by the two crews of the vessel since its departure from the drydock (for maintenance) in April 2022. Since then, the submarine have been available for nearly 240 days, including 190 days at-sea.

    During this time, Suffren completed the validation of its operational capabilities before being admitted to active service. Suffren-class SSNs carry out the same missions as Rubis-class SSNs (protection of high value units, information gathering, intervention) with superior differentiating capabilities (speed, endurance, support of special forces, ability to strike against land with cruise missiles).

    To learn more about Suffren, check out our in-depth coverage and rare access aboard the submarine:

    World's Newest Class of Nuclear Attack Submarine: Rare Access Inside Suffren - Naval News

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  • Bug2
    EU Finances the Construction of 3 New Hydrographic Vessels for the Italian Navy
    Artist impression of the future hydrohraphic vessel of the Italian Navy. Italian MoD picture.

    Fincantieri To Build Italian Navy’s New Hydrographic Vessel

    As part of an EU tender for the Defence and Security sector, Fincantieri has signed a contract with the Secretariat General of Defence and the National Armaments Directorate – Naval Armaments Directorate (NAVARM) for the construction of a new Hydro-Oceanographic Ship (NIOM) for the Italian Navy Hydrographic Institute, with delivery scheduled in 2026 at the integrated shipyard in Riva Trigoso-Muggiano.

    Naval News Staff 22 Dec 2022

    Fincantieri press release

    The total value of the contract is approximately euro 280 million and it also includes integrated logistics support and temporary support services for a duration of six years with an option to extend for another four.

    This marks the start of the renewal of the naval units of the Italian Navy’s hydrographic service. This programme is part of an innovative European project involving the Italian Ministry of Defence, and within the scope of which a funding agreement between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) has been reached.

    Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO of Fincantieri, commented:
    “We are proud that Fincantieri’s technological leadership is once again establishing itself also in the scientific field, which requires specialised skills. In fact, the vessel must be able to operate with the highest performance in all marine weather conditions. This will require the integration of many complex systems, a distinctive capability of a Group like ours, which not only builds state-of-the-art platforms such as naval ships but can also rely on the synergy between the naval world and the offshore world in the development of advanced control systems like dynamic positioning”.

    The unit was designed paying the utmost attention to green aspects. Among its main features are technologies to contain emissions, a diesel-electric propulsion system to optimise fuel consumption, hull shapes to reduce drag and the use of environment-friendly materials. In the area of sustainability, the production process also participates in the company’s ongoing commitment to environmental management systems, as witnessed by the integrated Riva Trigoso-Muggiano site’s compliance with the ISO 14001 international standard, as well as all the Group’s other Italian sites.

    Artist impression of the future hydrohraphic vessel of the Italian Navy. Italian MoD picture.

    A further key driver of the ship will be the focus on health&safety, aimed at ensuring the well-being of all personnel who will operate the ship during its operational life. Working with first-class suppliers, Fincantieri took a proactive approach to identify the best technical solutions to fully meet the customer’s operational requirements.

    In 2018 Fincantieri supplied the Kronprins Haakon, an oceanographic icebreaker intended to operate in polar waters, to the Institute of Marine Research (IMR), the Norwegian government’s oceanographic and fisheries research organisation. Furthermore, in 2021 the Group oversaw an exceptional refit of the Laura Bassi, Italy’s only oceanographic research icebreaker, owned by the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics.

    The Hydrographic Institute of the Italian Navy is the Cartographic Body of the State appointed to produce official national nautical documentation.
    Artist impression of the future hydrohraphic vessel of the Italian Navy. Italian MoD picture.

    Naval News comments:

    The Italian Ministry of Defense announced back in November 2020 that the European Investment Bank (EIB) will help finance the construction of three new Hydrographic vessels for the Italian Navy. These vessels will be used for seabed mapping, creation of nautical charts, navigation safety and research on climate change. Our coverage at the time:

    EU Finances the Construction of 3 New Hydrographic Vessels for the Italian Navy - Naval News

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  • Bug2

    JFD wins £63M ‘Third In-Service Support’ NATO submarine rescue system contract

    21 December 2022 – World-leading underwater capability provider, JFD, part of James Fisher and Sons plc, has today announced that it has won the prestigious ‘Third In-Service Support’ (3ISS) contract, worth £63M, continuing seven years of safety critical operational assurance services to the NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS).

    The 3ISS contract awarded to JFD by the NSRS Authority, on behalf of the Participant Nations, UK, France and Norway, demonstrates its confidence in JFD’s ability to provide a full and complete in-service support solution. The NSRS is a premier fly-away global submarine rescue capability which exists to give submariners the best chance of survival should a submarine incident occur. The five-year 3ISS contract will start in summer 2023 and has the potential to be extended to a total of nine years.

    Having managed the ‘Second In-Service Support’ (2ISS) contract since 2015, JFD has demonstrated its proven operational excellence through assured availability of the NSRS. JFD’s 3ISS solution is rooted in intimate system knowledge and operational insight gained throughout the 2ISS contract.

    JFD has unrivalled experience with real-life submarine rescue incidents, including locating and identifying the wreckage of KRI Nanggala, and deploying systems in support of the submarine Kursk and AS-28 Priz incidents. JFD builds upon the expertise and lessons learned from these incidents to continue to raise the standards for safety in the submarine rescue domain.

    Richard Dellar, Managing Director, JFD, said:

    “We are extremely proud to have been awarded the NSRS 3ISS contract. It is a true testament to the breadth and depth of our talented personnel’s submarine rescue expertise and dedication. This decision firmly places JFD as the world leader in submarine rescue provision.

    Safeguarding the lives of submariners around the world is our number one priority. The all-too-long list of submarine incidents globally poses as a stark reminder of the critical nature of the services JFD provides.

    Our dedication to submariners is demonstrated by our continuous drive to set new safety standards and ensure rescue readiness 24/7, 365 days a year.

    NSRS will continue to form a key part of JFD’s global submarine rescue community along with Australia, Singapore, India and the other nations we support. We are committed to work alongside the NSRS Authority to ensure the highest levels of operational assurance are always achieved.”

    A world leader in the design, build and operation of submarine rescue systems, JFD has played an integral role in the UK’s submarine rescue provision since 1983 and the NSRS since it came into service in 2008.

    JFD also has a comprehensive global submarine rescue infrastructure, supporting submarine rescue contracts with multiple navies as well as in-service contracts for the Australian, Singaporean and Indian submarine rescue systems.

    In the event of a distressed submarine (DISSUB), any delay to the rescue operation can have catastrophic results. To locate the DISSUB and rescue the lives on board as quickly as possible, the NSRS must be maintained at a high state of operational readiness and specialist personnel must be fully trained in all aspects of a safe rescue.

    JFD’s 3ISS solution builds upon the past seven years’ performance and the team’s extensive knowledge of global submarine rescue systems. Throughout the course of the 2ISS contract, JFD has undertaken 18 mobilisation exercises and its proven team has an established track record for delivery in their field.

    This expert team, which is focused locally and supported globally, will play a key role in the delivery of 3ISS. Digitisation will also be incorporated into the 3ISS solution, with JFD at the forefront of digitalised asset management.

    An established provider to over 30 navies worldwide, JFD delivers innovative and technically advanced submarine escape and rescue solutions. The company’s capabilities span the entire submarine escape, rescue, abandonment and survival (SMERAS) environment, and JFD is unique in being able to deliver solutions across all of these areas.

    Photo courtesy JFD

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    Suffren SSN Charles de Gaulle carrier
    Suffren SSN sailing as part of the Charles de Gaulle carrier strike group during exercise POLARIS in 2021. French Navy picture.

    France’s New Submarine Suffren Escorts CSG For The First Time

    The French Navy (Marine Nationale)'s new nuclear-powered attack submarine "Suffren" is escorting the French carrier strike group (CSG) for the first time.

    Xavier Vavasseur 21 Dec 2022

    The information was disclosed during a speech by President Emanuel Macron. The French head of state was aboard aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle on Monday to celebrate Christmas with the sailors.
    “This Antares mission is important for many reasons: The missions accomplished, the patrol zones, the flights have reinforced the defensive and dissuasive postures of NATO in Eastern Europe, near Ukraine at war […] and the very composition of the carrier strike group with Forbin, Alsace, Provence, Marie, Suffren, the MPA detachment based in Souda, but also American destroyers Arleigh Burke, and before it the Roosevelt, the Italian frigate Virginio Fasan and some time ago the Greek frigate Adrias, yes the multi-national composition of the CSG has made it possible to show that we are resolute, reliable allies, demonstrating a high level of integration and interoperability.”
    Emmanuel Macron

    The French Charles de Gaulle carrier strike group (CSG) set sails from Toulon naval base on 15 November 2022 to begin mission Antares: An operational deployment in the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean.

    French Carrier Strike Group (@French_CSG) / Twitter

    The French Joint Forces Command in Indian Ocean (ALINDIEN) announced yesterday that the CSG transited the Suez canal and entered their area of responsibility (i.e. the Red Sea and eventually the Indian Ocean).

    Contacted by Naval News, the French Navy confirmed that mission Antares marks the first time that the first-in-class SSN Suffren is integrated to the Charles de Gaulle CSG in an operational context. The French Navy however declined to comment on whether Suffren followed the CSG through Suez (Naval News understand this would also mark a first). The Marine Nationale didn’t confirm or deny on whether mission Antares marks the first ever operational mission for Suffren.

    For the record, Suffren entered “active duty” (admission au service actif in French) on 3 June 2022. The second submarine in the class, Duguay-Trouin, is set to start sea trials in the coming weeks.

    Suffren was spotted in Faslane, Scotland, back in September:

    (15) Navy Lookout on Twitter: "New 🇫🇷French SSN FS Suffren (lead boat of the Barracuda-class) arrives for her first visit to Falsane this morning. Via @MichaelJWC626" / Twitter

    Submarine Suffren previously took part in the large scale exercise Polaris in December 2021. The header picture of this article was taken during Polaris.

    To learn more about Suffren, check out our in-depth coverage and rare access aboard the submarine:

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    Greece Postpones Corvette Program Decision To Early 2023

    In the first months of 2023, the Greek government will select the preferred bidder for the Hellenic Navy (HN) corvette program, between Fincantieri’s FCX30 (based on Qatar’s Doha/Al Zubarah-class variant) and Naval Group’s Gowind (based on Egypt’s El Fateh-class variant).

    Dimitris Mitsopoulos 20 Dec 2022

    Today, the Greek Government Council of National Security (KYSEA) under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister K. Mitsotakis decided to postpone the decision on the new corvette program for early 2023.

    The Greek government will select the preferred bidder for the Hellenic Navy (HN) corvette program, between Italian Fincantieri’s FCX30 (Qatar’s Doha/Al Zubarah-class variant) and French Naval Group’s Gowind (Egypt’s El Fateh-class variant). Both manufacturers have submitted their final and best offers. The corvette program follows the HN’s frigate program where Naval Group was selected over five other competing bids (Babcok’s Arrowhead 140, Navantia’s F110, Fincantieri’s FREMM IT, TKMS’s MEKO A-200, Lockheed Martin’s MMSC/HF2 and Damen’s SIGMA 11515), to supply Greece with new frigates. Greece will procure three (plus one optional) FDI (Defence and Intervention Frigates) in their HN configuration (FDI HN), along with their weapons load and integrated logistics support (ILS) for a total value of €3,1 billion. The first FDI frigate for the French Navy (left) next to the second Gowind corvette for the UAE Navy (right). Both ships are fitting out at the Naval Group shipyard in Lorient.
    The corvette program is intended to provide Greece with a fleet of three plus one optional ships, at an average production cost of approximately €400 million per ship as part of the second major naval program that exceeds the €2 billion, and includes also the MLU of the four Hydra-class (MEKO 200HN) frigates. The Greek government requires the 3 vessels to be built locally with transfer of technology in order to revitalize Greece’s naval industry. Both Fincantieri and Naval Group have signed a number of memorandums of understanding (MoU) with a selection of Greek potential new suppliers.

    Naval Group has published a press release that promises a Greek industry participation plan with 30% of the program value in Greece and hundreds of jobs in Greece over the next 40 years. The first corvette will be built in Lorient and will be delivered in 3 years after the coming into force of the contract while the rest three at the Hellenic Shipyards in Skaramangas with a pace of one Gowind every 12 months. Moreover, the French argue that they will provide Greece with the best capabilities in the shortest timeframe with optimized costs and the highest level of commonalities with the FDI HN frigates. They offer also a very attractive financing proposal based on long term differed payments.

    Fincantieri also published a press release reporting the sign of an official agreement with ONEX Shipyards & Technologies Group for the creation of a corvette manufacturing line and their life-cycle support base, that will be located at Onex Naval and Maritime Elefsis Shipyards. The agreement provides the terms of collaboration for the construction of 2+1 corvettes at Onex Elefsis Shipyards along with the necessary upgrades, improvements, know-how and transfer of technology, equipment, which are estimated at approximately €80 million. They expect the creation of 2,500 direct and indirect new jobs in Greece’s shipbuilding industry. Fincantieri Launches Qatar's 1st Air Defense Corvette Al Zubarah Artist impression of Doha-class corvette. Fincantieri picture.
    Both candidates offer proven designs which embody full multi-mission warfighting capabilities including anti-air warfare (AAW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and special operations forces (SOF) missions. For these purposes both ships are equipped with a multitude of cutting-edge technology sensors and weapons of the French and Italian defense industry respectively, capable of supporting all the range of modern naval operations. Gowind Corvette

    Artist impression of an Hellenic Navy Gowind corvette. Naval Group image.

    Gowind’s full load displacement is 2,800 tonnes and it has a length of 102m and width of 16m. It will be powered by a 10-MW COmbined Diesel-eLectric Or Diesel (CODLOD) propulsion package allowing to reach a maximum speed in excess of 25 knots, while the maximum range is 4,500 nautical miles at 15 knots. It can accommodate an MH-60R helicopter, and one UAS while it carries two RHIB. The electronic equipment includes an NS110 surveillance radar with integrated IFF, VIGILE R-ESM, ALTESSE-H C-ESM & COMINT, KINGKLIP Mk2 HMS, CAPTAS-2 VDS, SETIS CMS, TDS, and navigation radars. The armament consists of an OTO 76mm SR gun, 16 VL MICA/VL MICA NG SAM, 8 MM40 EXOCET Block 3C ASM, two triple TT for MU90 LWT, 21-cell RAM CIWS, 2 NARWHAL 20mm RWS and HMGs. The DLS are at least two Sylena Mk2.

    FCX30 Corvette

    FC30 main characteristics. Picture by author during a briefing with Fincantieri and Onex at Athens Armed Forces Officers Club in February 2022.

    Fincantieri has revealed some general images of Doha/Al Zubarah-class without clarifying the exact sensors and weapons configuration. FCX30’s full load displacement is 3,250 tonnes and it has a length of 107m and width of 14.7m. It will be powered by combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) or COmbined Diesel-eLectric Or Diesel (CODLOD) propulsion package allowing to reach a maximum speed of 28 knots, while the maximum range is 5,000 nautical miles at 14 knots. It can accommodate an MH60R helicopter, and one UAS while it carries two RHIB. The electronic equipment includes a KRONOS Naval MFR with integrated IFF, NA30S Mk2 FCR, ZEUS/VIRGILIUS R-ESM/R-ECM/C-ESM suite, unknown HMS and VDS combination, ATHENA CMS, and navigation radars. The armament consists of an OTO 76mm SR gun easily supporting STRALES CIWS thanks to the NA30S Mk2, 16 VL MICA/VL MICA NG SAM or 16-32 CAMM-ER SAM, 8 MM40 EXOCET Block 3C ASM, two triple TT for MU90 LWT, 21-cell RAM CIWS, 2 MARLIN 30mm RWS and HMGs. The DLS are 2-4 Slylena Mk2 or combination of Sylena Mk1 and C310 DLS.

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    STADT NAVAL power modules
    STADT NAVAL power modules

    STADT NAVAL And Norwegian MoD Strengthen Their Cooperation

    STADT NAVAL and the Norwegian Ministry of Defence have agreed to strenghten their cooperation related to the use of STADT's green and noise-free electric propulsion technology in naval ship programs.

    Naval News Staff 19 Dec 2022

    STADT NAVAL press release

    STADT NAVAL and the Norwegian Ministry of Defence have agreed to strenghten their cooperation related to the use of STADT’s green and noise-free electric propulsion technology in naval ship programs, both in Norway and elsewhere for export, such as in the upcoming MMPC – EPC Corvette program that is initiated under the umbrella of the European Defence Fund – EDF . In this development program for the future corvettes of Europe, Naviris, Fincantieri, Naval Group and Navantia will be the project partners for STADT NAVAL AS in developing green futureproof electric propulsion for these naval ships.

    STADT NAVAL AS is part of the STADT GROUP which also includes the maritime technology company STADT AS i.e. Hallvard Slettevoll, CEO of the STADT GROUP – says that at the end of 2022 it is expected that series of new major contracts will be signed in the category of naval and commercial integrated electric propulsion solutions based upon the patented and well-proven Lean Propulsion® AC Drive technology.

    From The Norwegian Ministry of Defence – Left side Mr Rolf Kjos, right side, Mr Morten Tiller.
    In the middle, Mr Hallvard L. Slettevoll – STADT NAVAL AS. (STADT photo)​

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    Denmark and the Netherlands set the framework for joint procurement
    PIcture: @ariejandewaard

    Denmark And The Netherlands Sign MoU For Joint Procurement

    On December 16, 2022, The Danish Ministry of Defence's Material and Procurement Agency (DALO) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Netherlands' Defense Materiel Organization (DMO) on joint procurement.

    Naval News Staff 19 Dec 2022

    Danish MoD press release

    Head of DALO, materiel director and lieutenant general Kim Jesper Jørgensen and his Dutch counterpart, vice admiral Arie Jan de Waard, signed today in the Netherlands a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on joint procurement between the two countries. It reflects how DALO is constantly looking for new ways to buy as smartly as possible: with high speed, minimizing risks, and optimal use of resources.

    Negotiations are currently underway between the Netherlands and Denmark regarding the purchase of new radars for use in airspace surveillance in Denmark. This is a significant capacity, especially in light of the security policy situation. The radars can also be used for air defense, and the Netherlands buys the radars for artillery guidance. It is therefore a multifunctional radar.

    “The Netherlands and Denmark are currently negotiating a radar solution, and a lot of work has gone into establishing the cooperation. I really appreciate that, and I am very impressed by how far we have come in a short time. At the same time, this memorandum of understanding shows the will to establish new strategic collaborations between nations,” says and in this connection emphasizes not least the good collaboration with Vice Admiral de Waard.
    Lieutenant General Kim Jesper Jørgensen, FMI Materiel Director

    The memorandum of understanding was originally supposed to have exclusively dealt with the possibility of buying new radars, but when you were now thinking outside the box, the memorandum of understanding has become strategic, so that in the future you can also include acquisitions of other equipment, such as both Denmark and the Netherlands is on the market.


    Naval News comments:

    This MoU between Denmark and the Netherlands follows the recent creation of the Northern Naval Shipbuilding Cooperation (NNSC) initiative.

    Naval News recently interviewed the heads of both DALO and DMO regarding new naval procurement. You can watch or watch again our interviews:.

    Interview with the head of DALO in August 2022:

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    Fourth FREMM Frigate Joins French Atlantic Command CECLANT

    Interview with French Navy (Marine Nationale) Vice Admiral Olivier Lebas, Commander, Atlantic Maritime Region (CECLANT), on the occasion of the arrival of Aquitaine-class FREMM Frigate Auvergne in Brest.

    Xavier Vavasseur 19 Dec 2022

    The French Navy’s FREMM Frigate Auvergne arrived at her new home base, Brest naval base, on December 13, 2022. The frigate was previously stationed in Toulon, on the Mediterranean sea, since her commissioning in 2018.

    Auvergne becomes the fourth FREMM Frigate based in Brest, showing the strategic importance of the Atlantic Zone for the French Marine Nationale.

    VADM Lebas discusses:
    • The role of the French Atlantic Command (CECLANT)
    • The reason for reinforcing the Altantic zone with an additional FREMM
    • Latest challenges and threats in North Atlantic
    • The submarine threat in the Atlantic
    • The partners of the French Navy in the Atlantic zone

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    Signing of an agreement between ONEX – Fincantieri for the Elefsina Shipyards, at the Ministry of Development and Investments

    Athens, 16/12/2022 – The Minister of Development and Investments Mr. Adonis Georgiadis and the Deputy Minister. Mr. Nikos Papathanasis attended today, Friday, December 16, the signing of an agreement between Fincantieri’s CEO, Mr. Pierroberto Folgiero and the President & CEO of ONEX Shipyards & Technologies Group, Mr. Panos Xenokostas , for the creation of a manufacturing line and maintenance of corvettes, which will be located at the Elefsina Shipyards, with significant benefits for the national economy and defence. The signing ceremony was attended by the Ambassador of Italy in Greece, Mr. Patrizia Falcinelli and the General Manager Naval Vessels Division of Fincantieri SpA, Mr. Dario Deste.

    Among other things, the Agreement provides for:
    • The construction of 2+1 state-of-the-art and high-spec corvettes at Onex Elefsis Shipyards and the necessary upgrades, improvements, know-how & transfer of technology, equipment, estimated at approximately 80 million euros
    • the creation of 2500 direct and indirect new jobs in the shipbuilding industry
    • the cooperation with multiplier benefits for the Greek economy and defence, while strengthening the prospect of further cooperation between the two Groups in future warship and merchant ship construction programmes

    The Minister of Development and Investments Mr. Adonis Georgiadis stated:

    “The signing of the memorandum of cooperation between ONEX and Fincantieri is a very important event for the Greek economy since, once this cooperation is implemented, with the transfer of know-how to the Greek shipyards in Elefsina, they will acquire possibilities that they never had in the past.

    Of course, today’s signature does not prejudge the outcome of the process for the corvette programme, which will be a decision taken by the Greek Government and the Ministry of National Defence by examining all submitted proposals in an equal manner.

    However, today’s memorandum ensures that the Elefsina shipyards can meet expectations and deliver the relevant programme, if and when selected by the Navy.

    In any case, today’s signing shows the strong interest of a huge worldwide shipbuilding group in Greece. Very honorable for the Greek economy, a vote of confidence in Greece and a vote of confidence in ONEX. Congratulations”.

    Deputy Minister Mr. Nikos Papathanasis stated:

    “I would like to congratulate Mr. Xenokostas of ONEX Shipyards and Mr. Folgiero from Fincantieri for signing today’s agreement.

    From the first moment this Government said that it would change the environment, the business environment in Greece and create a friendly country for entrepreneurship.

    This is why the revival of the Elefsina Shipyards in the first place gives a new dynamic to a very strong industry that flourished in the past but at the same time these strengthening supports and will support a very strong merchant fleet since Greece has the strongest merchant fleet in the world.

    So, we continue. The support of the shipbuilding industry is not only that it creates new jobs for young people in the region, but at the same time it also creates an ecosystem of other activities that generally strengthen the industry in our country, which is a key pillar of development. Thanks”.

    The Ambassador of Italy to Greece, Mrs. Patrizia Falcinelli, stated:

    “I am very happy to be present here today at the inaugural event of a long-term and constructive partnership between Fincantieri and Onex. It is another indication of the determination of Italian companies to work together with Greek companies through shared capabilities and experiences.

    This has always been, as you know, the approach of Italian companies who trusted and insist on trusting the Greek market for their investments. After all, all the investments that have been made by Italian companies aimed to contribute significantly to the development of Greece’s assets in the industry and infrastructure sectors.

    Therefore, I want to send the following strong message to the Greek government and businesses: the aim of the Italian companies is to cooperate with you, to develop together with the Greek companies and to create hubs here in Greece, which could serve the needs other neighbouring countries and regions. Thank you”.

    Fincantieri CEO Mr. Pierroberto Folgiero said:

    ” Our manufacturing strategy is based on a proven model to increase the efficiency of the local partner with technology transfer, leveraging synergies and interconnections between production in Italy and Greece, with a long-term strategy. We also take advantage of a unique feature of the Italian defence industry, where a network of small and medium-sized companies collaborates with global ones: this is exactly what we want to apply in Greece to make Elefsina Shipyards a point of reference .

    The President & CEO of ONEX, Mr. Panos Xenokostas stated:

    “We are joining forces with the global industry leader Fincantieri, forming a strong American-Italian-Greek alliance based on Greece and the country’s shipyards. Today’s agreement to develop a manufacturing base and support the production line of the state-of-the-art Doha corvettes is just the beginning. The transfer of know-how and the training of workers, craftsmen, executives of the Elefsina Shipyards by Fincantieri is a legacy of national importance. It is about much more than the revival of the shipbuilding industry. Greece is turning into a regional hub for the construction and support of defence platforms. The commitment of both companies is centred on the Greek navy and the allied fleets of the region, including of course the American one.

    Unofficial translation by EDR On-Line

    Image courtesy Fincantieri

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    Greece's first FDI frigate begins to take shape
    Naval Group photo

    Greece’s First FDI HN Frigate Begins To Take Shape

    French shipbuilder Naval Group shared the latest developments in the construction of the Hellenic Navy's first FDI HN frigate (Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention - Defense and Intervention Frigate), which keel was laid down in dry dock on October 21, 2022.

    Tayfun Ozberk 15 Dec 2022

    Naval Group released new photographs of Greece’s first FDI HN frigate, which keel was laid down in the dry dock in October 2022 and is expected for delivery in 2025. The photos show the fast pace of the construction of this new class of vessels.

    According to the company, seven weeks after the first block of the first FDI HN entered the dry dock, five pre-outfitted blocks of the first ship-in-class, Kimon, have been laid on the keel line, and the two first blocks have been welded together.
    “Naval Group’s teams are working hard to ensure continuous progress as planned and to achieve the new step. The diesel engines, the gearboxes and the diesel generators have already been delivered in Lorient, while their embarkation on board will start before the end of the year.”

    Naval Group on social media

    The French shipbuilder also announced today the opening of a subsidiary in Greece: Naval Group Hellas.
    To reinforce the ramp-up of its operations in Greece, Naval Group will open Naval Group Hellas, its 100% subsidiary in Greece in early 2023.

    Naval Group press release

    This subsidiary will be the pillar for Naval Group’s long-term footprint in Greece and will be structured with substantial investment for a progressive ramp up of its Hellenic personnel based on training, transfer of technology and transfer of knowledge. Operating out of Athens, Naval Group Hellas will support the development and implementation of the Group’s Hellenic Industry Participation plan. More than 50 Hellenic companies have already joined Naval Group’s supply chain to contribute to the FDI for the French and Hellenic Navies programs as well as for other programs of the group.

    About FDI HN frigate

    FDI HN infographic prepared by Naval Analyses (
    The FDI HN features high-level capabilities in all warfare domains: anti-ship, anti-air, antisubmarine, and special forces projection. Its air and surface protection is ensured by the most modern sensors, including the Thales Sea Fire, the first all-digital multifunction radar with an active antenna and fixed panels.

    The frigates will be equipped with a unique integrated mast that brings together all the airborne sensors, enabling permanent 360° surveillance. As the first frigate on the market to be natively protected against cyber threat, the frigate will be equipped with two data centers hosting almost all of the ship’s applications.

    Technical specifications:
    • Displacement: 4,500 tons ;
    • Length: approx. 122 meters ;
    • Width: 18 meters ;
    • Maximum speed: 27 knots ;
    • Aviation facilities: 10-ton class helicopter, VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
    The main armaments:
    • 32 Aster missiles developed by MBDA ;
    • 8 Exocet MM40 B3C missiles developed by MBDA ;
    • RAM missiles ;
    • MU 90 torpedoes developed by Naval Group ;
    • 76 mm gun ;
    • 4 torpedo tubes ;
    • CANTO countermeasures developed by Naval Group.

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    French Navy new generation aircraft carrier design detailed


    Luca Peruzzi

    The latest design of the French Navy new generation aircraft carrier (PA NG, Porte-Avions Nouvelle Génération) was unveiled by the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) during the Euronaval 2022 exhibition, EDR On-Line having acquired later further details from the DGA.

    Launched by French President Emmanuel Macron in December 2020, the PA NG programme is devoted to the design, construction and delivery of a new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier intended to replace the current flagship of the Marine Nationale, the Charles de Gaulle, around 2038. Taking over the current aircraft carrier missions in an evolving and threatening environment, the PA NG will enable French Forces to provide power projection, sea control, air support to joint operations, maritime component command (alone or in coalition) contribution to intelligence, and at sea deterrence.

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    The new platform is being developed and will be built by the MO Porte-Avions, the joint company between Naval Group (65%) and Chantiers de l’Atlantique (35%), and TechnicAtome, which are in charge of the overall program management under the contracting authority of the DGA, with the CEA, the Atomic Energy Commission, for nuclear reactors. TechnicAtome is the prime contractor for the nuclear reactors while the MO Porte-Avions joint company is prime contractor for the whole vessel.

    The latest technical specifications provided by the DGA programme director, which name has been withheld for security reasons, unveil a platform with a full load displacement of approximately 75,000 tonnes, an overall length and width of respectively 310 meters (305 meters at waterline) and 85 meters (39 meters at waterline) and a max draught of 10.9 meters. With the progress of industrial studies, the DGA made the choice of energy conversion and electrical distribution architectures, and confirmed the three propellers configuration. The propulsion package is therefore based on two K22 nuclear steam supply systems (NSSS) providing 220 MW each, with steam turbines on the two shaft lines. These produce electricity power for the whole ship, including the propulsion, ensuring a maximum speed of 27 knots. The new aircraft carrier will have accommodations for 2,000 personnel, like Charles de Gaulle, including the air wing crews and maintainers, and fleet headquarters personnel.

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    The design of the flight deck and the carrier island has significantly evolved since the initial layout unveiled in 2020. “Space and volume margins have been considered into the flight deck, hangar and internal spaces, to welcome bigger aircraft than the Rafale M,” said the programme manager referring to the New Generation Fighter (NGF). This is at the core of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF), which also includes the Remote Carrier (RC) and the air combat cloud (AAC) networked battlespace. “Although changes could be introduced from today to 2025, when the development and production phase is planned to be launched, the overall design is quite well defined,” he told EDR On-Line. The DGA is carrying on stability and manoeuvrability tests and trials with a 10 meters long and 3 tonnes heavy platform model on the Lac de Castillon (Alpes-de-Haute Provence) to validate its performances, which have been so far very good, according to the same DGA representative. The DGA is also determining the specification of active internal and external systems to ensure the stability of the platform in all conditions to maximize aircraft operations availability.

    With a surface of approximately 17,000 m2, the flight deck layout has been optimised for the operations with the 90 meters General Atomics electromagnetic aircraft launching system (EMALS) and advanced arresting gear (AAG) as used on new generation US Navy aircraft carriers, as well as to reduce the turn-around and launch and recovery cycles with the embarked air wing of around 30 New Generation Fighter (NGF) and Rafale M, two Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye and five to six NH 90 helicopters. The flight deck currently presents two EMALS, one on the forward area of the deck and the other on the angled flight deck, the latter having slightly rotated externally to better manage flight operations. A third catapult option is also being studied by the DGA, to be installed side-by-side with the forward positioned one.

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    The DGA and French Navy team has also further evolved Naval Group work on an optimised flight deck operations, with an extreme stern starboard side area dedicated to the ‘Pedro’ NH90 Caiman search and rescue helicopter, which is always available during launch and recovery as well as during vertrep operations, while a quick turn-around and maintenance area dedicated to the future E-2D Advanced Hawkeye has been identified just behind the island. The redesign also involved the hangar, ammunition storage, and connecting secondary elevators for munitions and other duties, alongside refuelling and rearming external and internal areas, to speed up operations with the embarked combat aircraft.

    According to a DGA presentation, in addition to the carrier strike group wing including the NGF or SCAF, the Rafale Marine and the E-2D, alongside the NH90 Caiman, the PA NG can accommodate H-160M Guépard Marine and EC-725 rotary-wing aircraft, and is planned to be compatible and able to accommodate several US Navy aircraft such as the F-35C, the CMV-22 and the F-18, alongside CH-47 helicopters.

    The island saw a significant evolution both in terms of flight control managing and sensors accommodation. According to the programme manager, the configuration presented at Euronaval 2022 illustrates actual studies to identify functional and physical constraints of all eligible systems, but may evolve significantly in further years. The flight control station and the bridge area were completely redesigned with better situational awareness and management of both air operations and ship conduction. Thanks to the last step of an exhaustive functional analysis, the above cone design for accommodating sensors and communications has been deleted to make space for a more conventional infrastructure that combines the four fixed faces of the Thales Sea Fire AESA 3D multifunction radar as well as all required satellite and conventional communications radomes and antennas. The top mast also includes RESM and CESM antennas, while two Safran Paseo XLR turrets are installed to offer a 360 degrees coverage.

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    In addition to long-range acoustic devices (LRADs), the latest platform’s defence package includes four Nexter/Thales RAPIDFire 40 mm gun mounts with their embedded EO fire control director, three MBDA SIMBAD RC twin launchers for Mistral missiles, as well as anti-air warfare and anti-torpedo decoy launchers. In the latter case they consist in the Naval Group pneumatic launcher for the CANTO V decoy. The longer range air defence protection is planned to be assured by at least two 8-cell vertical launching systems (VLSs) for Aster missiles, with embedded capabilities to evolve during the platform life time. The DGA is still considering a range of options regarding the configuration of the defence weapon package, according to the DGA PA NG programme manager. The Agency and the French Navy have however incorporated design growth margins in term of spaces and energy power for the installation of DEWS (Direct Energy Weapon Systems) that are expected to benefit from the available energy power thanks to the aircraft carrier nuclear propulsion.

    Battlespace connectivity is ensured by RIFAN (Réseau IP de force aéronavale), SYRACUSE satellite communications, COMCEPT (besoins complémentaires en communications d’élongation de projection et de théâtre), CONTACT (Communications Numerisées Tactique et de Théatre) and MELCHIOR (Moyen d’élongation pour les communications HF interarmées et OTAN en réseau) communications networks, Link 16 and 22 tactical data links, while electronic warfare suite could include Thales RESM and CESM. The latest aircraft carrier island design also features optical communication systems.

    The shipbuilding, outfitting and delivery programme timeline

    “The PA NG programme is currently in the risk mitigation and innovation studies,” the DGA PA NG programme manager told the media. Launched at the beginning of 2021, these are expected to be concluded at the end of 2023, while preliminary design studies were launched in Q1 2021 and set to end in Q1 2023. These will be followed by the programme definition phase to last until late 2025, when the System Functional Review is planned to take place. Including feasibility and definition studies, the current phase is devoted to optimise the ship and enable its production, with main focus on general architecture and arrangement, main performance assessment and preliminary design of major systems (propulsion, flight deck, etc.). At the end of 2025 is set the decision for the launching of the development and production phase, which will llast about eleven years period.

    As anticipated, the MO Porte-Avions joint company is responsible for shipbuilding while TechnicAtome takes care of the nuclear reactor. Naval Group is in charge of the assembly of the nuclear reactors and auxiliary capacities, the production of the main reactors components, the whole warship architecture, aviation facilities and combat systems, alongside power conversion systems. The Chantiers de l’Atlantique is in charge of the platform shipbuilding, including life and hospital, propulsion, ventilation, fluids, manoeuvring devices, etc. and of the ship assembly.

    As the fuelling of the nuclear core and the first power up of the reactor are planned in Toulon as the Chantiers de l’Atlantique is only a conventional shipyard, the transfer is to be taken on vessel’s own power. However as the nuclear propulsion system couldn’t be operational yet, the platform is expected to be equipped with a temporary and large package of diesel generators on removable installations on the flight deck or eventually inside the hangar. This solution would see these diesel generators providing power to the platform electric motors, allowing its transfer to the facilities in the Mediterranean, and could also be used for some preliminary electric tests of the platform and flight deck facilities, since the all-electric architecture of the ship allows it.

    First sea going on nuclear propulsion from Toulon is planned in early 2036, while acceptance by French DGA is planned for late 2036 and commissioning by late 2037-early 2038. Many DGA centres of expertise and testing are involved in the PA NG programme, including DGA Hydrodynamics, Naval Systems, Land Systems, Aeronautical Systems, Information Superiority, Flight Testing, Missiles Testing and Engineering and Integration.

    Images courtesy MO Porte Avions (Naval Group, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, TechnicAtome), photos courtesy L. Peruzzi

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    Naval Group’s offer based on sea-proven Gowind corvettes to sustain hundreds of jobs in Greece
    The rendering of the Gowind HN corvettes in formation (Naval Group image)

    Naval Group’s Offer Based On Gowind Corvettes To Sustain Hundreds Of Jobs In Greece

    Naval Group has submitted on December 1st, 2022 an offer for the corvettes program of the Hellenic Navy. Based on the Gowind corvette and an optimised delivery schedule, it includes a Hellenic Industry Participation plan with 30% of the program value in Greece and hundreds of jobs in Greece over the next 40 years.

    Naval News Staff 09 Dec 2022

    Naval Group press release

    Building on Naval Group’s extensive expertise in terms of transfer of technology, the first corvette will be built in France in 3 years, and the following units in Hellenic Shipyards.

    The French offer for the corvettes is a comprehensive and robust package designed to ensure Greece has the best capabilities in the shortest timeframe with optimized costs and the highest level of commonalities with the FDI frigates. It includes:
    • 4 Gowind corvettes with 3 built in Greece by Hellenic Shipyards and the first in 3 years.
    • A secure transfer of technology for local construction thanks to Naval Group’s
      unmatched expertise and track record
    • 30% of the contract value in Greece and hundreds of long-term jobs
    • a long-term partnership with the Hellenic industry and the national defence ecosystem in
      the continuity of the FDI HN program to create and sustain high-value jobs
    • A very attractive financing proposal based on long term differed payments
    A secure transfer of technology and optimized delivery schedule

    Naval Group boasts unmatched experience in terms of successful in-country construction of both surface ships and submarines. Thanks to its decades of expertise, the Group has developed a robust and reliable process to ensure a successful and secure transfer of technology to its partners.

    This unique expertise is key to ensuring the program will maximize the involvement of the Hellenic
    companies and the success of “Made in Greece” while guaranteeing to the Hellenic Navy the quality, on-time delivery, and performances of the ships. From that perspective, the Naval Group is the best choice for ensuring risk-free production in Greece by the Hellenic industry.

    Construction of the 1st Gowind corvette in France will ensure operation by Greece in the shortest timeframe with a flag transfer only 3 years after the coming into force of the contract.

    The following units will be built in Greece by Hellenic Shipyards with the first corvette built in Greece delivered only one year after the first unit and then a pace of 1 Gowind every 12 months.

    The training of Hellenic partners during the production of the first ship will secure the transfer of technology to allow the construction of the corvettes in Greece. This will ensure long-term autonomy for the Hellenic Navy and significant economic benefits for the Hellenic naval and defence industries and for the supply chain in Greece.

    A robust Hellenic Industry Participation plan to sustain hundreds of jobs

    Hellenic Shipyards

    Naval Group is committed to guaranteeing the success of the corvette program as well as to supporting the Hellenic sovereignty by supporting the involvement of the Hellenic industrial ecosystem.

    With the Hellenic Industry Participation (HIP) plan for the Gowind HN, Naval Group will ensure economic benefits in Greece of at least 30% of the program value by:
    • Maximizing Hellenic industrial activity through the involvement of the Hellenic industry in
      the production in Greece of the GWD corvettes starting with the 2nd ship of the series.
    • Developing the autonomy on the Follow-On Support (FOS) for the sovereign use of the
    • Extending the industrial participation of Hellenic industrial partners integrated into the Naval
      Group’s supply chain to other programs carried out by Naval Group (domestic and
    • Structuring and increasing the R&D cooperation with Hellenic partners, in particular for
      European projects
    • Developing innovations in the naval/maritime domains

    The Gowind HN program will contribute to energizing and strengthening a dense network of industrial and R&D partnerships, enabling the Greek Industry to address the Hellenic naval forces modernization plan while creating and sustaining jobs and economic benefits for the country over decades to come.

    The construction of the three corvettes in Greece thanks to Naval Group’s transfer of technology will sustain more than 1,200 jobs in our partner shipyard while the production of equipment in Greece will sustain more than 150 for the construction but also repairs. As the ships will be in service for more than 40 years, the follow-on support will also offer opportunities for up to 500 highly qualified jobs.

    Beyond the corvettes program, Naval Group’s Hellenic Industry Participation plan (HIP) will develop new capacities in the Greek industry, sustaining highly qualified jobs and generating long-term economic spin-offs in Greece thanks to a large transfer of production.

    Indeed, the French team has designed a very ambitious industrial cooperation plan that will contribute to the revitalization of a profitable naval industry while significantly increasing Greece’s autonomy and sovereignty. It will reinforce the international recognition of the excellence of the Greek naval industry while providing the best high-end “Made in Greece” warships to defend the country’s citizens and interests.

    Beyond the build of the Gowind corvettes, the local ecosystem will also gradually acquire the know-how and benefit from the most modern and high-end maintenance tools needed to efficiently maintain the FDI HN frigates as well as the Gowind® HN corvettes throughout their operational life cycle. In addition to ensuring the Hellenic Navy’s sovereignty, this long-term approach will develop the sustainability of the Greek companies by providing them with recurring activities over the ship life-cycle, source of growth potential, employment, and benefit over the next decades.

    More than 55 Hellenic companies are qualified or in process of joining the Naval Group supply chain.
    All qualified Greek companies integrate the French industrial team’s supply chains and have the possibility to participate in other future international competitions, thus increasing their capabilities as well as their potential economic benefit and visibility on the worldwide naval market.

    About the GOWIND HN

    Illustration of Gowind HN

    Gowind is a powerful surface combatant equipped with NATO-interoperable and combat-proven systems, designed and built by Naval Group, the French naval leader dedicated to military ships, and provider of 1st rank naval vessels for the French and allied navies.

    Gowind has been selected by four navies and is currently in service in the Egyptian navy fleet.
    • The platform was designed by Naval Group’s best architects and incorporates requirements and feedback ensuring its reliability and its capacity to navigate in all seas around the world.
    • Gowind offers a comprehensive set of state-of-the-art NATO-standard combat-proven
      systems for ASW, ASuW and AAW.
    • First Of Class was delivered to the Egyptian Navy only 38 months after the order. The design and the industrial processes are fully secured and Alexandria Shipyards have successfully produced 3 other Gowind corvettes in Egypt.
    • Naval Group has been a designer and manufacturer of warships for more than 400 years. Due to this valuable background, associated with the operational expertise of the French Navy, the Naval Group masters all the technologies required to propose a compact and powerful surface combatant well-adapted for the Aegean and equipped to face all kinds of threats.

    Gowind® integrates sophisticated and latest-generation sensors and weapons able to face all types of conventional and asymmetric threats in blue and shallow waters. Sensors (sonars, EW systems, fire control systems) and weapons (guns, surface attack missiles, torpedoes, RAM systems) as main significant examples, are common with or from the same family of Belharra/FDI systems. Gowind is designed to safely operate, launch and recover the same class of heavyweight helicopters as [email protected]/FDI. The vessel is currently and successfully operated in the various environments of the Mediterranean Sea, which has many common environment characteristics with the Aegean Sea, and the Red Sea.

    Gowind integrates the same combat-proven and NATO-standard technologies as the French Navy frigates operating in cold and warm waters, open oceans with long swells as well as in closer areas with short swells.

    Above water, Gowind integrates through her Setis® combat management system a 3D S-band surveillance radar with proven performance against small targets as well as all types of aircraft, combined with passive sensors providing immediate warnings and countermeasures. A vertically launched RF and IR missile system provides Gowind® with an extended air defence capability, at
    medium up to very short range.

    Underwater, Gowind integrates a consistent anti-submarine (ASW) capability with a reputed sonar suite, capable of covering the full range of ASW tasks in blue and shallow waters. Sea-proven with more than 300 sea trials, including live firings, and over 1,000 units produced, the MU90 lightweight torpedo guarantees full operational maturity and reliability. Due to its unmatched engagement distance and its unique very shallow water capability, it is the deterrent weapon to protect your maritime approaches and your naval forces deployments. The MU90 will keep any modern submarine at a safe distance, and the torpedo defence system fitted on board is the only solution capable of protecting surface vessels against the most advanced and the previous-generation torpedoes.

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  • Bug2
    Preligens Report - Detecting China's Aircraft Carriers

    Preligens Report: Detecting China’s Aircraft Carriers

    Preligens, the expert in artificial intelligence in the service of satellite image analysis for Defense, published a report on the aircraft carriers of the Chinese navy (PLAN).

    Xavier Vavasseur 30 Nov 2022

    Aircraft carriers are the capital ships of navy fleets. In the last years, China has started the construction of additional carriers at a rapid pace, posing a serious challenge to the balance of military powers in the Indo-Pacific seas.

    This document gathers detections and identifications on optical satellite imagery for the three Chinese PLAN aircraft carriers. Preligens content and expert teams are pleased to detail:
    • Detection & identification of the Type 001, Type 002 and of the newly launched Type 003;
    • A study of their homeports and related infrastructures;
    • A monitoring for recent movements of those 3 assets.
    PLA Yuin Base Type 002 Preligens
    The report can be dowloaded at this link. This document belongs to the China’s PLA Insights series by Preligens. It contains only fully public data.

    According to a company spokesperson, the “Preligens Insight” report is being shared to show the company’s know-how and capabilities. Preligens’ tool can automatically and accurately detect (objects or vehicles), identify (if it is a ship, plane or truck) and classify (types of ship such as cruisers, frigates, patrol vessels…). Perligens technology is already in use with the armed forces of France and the United States as well as with NATO and several countries in Asia.

    Preligens was created in 2016 by two engineers, Arnaud Guérin and Renaud Allioux, on the belief that intelligence professionals would never be able to cope with the tsunami of data made available by the huge investments made in sensors. They came up with the idea of using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the analysis of this multi-sourced data and tip and cue
    analysts to unusual events requiring their expertise.

    Based in Paris and present in 5 countries, Preligens employs 230 people, mostly scientists who form the largest AI team for Defense in Europe. The performance and accuracy of Preligens’ solutions, which are internationally recognized and proven in the field, enable its users in the defense sector to be quickly enlightened about complex situations.

    The company recently won a 240 million Euros contract with France’s General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) for data processing solutions.

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  • Bug2
    Upgraded La Fayette Frigate
    The upgraded La Fayette frigate during sea trials. French Navy picture.

    Second Upgraded La Fayette-Class Frigate Is Operational Again

    French Navy (Marine Nationale) frigate "La Fayette" is back in the fleet and ready for duty. It is the second La Fayette-class frigate to benefit from a comprehensive upgrade program.

    Xavier Vavasseur 30 Nov 2022

    La Fayette became operational again with the French Navy on 24 November 2022. Aconit will be the next frigate to be upgraded, in 2023.

    La Fayette carried out a series of sea trials and training which first enabled the DGA (defense procurement agency) to validate the acceptance of the new or upgraded systems on September 15, 2022. This was followed by an operational training course of about fifteen days. This course enabled the crew to be qualified for the future missions that will be entrusted to them.
    “The work carried out has made it possible to modernize the frigate and equip it with new capabilities while extending its service life beyond 2030. This contributes to maintaining the format at 15 combat frigates while awaiting the arrival of all the Defense and intervention frigates (FDI).”
    French MoD statement

    Based in Toulon, La Fayette is 126 meters long, 15 meters wide and has a displacement of 3,600 tons. Five vessels of this type are in service in the French Navy, all based in Toulon.

    La Fayette-class Frigate Upgrade

    La Fayette following her upgrade. Naval Group picture.

    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.

    The French Navy’s first upgraded LaFayette-class frigate, ‘Courbet’, was handed over to the French defense procurement agency (DGA) on 13 September 2021 following sea trials. The upgrade work consists in three main area: Air Defense, Anti-submarine warfare and the Combat Information Center (CIC).

    Air Defense:

    One of the two MBDA Sadral system aboard Courbet

    The obsolete CROTALE anti-air warfare system was replaced by two reconditioned MBDA Sadral sextuple launchers taken from decommissioned Georges Leygues-class ASW frigates. They are refurbished in order to operate the new MISTRAL 3 missile. If the Mistral 3 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.

    Anti-Submarine Warfare

    Thales hull mounted sonar Kingklip. Thales picture.

    For the first time in the French Navy, the La Fayette-class frigates sport some underwater combat capacities. The Courbet received a KingKlip Mk2 hull-mounted medium-frequency sonar from Thales. It is the same model selected for the FDI frigates. This ASW capability will require six additional sailors specialized who will reinforce the crew of each frigate.


    A large touchscreen tactical table for situation assessment and cooperative mission planning is now placed in the CIC (Courbet’s CIC pictured here).

    The layout of the (cramped) CIC was changed in order to increase its size. This was done to accomodate the new combat management system (CMS) and to add new consoles dedicated to anti-submarine warfare (ASW) sonar and to MBDA MM40 Block 3C Exocet anti-ship missile. The original Thales TAVITAC CMS has been replaced by a new SENIT FLF system (a scaled version of the upgraded SENIT 8 CMS fitted to the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle). SENIT FLF features new dual-screen operator consoles and introduces a large touchscreen tactical table for situation assessment and cooperative mission planning.

    Other upgrades include new EO/IR systems by Chess Dynamics, improvements to the overall structures of the ship as well as its stability. In addition, La Fayette is the first frigate to be fitted with Naval Group’s new torpedo decoy launchers.

    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:

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  • ARHmk3
    commented on 's reply
    Fitted for but not with...

    The Italian navy seems to be happy it is even able to get hulls, but clearly wants something that offers a path to upgrade.

  • ADMk2
    commented on 's reply
    It’s a bloody big “patrol” ship…

    It’s longer, slightly narrower and as heavy as a FREMM…

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    PPA Thaon di Revel
    PPA Thaon di Revel escorting a container ship through the Strait of Hormuz. Italian Navy picture.

    Italy’s PPA Thaon Di Revel Concludes EMASoH Participation

    The Italian Navy (ITN) first-of-class Paolo Thaon di Revel PPA (Pattugliatore Polivalente d’Altura) or multipurpose combatant offshore patrol vessel is currently deployed as part the Italian Armed Forces joint contingent responsible for the “Orice” operation, the bilateral support mission to the Qatar Armed Forces for the security of the FIFA World Cup event recently inaugurated and lasting until 18 December.

    Luca Peruzzi 26 Nov 2022

    The Italian Navy vessel joined Operation Orice in Qatar to secure the FIFA World Cup

    The Thaon di Revel arrived at Doha last 14 November and since then, according to the Italian Defence HQs, is busy “patrolling international waters off the Capital in order to prevent illicit trafficking and possible terrorist activities”. As part of the articulated Qatari defense apparatus, the ITN PPA operates in full synergy with the air and naval assets of other countries such as the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Turkey.

    The Italian Navy vessel was coming from the successful participation since the end of last August as Flagship of the Operation AGENOR, the pillar of the European-led Maritime Awareness of the Strait of Hormuz (EMASoH). The Thaon di Revel’s crew headed by commander Emanuele Morea, left La Spezia naval base on 12 August and through a short participation to the EUVAFOR Operation Atalanta joined the Operation AGENOR, which Force Headquarters command was assigned for the first time to an Italian representative, rear admiral Stefano Costantino, for the regular six months shift. The Operation AGENOR is led by a French officer, since 26th August being rear admiral Emmanuel Slaars, who is also the commander of the French Forces in UAE.

    PPA Thaon di Revel with French Forces based in the UAE. EMASOH picture.

    The EMASOH is a nine European countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, The Netherlands) maritime security initiative to promote safe and secure transit and freedom of navigation for merchant shipping in the Gulf region, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman and the North Arabian Sea. EMASoH is deploying surface and air assets monitoring the area, in a de-escalatory way and in accordance with the international law to reassure merchant shipping.

    Since the 1st September, for the first time in the history of EMASOH, the tactical commander and the staff of the Operation AGENOR (CTF 474) is embarked on a naval asset, the ITN PPA Thaon di Revel, in order to conduct maritime operations at tactical level at sea. The international embarked staff (Staff Afloat) was composed of military personnel coming from Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy and The Netherlands and supported for some activities by the staff which was operating ashore (reach back staff) at the naval base of Al Salam Camp in the United Arab Emirates, composed of personnel coming from France, Denmark and Norway. During the deployment, according to Italian MoD, the Thaon di Revel ship C4I suite was able to successfully support the tactical command and his staff, with the same efficiency as the same command being deployed ashore.
    PPA Thaon di Revel sailing alongside an Omani OPV. Italian Navy picture.

    In addition to the patrolling of the Strait of Hormuz area, accompanying merchants vessels in order to contribute to the safe and secure passages of ships in the region, the Thaon di Revel has called in different capitals and ports of the countries of the Gulf and Arabian Sea, including Oman, UAE, Bahrein, Kuwait and Qatar, exercising also with the vessels of their, allied and friends navies in order to promote the dialogue and the cooperation at trans-regional level in support of the freedom of navigation, aiming for security, stability and prosperity in the Gulf.

    Italy’s Operation “Orice” in support of Qatar security

    The Italian Armed Forces joint contingent is composed by around 560 personnel coming for the same Army, Air Force and Navy with the task to support, together with the military contingents of France, UK, US, Pakistan and Turkey, the Qatar Armed Forces in providing the security and defence frame for the FIFA World Cup 2022 event, running from last Monday to the 18th December. The commander of the Italian join land component is general Giuseppe Bossa of the Italian Army, which activities are coordinated from Italy by the Joint Defence Operational Command headed by general Francesco Paolo Figliuolo. The maritime at-sea component based on the Thaon di Revel PPA platform is commanded by the same ship commander Emanuele Morea, directly reporting to the Joint Defence Operational Command in Italy. The Italian Task Force land component includes Army’s EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiogical and Nuclear) together with dog specialized units, while the Navy is tasked with patrolling and securing the coast proximity waters with a detachment of the Italian Navy MCM Command or MARICODRAG equipped with REMUS unmanned autonomous vehicles. The Air Force detachment is instead contributing to the air space control to counter potential unauthorized use of mini and micro drones with a dedicated C-UAS package. The Arma dei Carabinieri armed force provides a 14-personnel team including the Provost Marshal to directly support the contingent commander and a detachment of advisors as consultants of the Qatar security (Gendarmerie, Emir Guard and Military Police) and special forces.

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  • Bug2
    Marcantonio Colonna PPA
    Marcantonio Colonna (P433) is a PPA in "Light+" configuration. Picture by Luca Peruzzi.

    Italian Navy’s Fifth PPA Launched By Fincantieri

    Today, the technical launch of the Multipurpose Offshore Patrol ship (PPA – Pattugliatore Polivalente d’Altura) “Marcantonio Colonna” took place at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Riva Trigoso (Genova).

    Naval News Staff 26 Nov 2022

    Fincantieri press release

    The vessel is the fifth of seven vessels to be built at the Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano with deliveries expected until 2026.

    The PPAs are part of the renewal plan of the operational lines of the Italian Navy vessels, approved by the Government and Parliament and started in May 2015 (“Naval Act”) under the aegis of OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement, the international organization for cooperation on arms).

    At the ceremony, among others, the Undersecretary of Defence, Matteo Perego di Cremnago, the Governor of Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti, the Chief of the Italian Navy, Adm. OF-9 Enrico Credendino, OCCAR-EA Director, Adm. Matteo Bisceglia, were received by Gen. Claudio Graziano and Pierroberto Folgiero, respectively Chairman and CEO of Fincantieri, as well as the General Manager Naval Vessels Division of the Group, Dario Deste.

    Marcantonio Colonna, who lived between 1535 and 1584, was one of the most illustrious land and sea captains of the 16th century, also protagonist of the battle of Lepanto in 1571. The godmother of the launch was Jeanne Colonna Pavoncelli, descendant of the distinguished family.

    Vessel’s characteristics: PPA – Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship
    The Multipurpose Offshore Patrol ship (PPA – Pattugliatore Polivalente d’Altura) “Marcantonio Colonna” ready for launch at the Fincantieri shipyard. Fincantieri photo.

    The multipurpose offshore patrol vessel is a highly flexible ship, fit to serve multiple functions, ranging from patrol with sea rescue capacity to Civil Protection operations and, in its most highly equipped version, first line fighting vessel. For the seven vessels of the program there will be indeed different configurations of combat system: starting from a “soft” version for the patrol task, integrated for self-defence ability, to a “full” one, which means equipped for a complete defence ability. The patrol ship is also capable of operating high-speed vessels such as RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) up to 11 meters long through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern.
    • 143 meters long overall
    • Speed up to 32 knots according to vessel configuration and operational conditions
    • Approx. 135 crew members and accommodation capacity up to 181 beds
    • Combined diesel and gas turbine propulsion system, i.e. with electric motors for low speeds
    • Capacity to supply drinking water, electricity and health support to land


    Naval News comments:

    The Marcantonio Colonna (P433) is a PPA in “Light+” configuration featuring more weapon systems compared to the two first ships-in-class. To learn more about the Paolo Thaon di Revel class, check out this article.

    However, our Italian contributor, Luca Peruzzi, who attended the launch ceremony, informed Naval News of two important announcements:
    • The Chief of the Italian Navy announced the plan to transform the two PPA “Light” into PPA “Full” configuration. The Thaon di Revel class will then consist in four PPA Full and three PPA Light+ ships.
    • It was also announced that PPA Morosini (second ship in class) will conduct a long cruise in the Pacific in the second half of 2023

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  • Bug2
    HSwMS Artemis
    HSwMS Artemis during sea trials (Saab photo)

    Saab Signs Contract For Two SIGINT Ships For Poland

    Saab has today signed a contract with the Polish State Treasury Armament Agency for design, production and support of two ships for Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) for Poland.

    Naval News Staff 25 Nov 2022

    Saab press release

    The total order value corresponds to approximately EUR 620 million with deliveries planned during 2027. The order is expected to be booked by Saab before year end.

    A SIGINT ship is used to support the acquisition of intelligence data across the full spectrum of naval intelligence capabilities. Saab will serve as prime contractor, designing and producing the two ships including the integration of advanced mission systems. The ships will be built by subcontractor Remontowa Shipbuilding SA in Poland.

    “We are proud that Poland has selected Saab as a partner in naval intelligence ship systems. We will contribute with our capabilities by building advanced platforms with world-leading sensors, fully integrating complete mission systems, where we have long experience,” says Saab’s President and CEO Micael Johansson.

    The effectiveness of the contract is subject to the fulfilment of certain financial conditions. All conditions are expected to be fulfilled by the end of 2022.


    Naval News comments:

    Saab recently started sea trials of Artemis, Sweden’s future SIGINT ship. The vessel was launched in PGZ Stocznia Wojenna in Gdynia, Poland on April 17, 2019. The ships for Poland will likely be based on Artemis.

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  • Bug2
    commented on 's reply
    They appear to have taken the view that they couldn't afford it previously, or more accurately none of the governments wanted to spend the money. Wisely, in my opinion, they have subsequently adopted a new vessel approach wherever possible, rather than rework what is already worn out.

  • Magnify v2.0
    commented on 's reply
    Reminds me of ... Jutland.

  • unicorn11
    commented on 's reply
    They need to, their Navy is running on older vessels approaching their use by date, their frigates for example are MEKO-200s, originally the same as our Anzacs, but with no real mid-life update modernisation undertaken since built, whereas ours have gone through 2 major upgrades in less time.

  • Bug2
    commented on 's reply
    By 2030 they will have stripped down and rebuilt the Navy almost completely.

  • Bug2
    Hellenic Navy vessels in exercise. Photo by Nick Thodos
    Hellenic Navy frigates in exercise. Photo by Nick Thodos (Twitter: Hellenic Navy through my lens)

    The Future Of The Hellenic Navy Fleet

    Here is an overview of the Hellenic Navy's planned procurement of naval vessels and aircraft, as well as the expected modernization and upgrade of in-service vessels. The period we are focusing in spans from July 8, 2019, when the new government under Prime Minister K. Mitsotakis was formed, to the end of the current decade.

    Dimitris Mitsopoulos 22 Nov 2022

    Here is an overview of the Hellenic Navy’s planned procurement of naval vessels and aircraft, as well as the expected modernization and upgrade of in-service vessels. The period we are focusing on spans from July 8, 2019, when the new government under Prime Minister K. Mitsotakis was formed, to the end of the current decade.

    The graph below illustrates the tremendous effort by the government and the current leadership of the Hellenic Navy to modernize the Greek naval forces after years of cutbacks and inactivity.

    In 2019-2021, three former Platform Support Vessels (PSV) were donated to the Navy by the shipowner Panos Laskaridis, as general support ships (replenishment, support, etc.). This was an important addition to the Hellenic Navy fleet which lacks modern logistic support vessels. In 2020 also, the 6th Roussen-class (Super Vita) FACM joined the Navy.

    Greek naval programs 2019-2030 Procurement, modernization and upgrades of Hellenic Navy vessels and aircraft, 2019-2030. Infographic by author.

    [ Expanded chart here - ΠΟΛΕΜΙΚΟ-ΝΑΥΤΙΚΟ-2019-2030-scaled.jpg (1820×2048) ( ]​

    In the period 2021-2022, four Mk V Special Operations Craft (SOC) donated by the United States joined the Navy, after receiving several upgrades from the Navy including new communications suite, navigation radar and electro-optical sensor (FLIR EOS). In 2022, a locally designed SOC named Agenor, the 7th and final Roussen-class FACM, four Naval Special Warfare Rigid Inflatable Boats (11M NSW RIB) donated by the United States, entered service with the Navy. The new FACM, is the last in the Roussen series and together with the 6th vessel, features some new sensors in comparison with the first five boats. In the same year, five Alpha 900 UAV entered service which intend to equip mainly the four Hydra-class (MEKO 200HN) frigates.

    From 2023, Greece is about to receive four former US Coast Guard Island-class patrol vessels. These boats will replace some very old coastal patrol vessels, after receiving some important updates including modern armament. From the end of the year, and more likely by the beginning of 2024, Greece will receive five Alkmaar-class minehunters from the Royal Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine) that will replace the sole Hunt-class minehunter (the second vessel, Kallisto, was involved in a collision with a commercial freighter and went out of service) and the two Osprey-class minehunters currently in service. Note that on October 27, 2021, a LOI for the possible transfer of two Karel Doorman-class (M) frigates and six Alkmaar-class (Tripartite-class) mine countermeasures vessels to the Hellenic Navy, was signed between Greece and the Netherlands.

    From 2023 till the end of 2025, the Navy plans to upgrade its four Machitis-class (HSY56A) patrol vessels and the four Mk V SOC, with Rafael’s Spike NLOS and ER II ATGM and an electro-optical sensor, especially for the latter. The four Papanikolis-class (Type 214HN) and the sole Okeanos (Type 209/1500) AIP submarines, will receive their new Seahake Mod 4 torpedoes and their Leonardo decoy launching systems for self-protection against threats.

    The period 2023-2026, various aircraft will boost the capabilities of the Force. Four upgraded and the heavily modernized P3 Orion MPA & SIGINT will gradually enter service together with seven (7) MH-60R helicopters. Currently there are discussions for 1+2 additional helicopters of the type while older S70 are partially modernized. The MH-60R will introduce new weapons to the Fleet; among others Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) rockets, Mk54 torpedoes, M-240 and GAU-21 crew served guns.

    In the period 2024-2028, it is expected that the four Hydra-class frigates, the four Papanikolis-class SSK and at least the first four Roussen-class FACM will be modernized with new mission and platform systems.
    FDI Gowind The first FDI frigate for the French Navy (left) next to the second Gowind corvette for the UAE Navy (right). Both ships are fitting out at the Naval Group shipyard in Lorient.

    In 2025 the first new major surface combatants after about three decades, the first two FDI frigates, will enter service in French configuration (Standard 1), which will replace non-modernized Elli-class (Kortenaer-class) frigates. The ships will be equipped with new UAV, in the size of Camcopter S100 or VSR700 systems; four such systems will be procured by 2027. The next year the third FDI will enter service which will be the first in the Hellenic Navy (Standard 2) configuration, that includes among others 16 additional Aster 30 SAM, 21-cell RAM CIWS and DLS.

    Currently there is an ongoing competition for the acquisition of four or 3+1 corvettes. The main contenders are Naval Group with Gowind 2800, Fincantieri with FCX-30 (an Al Zubarah-class variant) and Damen with SIGMA 10514HN. The first two new corvettes are expected to join the Fleet in 2026. In 2027 the first two Std1 FDIs will be upgraded to Std2 configuration. A third corvette will enter service as well. If Greece exercises the option for the 4th FDI by July 2023, then the ship will join the Navy in 2028 in Std2 configuration. A 4th corvette might also join the Fleet by that time.
    Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (QENF) first-of-class Al Zubarah air defense corvette. Picture by Giorgio Arra.

    By the end of the 2020s, two new submarines, as part of a 2+2 program, will enter service. The first two European Patrol Corvettes (EPC), as part of the PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation) projects, will also likely be inducted. In addition, during the current decade, more second-hand ships will likely be added to the Fleet.

    The ultimate aim is to create a modern naval force by 2034 that will include, among other warships, 12 frigates, 6 corvettes and 8 submarines.

    Nevertheless, throughout the current decade, the modernization of the Hellenic Navy vessels is continuous; this include the installation of new electronic equipment (navigation radars, communication systems, EOS, etc.) as well as new engines and various platform systems.

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  • Bug2
    Northern European countries join forces to stimulate Marine Industry

    Northern European Countries Join Forces To Stimulate Marine Industry

    To safeguard the future availability of naval materiel, the Northern Naval Shipbuilding Cooperation (NNSC) initiative was created.

    Naval News Staff 22 Nov 2022

    Netherlands MoD press release

    Participating nations are Denmark, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

    During a side session of the NEDS matchmaking day on 16-11-2022, this initiative has been taken one step further. In the first part of this meeting, the representatives of the nations clearly defined a top-three of topics of interest for cooperation:
    • Advancement of shipbuilding concepts for modularity, interoperability, and harmonization of certification and standards;
    • underwater warfare and seabed situational awareness;
    • and future proof propulsion, subject to navy effectiveness and operational requirements.

    During the second part of the meeting, the group was complemented by the presidents of the national defence industry associations. The topics that were defined in the first part of the session, were presented to the industry representatives and were open for discussion.

    The first action item for the nations is to further elaborate these three selected topics in 1-pagers. This will be the basis for a workshop with industries (OEMs, SMEs) and research institutes, during which roadmaps will be defined towards future cooperation.

    Other issues to address are the elaboration of government ambitions and intentions and defining the governance of this initiative. In this regard, an important next step is the drafting and signing of an MOU.

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  • unicorn11
    commented on 's reply
    She's no beauty that one.

  • Bug2
    FDI with PSIM
    The first FDI frigate, Amiral Ronarc'h, seen here on November 12, 2022, outfitted at the Naval Group shipyard in Lorient, with her PSIM already in place. Picture by Xavier Vavasseur

    First Look: New French Frigate With Her PSIM Integrated Mast

    The hull of the first FDI frigate, Amiral Ronarc'h (D660), was taken out of the dry dock on 9 November 2022. The PSIM (Panoramic Sensor & Intelligence Module) was fitted on the frigate the next day.

    Xavier Vavasseur 21 Nov 2022

    For the record, Amiral Ronarc’h was “officially launched” during a ceremony held on 7 November 2022. However, the event was a only partial launch: The covered construction dock where the first FDI frigate took shape was flooded. The hull of the first-in-class ship was not taken out to the outfitting pier due to weather conditions.

    Photos shared on social media show that this critical phase was conducted three days after the ceremony. The information was confirmed by Naval Group, who shared additional pictures with us (see below). What’s more: the PSIM was fitted on the same day, highlighting once again how quickly the shipbuilder is moving with this program. There are now three vessels outfitting in Lorient: Two Gowind corvettes for the UAE Navy and one FDI. One additional frigate, the frist FDI HN for the Hellenic Navy, is taking shape in the dry dock. Her keel was laid last month.
    Naval News, who attended the event on 7 November (check out our video above), went back to the shipyard on 12 November to see the next generation frigate of the French Navy (Marine Nationale) taking shape, with her quite unique inverted bow and integrated mast in place.

    About PSIM

    Close up view of the first FDI with her PSIM in place. Picture by Xavier Vavasseur

    The PSIM (Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module) was developed by Naval Group, initially for the Gowind corvette program. It brings increased operational performance and better control of costs and lead times:

    1- The module includes almost all the sensor systems of the ship (in the case of the FDI, from top to bottom:
    • SeaFire radar arrays
    • IFF
    • Optronic systems
    • Navigation radars
    • UHF communication antennas
    • Electronic Warfare (such as the C-ESM Altesse H antenna)

    2- The module is produced independently from the hull and well ahead of the sea trials: It can be powered-up, test or even used for training while on shore. Almost all the combat system of the frigate can be pre-integrated months before the launch of the ship.

    launch of Amiral Ronarc'h. The launch of Amiral Ronarc’h. Note the PSIM in the background. Naval Group picture.
    The PSIM being fitted on the first FDI frigate, right after her formal launch. The PSIM being fitted on the first FDI frigate the day following her launch. Naval Group picture.​

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  • Bug2
    Final FREMM Frigate ‘Lorraine’
    "Lorraine" the last and final FREMM frigate for the French Navy pulling into Toulon naval base for the first time. French Navy picture.

    Final FREMM Frigate ‘Lorraine’ Delivered To The French Navy

    The French Armament General Directorate (DGA) took delivery of the FREMM Frigate 'Lorraine' from Naval Group on 16 November 2022. 'Lorraine' is the eighth and final FREMM for the French Navy and the second one in the Air Defense (FREMM DA) variant.

    Xavier Vavasseur 21 Nov 2022

    The delivery took place at the French Navy (Marine Nationale) naval base of Toulon, in Southern France, the home-port of Lorraine (D657).

    Lorraine joins frigates Alsace (D656, the first FREMM DA), Provence (D652) and Languedoc (D653) which are also home-ported in Toulon.

    The Frigate departed the Naval Group shipyard of Lorient (Brittany) on 3 November. A number of tests were conducted during her transit to the Mediterranean Sea:
    “to check the proper functioning of its 76mm turret and prepare for the forthcoming qualification of its artillery chain with the very promising STIR fire control.”
    French MoD statement

    Our recent video coverage of Lorraine departing the Naval Group shipyard in Lorient, ahead of her delivery:

    Lorraine was launched in November 2020 and started sea trials in February 2022. She will now continue the verification of its military characteristics (VCM). In other words, her crew will conduct an evaluation of the performance of the various systems, through complex exercises and a long-term deployment (often called long cruise or check down cruise). The vessel will then formally enter “active service” (“admission au service actif” in French).

    About FREMM DA

    FREMM DA Lorraine during sea trials. She is the second Air Defense FREMM of the French Navy and final FREMM frigate built by Naval Group. Naval Group picture.

    According to Naval Group, the FREMM DA Alsace and Lorraine are strongly armed surface combatants fitted with the most performant weapon systems and equipment such as: the Herakles multifunction radar, the Aster 15 and 30 surface to air missiles, the Exocet MM 40 anti-ship missiles or the MU 90 torpedo. The performance of their combat system are reinforced with increased radar and communication capacities, a new fire control radar, and a SETIS CMS fitted with specific anti-air defense functions.

    While the FREMM DA retains the same anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities as earlier vessels of the Aquitaine-class (with CAPTAS-4 and UMS 4110 CL sonars), its so called “increased capabilities in air defense” consists in a few notable changes:
    • The Thales Herakles multi-function radar is more powerful, has more transmitter modules, additional wave-forms and search modes for long range air defense
    • A Thales STIR EO MK 2 fire control radar replaces the Najir by Sagem (providing better AAW and ASuW capabilities to the 76mm main gun)
    • Reinforced bridge structure to accommodate the extra weight of the above
    • 4x Sylver A50 vertical launch systems for a total of 32x MBDA Aster 15 or 30 surface to air missiles
    • Additional communication systems and antennas
    • 3x additional consoles in the CIC (the global arrangement inside the CIC has been modified accordingly) for a total of 20 aboard the ship
    • Modifications to the SETIS combat management system with specific air defense functions
    • Additional berthing

    According to the French Navy’s FREMM program manager, the FREMM DA main mission will be area air defense of major Marine Nationale units such as the Charles de Gaulle aircraft-carrier and the three Mistral-class LHDs, within a carrier-strike group or as part of an amphibious group.

    Technical characteristics of the FREMM DA
    • Overall length: 142 m
    • Width: 20 m
    • Displacement: 6,000 tons
    • Max. speed: 27 knots
    • Complement: 119 sailors (+ 14 for the aviation crew)
    • Accommodation: 165 men and women
    • Range: 6,000 at 15 knots
    FREMM DA weapon systems
    • 8 Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles
    • 32 Aster missiles in Sylver® vertical launch systems
    • One 76 mm main gun
    • Four 12.7 mm machine guns
    • 19 MU90 torpedoes
    • One NH90 NFH maritime helicopter
    • Two Narwhal 20 mm remotely operated guns

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  • Bug2
    Naval firms court Greece for ship-upgrade work

    By Vivienne Machi

    Nov 9, 11:06 PM

    Greek navy musicians stand guard before a signing ceremony for the purchase of French ships and aircraft near Athens on March 24, 2022. (Photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP via Getty Images)

    PARIS — On the first day of the biennial Euronaval trade conference here last month, France’s new defense minister Sebastien Lecornu made sure to meet with Greece’s vice defense minister, Nikolaus Hardalias, at the Hellenic pavilion.

    There was a reason for the special attention. Paris has aggressively pursued increased ties to Athens’ military in recent years, including signing a strategic partnership in 2021, and it succeeded in netting a contract in Marchto build three new frigates for the Hellenic navy. But other nations, including the United States, United Kingdom, and others are also building new partnerships with Greece, and companies at Euronaval showed concerted interest in courting the nation for shipyard partnerships.

    A major program to recapitalize Greece’s corvette fleet has recently stalled, Defense News has learned. But that hasn’t stopped the competitors from signing new contracts with local suppliers to shore up support once the program moves forward.

    France’s Naval Group, the Netherlands’ Damen, the UK’s Babcock, Italy’s Fincantieri, and the United States’ Lockheed Martin have all thrown their hats into the ring for the corvette replacement effort. But the Greek navy has for now put the program on pause, Jonathan Walton, Babcock’s vice president of business development for marine and technology at Babcock International Group, told Defense News Oct. 20 at the company’s booth at Euronaval.

    Babcock had proposed its Arrowhead 140 frigate — the basis for the Royal Navy’s Type 31 frigates currently in construction — for Greece’s frigate replacement program, initially, and now the corvette replacement. The British shipyard had also initiated agreements “in principle” with local suppliers in Greece to sweeten the deal, said Walton.

    Requests for comment to the Greek Ministry of Defense on the status of the corvette program were not returned before publication.

    France’s Naval Group has proposed its GoWind 2500 multipurpose corvette for the Hellenic Navy. The company is slated to build three new Belharra-class FDI HN (frégates de défense et d’intervention for the Hellenic Navy) frigates and an optional fourth, out of its shipyards in Lorient in the north of France, due for delivery in 2025 and 2026. The company announced Oct. 21 the first FDI HN block was laid down in dry dock, launching the assembly phase.

    Since the FDI HN program launched in March, Naval Group has signed about 20 contracts to reinforce relations with Greek shipbuilding industry partners, including seven at Euronaval during the meeting between the two defense ministers. Those agreements extend to efforts outside of the FDI program as well as future projects, and include on-site job training as well, the company said.

    Italy, the United States, and the Netherlands are also working to woo the Greeks.

    Lockheed Martin vied for the frigate construction program alongside Naval Group, and for a time was pursuing options to nab a contract to build several additional ships. That letter of agreement has since expired, company officials told reporters Oct. 19 at the Euronaval conference.

    The company is continuing to make inroads with the Hellenic shipbuilding industry to develop “an indigenous design for a smaller vessel, Corvette sized,” as well as an integrated combat system, said Joe DiPietro, vice president and general manager for naval combat and missile defense systems.

    Meanwhile, Lockheed is continuing to pursue a contract to upgrade Greece’s four Hydra-class MEKO frigates, said Dawn Brenner, business development director for small combatants and ship systems. The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin offered a bid in December 2021 that was due to expire the following March. The offer was extended to September, however, and has since been extended a second time, to December, at the request of the Hellenic Navy, she said.

    This letter of agreement would involve the integration of Lockheed Martin’s suite of products centered around the Aegis combat management system (CMS), namely putting the COMBATSS-21 CMS on the MEKO frigates, alongside Lockheed’s Mark 41 vertical launching system and Sikorsky’s MH-60 Seahawk helicopters. Greece has committed to buying seven MH-60 aircraft, with deliveries scheduled to begin at the end of 2023, according to Mark Zavack, head of Sikorsky international business development.

    The company has had regular meetings with Hellenic Shipyard, and would likely modernize the MEKO frigates on site there, DiPietro previously told Defense News.

    Babcock has also submitted a proposal to upgrade the MEKO frigates, highlighting their experience modernizing such ships for the Australia and New Zealand’s navies, Walton said.

    Fincantieri announced Oct. 12 it had signed several memorandums of understanding with “a selection of new suppliers” at the Italian Embassy in Athens. The agreements would serve the Greek Navy’s program to build four new corvettes with a lighter version of its Doha-class light frigate.

    “Fincantieri has carried out scouting activities in Greece in order to identify suppliers to start potential collaborations with reference to the existing Greek program or any new naval vessels program, with the main goal of strengthening the Group’s cooperation with Hellenic companies,” the company said in a release.

    Damen Shipyards has offered its SIGMA 10514 vessel, recently selected by the Colombian navy for its frigate replacement program, and has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Hellenic Marine Equipment Manufacturers & Exporters group to work with over 60 local suppliers, should the company win the contract, a spokesperson said in an email to Defense News.​

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  • ADMk2
    commented on 's reply
    Yep, or maybe a quad-packed shorter ranged missile?

    Does anyone honestly think 16x anti-air missiles is enough in this day and age?

  • Bug2
    commented on 's reply
    From the image above, it looks like she has blank space for another 16 x ASTOR missiles in the position immediately in front of the existing VLS.

  • Bug2
    Naval Group Floats First New FDI Frigate for the French Navy
    Naval Group floated the first defense and intervention frigate (FDI), "Amiral Ronarc'h", for the French Navy (Marine Nationale). Naval Group picture.

    Naval Group Floats First New FDI Frigate For The French Navy

    French shipbuilder Naval Group today floated the first defense and intervention frigate (FDI), "Amiral Ronarc'h", for the French Navy (Marine Nationale).

    Xavier Vavasseur 07 Nov 2022

    First Amiral Ronarc'h-class frigate "launched" by Naval Group in Lorient. Delivery set for 2024.

    The event was a partial launch. The covered construction dock where the first FDI frigate took shape was floaded. However, the hull of Amiral Ronarc’h was not taken out to the outfitting pier on the Scorff river due to weather condition. This step, performed with tugboats, is expected to be performed later in the week.

    The ceremony took place in presence of Sébastien Lecornu, French minister of the Armed Forces, and his Greek counterpart, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos.
    We are proud to be here today to mark this new milestone in the industrial production of the first defence and intervention frigate for the French Navy. These latest generation ships bring together the best of French naval know-how. The Navies operating them with benefit from a high-performance, resilient ship, capable of dealing with threats that are constantly evolving, thanks in particular to the use of the most modern digital technologies. Naval Group remains committed to offering its customers the best of its know-how, at the service of their sovereignty.”
    Pierre Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group

    Naval Group picture

    The keel laying took place in December 2021. The first sea trials will begin in 2023 and the ship will be delivered in 2024. The remaining four ships of the series will be delivered until 2030. During this period, Naval Group will also produce three FDI frigates for the Hellenic Navy, with a fourth currently planned as an option.

    Thanks to the investments made by Naval Group, the site of Lorient has a modern industrial infrastructure that enables it to meet the technical and technological challenges of designing and building naval vessels in series. Thanks to this industrial organization that optimizes construction times, Naval Group is able to deliver two ships per year at its Lorient site from 2025.

    The FDI program reinforces the technological lead of the French naval industrial base. The program supports employment in the shipbuilding industry throughout France and, more particularly, in Lorient. At Naval Group, more than 1,200 people are working full time on the programme with more than 400 subcontractors. The FDI program involves a large number of French and Greek partners, including Thales and MBDA.

    FDI Frigate blocks built in Greece

    Naval News learned that from the FDI Blogs (the second one for the French Navy), some of the blocks will be produced in a Greek shipyard: Salamis Shipyards is located in the Piraeus Basin. The block will then be sent over to France for final assembly. This was confirmed by both Naval Group and Salamis Shipyards.

    About FDI Frigate:

    Artist impression of the future FDI. Naval Group image.

    According to Naval Group, the FDI is a high sea vessel. Multipurpose and resilient, she is capable of operating, alone or within a naval force. She offers capabilities for all types of warfare: anti-surface, anti-air, anti-submarine and as well as for special forces projection. Bringing together the best of French naval technologies on a compact platform, the FDI is a powerful and innovative frigate, designed to meet the evolution of threats.

    Designed and produced using the latest digital tools, FDI is the first frigate to benefit from a digital architecture that will allow her continuous adaptation to technological and operational evolutions. As a result, the FDI will be able to address current and future threats and to handle always more data.

    The FDI will be the first French frigate natively protected against cyber threats, with two data centers virtually accommodating a great part of the ship applications. The FDI introduces the concept of a dedicated CIC and systems for asymmetric warfare. These will enable the coordination and conduct of the fight against small and close air and surface threats, including UAVs and USVs.

    Strongly armed (Exocet MM40 B3C anti-surface missiles, Aster anti-air missiles, MU90 antisubmarine torpedoes, artillery), the FDI is able to embark simultaneously a helicopter (10 tons class such as NH90) or the future Joint Light Helicopter and an unmanned aerial vehicle (up to 700kg). She can also receive a Special Forces detachment with their two commando boats. They are equipped with the new generation Seafire radar with four fixed panels, developed by Thales, which, combined with the missile delivery system, offers unmatched area defence capabilities.

    Technical specifications:
    • displacement: 4,500 tons
    • length: 122 meters
    • beam: 18 meters
    • max. speed: 27 knots
    • autonomy: 45 days
    • operational availability: 3,500 hours per year
    • accomodation: 125-persons crew + 28 passengers
    • aviation facility: 10 ton-class helicopter, VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
    The main weapon systems of the FDI are:
    • 16 Aster surface to air missiles developed by MBDA
    • 8 Exocet MM40 Block 3c anti-ship missiles developed by MBDA
    • MU 90 torpedoes developed by Naval Group
    • 76 mm gun
    • 2 Narwhal 20mm remote weapon stations
    • 4 torpedo tubes
    • CANTO counter measures developed by Naval Group
    • Non-lethal weapon systems

    Naval News recently had an exclusive access to the Naval Group shipyard in Lorient and could see the first blocks of the FDI HN. Here is our video coverage:

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  • Bug2
    MAN wins order from Damen Naval for Propulsion Diesel Engines for F126
    Image: Damen Naval.

    Atlas Elektronik To Provide ASW Technology To German F126 Frigates

    ATLAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH has been commissioned by Thales Netherlands to equip the frigate 126 with anti-submarine warfare mission modules (F126 MM ASW).

    Naval News Staff 04 Nov 2022

    Atlas Elektronik press release

    The scope of the supply contract includes the delivery of two shipboard ASW mission modules as well as the provision of a corresponding shore facility for the initial and support training of the German Navy. The mission modules enablethe F126-class frigates to conduct long-range ASW operations and to build up an extensive subsurface picture. The modular system approach chosen for the F126 class allows for mission-specific equipment of the frigates and at the same time non-ship-specific deployment of the ASW modules.

    To provide the German Navy with the best possible support in fulfilling its missions, the latest active and passive sonar technology from ATLAS ELEKTRONIK will be used for the mission modules.
    “With the F126 MM ASW, we are launching a new, very powerful ASW system to meet both the current and the future challenges of our customers.”
    Michael Ozegowski, CEO of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH

    The contract already formally entered into force on 1 September 2022. The frigate F126 (originally known as the MKS 180 multi-role combat ship) is being built in cooperation between the Dutch Damen Shipyards Group, the Thales Group and Blohm+Voss with the involvement of German Naval Yards.

    – End –

    About the F126 project

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

    In June 2020, the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) and Damen signed the contract for the design and construction of four MKS 180 multi-purpose combat ships for the German Navy. In December, the ship type was renamed Frigate Class 126 (“F126”).

    Damen is fulfilling the order as the main contractor together with its partners Blohm+Voss and Thales, and many German suppliers. The ship design is to be provided by Damen in the Netherlands, Thales is responsible for the weapon control and command system, and the four initial ships will be built at Blohm+Voss in Hamburg as well as in Wolgast and Kiel. The first ship is scheduled to be handed over to the German Navy in 2028.

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  • Bug2

    German F126 frigate to be equipped with anti-submarine warfare technology from Atlas Elektronik

    3 November 2022 – ATLAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH has been commissioned by Thales Netherlands to equip the frigate 126 with anti-submarine warfare mission modules (F126 MM ASW). The scope of the supply contract includes the delivery of two shipboard ASW mission modules as well as the provision of a corresponding shore facility for the initial and support training of the German Navy. The mission modules enable the F126-class frigates to conduct long-range ASW operations and to build up an extensive subsurface picture. The modular system approach chosen for the F126 class allows for mission-specific equipment of the frigates and at the same time non-ship-specific deployment of the ASW modules.

    To provide the German Navy with the best possible support in fulfilling its missions, the latest active and passive sonar technology from ATLAS ELEKTRONIK will be used for the mission modules.

    Michael Ozegowski, CEO of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH: “With the F126 MM ASW, we are launching a new, very powerful ASW system to meet both the current and the future challenges of our customers.”

    The contract already formally entered into force on 1 September 2022. The frigate F126 (originally known as the MKS 180 multi-role combat ship) is being built in cooperation between the Dutch Damen Shipyards Group, the Thales Group and Blohm+Voss with the involvement of German Naval Yards.

    Inages courtesy Atlas Elektronik

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  • Bug2

    Fincantieri: Second Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship “Francesco Morosini” delivered

    Trieste, October 22, 2022– Today took place at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia) the delivery of the Multipurpose Offshore Patrol ship (PPA – Pattugliatore Polivalente d’Altura) “Francesco Morosini”, second of seven vessels all to be built at the Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano with deliveries expected until 2026.

    The PPAs are part of the renewal plan of the operational lines of the Italian Navy vessels, approved by the Government and Parliament and started in May 2015 (“Naval Act”) under the aegis of OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement, the international organization for cooperation on arms).

    Attended the event, among others, the Chief of the Italian Navy, Admiral OF-9 Enrico Credendino, and the General Manager Naval Vessels Division of Fincantieri, Dario Deste.

    Vessel’s characteristics: PPA – Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship

    The multipurpose offshore patrol vessel is a highly flexible ship with the capacity to serve multiple functions, ranging from patrol with sea rescue capacity to Civil Protection operations and, in its most highly equipped version, first line fighting vessel. For the seven vessels of the program there will be indeed different configurations of combat system: starting from a “soft” version for the patrol task, integrated for self-defence ability, to a “full” one, which means equipped for a complete defence ability. The patrol ship is also capable of operating high-speed vessels such as RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) up to 11 meters long through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern.

    143 meters long overall Speed up to 32 knots according to vessel configuration and operational conditions approx. 135 crew members and accommodation capacity up to 181 beds Combined diesel and gas turbine propulsion system, ie with electric motors for low speeds Capacity to supply drinking water to land

    Photo courtesy Fincantieri

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  • Bug2
    commented on 's reply
    With the reactors they are going to use it's every 10 or so years for a major refuel that lasts 24-27 months.

  • unicorn11
    commented on 's reply
    They really need at least two, so they can deploy one most of the time, instead of doing without for almost a year at a time because of nuclear refuelling and upgrades.

  • Bug2
    France reveals first look at new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

    Known for the time being as the PANG (for Porte Avion Nouvelle Génération), the 75,000 tonne (82,673 tons) ship will be 310m (1,017 ft) long and 85m (279 feet) at the widest point of the carrier deck.


    on October 19, 2022 at 8:53 AM

    Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu flanked by Emmanuel Chiva, director of the DGA on his right and Pierre Eric Pommelet, CEO of Naval Group, on his left listening to Admiral Pierre Vandier, the French Navy Chief of Staff discuss the PANG design. (Christina Mackenzie/Breaking Defense)

    EURONAVAL 2022 — France’s Naval Group has unveiled a scale model of the nuclear-powered, all-electric, new generation aircraft carrier which is to replace the nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle in 2038.

    Known for the time being as the PANG (for Porte Avion Nouvelle Génération), the 75,000 tonne (82,673 tons) ship will be 310m (1,017 ft) long and 85m (279 feet) at the widest point of the carrier deck.

    The two nuclear reactors, provided by TechnicAtome, will provide electricity for three shaft drives (for a size comparison, the larger US aircraft carriers have four shaft drives). The CEA (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives) atomic energy commission will oversee the execution and coordination of the reactors, which will only need to be refueled once every 10 years — meaning, at least in theory, the ship could stay at sea for that entire time.

    PANG will carry about 32 new generation fighters, up to three E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes (France ordered three in the last days of 2021, for delivery in 2028), and a number of unmanned aircraft.

    It will be built by a joint venture, MO Porte Avions (the MO stands for Maîtrise d’Oeuvre i.e. execution and coordination), created in March 2021 between Naval Group and the Chantiers de l’Atlantique. Olivier de Saint Julien, the director, said at the Euronaval show — which opened Tuesday in Le Bourget, in the northern suburbs of Paris — that the Chantiers de l’Atlantique had a dry dock in Saint Nazaire, on the west coast of France, which was big enough to build the PANG. That’s key, because the existing Naval Group dry dock used for the Charles de Gaulle is too small, as the PANG will outclass the older carrier by 159 feet in length and 68 feet in width.

    A model of the new generation French nuclear-powered carrier. (Christina Mackenzie/Breaking Defense)

    Col. Philippe (last name withheld as per French Armed Forces rules), the PANG program director for the DGA procurement agency, told Breaking Defense that some of the design decisions had been made to ensure that French and US aircraft carriers remain interoperable.

    In March this year a US Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye made a first landing on the Charles de Gaulle in the framework of NATO’s enhanced Vigilance Activities in Romanian and Bulgarian airspace. As Philippe stressed today, France and the United States are “the only two navies in the world operating nuclear aircraft carriers with catapults and arresters” so it is vital they be interoperable. French Rafales have also in the past landed and taken off from US aircraft carriers. There are no French manufacturers of catapults so the PANG will have US-made electromagnetic ones, like those on the US Navy’s Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers, Philippe added.

    The decision to replace the Charles de Gaulle with another nuclear-powered ship was taken by President Emmanuel Macron in December 2020. The design revealed today may get tweaked between now and 2025 when the design will be fixed, Saint Julien explained. “The first sea trials are expected to take place in 2036, the ship delivered to the Navy in 2037 and operational in 2038 at which point the Charles de Gaulle can retire,” he said.

    The vessel that will be delivered to the Navy will not necessarily have everything on-board that the Navy would like — at least, not right away. “It’s going to be designed in such a way that it can be modernised incrementally, and the combat system can evolve,” Saint Julien said. “We don’t know today what kind of technology will be available in 15 years' time, so we need to allow for new technology to be able to be easily fitted.”

    PANG will have a crew of 2,000, some of whom will be aircraft engineers “as the Navy wants to be able to undertake the sorts of repairs on-board that normally would be done by the manufacturer.”

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  • Bug2
    Germany’s Rohde & Schwarz unveils new surface vessel EW system

    According to company officials, the Naval ES Solution has been designed to handle a variety of emerging threats, including the detection, tracking and identification of radar and communications signals.


    on October 17, 2022 at 12:00 PM

    The F126 frigate design is currently in the works for Germany’s navy. (Damen Group)

    EURONAVAL 2022 — As European armed forces lobby for budget increases to support warfare in the age of strategic competition, German company Rohde & Schwarz is hoping to cash in with a new electronic warfare (EW) solution it hopes will enhance the survivability of surface vessels.

    Rohde & Schwarz, a Munich-based firm, has unveiled an integrated and top-deck maritime EW solution, which is under contract to be integrated on board the German Navy’s multi-purpose surface combatant vessel, the F126.

    The “Naval Electronic Support (ES) Solution” — which has yet to be officially named by Rohde & Schwarz — features integrated radar and communications electronic support measures (RCESM) designed for the German Navy’s fleet of four to six F126 vessels, which are expected to enter service in 2028.

    Speaking to Breaking Defense ahead of the official Oct. 18 launch of the Naval ES Solution at Euronaval, Rohde & Schwarz officials suggested variants of the new solution could also feature on board the German Navy’s F124 air defense and F125 frigates, which are already in service. Variants will also be made available for international export, it was added.

    According to Michael Niewöhner, Vice President RESM/ELINT at Rohde & Schwarz, the Naval ES Solution has been designed to handle a variety of emerging threats, including the detection, tracking and identification of radar and communications signals.

    This includes the detection of target acquisition radars, radar missile seekers and modern radar types applying Frequency Modulated Continuous Waves (FMCW), Niewöhner added.

    “Modern threats are not easy to counter, and vessels benefit from greater situation awareness if sensors are not just exclusively radar based. The combination of RESM and CESM allows validation of targets with lower false alarm rates in target identification,” the executive suggested before describing how the most important aspects of the system include automation, rapid reaction, 360-degree coverage and high probability of intercept.

    Traditionally, many RESM and CESM solutions have been standalone or separated onboard a surface vessel. The benefit of a combined solution, according to Rohde & Schwarz officials, is that both radar and communications intelligence can be fused into a single database.

    A graphic portraying the new EW system aboard an F126 for the German navy. (Rohde & Schwartz)

    The additional integration of machine learning algorithms can further reduce the workload of EW analysts, encouraging automation in situation awareness, decision-making and ultimately, survivability of a vessel.

    The 0.5-40GHz system comprises a single, integrated mast featuring RCESM antennae, tactical data link, and V/UHF antennae. The solution includes a blanking unit to protect itself from the vessel’s own radar and communication transmitters.

    The Naval ES Solution is capable of observing and identifying surface targets at ranges up to the radar horizon, and airborne targets at ranges of 250km and above, company officials claimed.

    At Euronaval, Rohde & Schwarz will also be running a demonstration of its new system with simulated multiple adversarial airborne threats. In the simulation, “the Naval ES Solution detects and tracks the MPA and other airborne threats in the maritime environment, in addition to different types of vessels,” Niewöhner described.

    The German Navy is also expected to procure some kind of new on-board or off-board electronic countermeasures (ECM) system. Rohde & Schwarz declined to comment on the direction of the navy in this regard but did confirm the company’s management system could incorporate whichever ECM options the navy decided to feature.

    The German Navy’s interest in maritime EW does not end with the F126, with the service also in the process of upgrading its underwater EW capabilities.

    In June, Spanish defense technology giant Indra announced it had been contracted by Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace to equip future Type 212CD (Common Design) submarines in Germany and Norway with “intelligent electronic defence systems,” including low interception probability navigation radars.

    As part of a €70 million contract, Indra will equip a total of four boats with an integrated EW solution which is capable of wideband interception and analysis of signals; use of interferometry to determine the position of potential threats; and digital reception technology for the generation of radar and communications intelligence.

    According to Indra, the solution features a combined antenna integrated into the submarine’s mast, in addition to machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to future-roof the system against emerging threats.

    “The X-band radar represents Indra’s investment to equip these submarines with dual continuous wave radars involving high-precision detection pulse and low probability of interception. It is a solid-state digitized system with a high-frequency agility and bandwidth, able to detect targets with low radar cross-section in the worst electromagnetic clutter conditions, resisting jamming attempts by adversaries,” a company statement described.

    Indra’s solution will be integrated into Kongsberg’s ORCCA combat system.

    On October 10, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) also contracted SEA to upgrade a variety of capabilities on board the Royal Navy’s Type 23 and 45 frigates including the Sea Gnat anti-ship missile system and ECM technologies. No further details were disclosed by the MoD.

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  • Bug2
    The French Navy is getting antsy about tech upgrades in its fleet

    By Vivienne Machi

    Oct 18, 03:39 AM

    Silhouettes of members of the French Navy are seen near Rafale fighter jets onboard the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier near Athens, Greece, on March 24, 2022. (Photo by Costas Baltas/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) PARIS — Senior French navy leaders said the service needs quick technology buys that can instantly boost ship performance in the face of a rising possibility for combat at sea.

    French Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Pierre Vandier argued on Monday the service must field upgrades on much shorter development cycles than has traditionally been the case. He was speaking at a colloquium here organized by the French naval industry group GICAN (Groupement des Industries de Construction et Activités Navales). The event served as a curtain raiser for the 38th biennial Euronaval trade conference, scheduled for Oct. 18-22 outside Paris.

    Vandier and other officers warned that France and its allies must be better prepared for maritime warfare, as global supply ships, data transfers, and critical materials all pass through the domain. After three decades of relative maritime peace, incidents such as the sinking of Russian ships in its war on Ukraine, the rise of China’s navy and the recent sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines have thrown the need for strong navies into sharp relief, they argued.

    The French Navy has begun preparing for a new era of high-intensity war, where battles may be fought underwater on the seabed, in the air, in space or on the surface. Officials are looking to take advantage of breakthroughs in technologies such as artificial intelligence, unmanned aerial, surface, and underwater systems, and space-based capabilities. But sailors can no longer wait 15 years for new capabilities to be developed, said Rear Adm. Éric Malbrunot, deputy chief of naval operations for plans and programs.

    Instead, upgrades should be performed in incremental development cycles, and standalone capabilities such as off-the-shelf unmanned systems can serve as capability boosters, he said.

    The French Navy needs capabilities that will still work even if parts of a ship’s central combat system break down, according to Vandier. Manufacturers must pivot from developing “fail safe” systems to “safe to fail” systems, he urged. “Plug and fight”-type equipment will act as force multipliers in a high-intensity war scenario, Vandier predicted.

    The technological advancements presently in development – from artificial intelligence to cyber capabilities to drones – offer “magnificent opportunities” to modernize the service and ensure its operational superiority, said Emmanuel Chiva, director of the French military procurement office Delegation Générale de l’Armement (DGA) during the colloquium. The challenge, he noted, comes down to cost.

    “As a decision-maker, I cannot ignore the reality and the weight of this constraint,” he said.

    Chiva, who took the helm of the DGA this summer, said a new “strategic vision” for the procurement office is in progress, which will be released in late 2022 or early 2023. The strategy will reveal the DGA’s “road map” for designing more holistic defense systems “on the scale of capabilities, rather than program by program.” The goal is to encourage the introduction of new solutions, faster, he added.

    Another goal for the strategic vision is to transform the DGA from serving merely as a contracting authority to becoming a prime contractor itself, “with end-to-end control of our defense system,” Chiva said.​

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  • Bug2
    Fincantieri Launches Qatar's 1st Air Defense Corvette Al Zubarah
    Artist impression of Doha-class corvette. Fincantieri picture.

    Fincantieri Partners With The Greek Industry

    Fincantieri today signed, at the Italian Embassy in Athens, a number of memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a selection of potential new suppliers in the context of the high-profile process pursued by the Hellenic Minister of National Defence for the construction of four corvettes and the provision of Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) and In Service Support (ISS).

    Naval News Staff 12 Oct 2022

    The Group works on a supply network in the context of the high-profile process of the Minister of National Defence for the construction of four corvettes.

    Fincantieri press release

    Fincantieri has among its clients several foreign navies and it is partner with some of the main European defense companies within supranational programs. The purpose of these MoUs is to set the basis for defining possible business relationships for specific supplies. Indeed, the Group, who can rely on a wide selection of trusted suppliers and subcontractors, is continuously looking at enlarging and reinforcing its supplier’s panel and will establish a supply chain dedicated to naval activities within the development of these segments set out by Greece.

    Fincantieri has carried out scouting activities in Greece in order to identify suppliers to start potential collaborations with reference to the existent Greek program or any new naval vessels program, with the main goal of strengthen the Group’s cooperation with Hellenic companies.

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  • unicorn11
    commented on 's reply
    Good to see its not just us who can frak things up.

  • Bug2
    French Navy bets on electronic warfare to counter anti-ship threats

    By Vivienne Machi

    Oct 5, 10:41 PM

    French Navy soldiers sail on a speedboat next to the French ship La Fayette in October 2020. (Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images)

    TOULON, France — With 2,000 miles of direct coastline and more than a dozen overseas territories, France’s naval vessels maintain a continuous presence in multiple maritime zones — from the North Sea to the Caribbean, and from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific.

    France has one of Europe’s only truly global blue-water navies — alongside the United Kingdom — and must protect its fleet against threats nearby and those launching from afar. Anti-ship missile technology is becoming more diverse and sophisticated, and countries like China and Russia are developing weapons that can launch from longer ranges, from ship or shore, and at supersonic or even hypersonic speeds.

    The French Navy is looking to new generations of electronic warfare capabilities to strengthen the defense of its ships. Paired with the vessels’ kinetic weaponry, this approach is meant to create a multilayered defense against emerging threats, officials and analysts said.

    The service’s investments in electronic warfare capabilities for ship protection are “numerous” and “increasing,” said Jeremy Bachelier, a commander in the French Navy with over two decades of experience, and a military fellow at the French Institute of International Relations.

    “For any navy with deep-sea and global ambitions like the French Navy, it’s obvious that active and passive protection is part of the baseline necessary and essential for any deployment,” he added.

    Industry is responding with technology meant to ensure the entire spectrum of electronic-based ship protection is covered, and businesses are preparing in particular to provide a last-resort capability that draws incoming anti-ship missiles far away from the vessel at sea.

    Countering A2/AD threats

    The proliferation and variety of new anti-ship weapons mean the French sea service is constantly reassessing risks to its surface vessels, working to overcome adversaries’ anti-access and area denial, or A2/AD, strategies, said Eric, a French ship captain working on naval tactics and doctrine. (The French Armed Forces Ministry as a general rule does not disclose many of its officers’ last names in the media.)

    In military jargon, the A2/AD moniker describes a series of efforts to keep forces, even those thought to be superior, far away from a conflict zone long enough for them to lose their usefulness. Analysts often use the term in connection with China warding off Western forces in the event Beijing invades Taiwan.

    “In the French Navy, we refuse both the idea [of A2/AD] and the way it is practiced because if we accepted it, it would mean the adversary has won,” the French officer said.

    For Western navies, like those of France and the United States, the options to counter an A2/AD strategy come down to the development of their new missiles — essentially crafting a longer stick to counter adversaries — or to devising ways to interrupt an incoming weapon’s kill chain, said Steven Horrell, a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis.

    An individual ship must be able to defeat the missile’s seeker head, Horrell told Defense News. “You have to plan for that and be ready to get into that electronic warfare environment, and to have those capabilities developed,” he said. “That’s definitely a requirement as we all look at the potential for a high-end fight.”

    As France frequently deploys to the Indo-Pacific region — the location of overseas territories like French Polynesia — its Navy must be “especially concerned” with potential aggression from local nations Russia and China, Horrell added.

    The service needs defensive electronic warfare systems to complement its anti-aircraft weapons — what are known as hard-kill systems, Eric told reporters at the Navy’s main training school, Pôle École Méditerranée, during a recent press tour of French military and industrial sites in and around Toulon, France.

    A short drive away from the school sits the Armed Forces Ministry’s SESDA site, where new military equipment is tested and qualified. With 270 degrees of sea exposure and close proximity to naval and air bases, the Shore Integration Facility there provides a remarkably realistic maritime environment to evaluate capabilities like Thales’ Sea Fire multifunction digital radar system and SonoFlash acoustic buoys.

    Soft-kill technologies, like electronic countermeasures, provide “a significant operational gain for a relatively low operating cost,” Eric added. The envisioned systems need to be efficient, programmable and able to respond appropriately to a variety of threats while being maintainable at sea.

    It’s no longer viable for Western navies to load up their ships with bespoke capabilities that individually counter threats, analysts, industry leaders and officers told Defense News. The need now is for trainable systems that can quickly identify, track and deter incoming threats, such as new generations of decoys as well as artificial intelligence-enhanced radars and launchers.

    The decoy option

    Several French defense companies are working on decoy setups, consisting of drones embedded with jammers that can attract incoming missiles away from a ship. This is a means by which naval forces can deal with increasingly sophisticated threats. Officials see this technology as one more arrow in the electronic warfare quiver, contributing to an already multilayered defense system.

    As of yet, no French Navy program of record formally exists for an offboard active decoy capability, but industry officials are preparing for such an eventuality. Lacroix Defense in 2020 unveiled a demonstrator concept dubbed Versatile EW Self-Protection Tactic onboard unmanned Aircraft, or VESTA, developed under a public innovation contract with France’s Defence Innovation Agency — the equivalent to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

    The company’s experience on VESTA positions it to offer a viable proposal to the French military, should an offboard active decoy program ever begin, officials told Defense News. Lacroix is working with other French industry partners, including Thales and Naval Group, to ensure its solution would be useful to the French Navy, said Xavier Cadour, the company’s head of naval products.

    Lacroix already provides all the electronic warfare countermeasures used by the French Navy to protect its first-rank vessels, along with submarine-launched smoke and flares signal devices, as well as airborne countermeasures to be embedded on helicopters and aircraft.

    Thales is developing a separate offboard active decoy system for the French and other navies. Its capability was honed under the Anglo-French technology development program known as Accolade that concluded in 2016; some of the elements from that program remain in Thales’ offering today, officials said.

    The company wants to address “radically different markets” between France and Britain, and is in talks with NATO and European Union countries — such as Canada, Poland, Italy, and Greece — for such a capability, said Patrick Agnieray, Thales’ electronic warfare sensors and solutions leader.

    Having an offboard active decoy technology is essential to the electronic warfare toolkit as a last resort to deter anti-ship missiles from the vessel, said Bachelier, the French Navy commander. When such a decoy capability is necessary, “that means the threat is not very far away” and that previous efforts to destroy the missile or disrupt the seeker’s capabilities have been unsuccessful, he told Defense News.

    “In the end, if none of that works, we have this decoy ability which will actually allow us to direct the attraction of the seeker to another target,” he added.

    More adaptive decoy launcher systems could also help navies more quickly and easily track incoming missile threats.

    The New Generation Dagaie System — an electronic warfare decoy launcher system built by Safran Electronics and Defense — was designed for such adaptability and survivability. The NGDS operates on two axes and is capable of launching a wide variety of short-, medium- and long-range decoys, according to Safran. With the choice of infrared, radar or acoustic emitters, the system is meant to protect surface vessels against anti-ship missiles and other guidance weapons, the manufacturer said.

    The launcher’s adaptive simulation software allows customers to tailor the system to their own needs, and helps to track incoming missiles more quickly.

    “We need a trainable launcher with a fast reaction time in order to accurately deploy the decoy into the air, and we need the capability to assess multi-threat, coordinated missiles more and more in advance,” Franck Bonny, who works on Safran’s naval portfolio, told reporters.

    Safran is developing a new NGDS variant that can deploy 130mm, NATO-compatible ammunition, and the company is proposing it for the British Royal Navy, Bonny said. Denmark and the Netherlands have also expressed interest in a two-axis decoy launcher, he noted. Most recently, the Royal Canadian Navy selected the NGDS, and the Republic of Singapore Navy procured a version known as MSDS, Bonny added.

    In the past 30 years, nearly 30 vessels were damaged by anti-ship missiles, he noted. Most recently, the potential threat was highlighted when Ukraine used anti-ship missiles to sink two Russian vessels, he added.

    Electronic interference

    For Thales’ Agnieray, an ongoing challenge for developers of electronic warfare systems is the ability to create around an increasingly congested radio frequency spectrum.

    As naval vessels are stacked with more sensors from new radars and communications devices, for example, electronic-countermeasures systems will have to sift through growing radio frequency interference, he said during the press tour.

    “To be able to detect new threats in a very crowded environment, you will need some very advanced technology to tackle them,” he said.

    In the longer term, Eric, the French naval officer, said the service wants to take advantage of high-powered jammers and directed-energy weapons that can be incorporated into multiple electronic missile defense layers, especially against drones.

    “Warships have the capacity to produce electronic energy and the support systems, like cooling systems, that are necessary for the implementation of directed-energy weapons,” he said. “Because they do not require ammunition in some systems, it may be an interesting alternative to hard-kill systems.”

    The Navy is also interested in the potential of artificial intelligence for electronic warfare systems, including for waveform recognition, Eric noted.

    “Data is the new oil, so we are working in the French Navy on a number of programs to make sure we can connect all the data,” he said.​

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