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  • Warship Design

    JAN 18, 11:50 P.M.

    Nevsky PKB presented the project of the universal seaship "Varan"

    It can accommodate 24 multirole aircraft, six helicopters and up to 20 unmanned aerial vehicles

    MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. The Nevsky Design Bureau (PCB, part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation) has developed two new projects of universal ships, in particular the universal naval ship (UMC) "Varan" and the new universal amphibious assault ship (UDC). This is stated in the materials of the PCB dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the company and available to TASS.

    Varan is an aircraft carrier complex with a high degree of automation and the ability to use robotic systems. It can accommodate 24 multirole aircraft, six helicopters and up to 20 unmanned aerial vehicles.

    The ship's displacement is about 45,000 tons, the length - about 250 m, the width - 65 m, the precipitation on the constructive waterline - 9 m. "Varan" is able to develop a speed of up to 26 knots.

    The displacement of the prospective UDC is about 30,000 tons. The length of the ship reaches about 220 m, the width - 42 m, precipitation on a constructive waterline - 7 m. New UDC is able to develop a speed of about 24 knots. There are seven landing sites for helicopters on the deck of the ship.

    Nevsky PKB is one of the largest domestic developers of universal ships and the only project designer of aircraft carriers and training complexes in Russia. The company celebrates its 90th anniversary on January 18.

  • #2
    Saab signs two contracts for next generation of surface ships and corvettes for Swedish Navy

    POSTED ON MONDAY, 25 JANUARY 2021 13:30

    According to a press release published on January 25, 2021, Saab and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, (FMV), have signed two agreements concerning the next generation of surface ships and corvettes. A Product Definition Phase for the Mid-Life Upgrades (MLU) of five Visby-class corvettes, as well as a Product Definition Phase for the next generation; Visby Generation 2 corvettes.

    K31 HSwMS Visby, a Visby-class Corvette of the Swedish Navy. (Picture source Wikimedia)

    The contracts include requirements analysis and are respectively the start of the modification work of the five corvettes and the acquisition of the Visby Generation 2.

    “The contract is a major step forward for Sweden’s surface combat capability, with the upgrade of current corvettes and the creation of the next-generation vessels. The Visby corvettes have been pioneers for 20 years, and after Mid-Life Upgrades, they will be well equipped for future assignments. The experience and knowledge that the Visby class has gathered over the years will feed into the development of Visby Generation 2,” said Lars Tossman, Head of Business Area Kockums.

    The Visby Generation 2 is a development of Visby-class version 5 and will be equipped with a modern anti-ship missile system, torpedo system, and air defense missile system.

    The first Visby-class corvette was launched on June 8, 2000, and today five corvettes are in operational service. The product definition phase regarding Mid-Life Upgrades aims to make the five ships in the class operationally relevant beyond 2040. In addition to modifying the ships' existing systems, an air defense missile system will be added as a new capability. The RBS15 anti-ship missile system will be upgraded to the latest version as well as will the torpedo system with the new Saab Lightweight Torpedo.

    The Visby-class is an advanced stealth corvette designed by Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) and built by Kockums AB to conduct anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), mine countermeasures, and maritime patrol roles.

    The Visby-class is powered by a combined diesel or gas (CODOG) propulsion system that includes two 125SII Kamewa Waterjets, four Vericor TF50A gas turbines, two MTU Friedrichshafen 16 V 2000 N90 diesel engines, and three generators of 270kW each. The ship can reach a top speed of 35 knots (65 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 2,500 nmi (4,600 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h).

    The Visby-class is armed with one 1 Bofors 57 mm Mk3 naval gun, eight RBS15 Mk2 anti-ship missiles, four 400 mm torpedo launchers for Torped 45 torpedoes, and ASW 127mm rocket-powered grenade launchers.


    • #3
      France to propose [email protected] Intermediate Size Frigate to Hellenic Navy

      POSTED ON TUESDAY, 26 JANUARY 2021 19:48

      According to information published by the French Website Zone Militaire Opex360 on January 25, 2021, the French defense industry could propose a modified version of its [email protected] FTI (Frégates de taille intermédiaire - Intermediate Size Frigate) to Hellenic Navy armed with naval cruise missiles (MdCn) in addition to the 8 Exocet MM40B3C anti-ship missile, 16 Aster 15/30 surface-to-air missiles, MU 90 torpedoes, one 76mm naval gun and the two remotely-operated weapon station armed with 25mm automatic cannon.

      Artist rendering [email protected] FTI Frégates de taille intermédiaire - Intermediate Size Frigate. (Picture source Naval Group)

      Greece has requested a frigate that will have the capability to conduct land attack using cruise missiles. To respond to the request of the Hellenic Navy, Lockheed-Martin has proposed to sale four MMSC (Multi-Mission Surface Combatant) frigates. The ship can be armed with two Harpoon shipboard launchers with eight RGM-84 Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles, one MK-15 Mod 31 SeaRAM close-in weapon system (CIWS) with 11-cell RIM 116C Block II Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAMs), a 57mm Mk110 deck gun and a medium-caliber rapid-fire gun.

      The FTI is a French navy program to design and create a planned class of frigates. At the moment, the program consists of five ships, with commissioning planned from 2023 onwards. The export variant is designated [email protected] frigate.

      The five FTI [email protected] frigates will be built by the French companies Naval Group and Thales. In April 2017, the French Defense Ministry announced the attribution to DCNS now Naval Group, a contract for the development and construction of five intermediate-size frigates (FTIs) for the French Navy. The steel-cutting ceremony of the first FDI frigate was held in October 2019.

      The [email protected] frigates will be able to conduct a wide range of missions such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-aircraft warfare, patrol, maritime security, control of exclusive economic zone (EEZ), asymmetric warfare, and Special Forces activities.

      The [email protected] frigates will have a length of 122 m, a beam of 17.7 m, and a displacement of 4,460 tons. The ship will have a crew of 110 people as well as an air crew detachment of approximately 15 people. She will also have a flight deck and one hangar to accommodate one unmanned VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft or one NH-90 naval helicopter.

      The [email protected] frigate can be armed with one Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid gun (mounted in stealth cupola), two 20 mm remotely operated automatic cannons, 8 Exocet MM-40 Block 3 anti-ship, two Sylver A50 8-cell VLS (Vertical Launching System) for MBDA Aster 15/30 surface-to-air missiles and two dual torpedo tubes with EuroTorp MU90 Impact torpedoes.

      The [email protected] frigate will be powered by a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system. She will have the capability to reach a top speed of 27 knots (50.0 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 5,000 nmi (9,300 km) at 15 knots (27.8 km/h).


      • #4

        The second Type 054 A/P frigate for Pakistan was launched today at the Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai.

        Chinese Shipyard Launches 2nd Type 054 A/P Frigate For Pakistan Navy

        China's Hudong Zhonghua launched the second Type 054 A/P Frigate for Pakistan Navy today. This is the second of four vessels on order by Pakistan.

        Xavier Vavasseur 29 Jan 2021

        Pakistan signed a first contract for the delivery two Type 054 A/P frigates in 2017. An additional contract for two more ships was announced in June 2018. The first-in-class frigate was launched in August 2020. The keel laying for the second vessel took place in March 2020. Steel cutting for the final two ships took place in November 2019. All four units are set to be built in China and delivered to the customer by year end.

        The first ship-in-class is still at fitting out stage and is fitted with a SR2410C radar. Note that the Hudong Zhonghua shipyard, on the same day, also launched the third Type 075 LHD for the PLAN.
        About Type 054A and Type 054 A/P

        Launch of the first Type 054 A/P

        The Type 054A is a multi-role frigate and is recognized as the backbone of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) fleet of surface combatants with 30 vessels in commission. They have a length of 134 meters, a beam of 16 meters for a displacement of 4,000 tons. They have a crew complement of 165 sailors and are fitted with:
        • a H/PJ-26 76mm main gun
        • 8 C803 anti-ship missiles
        • 32x VLS cells for HQ-16 surface to air missiles
        • 2x Type 730 30mm CIWS
        • 2x Triple Torpedo launchers
        In the PLAN, the those frigates feature a Type 382 radar which shares a close resemblance with the Russian MR-710 Fregat radar. Unlike the Pakistan Navy variant, the Type 054A in Chinese Navy service do not feature a long range / metric wave radar.

        The second Type 054 A/P frigate for Pakistan and the third Type 075 LHD for the PLAN were launched today at the Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai.
        According to the Pakistan Navy, the Type-054 A/P ships are state of the art frigates equipped with modern surface, subsurface and anti air weapons and sensors. Once constructed, these ships will be the most technologically advanced platforms of Pakistan Navy which will strengthen its capability to meet future challenges and maintain peace, stability & power equilibrium in the Indian Ocean Region.

        The Pakistan Navy is currently undertaking an important renewal of its fleet, with the procurement of several modern platforms: In addition to these frigates from China, Pakistan will also commission new corvettes from Turkey and OPV from the Netherlands. It is also modernizing its submarine force.


        • #5
          Greece may purchase Belharra frigates from France

          POSTED ON TUESDAY, 09 FEBRUARY 2021 11:43

          According to information published by Greek City Times on February 2, 2021, the next generation mi-size frigate (FTI) Belharra will eventually be the new Navy frigates, according to well-informed sources to greek medias.

          Artist impression of a Belharra frigate at sea. (Picture source: Naval Group)

          The French offer is considered the most appropriate as it meets the operational criteria of the Navy, provides an intermediate solution until the construction of the new frigates and at the same time breaths new life into Greek shipyards.

          The strategic relationship that Athens and Paris have been building steadily over the past year has played a decisive role in the selection of the Belharra.

          The acquisition of the French frigates is the largest armaments program ever implemented by the Armed Forces. Its total cost amounts to €5 billion.

          It includes the construction of four multi-role frigates together with their equipment, the modernization of older frigates, and their technical support.

          The Belharra frigates will be able to conduct a wide range of missions such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-aircraft warfare, patrol, maritime security, control of exclusive economic zone (EEZ), asymmetric warfare, and Special Forces activities.

          She will have a length of 122 m, a beam of 17.7 m, and a displacement of 4,460 tons. The ship will have a crew of 110 people as well as an air crew detachment of approximately 15 people. She will also have a flight deck and one hangar to accommodate one unmanned VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft or one NH-90 naval helicopter.

          The Belharra frigates can be armed with one Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid gun (mounted in stealth cupola), two 20 mm remotely operated automatic cannons, 8 Exocet MM-40 Block 3 anti-ship, two Sylver A50 8-cell VLS (Vertical Launching System) for MBDA Aster 15/30 surface-to-air missiles and two dual torpedo tubes with EuroTorp MU90 Impact torpedoes.

          She will be powered by a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system. She will have the capability to reach a top speed of 27 knots (50.0 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 5,000 nmi (9,300 km) at 15 knots (27.8 km/h).


          • #6
            New Belgian frigates to have only 4 Mk41 missile launchers instead of 8

            POSTED ON THURSDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2021 09:41

            The Netherlands and Belgium are jointly replacing the current M-class frigates. Both countries will each receive two ASW Fregates. The intention was that these ships would be identical, but there will now be a (provisional) difference, Jaime Karremann reports on the Belgian ships will not be equipped with 16 launch cells for missiles, but with 8, the Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder announced on February 10.

            The Belgian and Dutch new ship class will be called Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigate (ASWF). (Drawing source: Dutch MoD)

            There is an increasing difference between the Dutch team and the Belgian team. Belgian minister of Defense Ludivine Dedonder stated that a "number of compromises" had been decided and that these choices "had no impact on the good relations within the cooperation between the Netherlands and Belgium", Jaime Karreman reports.

            Dedonder cited only one example of a cut in the Belgian order: the vertical missile launcher. The frigates in the front part of the ship ('the barge') will have various weapon systems : behind the 76mm Sovraponte gun, there is room for two Mk41 vertical launchers. A Mk41 consists of 8 cells for missiles such as ESSM, SM-2, SM-3, etc. These are expected to be primarily intended for ESSM Block 2 missiles against medium-range air targets. Two of these Mk41s thus give the ship 16 launch cells. And because the ESSM missiles come in a pack of four in one cell, there is room for up to 64 ESSM missiles.

            "For Belgium, one of the two launch systems has been designated as provisions for", Dedonder said. The Belgian ships will therefore not have two but one MK41 launcher, provisions will be made for the second, but it will not be purchased and not installed. Only in the event of "a possible changing future threat will the provisions for systems for Belgium be further elaborated in the future." The choice was made by Belgium to stay within the budget laid down in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Netherlands and Belgium.


            • #7

              Early official design rendering of the EPC European Patrol Corvette (PESCO project). Naviris (Fincantieri / Naval Group) image.

              NAVIRIS And NAVANTIA Sign MoU For The European Patrol Corvette Program

              Naval News Staff 11 Feb 2021

              Navantia press release

              Genoa/Madrid, February 11, 2021NAVIRIS, the 50/50 joint venture company between Fincantieri and Naval Group in charge of development of cooperation programs, and NAVANTIA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at enlarging the industrial cooperation for the European Patrol Corvette (EPC) program, the most important naval initiative within the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) project.

              The EPC will be a smart, innovative, affordable, sustainable, interoperable and flexible vessel to meet the future missions in the evolved world context of mid-21st century. EPC will be a fully ready surface combatant to carry-out diversified missions, primarily aimed at enhancing maritime situational awareness, surface superiority and power projection, particularly in the context of governmental peacetime actions, such as those aimed at counteracting piracy and smuggling, as well as those actions dedicated to humanitarian assistance, migration control and aimed at ensuring freedom of navigation. It will be about 100 meters and 3.000 tons, able to replace in the near future (from 2027 onward) several classes of ships, from patrol vessels to light frigates. The design requirements for these vessels, with a clear objective of commonality of solutions and modularity for adaptation to national requirements, are expected from the Navies in 2021.

              On the industrial side, NAVIRIS and NAVANTIA will act in a fully coordinated way with Fincantieri and Naval Group for the EPC program. The studies could potentially benefit from European Union and national funds and will include a large part of R&D leading to innovative solutions for making easier the co-development and interoperability, the efficiency of the vessels in operations and the digital data management.

              The ambition of the project, which has been joined so far by four Countries at PESCO level, (Italy as coordinator, France, Spain and Greece), is to include other European partners to integrate technological bricks, which correspond to innovation streams matching with national EPC requirements and European Commission strategy and guidelines.


              Naval News comments: About EPC

              The collaborative project was launched in November 2019 by the European Council under the PESCO scheme. Italy and France started the project (12 November 2019) and were joined by Greece (12 January 2020) and Spain (2 April 2020).

              Fincantieri and Naval Group are the main contractors in this project, and the EPC is likely to be the first vessel designed by the newly formed joint venture NAVIRIS. The Italian-French company headquarters are located in Genoa, Italy and its R&D center near Toulon, France.

              As we previously wrote, In June 2019, the French Navy (Marine Nationale) and the Italian Navy (Marina Militare) expressed the military need for their respective staffs. The European Patrol Corvette should, according to NATO’s typology, be a “Limited Warship Unit” with a fully laden displacement of approximately 3,500 tonnes. The hulls will be approximately 110 meters long with a draft of 5.5 meters or less.

              The Spanish participation in the PESCO European Patrol Corvette (as outlined by shows that the project is available in three versions:
              • EPC optimised for anti-surface (ASuW) and anti-aircraft (AAW) warfare with the possibility of extending the warfare domains to anti-submarine warfare (ASW); the vessel is equipped with self-defence capabilities.
              • EPC optimized for ant-surface warfare (ASuW) and designed with oceanic reach (range of 10,000 nautical miles at 14 knots).
              • EPC optimized for blue-water (off shore) patrol missions
              The first version seems to match Italian considerations and could match Greek needs, while France could be interested in two of the three preliminary projects. The respective targets for the Marina Militare and the Marine Nationale are eight EPCs (replacing the Comandanti and Cassiopea classes ) and nine to eleven EPCs for the French Navy.


              • #8

                Video: Spanish Navy’s Future F-110 Frigate By Navantia

                Spanish shipbuilder Navantia released a new video showing the latest configuration of the F-110 Bonifaz-class, the future frigate of the Spanish Navy (Armada Española)

                Xavier Vavasseur 12 Feb 2021

                Navantia and the Spanish Ministry of Defense have signed the contract for the construction of five F-110 frigates for the Spanish Navy in April 2019.

                F-110 frigates are set to replace the Spanish Navy’s Santa Maria-class frigates which have been in service for over 30 years. F-110 frigates will be fitted with the Aegis combat system integrating a new solid-state S-band radar by Indra. Lockheed Martin and Indra have been collaborating since 2009 to develop a state-of-the-art S-band solid state radar for Spain’s F-110 Frigate Program.

                Known as the Bonifaz-class, these frigates will feature:Indra systems aboard F-110

                Indra leads the development within the F110 Program of some of several advanced sensors. In addition to the tiles for the S-band radar, Indra is developing:
                • The 25X Prisma Radar: whose mission is surveillance of the surface and low-altitude aerial targets.
                • The IFF System: which will identify allied from enemy aircraft and will have an integrated ADS-B surveillance system that will give support to air control in international missions.
                • Electronic defence systems: which will track the communications band and the radar band. They will detect and identify any vessel, submarine or nearby aerial or land platform, allowing the ship to circumvent multiple threats simultaneously
                • IRST i110: which will provide protection capacity against sea-skimming missiles or swarms of vessels, which typically attempt to impact the waterline of ships. It is a system on which Indra is working in conjunction with Tecnobit.
                F-110 Specifications

                Displacement: 6100 tons
                Length 145 m
                Width 18 m
                Draft 5 m
                Speed 35 knots
                Crew 150 sailors
                Aviation facilities: Hangar + helideck for 2 NH-90 NFH/TTH or 2 SH-60 or UAV


                • #9
                  I really thought these were the better choice for the RAN, leveraging off the lessons learned in building the Hobart class, plus our experience in bringing Spanish ship classes into service (should have gone with the Meteoro-class offshore patrol vessel rather than the underwhelming Lurssen design) but as more info has come to light I really believe the right decision was made with the Type 26.
                  It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
                  It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
                  It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.


                  • #10

                    Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (QENF)' second Al Zubarah-class air defense corvette. Picture by Giorgio Arra.

                    Qatar’s 2nd Al Zubarah-Class Air Defense Corvette Launched By Fincantieri

                    Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri announced on 13 February that the technical launch of the corvette “Damsah” and the keel laying of “Sumaysimah”, respectively the second and fourth of the Al Zubarah-class air defence corvettes for Qatar took place at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard.

                    Xavier Vavasseur 14 Feb 2021

                    The Italian shipyard laid the keel of the fourth and final ship of the class as well.

                    Luca Peruzzi contributed to this story . Ship photographer Giorgio Arra was on site (Gulf of La Spezia) to contribute the pictures.

                    The ceremony, held in a restricted format and in full compliance with anti-contagion requirements, was attended by Major General Mubarak Mohammed A.K. Al-Khayarin, Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration and Logistics Affairs for Qatar Armed Forces, Rear Admiral Giorgio Lazio, Italian Navy Maritime Commander – Area North, and Giuseppe Giordo, General Manager of the Naval Vessel Division of Fincantieri.

                    The first ship-in-class was launched a year ago, and started sea trials in November 2020 as we reported at the time.

                    About Qatar’s contract with Fincantieri

                    For the record, a global order worth 5 billion euros (including 1 billion for missiles) was announced in August 2017. In addition to four air defense corvettes, the contract includes the construction of two OPV/FACM type ships based on the Falaj 2-class (selected by the UAE Navy) and an air defense LPD (fitted with long range L-band radar and ASTER 30 SAM) based on the “BDSL Kalaat Beni Abbes” (143 meters long, 9,000 tonnes displacement), which was delivered in 2015 by Fincantieri to Algeria.

                    Al Zubarah-class specifications

                    Al Zubarah-class corvettes have a length of 107 meters. Giorgio Arra picture.

                    With a full load displacement of circa 3,250 tonnes, a length and beam of respectively 107 and 14.7 meters, the new Al Zubarah-class corvettes feature a CODAD configured propulsion system based on four diesel engines connected through reduction gears to two shaft lines with variable pitch propellers and conventional rudders providing a maximum continuous and cruising speed of respectively 28 and 15 knots.

                    With such compact dimensions and displacement, and a crew core of 98 members plus accommodation for additional 14 units, the new platform present a sophisticated and robust combat system with a full range of weapons for anti-air warfare (AAW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) operations while the platform anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities are limited to self-defense, although the ship can accommodate and operate a NH90 NFH maritime helicopter which can be equipped with an ASW suite including lightweight torpedoes.

                    Al Zubarah-class corvette weapon systems

                    Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (QENF)’ second Al Zubarah-class air defense corvette. Picture by Giorgio Arra.

                    The first seagoing platform images confirm the ship design showed in models during the DIMDEX 2018 defense exhibition. The armament package include a 76/62 mm Multi-Feeding Super Rapido main calibre gun and a 16-cell VLS (identified by Naval News as two 8-cell Naval Group A50 systems) for surface-to air missile in the bow area. The VLSs are to operate MBDA Aster 30 Block 1 munitions, according to MBDA press statement released with contract award as part of the MBDA SAAM-ESD missile system including a C2 suite and working together with the ship’s 3D multi-function radar. Naval News has identified the latter as the Leonardo Grand Kronos Naval AESA radar positioned on top of the main mast similarly to the SAAM-ESD family of systems installed on board Italian and foreign navies’ vessels. The ship is also equipped as showed by empty canisters for two 4-cell launchers for MM40 Exocet Block 3 anti-ship missiles positioned amidship between the two funnels and self-defense weapons and the anti-torpedo decoy launchers.

                    The corvette also features a close in weapon system (CIWS) based on RAM Mk 49 guided missile launcher on top of the hangar with a 21-cell for the RAM missiles, of which the QNEF has acquired the RAM Block 2 version. Inner-layer protection against both conventional and asymmetric air and surface threats is provided by two Leonardo Marlin-WS 30 mm remote controlled gun systems as identified by Naval News and positioned on both side of the ship.

                    Al Zubarah-class corvette combat management system

                    The new Al Zubarah-class corvettes feature a CODAD configured propulsion system based on four diesel engines connected through reduction gears to two shaft lines with variable pitch propellers and conventional rudders providing a maximum continuous and cruising speed of respectively 28 and 15 knots. Picture by Giorgio Arra.

                    The combat system is based on a Leonardo command management system (CMS) which Naval News has identified as part of the ATHENA family of systems which manages a comprehensive communications suite including secure radios, tactical data links (Link 11, 16, JREAP, Link Y and fitted for Link 22) and satellite communications according to shipbuilder documentation, the antennas of the latter are distributed on the superstructures and the secondary mast.

                    Al Zubarah-class corvette sensor systems

                    Close up view of the Leonardo Grand Kronos Naval AESA radar positioned on top of the main mast. Picture by Giorgio Arra.

                    The CMS also manages a robust sensors suite including the Leonardo 3D AESA Grand Kronos Naval radar, IFF interrogator and transponder, an IRST surveillance and tracking suite including two Leonardo SASS systems as identified by Naval News and positioned respectively on top of the bridge and the right side of the hangar structure and a complete EW suite. Naval News has identified the latter as provided by Elettronica group including last generation RESM/CESM and RECM systems with antennas positioned mainly on the main mast and on the hangar left side, similarly to Italian Navy’s ships.

                    The main gun fire control system antenna identified by Naval News as the Leonardo NA-30S Mk 2 dual-band radar-EO/IR system positioned over the bridge together with navigation radars provided by Kelvin Hughes and installed also on board the Musherib-class OPV.

                    The two 30 mm secondary guns are each controlled by a Leonardo Medusa Mk4B EO/IR FCS while passive self-protection is offered by a suite of decoy launchers. Naval News has identified Lacroix Defence Sylena launchers on top of the bridge while Leonardo anti-torpedo decoy launchers are positioned amidship on each ship side. The latter are part, Naval News understood, of the torpedo alert, tracking and decoy suite including a towed array torpedo detection system as indicated by Fincantieri documentation and which Naval News has identified as Leonardo Black Snake system. According to Fincantieri open source documentation, the ship is also equipped with a Thesan obstacle and mine avoidance sonar also provided by Leonardo, according to the latter press statement released with contract award for the integrated supply of the combat system and sub-systems supplier.


                    • ADMk2
                      ADMk2 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Naval news sure is patting itself on the back, for ‘finding out’ all this info...

                      As if it wasn’t released in company press releases and shown in ship models... 😂

                  • #11
                    Sing along after me: baby-FREMM doo-doo doo doo, baby-FREMM doo-doo doo doo, etc.


                    • #12
                      NAVDEX 2021: Israel Shipyards presents Saar S-72 corvette

                      POSTED ON MONDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2021 08:37

                      According to a press release published by Israel Shipyard at the opportunity of Navdex 2021 on February 21, 2021, the firm showcases Saar S-72 corvette. Sa’ar 72 is a new class of Israeli Navy corvettes designed by Israel Shipyards Ltd. as an improved and stretched Sa’ar 4.5-class missile boat.

                      Sa'ar S-72 corvette at NAVDEX 2021

                      The ship developed to prevent illegal activity and maritime terrorism, provide coastal protection for Naval forces, and protect territorial waters and EEZs. This multi-mission vessel, in a Corvette configuration, is modularly designed for use in naval warfare or as an OPV. The SAAR S-72 utilizes hybrid propulsion, automatically switching to diesel upon acceleration.

                      It is a multipurpose vessel at the length of 72 meter and full displacement of about 800 tons. As the existing Naval vessels of Israel Shipyards, the new corvette will also reach the speed of above 30kn with an extended endurance. The SAAR S-72 can operate a medium size marine helicopter. It also supports unique possibilities of utilizing Special Forces units. It also supports unique possibilities of utilizing Special Forces units. The SAAR S-72 is offered as a missile corvette or it can be proposed in an OPV version.


                      • #13
                        Range of 5,500 km and ~21 days endurance. Excellent for their needs.


                        • #14
                          Not so sure about stability and seaworthiness, that's a lot of weight reasonably high up or close to the bow, and helicopter ops on that flight deck will be extremely weather limited.

                          On the other hand, its not like they will deploy much further than Crete or Italy, and the Med is much calmer 90% of the time than either the Pacific or Atlantic, so it's a good match with Israeli requirements.
                          Last edited by unicorn11; 23-02-21, 02:22 AM.
                          It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
                          It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
                          It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.


                          • #15
                            Yes, not much free board either and the beam is just over 10 meters. Not a ship for heavy seas.


                            • #16

                              Lockheed Martin picture

                              Lockheed Martin Started Construction On Saudi Arabia’s 2nd MMSC

                              Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri started construction on the second Multi Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) for the Royal Saudi Navy (RSN). A low key steel cutting ceremony took place on at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin in late January.

                              Xavier Vavasseur 16 Mar 2021

                              A Lockheed Martin spokesperson confirmed to Naval News that the first cut of steel for MMSC 2 was on January 28, 2021 and shared pictures of the event. The name of the ship has not been disclosed yet.

                              For the record, Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract totaling $450 million to begin the detailed design and planning for construction of four Multi-Mission Surface Combatants (MMSC) to be built at Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard back in July 2018. The vessels are being procured as part of a modernization program for the RSN’s eastern fleet called SNEP II (Saudi Naval Expansion Program). Steel cutting for HMS Saud, the first ship-in-class took place on 28 October 2019.

                              MMSC is based on the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship of the U.S. Navy. It utilizes the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Combat System Common Source Library, enabling anti-air and anti-surface capabilities in a small surface combatant platform. With proven combat management system lineage, Lockheed Martin’s MMSC has the interoperability necessary for today’s joint and allied naval force maneuvers.

                              “We are pleased the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has selected the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant to support its Royal Saudi Naval Forces fleet,” said in July 2018 Joe DePietro, vice president, Lockheed Martin Small Combatants and Ship Systems.
                              “The MMSC provides the Royal Saudi Naval Forces a lethal and highly maneuverable multi-mission surface combatant, which features the flexibility of the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship steel mono-hull with expanded capabilities that include an integrated Mk41 Vertical Launch System, an increased range of 5,000 nautical miles and speeds in excess of 30 knots, making it capable of littoral and open ocean operation, and able to confront modern maritime and economic security threats.”
                              Artist impression of Royal Saudi Navy MMSC and MH-60R helicopter. Lockheed Martin image.

                              The July 2018 contract award was preceded by a $481 million FMS award in March 2018 and followed by another $282 million award in November 2018.

                              The Saudi MMSC will be fitted with 8x Mk41 vertical launch systems for ESSM surface to air missiles, a SeaRAM launcher on top of the helicopter hangar, 8x Harpoon anti-ship missiles, a BAE Systems Bofors 57mm main gun and 2x Nexter Narwhal 20mm remote weapon systems as secondary artillery. The sensor suite includes a Hensoldt TRS-4D AESA Radar, 2x SAAB CEROS 200 radar and optronic tracking fire control director, Argon ST WBR-2000 Electronic Support Measure and Threat Warning System and a variable depth sonar.

                              Royal Saudi Navy’s MH-60R Romeo

                              Induction ceremony of the first MH-60R “Romeos” of the Royal Saudi Navy in December 2020. Saudi MoD picture.

                              The RSN is also procuring MH-60R Romeo to be deployed from these veseels. According to Lockheed Martin, paired with world’s most advanced maritime helicopter, the MH-60R, the MMSC will have a robust anti-submarine mission capability that is fully interoperable with the U.S. Navy and its coalition partners.

                              The first MH-60R maritime helicopters were inducted during an inauguration ceremony on 23 December 2020. During the ceremony, Commander of the Royal Saudi Navy, Lieutenant General Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ghafili, said the Romeo features the latest technologies and systems, which will enhance the capabilities of the RSN to face all challenges and threats in the region. Saudi Arabia has 10 “Romeos” on order. The first delivery took place in 2018.

                              So far, the Romeo has been selected by the navies of the United States, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Australia, India, Greece and South Korea. The U.S. Navy is the main operator of the MH-60R with 289 units in its fleet. It acts as the primary anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare helicopter in the fleet.


                              • #17

                                Breaking News: First images of ITS Montecuccoli PPA weapon fit


                                By Luca Peruzzi

                                EDR On-Line took the first images of ITS Montecuccoli (P 432) Thaon di Revel-class PPA (Pattugliatore Polivalente d’Altura) combatant patrol vessel, since the technical launch ceremony on March 13.

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                                The Montecuccoli PPA images were taken at Fincantieri’s Riva Trigoso shipyard where the ship was built and mostly outfitted before being transferred by barge, as illustrated in the picture, to La Spezia Muggiano shipyard in the incoming hours.

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                                Here the Montecuccoli will complete outfitting before beginning harbour and sea acceptance trials, delivery being planned in 2023. The Monteccucoli is the first Thaon di Revel-class platform in the PPA Light Plus configuration equipped with the MBDA SAAM ESD PPA air defence missile system.
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                                The first PPA Light Plus is fitted withthe Leonardo four fixed-face (4FF) C-band AESA KRONOS Quad radar of the Dual Band Radar (DBR) (X/C band) suite to be installed on the PPA Full platform.

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                                An evolution of the SAAM ESD system initially installed on the FREMM Bergamini-class frigates, the SAAM ESD PPA installed on the Montecuccoli PPA Light Plus is centered on two 8-cell A50 Naval Group VLS for the family of MBDA’s Aster surface-to-air missiles and C2 working for the first time with the Leonardo 4FF AESA C-band radar exploiting the GaN technology and the advanced radar system manager providing enhanced air defence capabilities against present and future threats including ballistic missiles.

                                The radar system is also working together, exploiting integrated functions, with Elettronica EW suite including RESM/CESM and RECM.

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                                The PPA vessels are also armed with the Leonardo 127 mm LW Vulcano guided ammunition capable main gun and the Single Deck 76/62 mm gun system with Strales guidance and guided ammunition kit.

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                                All those are managed by the Leonardo NA-30S Mk2 radar-EO/IR fire control system in addition to two 25 mm remotely controlled mounts. More to come soon on this topic.

                                Photos by Luca Peruzzi


                                • #18

                                  Damen’s new SIGMA 11515 frigate being proposed to Greece. In this configuration it features an integrated mast with APAR radar, 16x Mk41 VLS, a 76mm main gun, at least 2x Narwhal 20mm remote weapon stations, 8x NSM anti-ship missiles and a RAM launcher. The vessel has a length of 119 meters and full load displacement of 4,400 tons. Damen Image.

                                  Damen Details Dutch Frigates Proposal For Hellenic Navy

                                  Dutch shipbuilder Damen is proposing a new design for the Hellenic Navy frigate requirement. The brand-new SIGMA 11515 Frigates are part of a wider package offer by Damen in partnership with Thales Nederland, with support of the government of The Netherlands.

                                  Xavier Vavasseur 20 Mar 2021

                                  It recently surfaced that the Hellenic Navy need was not limited to new-built frigates. Their need is so urgent that they require a “stop-gap” solution (consisting in the procurement of second-hand vessels or a lease of existing vessels) as well as an upgrade to the in-service Hydra-class frigates.

                                  Naval News previously reported on the proposals from Lockheed Martin and Naval Group. This time around, we contacted Damen to learn more about the Dutch proposal to Greece. Here is what we learned from Pieter Heijboer, Manager Naval Sales Support at Damen Naval.

                                  Naval News – What is the SIGMA 11515?

                                  Pieter Heijboer – SIGMA 11515 is the next step in our well-known SIGMA class of ships, in this sense it has been for some time in the drawing board. Already since some couple of years, it has been presented to several customers as a possibility, together with other ships in our portfolio. In particular, the Hellenic Navy showed interest in this design during our initial talks more than one year ago.

                                  The SIGMA 11515 represents an evolution from the SIGMA 10514, already in service within several navies who operate in challenging ops theatres. A clever standardization policy and anticipation to the market are key enablers to support a flexible portfolio that swiftly can serve specific requirements of a Customer.

                                  The main advantages that the SIGMA11515 offers when compared with our other designs are:

                                  • Increased payload with respect to other designs in our portfolio;

                                  • Additional flexibility thanks to the use of dedicated flexible spaces for mission reconfiguration;

                                  • Possibility to include modern developments in weapons and sensors

                                  • risk reduction and clever and fast realization and project set up based on familiarity and commonalities with regards to the SIGMA 10514

                                  Damen picture showing TNI AL (Indonesian Navy)’s PKR frigate, also known as SIGMA 10514. The Mexican Navy also selected it for its POLA requirement. The new SIGMA 11515 is based on this design. In addition, Damen is proposing two SIGMA 10514 built in a Greek shipyard at an accelerated pace in order to fill the Hellenic Navy urgent “stop gap” need.

                                  Naval News – Can you please detail Damen’s offer, in terms of new ships, “stop gap” solution, and Hydra-class Upgrade?

                                  Pieter Heijboer – All the 4 SIGMA 11515 will be built locally in Greece. Our offer and project set up is based on domestic building and setting to work, but also on preparing the life cycle support of the four frigates.

                                  The intermediate solutions we have proposed are:

                                  a. Two Karel Doorman class are offered to the HN directly from the Netherlands Government

                                  b. Two SIGMA 10514 locally built. Building time of these vessels which fit perfect in the SIGMA line with SIGMA 11515, would be very short. This local building process is proven. We can compete in every aspect with all other second-hand class offers that we have seen. Second hand offers are not ready for operations and would probably also have to be adjusted and modernized to the Hellenic Navy requirements and latest technical standards. Fast new build solves these issues.

                                  Damen together with Thales Netherlands are intensively studying the Hydra update requirements from the Hellenic Navy. The Damen/Thales combination will ensure quality of our proposal and possible execution of the contract in Greece and it will also provide commonality as much as possible with our SIGMA offer.

                                  Naval News – Have you visited shipyards in Greece? Have you identified local partners already?

                                  Pieter Heijboer – Damen visited all relevant shipyards in Greece where our surveys showed that SIGMA could be built making use of our experience in building SIGMA’s successfully worldwide. Our surveys also focused on the local supply chain. Because to build a ship like the Sigma and to provide support during the sustainment, also local suppliers are essential for the success of this program.

                                  Naval News – Is the Dutch government supporting your bid?

                                  Pieter Heijboer – Indeed, our bid is strongly supported by the Dutch government, including a financing arrangement supported by Atradius (Dutch state export credit agency). Intrinsically there is a broader base of commonality with also other NATO/EU partners, such as Germany and Belgium, where we offer to have a similar Above Water Warfare System and sensors, as projected on their new frigates. Therefore this offers already European cooperation in place, since important parts of this proposal are fielded in other EU/NATO partners.

                                  Naval News – Can you tell us more about the role of Thales?

                                  Pieter Heijboer – Thales Nederland is our partner. This gives additional certainty in the project, since we have a long-standing cooperation relation and actually as we speak, this is underway in our projects for the German frigate programme F126 and the Belgian/Netherlands Frigate replacement programme. The sensors and weapons are a mix of European and US systems.

                                  Naval News – Several local (Greek) media reports mention that the American and French bid are supposedly “ahead”. What is your response? Why do you believe Damen offers the best package?

                                  Pieter Heijboer – Damen does not comment on claims or specifics of our competition, but focuses on the Client.

                                  a. The Client, the Hellenic Navy still uses the Dutch designed and at Damen Schelde built Elli class, with which they are operationally and technically very happy. That quality which results in force in theatre, can be prolonged via our offer.

                                  b. Specifications of the SIGMA 11515 fully serves Hellenic Navy requirements according to Hellenic Navy statements

                                  c. Damen will build all 4 vessels locally, in Greece. This offers a solid and long-lasting prospect for Hellenic naval shipbuilding. Damen is the only shipbuilding group that has proven to be able to build in country and, at the same time, is able to build up a capable yard to export. Damen has proven to be successful in this concept in Vietnam, Indonesia, Romania etc. In total Damen has built 1000+ ships at local non-Damen shipyards.

                                  d. Pricewise Damen is competitive, with pricing below 600 Million Euros per ship locally built. This includes an ILS package, which safeguards solid in life support and maintaining up time of the vessels.

                                  For the record, France and Greece were involved in exclusive negotiations for a while, for two FDI type frigates. However, despite the signing of an LOI in October 2019, Greece decided to keep its options open and is now considering several designs. The designs being considered today, in addition to Damen’s SIGMA 11515, are:
                                  • Lockheed Martin with the MMSC
                                  • Naval Group with the FDI/Belharra
                                  • TKMS with the MEKO A200NG (or MEKO A300)
                                  • Babcock with the Type 31/Arrowhead
                                  • Navantia (allegedly with the F-110)
                                  • Fincantieri (allegedly with the FREMM)

                                  The procurement process doesn’t seem to be a “classic open tender” but rather government to government (G to G) discussions with each party.


                                  • #19
                                    Navantia launches third Avante 2200 corvette for Royal Saudi Navy

                                    29 March 2021 (Last Updated March 29th, 2021 12:16)

                                    Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company Navantia has announced the launch of the third of the five Avante 2200 corvettes built for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF).

                                    Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company Navantia has announced the launch of the third of the five Avante 2200 corvettes built for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF).

                                    Known as HAIL, the ship is named after the HAIL city in the north of Saudi Arabia.

                                    The ship’s launching event was held by Navantia shipyard in San Fernando in the presence of Navantia and RSNF officials.

                                    SAMI Navantia Naval Industries (SAMINavantia) is a joint venture (JV) formed between state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Navantia to design and construct the five Avante 2200 corvettes for RSNF.

                                    Corvette HAIL has a length of 104m and a beam of 14m. It can transport a total of 102 people, including crew members and passengers.

                                    It is designed to cruise at a maximum speed of 27 knots and has the capacity to carry provisions on board for 21 days.

                                    The contract to build the HAIL corvette came into force in November 2018.

                                    According to the Spanish ship builder, this contract meant a workload of over seven million hours, which is 6,000 jobs per annum for five years.

                                    The last vessel under the Avante 2200 programme will be delivered in 2024.

                                    The Avante 2200 corvette is a multirole vessel that can support surveillance and maritime control, as well as search and rescue missions.

                                    The vessel incorporates Navantia’s CATIZ Combat System, the HERMESYS Integrated Communications System, the DORNA Firing Direction, the Integrated Platform Control System, and the MINERVA Integrated Bridge.

                                    It also features equipment such as the MTU Engines or the RENK Reduction Gearboxes developed by Navantia under licence.

                                    The contract also includes the supply of several services, including integrated logistic support (ILS), operational and maintenance training, supply of training and education centres for the combat system, and platform control system of the ships.

                                    The contract also includes providing life cycle support and the systems for the maintenance of the ships in the Jeddah Naval Base of Saudi Arabia.

                                    In October 2019, SAMINavantia laid the keel on the first Avante 2200 corvette for the RSNF.


                                    • #20

                                      Left: Naval Group’s 4,000-ton trimaran “Ocean Avenger” Drone Carrier Warship has two straight runways to launch UCAVs with VTOL rotorcraft stationed at the stern. “Ocean Avenger” also has a main gun turret and VLS cells for missiles in addition to four 30mm autocannon turrets at the corners of the trimaran. Right: BAE’s 8,000-ton UXV Drone Carrier Warship uses two split-V runways to launch UCAV aircraft. Spots on the stern and forward deck are reserved for unmanned VTOL rotorcraft while the floodable well deck can launch unmanned surface and subsurface systems. UXV carries offensive and defensive VLS missiles and a 155mm gun with the possible addition of larger Hypersonic missile tubes. UXV is stated to be 500-feet long, or the length of the upcoming U.S. Navy’s FFG-62 FREMM-modified frigate .

                                      Op-Ed: Is It Time For The U.S. Navy To Build The Drone Carrier Warship?

                                      As the Pentagon and Congress grapple on determining what to build to meet the “500-ship U.S. Navy goal,” a couple of years-old ideas and artist renderings may lead to a more flexible future for the U.S. Navy’s global operations.

                                      Peter Ong 26 Apr 2021

                                      BAE Systems' UXV and Naval Group’s “Ocean Avenger” are Potential Candidates

                                      What is needed is a hybrid warship that can deploy all kinds of unmanned systems, provide long-range air and ship fire support for the land forces, address peer nation challenges, remain present and available daily, and multitask in many warfare areas.

                                      What ship can accomplish all this? The BAE Systems’ 8,000-ton Unmanned Experimental Vessel (UXV)* and Naval Group’s 4,000-ton “Ocean Avenger” Drone Carrier Warship designs are concept ships that were rendered and were never built even though the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and DDG 1000 (Zumwalt destroyers) were. (*UXV is not an unmanned warship, but is crewed by sailors that launch and retrieve unmanned air, surface, and subsurface drone systems).

                                      As the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps test unmanned air, sea, and underwater drones at the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Unmanned Integrated Battle Problem (UxS IBP) 21 (held in late April, 2021), no current U.S. warship in service is designed to actually carry, transport, handle, control, launch and retrieve, and maintain all three environmental types of drones. A few of these drones have been used and launched by a few fielded warships; however, not one U.S. warship design exists to launch all three types of drones in significant numbers for combat, recon, patrol, and maritime operations, let alone detach itself for amphibious duties and assault. The Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) is relatively unarmed, and the LPD-17 and LHA amphibious assault ships lack VLS missile tubes and long-range gunfire support.

                                      Is the answer to the U.S. Navy’s future unmanned system fleet already design and rendered? Naval News explores two Drone Carrier Warship designs (half aircraft carrier/half combat warship) in this Opinion-Editorial Analysis.

                                      • The Kratos XQ-58A “Valkyrie” Unmanned Combat Aircraft (UCAV) drone
                                      • The MQ-8 “Fire Scout” Unmanned Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) rotorcraft drone
                                      • The BAE Systems 8,000-ton UXV Drone Carrier Warship
                                      • The Naval Group Class-04-03 4,000-ton “Ocean Avenger” trimaran Drone Carrier Warship
                                      “It starts and ends with the map, and I don’t mean that in an abstract sense. I mean these are massive distances that we’re talking about in INDO-PACOM. We can’t commute to work. We’re just not going to be able to commute to work if things heat up, so we’re going to be relying in Allies and partners to be forward-deployed and have that day-to-day presence in the region.”
                                      Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin). Co-Chair, House National Security Caucus and Member, House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee at USNI/CSIS “The Future of the U.S. Navy” virtual webinar, March 2021

                                      By 2021, the U.S. Navy has implemented a ship building plan dating back to designs created in the 1990s and 2000s, as seen in this “Warships of Tomorrow” Popular Science article. The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the stealthy Zumwalt destroyer (DDG 1000) were built to strikingly remarkable resemblances to the artist’s renderings. The CG(X) was discussed by the U.S. Navy, shipbuilding industry, and the Think Tanks, but no mention was made of the UXV Drone Carrier, when at that time in mid-2000s, Artificial Intelligence and drones were just getting started or budding. Is it time for the U.S. Navy to build the UXV Drone Carrier Warship to relieve the U.S. Naval Fleet Forces of using the overtaxed Carrier Strike Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups?

                                      According to, “The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier is returning to San Diego Friday afternoon. The ship’s homeport is in Washington State. The crew has been deployed for 321 days. This deployment length is the longest since the Vietnam War.” That statement was dated February 26, 2021.

                                      321 days is ten months, four more months than the usual half-year (or six-month overseas ship deployment). USS Nimitz, the longest aircraft carrier deployment in history, shows how overstressed and “in-demand” the U.S. Navy’s (USN) aircraft carriers are around the world.

                                      A U.S. Navy Landing Helicopter Assault (LHA) or Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) can deploy as a standard light aircraft carrier (standard is six United States Marine Corps (USMC) F-35Bs on board), or as a “Lightning Carrier,” equipped with anywhere from 10 to 20+ F-35Bs as part of an Amphibious Ready Group. However, China and the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps know that the range of the F-35B (669 nmi (770 mi, 1,239 km) on internal fuel) places it well within the range of Anti-Ship ballistic missiles such as the Chinese DF-21 fired from a Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) truck. The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) DF-21 has a described range of 1,100 miles (1,770 km). As of mid-2021, existing American manned naval aircraft will always be outranged by the Chinese TEL Anti-Ship missiles as evident in the graphics below.

                                      United States naval carrier aircrafts are being criticized for their short combat ranges in the face of ever-increasing ranges and potency of Land-Based Anti-Ship Missiles (LBASMs), particularly those possessed by the Chinese and Russian Strategic Rocket Forces. As this chart shows, the U.S. naval aircrafts also have to return to their carriers (for round trip) and carrying drop tanks into a dogfight affects combat maneuverability, aerodynamics, and stealth. Lockheed Martin image.

                                      This chart shows the estimated ranges of the Chinese PLA’s DF-21C and D variants, fired from trucks on land. It’s unknown on if the DF-21s can actually hit a moving ship, but all of the INDO-PACOM region is threatened and covered by these PLA’s ballistic Anti-Ship missiles. STRATFOR 2010 image.

                                      A Checkered Reality: Issues with the U.S. Navy’s DDG 1000s and the Littoral Combat Ships

                                      Although outside the scope of this Opinion-Editorial Analysis, readers can research how the “Warships of Tomorrow” plan kind of semi-failed to meet actual U.S. Navy expectations once these two ships were actually built and fielded. Briefly:
                                      • The U.S. Navy didn’t use the U.S. Army and NATO-standard 155mm cannon and shells as the foundational basis in the DDG 1000s’ Armored Gun Systems (AGS), thus requiring a specialized AGS GPS extended-range round that cost upwards of $800,000 each. The U.S. Navy has since canceled the AGS shell program and the AGSs currently have no shells to fire. 2021 plans might call for the AGSs’ removal to accommodate large Hypersonic VLS missile cells although this has been unconfirmed.
                                      • The LCSs are only built to Level One survivability and are undergoing upgrades to improve their combat survivability and lethality, including the incorporation of eight launchers of the stealthy 100-nautical mile Naval Strike Missile, adding electronic countermeasures, missile decoys, and adding additional steel.
                                      • The LCSs’ Mission Modules, once considered swappable Plug-and-Play modules, take too long to actually swap out. Hence the U.S. Navy decided to keep the Modules in place with some LCSs carrying Mine Countermeasure Modules (MCM), others Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Modules, and others Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) Modules.
                                      • Due to weapon and lethality issues, the DDG 1000s (no functioning 155mm AGSs as of 2021 to provide shore bombardment for the U.S. Marines) and LCSs (have no VLS cells for medium to long-range Anti-Air and Anti-Surface Warfare missiles) somewhat fail in their “Deterrence values” as warships.
                                      • Railguns, lasers, and all those “high-tech (energy consuming) researched and developed weapons” didn’t really mature well enough by mid-2021 to be actually implemented into the DDG 1000s and LCSs on a cost-effective basis.
                                      • The time required for an LCS to sweep for mines actually takes longer than an Avenger-class MCM ship because the LCSs relies on a variety of drones that perform single functions. These drones cannot multitask to accomplish the mission of scanning, detecting, locating, and neutralizing the mines so each sweeping mission requires the launching and retrieval of a separate onboard LCS drone to accomplish these tasks.

                                      The U.S. Navy is currently working to remedy these deficiencies by creating Task Forces and studies to address these issues, as stated in the Surface Navy Association 2020 and 2021 Virtual Symposiums.

                                      A New Kind of Warship from a Past Idea: The BAE Systems UXV and the Naval Group “Ocean Avenger”

                                      For speculative opinions and analysis, let’s explore the UCAVs, UAVs, and the Drone Carrier Warship. We’ll refer to the BAESystems UXV and the Naval Group “Ocean Avenger” as a “Carrier Warship” because they carry VLS cells and a 155mm cannon, so it’s not a true carrier such as the CVN and LHA “flattops.”

                                      Enter the Kratos XQ-58A “Valkyrie” Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV)

                                      The Kratos® XQ-58A UCAV drops a drone from the internal weapons bay. The XQ-58A could be the U.S. Navy and Marine’s answer to needing (unmanned) long-range tactical carrier fighter/bombers in the INDO-PACOM region and keep U.S. Navy warships away from the Chinese DF-21 LBASMs. Cost is cheap at an estimated $2-$3 million each XQ-58A due to the lack pilot life support systems. XQ-58As can be launched via rockets on a rail straight out of a shipping container if required. USAF picture.

                                      The U.S.-made Kratos®’s XQ-58A “Valkyrie” UCAV’s range is unprecedented, flying for 2,128 nmi (2,449 mi, 3,941 km) one way, or 1,275 miles to and from for a round trip, placing it just outside of the PLA’s DF-21C’s range (1,700 km/1,056 miles for the DF-21C and 3,000 km or 1,864 miles for the DF-21D).

                                      The XQ-58A, flying at Mach 0.85, is said to carry a payload of 544 kgs (1,199 pounds) in two internal weapons bays with four hardpoints each (eight hardpoints per XQ-58A). A 1,000-pound (450 kg) warhead can be the GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) GBU-32 or GBU-35 bomb for the USN/USMC, or a Paveway laser guided bomb. An AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), weighing in at 483 kg to 497 kg (1,065 to 1,095 lb) and offering a low-altitude release of 22 km (12 nmi) to a high-altitude release of 130 km (70 nmi) might also work. Aerial refueling can be from the unmanned Boeing MQ-25 Stingray drone. Therefore, one Drone Carrier Warship can deliver a 1,000-pound warhead if one XQ-58A UCAV and one MQ-25 UAV refueling drone is embarked, or 2,000-pounds of explosives if two XQ-58As are onboard. More UCAVs embarked means more delivered aerial ordnance tonnage, respectively.

                                      Boeing’s MQ-25 Stingray UAV aerial refueler is meant for CVNs, but it could be used aboard the UXV to substitute for one of the XQ-58s to give extended range across the Pacific. (Credit: Boeing)

                                      The cheap cost ($2 to $3 million each) of a XQ-58A “Valkyrie” means that these UCAVs are expendable. UCAV tactics and strategies still need to be fleshed out once placed into service; however, a Joint force of U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, and U.S. Air Force XQ-58As, MQ-25 tankers, and other UAVs could mean an unmanned aerial air force could respond to a crisis before manned airpower reaches the battlespace.

                                      And due to their long ranges, semi-stealthy XQ-58As, if deemed necessary, could be sent on one-way “suicide missions” just to reach and attack important targets 2,400+ miles away. Future stand-off ordnance in the 1,000-pound class could be developed to give the XQ-58A even more standoff fighting distance, as could small UAVs that are dropped from the internal weapons bay.

                                      The XQ-58A could potentially act as a combat fighter also, able to take down enemy fighter combat patrols with volleys of long-range air-to-air missiles (AIM-120Ds), or as a Close Air Support UCAV armed with various precision guided small missiles and smart bombs. XQ-58As could be the U.S. Marine’s best loitering UCAV in the future, providing the constant “Armed Overwatch” support that stealthy manned USMC F-35Bs cannot due to the F-35Bs’ short range.

                                      The Need for the Drone Carrier Warship for the U.S. Navy

                                      “Advantage at Sea provides guidance to the Naval Service for the next decade to prevail across a continuum of competition—composed of interactions with other nations from cooperation to conflict. This strategy emphasizes the following five themes. We must fully leverage the complementary authorities and capabilities of the Naval Service to generate Integrated All-Domain Naval Power. We must strengthen our alliances and partnerships— our key strategic advantage in this long-term strategic competition—and achieve unity of effort. We must operate more assertively to prevail in day-to-day competition as we uphold the rules-based order and deter our competitors from pursuing armed aggression. If our rivals escalate into conflict, becoming our adversaries, we must control the seas to deny their objectives, defeat their forces, protect our homeland, and defend our allies. And, we must boldly modernize the future naval force to maintain credible deterrence and preserve our advantage at sea.”
                                      Advantage at Sea, December 2020
                                      – Signed by the Secretary of the U.S. Navy, Kenneth J. Braithwaite
                                      – Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General David C. Berger
                                      – Chief of U.S. Naval Operations, Admiral Michael M. Gilday
                                      – Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Admiral Karl L. Schultz

                                      “We need to build a [future U.S.] Navy, but a Navy to do what? We need that type of vision and guidance.
                                      “The fact that the United States, they need to be there [around the world to counter peer nation influence]; we need to be in those places. We need to be the ones, or our allies, promoting that type of economic development or infrastructure in these countries [that China is influencing] because when we lose access, we’re not going to get access back.
                                      “Battle 2045: We have three things that we can do: A) We need to build more ships more quickly. B) We need to operate the ships that we have as efficiently as we can. C) And we need to not divest ourselves of platforms when they still have operational life left. …And I think that there are better models that we can deploy the Navy. I mean we get a lot more presence from our Forward Deployed Naval Forces, FDNF.”
                                      Representative Elaine Luria (D-Virginia)
                                      at USNI/CSIS “The Future of the U.S. Navy” virtual webinar, March 2021

                                      “Less a technical one and more of a philosophical one of what is the actual deterrence value of an unmanned system? Are we going to get the same deterrence effect with a large unmanned surface vessel that we’re going to get with a frigate, or a destroyer, or a carrier? I doubt it. I just don’t think that we actually got to the philosophical value of deterrence that we need to understand what we’re doing with these unmanned systems and deterrence is what it’s all about.”
                                      Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin)
                                      at USNI/CSIS “The Future of the U.S. Navy” virtual webinar, March 2021

                                      The Drone Carrier Warship could remedy these doubts and act as the hybrid warship that the future U.S. Navy needs and desires—a vessel that can multitask in various warfare functions:
                                      • Act as a command node, sheepdog, and provide “Armed Overwatch” for the LPD-17s and Light Amphibious Warships (LAWs).
                                      • Provide fire support via gunfire, missiles, potential Hypersonics, and long-range fires from VLS cells and a 155mm cannon independent of frigates, destroyers, and cruisers.
                                      • Provide consistently available and present runways and landing pad for unmanned aircraft, rotorcraft, drones, and a floodable well deck for sea and subsurface vessels independent of carriers, warships, Sea bases, and amphibious ships.
                                      • Provide expanded space for command, medical, dental, gym, facilities, food, Administration, maintenance, services, and logistics for the LAWs and small boats.
                                      • Provide crisis response in-theater closer to hot-spots around the globe.
                                      • Act as a Mothership vessel for future drones such as the MARTAC MANTAS T38 unmanned surface vessel (USV).
                                      • And be small and cheap enough to be built in large quantities.
                                      The BAE UXV Drone Carrier Warship comes in a few configurations, but is often seen with a 155mm turret gun at the bow, VLS cells behind the gun, and an angled stealthy superstructure. The two V-runways can launch and land unmanned drones, rotorcraft, and aircraft. A floodable well deck can launch USVs, UUVs, small boats, and RHIBs. Image: Kollected Ltd.

                                      Would the U.S. Navy and Congress be audacious enough to build the Drone Carrier Warship, considering how the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) and the three expensive DDG 1000s were semi-successful or semi-failures depending on viewer perspectives? Can the U.S. Navy afford not to, considering how expensive it is to build, operate, maintain, refuel, and service a CVN nuclear powered aircraft carrier? (The USS Gerald R. Ford CVNs cost over $13 billion each, and that doesn’t include working out the “teething problems”). The Landing Helicopter Assaults (LHAs), such as the USS America, cost around $3.5 billion each, and are 844-feet (257 meters) long. The proposed UXV is smaller at 500-feet (152.4 meters), or the size of the U.S. Navy’s upcoming Constellation-class frigate (FFG-62), and that should be the U.S. Navy and Congress’s debate: Should the UXV or “Ocean Avenger” be built larger to at least LHA size to carry a larger unmanned air wing because the U.S Navy needs a dedicated UCAV Drone “flattop” Aircraft Carrier, not a half-flattop warship carrying a 155mm gun, VLS cells, and a few UCAVs? Or should the BAE UXV and Naval Group’s “Ocean Avenger” be built as the designed hybrid warship (4,000 to 8,000 tons respectively) carrying UCAVs, small and cheap enough so that the Navy can afford a larger fleet of these hybrid warships, perhaps numbering 20-40+ to aid in launching drone swarms and facilitate in Multi-Domain Operations (MDO), Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO), Distributed Lethality (DL), assist in C5ISR and sheepdog the Light Amphibious Warships (LAWs), and conduct multiple vectoring pincer movements in the open ocean? As Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA), Vice Chair, House Armed Services Committee & Member, Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee said at USNI/CSIS’s “The Future of the U.S. Navy,” held virtually in March 2021, “Surge didn’t make up for capacity” when it comes to having a U.S. Navy ship presence in INDO-PACOM and around the world. “Capacity”—the U.S. Navy needs to have a larger ship count to maintain consistent presence and “surging” one to three aircraft carriers in INDO-PACOM can’t make up the difference if the CVNs sail to other parts of the world’s oceans, leaving a void of U.S. ship and aircraft presence in the Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) area. The Drone Carrier Warship adds ship, drone, missile, cannon fire, and long-range aircraft presence, available daily.

                                      The America-class LHAs won’t work as dedicated UCAV Drone Aircraft Carriers because the flight deck has to be cleared to launch the USMC F-35Bs that taxi to the stern and then use the entire length of the ship to get airborne (without a ski jump ramp), and the LHAs probably lack the maintenance facilities and space dedicated for UCAVs. The split-V runways of the UXVs allow for the launching of the UCAVs from one or both runways while one runway can be used to land UCAVs. Furthermore, deck space between the runways can be reserved for MQ-8 UAV rotorcraft and other vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drones without getting in the way of UCAV launching and landing operations.

                                      Just a concept in the 1990s-2000s, the UXV Drone Carrier Warship design could become a reality in the 2020s thanks to advances and maturation in miniaturization, drone technology, software, and 155mm cannon and GPS shell advancements. The punch and flexibility of the UXV would be huge, able to offer the Fleet Commanders options that they never had before, all from one hybrid-functional warship that can cruise the INDO-PACOM region independently. XQ-58s can attack from thousands of miles away and MQ-8s can provide Anti-submarine, Anti-mine, and Anti-surface warfare operations in addition to logistics, reconnaissance, patrol, scouting, targeting, and Anti-UAV defense. Popular Science image.

                                      A model mockup of the UXV Drone Carrier shows the split-V runway configuration and the well deck at the stern. If true to scale, this UXV has two UCAV aircraft, one MQ-8B by the superstructure, one MQ-8C at the stern, and two small VTOL drones in yellow circles. The Drone Carrier Warship would be ideal for amphibious operations, A2/AD breaching, scouting, acting as a light carrier warship, VTOL resupply, convoy escort, limited shore bombardment, independent ASW/ASuW/MCM/AAW operations, and to relieve the deployment stress off the U.S. Navy’s Carrier Strike Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups.

                                      Another Drone Carrier Warship Variant: The Naval Group’s “Ocean Avenger”

                                      Naval Group’s “Ocean Avenger” Drone Carrier Warship is a trimaran design that carries a 155mm gun and several banks of VLS tubes. The three hulls allow for two straight runways and a rotorcraft spot at the stern. Half the displacement of the BAE UXV, the “Ocean Avenger” lacks a floodable well deck. Naval News screen capture from a Naval Group video.

                                      At 4,000-tons, Naval Group’s Class-04-C3 “Ocean Avenger” trimaran (three hull) Drone Carrier Warship is half the displacement of the BAE UXV.

                                      Similar in principle to the BAE UXV, the “Ocean Avenger” has two runways, but they’re not split-V, thanks to the three-hull tumblehome design, and instead has one runway per outboard hull. “Ocean Avenger,” however, does not have a floodable well deck for launching and retrieving unmanned surface vessels and underwater vessel drones (USVs and UUVs). This concept warship design uses conventional shafts and propellers, not high-powered waterjets as the LCSs.

                                      “Ocean Avenger” does seem to possess Close-in Weapon Systems (CIWS) as the graphics show autocannons or CIWS can be positioned at the four corners of the ship for better all-around protection. “Ocean Avenger” also has a rotorcraft/UCAV hangar into the main superstructure behind the bridge, a design feature that the BAE UXV lacks. The Naval Group design does not appear to have any elevators to an interior hull hangar.

                                      Unveiled by the French Shipbuilder during at the Euronaval 2018 show alongside other concept ships, “Ocean Avenger” carries the following:
                                      • Multipurpose launchers (unspecified, but these can be 20-32 VLS cells)
                                      • Electric railguns (most likely will be removed if built as this energy-hungry technology hasn’t matured enough to fit cost-effectively in small warship designs)
                                      • Laser weapons (a possibility, depending in power consumption and laser miniaturization)
                                      • Directed Energy Weapons (a possibility, depending in power consumption and laser miniaturization)
                                      • Digital Combat Bridge (already exists in DDG 1000s with television screens and cameras acting as bridge wing lookouts)
                                      • Antifouling (to combat marine organisms from growing on the hull)
                                      • Software for seakeeping
                                      • Composite materials (to reduce rust and for stealth radar low-signature purposes)
                                      • UxV (for operating Unmanned Experimental Vessel or Vehicles)
                                      • Integrated topside (all decks and systems are interconnected in the trimaran design)
                                      • Hyperconnectivity
                                      • Invisible ship (angled stealth characteristics, low profile and signatures)
                                      • Cybersecurity (secure communications, networking, sensors, and datalinks to the drones and to outside forces)
                                      Similar in principle to the BAE UXV, the “Ocean Avenger” has two runways, but they’re not split-V, thanks to the three-hull tumblehome design, and instead has one runway per outboard hull. Naval News screen capture from a Naval Group video.

                                      “Ocean Avenger’s” purpose is designed for:
                                      • A Smart Ship (hardware and software that are compatible and “talk to” each other)
                                      • Smart Naval Forces (Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) allows for the networking of several “Ocean Avengers” to act as a fleet)
                                      • Smart Energy (regulated and monitored power sources and output)
                                      • An Invulnerable ship (offensive/defensive armament, electronic warfare, missile jammers and decoys mean that “Ocean Avenger” does not require dedicated warship escorts as this Drone Carrier Warship can protect and defend itself).
                                      • Smart Availability (with a small unmanned air force and the guns and missiles carried in its design, “Ocean Avenger” can be “on call” for flexible crisis response and U.S. Marine fire support that no other Navy warship can provide).
                                      • Strike (Missions that require gun, missile, or air strikes)
                                      • Point (Close-in defense from lasers, autocannons, (possible small railguns), machine guns, and Directed Energy Weapons)
                                      • Seakeeping and survivability (the trimaran hull allows for outer protection from the main hull and Antifouling prolongs hull life)
                                      • C5ISR (allows for the gathering, analysis, and interconnectivity to process data from all sensors and make important tactical battlespace decisions from commanders).
                                      A Recipe for a Successful U.S. Navy Drone Carrier Warship

                                      In order to create a successful Drone Carrier Warship, the U.S. Navy should implement these requirements dependent on vessel size, purpose, mission parameters, cost, deterrence, effectiveness, and future growth.
                                      • MQ-8Bs and Cs outfitted to provide ASW, MCM, limited AAW, and ASuW for the USMC and the Navy. These MQ-8 packages could include sonobuoys, lightweight (miniature) torpedoes, 2.75” APKWS rockets, SPIKE NLOS/Longbow Hellfire missiles, COBRA MCM, gun pods, and Stinger Short-ranged Air-Defense (SHORAD) missiles.
                                      • Optional: Adding unmanned tankers such as the Boeing MQ-25 to substitute for one or two XQ-58s to provide aerial tanking to manned and unmanned aircraft.
                                      • A C5ISR and Combat Information Center room separate from the Drone Command Console Center (DC3).
                                      • Close-in weapons systems (CIWS) in the form of 20mm Phalanx CIWS, RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM), laser turrets, JQL/JAGM, or SeaRAM. Due to the UXV’s and “Ocean Avenger’s” stealthy design, these CIWS might not be incorporated if they affect stealth signature profile. If not, then the UXV and “Ocean Avenger” should have countermeasures in the form of Electronic Warfare and jamming, and drone swarms to fly out and intercept incoming missiles. (The triangular pedestal between the UXV’s two vertically angled superstructures could house crisscrossing RIM-116 RAM tubes angled outwards whereas JQL/JAGM launchers can be inserted between the RIM-116 tubes and fire from the pedestal’s top).
                                      • A 20 or 32-cell “Strike-Length” VLS that fires ASROC, Tomahawk, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM), Standard missiles, Naval Strike Missiles, and Long-ranged Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs). Some UXVs and “Ocean Avengers” could also be designed with larger VLS cells for Hypersonic missiles for a High-Low cost VLS cell missile mix.
                                      • A U.S. Army’s M1299 155mm Extended Ranged Cannon Artillery (ERCA) howitzer in turret, corrosion protected, and using the U.S. Army’s autoloader and automated shell and powder magazine to provide precision shore bombardment. The key is to use NATO Army-standard 155mm shells.
                                      • A smart 155mm autoloading magazine that can take a variety of NATO-standard 155mm shells, including smoke, White Phosphorus, High-Explosive Dual Purpose, GPS rocket-assisted projectiles (RAP), Armor-piercing rounds, GPS RAP Glider warhead shells, illumination, canister shot, flechette, etc.;
                                      • A Nixie Anti-torpedo system or future Anti-torpedo torpedo launchers.
                                      • A well deck for launching RHIBs, unmanned surface vessels, unmanned underwater vessels, remote operated vehicles, swimmers and divers, and small hovercrafts for tactical firepower, rescue, recovery, transport, C4ISR, patrols, medical evacuation, and logistics. (The Naval Group design lacks a well deck and one doesn’t need to be designed in). An adequate self-protective detail of U.S. Marines for shipboard security.
                                      • Interior hardened armories for smart missiles, bombs, mines, miniature torpedoes, and air-to-air weapons with rapid-elevators to the flight deck and to the well deck.
                                      • A gallery and Mess Hall, additional berthing, small gym, dental, barber, ship’s shop, library, and a medical bay to provide hot meals and expanded care for the LAW-embarked Marines. The UXV can act as a temporary “Marine Mothership” to cruising LAWs in the INDO-PACOM region that lend one-third (25 Marines) out of the LAW’s 75 Marines for a temporary hot meal and additional care per rotating Rest and Relief shift during the LAWs 30-day patrols of the INDO-PACOM region. This will help boost Marine morale and health, and harks back to the days of World War Two where the UXV acts as a tender compared to using the larger, complex, scarce and expensive LPD-17s.
                                      • Flight Deck Operations Room facing the stern of the ship and acting as Air Traffic Controller.
                                      • Lifeboats and rescue boats;
                                      • An interior hardened, separate, and secure Drone Console Command Center (DC3) room with 20-30 individual consoles to control more than the four aerial drones embarked aboard the UXV. DC3 functions as a hardened Command node center to coordinate drone swarms on sea, below the water, and in the air. The DC3 should be a separate room from the CIC, perhaps as a smaller second story room overlooking the main CIC as in the DDG 1000s.
                                      • A sonar dome at the bow and optional towed sonar array.
                                      • Optional berthing and amenities for SEALs and special forces detachments;
                                      • The optional Moon Pool at the belly of the ship could be deleted because the Moon Pool might affect hull integrity and prove too complex compared to a standard stern well deck.
                                      • Interior hangar and workshops for UCAV and UAV maintenance (can the hangar hide a USMC HiMARS, brought up to the flight deck to fire land attack or Anti-ship missiles?);
                                      • Elevators to and from the hangar to the flight deck;
                                      • Proven UCAV arresting gear (and if necessary, EMALs catapults);
                                      • Chaff and Anti-Missile decoys for the UXV;
                                      • Machine guns mounts along the perimeter for self-protection, either manual or remotely operated;
                                      • Steel and Kevlar protection over vital spaces and compartments;
                                      • A XQ-58A jet engine test stand venting jet exhaust to the outside similar to the CVN;
                                      • Fire suppression and armored blast protection for the drone aviation fuel and ordnance;
                                      • Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical decontamination features for personnel, Marines, flight deck, and drones;
                                      • Incorporation of robotics and automation systems;
                                      • Proven engines and generators for future growth;
                                      • 28-30+ kts speed (preferably over 30+ kts);
                                      • Aircraft fire extinguishing agents and associated vehicles;
                                      • Small Mission Module Bay by the well deck for cargo and unmanned surface and subsurface drone modifications and stacking of additional inflatable boats;
                                      • Removal portals and hatches for lookouts and Close-Quarters Protection (similar to the DDG 1000s);
                                      • Exterior cameras and telescopes for situational awareness in a stealth superstructure;
                                      • A garage behind the aft superstructure to house the UAV firefighting vehicles, tow trucks, carts, cranes, and forklifts (not shown in the UXV design).
                                      • One or two Mk 38 MOD 3 25mm or Mk46 30mm autocannon turret(s) over the optional UXV garage (similar to the DDG 1000 setup) for rear area protection.
                                      • Some Drone Carrier Warship hulls could carry a separate and dedicated Air Warfare Officer Command Center to complement the aging Ticonderoga-class cruisers.
                                      One UXV variant showing a 155mm gun at the bow, ten larger VLS tubes behind the gun for potential larger (Hypersonic) missiles, an eight-cell NATO Sea Sparrow launcher, and 12 Anti-Submarine rockets by the bridge. The aft angled superstructure could act as Flight Ops for the UCAVs and UAVs. CIWS can be mounted in the middle of the superstructure on that flat horizontal triangular pedestal. Having UXV variants with 20-32-cell VLS and other UXVs with ten larger VLS tubes for Hypersonics can give UXV Task Forces a High-Low missile mix of speed, firepower, range, protection, cost and versatility.

                                      The Drone Carrier Warship design could be used by NATO and allied RIMPAC navies with the host nation providing their own indigenous UCAVs, drones, unmanned vessels, ship weapons, and design modifications. This would alleviate the need and pursuit for large expensive “flattop” carriers and air wings that few foreign navies are able and willing to fund, build, invest, operate, and maintain.

                                      Drone Carrier Warship Scenario:

                                      A Drone Carrier Warship (DCW) stationed somewhere in the western Pacific Ocean region can launch two stealthy XQ-58As from 2,300 miles away, have them drop their ordnance over land, and then fly and land on a DCW sailing somewhere in the Indian Ocean while that Indian Ocean DCW does the same thing, having its two XQ-58As fly towards their land targets and then fly out to land on the Pacific Ocean DCW. (We will just assume that each DCW carries two available XQ-58s. If the each DCW carries four UCAVs, the aerial firepower will be even greater).

                                      Now imagine a U.S. Navy Task Force comprising of four DCWs sailing in the Pacific and four DCWs sailing in the Indian Ocean, each DCW carrying two XQ-58As. Thus, eight DCWs provide a total of sixteen XQ-58As able to deliver sixteen 1,000-pound bombs against sixteen different land targets without the need for LHAs’ or CVNs’ airpower. Or, sixteen XQ-58As, each one having eight internal hardpoints, can attack 80 separate targets with 80 Small Diameter Bombs (SDB II, also known as the GBU-53/B “Stormbreaker”) since each GBU-53 weighs 204 lb (93 kg) and the XQ-58A can carry 544 kgs (1,199 pounds), or five SDB IIs in each XQ-58A (1,020 lbs total) with about 179 lb to spare. The GBU-53 has a decent standoff range of 69 miles (110 km) against stationary targets and 45 miles (72 km) against moving targets. (If the eight DCWs carry four XQ-58s each, that would be 160 SDB IIs, or thirty-two 1,000-pound JDAMs that can be independently targeted. The flight deck may be able to house more UCAVs at the expense of UAV rotorcrafts at their landing spots).

                                      This mini-UCAV DCW naval air force could make a striking difference in future naval operations, well-protected by AEGIS DDG-51 destroyers, FFG(X) frigates, and ASW rotorcraft, not to mention having VLS cells for its own long-rang defense and offensive attack.

                                      If the DCW warship design functions as advertised, and the DCW uses the modified corrosion-resistant U.S. Army’s M1299 155mm ERCA cannon that can fire 10 rounds-per-minute with an autoloader, four DCWs working together can fire 40 Extended-range GPS-guided 155mm shells per minute from 43-62 miles (70-100 km) away and provide the explosive precision shore bombardment punch for fraction of the cost of one custom $800,000 shell that was canceled for the DDG 1000 Zumwalts. The 155mm ERCA cannon onboard the DCW might be able to substitute for the lack of USMC M1A1 tank firepower during amphibious assaults.

                                      A new large logistics tender ship would sail with each Drone Carrier Warship Ocean Task Force and the tender’s large towering deck crane would replace any DCW’s XQ-58As that get shot down because the XQ-58A can fit inside a standard-sized shipping container for transport. The XQ-58As stored in shipping containers could even be lifted onto the decks of the DCWs if the U.S. Navy decides to acquire the new manned CH-53K “King Stallion” as a vertical replenishment helicopter.

                                      Again, note that this imaginary scenario is for a DCW in the 500-foot class (152.4 meters), and not for a Drone “flattop” Carrier around 800 (243 meters) to 1,000 feet (304 meters) long with interior hull aircraft hangars and elevators. If the U.S. Navy decided to build a dedicated Drone Carrier that loosely resembles the LHA or CVNs for a much larger UCAV and UAV air wing, then the DCW split-V and trimaran runway warship design would not qualify.

                                      Conclusion: UXVs and/or “Ocean Avenger” Could Aid the Future U.S. Navy and Deter by Multitasking

                                      The deterrence value of a High-Low mix of Drone Carrier Warships (if both the UXV and “Ocean Avenger were built) would be dramatic in the INDO-PACOM region and would provide the unmanned systems, the 155mm AGS shore battery fire support, the missile protection, and the Anti-Mine and Anti-Submarine systems that the DDG 1000s and LCSs have partially failed to deliver. The DCW could be the de facto ship that bridges and solves many of the U.S. Navy’s issues revolving around the lack of long-range gunfire support for the U.S. Marines and the lack of long-range offensive armament on the poorly-armed LAWs, LPDs, and LCSs.

                                      By providing consistently available overwatch in the air, on the water, and below the sea from unmanned systems, moderately-armed and faster DCWs would make the battlespace much safer for the deployments of the poorly-armed and slow Light Amphibious Warships (LAWs) compared to using the poor-armed LPD-17s and the unarmed Expeditionary Sea Base (ESBs) as Mothership LAW sheepdogs. The Drone Carrier Warship’s VLS cells and the 155mm ERCA would defeat targets that threaten the U.S. Marines as they come ashore. Currently, the U.S. Navy lacks a plan as to who, what, where, and how to provide offensive and defensive support to the poorly-armed LAWs sailing in the INDO-PACOM region outside of the customary expensive U.S. Navy warships. Having two or more XQ-58 UCAVs on station daily could lessen the need for LHA F-35Bs and CVN F-35Cs as the central aerial system used for A2/AD breaching, keeping the expensive and scarce stealthy F-35s further back from the fight. More XQ-58As and/or MQ-8s can be carried onboard and launched in times of crisis, and the DCW might even be able to launch and land the two-seat propeller “Armed Overwatch” Light Attack Plane that the U.S. Special Operations Command wants, or operate U.S. Marine or special forces helicopters and tiltrotors.

                                      For roughly the size of a U.S. Navy Constellation-class FFG-62 FREMM-modified frigate, the Drone Carrier Warship can offer a versatile firepower mix unapparelled and unmatched in a U.S. Navy warship design. Able to operate independently or in groups, the UXVs will have cruising staying power and perform as “Crisis Responders” instead of as dedicated “flattops” responding to global crises as the LHAs and CVNs often do, these flattops having to sail around the world on deployment.

                                      U.S. Navy Drone Carrier Warships would act as the Motherships for many drone systems in the INDO-PACOM region and around the world, able to counter drone swarms, check militia fishing boats, provide “Armed Overwatch,” conduct limited Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR), perform limited Airborne Warning and Command, sheepdog the smaller U.S. Navy ships and boats, escort convoys, and provide the muscle and teeth outside of the CVNs and LHA Strike Groups that have to sail around the world on deployments.

                                      Drone mixes and future systems will be left to the imaginations of the Fleet Force Commanders and Naval strategists, but they will have a ship that can transport, launch, command, gather data, analyze, and retrieve these remote-piloted systems, and sit in a warship that can protect itself.

                                      These hybrid warship designs, even dating back years to decades, are unique in that they have two unimpeded runways for UCAV operations. The drone software, A.I., 155mm ERCA; autoloading, robotics, and automation; and Hypersonic technology is now maturing in the 2020s. The U.S. Navy could be seeing their future warship force by reengaging some past concepts and revising some artist’s renderings that date back many years.

                                      The time for the Drone Carrier Warship concept to become a reality may be in the 2020s and the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps should definitely consider studying and perhaps revitalizing the BAE UXV split-V or the Naval Group two-runway trimaran hybrid warship concepts.


                                      • ADMk2
                                        ADMk2 commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        I have absolutely no idea why the DDG program just didn’t stick a pair of corrosion proofed M109A7 155mm gun turrets onto those ships and then morphed them into ERCA when the time came…

                                        The USN with these sorts of decisions along with LCS instead of a real frigate, as they have subsequently course-corrected, just went nuts for a long time there…

                                    • #21
                                      However, China and the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps know that the range of the F-35B (669 nmi (770 mi, 1,239 km) on internal fuel) places it well within the range of Anti-Ship ballistic missiles such as the Chinese DF-21 fired from a Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) truck. The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) DF-21 has a described range of 1,100 miles (1,770 km). As of mid-2021, existing American manned naval aircraft will always be outranged by the Chinese TEL Anti-Ship missiles as evident in the graphics below.
                                      JFC! Those poor feebled manned F-35s are just targets now! Good luck finding and killing dispersed STEALTHY F-35B with a DF-21! They'll just stick out like dog's balls, I'm sure. Meanwhile F-35 was designed in the wake of Desert Storm specifically for flying over an opponents airspace with impunity to find and kill TEL vehicles specifically, 24/7. And even as they're doing that they'll also be attacking PLA C4ISR - the stuff which makes Chinese long-range precision-fires a capability they can wield in war. And do the people who write this stuff not realize that most USN warships will not be within range, and will not come into range for at least 1 week, and many as long as 3 weeks to come into the fight, after major hostilities commence? Especially where there is a major conflict where DF-21 is involved and is attacking ships? And do these people also not realize that most USN warships have a multi-layered missile defenses? And the best sensors and EW systems available? And some DDGs even have high-powered lasers? Manned systems are not feeble you fucking donkeys!

                                      And the thing with unmanned is RANGE and ENDURANCE. They don't need to be in the near-region and based on a bloody ship to reach the relevant area and loiter for 24 hours. An if they did work forwards any of a number of FARP islands would do!


                                      • unicorn11
                                        unicorn11 commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        He has a point to make and he'll damn well hammer it home no matter what, in the face of facts and reason.

                                    • #22
                                      20 MAY 2021

                                      WE Tech to provide WE Drive for Finnish Navy Squadron 2020 corvettes

                                      by Richard Scott

                                      Finnish company W Tech has received a contract to supply its WE Drives to control the RENK advanced electric drives to be used on the four new Pohjanmaa-class corvettes being procured by Finland under the Squadron 2020 corvette programme.

                                      Squadron 2020 covers the procurement of four new Pohjanmaa-class corvettes. (RMC)

                                      Announcing the contract on 17 May, W Tech said its W Drives will ensure the smooth operation of the corvettes' combined diesel-electric and gas (CODESLAG) propulsion in different operating modes.

                                      This is our first military navy project and marks an important milestone for W Tech Solutions, said company CEO Mårten Storbacka.

                                      RENK's parent company MAN Energy Solutions is responsible for the overall integration of the electric propulsion and gearbox system of the Squadron 2020 vessels. For the CODELAG propulsion, it is supplying four MAN 12V 175D diesel engines that can produce a total of 30 MW or 40,000 hp for speeds of up to 26 kt. For speeds above that figure, a single General Electric LM2500 gas turbine will drive both shaft lines to the twin CPPs. The range of the vessels will be about 3,500 n miles or 6,500 km.

                                      The WE Drives will be delivered to RENK's Augsburg facility for integration.

                                      Once in service the Pohjanmaa-class corvettes will be the Finnish Navy's largest combat vessels since the 1930s. The ships will displace 3,900 tonnes, with an overall length of 114 m, a 16 m beam, and a maximum draught of 5 m. They will carry a crew complement of 70 officers, ratings and cadets. Their year-round deployment in the Baltic region requires strengthening equivalent to Ice Class 1A.

                                      Ships of the highest ice class, 1A Super, are designed to operate in difficult ice conditions mainly without icebreaker assistance while ships of lower ice classes 1A, 1B and 1C are assumed to rely on icebreaker assistance.


                                      • #23
                                        Algeria has ordered one Chinese-made Pattani or Type 056 class corvette

                                        POSTED ON MONDAY, 24 MAY 2021 15:01

                                        According to information published by the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) arms trade database, in 2020, Algeria has ordered a Chinese-made Pattani or Type 056 class corvette that will be delivered in 2023.

                                        Chinese Navy Type 056 Jiangdao Class Corvette 585. (Picture source Chinese Military Review)

                                        The Patani is a class of corvette/OPV (Offshore Patrol Vessel) built by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation. Two ships of this class are already in service with the Royal Thai Navy that were commissioned in 2005.

                                        In 20115/2016 China has delivered three c-28A frigates to Algeria. The three corvettes are fitted with a mix of Chinese and Western systems. The hull-mounted sonar will be of Chinese origin, but Algeria has selected Thales Smart-S Mk2 3D air and surface surveillance radar and Kelvin Hughes for the navigation radar. In recent years, Algeria has purchased a large amount of military equipment from China including SR-5 Multiple Rocket Launch Systems, armed drones CH-3 and CH-4, SM-4 120mm mortar carrier, and Red Arrow-12 anti-tank missiles.

                                        The Type 056 (NATO codename: Jiangdao) is a class of corvette that entered service with the People's Liberation Army Navy in 2012 as a replacement for the Type 037 series of patrol vessels. The ship uses a low radar cross-section hull design providing stealth technology. The anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant, commonly known as Type 056A, has also entered service with the Chinese Navy.

                                        Type 056 has a length of 90 m, a beam of 11.14 m, a draught of 4 m, and a displacement of 1,500 tons. She is powered by 2 SEMT Pielstick PA6-STC diesel motors. The ship can reach a top speed of 25 knots (46 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 3,500 nautical miles at 16 knots (30 km/h). She is a crew of 78 sailors.

                                        Type 056 is armed with one AK-176 76 mm naval gun, two 30 mm automatic cannons, 2 x 2-cell YJ-83 anti-ship missiles, amidships, one 8-cell FL-3000N SAM surface-to-air missile launcher, and triple 324 mm torpedo tubes.


                                        • unicorn11
                                          unicorn11 commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          I was under the impression that the Chinese were no longer producing the Type 056. Unless they are running an export-only production line.

                                      • #24

                                        Terma picture

                                        Danish Industrial Partners Set To Deliver New Vessels For Royal Danish Navy

                                        Odense Maritime Technology, Terma and PensionDanmark announce joint candidacy for the full-range delivery of Denmark’s new naval vessels.

                                        Naval News Staff 28 Jun 2021

                                        TERMA press release

                                        Lystrup, June 28 2021 – The parties behind the Defense Agreement has decided to initiate a development project to pave the way for the acquisition of a number of new vessels for the Royal Danish Navy. It is this task that strong, Danish partners in the form of Odense Maritime Technology, Terma and PensionDanmark are ready to take on.
                                        The Danish government, together with a broad majority in the Danish Parliament, has set a visionary course for the procurement of Denmark’s new flexible navy vessels. The decision builds on Denmark’s long and proud tradition of building ships. In Denmark, we have world-class industrial competencies, and the partnership we are launching today between PensionDanmark, Odense Maritime Technology and Terma A/S, together with the Danish maritime industry, is ready to take on that task. This will not only create Danish jobs, but also ensure that we have world-class maritime competencies in Denmark well into the future,
                                        Jes Munk Hansen, CEO of Terma

                                        Based on a strong shipbuilding tradition and the strong competencies of the Danish maritime industry, the partners will offer the full-range delivery of the new ship class including the design, build, equipping and delivery in close collaboration with the Danish Defence. Through a broad collaboration with Danish industrial players, the partners have a clear goal of ensuring a large Danish content in the new ship class and thereby create Danish jobs.
                                        OMT has built up very strong competencies in modular ship design from, among other things, our participation in the British-led, international partnership for the full-range delivery of naval vessels to the UK. Now is the time to benefit from those experiences and competencies here at home, to meet both Denmark’s specific needs for new naval vessels and at the same time ensure that we utilize and further develop the Danish maritime industry’s unique competencies,
                                        Kåre Groes Christiansen, CEO of Odense Maritime Technology

                                        With a full-range delivery, the partners guarantee that the new naval vessels are designed and built according to the needs of the Armed Forces, including innovative Danish technology solutions that can contribute to the green transformation of the Armed Forces. This will contribute to the further development of unique industrial competencies, and it has the potential for an export adventure to the benefit of the Danish business community and Danish workplaces.
                                        Denmark is a pioneer in driving the green transition and the Front End Engineering Design project is an unique opportunity to investigate whether the technology is so mature that we can build the world’s first green naval vessel. That would be a strong signal. There is a great demand in the rest of the world for partners who can ensure full-range delivery of naval vessels, and this opportunity has great export potential for the Danish maritime industry with Danish jobs as a side benefit. We are happy to take a lead role in this.
                                        Torben Möger Pedersen, CEO of PensionDanmark


                                        • #25

                                          Israel Shipyard and Onex Neorion Shipyard picture.

                                          DEFEA 2021: Israel Shipyards Introduce The Themistocles-Class Corvette

                                          Israel shipyards introduced the Themistocles-class corvette at DEFEA – Defence Exhibition in Athens – last week. The company believes it is the right design to answer an upcoming Hellenic Navy corvette requirement.

                                          Martin Manaranche 22 Jul 2021

                                          The corvette is a multipurpose vessel with anti-submarine warfare and anti-air capabilities based on the Israeli Navy Reshef-class corvette, also known as SA’AR 72 corvettes, which will replace Sa’ar 4.5-class missile boats in the coming years. For record, SA’AR 72 have a length of 72 meters, a full displacement of about 800 tons with a top speed of over 30kn. It can operate a medium size marine helicopter as well as deploy Special Forces units.

                                          The ship is designed to perform a wide range of missions including patrol and surveillance, naval combat operations, counter illegal activities as well as search and rescue operations.

                                          Initially, the corvette offered to the Hellenic Navy was the SA’AR 72, but along discussions with the Hellenic Navy, she made clear that she would need the bigger version offered by Israeli Shipyards and their Greek partner, Onex Neorion Shipyards. To meet Hellenic requirements, the two companies offer a longer and wider vessel: The Themistocles-class.

                                          Israeli Shipyards and Onex Neorion Shipyard picture.
                                          “We are here in Greece to introduce the Themistocles-class corvette. It is 79 meters-long corvette weighting approximately 1000 tons.”

                                          “It will carry a lot of kind of systems, armaments, electronics. It has a 3D radar, surface missile, anti-air missiles as well as 76mm gun and other systems for anti-submarine warfare.”
                                          Oded Breier – V.P. Marketing for Israel Shipyards

                                          The Themistocles-class corvette is 79 meters-long, has a beam of 11 meters and a design draught of over 3 meters. The corvette should weigh 950 tonnes and be propelled by a CODAD (combined diesel and diesel) system with four MTU 16V4000M93L of 3440kW engines. The ship should reach a top speed of 30 knots and have a range of 2500 nautical miles at a 15knots speed.

                                          Even though, the Hellenic Navy is currently focused on its frigate replacement program, Israeli Shipyards hopes to make a good impression by taking the lead in introducing their offer. It is also confident it can compete against the EPC (European Patrol Corvette) program, which Greece joined in January 2020.
                                          I know the Hellenic navy is very busy now with their frigates replacement program and probably once they will finish, the next project will be the corvettes and the Themistocles-class is the one of our choice.

                                          “Discussions are in progress, and we believe that it’s going through very nicely.”
                                          Oded Breier – V.P. Marketing for Israel Shipyards.


                                          • ADMk2
                                            ADMk2 commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            Considering Israel itself goes to German shipyards for it’s Sa’ar 6 corvettes, I’m not sure this is going to have much luck…

                                          • Bug2
                                            Bug2 commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            Well, they go to the Germans because they get half-price hulls and other expenses........the German government gives them at least 50% of the Funds necessary as long as it's spent in Germany, similar to what the USA does........why wouldn't they go to the Germans when they get so much of the funds?
                                            ALL of the weaponry and electronics is usually made in Israel, and installed there after the Basic Vessel is delivered.

                                        • #26

                                          Turkmen-class corvette rendering. Dearsan Shipyard picture.

                                          Turkmenistan Comissions Its First Turkmen-Class Corvette “Deniz Han”

                                          On August 11, the Turkmen Armed Forces commissioned its first Turkmen-class corvette, the "Deniz Han" (pennant number:01), at Turkmenbashi Naval Base. Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov attended the ceremony.

                                          Tayfun Ozberk 16 Aug 2021

                                          The corvette’s commanding officer welcomed the President onboard and hoisted the national flag to signify the ship’s commissioning into the Turkmen fleet during the ceremony.

                                          “We as Dearsan A.S. are proud of having reached an important milestone for the Turkish Defense Industry. We congratulate all our partnering companies and institutions who contributed to this success story with our most sincere wishes.” Dearsan announced the delivery of Deniz Han via its official Linkedin account.

                                          The Turkish Gulhan & Dearsan joint venture, consisting of two shipyards, built the Deniz Han corvette in Turkmenistan. The Joint Venture and Turkmen officials signed the agreement in August 2019 at Turkey’s most prominent defense industry exhibition, IDEF 19. Though officials did not reveal the contract details in public, information leaked to Turkish media indicates that the contract covers the construction of one corvette, with the option to increase the number in the future.

                                          Turkmen-class corvette. Footage released by Turkmen TV Channel.

                                          The manufacturer defines the corvette’s original class name as “C92.” She has been designed to primarily conduct anti-air warfare operations, as well as anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare missions.

                                          Deniz Han has a total length of 91.4 meters, a beam of 14.4 meters, and a displacement of approximately 1,600 tonnes. The corvette is armed with a 1 x 8 MBDA Otomat Mk 2 anti-ship missile system, a 76 mm Leonardo Super Rapid Gun, and a 35 mm Turkish Roketsan Gokdeniz Close-in Weapon System. Deniz Han has become the first naval ship fitted with Gokdeniz CIWS.

                                          She is equipped with a 16-cell vertical launching system capable of launching VL MICA short-range anti-aircraft missiles. In addition, Deniz Han is outfitted with torpedo launchers as well as ASW rocket launchers.

                                          The vessel features a flight deck for helicopter and vertical lanting drone operations; however, she doesn’t have a hangar to accommodate a helicopter.

                                          35 mm Turkish Roketsan Gokdeniz Close-in Weapon System. Footage released by Turkmen TV Channel.

                                          Main power comes from four MAN 18VP185 Diesel Engines, delivering a top speed of 26kt. The operational range of Deniz Han at economical speed is 3,000 nautical miles. The corvette will be operated by a crew of 100.

                                          Turkmen officials haven’t revealed anything about Deniz Han’s sensors. According to the company brochure, the ship has a 3D air/surface suarch radar, hull-mounted sonar, infrared search&track system (IRST), electronic support & countermeasure system, and torpedo countermeasure system. Naval News expects to learn more about the sensors and systems at the IDEF 21 exhibition, which will be held in Istanbul from the 17th to August 20.

                                          Deniz Han is expected to assume the flagship role of the Turkmen fleet. In terms of protecting rights and interests in Turkmenistan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the new corvette is expected to be a force multiplier in the Caspian Sea.

                                          The Turkmen-class corvette is not Turkey’s first naval ship export to Turkmenistan. Dearsan Shipyard, a Joint Venture member, built 10 Serhet-class patrol boats for the Turkmen fleet in the last decade, which are more armed versions of Turkey’s Tuzla-class patrol boats.


                                          • #27

                                            DSME initial proposal for ROK Navy's CVX program.

                                            DSME And HHIC Join Forces On Korea’s Aircraft Carrier Project

                                            Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC) signed a mutual cooperation agreement for the design and build of the Korean light aircraft carrier project (CVX project).

                                            Martin Manaranche 19 Aug 2021

                                            DSME press release translated by Naval News

                                            Lee Seong-geun, DSME CEO, announced on August 19. that he has signed a mutual cooperation agreement with HHIC for the design and construction of the Korean light aircraft carrier project.

                                            In order to win the basic design project for the future Korean light aircraft carrier, which is expected to be completed next year, the two companies agreed to cooperate with each other by concentrating their strengths and capabilities. When the capabilities and resources of both companies are combined, a synergy effect is expected.

                                            DSME has already conducted a review of the possibility of building an aircraft carrier with the Republic of Korea Navy from 2015 to 2016, and has been conducting a conceptual design on its own since the Navy announced its policy to introduce a 30,000-ton class light aircraft carrier earlier this year. In addition, at the MADEX 2021 defense exhibition in Busan in June, DSME signed a research service contract for technology support for a light aircraft carrier with Italy’s Fincantieri shipyards, boosting the comprehensiveness of its own design.

                                            HHIC is known as the only domestic design/build shipyard in the field of large amphibious ships. It successfully built the 14,500-ton amphibious assault ships Dokdo and Marado in 2007 and delivered the later to the ROK Navy in June this year.
                                            “Through this cooperation, it is planned to combine Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering’s superior technology and Hanjin Heavy Industries’ qualified experience. We will do our best to ensure that the aircraft carrier business can be completed successfully.”
                                            Jung Woo-seong, General Manager of Special Ship sales at DSME

                                            Meanwhile, DSME has successfully passed all tests and evaluations of the first 3,000-ton class Dosan Ahn Changho-class submarine, designed independently. DSME delivered it to the Republic of Korea Navy on August 13, along with the steel cutting ceremony of the first ship of the second project.


                                            Naval News Comments:

                                            DSME unveiled its CVX design during MADEX 2021 on June 9, 2021. The company is competing against Hyundai Heavy Industries for the basic design contract award. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) is expected to select the winning design sometime next year.

                                            Here is our video coverage of DSME’s CVX project at MADEX 2021:

                                            Naval News previously published an overview of the CVX project that you can find here.


                                            • #28
                                              IDEF 2021: Spanish company Navantia displays F110-class frigate

                                              POSTED ON MONDAY, 30 AUGUST 2021 12:24

                                              ​​​​​​​The Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company, Navantia, displays a model of an F110-class frigate at IDEF, the International Defense Exhibition. The company offers its services to both military and civil sectors and it is the fifth-largest shipbuilder in Europe.

                                              A model of F110-class frigate (Picture source: Navy Recognition)

                                              The F110 class also known as the Bonifaz class is a multi-purpose, anti-submarine class of Aegis combat system-fitted heavy frigates under development for the Spanish Navy. The project is being co-developed by the Spanish Ministry of Defence and the state-owned company Navantia. The construction of the frigates is to begin by 2020 and is scheduled to be delivered between 2023 and 2027.

                                              The vessel displaces 6100 tons, a length of 145 m, a draught of 5 m and will have a crew of 150. She is armed with one Oto Melara 127/64 Lightweight naval gun and 16-cell Mark 41 VLS for RIM-66 Standard surface-to-air missile and RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile.

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

                                              The Oto Melara 127/64 Lightweight (LW) naval gun mount is a rapid-fire gun mount suitable for installation on large and medium-size ships. It also has a version for coastal defense, intended for surface fire and naval gunfire support as main role and anti-aircraft fire as secondary role. The compactness of the gun feeding system makes possible the installation on narrow section crafts.


                                              • ADMk2
                                                ADMk2 commented
                                                Editing a comment
                                                A poor man’s AWD by the look of it, but lots of empty real estate…

                                              • ARHmk3
                                                ARHmk3 commented
                                                Editing a comment
                                                Given the systems that will be going into it and how it will likely be used, it almost certainly makes more sense to put them in a hollowed out version of an existing hull rather than design a new smaller class of ship. Steel is cheap, air is free, and everyone seems to be having immensely bad luck with delays when it comes to trying to design and build something new.

                                            • #29

                                              Gepard-class frigate Ly Thai To of the Vietnam People's Navy during LIMA 2019.

                                              Russia To Design More Powerful Gepard 3.9 Frigates

                                              Russia’s Ak Bars Shipbuilding Corporation will design a modification of the Gepard 3.9 frigate with enhanced firepower, Director General of the company Renat Mistakhov told the TASS news agency.

                                              Xavier Vavasseur 31 Aug 2021

                                              By TASS Russian news agency

                                              The new modification is based on the hull of the existing ship, which has shown high performance in operational environment, Mistakhov added.
                                              “In order to promote the Project 11661 Gepard 3.9 corvette, we have developed a new concept with a larger displacement, which accommodates vertically launched cruise missiles,”
                                              Director General of Ak Bars Shipbuilding Renat Mistakhov

                                              The Gepard-3.9 frigate is designed for the anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare and air defense roles as well as for escorting convoys and patrolling. It displaces about 2,000 tons and has an endurance of about 5,000 nm. The ship was developed by the Zelenodolsk Design Bureau (a subsidiary of the Ak Bars Shipbuilding Corporation).


                                              Naval News comments:

                                              Four Gepard-class frigates of project 11661E were built by Zelenodolsk Shipyard between 2007 and 2013 in Russia’s Tatarstan for the Vietnam People’s Navy. Two Project 11661 vessels were also built for the Russian Navy’s Caspian flottila. The Gepard-3.9 missions include anti-surface, anti-submarine and anti-air warfare, patrol, escort of convoys, as well as EEZ protection.


                                              • #30

                                                Aerial picture of Zaliv shipyard. Credit: Zaliv Shipyard

                                                Russia’s Zaliv Shipyard Set To Be Upgraded

                                                The Kerch-based Zaliv Shipyard, which constructs the newest Project 23900 landing helicopter dock (LHD), will be upgraded, Ak Bars Shipbuilding Corporation Director General Renat Mistakhov told the TASS news agency.

                                                Martin Manaranche 31 Aug 2021

                                                By TASS Russian news agency
                                                “[We have designed] a roadmap, which covers all aspects of the shipyard manufacturing facilities’ reparation for modernization. [We have drafted] a list of equipment required for the upgrade of the enterprise and its capacities to maintain timely implementation of orders.”
                                                Ak Bars Shipbuilding Corporation Director General Renat Mistakhov

                                                According to him, the steel-cutting capabilities of the shipyards will be dramatically reinforced, once the modernization processes are finished.
                                                “[The shipyard’s] plan for 2020-2027 with short-, medium-, and long-term works has been shaped.”
                                                Ak Bars Shipbuilding Corporation Director General Renat Mistakhov

                                                Production facilities of Shipyard «Zaliv» include:
                                                • a graving dock, providing for construction of vessels up to 340 m long, 54 m beam and launching weight up to 50000 t;
                                                • two horizontal building berths, 400 m long each, providing for construction of vessels up to 120 m long, 22 m
                                                  beam and launching weight up to 2500 t for launching by a side launch;
                                                • two deep water outfitting quays, 278 m and 240 m long respectively with two cranes 32 t capacity and one crane 50 t capacity;
                                                • a quay, 186 m long for unloading of metal with a crane, 80 t capacity;
                                                • all facilities, necessary for ships construction and repair;
                                                • warehouses to store materials, equipment and fuels; a port, providing for handling of general cargoes and a customs entry point for ships;
                                                • bonded warehouse and point of inspection for trucks transporting goods from abroad.



                                                • #31
                                                  DSEI 202: Rolls-Royce Launches mtu NautIQ

                                                  Comprehensive Platform Management and Ship Control

                                                  The mtu NautIQ suite is customisable for vessels of almost any size or description. (Image: Rolls-Royce)

                                                  Rolls-Royce will be showcasing its complete mtu NautIQ marine automation portfolio for the first time at DSEI this week.

                                                  The new portfolio includes a range of both new and proven platform management and ship control systems for vessels of all descriptions, including naval and commercial ships as well as leisure craft. The mtu NautIQ automation system family has been specifically designed for both newbuild vessel systems and to enable easy retrofit of legacy systems on older vessels. Setting up the new portfolio is part of Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems’ transformation into a provider of integrated sustainable power and propulsion solutions.

                                                  Knut Müller, VP Global Governmental at Rolls-Royce Power Systems business unit, commented, “With mtu NautIQ, we combine the advantages of our mtu technologies with those of Servowatch, the supplier of integrated marine automation solutions which we acquired in December 2020. We are now not only offering our customers reliable state-of-the-art automation solutions but complete lifecycle solutions from one trusted source through onboard data collection and analytics.”

                                                  The new product range consists of reliable, efficient and future-proof control and management solutions from bridge to propeller. mtu NautIQ Master is the newest generation of Rolls-Royce’s integrated platform management system (IPMS). The advanced, customized solution meets the complex automation and integration requirements of operators of modern specialized vessels. All the various subsystems of a ship are integrated into a single, intelligent overall system. mtu NautIQ Master is a fully integrated turnkey automation solution that will replace the mtu Callosum system: mtu NautIQ Master offers the same base functionalities as Callosum with enhanced features on a much more flexible and future-proof platform.

                                                  An important contribution to more sustainable and reliable vessel operations is mtu NautIQ Foresight, the new Equipment Health Management System (EHMS) from Rolls-Royce. It monitors the technical condition of a complete vessel from bridge to propeller, collecting and analysing data from mtu and third-party components. This enables predictive maintenance before a component fails and assists the ship’s crew to operate the vessel at peak efficiency. mtu NautIQ Foresight can help to achieve maximum vessel availability and minimum fuel consumption – and CO2 emissions – for single ships and entire fleets.

                                                  The mtu NautIQ portfolio also includes innovative and proven solutions for the commercial and yacht application, such as the fully integrated bridge touchscreen-based solution mtu NautIQ Bridge and mtu NautIQ Genoline NG which enables the optimum operation of onboard power generation equipment.

                                                  All products of the mtu NautIQ family are based on state-of-the-art software platforms and allow for the easy integration or upgrades of additional hardware, software and auxiliary equipment through the vessels’ lifetime, effectively reducing obsolescence risks and affording customers long-term planning and reliability.


                                                  • #32
                                                    SEPTEMBER 16, 2021


                                                    Small warships for Ukraine to be built in Scotland

                                                    As part of the Ukrainian Naval Capabilities Enhancement Programme (UNCEP) agreement signed with the UK government in October 2020, Babcock will build at least one, probably two Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC) for Ukraine at their Rosyth facility. Here we look at this programme and Babcock’s other moves in the naval export market.

                                                    Fast attack

                                                    We first reported in September 2020 that the UK government had agreed to assist Ukraine in regenerating its navy. Initial rumours suggested that FIAC based on the Vosper Thornycroft-designed Barzan class vessels could be built in the UK, possibly at the Appledore shipyard (now owned by Harland and Wolff). The UNCEP subsequently appointed Babcock as the designated prime industrial partner for Ukraine and they will bring in SMEs to contribute as needed.

                                                    Industry sources suggested that BAE Systems, who had inherited the IP for the Barzan design, was willing to donate it on an ‘as seen only’ basis to other UK shipbuilders. However, Babcock assessed the Barzan as unsuitable, not least due to the drawbacks of its aluminium hull. A former Babcock subsidiary, FBM Marine (acquired in 2000) had a portfolio of small-medium size fast patrol ship designs under the ‘Protector’ brand developed in the late 1990s. A total of eight FIAC will be built for Ukraine will be based on a modified and updated 50-metre Protector design (P50-U).

                                                    UNCEP is based on UK export finance in the form of a loan to the Ukrainian government and will include British-made equipment where possible and Ukrainian and other foreign content as required. The precise weapon and sensor fit has yet to be determined but P50-U will be heavily armed for her size, intended to provide a short-range asymmetric deterrent to the much larger warships of Ukraine’s threatening neighbour. It will likely feature a small-medium calibre main gun, 8 canister-launched anti-ship missiles and a lightweight surface to air missile system.Babcock P50-U model at DSEI 2021. The main gun could potentially be a choice between the Oto Melara Super Rapid 76mm, the BAES/Bofors 57mm Mk 3 or the BAES/Bofors 40mm Mk 4. (Photos: Navy Lookout)

                                                    More work for Rosyth

                                                    The lead ship of the P50-U FIACs will be built at Babcock Rosyth facility in the Syncrolift Hall (Building 18 – also known as the Sandown Minehunter Refit Facility) adjacent to the newly erected Type 31 shipbuilding hall. This will allow the project to be de-risked before the remaining 6 or 7 vessels are built In Ukraine.

                                                    The automated robotic panel line which has been installed as part of the investment for the Type 31 programme will also be used in the project and the craft will be assembled in pre-outfitted sections. The existing infrastructure in the Hall including overhead gantry cranes can readily support modular construction of what will probably be 500-600 tonne vessels. The syncrolift can also be used to lower the completed hull into the water.
                                                    Ad by Valueimpression

                                                    Besides the FIAC project, Babcock also has the contract to improve naval shore facilities in Ukraine and refurbish two decommissioned RN minehunters (ex-HMS Ramsey and Blyth) before their transfer to the Ukrainian navy. The MCMVs will receive upgrades to their predominantly UK equipment fit in Rosyth before being handed over to their new owners. This is a similar package to the three ex-RN Sandown Class MCMV sold to Estonia (2007-8) and refurbished before handover, the three ships were also recently refitted and upgraded in Rosyth.

                                                    Arrowhead-140 goes global

                                                    Slightly overshadowed by the AUKUS submarine deal, on 16th December at DSEI, Babcock celebrated its first export success with Arrowhead-140. Indonesia formally signed a deal to license the design for two frigates to be constructed by PT PAL in Surabaya. The licensing deal is relatively modest but the real financial value for Babcock will be in the through-life support contract and some UK manufactured content in the ships.

                                                    Babcock pay a small royalty to OMT, the Danish company that designed the original Iver Huitfeldt class frigate that the Arrowhead-140 is based on. John Howie, Babcock’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer told Navy Lookout that “the Danish have been enthusiastic and helpful in supporting the export effort”. Arrowhead is not just ‘Huitfeldt plus’ and there have been significant modifications to meet RN standards, make use of British components and a large contribution from Thales UK.

                                                    Arrowhead 140 is also a contender for the Polish frigate requirement and Babcock believe their competitive advantage lies in the size and flexibility of the platform as the Poles seek a more heavily armed ship than Type 31.

                                                    Arrowhead was a late entry into the Hellenic navy’s frigate competition which is a multi-faceted project as the Greeks seek a partner to provide more than just warships. There are four aspects to their requirements. The central pillar is a call for 4 frigates to be built in-country and there is strong competition from Europe and the US but the low price point of Arrowhead may be a big advantage. In the interim, their Hydra class MEKO frigates need to be refurbished and Babcock already has experience with these platforms, working on the Australian MEKO frigates. The Greeks also want help to rebuild their warship and commercial shipbuilding and repair capacity. Greeks interests own a quarter of the world’s merchant ships and the regeneration and a partnership in domestic yards has great revenue potential in the long term.

                                                    Finally, the Hellenic Navy has an urgent requirement for ‘interim’ frigates. Sadly for the UK, the cupboard is rather bare with just 2 possible candidates. HMS Montrose will return to the UK in 2022 after 3 intense years in the Gulf to be decommissioned. She has previously undergone LIFEX refit and Babcock Devonport would be well placed to refit her for further service. HMS Monmouth has been stripped of equipment is in a very poor material state, currently in the hands of DRSO in Portsmouth awaiting her fate. Whether Greece would be willing to pay for her to undergo a major refit that would probably cost at least £50M and take 2 years is doubtful. One remote possibility is that Monmouth’s refit could be done in Greece with Babcock assitance and used as a ‘pathfinder project’ to regenerate local skills.

                                                    While the French are terribly upset about the cancellation of their Attack-class submarine contract with Australia, it is worth noting that UK naval exports had almost become extinct in the 21st century. State-subsidised shipyards in France and other European companies have enjoyed a sustained run of successes in competitions, building warships where Britain was mostly not even a contender.

                                                    In the last two decades, the paltry total of new warships built in Britain for overseas customers comprises 4 OPVs for the Irish Navy (2018), 3 OPVs for Brazil (2013), 3 Khareef-class corvettes for Oman (2011) and 3 light frigates for Brunei (2002). The export of the Type 26 design to Australia and Canada was the start of a revival and UK industry will benefit considerably from supplying equipment for the vessels even being built overseas. All three navies will also benefit from economies of scale in purchasing equipment, commonality when operating together and shared experience and training opportunities. Further successes in licensing the Arrowhead design to other navies would have similar advantages.


                                                    • #33

                                                      A CGI of the Finnish Navy's future Pohjanmaa-class corvettes (Credit: Finnish MoD)

                                                      New Delays For Finland’ Squadron 2020 Pohjanmaa Corvette Program

                                                      Two years ago, the Finnish Defense Ministry selected Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) and Saab for the building of four new Pohjanmaa-class corvettes within the Squadron 2020 program. It appears now that the program is facing a new, 6 to 12 months, delay because of extra design work.

                                                      Nathan Gain 04 Nov 2021

                                                      An initial small delay due to protracted contract negotiations was first announced in June 2019 but the program was back on track by mid-august of the same year.

                                                      In a new development, the Squadron 2020 Program Director, Major General Lauri Puranen, wrote on the Finnish Armed Forces official blog earlier this week:
                                                      “It has now been confirmed by the shipyard that the ship’s design work needs extra time. The estimate of the design delay notified by the yard to the customer is 6-12 months”

                                                      “We have always known that building the Pohjanmaa-class is a challenging project. The design work of any warship is a very demanding entity, especially when it is done from a clean sheet and involves several actors. In Finnish conditions, a high-performance warship that meets the requirements of future naval defense means a combination of efficient, partially tailored weapon and sensor and command systems, agility and combat resistance, and of course the ability to operate in year-round conditions”, he added.

                                                      The consequences for the construction and commissioning of the vessels are currently being investigated. While all parties will remain committed to managing schedule risks and the repercussions of the delay, the delay is also likely to shift to the completion and deployment schedule.

                                                      However, efforts will continue to be made to adhere strictly to the original deployment schedule so that the new squadron will be completed in 2028, the blog says. Of course, the Corona pandemic has brought its own challenges to all aspects of life and society and is certainly one of the factors behind the delay, it adds.

                                                      Precisely because of the challenge of the project, a lot of time was set aside for the design of the ship – more than two years. According to the original schedule, shipbuilding was scheduled to begin within 2022. In addition to the design work, during the last couple of years, numerous procurements have been prepared for the class of ships and implemented well in advance due to the long delivery times they require.

                                                      In addition to the previously decided procurement of a combat system and surface and anti-aircraft missiles, the German company RENK AG will supply ship’s gear units and power propulsion systems, General Electric (USA) will supply gas turbines and diesel generators will be supplied by MAN Energy Solutions SE (Germany). The Finnish company Koja Marine supplies air conditioning to the ship class and Furuno Finland Oy is responsible for the implementation of the Pohjanmaa-class navigation system.

                                                      A CGI of the Finnish Navy’s future Pohjanmaa-class corvettes (Credit: Finnish MoD)

                                                      For the defense administration, however, things appear to be such that a pandemic alone will not explain the prolongation of the planning phase. “We have repeatedly expressed our concern about the delay that has arisen. The design of a modern and technically advanced warship from large lines to details is undeniably a demanding entity, but from the customer’s perspective, the design delay should have been avoided with wider design shoulders“, Puranen comments.

                                                      From the point of view of the customer, the Finnish Defense Forces, the situation will become more difficult if the delay begins to affect the Navy’s plans to use and dispose of the fleet’s departing ships.

                                                      The Hämeenmaa-class and the Rauma-class are already at the end of their service life and their service life cannot be extended indefinitely. Extending service life is also a cost issue. Although the delay came already in the negotiation phase of the agreements, the current delay is manageable from a defense perspective, and even there is still some room for maneuver.

                                                      From now on, it is absolutely vital that there is no further delay and that it can even be caught up. Close and transparent co-operation between the Defense Administration and the RMC and adherence to the agreed agreement will be key to achieving this goal. It is in the interests of all those involved in the project and, more broadly, national defense“, Puranen concludes.

                                                      About Pohjanmaa-Class Corvette

                                                      Artist impression of the future Pohjanmaa-class-corvette.

                                                      The Pohjanmaa-class corvettes (Squadron 2020 program) will be constructed in Finland. They will be multi role surface combatants with ice breaking capabilities. The construction contract (worth 647.6 million Euros) was awarded to Finnish shipbuilder Rauma Marine Constructions in September 2019. The construction of the four corvettes was set to start in 2022 and end in 2025. Sea trials are expected to begin in 2024. Full operational status of the entire Pohjanmaa-class with the Finnish Navy is expected to be achieved by 2028.

                                                      Saab was selected in September 2019 to provide and integrate the combat system and sensors of the corvettes. The vessels will be equipped with ESSM surface to air missiles, Gabriel V anti-ship missiles and Torpedo 47 torpedoes. Kongsberg will equip the vessels with its SS2030 and SD9500 sonars. Patria will supply the Sonac DTS variable depth sonar.

                                                      Saab will provide a wide range of systems and solutions for the Pohjanmaa corvettes, including:
                                                      • Trackfire Remote Weapon Station
                                                      • TactiCall integrated communication system
                                                      • Saab Lightweight Integrated Mast (SLIM)
                                                      • Sea Giraffe 4A Fixed Face radar
                                                      • Sea Giraffe 1X radar
                                                      • Saab’s new lightweight torpedo
                                                      • Ceros 200 radar and electro-optical director
                                                      • Saab Naval Laser Warning System

                                                      Together with the existing four Hamina-class missile boats that are currently being modernized, the four new corvettes will form the backbone of the Finnish Navy from the mid-2020s. They will replace seven older vessels that have been or are due to be decommissioned: the single Pohjanmaa and two Hämeenmaa-class minelayers as wll as four Rauma-class missile boats.

                                                      Pohjanmaa-class Corvette main characteristics

                                                      Length: 114 m (374 ft)
                                                      Beam: 16 m (52 ft)
                                                      Displacement: 3,900 tonnes (3,800 long tons; 4,300 short tons)
                                                      Crew: 70 to 120 sailors


                                                      • ADMk2
                                                        ADMk2 commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        Oh dear, terrible timing for SAAB to have major cost and schedule blow-outs on a Finnish Defence project… 🤣

                                                    • #34
                                                      FEINDEF: Navantia showcases for first time Smart 4000 ship

                                                      POSTED ON FRIDAY, 05 NOVEMBER 2021 17:26
                                                      Navantia is taking part as a Global Partner in the second edition of the International Defence and Security Exhibition (FEINDEF), which takes place on November 3rd-5th at the IFEMA exhibition centre in Madrid, Spain. The company showcases for the first time the Smart 4000 ship.

                                                      Smart 4000 ship at FEINDEF 2021, Madrid (Picture source: Navy Recognition)

                                                      It shows a model of the Smart 4000 ship, printed by CEFAN, as an example of the application of these technologies to the design.

                                                      The ship will be powered by a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion that allows a top speed of 25 knots (46 km/h). The Smart 4000 ship will be armed with a 76 mm naval gun and 16-cell of vertical launch systems (VLS).

                                                      She will be able to carry up a crew of 70 sailors but it could be less depending on autonomous systems onboard.

                                                      One can observe at the back of the ship, a deck, which will be able to allow the launching of aircraft but especially of future Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).


                                                      • Bug2
                                                        Bug2 commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        There is a lot more on this new design at the Navantia thread down at the Defence Industry, etc. section of the forum.

                                                      • unicorn11
                                                        unicorn11 commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        Looks like a starship from a computer game like Halo

                                                      • Bug2
                                                        Bug2 commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        There are a number of things wrong with that design - the bow area is a mess, far too much mechanical complication to gain what? Smooth lines when the gun is covered and the missile silo's too, but in any kind of sea, moving the gun up and down is going to be risky, in high seas you are at risk of losing the gun if up, the missile silo covers are like giant side scoops for any kind of sea, and will be lost/ripped off, plus swamp and damage the silo's. The two containers at the stern area, WHY? All that gear can be stored below decks, they should have more than enough space. Slab-sided items like that kill any stealth aspect.

                                                    • #35
                                                      Atech Opens Rio Office for TAMANDARÉ Programme

                                                      The TAMANDARÉ-class frigate design. (Image: Águas Azuis consortium)

                                                      Initial Focus on CMS and IPMS

                                                      Atech, an Embraer Group company, has opened a new office in Rio de Janeiro, aimed at strengthening its regional presence and consolidating activities in one location.

                                                      The initial focus of the operation is the TAMANDARÉ-class frigate programme of four new-build vessels for the Brazilian Navy fleet. Atech is responsible for acquisition and development of the combat management system (CMS) and automatic datalink (ADL) in association with Atlas, and the integrated platform management system (IPMS), in association with L3Harris.

                                                      The opening of the new Atech office in Rio de Janeiro is an important milestone for the company in its participation in the Classe TAMANDARÉ Programme, one of the most important strategic programmes of the Brazilian Navy. As an integral part of [the] Águas Azuis consortium, we will be ready to support the planned demands of the next stages of the programme,” explained Atech President, Edson Mallaco.

                                                      The new facility will focus initially on the integration and testing of new systems for the frigate programme, particularly the CMS and IPMS. Appropriate integration and test environments are being installed and a computer-based training system will also be established. The facilities will enable close interaction between Atech, the Navy and other partners on the programme.

                                                      Santiago Rivas in Buenos Aires

                                                      PUBLISH DATE 11/15/2021


                                                      • #36
                                                        Quantum Marine Stabilizers: Military Applications for Active Systems

                                                        Contributed Content, Edited for Clarity and Length

                                                        Stabilizer advantages for military applications. (All images Quantum Marine Stabilizers)

                                                        In an active marine stabilizer system, there are four to five components that integrate to form a complete system:
                                                        • Hull unit – positioned internally, typically at the turn of the bilge. The hydraulic cylinders (or actuators), on top of the hull unit rotate the main shaft, which deflects the fin to the precise position directed by the control system. The main shaft, extends through the hull, with a tapered, hydraulic expansion coupling to secure a fin or rotor to the exterior of the vessel, typically amidships, inside the hull envelope.
                                                        • The HU2500 hull unit
                                                        • HPU – hydraulic power unit provides the fluid power necessary to articulate the stabilizer fins or rotors. Based on vessel requirements, there are many power and size options available. Manifolds are designed into the HPU to control the cylinder movements within the hull unit. Accumulators are integrated into the system to manage the load surges. Many new advances have been made to the HPUs relative to sound and vibration technology
                                                        • The HPU QP7575
                                                        • XT HPU – If an XT Fin is specified with an extendable and retractable foil, a separate XT HPU is required. It is designed to be independent of the main stabilizer hydraulic system, and uses eco-friendly hydraulic oil. The XT HPU is a constant pressure system, running only when required to position and hold the foil;
                                                        • Controls – essentially the brains of the system. Using the specifications of the vessel and interpreting the optimal response to a ship’s roll, starting from the roll sensor, directives are given to the hull unit and HPU, which drive the movements of the fins or rotors. Each vessel has unique hydrostatic characteristics, such as the roll period, vessel speed, metacentric height (GM), displacement, beam and sea state requirements
                                                        • The 500S control passes directives to other system components
                                                        • Fins or Rotors – these are appendages, attached to the hull unit shaft, that are positioned on the exterior of the hull, typically amidships within the hull envelope. These are active systems that move per the specifications, algorithms and hydrostatic characteristics of the vessel.

                                                        Active Stabilizer Benefits for Military Applications

                                                        Quantum has been providing stabilizer solutions for military projects for the last 18 years. Through that time, there has been heightened awareness of the value of stabilization to military operations. Acute fatigue is the number one cause of injuries and fatalities at sea, which stabilizers definitely help to mitigate. The US Coast Guard conducted a study of 279 vessel accidents: of the seamen affected by those incidents, 33% of the injuries and 16% of the fatalities were fatigue-related. Another report, based on a fatal Navy collision near Singapore, concluded that severe fatigue was a major factor. Fatigue is just one factor – overall crew safety and the ability to perform many functions at a higher sea state, are other tremendous benefits.

                                                        In addition to 18 other military contract awards for foreign navies, Quantum is currently supplying the stabilizer systems for two ongoing, multi-year projects: 64 Fast Response Cutters (FRC) – US Coast Guard – Bollinger Shipyards/Damen Design
                                                        • 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) – Royal Australian Navy/Lürssen Design
                                                        The value that stabilizers offer in safety, productivity and success to the overall mission, fully justify the cost. For additional information, contact Quantum Marine Stabilizers – [email protected]


                                                        • #37

                                                          NVL Group picture

                                                          NVL Group Held Steel Cutting Ceremony Of Bulgarian Navy’s First MMPV

                                                          Germany's NVL Group, formerly Lürssen Defence, and its local shipyard partner MTG Dolphin, on December 3rd joined representatives of the contracting authority to launch construction of the first of two Multipurpose Modular Patrol Vessels (MMPV) for the Bulgarian Navy in Varna, Bulgaria.

                                                          Naval News Staff 07 Dec 2021

                                                          NVL Group press release

                                                          The highlight of the traditional steel cutting ceremony was the power-up of the plasma cutting system for the first steel cut. Both vessels are being built at MTG Dolphin in Varna under the management of NVL Group and with the involvement of numerous Bulgarian suppliers.

                                                          We are very happy to attend the ceremony of launching construction of the first of two Multipurpose Modular Patrol Vessels (MMPV). These ships will enable the Bulgarian Navy to fulfil all tasks for defending national maritime interests and will give us the opportunity to fully participate in NATO and EU operations and missions,” Commander of the Bulgarian Navy, rear admiral Mihaylov was happy to report.

                                                          With the start of steel cutting, we are entering the production phase as planned. The milestone reached today is also an expression of the trusting relationship with our customer and the constructive cooperation with our partner MTG Dolphin. To successfully launch ships of such complexity, efficient, trusting and cooperative partnerships are essential. This applies to the cooperation with the shipyard as much as to that with our numerous local and international suppliers,” explained Dirk Malgowski, Managing Director of NVL B.V. & Co. KG.

                                                          We will now move full steam ahead into the manufacturing process and I am confident that we will seamlessly carry on with the commitment that all parties to this project have brought to the table in the past.”

                                                          Bulgarian Navy first of two MMPVs steel cutting ceremony. NVL Group picture

                                                          The vessels, which are around 90 meters long, with around 2,300 tons of displacement, are based on a proven design from the NVL portfolio, and feature an integrated Combat Management System. The units are predestined for tasks within the framework of international alliance missions of NATO and the EU and enable the Bulgarian Navy to counter air- and land-based threats as well as surface and undersea threats.

                                                          The MMPV project, with a total volume of around 420 million euros, is currently the largest newbuild project of the Bulgarian Navy. Delivery of the first vessel is scheduled for the third quarter of 2025, and the second vessel a year later.

                                                          Our both companies have known each other for many years and are family-run, which greatly facilitates mutual understanding and our team work. The strengths of the companies – shipbuilding capabilities and competitive cost structures on the Bulgarian side as well as system and integration expertise and wide experience as prime contractor on the German side – will facilitate the successful project completion,” said Svetlin Stoyanov, CEO of MTG Dolphin.

                                                          Meanwhile, the project is also having a positive impact on local value creation and employment. To date, 40 local employees have already been recruited through NTB (Naval Technology Bulgaria), a company newly established by NVL Group. In addition, numerous local suppliers, for example for interior fittings, insulation or air-conditioning, are gradually being integrated into the project, thus indirectly creating new jobs.


                                                          • #38

                                                            Fincantieri, Naval Group, Naviris, Navantia: industrial offer for the Modular and Multirole Patrol Corvette submitted

                                                            Genoa/Paris/Rome/Madrid, December 13, 2021 – Fincantieri, Naval Group, with their joint-venture Naviris, and Navantia boost their cooperation for the Modular Multirole Patrol Corvette (MMPC) program and reaffirm their will to work together in order to develop the first common naval capability in Europe. In this context, a consortium led by Fincantieri, Naval Group and Navantia and coordinated by Naviris submitted on December 9th an industrial proposal related to the MMPC call of the European Defence Fund (EDF).

                                                            Their common assessment is that the European Union is increasingly facing many types of threats (increased tensions between great powers, illegal immigration issues, terrorism, etc.). Over the last years, and more specifically during 2021, there have been growing calls for Europeans to take responsibility for their own security both within NATO and as part of the European common security and defence policy. Several European Union member states have repeatedly underlined the need to develop common military capabilities to face common challenges.

                                                            In this respect, Fincantieri, Naval Group and Navantia acknowledge that there is a need for collaboration in the European Union naval defence sector to support Europe in dealing with these challenges and the ones to come.

                                                            As major European industrial players in the naval defence sector, they believe that this is the right time to start a real, concrete, added-value collaboration around a common program that will be the first common naval capability in Europe. This strategic program already exists: the European Patrol Corvette (EPC), the most important naval initiative within the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).

                                                            On December 9th, the consortium led by the three industrial naval partners and coordinated by Naviris submitted the industrial proposal related to the MMPC call of the European Defence Fund (EDF) in order to develop this joint project.

                                                            The clear objective of the proposal is to maximise synergies and collaboration among European shipbuilding industrials. By developing together a new ship, the EPC, they aim to ensure a European sovereignty in the second rank warship.

                                                            This has been made possible thanks to the participation of:
                                                            • 4 countries in EPC PESCO project (Italy, France, Spain and Greece)
                                                            • 6 countries involved in the co-founding (Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Norway)
                                                            • 3 European Shipbuilding Industrials (Fincantieri, Naval Group and Navantia) with Naviris in charge of the coordination
                                                            • 40 companies for maritime systems and equipment

                                                            Based on a unified frame of standards and using collaborative advanced engineering methodologies, EPC will be developed in the best cooperative way from conceptual studies up to the initial design. The produced design will constitute a break-through from current warships, as it will be modular, flexible, as well as more energy-efficient, greener, safer, more interoperable, and cyber-secure. MMPC will finally be characterized to address specific national requirements, keeping the defined design as the common reference.

                                                            This proposal constitutes the first essential step towards preparing the future production of the vessel in the scope of a second call under EDF in the multi-annual perspective. In this context, the promotion of the program to other European Navies, with a joint action of Nations already part of PESCO program, will strengthen the European industry, increasing cooperation, efficiency and lowering duplication in defense spending.


                                                            • #39
                                                              Denmark, Norway join European corvette program

                                                              By Tom Kington

                                                              Dec 14, 05:53 AM

                                                              A multinational push toward a notional European patrol corvette is picking up new member countries and their respective naval industries. (Fincantieri)

                                                              ROME — Denmark and Norway are the latest European countries to sign up to a multinational European plan to build a common corvette.

                                                              The two nations have joined Italy, France, Spain and Greece onboard the the European Patrol Corvette program, boosting ambitions to make the vessel a catalyst for operational and industrial integration on the continent.

                                                              The two countries were listed as “co-founding” partners in a statement released on Monday by Italy’s Fincantieri, France’s Naval Group, their joint-venture Naviris, and Spain’s Navantia, which confirmed the four groups have applied for €60 million (U.S. $68 million) in EU research funding.

                                                              “Another €30 million is needed on top of the €60 million for research purposes,” an industrial source told Defense News.

                                                              “That extra €30 million will be covered by Italy, France and Spain, but Norway and Denmark will now also contribute, as will existing partner Greece,” he added. “It is a modest contribution but it allows the industries of these countries to get involved at this stage.”

                                                              Known officially as the Modular Multirole Patrol Corvette, or MMPC, the program is already set to see France buying six of the €250-300 million vessels, with Spain down for six, eight for Italy and first deliveries in 2027.

                                                              The corvette has been inserted in the EU’s so-called Permanent Structured Cooperation, or PESCO, list of recommended pan-European defense programs designed to create synergies among bloc defense firms.

                                                              On Dec. 9, Naviris, Fincantieri, Naval Group and Navantia handed the European Defense Fund a list of proposals for research work they hope will be rewarded with the 60 million euro research cash.

                                                              Areas for which the firms suggest using the money include propulsion, unmanned technology, modularity and data management. The EU funding is expected by the start of 2023.

                                                              “As major European industrial players in the naval defense sector, they believe that this is the right time to start a real, concrete, added-value collaboration around a common program that will be the first common naval capability in Europe,” the statement said, adding that 40 firms were already involved.

                                                              “The promotion of the program to other European navies, with a joint action of nations already part of PESCO program, will strengthen the European industry, increasing cooperation, efficiency and lowering duplication in defense spending,” the statement added.

                                                              Measuring about 105 meters long and displacing 3,000 tons, the corvette will come in two versions: combat and long-range patrol.