Sunday, April 23, 2017

India Seeks Submarine Upgrade To Plug Scorpene Data Leak

Staff, Defense World
18 April 2017

India will push for several upgrades in the proposed three new Scorpene submarines it is discussing with France to address concerns of any compromise in the submarine’s capability following the leak of its technical specifications in Australia last year.
“We will look at the cost of the upgrades based on which we will take a call whether to go for the additional ones or carry on with the acquisition of the next line of submarines as planned,” a senior defence official was quoted as saying by the Hindu Tuesday.
Mazgaon Docks Ltd. (MDL), Mumbai, is manufacturing six Scorpene conventional submarines with technology transfer from DCNS under a $3.75-billion deal signed in October 2005.
The detailed discussions pertaining to the additional buy would be held during the India-France strateigic dialogue around December. As per plan, all submarines are expected to be launched from MDL by 2020 and both sides are on to firm up a deal before that to keep the production line running and preserve the expertise, another official said.

Moroccan Navy Shows Interest in Greek Submarines

Staff, North African Post (Via Far-Maroc)
18 April 2017

Senior commander of Morocco’s Royal Navy had talks with Greek peers on a set of issues of mutual interest, on top of which the possibility of acquiring Submarines used by the Greek navy, said the website Far-Maroc specializing in military issues.
The same source reported that commanders of the Tarik Ben Zyad and Sultan Moulay Ismail frigates raised during a visit to Greece the prospects for strengthening cooperation between the two countries’ navies as well as the possibility of acquiring used Greek submarines.
Since last year, negotiations have been ongoing between Morocco and Russia on the delivery of the Amur-class 1650 super-quite submarine, which will be the Kingdom’s first submarine.
Russia’s Amur-1650 diesel-electric powered submarine will significantly boost Morocco’s capabilities, as it will carry Club cruise missiles in addition to featuring air-independent propulsion (AIP). With a length of 66.8 meters and a beam of 7.1 meters, the submarine can sink into a depth of 250 meters.
The acquisition of submarines will also boost the capabilities of the Royal navy in its protective mission of the 2952km coastline stretching from the strait of Gibraltar to the Mauritanian coast on the Atlantic and from Tangier to the Algerian coast on the Mediterranean.
The main Atlantic bases of the Moroccan navy are found in Casablanca, Agadir and Dakhla, while the Mediterranean bases are located in Ksar Sghir and Al Hoceima.
Although it was established in 1960, the Moroccan navy traces its roots back to the 11th century with the rise of the Al Moravid dynasty, and during the era of the Almohad dynasty, which stretched through the Maghreb, the Moroccan navy was the mightiest in the Mediterranean.

Submarines of the Future Could Be Piloted Using Virtual Reality

Luke Dormehl, Digital Trends
18 April 2017

When it comes to exploring groundbreaking new technologies with the potential to shape our future, few companies can measure up to United Kingdom defense giant BAE Systems. From military drones that can be “grown” using chemistry in large-scale labs to energy-scattering deflector shields, BAE has long played a role in bringing sci-fi-sounding tech to life.
Its latest concept? A method for controlling submarines using virtual reality headsets.
The tech would collect data from the various sensors dotted around a submarine, and then relay this information to the submarine captain in the form of a detailed VR simulation, created using the Unity graphics engine. The idea is that this would allow the captain to “teleport” themselves around a simulation of their submarine to get multiple different views of it as they pilot it, a bit like switching perspectives in a racing game — but with the benefit of real-time information.
This could be done either with the captain on board, or from elsewhere, with the craft controlled remotely.
It could also provide additional information about different systems within the sub, thereby making analyzing this data more intuitive. This wouldn’t have to be limited to navigation purposes. For instance, in one example given, VR could be used to check details of the submarine in the event that a pipe or piece of material has to be replaced — such as whether a replacement will fit in particularly narrow parts of the sub.
A demo of the tech was shown off last week at the U.K.’s Virtual Reality World Congress in Bristol. However, don’t necessarily expect it to arrive any time soon. Speaking to the U.K.’s The Sun newspaper, a BAE Systems representative said the project could take decades to be fully completed and implemented, by which point VR technology will have moved on significantly from where it is today.
As the group has told Digital Trends previously, BAE’s work is to keep an eye on the future and make sure it is anticipating where things will go.
“One of the things that we do within BAE Systems is to carry out trend analysis — whether those are political, sociological, environmental or technological,” Nick Colosimo, BAE Systems’ futurist and technologist, told us. “What these trends do is to tell us something about the future, and from that we can generate a series of ‘so what?’ questions about the difference this will make to those of us in defense. What are the things we need to worry about or be aware of, and how do we best stay on the front foot?”

Egypt Receives Second Type-209/1400 Submarine From Germany

Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt Independent
19 April 2017

Egypt will receive a German-made 209/1400 Submarine at the Ras al-Tin base on Wednesday.
The submarine can sail for 11,000 miles with a speed reaching 21 knots. Its length is 60-73 meters. Missiles and turbids can be launched through the submarine, which has been provided with modern navigation and telecommunication techniques to protect regional waters as well as national security.
The Navy has qualified a technical staff to work on the new submarine using recent submarine technologies, in accordance with a timeline set between Egypt and Germany.
In December, Egypt received the first 209/1400 Submarine at the German city of Kiel. This comes as part a deal made between the two nations for four submarines to help protect Egypt's national security through supporting the Navy’s technical and combat capabilities.
Egyptian technical teams traveled to Germany last year for training on operating these new submarines.

BAE Systems To Build Sixth Astute-Class Submarine For Britain

  Richard Tomkins, UPI
19 April 2017

BAE Systems in Britain has received a $1.77 billion Ministry of Defense contract to build a sixth Astute-class nuclear-powered submarine for the Royal Navy.
The Agamemnon will be about 318 feet long, have a submerged speed of 30 knots and an endurance of 90 days. It can carry Tomahawk missiles as well as torpedoes.
Securing the contract for the sixth Astute class submarine is a significant milestone for BAE Systems, and the result of many years of hard work by our highly skilled workforce.
"Securing the contract for the sixth Astute-class submarine is a significant milestone for BAE Systems and the result of many years of hard work by our highly skilled workforce," Will Blamey, managing director of BAE Systems Submarines, said in a press release.
"The Astute class submarines are among the most highly capable and technologically advanced in the world and we're immensely proud to build them for the Royal Navy."
BAE Systems is the prime contractor for the seven-ship program. It constructs the vessels at its facility in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
The first three Astute submarines are already in service.
"These are the most advanced submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy and are already providing unprecedented levels of stealth and attack capability across the world," said Defense Secretary Sir Michael Fallon.

US Navy Redesigning its Submarines to Accommodate Women

Jennifer McDermott, Associated Press
19 April 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Every submarine in the U.S. fleet was designed with the height, reach and strength of men in mind, from the way valves are placed to how display screens are angled.
That's going to change.
With women now serving aboard submarines, defense contractor Electric Boat is designing what will be the first Navy subs built specifically to accommodate female crew members.
The designers are doing the obvious things, such as adding more doors and washrooms to create separate sleeping and bathing areas for men and women and to give them more privacy. But they are also making more subtle modifications that may not have been in everyone's periscope when the Navy admitted women into the Silent Service.
For example, they are lowering some overhead valves and making them easier to turn, and installing steps in front of the triple-high bunk beds and stacked laundry machines.
The first vessel built with some of the new features is expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2021, the future USS New Jersey.
The Navy lifted its ban on women on submarines in 2010, starting with officers. About 80 female officers and roughly 50 enlisted women are now serving on subs, and their numbers are expected to climb into the hundreds over the next few years.
For now, the Navy is retrofitting existing subs with extra doors and designated washrooms to accommodate women. But Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut, is at work on a redesign of the Navy's Virginia-class fast-attack
subs and is also developing a brand-new class of ballistic-missile submarines, relying on body measurements for both men and women.
"We have a clean sheet of paper, so from the ground up, we'll optimize for both men and women," said Brian Wilson, Electric Boat director of the new ballistic-missile sub program.
Electric Boat officials had no immediate estimate of how much the modifications will cost.
As anyone who watches war movies knows, submariners are always turning valves, whether to operate machinery, redistribute water between tanks or isolate part of a system that has been damaged.
On the Columbia-class boats, valves will generally be placed lower, Wilson said. Sometimes there will be an extension handle, and some will be easier to turn. Sailors will be able to connect their masks into the emergency air system at the side of passageways, instead of overhead.
Emergency air masks are being moved on fast-attack submarines, too, but the bulk of the changes on those subs are to ensure privacy.
Seats in the control room on the ballistic-missile submarines will adjust forward a little more so everyone can touch each display and reach every joystick. Steps will be added so shorter people can climb into the top bunk or see into the washers and dryers, since clothes that get stuck in the machines are a fire hazard.
The first Columbia-class ballistic-missile sub is scheduled to join the fleet in 2031.
At 5-foot-6, Lt. Marquette Leveque, one of the first women to serve on a submarine, said that she didn't have any trouble reaching valves and other equipment but that the ergonomic changes will be helpful for shorter crewmates.
Leveque was assigned to a compartment with two other female officers on the USS Wyoming. They shared a washroom with male officers. A sign on the door could be flipped to show whether a man or woman was using it.
With so few women on board, the timesharing worked, she said. But with more on the way, the need for separate spaces is greater, she added.
"Privacy is important anywhere you are," she said. "We live on this boat, as well as work there."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Turkey’s Golcük Shipyard & TKMS Jointly Market Type 214 Submarine to Indonesia

Bilal Khan, QUWA
16 April 2017

Turkey’s Golcük Shipyard and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) are reportedly offering the Reis-class variant of the Type 214 diesel-electric submarine (SSK) to the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL).
As per IHS Jane’s, TNI-AL officials will be meeting with representatives from Golcük Shipyard and TKMS at the forthcoming International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF), which will take place in Istanbul in May. TNI-AL officials will also visit Golcük Shipyard’s production site to observe the progress being made on the Turkish Navy’s first Type 214, the Pirireis.
The Type 214 is derived from Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH’s (HDW) highly popular Type 209 SSK. Featuring design innovations from the HDW Type 212 and optionally powered by a fuel-cell based air-independent propulsion (AIP) system, the Type 214 displaces 1,700-tons (surface).
It has eight torpedo tubes which can deploy heavyweight torpedoes – such as the Atlas Elektronik SeaHake – and anti-ship missiles, such as the Harpoon and Exocet.
The Turkish Navy currently plans to procure six Type 214TNs. Under the original 2.5 billion Euro contract, the ships are being built in Turkey with a mix of subsystems drawn from Turkey’s domestic industry and Germany. Aselsan is supporting the Type 214TN program by providing electronic support measures (ESM) and sensor systems, while Havelsan is developing an integrated command and control suite.
The Indonesian Navy currently has three Type 209 Chang Bogo-class SSKs on order (for U.S. $1.1 billion) from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea. The Chang Bogo-class SSK is a variant of the HDW Type 209 built under license by DSME. The second TNI-AL ship was launched for sea trials in October. PT Palindo Marine is also developing a 22-metre miniature submarine which it hopes could form the basis of a littoral seas patrol submarine.