The leading programmes.
The Franco-Italian Fremm multi-mission frigate programme has reached the delivery and operational building-up phase for both navies under the umbrella of the European defence procurement agency's Occar office (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation en matiere d'Armement).
Delivered to the French navy in August 2012, the Aquitaine first-of-class is involved in comprehensive testing and fine-tuning activities, having completed a just-over four-month deployment around and across the Atlantic Ocean last Autumn to test systems and capabilities away from traditional support facilities with a view to reaching full operational capability in 2014. The second-of-class Normandie has begun combat systems sea trials earlier this year, while the Provence was floated out last September. Two other platforms are at different building stages, while the Mohammed VI is still planned for delivery early this year. The last French defence budget law, covering the 2014-2019 period, revealed that six ASW-configured Fremms, armed with deep-strike MBDA MdCN (missile de croisiere naval) or Scalp Naval missiles, will be delivered by 2019, while ships seven and eight will come in an air-defence guise called Freda.
With a displacement of about 6,000 tonnes, a 142 metre length and a 20 metre beam, the French Fremms have a highly automated platform and combat management systems, supported by an integrated bridge system allowing for a crew of only 108 including the single NH90 Caiman helicopter detachment. The combined diesel electric or gas propulsion system is based on a General Electric 32MW LM-2500+G4 gas turbine and two Jeaumont Electric 2.15 MW electric motors or four MTU diesel generators, providing a maximum speed of 27 knots and a quiet low-to-medium speed up to 16 knots.
The combat system is based on the DCNS Setis, designed for high-intensity naval combat scenarios, which controls all combat system functions through a centralised architecture. Thales supplies the IP-based communication suite with internal and external voice and data connection together with multiple data-link exchange, and the SIC-21 command information system. The sensors suite is centred around the S-band Thales HeraIdes multifunction radar, but flanked by a Thales Artemis staring array infrared search and tracking system, a Sagem Najir electro-optical fire control, an integrated Sigen Elettronica-Thales EW suite including RESM and ECM, plus a Thales CESM subsystem and Sagem NGDS soft-kill decoy launchers. A Thales ASW integrated sonar suite comprises the bow-mounted UMS 4110 sonar and an UMS 4249 low-frequency variable depth sonar, a passive torpedo detection array and Slat decoy launchers. The weapon package includes one Oto Melara 76/62 mm Super Rapido main gun, two DCNS Sylver A43 8-cell VLS for 16 MBDA Aster 15s and in the near future two Sylver A70 VLS for 16 MdCN, two MU-90 torpedo launchers and eight MBDA Exocet Block 3 anti-ship missiles (ASM), plus two Nexter Narwhal 20mm remotely operated turrets, though the latter will be introduced with the second of class.
At the Euronaval 2012 exhibition, the French DCNS shipbuilding group unveiled the Extended Range variant of the Aquitaine class frigate, given as largely similar to the French Fremm, but featuring new area air defence capabilities with potential for ballistic missile defence. Designed for the French Navy and the export market and already proposed to several countries (lately Canada), her most significant enhancements are an integrated mast, which has been defined and studied by a DCNS-led group of industries including Thales, and a more advanced Setis CMS. Called SF 500 and developed by Thales, the new four large AESA antenna radar builds on the architecture and the building block of the SR3D platform, already used on the Thales Nederland non-rotating Sea Master 400 3D.
Italian Navy's first-of-class general purpose-configured Carlo Bergamini frigate is currently involved in an almost five-month Cavour aircraft carrier-based naval group cruise around Middle East and Africa, following after a comprehensive test and evaluation period that preceded and followed the final configuration delivery to the Italian Navy last May. The second-of-class Virginio Fasan--an ASW variant--was handed over to the Marina Militare last December, while the third, the Carlo Margottini (also an ASW variant) was scheduled for delivery while these lines were printed. Follow-on ships will be handed over at one-year intervals, while the Italian Government has so far funded eight ships (four general purpose and four ASW variants) out of 10, the last two options to be exercised by Apri12015. These ships could be equipped with an advanced integrated mast, feasibility studies having been launched last December by the Italian Navy. Together with a group of companies led by Selex ES and including Fincantieri and Elettronica, the Marina eyes at a scalable integrated mast prototype to initially equip the new class of ocean-going combatant patrol vessels--a programme to be launched in 2014.
Built and outfitted by Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (OSN), a joint venture between Fincantieri and Finmeccanica's Selex ES, Italy's Fremms are to have a 6,700 tonne displacement, a 144 metre length and a 20 metre beam, and highly automated and integrated platform and combat management systems. The integrated bridge system allows for a crew complement of 131 (133 for the ASW version), excluding the twin SH90 (or EH101 + SI-190) helicopters detachment. The combat system is based on Selex ES's CMS, characterised by a federated architecture and an IP-based communication suite with multi-data link processor. The GP and ASW versions feature a common sensor and weapons package based on MBDXs SAAM-ESD (Extended Self-Defence) area defence system, including Selex ES's MFRA Empar-derived C-band multifunction radar with active phased array antenna and Aster 15/30 missiles housed in two DCNS Sylver A50 eight cells launchers. Selex ES also supplies the SIR-M5 phased-array IFF, the navigation and RAN-30XJI surface/air search radar, and two NA-25 fire control systems. The EW suite will be the same as the French ships. While the general purpose version is equipped with a Thales bow-mounted UMS 4110 and WASS mine avoidance sonars only, the ASW replaces the GP-equipped 11 m stern launched fast boat with UMS 4249 low-frequency variable depth sonar and passive torpedo detection array plus WASS decoy launcher. The weapons package comprises an Oto Melara 127/64 millimetre main gun with Vulcano extended-range ammunition and one 76/62 millimetre Super Rapido with Strales guided ammunition ILDS (two on the ASW, the second replacing the 127 millimetre gun), two Oto Melara 25 millimetre, two-triple MU-90 torpedo launchers and eight MBDA Otomat Block IVA (4 Otomat + 4 ASW Milas on ASW version).
Also at Euronaval 2012 exhibition, OSN unveiled different combat suites and propulsion systems for Fremm hulls, with new superstructures to accommodate a Lockheed Martin Aegis Weapon system with SPY-1D(V) four fixed-phased array antennae, and a propulsion based on turbine gas and diesel engine, which formed the basis of the Italian naval industry offer to the Brazilian Navy for its surface fleet renovation.
Last December, the first of four Type F-125 type or Baden-Wirtemberg class frigates was launched at Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems' (TKMS) Hamburg shipyard. Designed to support up to 50 special forces with space for two to four armed fast boats and two NI-190 multirole helicopters, the TKMS and Liirssen-built Germany frigates will be delivered between late 2016 and 2018. With a 7,200-tonne displacement, 1,496 metre length and 18,8 metre beam, the new vessel has a Siemens Marine & Shipbuilding ship automation and control system, which allows a 110 crew complement with a 20-element helicopter detachment, manning and ship maintenance requirements allowing for personnel rotation and long-period intervals between dockyard assistance.
The Atlas Naval Combat System (ANCS) developed by the newly founded Joint Einsatzsystem Team (JET) consisting of TKMS and Atlas Elektronik, runs on an open and distributed-architecture computer system, which is paired with the Atlas Tactical Data Link System (ADLiS), providing interface between Link 11, Link 16 and Link 22. The ship sensors suite is based on an Airbus Defence and Space C-band TRS-4D/NR (Non Rotating) phased array radar, using latest GaN solid state transmitter technologies distributed on four active electronically-scanned arrays, divided between the two ship masts. The F-125 is also equipped with a Diehl BGT Defence's Simone (Ship Infrared Monitoring, Observation and Navigation Equipment) passive surveillance system, allowing for early detection of asymmetrical threats. The EW suite is understood to be based on Rohde and Schwarz 's ACD00] highly integrated C-/R- ESM suite including Rockwell Collins CS-3600 RESM and a Rheinmetall Defence MASS decoy launcher. The weapons suite package includes an Oto Melara 127/64 millimetre LW gun mount able to fire Vulcano long-range ammunition for land fire support and five Hitrole remotely operated 127 millimetre weapons, in addition to two 21-cell Mk 49 Ram launchers and two Rheinmetall Defence MLG 27 millimetre gun mounts.
On the export market, TMKS is also promoting a multirole frigate design of its successful Meko family, built by Blohm+Voss. The latest iteration is called Meko 600 and based on the proven design of Type 124 frigates. With a 143 metre length, 17.4 metre beam and five metre draught, the approximately 5,800-tonne displacement platform has been designed to fulfil ASW, AAW, ASuW, sea control, power projection, escort and task force protection, in addition to commander task force missions. TKMS, however, continued to register success with the smaller Meko A-200 frigate project, after the sale to South African Navy. In March 2012, Algerian MoD assigned to TKMS a contract of undisclosed value but reported between [euro]2.17 and [euro]2.5 billion, for the delivery of two Meko A-200 frigates and six AgustaWestland Super Lynx helicopters optimised for ASW/ASuW, plus training and infrastructure/maintenance packages. The platform is essentially identical to the South African Navy's 3,650-tonne Valour class frigates with the same combined diesel and gas turbine/waterjet and refined propeller propulsion system. With a combat system based on a CMS provided by Atlas Elektronik, the two new ships will be equipped, according to industrial sources, with sensors and armament suite including possibly the Airbus Defence and Space TRS-3D family radar together with an L-3 MAPPs IPMS. Armament package is expected to include an Oto Melara 127/64 millimetre main gun to fire Vulcano guided ammunition, two Rheinmetall MLG27 millimetre gun, Saab RBS 15 Mk3 anti-ship missiles, Denel's Umkhonto surface-to-air missile and two multiple launchers for Eurotorp MU90 torpedoes. At DSEI 2013 in London, the joint team led by BAE Systems Maritime and British Ministry of Defence presented the latest developments regarding the Type 26 GCS (Global Combat Ship) programme. Developed to replace current Type 23 frigates, the new surface combatants will be able to conduct a wide range of missions independently or as part of a task group, and form the backbone of the surface fleet out to 2060. Featuring, amongst other numerous things, a flight deck capable of accommodating a Chinook, the first of a class of 13 frigates is set to enter service in the early 2020s.
With a 6,000-tonne full load displacement, a length and a beam of respectively 148.5 and 20 metres, the Type 26 has a Combined Diesel Electric or Gas based power plant with one Rolls Royce MT30 gas turbine, four MTU 20V 4000 M53B high speed diesel engines and two electric motors ensuring a maximum speed in excess of 26 knots. Able to accommodate up to 118 crew and 72 embarked forces, the Type 26 design has been structurally refined. The vessel electronic suite is mainly based on new and upgrade programmes, including new Type 997 Artisan E/F band 3-D medium range radar, existing ASW suites including Sonar 2050 hull-mounted and variable depth Sonar 2087, an advanced EW suite including RESM, CESM and decoys, the new M BDA Sea Ceptor area air defence system, which is first due to be installed on Type 23s. On the '26, the 48 cells are to be the Lockheed Martin and MBDA new Mk 41 VLS version called ExLS (Extensible Launching System), which is also expected to accommodate 16 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles. The armament package will also include a new maritime indirect fire system, two Phalanx, two 30 millimetre DS3OM automated guns and general-purpose guns, two BAE Systems Sting Ray torpedo launchers and space for two AgustaWestland Wildcat Lynx or one Merlin helicopter. The maritime indirect fire system will be either BAE Systems Mk 45 Mod.4 5-inch/62-calibre guns or Babcock/Oto Melara offered 127/64 LW gun mounts. The Type 26's design modularity will also help to satisfy export requirements. For example to meet the Royal Australian Navy's requirements, BAE systems reached an agreement with local CEA Technologies to provide the vessel with an integrated top mast with active phased array technology, including S-band search volume, air and surface radar, IFF and possibly EW suites.
Russian and previously Soviet Union shipyards have been exporting almost any size of vessels, bar cruisers and destroyers. After the end of the Cold War, the Russian Federation's naval industry pushed its latest generation products towards its "historical customers" such as China and India. The latter in November 1997 signed a $1 billion contract for three Krivak HI class multipurpose frigates. The Severnoye Design Bureau was put in charge of honing the Project 1135.6 to Indian needs, involving around 130 suppliers from across Russia and Europe. The three Talwar dass frigates were delivered within a year from May 2002. A follow-on contract for the acquisition of three additional frigates was signed in July 2006 and built by Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad. The last one was commissioned into service in June 2013. Around a year earlier though, India started talking about purchasing yet another three. With a full displacement of 4,000 tonnes, a length and beam of respectively 124.8 and 15.2 metres, the Talwar class frigates present redesigned topside and hull to reduce radar-cross section as well as advanced combat systems. With a COGAG-based propulsion plant centred on Zorya and Mashproekt supplying two DS-71 cruise gas turbines and two DT59 boost gas turbines to offer a maximum speed of 32 knots, these frigates boast a combat system the heart of which is a Trebovaniye-M combat information and control platform managing a sensors/armament suite including a Fregat M2EM air search radar, 3Ts-25E surface search and navigation radars, together with a number of fire control systems for both gun and missiles, in addition to a TK-25E-5 EW suite with ESM/ECM and decoy launchers, and an ASW package. Armament includes a 100 millimetre A-190E main gun, two Kashtan ILDS, one 3S-90 launcher for 9M317 (SA-N12) surface-to-air missiles, eight Igla-1E (SA-16) air defence missiles and eight-cell vertical launchers for 3M-54E Klub-N anti-surface missiles. The ASW suite includes one R131.16000 rocket launcher and two twin 533 metre torpedo launchers, together with the capability to accommodate and operate one Ka-28 ASW or Ka-31 AEW helicopter.
The last of the five Alvaro de Bazan F-100 class frigates was delivered to the Spanish Navy in October 2012. The design of this frigate family developed by Navantia has attracted attention and eventually was adopted in different guises and displacements by the Royal Norwegian and Australian Navies. The five Nansen class frigates built by Navantia for Norway are smaller at 5,290 tonnes and 134 metres, while the three Hobart class destroyers built in Australia by the Air Warfare Destroyer alliance induding ASC lead shipbuilder and Raytheon Australia as the system integrator, features a 7,000-tonne full displacement and an enhanced combat system based on Lockheed Martin Aegis Weapon System with SPY- 1D( V) multi function radar, two Raytheon Mark 99 fire control systems, Northrop Grumman SPQ-9B horizon search radar, two Sagem Vampir NG IRST, two Ultra Electronics Series 2500 EO, two Rafael Toplite target acquisition sights, Ultra Electronics sonar suite, an EW package based on Exelis ES-3701 ESM and SwRI CESM, together with BAE Systems Nulka decoy launchers, and a more powerful armament package. The latter is based on a BAE Systems Mk 45 127/62 millimetre main gun, a Raytheon Phalanx 1B, two Rafael 25 millimetre Typhoon remotely controlled guns, 48-cell Lockheed Martin Mark 41 VIS for Raytheon Standard SM -2MR Block IIIA and RIM-162 ESSM missiles, eight Boeing Harpoon anti-ship missiles, two twin launchers for Eurotorp MU90 lightweight torpedoes, and the ability to accommodate a Sikorsky MH-60R.
The Spanish navy and Navantia are working on a new F110 class of five vessels destined to replace the six Santa Maria-class frigates as of the mid-2020s. The programme is still in its first stages of development, but could hold potential on the exports market, with an expected 5,000 tonne mono-hull design powered by combined diesel-electric and gas and conventional propellers. The Mastin technology demonstrator programme was awarded to Navantia and Indra with a view to designing an integrated mast structure and investigating the indigenous development of an S-band phased array radar, as well as a series of systems to populate the new topside including EW and IFF equipment.
The latest contract addition to Damen Schelde shipbuilding's Sigma (Ship Integrated Geometrical Modularity Approach) family of patrol vessels, corvettes and frigates of 50 to 150 metres in length is the Sigma 10514. The Indonesian navy awarded contracts to Damen in June 2012 and February 2014 to build two ships, with technology transfer to local PT PAL company. Planned for delivery in early and late 2017, the Sigma 10514s differ from the smaller family models already in service with Indonesian and Moroccan navies in having a 2,400-tonne displacement, a 105 metre length and 14 metre beam, a 100 crew plus spare accommodation for 20 more, and enlarged superstructures for a third forward weapon station. In addition to a more powerful combined diesel and electric propulsion system, the 10514 will be equipped with a combat system based on the latest iteration of Males Tacticos CMS with expanded capabilities and software development participation of local PT LEN industry. The system will manage a sensor/armament suite including Thales Nederland Smarts-S Mk 2 surveillance radar, Stir 1.2 Mk2 EO tire control system, naval communication and navigation systems with Link Y data link and Kingklip sonar suite, together with an undisclosed EW suite. The armament package is to include Oto Melara 76/62 millimetre Super Rapid gun, Rheinmetall Defence Millenium 35 millimetre ILDS, 12-cell VLS for air-defence missile system (expected to be MBDA VL MICA), eight MBDA Exocet ASM and two torpedo launchers plus light guns.
In October 2013, Boustead Heavy Industries confirmed that its subsidiary Boustead Naval Shipyard had been awarded a 10-year $2.8 billion contract from the Malaysian Ministry of Defence for the design and construction of six Second-Generation Patrol Vessel--Littoral Combat Ship (SGPV-LCS). Comparable in size to light frigates, the new ships will be based on the Gowind family of corvettes designed by DCNS in France. The lead ship is scheduled for delivery to the Royal Malaysian navy in 2017, with follow-on vessels to be built at Boustead yards in Lumut. The Malaysian shipbuilding group will be responsible for systems installation, integration and testing for the SGPV-LCS programme. According to the latest sources, the ship design indicates an overall length of 111 metres and 16 metre beam, 2,750 to 3,000-tonnes of displacement and a ship's company of around 100 personnel. Four MTU diesel engines driving conventional propellers provide a maximum speed of 28 knots. The superstructures presents a stern flight deck plus hangar for a medium size helicopter and an integrated mast for radars and electronics. According to latest information, the CMS has been confirmed to be a DCNS Setis together with a Rheinmetall TMEO m k2 - TMX/EO Electro-optical tracking and tire control systems, while the 3D surveillance is to be a Thales Nederland Smart-S Mk 2 type and possibly a Thales Captas 2 sonar suite. The armament package is to include MBDA Mica VL or Raytheon ESSM surface-to-air missiles, MBDA M1v140 Block 3 Exocets or Kongsberg NSM anti-ship missiles, a BAE Systems Mk 3 Bofors 57 millimetre main gun and two MSI-Defence 30 millimetre remotely controlled guns.
In the Far East, both South Korean's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) groups are aggressively proposing their portfolio of platform solutions to Asian and Middle East customers, scoring interesting success. In August last year, Daewoo won a $470 million contract for the first of two frigates for the Royal Thai Navy in August 2018. With a 3,700-tonne full load displacement, a length and beam of respectively 122.5 and 14.4 metres, the new frigate has been reported to be based on the DW3000H design, which include an integrated sensor and communication mast, an Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid gun, two MSI-Defence Seahawk 30 millimetre guns, space for 32 Raytheon RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrows in an eight-cell Lockheed Martin Mk 41 vertical launch system and facilities for a 10-tonne class helicopter. Saab is to supply the combat management system and the radar suite for the same programme while Atlas Elektronik is in charge of the sonar suite. Daewo is also proposing a frigate design for Philippine Navy requirements.
Caption: The Italian Navy's third Fier= Carlo Mdrgottini. Together with the other frigates, it is equipped for ASW operations with a stern variable depth sonar (VDS) and towed array. (Luca Peruzzi)
Caption: The Fremm ER is distinguished by its integrated mast with the new SF 500 aesa radar as well as communications, IRST and EW suite. The new version is being proposed to both the French Navy and foreign customers. (DCNS)
Caption: Selex ES unveiled the Unimast last September at DSEI 2073. The Italian Navy launched last December an integrated mast programme which will draw on the results obtained from the Un/mast and other research and development programmes. (Selex ES)
Caption: At the Euronaval 2012 exhibition, Fincantieri presented a model of a Fremm hull with an Aegis system. The same hull, with both gas turbines and diesel engines for high speeds, has been offered to potential customers, such as the Brazilian Navy. (Luca Peruzzi)
Caption: Algeria has awarded TKMS a contract for the delivery of two A-200 Meko frigates together with six AgustaWestland Super Lynx naval helicopter. The two frigates will be based on the same design as South Africa's Amatola class, but will be equipped with a different combat and armament suite. (South African Navy)
Caption: In December 2013 ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems launched the first-of-class F-125 frigate, which is to be delivered at the end of 2076. The four F-725 frigates are equipped with an Oto Melara 127/64 mm long range gun as well as facilities for out-of-area operations. (TKMS)
Caption: The choke between Oto Melara's and BAE Systems' solutions still has to be made for the Royal Navy's new Type 26 frigates long range main gun. (BAE Systems)
Caption: The new Type 26 will have a common hangar and multifunctional bay to facilitate certain mission preparations including the launch of drones, underwater robots and high-speed boats. (BAE Systems)
Caption: The Alvaro de Bazan F100 type frigate built by Navanlia formed the basis of--both the Royal Norwegian and the Australian navies Nasen frigates and Hobart destroyers. (US Navy)
Caption: The Spanish Navy is to launch the development and construction of a new class of multirole frigates, known as the Fl 10, to start replacing the Santa Barbara class frigates at the beginning of the 2020s. These vessels will have an integrated mast. (Navantio)
Caption: In January 2014, Damen Schelde shipbuilding launched the construction of the Sigma 10514 corvette for the Indonesian Navy. (Damen)
Caption: DCNS will provide the Gowind project, expertise and support for the local construction of the new Malaysian Second Generation Patrol Vessel-Littoral Combat Ship (SGFV-LCS) under a subcontract-with Boustead Naval Shipyard. (DCNS)
Caption: In August 2013 Daewo won a contract for the construction of the first of two frigates for the Royal Thai Navy. The second platform will be delivered in 2018 with combat system and radars provided by Saab. (Luca Peruzzi)
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* Mortars: Born as a rudimentary indirect fire weapon around the 17th century, the mortar became a more significant piece of artillery in 1915 when Sir Wilfred Stokes turned it into a prodigious trench attack device. However, the mortar started being looked at with more consideration in the 1930s after Art Deco wrought iron expert Edgar Brandt put his hand into the principle, to turn it into a proper and respected technology.
Tank Situation: With the demise of Communism in Europe, the need for heavy battle tanks waned and even nations that were about to acquire newer models still 20 years ago finally threw the spanner in the works. However, the Western World is not the World, and numerous other nations still require the tank's power or the image it conveys to impose some form of authority.
Full-calibre Fin-stabilised 120 Ammo: Developed during the Cold War era to improve
armour penetration, 120 mm smoothbore guns were mainly designed to use kinetic energy rounds. Nowadays missions require much more flexibility, thus an entirely new type of round had to be developed to ensure main battle tanks efficiency in their infantry support role, which in a way brings them back to their origin.
On-the-move Satcoms: The use of satellites to relay long-range communications already was quite an evolution, but over the past few years, the possibility offered to do so while moving actually constituted a revolution as it allows one to transmit without being a sitting duck on the one hand and drones to continue transmitting vital pictures and information to soldiers "downstairs" on the other.
V-22 Market: The first convertiplane "to have made it', the V-22, perhaps better known as the Osprey, has for decades been looked upon as an only-for-Americans piece of equipment, mainly because of its price and running costs. The trouble is that this has been caught up by the inflationary
cost of protecting oneself against aggression, not to a point of becoming affordable, but of being the only cost-effective solution in certain cases.
Geospatial Information 2: After laying the principles of geo-referenced maps in our last issue, the author now dives into the practical solutions the technology brings, This second article examines what the solutions that can be provided to ground battiespace applications.
Drones--Compendium: More than ever, this already popular Armada Compendium provides a valuable guide in the current maze of developments and clearly explains which are the viable solutions from a defence point of view. Many companies and nations have improvised themselves drone developers and manufacturers without properly evaluating all the technical and engineering hurdles that need to be overcome--established and reputed manufacturers already have difficulties keeping a relatively clean no-crash record! There are plenty of drone catalogues around, but they are just that: catalogues.
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|Date:||Apr 1, 2014|
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