Euron­aval, good hunt­ing ground for naval sys­tems

SP's MAI - - SHOW REPORT - [ By R. Chan­drakanth]

The Mid­dle East is a hot­bed of de­fence ac­tiv­ity and two coun­tries – Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emi­rates – are on a ma­jor buy­ing spree. At the 23rd edi­tion of Euron­aval 2012 in Paris, which con­cluded re­cently, Saudi Arabia was un­der the ar­clights. Saudi Ara­bian Navy’s in­tent to over­haul its French-built F-2000 frigates and oil­ers at an es­ti­mated con­tract worth $1.3 bil­lion has en­thused US and French com­pa­nies. Saudi Arabia’s neigh­bour, an­other oil-rich coun­try, the United Arab Emi­rates has ex­pressed in­ter­est in buy­ing a small, corvette-sized com­bat­ant and Lockheed Martin, Austal and Fin­cantieri have re­port­edly made their of­fers. Lockheed Martin has on of­fer a scaled-down ver­sion of its 116-me­tre lit­toral com­bat ships, while Austal has put forth its 80-me­tre multi-role ves­sel (MRV). Fin­cantieri from Italy has an edge as it is al­ready fit­ting out the Abu Dhabi, 89-me­tre-long large corvette, be­sides build­ing the first two 56-me­tre Falaj 2 class pa­trol boats.

Away from the Mid­dle East, South Korea has or­dered its 100th ship-borne Sigma 40 in­er­tial nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem from Sagem (Safran group), con­firm­ing its con­fi­dence in the sys­tem’s laser gyro tech­nol­ogy. The Sigma 40 is a high-per­for­mance ship-borne in­er­tial nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem. It is avail­able in dif­fer­ent ver­sions to cover op­er­a­tional needs for war­ships, from corvettes to nu­clear sub­marines.

This lat­est Sigma or­der con­sol­i­dates Sagem’s lead­er­ship with the world’s most pow­er­ful navies. Part of the ship’s com­bat sys­tem, the Sigma 40’s high-pre­ci­sion mea­sure­ments con­trib­ute to weapon ac­cu­racy and per­for­mance.

West Look­ing at East

That West­ern OEMs are in­creas­ingly look­ing at emerg­ing mar­kets to shore up their dwin­dling rev­enues is a tru­ism and at Euron­aval it be­came clear when there were nearly 76 of­fi­cial del­e­ga­tions from var­i­ous coun­tries. Or­gan­ised un­der the joint pa­tron­age of the French Min­istry of De­fence and the Sec­re­tariat of State for the Sea, as in pre­vi­ous years, Euron­aval reaf­firmed its po­si­tion as the lead­ing in­ter­na­tional naval de­fence and mar­itime safety and se­cu­rity event.

The show cov­ered spheres rang­ing from naval sovereignty to state ac­tion at sea with re­spect to mar­itime safety and se­cu­rity, in­clud­ing the en­force­ment of pub­lic or­der at sea, marine nav­i­ga­tion and fish­eries polic­ing, and mar­itime and coastal sur­veil­lance. It sought to high­light in­no­va­tions by French and in­ter­na­tional play­ers in the naval sec­tor and new tech­nolo­gies in what is a high-tech in­dus­try.

Le Bour­get, the venue of Euron­aval, gave ad­e­quate play for naval drone man­u­fac­tur­ers—both un­der­wa­ter and ae­rial—and satel­lite ap­pli­ca­tions in com­mu­ni­ca­tions, nav­i­ga­tion, de­fence and se­cu­rity. In all, Euron­aval at­tracted close to 400 ex­hibitors from 35 coun­tries and trade vis­i­tors from 100 coun­tries with grow­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion from Ger­many, Brazil, the UK and Rus­sia, with, for the first time, a Korean ship­yard among the ex­hibitors.

Over a pe­riod of five days, Euron­aval at­tract mar­ket in­flu­encers and buy­ers from across the sec­tor, 76 of­fi­cial del­e­ga­tions, and 300 guests of hon­our from over 60 coun­tries, in­clud­ing high­rank­ing government fig­ures, i.e. min­is­ters and the equiv­a­lent, sec­re­taries of state, navy chiefs of staff and na­tional ar­ma­ments direc­tors. From an OEM per­spec­tive, there were key launches by sev­eral com­pa­nies.

DCNS a World Leader in Naval De­fence

DCNS was present in full strength at Euron­aval and some of its in­no­va­tive prod­ucts at Le Bour­get were sur­face com­bat­ants; sub­marines, be­sides its ser­vice of­fer­ings.

One of the high­lights was FREMM-ER (Ex­tended Range) with its en­hanced anti-air ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Thanks to its four-panel phasedar­ray an­tenna and con­tin­u­ous hemi­spher­i­cal cov­er­age, the new radar can de­tect and track threats at un­prece­dented ranges en­abling the com­bat man­age­ment sys­tem (CMS) to ex­ploit the ship’s cur­rent and fu­ture weapons sys­tems to the full. Th­ese ca­pa­bil­i­ties are par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant for lit­toral op­er­a­tions, in bad weather and against in­creas­ingly stealthy threats.

Gowind range: DCNS is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing a Gowind ver­sion for mine coun­ter­mea­sures (MCM). The ship is be­ing tai­lored to de­ploy un­manned ve­hi­cles de­signed specif­i­cally to de­tect, iden­tify and de­stroy un­der­wa­ter mines.

For the Gowind Com­bat, DCNS is de­sign­ing a new su­per­struc­ture mod­ule com­pris­ing, in a sin­gle build­ing block, the bridge, ops room and en­closed mast. This mod­ule will be de­liv­er­able to part­ner ship­yards as part of con­tracts call­ing for lo­cal ship­build­ing.

Sub­marines: The An­drasta com­pact sub­ma­rine is de­signed to op­er­ate in shal­low lit­toral wa­ters as well as deep ocean wa­ters. A di­rect de­scen­dent of the Scor­pene, it is re­mark­ably ef­fec­tive in all roles close to coasts. Re­cent ad­vances have fo­cused on im­proved acous­tic dis­cre­tion, im­proved sonar de­tec­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly in coastal en­vi­ron­ments, and ad­di­tional pro­vi­sion for in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing; an es­sen­tial role in coastal the­atres. En­durance has also been ex­tended to three weeks.

Ser­vices: The stand also pre­sented the Group’s global ser­vice of­fer­ing. Draw­ing on ex­pe­ri­ence ac­quired serv­ing the French Navy and in­ter­na­tional cus­tomers, DCNS of­fers a range of ser­vices (tech­nol­ogy trans­fers, teach­ing pro­grammes, train­ing, sim­u­la­tion so­lu­tions, etc.) to help client navies make the best use of their as­sets, main­tain them (through-life sup­port pro­grammes, up­grades, etc.) and man­age naval base in­fra­struc­ture (de­sign, con­struc­tion, op­er­a­tion and/or main­te­nance, in­te­gra­tion of de­fence-crit­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties, ship­yard re­fur­bish­ment, etc.).

Thales In­tro­duces Vig­ile DPX Radar Sys­tems

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful de­ploy­ment of the Vig­ile DPX radar elec­tronic sup­port mea­sures sys­tem on the Bri­tish Royal Navy’s Type 45 class de­stroy­ers ear­lier this year, Thales in­tro­duced the sys­tem to the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket for the first time.

‘This is a ground-break­ing new radar sys­tem,’ Phil Nay­bour, head of UK mar­itime ac­tiv­ity at Thales UK, told a me­dia brief­ing.

Navies now see them­selves in a clut­tered lit­toral en­vi­ron­ment due to radar use from both mil­i­tary and civil­ian op­er­a­tors, Nay­bour ex­plained, so the DPX uses a wide­band dig­i­tal re­ceiver to di­rectly sam­ple the full band­width of the radar RF spec­trum in­stan­ta­neously. Op­er­a­tors can then de­tect sig­nals oth­er­wise hid­den be­hind this clut­ter.

Euro­copter’s Naval and Mar­itime He­li­copters

Euro­copter’s ex­ten­sive range of he­li­copters for naval and mar­itime mis­sions was on dis­play. The com­pany dis­played models of the NH90 NFH, the AS365 N3+ and the AS565 MB/Pan­ther.

Euro­copter’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in this bi­en­nial event un­der­scored the decades of ex­pe­ri­ence the com­pany has ac­quired in naval and mar­itime he­li­copters. With a di­ver­si­fied prod­uct line tai­lored to nu­mer- ous op­er­a­tional re­quire­ments, Euro­copter he­li­copters are counted on for such mis­sions as anti-sub­ma­rine and anti-sur­face war­fare, anti-piracy and anti-smug­gling mis­sions as well as coastal or deep-sea mar­itime search and res­cue op­er­a­tions.

Built by NH In­dus­tries, a con­sor­tium formed by Euro­copter, Agus­taWest­land and Fokker, the NH90 was just one of the models on show. To date 122 NH90s have been de­liv­ered to cus­tomers, 18 of them the NFH naval ver­sion. The fleet has now clocked up a to­tal of 30,000 flight hours, mainly in SAR mis­sions per­formed in es­pe­cially de­mand­ing en­vi­ron­ments and also in the Afghan the­ater of op­er­a­tions.

Raytheon An­schütz Launches Synapsis Com­mand Bridge

Raytheon An­schütz launched the Synapsis Com­mand Bride, an in­no­va­tive sys­tem so­lu­tion for OPVs, smaller naval and coast guard ves­sels. It is a com­bi­na­tion of com­mer­cial-off-the-shelf nav­i­ga­tion with com­mand and con­trol ca­pa­bil­i­ties to a new, ho­mo­ge­neous bridge sys­tem.

The Synapsis Com­mand Bridge aims to pro­vide a so­lu­tion that not only in­cludes the Synapsis In­te­grated Nav­i­ga­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties but also trans­fers en­hanced com­mand and con­trol ca­pa­bil­i­ties from the Raytheon An­schütz’ SmartBlue sur­veil­lance sys­tem to a new sea-based ap­pli­ca­tion.

Thomas Lehmann, Sys­tem En­gi­neer at Raytheon An­schütz, said, “The Com­mand Bridge comes as a scal­able ‘off-the-shelf’ so­lu­tion which is stan­dard­ised to save un­nec­es­sary non-re­cur­ring en­gi­neer­ing costs whilst at the same time re­main­ing flex­i­ble enough to ac­com­mo­date dif­fer­ent sen­sors and weapon sys­tems ap­pro­pri­ate for dif­fer­ent mis­sions. Smaller ves­sels such as OPVs and fast at­tack crafts with­out re­quire­ments for a ded­i­cated com­bat in­for­ma­tion cen­tre can be eas­ily equipped to han­dle a va­ri­ety of threat sce­nar­ios and mis­sions ef­fi­ciently and ef­fec­tively.”

Atlas Elec­tronik SeaSpi­der in the Front

Atlas Elec­tronik show­cased a SeaSpi­der and a SeaHake tor­pedo as models, be­sides the UUV SeaOt­ter. Also on demon­stra­tion was its “Low Fre­quency Ac­tive Towed Ar­ray Sonar” for sur­face ships AC­TAS and a mine coun­ter­mea­sure con­tainer model. Fur­ther­more the com­pany ex­hib­ited its ‘Ex­panded Flank Ar­ray Sonar’ (EFAS), which ide­ally com­ple­ments the sub­ma­rine sonar sen­sor suit.

As said ear­lier, the highly ad­vanced, so­phis­ti­cated and scal­able tech­nolo­gies are mainly coming from the West­ern OEMs, while the mar­kets are else­where. None­the­less, Euron­aval will con­tinue to be a good hunt­ing ground for naval sys­tems.

Euro­copter’s NH90 NFH

An­drasta com­pact sub­ma­rine

FREMM-ER (Ex­tended Range) with its en­hanced anti-air ca­pa­bil­i­ties

Vig­ile DPX radar elec­tronic sup­port from Thales

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