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Decisive action needed to avoid a submarine capability gap

The recent advice from the chief of Australia’s navy that the first Shortfin Barracuda may not come into service until the mid-2030s is sobering news given Australia’s deteriorating strategic circumstances and the critical role the submarine capability plays in our defence force structure. Under some scenarios, we may not have all 12 future submarines until as late as the 2050s.

With a highly developmental program and tough bilateral negotiations in concluding the overarching strategic partnering agreement, it’s highly likely that further slippage in the schedule awaits. The reality is that the Collins-class submarines will have to provide our frontline submarine capability for much longer than planned. The Collins will require a life-of-type extension (LOTE) or a rolling update program to avoid obsolescence and sustain its capability edge over growing regional threat levels. It’s time to inject some competition and provide an option that could avoid the issues with the future submarine program that appear to be unfolding—an option that could provide additional submarines quicker, cheaper and with less risk. The solution is an evolved Collins, building from what we know, based on our existing sovereign submarine capability, hard won by toil and treasure. This solution is feasible, provided decisive action to initiate the program is taken now.

A significant amount of concept design work was undertaken on this option in 2014–15; however, it wasn’t taken into the competitive evaluation process because of concerns over Kockums’ capability, capacity and credibility. Since that decision was made, Saab has established a rejuvenated Swedish submarine design and build capability. This has been demonstrated by the recent successful update to Sweden’s Gotland-class submarines and the design and commencement of construction of the new A26 submarines for Sweden. Saab and Damen are bidding an evolved Collins design for the Dutch future submarine requirement. All of this work would provide a useful start to a preliminary design study to refine the design and costing of an evolved Collins to meet Australia’s requirements. The arrangements for ownership of intellectual property agreed for the earlier work could provide a basis for an early agreement on these matters.

The facilities required for an evolved Collins build should be determined during the study, to optimise use of the existing ASC facilities in South Australia and Western Australia for the build and for ongoing Collins support, facilitating an early start and minimising the expense of new facilities. Although constructed in a new shipyard with an inexperienced workforce, the original Collins class was built at a cost that was consistent with international benchmarks and with the first submarine being commissioned within nine years of commencement. Were that performance to be matched in the evolved Collins, and based on the benchmark costs for constructing submarines established in a 2012 Kokoda study, 12 evolved Collins could be delivered at an estimated sail-away cost of around $20 billion, with the first boat being commissioned in 2030.

Potentially this compares very favourably with both public-source estimates of the cost of the Shortfin Barracuda and its extended delivery schedule. Importantly, the risks involved in an evolved submarine design are considerably lower than those associated with an ab initio program.

Lees verder op aspistrategist.org.au

Miljardenpot voor Europa’s defensie- industrie

13 miljard Het Nederlandse mkb moet stevig lobbyen in Brussel om niet ondergesneeuwd te raken door de grotere defensie-industrie in andere landen.

Een pot van 13 miljard staat plotseling klaar voor de Europese defensie-industrie. Met dat geld wil de Europese Commissie afdwingen dat de lidstaten op defensiegebied gaan samenwerken en dat ze, als de eigen industrie profiteert, zich ook meer geroepen voelen de defensie-uitgaven te verhogen.

In de volgende EU-meerjarenbegroting reserveert de Commissie die 13 miljard euro voor een Europees Defensiefonds (EDF) voor cofinanciering van Europese defensieprojecten. Woensdag stemt in Straatsburg het Europees Parlement over de EDF-voorstellen.

Norwegian frigate sinking has far-reaching implications

In an incident that has attracted relatively little media attention in Australia, the modern 5,300-ton Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad sankin a Norwegian fjord after a collision with the large Maltese-registered oil tanker Sola TS.

It’s now clear what happened. In the early hours of 8 November, the Ingstadwas proceeding at 17 knots along the Hjeltefjorden near the Sture oil terminal. The Sola TS had just left the terminal fully laden and was proceeding at 7 knots. The watch on the Ingstad, which had just changed, thought that the deck lights of the tanker were part of the well-lit terminal.

The Sola TS became concerned about the situation. However, because the Ingstad wasn’t showing automatic identification system (AIS) data, initially neither the Sola TS nor the traffic station on shore could identify the frigate to warn it of the imminent danger. Repeated warnings to the Ingstad after it had been identified failed to get it to alter course until just seconds before the collision. The heavily laden tanker couldn’t manoeuvre out of the way.

The Ingstad suffered extensive hull damage along the starboard side, lost propulsion and steering control, and experienced flooding in three compartments, before running aground and later sinking. Eight crew members were injured.

Commissioned in 2009 and built by the Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, the Helge Ingstad was the fourth of the Fridtjof Nansen class of frigates in the Royal Norwegian Navy. Australia’s Hobart-class air warfare destroyers are of a broadly similar Navantia design.

Lees verder Aspistrategist.org.au

Bath Iron Works Launches Last Zumwalt-Class Destroyer

The future USS Lyndon B. Johnson, the third and last of the futuristic Zumwalt-class destroyers, launched Sunday at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. Delivery is set for 2020.

The Zumwalt’s design dates to the early 2000s, and it was intended to be a great leap forward for naval technology and firepower. However, its cost reduced the Zumwalt’s attractiveness, and the program was gradually cut from 32 planned vessels down to three. The total program cost for the class is roughly $22 billion, including R&D, for a total distributed cost of $7.5 billion per vessel. The Lyndon B. Johnson will be somewhat less expensive than her sister ships because she has a steel deckhouse rather than a specially-fabricated composite structure.

The Zumwalt class was envisioned as a stealthy platform for shore bombardment, and to fulfill this mission, two Advanced Gun System (AGS) cannons occupy the deck forward of the house. While sophisticated, these units are inoperable due to the cost of their specially-designed ammunition. As the program was scaled back to three ships, the price per shell (including production tooling and engineering costs) rose to about $1 million per unit, beyond the U.S. Navy’s means. The 155mm AGS cannons cannot accept standard 155mm artillery rounds, and the Navy has not yet identified an alternative form of ammunition. In a recent hearing before the Senate Armed Services Seapower subcommittee, top Navy requirements officer Vice Adm. William Merz raised the possibility that the service may remove the AGS gun system altogether in future years.

Instead, the Navy is downgrading the Zumwalt’s ground attack mission and improving its abilities in a surface-to-surface role. It is equipping the class with the new long-range SM-6 missile, which is capable of both surface-to-air and surface-to-surface attack, along with the anti-ship version of the venerable Tomahawk cruise missile.

Lees verder op Maritime-executive.com

Toekomstig droogdok Gardec komt van pas bij aanbesteding Damen

Scheepswerf Gardec uit Zeebrugge bouwt voor 8 miljoen euro een nieuw droogdok. Tegelijk raakte bekend dat Gardec meespeelt in de kandidatuur van scheepsbouwer Damen voor de nieuwe Belgisch-Nederlandse mijnenbestrijdingsvloot.

Niet één maar twee Zeebrugse scheepswerven dingen mee naar het contract voor twaalf nieuwe mijnenjagers voor de Belgische en Nederlandse marine. Vorige week communiceerde de Franse combinatie Naval-ECA dat ze in haar kandidatuur een rol gaf aan scheepshersteller Flanders Ship Repair. Nu raakte bekend dat voor het eveneens Zeebrugse bedrijf Gardec een plaats is weggelegd in de alliantie rond de Nederlandse scheepsbouwer Damen en de Belgische technische dienstverlener Imtech Belgium (groep Cordeel). Richard Keulen, director Naval Sales Support bij Damen: “Ons plan is om de casco’s van de mijnenjagers te bouwen op onze eigen scheepswerven. We zouden er één maken in Vlissingen en de andere elf in Roemenië. Daarop zou Gardec de uitrusting aanbrengen, de technologie integreren en vervolgens de schepen in dienst stellen en onderhouden.”

Droogdok is zeker
Gardec is een scheepswerf en metaalconstructiebedrijf met vestigingen in de Boomkorstraat (achterhaven) en langs de Kustlaan, vlak bij de Visartsluis. Gedelegeerd bestuurder Hugo D’hoedt (foto) en zijn zoon technisch directeur Dieter D’hoedt zeggen dat de krachtenbundeling met Damen en Imtech op een bijzonder goed moment komt.

“We hadden eerder al beslist om in de achterhaven een droogdok te bouwen. Dat zal in oktober of november volgend jaar klaar zijn. Het gaat om infrastructuur voor 8 miljoen euro, een flinke investering voor ons familiebedrijf met tachtig mensen. Dit zal ons sterker op de kaart zetten voor middelgroot scheepsonderhoud. Deze investering is sowieso opgestart, of we nu het marinecontract voor de mijnenvegers winnen of niet.”

Dot Ocean uit Brugge
Bij het tiental partners in het consortium rond Damen en Imtech Belgium vinden we ook dotOcean uit Brugge. Dit is een innovatieve specialist in nautische informatica, waarin de Zeebrugse waterbouwkundig aannemer Artes-Depret participeert.

Lees verder Flows.be

Polityka Insight: The French withdraw support for the Orka programme. Paris blocks the sale of cruise missiles.

Marek Świerczyński, editor of Polityka magazine and security expert in an article in Polityka Insight (on 3 December) shares the sensational information that the French government agency DGA (Direction générale de l’Armament) has supsended support for the Naval Group shipyard in regard to selling Poland MdCN missiles. These missiles were meant to be the deterrent weapon carried by the Scorpenes, which the French have thus far been offering to Poland in the Orka program.

“Since the sale of missiles is not possible without government support, and they were accompanied by proposals for the joint construction of Scorpène submarines, it should be recognized that the French offer in the Orka programme has collapsed,” reads the Polityka Insight article. According to Świerczyński, this decision is an expression of “the deterioration of Paris-Warsaw political relations and the loss of confidence on the part of the French after the cancellation of the orders for multi-task helicopters, the sidelining of France from the missile armaments segment and the prolonged lack of decisions regarding submarines”.

The French Naval Group was the only bidder capable of delivering submarines along with cruise missiles. It is not surprising, therefore, that the requirement to equip Orka with such missiles was the core of the French offer for Poland. In the media, the French argued that the purchase of Scorpène with MdCN missiles would give Poland access to the  weapons with strategic deterrence potential. They also tempted Poland with the vision of joining the an elite club of cruise missile users,  alongside such powers  as the United States, Great Britain and France.

 Even in July 2018, the CEO of Naval Group, in an interview with daily Rzeczpospolita, said: “First of all, the offer assumes the supply of new-generation Scorpene submarines, armed with cruise missiles with a range of one thousand kilometers. No one else can offer this. This is an exclusive proposal, with full support from the French government. ” This could have had an impact on the imagination of Polish decision makers, but at the same time lulled them into overlooking such sensitive issues as the known tactical and technical weaknesses of the Scorpenes, or the lack of reliable data on the range and actual operational capabilities of the MdCN rocket, which has never been fired before from a submarine. Therefore, Poland might have become a training ground for the new French weapons, but this latest decision from Paris has saved the Polish taxpayer from bearing the consequences of the possible imperfections of the weapon on offer.

This sensational information from Świerczyński coincided with another event that could support his thesis about the deterioration of relations in the relations between Warsaw and Paris

Dit is een vertaling van het orginele artikel van portalstoczniowy.pl

Future submarines could arrive late and cost more, confidential negotiations reveal

The first of Australia’s new submarines could arrive late and cost substantially more than expected as Defence attempts to finalise the terms of the $50 billion project.

Senior sources confirmed the “unprecedented” offer to allow an extra two years and 25 per cent cost increase was initially rejected by the French owned shipbuilder, Naval Group.

It instead wanted a three-year schedule delay and for an allowance of a 30 per cent increase in delivery costs, but the company later backed down.
The ABC can also reveal that negotiations between Defence officials and Naval Group became so tense that a former senior bureaucrat was hired in a bid to help resolve protracted disagreements.

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Naval Group, then known as DCNS, had been selected for the lucrative project in 2016.

The French bid was successful in a competitive evaluation process (CEP), beating rival offers from Germany’s TKMS and the Japanese Government.

Unlike a regular military tender process, the CEP did not involve detailed commercial contracts being submitted to the Defence Department.

Lees verder op Abc.net.au

RH Marine optimaliseert operationele kosten energiecentrale schepen

Succeeded in incorporating battery lifetime prediction for vessels into its fuel saving Energy Management System (EMS). This makes expensive batteries last longer and reduces Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of ships, while keeping the reduced fuel consumption intact.

For her research paper on ‘New developments in Energy Management’, product manager hybrid portfolio Despoina Mitropoulou of RH Marine together with Louis Elling from the Netherlands Defence Academy won the third prize at the Sir Donald Gosling Award. This annual prize for young engineers was awarded during the 14th International Naval Engineering Conference and Exhibition (INEC) in Glasgow. Over a hundred technical papers were presented there.

Because of an increasing demand for greenhouse gas reduction, more and more vessels are looking into using various energy sources. Besides diesel propulsion, extra energy sources like batteries, micro turbines, fuel cells and variable speed generators are considered. In such systems, energy management becomes crucial.

RH Marine developed its own award-winning Rhodium Energy Management System (EMS), using a self-learning artificial intelligence algorithm that automatically distributes the power demand over the available diesel generators and batteries in the most optimal way. Analysed measured data shows that on seagoing ferries, the EMS saves fuel up to 12 percent, and 11 percent on superyachts. Putting battery shore charging in the mix even reduces fuel consumption on ferries with 38 percent.

To optimise the total performance of a ship, RH Marine wants to further develop its EMS. For instance, by incorporating battery lifetime prediction, power consumption forecasting, generator wear and tear and maintenance requirements of equipment. The first step was to incorporate battery lifetime prediction and power consumption forecast.

Using a simulation for the unpredictable load profile of a hybrid super yacht, Mitropoulou and Elling demonstrated that battery lifetime can be extended by carefully observing lifetime determining quantities, like state of charge (SOC) and the magnitude of charging and discharging currents, thus optimising the TCO.

Additionally, their simulation model for a ferry with a forecasted load demonstrated that power consumption forecast can improve the desired operation.

In their simulation, they adapted the optimization algorithm, making it also consider the battery lifetime as an important goal, besides focussing on saving fuel. This method resulted in the battery achieving its requested lifetime, while preserving fuel savings.

Lees verder op rhmarine.com

EEN NIEUWE GENERATIE SCHEPEN, EEN NIEUWE GENERATIE MARINEPERSONEEL

Binnen 10 jaar is het zover: de vervangers van de M-fregatten, onderzeeboten,  mijnenjagers en het combat support ship, zullen kort na elkaar worden opgeleverd. Kenmerkend voor al deze schepen is dat de hoge automatiseringsgraad van de scheepssystemen, het opleidingsniveau en de samenstelling van de bemanning op elkaar zijn afgestemd. Hierdoor kun je in de toekomst met kleinere bemanningen veel meer doen dan vroeger het geval was. Daarover ging het symposium ‘Manning & Automation’ in Den Helder.

Op 1 november presenteerden onder andere TNO, Defensie, en de defensie-industrie (RH Marine, Thales, en Damen) onderzoeksresultaten van meer dan 30 deelprojecten en studies op het symposium Manning & Automation in Den Helder. Kapitein-luitenant ter zee technische dienst Ton van Heusden, manager van het programma ‘Manning & Automation’, adresseert de jonge generatie marinepersoneel in de zaal: “De dreiging wordt steeds complexer, sneller en gevarieerder. Willen wij hier beter op kunnen anticiperen, dan is een nieuwe generatie geavanceerde schepen onontkoombaar. Deze schepen zullen met steeds minder personeel worden uitgerust, waardoor innovaties in de ondersteuning van de bemanning aan boord noodzakelijk zijn. Een nieuwe generatie schepen uitgerust met een nieuwe generatie personeel.”

MANNING AUTOMATION

De partners in Manning & Automation richten zich op uitwisseling en integratie van informatie uit combat-, platform- en bridgemanagement systemen. Hierdoor ontstaan niet alleen betere systemen maar ook effectievere vormen van gebruik en samenwerking tussen de systemen en de bemanning. Van Heusden: ”Door informatie uit te wisselen tussen de systemen en met de bemanning, optimaliseren we de bedrijfsvoering aan boord en is de Marine in staat om betaalbaar met technisch hoogwaardige schepen te blijven varen. Maar dat is niet alles. De kennis die in Manning & Automation wordt ontwikkeld is niet alleen essentieel voor de Marine. Een onderzoeksinstituut als TNO kijkt naar intelligente autonome systemen die met mensen kunnen samenwerken terwijl industrie als Thales, RH Marine en Damen hun innovatieve slagkracht en innovatietempo kunnen vergroten. Iedere partner speelt zijn eigen cruciale rol. Er is een enorme drive om samen beter te worden!”

ONDERZOEK WORDT ECHT OP DE SCHEPEN GEBRUIKT

Een deel van de resultaten die op de innovatiemarkt zijn gepresenteerd wordt momenteel geschikt gemaakt voor implementatie op de schepen en is onderdeel van het eisenpakket van de nieuwbouwschepen. Voorbeelden zijn digitalisatie van battle damage repair, onderdelen van de informatie uitwisselingstructuur, automatisch re-configureren van koudwatersystemen en de effecten van bemanningsoptimalisatie op het ontwerp en de inrichting van operationele scheepsruimten.

Lees verder op TNO.nl

Morrison close to French submarine deal

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and French President Emmanuel Macron are close to finishing $50 billion submarine building contract.

Australia’s $50 billion deal with France to build new submarines will be personally dealt with between Scott Morrison and Emmanuel Macron in order to get it done quickly.

The prime minister met with the French president at the G20 in Buenos Aires on Friday afternoon local time and they discussed the submarine strategic partnership agreement.

“We made a lot of progress there, the SPA is progressing extremely well,” Mr Morrison told reporters after the meeting in Argentina.

“We agreed that we can elevate that back up to leader-level to ensure it’s finalised in the near term.”

Lees verder op Theherald.com.au

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