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How Romania want to lose Naval Group at all costs in favor of Damen

For unclear reasons, Romania is desperately trying to win the Dutch Damen at the expense of Naval Group … who won the tender. Paris is ready to step up to defend the offer of naval group.

Naval Group could certainly lose the tender for the sale of four Gowind corvettes it has yet won in Romania, according to sources concurring. How is it possible? The Romanian government, which is expected to announce the selection of a supplier on January 12, has long been rolling for Damen, a partner in the Romanian yard Galati, of which 49% of the capital is held by the Dutch naval group, alongside the Romanian state (51%). This is particularly the case of one of the most powerful men in Romania, the Social Democrat President of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea, who makes and defeats governments.

But a very, very big grain of sand has stopped the process as imagined by Bucharest: Naval Group, in cooperation with the Romanian yard SNC, presented to the bad surprise of the Romanian authorities in early December when opening the envelopes, the best-performing offer in terms of price for four Gowind corvettes manufactured in Romania: 1.2 billion euros, against 1.25 billion for Damen and 1.34 billion for Fincantieri. A real icy shower for Bucharest, which already had to cancel a process of acquiring four corvettes for procedural irregularities committed in favor of Damen in 2016.

Find a reason to bring down Naval Group
For the Romanians, the result of early December is messy. All the more so since the Romanian press’s revelations of the alleged corruption of Damen have flourished in many articles in recent weeks. For the government, the whole question is to find a parade to legally assign the contract to Damen and dress this decision by artifice. It is from here that some maneuvers (audit, prolonged examination of the file …) come to make Naval Group fall or, at best, bog down the file and thus avoid a victory of the French naval group. In Paris, this situation and these behaviors that crossed the white line exasperated at the highest level. Moreover, it is expected, according to our information, that Florence Parly calls her new counterpart Gabriel Les, appointed November 20 last instead of Mihai Fifor, an opponent of Liviu Dragnea. A timely discussion as the new Romanian Defense Minister announced on 3 December, during a political broadcast on B1TV, that the government’s decision would be unveiled on 12 January. The Minister of defense should remind Bucharest that France is very attached to the rules of international law. In Romania, former President Traian Băsescu (2004-2014), accused on November 20, via his Facebook account, Liviu Dragnea, to want to influence the tender.

Is France a partner for Romania?
In 2008, France and Romania concluded a strategic partnership. A partnership that has been reaffirmed several times, and again recently. During the visit of the Romanian President to Paris on November 27, Klaus Iohannis, the two countries, in a context of increasing instability of our strategic environment, explained that “the strengthening of cooperation in the field of defense will continue to represent a priority, based on the commitments made by both countries in the EU and NATO framework and in support of the objectives of the EU-NATO Strategic Partnership “. In addition, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, went to Romania on 24 and 25 August 2017.

The corvette case is also reminiscent of another complicated case, which has become clearer in recent weeks: Airbus Helicopters. Bucharest has been walking for two years with the builder in Marignane while dredging openly in parallel, the American Bell helicopters, while Romania has forged a cooperation of almost 50 years with Airbus Helicopters, The Romanians had been in March in the United States, which has two military bases in Romania. Specifically, they went to Bell’s headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, to the American manufacturer’s factory in Amarillo, and finally to Pendleton Camp to talk to the Marines about the Viper. According to our information, the Romanians have backtracked.

Dit is een vertaling van het orginele bericht te raadplegen via: Latribune.fr

Bijleveld: vertrek Mattis is verschrikkelijk

DEN HAAG – Minister Ank Bijleveld van Defensie vindt het „verschrikkelijk” dat haar Amerikaanse ambtgenoot James Mattis eind februari opstapt. „Hij houdt altijd de samenwerking met de bondgenoten in de gaten en dat is voor Nederland van ontzettend belang.”

Bijleveld hoopt „van harte” dat de opvolger van Mattis diens beleid voortzet en dat de lijn van „echt investeren in bondgenootschappen en samenwerking niet verlaten wordt.” Bijleveld gaat haar Amerikaanse collega zelf ook nog bellen om te zeggen hoe vervelend ze zijn vertrek vindt.

Lees verder op Telegraaf.nl

WEG AND PRAXIS SIGN MOU TO SUPPORT DAMEN SAAB BID FOR THE BRAZILIAN NAVY

On December 13th, Brazilian company WEG Electric Equipment and Dutch company Praxis Automation Technology, both leading companies within their respective fields, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the bid of Damen Shipyards Group and Saab for the construction of four corvettes for the Brazilian Navy. For the Tamandaré class corvettes bid, Praxis and WEG will be partners for the supply of the complete Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS).

The signing took place at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in the Netherlands and was witnessed by staff from Damen, Saab and its strategic Brazilian partner Wilson Sons Estaleiros.

Praxis and WEG already have a track record of cooperation in Brazil, with the two companies jointly installing equipment on board more than 40 vessels built by Wilson Sons Estaleiros and designed by Damen, including the first diesel-electric PSV in Brazil. Praxis develops, manufactures and delivers innovative automation and navigation equipment, while WEG is a Brazilian technology company that among many other activities is active in the area of industrial automation.

With this MoU, the Damen Saab Tamandaré consortium is ensuring another strong partnership with two leading Brazilian companies, which will be part of the project to build four corvettes in Brazil. It proves the intention of the consortium to present a credible and reliable offer to the Brazilian Navy with a proven ship design (SIGMA 10514), a world class Combat Management System and strong partnerships with Brazilian companies for the construction and ‘through life support’ of the future Tamandaré class.

Lees verder op Damen.com

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

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