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Categorie: Internationale ontwikkelingen (pagina 2 van 22)

Collins Class Submarine

ASC built Australia’s fleet of Collins class submarines in Adelaide between 1990 and 2003, and now provides design enhancements, maintenance and through-life support of the six-vessel fleet at the Osborne Naval Shipyard. The Collins class submarines are the most complex military vessel built in Australia, with each vessel taking 2.5 million hours to assemble. Widely regarded as the world’s best conventional submarine, the Collins class employs some of the most technologically advanced sonar systems, decoy methods and radars.

A workforce of about 1000, including designers, engineers and tradespeople, supports the fleet in South Australia, which will continue until the end of its operational life. The support involves full-cycle dockings, as well as design enhancements to ensure the fleet remains at the cutting edge of submarine technology.

A full-cycle docking is an extensive maintenance and upgrade refit program, typically involving thousands of tasks over two years, which each submarine rotates through after a decade of operational service. During a full-cycle docking, ASC cuts the hull of the submarine to remove the main motor and diesel engines before re-welding the hull, effectively rebuilding the submarine.

ASC is the platform system integrator on current Collins modification projects, which include platform systems improvements, combat system replacement, weapon and sensor enhancements, and communications mast and antenna replacement.

The Collins Class submarine fleet will be upgraded and have its service life extended to ensure capability is maintained until the Future Submarines are introduced into service in the early 2030s.

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Collins Class Submarines

The Collins Class project was established in 1982 to provide six new Australian built submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. The Collins Class submarines are the second largest non-nuclear powered submarines in the world.

Replacing the RAN’s Oberon Class submarines, the Collins Class design was required to meet the unique needs of the Navy.

The Collins Class submarines would be required to travel great distances, operate in varying environments from cool southern oceans to warm, shallow tropical waters, deploy state-of-the-art weapons and be ready to perform anti-submarine, anti-shipping and intelligence gathering missions, among others.

The submarines would also be required to protect Australia through their very existence, acting as a strategic deterrent to any enemy forces.

In 1987, the newly formed Australian Submarine Corporation (now ASC Pty Ltd), began the task of designing and building what was then the most sophisticated conventional submarine in the world. The submarines’ design was based on the Type 471 design from Swedish shipbuilder Kockums.

Construction of the first Collins Class submarine, HMAS Collins, commenced in 1990 and was delivered to the RAN in 1996. The sixth and final boat, HMAS Rankin, was delivered to the RAN in 2003.

The Collins Class submarines are a key element of the Australian Defence Force, as an intelligence-gathering platform during peace time and as a forceful opponent during times of war. The six submarine class of HMAS Collins, HMAS Farncomb, HMAS Waller, HMAS Dechaineux, HMAS Sheean and HMAS Rankin achieves a balance between innovation and proven technical superiority. They are designed to be as near to noiseless as advanced technology can achieve.

Regarded as the best large conventional diesel-powered submarine in the world, the Collins Class are packed with high level technological and performance capability.

The control and monitoring of shipboard functions are handled by the ship-wide integrated ship control, management and monitoring system. The system uses special and general purpose processors linked by two sets of redundant serial data buses. In addition, the system provides a high level of automation, allowing the crew size to be significantly smaller than that of other conventional submarines.

The Collins Class’ manoeuvrability functions include four aft control surfaces individually actuated to provide superior manoeuvrability and inherent redundancy.  The submarines are deep-diving and can travel at speeds greater than 20 knots (submerged) and 10 knots (surfaced).

The submarines have six forward torpedo tubes and are able to carry up to 22 torpedoes or anti-ship missiles, or up to 44 mines in place of torpedoes.

They are also able to employ sophisticated countermeasures which provide automatic detection, direction finding and identification of radar signals. The Collins Class has technologically advanced sonar systems, decoy methods and radars and its systems are regularly upgraded.

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“Europa moet 100 miljard dollar meer uitgeven aan defensie om beloften aan VS en NAVO in te lossen”

De Europese landen moeten meer dan 100 miljard dollar (88,7 miljard euro) extra uitgeven aan defensie, om de beloften te kunnen inlossen aan de VS en de NAVO. Dat blijkt uit een studie van het ‘International Institute for Strategic Studies’ (IISS), een in Londen gebaseerde denktank.

In 2014 hadden de Europese NAVO-lidstaten beloofd 2 procent van het bbp te spenderen aan defensie tegen 2024. De Amerikaanse president Donald Trump uitte herhaaldelijk kritiek op de trage groei van de defensie-uitgaven. Volgens hem zijn die ruim onvoldoende. Het ongeduld van Trump over die kwestie leidde tot vrees over een mogelijk lager Amerikaans engagement in de NAVO. De cijfers die het IISS publiceerde in de marge van de jaarlijkse veiligheidsconferentie in München, tonen dat de 27 Europese NAVO-leden 102 miljard dollar te weinig uitgeven om vanaf 2018 dat doel te halen. Volgens het rapport moeten de militaire uitgaven met 38 procent omhoog.

De Duitse minister van Defensie erkende vandaag dat de Europeanen getalmd hebben met een verhoging van de defensiebudgetten, maar verzekerde tegelijk dat ze nu, met Berlijn op kop, op de goede weg zijn. “De agressie van Rusland tegen Oekraïne was nodig opdat we er werk van maakten. Alle Europese bondgenoten hebben sindsdien hun defensie-uitgaven verhoogd”, aldus Ursula von der Leyen. Ook volgens de secretaris-generaal van de verdragsorganisatie, Jens Stoltenberg, is er beterschap. Hij zei dinsdag dat tegen volgend jaar, de Europese lidstaten en Canada 100 miljard dollar meer zullen uitgeven aan defensie.

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Scott Morrison ally helps French lock in submarine ‘contract of the century’ with Australia

A long-awaited contract for the $50 billion Future Submarine program will be signed in Canberra today by France and Australia, following months of tough negotiations and the recruitment of a high-powered lobbyist.

The ABC can reveal one of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s key political confidants was recently hired by the French state-owned shipbuilder Naval Group to help improve a rocky relationship with the Defence department, and to secure a crucial Strategic Partnering Agreement (SPA).

“ECG Advisory Solutions”, a lobbying firm founded by former Liberal party candidate David Gazard, has been advising Naval Group since last year on how to handle the difficult SPA negotiations with Australia. Mr  Gazard, who was chief of staff to former New South Wales Liberal leader John Brogden, began his friendship with Mr Morrison when he was the Liberal Party’s State Director for the 2003 election. In a statement, Naval Group confirmed the arrangement but did not disclose how much Mr Gazard’s company was being paid for its lobbying services.

“As an integral part of our commitment to the Future Submarine Program, Naval Group is committed to building effective partnerships with the Commonwealth of Australia and Australian industry,” a company spokesperson told the ABC. “For that purpose we are seeking external advice.”

Mr Morrison discussed progress on the SPA with French President Emmanuel Macron at the G20 summit in late November, and told reporters they had agreed to elevate it “back up to leader-level to ensure it’s finalised in the near term”. It is understood Mr Gazard has since helped the French broker a deal with the Australian government, although ECG Advisory Solutions declined to comment on its role. French industry groups have described the $50 billion dollar submarine deal with Australia as the “contract of the century” and the country’s Defence Minister Florence Parly is flying to Canberra to sign the crucial document.

In 2016 former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Naval Group, then known as DCNS, had beaten rival bids from Germany and Japan to build 12 new submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. The first of the conventionally powered submarines, to be known as the “Attack Class”, is scheduled to begin operational service in the mid-2030s.

However last year the ABC revealed that Defence Minister Christopher Pyne had grown so frustrated with the French company over its handling of commercial negotiations, he cancelled meetings with some of its visiting top officials. In December, Mr Pyne rejected another ABC report revealing that Defence had offered a two-year extension to Naval Group as it tried to lock in the Strategic Partnering Agreement.

Australia will pay France millions if submarine deal collapses

In line with other major defence contracts, Australia will be forced to pay millions of dollars in compensation to France if the future submarine program is terminated, according to the confidential SPA to be signed today. The ABC has seen a section of the SPA document, prepared last year, detailing at which point certain “break payments” will be invoked if Australia decides to walk away from the massive contract. The Defence Department has confirmed the SPA includes “provisions to manage termination on a fair and equitable basis, depending on the circumstances leading to termination”.

A defence spokesperson told the ABC it would be “inappropriate to discuss the details of commercial arrangements agreed with Naval Group”.

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Nieuwe mijnenbestrijdingsvaartuigen, dit is het voorstel van Damen en Imtech

De aanbesteding van de mijnenbestrijdingsvaartuigen gaat rap richting de finale. Alle aanbieders hebben in oktober 2018 hun voorstellen ingediend en de verwachting is dat in februari of maart bekend zal worden welk ontwerp daadwerkelijk wordt gebouwd. De spanning stijgt, zo ook in Vlissingen waar Damen met maar liefst twee verschillende voorstellen hoopt op een succes. Centraal binnen de twee voorstellen staat hetzelfde schip. Daar wordt nu voor het eerst meer over bekend. 

Damen is samen met Imtech Belgium één van de aanbieders in de strijd om twaalf mijnenbestrijdingsvaartuigen voor België en Nederland. De andere partijen zijn Belgium Naval & Robotics (waarin de Franse bedrijven Naval Group en ECA de hoofdmoot vormen) en Sea Naval Solutions (de Belgisch-Franse combinatie bestaande uit EDR, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Thales en Socarenam). Naval Group wil niet veel kwijt over hun aanbod en Sea Naval Solutions heeft al erg vroeg meer over hun voorstel bekend gemaakt. Ook Saab lichtte een tipje van de sluier op, maar trok zich halverwege 2018 terug uit de aanbesteding.

Twee voorstellen
Zoals gezegd heeft Damen met Imtech Belgium zich met twee voorstellen in de strijd om de MCMV’s gemeld. Het verschil zit ‘m in de middelen die het schip heeft om mijnen te bestrijden, ofwel de toolbox, waardoor de Belgische en Nederlandse marines een variant extra kunnen bekijken. Deze middelen moeten volgens de aanbestedingseisen bestaan uit o.a. onderwaterdrones (AUV’s en UUV’s), oppervlaktedrones (USV’s) en vliegende drones (UAV’s). In het ene voorstel komen die van Atlas Elektronik en in het andere voorstel van OIP-Elbit. In volgende artikelen wordt aandacht aan die twee toolboxen besteed.

Het schip
Centraal staat het MCM-moederschip. Het voorstel van Damen is een schip van 91,3 meter en met een waterverplaatsing van 3025 ton. Qua lengte zit dit schip tussen de hydrografische opnemingsvaartuigen (Snelliusklasse) en de patrouilleschepen van de Hollandklasse in, maar komt met de waterverplaatsing dicht bij de M-fregatten. De romp komt echter nog veel meer overeen met het nieuwe opleidingsschip voor de Australische marine, MV Sycamore, dat Damen in 2017 in Sydney afleverde; het rompontwerp werd als basis gebruikt voor het mijnenbestrijdingsvaartuig. Overigens is de Sycamore weer gebaseerd op het OPV 2400-ontwerp van Damen. Het schip is in tegenstelling tot de huidige Nederlandse en Belgische mijnenjagers van staal. Dat kan ook want het schip moet op afstand mijnen bestrijden, toch is aandacht besteed aan reductie van de onderwatersignatuur op akoestisch, magnetisch en elektrisch vlak tot op het niveau van een fregat.  Verder wordt gebruik gemaakt van een dieselelektrische voortstuwing, de dieselgeneratoren wekken stroom op voor de elektromotoren. Hiermee wordt de onderwatersignatuur gereduceerd, is er een hoge mate van redundantie en wordt de uitstoot beperkt. Het schip haalt een snelheid van ruim 15 knopen.

Op sensorgebied heeft het schip een zee- en luchtbeeldradar en natuurlijk een Mine Avoidance Sonar, plus een (radar en elektro-optische) vuurleiding tegen lucht- een zeedoelen. Deze doelen kunnen aangevallen worden met een 30mm kanon dat op de bak staat. De belangrijkste middelen die het schip heeft zijn uiteraard de tools. Een vliegende drone kan opereren vanaf het vliegdek. Daaronder bevindt zich de USV/ toolbox garage. Dit is een ruimte waar twee onbemande scheepjes (USV’s ) in passen met een lengte van circa twaalf meter of twee containers. Meer containers kunnen een dek lager ook gehuisvest worden, net als op het halfdek. De USV’s zetten ook de onderwaterdrones in.

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Canadian navy pushing ahead on repairs to submarine fleet

OTTAWA — The Department of National Defence is pushing ahead with plans to extend the lives of Canada’s submarine fleet, with the head of the navy hoping some work will start in the coming months.

The movement comes as countries around the world have stepped up investments in their submarine and anti-submarine fleets to protect their waters — and operate in waters not under their control.
Canada’s four Victoria-class submarines have a troubled history since they were bought second-hand from Britain in 1998, with successive governments investing hundreds of millions of dollars in constant repairs and upgrades.

But in an interview with The Canadian Press, Royal Canadian Navy commander Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd said the diesel-powered submarines — HMCS Chicoutimi, Victoria, Corner Brook and Windsor — have finally turned a corner. Lloyd specifically pointed to HMCS Chicoutimi’s having recently spent 197 days in the Pacific and Asia even as HMCS Windsor was patrolling the Mediterranean with NATO as proof the submarines are living up to their potential.

“The fact we had two boats concurrently deployed, if that doesn’t speak to the success of the program, I don’t know what does,” said Lloyd, who will retire from the military later this year after three years as navy commander.

The clock has been ticking on the four vessels: without upgrades, the first of the submarines will reach the end of its life in 2022, according to documents obtained through access to information, while the last will retire in 2027. But the Liberals’ defence policy promised to extend the lives of the vessels and Lloyd said defence officials are now working through the details to make sure they can continue to operate into the 2030s.

More extensive work is expected to start in about three or four years but Lloyd said efforts are underway to start implementing some minor upgrades by March.Exactly how much upgrading all four submarines will cost remains uncertain, but Lloyd said the figure that officials are working with is about $2 billion.Some experts have previously called for Canada to consider new submarines, rather than extending the lives of the ones it has, but the government has said upgrading the Victoria-class ships is more “prudent.”

Other experts have said the country doesn’t need such expensive vessels. But many other countries around the world are investing in submarine and antisubmarine fleets. NATO has specifically raised concerns about Russian submarines in the North Atlantic, while Canadian frigate commanders patrolling in the Atlantic and Mediterranean have reported more foreign submarines in recent years.

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France, Germany aim to unify their clashing weapons-export rules

COLOGNE, Germany — The German Cabinet has approved a new, high-level pact with France that calls for a common approach to weapons exports in all joint programs.

The objective is included in the so-called Aachener Vertrag, slated to be signed by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the German city of Aachen on Jan. 22. The document is meant to be a milestone agreement complementary of the Élysée Treaty, signed 56 years ago, further cementing ties on all levels between the former World War II foes.

Berlin and France previously clashed over the question of export limitations for the Future Combat Air System, a sixth-generation warplane envisioned to take flight sometime around 2040, Germany’s Der Spiegel reported last fall. France generally is open to exporting arms to many governments willing to pay for them. German leaders profess to take a more cautious approach when human rights concerns crop up, though the government has a history of making arms deals through the back door anyway. The different philosophies came to a head following the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Oct. 2, which some have alleged was orchestrated by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Saudi ruling family has denied the allegations, buoyed by the Trump administration’s decision to play down the matter.

The allegations led Merkel to publicly call for halting weapons exports to Saudi Arabia, a move that drew a sharp rebuke from Paris, where officials fumed about what they perceived as German sanctimoniousness.

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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.

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Government ‘hiding behind EU rules’ to offshore shipbuilding contracts say union

Unions have told Ministers that shipbuilding in Britain could face multiple yard closures in 2019 if they continue to use European regulations to avoid building support vessels in the UK.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Stewart Andrew MP, who invited competitive tenders from shipyards in Spain, Italy, Japan and South Korea last Friday has told MPs and campaigners that the MoD will not classify the vessels as warships, which would guarantee their design, manufacture and maintenance in Britain. Instead they say the ships are subject to EU state aid funding rules (Article 346 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union) which say that commercial ships must be open to international competition.

What is Article 346?

EU law requires most government contracts to be procured via an open, competitive process. The main EU legislation in the defence domain is the Defence and Security Directive 2009/81/EC, transposed into UK law by Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011.13

However, Article 346 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) provides for an exemption to the procurement rules where a country considers it to be necessary for national security reasons: “any Member State may take such measures as it considers necessary for the protection of the essential interests of its security which are connected with the production of or trade in arms, munitions and war material”. Article 346 refers to a list drawn up in 1958 by the Council of Ministers of products to which the provisions

At a meeting with national officials and representatives from yards who are either closing or under threat, the unions’ anger was expressed that UK shipyards are being forced to compete against shipyards who receive direct or indirect state subsidy. They are calling on the Ministers to apply for a derogation under existing EU regulations on national security grounds. Independent research, conducted by Defence Analysis, shows that £7.5bn worth of contracts for fleet auxiliary ships, minesweepers, survey ships and landing docks could potentially be put out to international competition by 2030 under the current plans.

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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.

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