Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Imtech Marine improves crew welfare by offering their local newspapers on PressReader

Rotterdam July 22, 2014 - Today, Imtech Marine announced that ship’s crews will have access to PressReader as a new value-added service to its satellite communications portfolio. Starting in August, Imtech Marine customers will be able to use PressReader for access to full content of more than 2,500 newspapers and magazines in 60 languages from more than 100 countries. These can be read on PressReader via a crew member’s PC, laptop and mobile devices on board vessels. PressReader and its cross-platform app give users access to thousands of global publications with just one subscription.
“By adding PressReader to our connectivity portfolio we give a very useful tool for ship-owners to improve the crew morale. With this solution, crew members have access to news and events they’re most interested in, their favorite magazines or local news from their home country”, said Rob Verkuil, Business Development Manager of Imtech Marine.
Each ship can customize a library of newspapers and magazines based on their particular regional location and passenger demographics. Ships download their selected titles daily via satellite and offer their crew members a local Wi-Fi connection to download them on their personal devices. With this solution, costs remain low for ships while still being able to provide quality service and amenity to the crew. Once a title is downloaded it can be viewed by PressReader users anytime, anywhere throughout the trip.
“The wealth of titles makes it easy for ships to customize a library of publications that caters to the diversity of their crew,” said Igor Smirnoff, chief commercial officer at PressReader. “Our PressReader Offline solution is a new industry standard and it has been specifically designed to meet the needs of the marine customers. We are proud to be able to bring them a little bit of home away from home.”
PressReader offers thousands of well-known titles likes The Guardian, The Moscow Times, The Washington Post, China Daily and The Philippine Star. Imtech Marine will demonstrate PressReader at their booth at SMM in Hamburg this September.

US Navy Selects Northrop Grumman for Ship Self-Defense System

McLean VA July 22, 2014 - The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $12 million task order for a full range of engineering services to continue modernizing the Ship Self-Defense System Mark 2 (SSDS MK2). The contract has a potential value of $61 million over five years, if all options are exercised.
SSDS MK2 is a combat system designed for anti-air defense of U.S. and coalition partner aircraft carriers and amphibious ships. The system coordinates the ship's existing sensors, self-defense weapons and countermeasures to shorten the detect-to-engage cycle.
"The system is critical to enhance the self-defense capabilities of the Navy's aircraft carriers and amphibious ships," said Mike Barrett, director, maritime combat systems, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "It's important we continue migrating toward COTS [commercial off-the-shelf] equipment to improve performance and enable increased cybersecurity."
The task order was awarded under the SeaPort-e indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract vehicle. Under the direction of the Combat Direction Systems Activity (CDSA), Dam Neck, Virginia Beach, the company will provide life cycle engineering, system engineering and integration, and hardware prototype development. Replacing obsolete components with open systems COTS computing hardware will allow adaptable deployment of more current and secure capabilities.
With the SSDS MK2 program, Northrop Grumman continues its decade-long collaboration with CDSA delivering flexible, quality engineering services for naval combat systems.

Saab completes acquisition of TKMS AB (Kockums)

July 22, 2014 - Defence and security company Saab's acquisition of the Swedish shipyard Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems AB (TKMS AB formerly Kockums) has now been completed. The acquisition strengthens Saab's position as a comprehensive supplier of naval military systems. 
The required decisions and approvals for Saab's acquisition of Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems AB (TKMS AB) have now been granted. The company will become a business unit within Saab's business area Security and Defence Solutions. The business unit is named Saab Kockums. Saab expects that operations will continue to be carried out primarily in Malmö, Karlskrona and Muskö.
In June, Saab and FMV signed a Letter of Intent regarding the Swedish armed forces’ underwater capabilities. With the acquisition of TKMS AB, Saab, together with the Swedish authority, is able to ensure access to the existing knowledge and intellectual properties (IPR) necessary for continued development, production and maintenance in the underwater sector for both the Swedish and the international markets.
"The acquisition is in line with our strategy to expand our offering and strengthen Saab's position in the market for naval systems. Kockums has a unique offering and a strong local presence in Sweden concerning submarines and warships. The acquisition makes us a complete supplier of naval military systems. We also see good potential to expand the company's current market position through opportunities in the export market," says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab. 
"We are now beginning the integration of Kockums with Saab, focusing on reaching full capacity and we are starting work immediately with the orders placed by Sweden as well as deliveries to other existing customers. This will be followed by efforts to increase operational efficiency and profitability. This is key in order to be globally competitive in the long term. There are also good synergies to achieve with Saab's current naval operations," says Gunilla Fransson, head of Saab’s business area Security and Defence Solutions.

Australian Navy’s LCHs Sail in Formation for the Final Time


July 21, 2014 - The Australian Navy’s three remaining Landing Craft Heavy auxiliary vessels put on a display to the Cairns community, sailing in formation from the city’s harbour this morning.
This was the last time HMA Ships Brunei, Labuan and Tarakan will sail in-company together in the port they have called home for nearly thirty years.
Commanding Officer of Brunei, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Richardson said the formation exit marks the start of the ships’ decommissioning voyages.
“The first of the Balikpapan class ships arrived in Cairns in the mid-eighties. Since that time, they have been an enduring presence in the region.
“Today’s departure is the last time the community will see us sail as a group. The Landing Craft will decommission at a ceremony in Cairns in November,” Lieutenant Commander Richardson said.
Following the departure, the Landing Craft will conduct training and transit to Cowley Beach, for a final beach landing. The ships will then part company and visit Bundaberg, Bowen, Ballina, Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, Noumea and Honiara.
Reflecting on their years of service, Lieutenant Commander Richardson said the auxiliary vessels have provided essential support to the Australian community.
“Over their forty years of service, the landing craft have provided an important sea lift capability,” he said.
“They’ve been the backbone of many deployments to the Solomon Islands, Bougainville and East Timor. They were there to help Darwin after cyclone Tracy in 1974 and more recently, they assisted Queensland in the clean up after Cyclone Yasi in 2011.”
“While it will be sad to see them retired, it is an exciting time, as Navy prepares for the new Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock ships,” Lieutenant Commander Richardson said.
Until recently the Royal Australian Navy operated six Balikpapan class vessels out of Cairns and Darwin. In December 2012, HMA Ships Wewak, Balikpapan and Betano were decommissioned.

Ultra awarded contract by New Zealand MoD for ANZAC Upgrade


July 21, 2014 - Ultra announces that its Sonar Systems business, based in Greenford, Middlesex, has been awarded a contract, worth £9.9m for the provision of its Sea Sentor Surface Ship Torpedo Defence (SSTD) system to be used for New Zealand’s ANZAC Frigate Systems Upgrade (FSU) programme. Negotiations completed with a contract signing ceremony on 11th July at the New Zealand MoD Defence House in Wellington.
Under this contract the Group will deliver two Sea Sentor SSTD Systems. The SSTD system delivers a single in-line towed array solution utilising a passive tow for detection, classification and localisation of the threat posed to a ship’s safety by incoming torpedoes fired from a hostile submarine. The system features a flexible towed body countermeasure able to decoy and jam all torpedo types, including wake-homing torpedoes, and optional launchers can further deploy expendable countermeasures.
The ANZAC FSU project will upgrade the surveillance, combat and self-defence capabilities of the ANZAC frigates to match current and future threats and address the obsolescence of some of the current systems. Ultra is looking forward to working with the New Zealand MoD and the Royal Navy New Zealand on this important project.
Rakesh Sharma, Chief Executive of Ultra commented, “I am pleased Ultra has been awarded this contract to work in partnership with the New Zealand MoD, showing continued growth in the maritime sector. Ultra continues to expand its Sonar capabilities to meets its customer needs and this has been recognised by the contract award.”

Boeing Delivers Upgraded French AWACS Aircraft

Boeing delivered the first of four upgraded French AWACS aircraft July 22. The modifications increase the fleet’s surveillance, communications and battle management capabilities. Photo by Vincent Guisiano, French Air Force.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Thales I-Master radar gets new Maritime mode


Farnborough July 14, 2014 - Thales announced today at Farnborough International Airshow 2014 that its I-Master radar is now available with a Maritime Moving Target Indication (MMTI) mode. The new maritime capability, enabled through a software package, can be used simultaneously with the existing Ground Moving Target Indication (GMTI) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) modes.
The choice of modes in a single sensor, together with its small form factor and high-performance capability, makes I-Master ideally suited for a wide range of manned and unmanned platforms.
MMTI allows users to detect and track targets on water: from small, fast-moving craft such as jet-skis; to larger, slower vessels such as ships and tankers, in all weather conditions, day and night. Algorithms designed specifically by Thales allow users to perform a range of tasks that include detecting unusual vessel movements, perform “pattern of life” analysis, and conduct persistent tracking of targeted vessels.
With MMTI mode, I-Master can now see the widest range of man-made movement, from an individual walking on the land to a ship sailing on the sea, and everything in between, using a single sensor.
The new maritime mode is designed for customers seeking to monitor maritime borders and exclusive economic zones, protect strategic maritime assets, and track the movement of vessels not using the
Marine Automatic Identification System.
I-Master is a world-leading 360º radar sensor, easily installed in an existing 15 inch EO turret mounting point weighing less than 30kg. It is ideally suited for a range of manned and unmanned aircraft, both fixed and rotary winged. It is a high performance sensor designed within the demanding size, weight and power (SWaP) constraints imposed by smaller air platforms.
“We have taken our best-in-class I-Master radar and made it even better by adding a maritime mode through the addition of a software package. This allows our customers to monitor wide areas of land and sea simultaneously through a single sensor, making I-Master an ideal solution for airborne surveillance requirements,” said Eddie Awang, Thales VP in charge of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance business.