McLean VA December 7, 2015 - To ensure the readiness of its shipborne weapons systems, navies worldwide regularly perform live fire target practice, frequently using retired ships or other vessels. For the Indian Navy, Alion Science and Technology provided signature analysis (radar cross section and infrared radiation) and ABG Shipyard of Mumbai, India built and delivered the Battle Practice Target vessel. The vessel is designed to improve training outcomes while reducing the cost to the government. Earlier this year, the Indian Navy accepted the first of these vessels.
“The challenge was to develop a versatile ship design and electronic package that would allow the Indian Navy to train against multiple types of enemy ships while also providing a more cost-effective solution than in the past”
Traditionally, floating targets are sunk during weapons training, making this a costly procedure. In addition, the radically different physical and electronic characteristics of possible opponents requires the Navy to obtain and replace a large number of target ships. The Battle Practice Target floating barges have the ability to simulate ships of varying sizes by means of radar reflectors and infra-red generators.
“The challenge was to develop a versatile ship design and electronic package that would allow the Indian Navy to train against multiple types of enemy ships while also providing a more cost-effective solution than in the past,” explained Rod Riddick, Alion’s Executive Vice President for Maritime Programs. “The topside design we developed, and ABG built, had to meet the Indian Navy’s very strict requirements, and we are happy to say that the first vessel was accepted as meeting all conditions.”
Riddick added that a key element of the barge design is that it possesses a very low radar cross section and infrared signature. Using Alion’s proprietary RIVEO (Radar Infrared Visual Electro-Optical) software, signature analyses were performed throughout the design process, which supported multiple iterations of the design in a very short period.