Thursday, December 15, 2016

USS Arizona Survivor Gets First Live Look Inside Submerged Battleship in Nearly 75 Years Using Deep Trekker ROV

Deep Trekker

November 25, 2016 - Deep Trekker Inc. announced today that its portable remotely operating vehicle (ROV), the DTG2, could offer the first live view inside USS Arizona to one of the last remaining survivors from the ship. The Arizona was a U.S. battleship destroyed in the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Working in partnership with the National Parks Service (NPS) Submerged Resources Center, WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Autodesk Inc. and E-trac Inc., Deep Trekker staff were on-site to support sonar surveying of the battleship using the larger Deep Trekker ROV, the DTX2. While onsite, the team was asked to perform the first live survey for Donald Stratton and his family who were in attendance. The viewing will be broadcast in the PBS documentary “Pearl Harbor – Into the Arizona,” airing Wednesday, November 23 and December 7.
Donald Stratton, 94, served four years in the United States Navy and was on board the USS Arizona December 7, 1941, the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Seventy-five years later, he returned to Pearl Harbor to witness the multi-faceted survey of the ship.
“Experiencing the ship with Mr. Stratton watching live was absolutely one of the most emotional and touching experiences of my life,” explained Sam Macdonald, President of Deep Trekker Inc., who was piloting the DTG2 ROV for Mr. Stratton and Brett Seymore, deputy chief of the NPS Submerged Resources Center who was providing directions and commentary for the survey. “It was not part of our original plan during our time in Pearl Harbor, and we were extremely honored to have been asked to take part.”
As a matter of dignity and respect to those for whom the USS Arizona is a final resting place, and the danger presented by the aging vessel to divers, NPS upholds a policy of no non-official diving and no human diver penetration into the battleship.
It was because of the portability plus ease of use and deployment that Deep Trekker DTG2 could assist in the project. Spherical, and about the size of a basketball, the underwater drone from could be deployed in just minutes, and maneuver through small and otherwise unreachable areas. The system has internal batteries, requiring no generators or additional equipment to operate the system, while still being robust enough to carry payloads of sediment and water sampling tools, and sonar systems.

“We learned a great deal about the needs of underwater archaeologists at Pearl Harbor and ways we can further push ROV technology to solve the many mysteries of maritime heritage shipwrecks overall,” says Sam. “Simplicity in deployment continues to be one of our cornerstones as we push to bring new technologies to the market that will open up new worlds of discovery in the oceans.”

Portsmouth will be ready to be the home of Britain’s new carriers

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon opens the new Ark Royal Building at HMNB Portsmouth in preparation for the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth next Spring. © Crown Copyright

November 25, 2016 - A £120m investment will mean that Portsmouth Naval Base will be ready for Britain’s biggest ever warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon told personnel at the ship’s new home today.
The Defence Secretary was speaking during a tour of the new facilities being built to support the first of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers, which include power facilities, a reinforced jetty, and an area equivalent to over 200 football pitches dredged in the harbour so far.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
Britain’s new aircraft carriers are the biggest and most powerful warships ever built for our Royal Navy.  The over £100 million being invested in Portsmouth Naval Base will ensure that it is a fitting and state-of-the-art home for our new warships from spring next year.
The Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales will lead our powerful and growing Royal Navy and reflect that, in a dangerous world, Britain is stepping up.
The Defence Secretary also opened Portsmouth’s brand new Ark Royal facility and met the personnel responsible for clearing historic ordnance uncovered by dredging work. The Ark Royal Facility will provide the ships company with top of the range facilities before they embark onto the ship for training and operations.
To prepare the harbour and dockyard infrastructure for the 65,000 tonne carriers, 276 metres of jetty have been reinforced with over 3,300 tonnes of new steel work. New navigation lights have been installed in the harbour and Solent, with huge new fenders and gangways delivered to accommodate the giant ships.
Commander of HMNB Portsmouth, Commodore Jeremy Rigby said:
With the opening of Ark Royal building today, we have reached another important milestone in the preparations to get Portsmouth Naval Base ready for HMS Queen Elizabeth. I was delighted to be able to show the Defence Secretary how the last pieces of the complex jigsaw of getting the Naval Base ready for the new era, are falling into place.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the QEC First of Class, is now well into her commissioning phase. It is expected that she will leave Rosyth for Sea Trials in early 2017 and arrive at her new home in Portsmouth in late spring 2017. These infrastructure works form a major nautical-milestone on her journey to becoming an operational warship, ready for duty: a journey that will see her deploy in every ocean around the world over the next five decades.

Defence Minister Inducts Four Indigenous Naval Systems

November 18, 2016 - The Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar handed over four Naval Systems developed by DRDO to the Indian Navy at a special ceremony here today. The four indigenously developed naval systems viz. ABHAY, HUMSA UG, NACS and AIDSS which will boost underwater surveillance capability of the Indian Navy, were formally handed over to the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba by the Minister.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Parrikar complimented the DRDO and the Navy for their successful joint venture in developing several naval systems, which will provide a fillip to the quest for self-reliance in this critical area of technology. “I expect much more synergy between the Armed Forces and DRDO in the days to come”, he said. He expressed his appreciation to DRDO for its achievements in the last two years particularly in the induction of LCA Tejas, Varunastra Torpedo, Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher, Rustom – II UAV and several missile programs.
The Defence Minister said, “Skill development is one of the most important aspects of nation building because unless we have certified skilled manpower, projects like ‘Make in India’ would not succeed.” He expressed happiness that the Indian Navy has taken the lead by imparting training to a large contingent of retiring naval personnel and giving them certificates. He said that the only way to make the nation’s large pool of youth and manpower suitable for the emerging industry and business opportunities is by skilling them to take up specialized jobs.
Addressing the gathering, the Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy said skill initiative program is the brainchild of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He said the credit of pulling along the skill ecosystem in the Indian Armed Forces should go to the Defence Minister. Shri Rudy said the Defence Minister is not only involved in the skilling process technically but also socially as he has created a new pathway about the program in the Armed Forces.
The four naval systems, ABHAY – Compact Hull Mounted SONAR for Shallow Water Crafts, HUMSA UG – Upgrade for the HUMSA SONAR System, NACS – Near-field Acoustic Characterization System, and AIDSS – Advanced Indigenous Distress SONAR System for submarines have been designed and developed by National Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), a Kochi based laboratory of DRDO. ABHAY is an advanced Active-cum-Passive integrated SONAR system designed and developed for the smaller platforms such as shallow water crafts and coastal surveillance/patrol vessels. HUMSA-UG has been designed for upgrading the existing HUMSA SONAR system of the Indian Naval platforms. NACS determines the in-situ performance of the SONAR systems which are used to find the frequency-dependent 3-D transmission and reception characteristics of the SONAR. It is also used to measure the magnitude and phase characteristics of the SONAR transmission and reception electronics and the transducers. AIDSS, a distress SONAR is an Emergency Sound Signaling Device which is used to indicate that a submarine is in distress and enable quick rescue and salvage.

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba and Secretary Department of Defence (R&D) & Chairman, DRDO Dr. S Christopher also addressed the function. Earlier, Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar and Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy jointly distributed Skill Certificates and Placement Letters to retiring Navy personnel. Amongst others, the function was attended by Scientific Advisor to RM Dr. G Satheesh Reddy, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Rajesh Aggarwal and Director, NPOL Shri S Kedarnath Shenoy.

NATO navies start exercise in Aegean Sea


November 28, 2016 - NATO navies began a countermine-warfare exercise in the Aegean Sea on Monday (28 November 2016), aimed at testing combat readiness and strengthening ties between Allies and partners.
Corvettes, patrol boats, mine hunters, fighter aircraft, and unmanned underwater vehicles are taking part in the event which will run until 4 December 2016.  Dubbed “NUSRET” – after a famous Turkish mine layer – the annual exercise is organized by the Turkish navy. Participants will test finding and neutralizing mines, using divers, sonar as well as remotely operated vehicles. NATO has sent ships from Germany, Greece and Turkey to participate in the exercise. Other Allies are participating on a bilateral basis.
“NUSRET” follows exercise “MAVI BALINA” which ran from 22 – 28 November in the eastern Mediterranean and tested international navies’ anti-submarine warfare skills.
Bordering both Iraq and Syria, Turkey is the NATO Ally most exposed to the turmoil in the Middle East.  In response to security challenges in the region, NATO has boosted the defence of Turkey – including, since 2013, with air defence missile systems. In December 2015, NATO decided on a further package measures for Turkey – paving the way for more patrols by AWACS surveillance planes and increased naval presence in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“Turkey faces serious security challenges from many directions,” NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said. “NATO’s participation in the NUSRET exercise demonstrates Allies’ strong commitment to Turkey’s security, and contributes to increased stability in the region.”

Nautilus Seeks Assurance on UK Staying in EU Counter Piracy Force Post BREXIT


November 22, 2016 - Nautilus has sought assurances from the UK government that the UK will remain in the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) counter-piracy operation following an attack on a British-registered chemical tanker off Somalia in November.
The Union wrote to foreign secretary Boris Johnson to call for the UK to remain a part of the EUNAVOR’s operation as its commander, Major General Rob Magowan, warned of the need for continued vigilance at sea. The 51,747dwt CPO Korea was targeted by pirates in a high-speed skiff, some 330nm off the east coast of Somalia on 22 October — the first such incident in more than two years.
Major General Magowan commented: ‘This attack shows that pirates still have the intent to attack ships for ransom and cause misery to seafarers and their families. It is imperative that the international community remains vigilant. The EU Naval Force is working with counterpiracy partners to coordinate efforts to ensure pirates do not once again terrorize the waters off the Somali coast.’
Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson said the incident had not come as a surprise and showed the need for vigilance — despite a new report from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) showing piracy and armed attacks on merchant ships around the world had fallen to a 20-year low.
‘We have been very pleased to see the lack of pirate activity in the area — and feel that this is in no small part due to the success of EUNAVFOR’s Operation Atalanta. However, it has been very clear that there is no room for complacency, especially as the political situation ashore in Somalia can best be described as fragile,’ added Mr Dickinson.
In his letter to the foreign secretary, Mr Dickinson called for ‘assurances of the UK’s continued and tangible support for counterpiracy operations, off Somalia and in the other high-risk areas, such as the Gulf of Guinea’.
He told Mr Johnson: ‘I am sure you can understand our concern about the future commitment towards the protection of UK ships and UK seafarers in the light of the UK’s planned withdrawal from the European Union. A great deal of emphasis is being placed upon the UK’s future trading relationships and as 95% of our international trade is by sea, the security and safety of merchant ships and their crews is of paramount importance.’

The IMB report said the first nine months of 2016 witnessed a total of 141 incidents — down by 25% from the same time last year, and down 60% from the same period five years ago. However, the IMB also warned the industry against dropping security levels. It said kidnapping and hostage taking remains a major risk off the coasts of West Africa and SE Asia — pointing out that pirates armed with guns or knives took 110 seafarers hostage in the first nine months of 2016, and kidnapped 49 crew for ransom.

Sea strangulation a real risk warns Nautilus

November 28, 2016 - Britain is at risk of ‘sea strangulation’ because of the dramatic decline of its Merchant and Royal Navies, the maritime union Nautilus International has warned a Parliamentary watchdog.
In a letter to the chairman of the House of Commons defence committee, Dr Julian Lewis, the union says the UK is running grave strategic and economic risks by becoming increasingly dependent on foreign shipping.
Nautilus welcomed the defence committee’s new report, which warns that the Royal Naby has fallen to a historic low – with the fleet now below ‘the critical mass required for the many tasks which could confront it’.
General secretary Mark Dickinson told Dr Lewis that the report raises significant concerns. ‘Maritime security is of immense importance to an island nation that relies on shipping for 95% of its imports and exports,’ he pointed out.
‘Ministers have repeatedly stressed the importance of trade for our economic recovery, and for the post-Brexit relationships with other countries. It is, therefore, more important than ever that our sea lanes are open and secure.’
Mr Dickinson said he believed the defence committee’s report under-states the severity of the threat to the UK’s security as it does not cover the impact of cuts in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, which provides crucial back-up to the Royal Navy.
‘We continue to be concerned that the strategic implications of the decline of the Merchant Navy and the UK’s maritime skills base have been grossly neglected,’ he added. The scale of our dependence on foreign – often flag of convenience – shipping is dangerous, from both a strategic and an economic standpoint.’

Mr Dickinson said he hoped the committee would also examine the delays to the delivery of the RFA Tidespring, the first of the long-awaited new Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) vessels, and to examine the potential for other much-needed new RFA ships to be built in Britain.

Rockwell Collins awarded $27 million to activate U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon radio components depot capability

Rockwell Collins
November 18, 2016 - Rockwell Collins was awarded $27 million to activate a depot capability for the U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft HF-121C and miscellaneous radio components. Under contract through 2020, establishing this depot capability creates military jobs, reduces the repair pipeline and improves availability of aircraft.
“Establishing a depot capability allows our customers to service their own equipment and shorten turnaround time,” said Thierry Tosi, vice president and general manager, Service Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “In addition, the capability allows for enhanced mission readiness and support to the warfighter.”
Delivered in a three-phased approach, the P-8A Poseidon radio component depot capability initially began with an assessment to determine the necessary requirements. The partnership is currently in an activation stage, or the second phase, which involves the knowledge and tools transfer to support the radio components to U.S. Navy personnel. Phase three involves a sustainment plan and likely a public-private partnership.
The HF-121C airborne high frequency (HF) communication system is designed for HF applications requiring voice and data operations at 400W transmit power. The HF-121C and other radio components provide maximum performance to the P-8A Poseidon, allowing for fast and secure data transfer, making it a critical onboard capability.

Work will be performed at the Naval Air Station's Fleet Readiness Center Southwest in North Island, California.

China calls for concerted efforts to strengthen maritime security

November 28, 2016 (Xinhua) - China on Monday called on countries to join hands in strengthening maritime security and overcoming the challenges and threats faced at sea.
Rear Admiral Wang Dazhong, assistant to chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army Navy, said with maritime security issues becoming more diversified, complicated and comprehensive, navies should aim at shared responsibility, development and prosperity, and establish an effective and efficient emergency response mechanism to solve maritime security issues, control maritime security risks and avert conflict through fusion of interests.
Wang was speaking at the "Galle Dialogue 2016," the 7th International Maritime Conference held in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka.
He said the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road proposed by China was designed to utilize the connectivity and convenience of the ocean to bring together various economy blocks along the South China Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean for economic growth and prosperity of the Ocean.
He added that countries needed to join hands in handling challenges at sea and become partners of mutual beneficial and win-win cooperation.

The Galle Dialogue International Maritime Conference was inaugurated by the Sri Lanka Navy since 2010. The theme for this year's conference was "Fostering Strategic Maritime Partnerships."

UK National Shipbuilding Strategy: an independent report

November 29, 2016 - The strategy will lay the foundations for a modern, efficient and competitive sector capable of meeting the country’s future defence and security needs.


The National Shipbuilding Strategy is intended to be a radical, fundamental re-appraisal of how we undertake the shipbuilding enterprise in the UK, intending to place UK naval shipbuilding on a sustainable long term footing. The first step is Sir John Parker’s independent report. The government will give Sir John’s work the full consideration that it deserves and will provide a full and detailed response in the spring 2017. This response will be the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
The government is committed to delivering a modern shipbuilding strategy, as part of an industrial strategy that focuses on increasing economic growth across the country and investing in a more skilled workforce. This will enable the UK to grow the total number of frigates and destroyers by the 2030s, as set out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015.

FOI release FOI responses published by MOD week commencing 5 December 2016

Ministry of Defence (MOD) Freedom of Information (FOI) responses published during the week commencing 5 December 2016

Flying hours for RAF aircraft for financial years between 2013 and 2016

French Navy's 1000th NEWTSUIT Dive

December 7, 2016 (Google Translation) - The 1000 th scuba diving atmospheric NEWTSUIT , when simulating a rescue submarine in distress, held on 1 st December 2016 in the harbor of Hyères. It is part of the sea trip to drive (from 21 November to 9 December 2016) Section Intervention equipment (SIE) of human cell diving and intervention in the sea (CEPHISMER ).
Training at the ventilation was done for the first time on the reconstruction of a future nuclear attack submarine (SNA) Suffren kind. Ventilate to a distressed submarine is a complex operation requiring unparalleled expertise of highly qualified specialists of the CEPHISMER. During the year, the NEWTSUIT was monitored by the intervention robot ULISSE (heavy Response Unit underwater surveillance and expertise).
This type of fishing trip can test the full capabilities of hardware, check its optimality and perfect the skills of the sailors. It is also an opportunity to test all the means available to the EIS. It carries 4 drive outputs per year and totals, and more of these workouts, an average of 120 days absent per year in operations.

L-3 to Provide Power Distribution and Switchgear Equipment for the U.S. Navy’s Stealthiest Submarine Program

November 18, 2016 - -L-3 Communications announced today that it has been awarded a contract to deliver switchgear equipment in support of the power distribution and protection system for the U.S. Navy’s newest submarine, which will replace the existing Ohio-class platform. This competitively awarded contract includes the detail design and qualification of the switchgear, along with the delivery of select units to the first submarine. Follow-on deliveries will extend to 2035 if the U.S. Navy builds all boats in the current plan of record.
“Our expertise is in electrical protection and distribution equipment that is designed for harsh and rugged environments”
“This is an important contract for L-3 because it demonstrates our ability to meet evolving naval requirements with optimal reliability and performance,” said Michael T. Strianese, L-3’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
“Our expertise is in electrical protection and distribution equipment that is designed for harsh and rugged environments,” added Christine Montalvo, President of L-3 SPD Electrical Systems (L-3 SPDES), which will complete the work. “We’ve spent two years investing in conceptual designs and improving upon key elements, including electrical performance, weight and reduced cost, and are excited to have won this rigorous competition.”

USS Carney in Mavi Balina 2016

November 28, 2016 - Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) completed its participation in the Turkish-led Exercise Mavi Balina 2016, Nov. 26, in the Mediterranean Sea.
Mavi Balina 2016 sought to improve the interoperability of participating nations by providing realistic training at sea, to improve interoperability and proficiency.
"I was extremely proud of the professionalism and performance of not only my Sailors, but all those who were involved in Mavi Balina. I have confidence that the friendships and tactical proficiency we built during the exercise exceeded the goals of Mavi Balina 2016 and built a strong foundation for combined interoperability in the future. The cross-deck process is so critically important to building friendships that last a career. Twelve years ago, I myself cross-decked to [Canadian frigate HMCS Charlottetown (FFH 339)] during a deployment in 5th Fleet, so walking aboard her while moored alongside was like visiting an old friend." - Cmdr. Peter Halvorsen, commanding officer, USS Carney (DDG 64)
"It is important to come together and to work in concert with each other. When we work together, it makes us stronger as allies." - Ensign Ahmet Serdar Yavuz, from Turkish frigate TCG Gelibolu (F 493)
"I'll be taking back a lot to the Charlottetown. It's a lot of good points. In the future, hopefully I'll be able to become an ASW (anti-submarine warfare) officer aboard a Canadian frigate. It's a great insight into how things are done, and I'll have a better understanding when I get my training in the future." - SLT Adam Reece from HMCS Charlottetown (FFH 339)
Participating nations included Pakistan, Romania, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. NATO Maritime Group 2, as well as observers from Algeria, Nigeria, and Georgia also participated.
During the first phase of the exercise conducted in Aksaz, Turkey, Nov. 19-22, participants met to conduct final planning and valuable interoperability training, as well as strengthen ties between each of the navies.
During the planning phase, Halvorsen hosted Rear Adm. Bulent Turan, commander, Turkish Submarine Group, aboard Carney for a tour. He visited with Rear Adm. Ali Cekic, commander, Naval Base Aksaz; and Rear Adm. Levant Kerim, commander, Southern Task Group. Additionally, members of Carney's wardroom attended multiple planning events and a reception held at the Turkish naval base in Aksaz.
Participating units got underway Nov. 23 to begin the exercise. While the focus was on anti-submarine warfare, Mavi Balina 2016 also included simulated small boat attacks, anti-air warfare exercises, surface maneuvering drills, communication drills, and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) events. In total, 12 surface vessels, five submarines, and multiple aircraft from seven nations participated in the at-sea phase.
Carney participated in cross-decking between ships during the at-sea phase, which is a sharing of officers to strengthen relationships, build long-term links between future leaders, and enhance interoperability. While participating in Mavi Balina 2016, Carney sent officers to Charlottetown and Gelibolu. In turn, Carney hosted officers from these ships.
Carney, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting a routine patrol in the U.S. 6th fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

Rockwell Collins to modernize Chilean Navy P-3 Orion avionics

November 29, 2016 - Rockwell Collins’ Flight2™ integrated avionics system has been selected by IMP Aerospace for the Chilean Navy’s cockpit modernization program for its P-3 Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
“Chilean Navy pilots will experience greater situational awareness and communications capabilities with the highly advanced avionics on board these aircraft,” said Alan Prowse, vice president and managing director, Americas and Global Services Business Development for Rockwell Collins. “This selection further solidifies our position as a key provider of P-3 cockpit modernization for military organizations around the world.”
The Flight2 integrated avionics suite of communications, navigation and surveillance equipment seamlessly integrates new-generation avionics with legacy sensors, radios, autopilot and aircraft systems. Flight2 features advanced displays and an integrated military/civil flight management system, and is one of the most cost-effective, lowest-risk solutions available today. The system is currently flying on more than 900 fixed-wing aircraft.
Aircraft installation, integration and design work is being done within IMP's Halifax, Nova Scotia facilities in Canada. Rockwell Collins will provide dedicated in-country, on-site field service engineering and logistics support to IMP Aerospace during the aircraft modifications and test.

Rockwell Collins’ work with IMP Aerospace will support their activities for service life extension and avionics upgrade of the Chilean Navy’s P-3 aircraft.

Kratos Announces Successful Achievement of Final BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target Milestone Prior to Production

November 29, 2016 - Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that its Unmanned Systems Division (USD) has recently successfully achieved the final development program milestone for its BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT), which will allow for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) to begin once the Federal Fiscal 2017 Budget is approved.  The SSAT program is designed to meet the U.S. Navy's requirements for a new High Fidelity Target to replicate subsonic anti-cruise missile threats in direct support of fleet training and weapon system testing and evaluation.
The BQM-177A will initially augment, and will eventually replace the existing BQM-74E Targets and will deliver longer range, lower cruise altitudes and greater maneuverability.  The SSAT Program is being managed by the Naval Air System command (NAVAIR) Aerial Target and Decoy Systems Program Office (PMA-208).
The BQM-177A is based on Kratos' BQM-167X Aircraft, a derivative of the BQM-167A Skeeter Target currently being supplied to the U.S. Air Force. While leveraging legacy designs of the BQM-167A, the BQM-177A introduces a new fuselage with area ruling, high mounted wings and an internally integrated MicroTurbo TR-60-5+ turbo jet engine for reduced transonic drag. The BQM-177A can support various mission requirements by carrying a variety of internal and wing tip mounted payloads, including electronic counter measures, active and passive radar augmentation, infrared, identification of friend or foe, internal chaff and flare dispensing, threat emitter simulators, smoke and scoring.
Jerry Beaman, President of Kratos' Unmanned Systems Division, said, "The entire USD team is proud to have recently achieved the final development milestone on the United States Navy SSAT Program that was required prior to the commencement of production, which we currently expect to begin early next year."

Eric DeMarco, President & CEO of Kratos, said, "The United States Navy is one of our company's most important customers, and the Kratos and USN teams have in unison achieved this critically important milestone.  We expect to enter into production on the SSAT Program in 2017, along with another Kratos unmanned aerial target drone program that we have under contract.  These two programs are the primary drivers in our expectation to double the size of our unmanned systems business over the next two years."

Royal Netherlands Navy Evaluate Their New Low Frequency Active Passive Sonar at Sea

December 2, 2016 - Based on the results of this month's Operational Evaluation trial of their new Low- Frequency Active Passive Sonar (LFAPS) aboard one of the Royal Netherlands Navy's
M class frigates, Lieutenant-General Rob Verkerk, Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy, tweeted "Testing with Low Frequency Active Passive Sonar (LFAPS) onboard HMNS Van Amstel. Quantum Leap in the field of submarine warfare!" 
The OPEVAL was conducted over several days in conjunction with a WALRUS class submarine and a NH-90 helicopter, which was fitted with a low frequency, dipping sonar. The trial demonstrated the LFAPS's abilities to mono-statically and bi-statically detect and track a diesel-electric submarine, in challenging environmental conditions, in littoral waters.

Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems is pleased to have supported the Dutch Defence Materiel Organization (DMO) through the development of LFAPS hardware; the LFAPS processing software was developed by the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO).

Saab Showcases New Solutions for Sea and Land Defence and Security at Exponaval 2016

November 29, 2016 - Defence and security company Saab will attend the 10th Exponaval – International Naval and Maritime Exhibition and Conference for Latin America. The event will be held from December 29 to December 2, 2016, at the Concón Naval Air Station in Viña del Mar, Chile.
High-end technology for military operations in challenging environments, whether on land or sea, is a key characteristic of the solutions that Saab will showcase to visitors from various Latin American countries at Exponaval 2016. Products include management and surveillance of maritime traffic; integrated communication, training and performance in land combat; and technology for surface or underwater vessels. These solutions go from cutting-edge radar technologies (Sea Giraffe) to Combat Management Systems, Electronic Warfare Systems, mine countermeasure vessels (MCMV) and latest-generation submarines (A26).

"Saab's portfolio of maritime traffic management, port security and naval warfare is part of our solutions to make the society even safer. We are confident that our solutions can contribute to increased, yet cost efficient, capabilities to the navies in region. We also believe that our willingness to transfer technology and local partnership will contribute to the development of the regional defence industry," said Fredrik Gustafson, head of Marketing and Sales, Saab’s market area Latin America.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wreck diving in front of Santorini

December 7, 2016 - Surrounded by an impressive panorama of steep mountain slopes, covered with white houses and their blue shining roofs, the dive group of the mines hunting boat "Fulda" prepares for a training dive.

Minivans start to dive ahead of Santorini.
: Dive before an impressive backdrop (2016 Bundeswehr / Florian Holzhüter source)Enlarge image
After the rescue boat has left the hunter, captain Michael Montag and Lieutenant Florian Holzhüter meet for the final dive. The dive operator takes away the safety handles. On the command "Three, two, one, off!", The two miners can fall backwards into the 20 degrees warm water of the Aegean Sea in November.
Wreck in the deep of the sea.
Minentaucher discover old wreck before Santorini (Source: 2016 Bundeswehr / Florian Holzhüter)Enlarge image
With visions of 30 meters and more, they already see the reason for the descent, at the commanded depth of 15 meters. They tare themselves and dive along the coast along the 15-meter-deep line, as defined in the mission discussion. On her right rises the steep bank of volcano rock, to her left is the deep blue nothingness. Water depths of 200 meters and more right next to the coast are not uncommon and require special attention from the divers.
Suddenly in front of them opens in the coastal structure a plateau , on the shadowy outlines are recognizable. As they get closer, they are equally fascinating and ghostly. Upright how to best times at sea, is the wreck of an old Lastenschute on the plateau .
Minigans inspect the wreck.
Minentaucher inspect the wreck (Source: 2016 Bundeswehr / Florian Holzhüter)Enlarge image
The discovery of this wreck is a special stroke of luck. It was not listed in any sea chart, so a targeted search would have been the proverbial needle in a haystack. Some things you experienced in his diving career only once, this dive is certainly to , tell Lieutenant Monday.
Now, extreme caution is required. It is so dangerous to dive at wrecks. Sharp-edged metal splinters and unstable cavities are the rule rather than the exception. A just been tempting bullseye can be a deadly trap. Gently, the divers move along the chute and document their find with an underwater camera.
The meterlange wreck stretches into the depths of the sea.
The meter long wreck extends into the depths of the sea: (source 2016 Bundeswehr / Florian Holzhüter)Enlarge image
At the stern of the sunken ship, the reason for his downfall is revealed. Behind the intact bridge structures, a bizarre chaos of bent pipes, metal splinters and surrounding debris parts becomes visible - a heavy explosion must have sealed the end of the gun, also this is documented. One look at her dive computer shows the two professionals that it is time to end their dive. Back to the water surface, they will report to the dive operator of their fascinating find.
Back on board the "Fulda" the video material is evaluated. An additional research on the Internet reveals that the gun was probably blown up in the Second World War, in order to evade them from the Allied access. The position is only known to local divers, who pass them on to one another.

The dive group of the "Fulda" will remember for a long time to a fascinating dive, as only a few divers is allowed.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Almaz Design Bureau Current Offerings

Almaz was founded October 22, 1949, when the order of the Ministry №00896 Shipbuilding Industry of the USSR at the Leningrad shipyard №5 was established Special Design Bureau on designing long-range torpedo boats. Since 1966 it is called the Central Marine Design "Diamond" bureau.

Project 12061E

Project 12150 
Project 12700
Project 22010

Project 20181
Project 20380
Project 21300

Project 22100

Project 22800

Photos © 2006 - 2016 "National Defense"

Boeing Statement on Air Force One

December 6, 2016 - Boeing today issued the following statement regarding the Air Force One program:

"We are currently under contract for $170 million to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the President of the United States. We look forward to working with the U.S. Air Force on subsequent phases of the program allowing us to deliver the best planes for the President at the best value for the American taxpayer."