Sponsored by American Panel Corporation
UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
13 Nov 18. Millions Awarded to UK Defence Firms Leading Fight for Modern Battlefield. Defence firms with cutting-edge ideas ranging from laser radars to Artificial Intelligence have been awarded over £10m after being named winners of the MOD and Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) Innovation Challenge by Defence Minister Stuart Andrew. The winners provided innovative solutions to key strategic future demands for UK defence in autonomy and big data. The companies and their ground-breaking technologies will receive combined investment and support worth over £4m from the MOD and £6m from industry partners to see their full development.
The winning solutions announced at the Institute of Engineering and Technology today are:
- Close Air Solutions with Project Hyper Real Immersion
- QinetiQ’s Software Defined Multifunction LIDAR
- Horiba Mira’s UGV Localisation and Perception using Deep Learning Neural Networks
- Polaris’ Ants on Deck
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said, ”From shrewd navigation software, A.I. driven autonomous vehicles, laser radar to mixed reality training systems, today’s winners are a clear demonstration of industry rising to meet the complex challenges of modern warfare. The MOD, working with commercial partners, will see these pioneering technologies go from the drawing board to the battlefield.”
Training is at the core of military capabilities and Project Hyper Real Immersion is designed to provide cutting-edge realistic air combat training. This revolutionary technology from Close Air Solutions aims to enable fully networked live training exercises with NATO and Coalition partners. This will reduce costs and increase safety for service personnel.
QinetiQ’s Software Defined Multifunction LIDAR (laser radar) system will provide a range of high-tech capabilities including 3D imaging, optical communication and covert targeting. Conventional 3D mapping can discover a vehicle under camouflage netting but LIDAR could also determine whether the engine is on and the type of vehicle using vibration sensors. The system could be adopted onto small satellites and unmanned and manned platforms
Horiba Mira is developing a super-intelligent navigation system which uses Artificial Intelligence algorithms to identify landmarks around a military vehicle to provide a greater situational awareness. This technology will be key in developing the effective operation of unmanned autonomous vehicles in dangerous areas which will remove soldiers from dangerous situations and task them to more valuable roles. This is a crucial aim of the Last Mile logistics that UK armed forces are developing.
Continuing with the autonomy theme, Polaris are developing a pioneering software system that autonomously generates the best routes for Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs). AntsOnDeck increases fuel efficiency which allows extended operations, provides real-time awareness of conditions and environment and can be extended to platforms across the air, land and sea domains.
Co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership, Allan Cook CBE, said, “The innovative solutions developed by our own defence companies over the course of the Innovation Challenge is amazing. Using autonomy and big data these winning companies have found unique solutions to the ongoing challenges we face in the defence sector. The winners of the DGP’s Innovation Challenge Final Phase have proven that their products are fundamentally important to the growth and prosperity of their companies. This final funding for the winners will enable them to complete their development and ultimately provide essential solutions in a dynamic, international and competitive market. Their success will benefit the defence sector in the UK and help us win more business in export markets.”
The Defence and Security Accelerator, in tandem with the Defence Solutions Centre, established the competition in 2012 to explore and develop solutions to ensure the UK armed forces stay ahead of adversaries by finding more efficient methods of communication, logistics, protection, intelligence and training. The initial investment of £10m for the competition has been matched pound for pound with industry partners and since then, the competition has received an additional £4m. This is part of the wider £800m Defence Innovation Fund.
Today’s event brought together leading industry and military figures from the defence equipment community. This joint approach aims to create high quality UK jobs, boost defence exports and encourage collaboration between large industry, SMEs and academia. (Source: ASD Network)
14 Nov 18. Belgium Naval & Robotics joins forces with Flanders Ship Repair for the future replacement programme for Dutch Belgian mine hunters. Belgium Belgium Naval & Robotics has launched an industrial offer anchored in Belgium to respond to a call for tenders issued by the Belgian and Dutch navies for the supply of twelve mine hunters. Belgium Naval & Robotics offers the Belgian Navy a solution whose prime contractor is in Brussels and involves many local players spread throughout the country. « This partnership with FSR illustrates our strong relationship with the Belgian Defence Technological and Industrial Base and our desire to build a long-term relationship with the Belgian and Dutch Navies. » explains Jean-Michel Orozco, Senior Vice-President Mission Systems, Drone & Cyber Security at Naval Group. Flanders Ship Repair (FSR) shipyards will be responsible for the manufacture of many mechanical parts and sub-assemblies, as well as the maintenance of mine hunting vessels (MCMs).
This strong involvement of the Defence Industrial and Technological Base (DITB), spread throughout Belgium, in the Belgium Naval & Robotics project will make it possible to consolidate national technical and operational excellence in the field of robotised mine warfare.
13 Nov 18. Germany gives green light for heavy transport helicopter. Germany’s final 2019 defence budget approved by the Bundestag (parliament) budget committee on 9 November includes an authorisation commitment of EUR5.6bn (USD6.3bn) for the Luftwaffe’s future Schwerer Transporthubschrauber (heavy transport helicopter: STH). This is the largest line item in the final defence budget, according to the German Ministry of Defence (MoD). Visiting the air transport group of Hubschraubergeschwader (Helicopter Squadron) 64 in Schönewalde with Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, Air Force Chief General Ingo Gerhartz welcomed the fact “that the government has given more money for the urgently required modernisation of the Luftwaffe, especially for the next generation of transport helicopters, which we need for almost all deployments worldwide”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
09 Nov 18. BAE Systems updates naval combat systems offer. BAE Systems has debuted a new naval combat systems portfolio designed to improve the company’s competitive position in UK and international markets. Building on a GBP20m (USD23m) corporate investment in combat system technologies, the company has announced the brand name INTeGEN for its future naval combat system solutions, and INTeACT for a next generation of combat management system (CMS) products. Operating from facilities in New Malden, Frimley, and the Portsmouth area, BAE Systems Naval Ships Combat Systems is the incumbent supplier of CMS products to the UK Royal Navy (RN), and also shares responsibilities for RN combat systems integration support services with QinetiQ. However, the company’s combat systems business has had only limited success in the export market, and now faces competition in the UK through the Type 31e frigate competition.
According to BAE Systems, the company “is engaged in a five-year programme to develop enhancements for its upcoming INTeACT combat management system products”. An initial instantiation of the INTeACT CMS is expected to be offered by BAE Systems/Cammell Laird ‘Team Leander’ bid for the Type 31e programme.
While the company has not yet released specific details of the new features and functionalities embodied in INTeACT, it has acknowledged work to introduce artificial intelligence for decision support, the integration of autonomous systems, and new, more intuitive human computer interface techniques. Jane’s understands that BAE Systems has engaged with academia and a number of small- and medium-sized enterprises on specific research threads. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
13 Nov 18. Navy Pitching Amphibious Warship Overhaul to Boost Lethality, Survivability. The amphibious force may get a massive capability overhaul, if a plan by the Expeditionary Warfare Directorate (OPNAV N95) to increase lethality and survivability of amphibious ships is accepted by Navy and Marine Corps leadership.
Maj. Gen. David Coffman said his directorate will spend 2019 working out the finer details of an Amphibious Warship Evolution Plan, which will help the amphibious assault ships better leverage fifth-generation aircraft and will put the smaller amphibious transport San Antonio-class (LPD-17) docks more on par with cruisers and destroyers as “prominent middle-weight fighters” in a future naval battle.
Coffman described the ships’ usefulness to combatant commanders as a multiplication problem: “capacity times capability times readiness equals lethality.”
“It’s multiplication, not addition – so if you have a zero in any one of these categories, you end up with a big fat nothing,” he said, while speaking at a Hudson Institute on Nov. 9.
On the capacity side, the Navy and Marine Corps are executing a plan to get to 38 amphibious ships – ultimately 12 big decks and 26 LPDs – which represents a compromise figure that could carry two Marine Expeditionary Brigades ashore. Coffman said it would take 50 or more ships to fully meet operational commanders’ appetite.
On the capability side, “if you have a ship but it can’t stand in or is not equipped for great power competition, or it can’t operate in the five-domain contested environment for current and future warfights, well, that’s a zero.”
And on readiness, “if you have the ship and you give it the right combat systems and you built a capable amphibious warship – not just a sealift carrier to move square foot, cubic foot and Marines – but it’s sitting up on blocks at a yard … guess what you get when the war starts? That’s right, a zero.”
He called the difficulties of getting amphibs through maintenance periods on time and on budget “a sucking chest wound” that affects readiness, but that side of the equation is largely out of his control. On the capacity side, he said he can recommend procurement profiles up the chain of command, but there is a lot of pressure on the shipbuilding budget and ultimately the decision is not in his hands either.
But he can dictate the capability requirements, which is why he said his staff’s main focus in 2019 would be this capability evolution plan. The plan will address hull, mechanical and electrical capabilities; susceptibility, survivability and recovery; offensive lethality; and integration with both Special Operations Forces and the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, particularly the aviation combat element and its F-35B Joint Strike Fighters.
On the amphibious assault ships, Coffman proposed a massive midlife maintenance period, akin to aircraft carriers’ four-year refueling and complex overhaul, in which the whole Navy-Marine Corps team knows the ship will be out of service for a time but will come out of the yard as the most sophisticated ship in the fleet.
Particularly given that the Navy only has nine Wasp-class LHDs and America-class LHAs in the water today, Coffman acknowledged the difficulty in asking to take one out of service. But, he said, the first operations of the F-35B on USS Wasp (LHD-1) and USS Essex (LHD-2) this year have been “a reverse canary in a coal mine” situation in plainly highlighting a problem the Navy and Marine Corps already expected to face: the planes are too sophisticated for the ships, which cannot fully communicate with them and leverage the planes’ data.
“I don’t want to bring Marine Aviation down to third- and fourth-gen; I want to bring the rest of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force up to fifth-gen and exploit that technical expertise and have a fifth-gen MAGTF. The problem is, we’re having to embark a fifth-gen MAGTF on a third-gen ship, and we have to fix that. Time, now,” Coffman said.
On the San Antonio-clas LPDs, the focus of upgrades will be bringing them from Marine-carriers with a great command and control system to a lethal node in the Navy’s sea control web.
Coffman said that wargames and tabletop exercises have shown the LPD is just the right size to be highly effective in the Navy’s distributed lethality and distributed maritime operations concepts, if they were upgraded to include more lethal systems. He said “they really live in the world of the small boys” in terms of size, aviation detachment and other capabilities, but they are not tapped into the Navy’s kill web in the same way – a lost opportunity that Coffman intends to correct in this new upgrade plan.
“Making a bet on increased lethality … is absolutely essential” and worth the cost, he argued. He declined to say what weapon systems he was looking at putting on these amphibs, but he said the upgrades would allow the amphibs to join the rest of the black shoe navy in the fight for sea control once they put their MAGTF ashore.
“Why aren’t you contributing to air and missile defense? Why aren’t you contributing to anti-surface? Instead of having to be protected, why don’t you put something on offer to be part of the killers?” Coffman said of the possibilities of an upgraded LPD.
“The bulk of that will be Navy systems integrated into Navy weapons architecture.”
The general described a scenario of multiple LPDs fighting alongside cruisers and destroyers, and not only would the amphibs have a complement of sensors and weapons to contribute to the sea and air control fight, but they would also have a surprise mix of aircraft and surface connectors hidden in their well decks and flight decks to surprise an adversary closer in to shore.
The LPD midlife plan would ideally kick in in the mid-2020s, he said, and give the Navy and Marines a chance to “correct the failures of the past” with this ship class now that the amphibious community has learned so much about how the ships can be used and what investments are most desired.
As Coffman and N95 fill in the details of this plan, Coffman said the community is hoping to change the conversation about what role amphibious ships can play in a future high-end battle. Currently, he said, “they’re not valued, they’re not lethal. If you make them more lethal – well I don’t want to make them more lethal because they’re not valued. So you get caught in a circular argument. Our keywords we put on our poster … we say, lethal, survivable, networked and unpredictable,” he said, and he hopes that a plan to get the ships to those four ideals will capture leadership attention and funding.
Coffman put the cost and operational utility in plain terms. On cost, he said the amphibious force in the N95 portfolio only costs a nickel of every dollar the Navy spends and has proven well worth the money. On usefulness, he said in a major fight the largest Combined Force Maritime Component Commander – U.S. Pacific Fleet – would have at its disposal 100,000 Marines, including I and III Marine Expeditionary Forces and their accompanying 1st and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing with their F-35s – but PACFLT could only benefit from all that “if he can talk to them, if he knows how to use them, if we have integrated the fifth-generation Marine Air-Ground Task Force capability resident in the fleet marine force.”
On the capacity side, Coffman said nine LHAs and LHDs are in the water; the tenth, the future Tripoli (LHA-7), will deliver next year; and the 11th, the future Bougainville (LHA-8) is under construction.
“We are debating out to the right of that because, facing the first planned decommissioning in 2029 of Wasp, the first of the Wasp class, we are concerned that the pathway does not get us to 12. We have a capacity problem with the big decks,” he said.
Coffman has also recommended to Navy and Marine Corps leadership that they enter into LPD Flight II serial production through a block buy or multiyear procurement as soon as possible. The Navy decided in 2015 to replace the aging Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships (LSD-41/49) with a next flight of LPDs and in April formally designated them LPD Flight IIs, which Coffman called the most consequential decision for the amphib force in recent history and “a monumentally good decision for the Navy and the nation.” The current shipbuilding plan calls for the first ship in 2020 and then one a year starting in 2022, but Coffman is advocating for more.
“We do have industrial capacity to build, to include serial production on LPD at the rate of one per year. So we could build faster to our 38 ships if we accelerated LHA procurement and build and went to serial production soonest on LPD and get a better pathway there,” he said.
“Again, that’s our recommendation, but that’s weighed against other parts of the DoD.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/news.usni.org)
REST OF THE WORLD
14 Nov 18. Belarus to develop missile systems, combat drones with eye on rising global tensions. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has instructed the country’s defense industry to develop missile systems to boost its military’s strike capabilities as well as combat unmanned aerial vehicles to reinforce its air force, according to Roman Golovchenko, the chairman of the Belarusian State Military Industrial Committee.
“Conflicts come to life in various continents. Tensions between superpowers are on the rise. This is why, certainly, there is demand for defensive weapons,” Golovchenko told the state-run news agency BelTA. “The Belarusian defense industry is ready to satisfy the demand. I hope the R&D products the head of state has approved will allow us to hit our targets.”
Golovchenko said that the Polonez multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) is the first missile system to be completed by the Belarusian defense industry, and Lukashenko “has given instructions to develop this sphere in the future” as a “key” field of the country’s military R&D.
Belarus is a member of the Russia-backed Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) which is designed as a counterbalance to NATO. However, Minsk is also developing military cooperation with various countries outside the organization in a bid to mark its independence from Moscow and bolster ties with like-minded governments.
Earlier this year, Azerbaijan signed a contract with Belarus to acquire the Polonez missile systems in response to Armenia’s purchase of Iskander missiles from Russia. Minsk has also agreed to supply four Mikoyan MiG-29 fighters to Serbia, a non-member observer state to the CSTO, and the two countries were reportedly in talks over the potential sale of S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems to Belgrade. In addition to this, Belarus has announced projects to jointly produce drones with China and Turkmenistan, among others. (Source: Defense News)
14 Nov 18. Indian Army issues RFI for 60mm mortars and ammunition. The Indian Army (IA) has invited responses from local and foreign vendors by 24 December to its request for information (RFI) regarding the intended acquisition of 100, 60mm light-weight mortars and ammunition.
Issued on 9 November by the IA’s Directorate of Infantry, the RFI requires the manportable mortars to be “as light as possible”, have a range of 2,000 m, and be capable of rapid fire.
The mortars should be capable of being used in India’s varied terrain and climatic conditions, the RFI stated, adding that a related request for proposal will “tentatively” be issued in January 2019. Delivery of the mortars and related ammunition would need to be completed within 12 months of the contract being signed. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
13 Nov 18. Thailand interested in acquiring L-39NG training aircraft. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis announced on 10 November that the Thai Ministry of Defence (MoD) has expressed interest in acquiring an undisclosed number of Aero Vodochody L-39NG jet trainers/light-attack aircraft.
“They [the Thais] are interested in our aircraft, the newest generation of aircraft, something which is considered to be hi-tech military technology,” Babis told reporters on 10 November following a meeting in Brussels earlier this month with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Babis is scheduled to visit Thailand in January when he intends to hold further talks with his Thai counterpart regarding the potential sale of the L-39NG, which was formally unveiled in mid-October, and the ongoing trade deficit between the Czech Republic and Thailand, which favours the latter.
According to Jane’s World Air Forces, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) currently operates 24 L-39ZA Albatros aircraft, some of which are being replaced by 12 Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50TH Golden Eagle lead-in fighter trainers (LIFT) ordered in 2015.
First launched at the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow, the L-39NG version of the L-39 Albatross features a more powerful Williams International FJ44-4M engine, a wet wing, a modern cockpit, and a lighter airframe than its predecessor, as Jane’s reported. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
14 Nov 18. Backbone of the fleet: The major players’ destroyers. Destroyers serve as the backbone of any navy. As Australia expands and modernises its own fleet of destroyers, we take a closer look at potent destroyer competition developing in our region. Hailing from relatively modest roots in terms of warship design and role, modern destroyers have evolved to become the undisputed multipurpose surface combatants of major navies around the world. Large hulls, long-ranges and high speeds support a wide variety of mission profiles, from convoy and battle-group escort for high-profile assets like aircraft carriers and amphibious warfare ships, to maritime security, land attack, anti-air and anti-submarine defence, destroyers are the core of the navy.
Meanwhile, the advent of increasingly powerful combat systems and advanced weapons systems including ship-mounted lasers are driving the role evolution of destroyers to include things like ballistic missile defence (BMD), while enhancing the already formidable capabilities of these key platforms.
Throughout Indo-Pacific Asia, destroyers are rapidly being commissioned or transferred to the region to beef up navies and secure key strategic assets, lines of communication and support power projection platforms.
In part one of this series, we will identify the various destroyer capabilities of key regional navies like the US, Japan, China and Russia.
United States Navy: The region’s pre-eminent maritime power, destroyers serve as the central pillar of the US Navy and its combat power in the Indo-Pacific region. Centred on the Arleigh Burke Class guided missile destroyer (DDG), the US Navy possesses one of the most potent, advanced and readily present destroyer forces in the region.
- Arleigh Burke Class: First commissioned in the early 1990s, the Arleigh Burke Class of destroyers serve as the workhorse of the US Navy. The Arleigh Burke Class currently has four ‘flight’ (Flight I, II, IIA and III) variants providing various technology and capability enhancements. The class ranges from 8,184-9,800 tonnes with a top speed in excess of 30 knots to keep pace with nuclear aircraft carriers. The destroyers weapons systems are guided by the SPY Aegis radar system and are armed with a traditional five-inch naval gun, between 90-96 cell vertical launch systems (VLS) for Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, SM-3 (BMD) missiles, Phalanx close-in weapons systems, various large calibre, small arms installations, Mk-46 or Mk-50 heavy weight torpedoes, and MH-60 series Seahawk helicopter(s) for anti-submarine warfare.
The US Navy currently operates about 32 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers in or around the Indo-Pacific, ranging from forward deployed destroyer squadrons based in Yokosuka, Japan, to destroyers based with carrier and amphibious strike groups on deployment away from home ports at Pearl Harbor, San Diego and Everret in Washington state.
The Arleigh Burkes also serve as the backbone of the US Navy’s afloat ballistic missile defence network, with a number of the vessels based in the Pacific operating with the new Baseline 9 of the Aegis system and conducting frequent testing of the BMD software and evolved SM-3 missiles in conjunction with Japanese Aegis destroyers to perfect the at-sea BMD capability.
Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force: Japan’s major surface combatant fleet is made up of a variety of destroyer class vessels, ranging from modern Aegis powered vessels – comparable in size and capability to the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke Class – to older, Cold War-era vessels that have seen various upgrades to enhance their survivability and combat capability in light of growing regional tensions.
- Maya Class: The latest addition to Japan’s potent fleet of Aegis destroyers, the two Maya Class vessels will serve as the backbone of Japan’s at-sea BMD capability and will also be equipped with the co-operative engagement capability (CEC), enabling closer interoperability with US and Australian Aegis vessels. The Maya Class weigh in at 10,250 tonnes fully loaded, with a top speed of 30 knots and are armed with a traditional five-inch naval gun, 96 cell VLS armed with a mix of SM-2 surface-to-air/anti-ship missiles, SM-3 BMD missiles and SM-6 anti-air interceptor missiles, two Phalanx close-in weapons systems, Mk 46 torpedoes, and SH-60 series Seahawk helicopters for anti-submarine warfare.
- Atago Class: The two Atago Class vessels served as the baseline design for the slightly larger Maya Class. Weighing in at 10,000 tonnes, with a top speed of 30 knots, the Atago Class vessels are equipped with the SPY Aegis radar system, are armed with a traditional five-inch naval gun, 96 cell VLS armed with a mix of SM-2 surface-to-air/anti-ship missiles, SM-3 BMD missiles and SM-6 anti-air interceptor missiles, two Phalanx close-in weapons systems, Mk 46 torpedoes, and a SH-60 series Seahawk helicopter for anti-submarine warfare.
- Kongo Class: The four Kongo Class vessels weigh in at 9,500 tonnes fully loaded and enjoy a top speed of 30 knots. The vessels are equipped with the SPY Aegis radar system and are armed with a traditional five-inch naval gun, 90 cell VLS with a mix of SM-2 surface-to-air/anti-ship missiles, SM-3 BMD missiles, two Phalanx close-in weapons systems, Mk 46 torpedoes, and SH-60 series Seahawk helicopters for anti-submarine warfare.
- Hatakaze Class: One of Japan’s older destroyer designs, the Hatazake Class are traditional, Cold War-era destroyers weighing in at about 6,050 tonnes fully loaded, with a top speed of 30 knots. Unlike the preceding vessels, the two Hatakaze vessels are not equipped with Aegis, rather the older OYQ-4-1 type tactical control system and are armed with two five-inch naval guns, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Standard Missiles (SM) surface-to-air missiles, two Phalanx close-in weapons systems and torpedoes for anti-submarine warfare.
- Ashai Class: The two new Asahi Class vessels are largely designed to perform battle-group anti-submarine warfare roles. Weighing in at 6,800 tonnes fully loaded with a top speed of 30 knots, the Asahi vessels are equipped with advanced, Japanese designed anti-air and sonar combat systems. The vessels are armed with a five-inch naval gun, 32 cell VLS system supporting ESSM, eight type 90 Japanese designed ship-to-ship missiles, two Phalanx close-in weapons systems, Mk 46 torpedoes, and SH-60 series Seahawk helicopters for anti-submarine warfare.
- Akizuki Class: Designed as large escorts for the Kongo Class vessels, the Akizuki Class weigh in at 6,800 tonnes and have a top speed of 30 knots. Like the Ashai Class, the Akizuki Class are equipped with advanced Japanese anti-air and sonar systems. The vessels are armed with a five-inch naval gun, 32 cell VLS system, Type 90 ship-to-ship missiles, ESSM and vertical launched anti-submarine rockets. The vessels are also equipped with two Phalanx close-in weapons systems, Mk 46 torpedoes, and SH-60 series Seahawk helicopters for anti-submarine warfare.
- Takanami Class: A second generation of Japanese destroyers, the five Takanami Class vessels weigh in at 6,300 tonnes fully loaded and maintain a top speed of 30 knots. Like the Ashai and Akizuki classes, the Takanami are equipped with advanced Japanese anti-air and sonar systems. The vessels are armed with a five-inch naval gun, 32 cell VLS system, Type 90 ship-to-ship missiles, ESSM and vertical launched anti-submarine rockets. The vessels are also equipped with two Phalanx close-in weapons systems, Mk 46 torpedoes, and SH-60 series Seahawk helicopters for anti-submarine warfare.
- Murasame Class: Another second generation design of Japanese destroyers, the nine Murasame Class vessels have a full load weight of 6,200 tonnes and a top speed of 30 knots. Like the Ashai, Akizuki and Takanami classes, the Murasame Class vessels are equipped with with advanced Japanese anti-air and sonar systems. The vessels are also armed with a 76mm main gun, 32 cell VLS system Type 90 ship-to-ship missiles, ESSM and vertical launched anti-submarine rockets. The vessels are also equipped with two Phalanx close-in weapons systems, Mk 46 torpedoes, and SH-60 series Seahawk helicopters for anti-submarine warfare.
The Japanese destroyer fleet represents a series of design evolutions in response to varying threats ranging from Soviet submarines during the Cold War, to the rising the threat of modern ballistic and anti-ship cruise missile systems.
Japan’s policy of ever larger designs, facilitating more advanced combat and weapons systems enhances Japan’s attempts to protect strategic sea-lines-of-communication (SLOC) in and around the Japanese mainland.
Additionally, the high top-speed of the vessels also highlights the battle-group protection role Japan provides for key strategic platforms including their own large-deck amphibious warfare ships and similar vessels and aircraft carriers of key regional allies like the US.
People’s Liberation Army – Navy: As China has invested in key force projection platforms like aircraft carriers, the nation’s destroyer fleet has evolved to provide battle-group protection, anti-submarine, anti-air, anti-ship and land attack capabilities throughout Indo-Pacific Asia. Much like Japan, the Chinese Navy’s fleet of destroyers has evolved from Cold War-era units to highly sophisticated, multi-role surface combatants comparable to Western counterparts.
- Type 055 Class: The pinnacle of Chinese destroyer design, the six vessel destroyer class fills a role similar to the US Navy’s Ticonderoga Class guided missile cruisers. Weighing in at 12-13,000 tonnes fully loaded, with a top speed of 30 knots, these potent vessels are equipped with a Chinese developed combat system similar to the American Aegis combat system, enabling potent area-air defence and battle-group protection. The Type 055 are armed with a dual purpose 130mm main gun, a H/PJ-14 close in weapon system, a 24 cell HQ-10 short-range surface-to-air missile launcher and a 112 cell VLS system for surface-to-air, anti-ship and land attack cruise missiles, supplemented by missile launched anti-submarine torpedoes and two anti-submarine warfare helicopters.
- Type 052D Class: China’s answer to the American Arleigh Burke Class with a planned production run of 26 ships. The 7,500-tonne vessels are capable of a top speed of 31 knots and are armed with Chinese developed combat system similar to the American Aegis combat system potent area-air defence and anti-submarine warfare sonar systems enabling battle-group protection. The vessels are are armed with the same 130mm dual purpose naval gun as the Type 055 Class. The vessels’ armament also includes a 64 cell VLS system for anti-submarine, anti-air, anti-ship and land attack cruise missiles, and also includes a 24 cell HQ-10 short-range surface-to-air missile launcher, a H/PJ-12 close-in weapon system, torpedoes and a single anti-submarine warfare helicopter.
- Type 052C Class: Similar in role to the Type 052D vessels, the Type 052C are designed to serve as battle-group escorts and independent multi-role warships. Weighing in at 7,000 tonnes with a top speed of 32 knots, the vessels are armed with potent H/LJG0346 active phased array radar and H/SJD-9 and H/SJG-206 sonar suite to provide potent area-air defence and anti-submarine defence capabilities. The six vessels are armed with a single 100mm main gun, 48 HHQ-9 long-range surface-to-air missiles, eight C-805 anti-ship/land attack cruise missiles or eight YJ-82 anti-ship cruise missiles, two close-in weapons systems, torpedoes and a single anti-submarine warfare helicopter.
- Type 052B Class: The test-bed for all following Chinese guided missile destroyers capable of area-air defence, the 6,500-tonne vessels are capable of 30 knots and armed with the Fregat-MAE-5 3D radar and armed with a single 100mm main gun, 16 YJ-83 anti-ship missiles, 48 SA-N-12 Grizzly surface-to-air missiles, two close-in weapons systems, two anti-submarine mortars, torpedoes and a single Russian designed Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopter.
- Sovremenny Class: The Soviet designed destroyer is designed largely to fill the anti-surface, convoy escort and anti-submarine warfare role. The vessels weigh in at 8,840 tonnes fully loaded and have a top-speed of 32.7 knots. The vessels are potently armed with a variety of naval guns and missiles. This includes two dual 130mm naval guns, four close-in weapons systems, eight Moskit SSM anti-ship missiles, 48 Grizzly surface-to-air missiles and 533mm torpedoes, two 300mm anti-submarine rocket launchers and a single Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopter.
China’s rapidly developing destroyer fleet is diverse and largely the result of a large number of test-bed designs that produced the above mentioned in large scale service vessels.
Designs like the Type 051 variants and the original Type 052 destroyers were introduced in a limited run, providing the Chinese Navy with the opportunity to perfect key technologies, be they combat systems or domestically developed weapons systems.
China’s increasing focus on developing a robust, blue-water navy is emphasised by the increasingly capable designs, such as the Type 052 variants and the Type 055 vessels in particular.
The potent area-air defence, anti-surface and anti-submarine capabilities of these vessels serve to enhance the Chinese Navy’s operational capacity and the strategy of area-access denial (A2AD) in the Indo-Pacific region.
Russian Navy: Inheriting vessels from the former Soviet Navy, Russia’s Pacific surface fleet is relatively small, but heavily dependent on destroyers as the workhorse. These designs serve to support the traditional anti-aircraft carrier doctrines of the Russian Navy, introduced to counter the force-projection capabilities of the US Navy and its carrier strike groups and US hunter-killer submarines during the Cold War.
- Sovremenny Class: The Soviet designed destroyer is designed largely to fill the anti-surface, convoy escort and anti-submarine warfare role. The vessels weigh in at 8,840 tonnes fully loaded and have a top-speed of 32.7 knots. They are potently armed with a variety of naval guns and missiles. This includes two dual 130mm naval guns, four close-in weapons systems, eight Moskit SSM anti-ship missiles, 48 Grizzly surface-to-air missiles and 533mm torpedoes, two 300mm anti-submarine rocket launchers and a single Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopter.
- Udaloy Class: Designed to hunt down American hunter-killer submarines, the Udaloy Class vessels provide the Russian Pacific fleet with an adaptable and highly capable anti-submarine vessel. Weighing in at 7,750 tonnes fully loaded, with an impressive top speed of 35 knots, the vessels are armed with a potent array of anti-air, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons, including two 10mm naval guns, eight Silex anti-submarine/ship missiles, 64 cell Gauntlet surface-to-air missiles, four close-in weapons systems, 553mm torpedoes, two anti-submarine rocket launchers and two Ka-27 anti-submarine warfare helicopters.
Russia’s Navy has been undergoing a series of modernisation and recapitalisation programs in recent decades as the Russian government redirects its focus onto the Pacific. This process will see a large portion of Russia’s Pacific surface fleet replaced by modern designs, including the Seregushchiy Class corvettes and potentially six of the mammoth, 10-15,000-tonne Lider Class nuclear powered guided missile destroyers. (Source: Defence Connect)
13 Nov 18. Industry bodies secure defence SME strategic partnership. The Australian Industry Group Defence Council has signed individual MoUs with both the Defence Teaming Centre (DTC) and Australian Industry and Defence Network (AIDN National) to collaborate on the development and capacity building of SMEs within the defence industry. As part of the agreements, the DTC and AIDN National will join Ai Group’s Defence Council national executive.
Chair of the Ai Group Defence Council Andy Keough said the agreements will see the organisations collaborate more to help boost competitiveness in the industry.
“Supporting our SMEs is one of the most important objectives of Ai Group’s Defence Council, which is why I am pleased to be working with both AIDN National and the DTC. Both these organisations have proud records supporting and promoting SMEs in the defence industry,” Keough said.
Deputy chair of the Ai Group Defence Council and SME representative Chris Williams said, “These initiatives are designed to support the federal government’s investment in defence projects and will help ensure SMEs are deeply engaged in this national endeavour.”
The Ai Group Defence Council is the peak national representative body for the Australian defence industry, bringing government, Defence and defence industry together for the benefit of Australia’s national security and the growth and development of locally based defence industry.
The Australian Industry & Defence Network Incorporated (AIDN) is the peak industry association for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) wishing to do business in the defence and security sectors.
Established in 1995, AIDN represents the interests of Australian SMEs in the defence and security industry sectors by advocacy, representation and member services.
AIDN is made up of State and Territory Chapters with a combined membership of around 600 principally SME companies. Its chapter structures are optimised to reflect the nature of the defence and security industries in each State and Territory, which ensures that its national direction is informed by a full range of industry views.
The Defence Teaming Centre (DTC) is a nationally-focused member organisation connecting and supporting Australian industry to develop capability and increase overall competitiveness in domestic and global defence markets.
DTC has a large membership which includes Prime Defence Contractors, Small-to-Medium Enterprises, Professional Service Providers and Academic Institutions that are involved in supplying and supporting Defence capability. The DTC is a part of the Australian Defence Alliance (ADA), a collaboration with AIDN-Victoria and WA’s Henderson Alliance to offer professionally managed advocacy, strategic governance and policy support. Together, members of the ADA represents close to 1000 small to medium sized enterprises in defence and dual-use industries. (Source: Defence Connect)
11 Nov 18. Indo Defence 2018: Indonesia restarts acquisitions of MALE UAVs, passive surveillance system. Key Points:
- Indonesia has restarted acquisition processes for strike-capable UAVs, and a passive tracker system
- Processes are being restarted to maximise involvement of local industry players in the respective programmes
The Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has restarted the acquisition processes for four weaponised medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (MALE UAVs), and a passive electronic support measure (ESM) tracker that is meant to strengthen defences around Ranai airbase.
These acquisitions have been restarted because of a variety of issues including disagreements over localised production processes and funding arrangements, an official from the ministry told Jane’s at the Indo Defence 2018 exhibition in Jakarta.
Jane’s first reported in February 2018 that Indonesia has acquired four units of the Wing Loong UAV rom Chinese state-owned aerospace and defence company Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to fulfil the country’s unmanned strike capabilities.
Further details of the acquisition emerged in March 2018 with the release of a biography on Hadi Tjahjanto, Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, who defended the acquisition of Chinese UAVs in the book amid mounting criticism over the choice. “China has no restrictions over who can manufacture the UAVs, and we can benefit from the technology transfer,” he said in the biography.
But now that the acquisition has been restarted, among systems being considered for the requirement include the Anka MALE UAV from Turkish Aircraft Industries (TAI).
A company official Jane’s spoke to at Indo Defence 2018 has confirmed that the company is aware of Indonesia’s interest on the system, and has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Indonesian state-owned aerospace company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) to collaborate on a variant of the UAV should a contract for it materialise.
12 Nov 18. Global wrap-up: Indonesia’s new fighter contest up in the air, Sikorsky secures contract for Super Stallions. This global wrap-up provides key updates of industry developments across the globe, including new procurement deals, capability introductions and key announcements.
- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has signed a US$816m deal to build the first two of four multi role frigates for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). Armament on the 3,900-tonne vessels will include the navalised version of the Type-03 (also known as the ‘Chū-SAM Kai’) medium-range surface-to-air missile, a five-inch (127mm)/62-calibre gun, a vertical launch system, canister-launched anti-ship missiles, and a SeaRAM close-in weapon system.
- The Republic of Korea Air Force is set to take delivery of its first Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) as part of a US$1.3bn deal for four tankers.
- Lockheed Martin has secured a US$366 m deal with the Republic of Korea Navy to build and integrate Aegis combat systems into the three KDX-III Guided Missile Destroyers (DDG).
- The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has showcased a number of improvements for key locally developed fighter aircraft including the Chengdu J-10 and J-20 stealth fighter.
- Indonesia’s program to procure Russian Su-35 ‘Flanker E’ multi role combat aircraft is at risk of termination following US pressure and legislation to force the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) to procure the Lockheed Martin F-16V Viper aircraft.
- Taiwan has commissioned two former US Navy Perry Class guided missile frigates into its Navy as the country seeks to respond to growing concerns about the threat presented by China.
- Iran has started production of the locally-designed Kowsar fighter aircraft. Iran says the Kowsar is “100 per cent indigenously made” and able to carry various weapons and is to be used for short aerial support missions.
- Saudi Arabia has signed a joint venture with Spanish company Navantia to jointly build five corvettes for the Royal Saudi Navy.
- Pakistan has conducted a joint military exercise with Russia. The exercise saw troops from both the countries take part in various exercises and also exchanged mutual counter-terrorism experiences.
- The French Navy’s aircraft carrier, Charles De Gaulle, has returned to service following a €1.3bn Euro mid-life upgrade program, which focused on modernising facilities for landing and guiding aircraft.
- The French Air Force has officially joined the global KC-30/A330 MRTT family with the delivery of the country’s first tanker aircraft.
- Germany’s military has been caught up in a scandal after it was discovered that just over one-third of their newly delivered equipment is fit for purpose an official report found. The report states only 38 of the 97 heavy military equipment delivered to the Bundeswehr in 2017 can be used.
- Leonardo has received a contract to provide seven OTO76/62 Super Rapid (SR) gun mount systems for the Germany Navy’s new K130 Corvettes.
- The Italian Navy is set to launch a series of programs, including a third batch of two evolved Type 212A submarines, an improved version of MBDA’s Teseo Mk 2 anti-ship missile system and a submarine rescue vessel.
- Poland has signed a €175m deal to procure the Pilica air defence system, which consists of a double-barrelled 23mm gun and two short-range Grom missiles. It can be used to combat unmanned aerial systems, helicopters, aircraft and manoeuvring missiles.
- Lockheed Martin has secured a US$717m sustainment contract with the US Navy and US Marine Corps for the CH-53E Super Stallion and MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters.
- The US Navy is introducing a ‘Top Gun’ school for it’s submarine fleet to develop the anti-submarine warfare capabilities need to respond to growing Russian and Chinese fleets and capabilities.
- The US Army has developed a next-generation concealment technology called the Ultra-Light Camouflage Netting System that can be used to conceal soldiers, vehicles, tanks and aircraft. The new camouflage system will mask soldiers, vehicles and installations from state-of-the-art electro-optical sensors and radars.
- The Canadian Navy has received its sixth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS). The additional AOPS will enhance the Canadian Armed Forces’ capabilities in the Arctic, as well as augment its presence on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The AOPS are designed to be used for a variety of missions at home and abroad, such as coastal surveillance, search and rescue, drug interdiction, support to international partners, humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
- Dassault Aviation has withdrawn from Canada’s competition to buy 88 new fighter aircraft. With the Rafale out of the race, the potential aircraft in the competition now include the Lockheed Martin F-35, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab’s Gripen and the Boeing Super Hornet.
- The US reaped US$192.3bn from weapon sales in the 2018 fiscal year, up 13 per cent on 2017 figures.
- ASC has secured a specialist support role for Saab’s A26 future submarine development program.
- Australia has successfully launched the OneSKY air traffic control program to integrate civilian and military air traffic on a common system.
- BAE Systems Australia has delivered a key capability upgrade to the Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac Class frigate HMAS Arunta as part of the ship’s Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP).
- Australia has successfully integrated the Cooperative Engagement Capability into HMAS Hobart during exercises in the Pacific with the US Navy. (Source: Defence Connect)
09 Nov 18. Argentina receives first of 20 surplus AB-206 helos from Italy. With FAdeA currently re-assembling AB-206 helicopters ahead of delivery to Argentina’s army and border police, the first should enter service in 2019. The first of 20 surplus Bell AB-206 observation and light utility helicopters purchased from Italy arrived in Argentina in early November. Nine of the helicopters that have been procured to equip the Argentine Army (Ejército Argentino: EA) and Border Police (Gendarmería Nacional: GN) arrived at the Fábrica Argentina de Aviones SA (FAdeA) factory for re-assembly on 3 November. Of the 20 helicopters, 15 will be operated by the EA with five going to the GN. One of the 20 helicopters did not require overhaul by FAdeA, and has been assembled by the army. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
09 Nov 18. Chile to modernise F-16s, procure additional aircraft. Chile is to modernise its fighter fleet as a matter of urgency, senior air force officials told Jane’s on 8 November. Chile is to upgrade 36 of the 44 F-16s it received from the Netherlands, with between eight and 10 more to be procured. The service’s new commander, General Arturo Merino, has instructed that the upgrade of Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters should be given priority, along with the procurement of new F-16 Block 50 aircraft to bolster the fleet. According to officials, the upgraded F-16s are to be equipped with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars that come with the F-16V Block 70 variant of the aircraft. It is unclear if the Block 50 aircraft being purchased will also be upgraded with the AESA. Under the programme, 36 of the 44 F-16s that were acquired second-hand from the Netherlands between 2006 and 2011 will be updated. A further eight to 10 F-16s will be procured to augment the existing fleet. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
American Panel Corporation
American Panel Corporation (APC) since 1998, specializes in display products installed in defence land systems, as well as military and commercial aerospace platforms, having delivered well over 100,000 displays worldwide. Military aviators worldwide operate their aircraft and perform their missions using APC displays, including F-22, F-18, F-16, F-15, Euro-fighter Typhoon, Mirage 2000, C-130, C-17, P-3, S-3, U-2, AH-64 Apache Helicopter, V-22 tilt-rotor, as well as numerous other military and commercial aviation aircraft including Boeing 717 – 787 aircraft and several Airbus aircraft. APC panels are found in nearly every tactical aircraft in the US and around the world.
APC manufactures the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Large Area Display (LAD) display (20 inch by 8 inch) with dual pixel fields, power and video interfaces to provide complete display redundancy. At DSEI 2017 we are exhibiting the LAD with a more advanced design, dual display on single substrate with redundant characteristics and a bespoke purpose 8 inch by 6 inch armoured vehicle display.
In order to fully meet the demanding environmental and optical requirements without sacrificing critical tradeoffs in performance, APC designs, develops and manufactures these highly specialized displays in multiple sizes and configurations, controlling all AMLCD optical panel, mechanical and electrical design aspects. APC provides both ITAR and non-ITAR displays across the globe to OEM Prime and tiered vetronics and avionics integrators.