Sponsored by American Panel Corporation
04 Sep 19. Babcock poised as winning bidder for Type 31e? Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that Babcock’s design for the Type 31e frigate will be selected as the Preferred Design as early as Wednesday next week, during DSEI. The other teams bidding were Atlas Elektronik UK, and BAE Systems. All teams were each awarded competitive design phase contracts, worth GBP5m (USD6.37m) apiece, to mature their candidate design, build strategy, and commercial proposals over a seven-month period. Bids for the design and build phase were received by DE&S on 24 June. Forming the centrepiece of the government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, the Type 31e programme calls for the acquisition of a class of five globally deployable general-purpose frigates geared towards forward-deployed maritime security, presence, and defence engagement operations. Babcock had selected Harland & Wolf and Ferguson Marine as partner yards for its bid, however both of these are in doubt with Harland 7 Wolf in receivership and Ferguson having been nationalised by the Scottish Government. One pall hanging over all naval shipbuilding bids and other areas of high tech engineering is the looming lack of expertise in such areas as heavy electrical engineering in nuclear and non-nuclear projects. This should have been addressed by the government at least five years ago.
05 Sep 19. UK DASA launches Phase I of military waste recycling competition. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has invited companies to pitch innovative ideas to help with the recycling of military waste, oils, fuel and other liquid chemicals. The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has called for proposals for novel approaches to enable the development of a Bioprocessing Prototype System across MoD sites. The prototype should have the potential for further development into a permanent system. The idea is to convert military waste obtained from MoD sites into reusable by-products. Through the competition, the ministry wants to have its own waste management mechanism by establishing bio processors at its sites. The approach will do away with the existing setup of disposing of military waste by external companies and yield cost benefits.
In a statement, DASA said: “DASA seeks proposals that can develop a bioprocessing system capable of breaking down waste materials into reusable products, for example, water which can be reintroduced into the water course or reused on-site, CO₂ to be captured and reused in innovative ways, and the residue organic matter which could be used as fertiliser.”
The competition is open to academics, small and medium-sized enterprises and larger companies. Under the first phase of the military waste recycling competition, DASA will provide funding of around £1m for up to five proof-of-concept (prototype) solutions. Later phases of the competition will unlock additional funding. DASA will conduct an Industry Day event at RAF Brize Norton on 1 October to brief the industry about the problem space and gather feedback. Interested companies can submit ideas by 30 October. Bidders should submit proposals focused on the development of an energy-powered bioprocessing system to break down the waste. Other focus areas include the development of microbe mixes and identifying the recycling potential of by-products for reuse.
22 Aug 19. UK MoD Further Details Interim Anti-Ship Missile Need Through Contract Notice. In a recent announcement, the UK Ministry of Defence Torpedoes, Tomahawk and Harpoon (TTH) Project Team further detailed its requirement to implement an interim surface to surface guided weapon to replace the existing Harpoon missile. This follows a prior information notice (PIN) issued by the same TTH project team in March, as reported by Naval News. A major new requirement emerged however with the contract notice issued on August 19 compared to the PIN: A terrain following precision maritime land attack capability.
The TTH project team, part of the UK Ministry of Defence, hereafter referred to as the authority, has a requirement for the provision and introduction into service of the I-SSGW system as an interim replacement for the existing system that is going out of service.
The I-SSGW is to provide a ship launched over the horizon precision anti-ship capability and a terrain following precision maritime land attack capability.
It is anticipated that the I-SSGW capability will operate on X 5 Type 23 (Towed Array) frigates capable of concurrent Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW) operations in protection of a formed Maritime Tasking Group, for a 10-year period.
UK Ministry of Defence, Weapons, Torpedoes, Tomahawk and Harpoon (TTH) Project Team’s contract notice issued August 19, 2019.
The «terrain following precision maritime land attack capability » virtually disqualifies a number of anti-ship missiles avaiable off the shelf, including Boeing’s Harpoon, South Korea’s C-STAR or MBDA’s Exocet. These three missiles only feature a limited way-point guidance capability and limited coastal (shore based) target capability. But they lack the, now key, terrain following capability.
With this new requirement in mind, likely remaining bidders for the the SSGW requirement include Lockheed Martin with the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), Kongsberg with the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) and Saab’s RBS15 Mk4, three anti-ship missiles of the latest generation. It is not clear whether Turkey’s Atmaca or Israel’s Gabriel V anti-ship missiles feature terrain following capability but this seems unlikely.
According to the contract notice, the I-SSGW solution is set to fill a gap for a 10-year period. First delivery of the ship installed equipment would be required by December 2022 and first delivery of missiles would be required by December 2023. The potential contract will be for 4 years, with the potential of option years to follow (up to 9 more years). This should answer the Royal Navy’s needs until the early 2030’s and the implementation of the UK-French FC/ASW missile program.
Following the Lancaster House agreement of 2010, France and the United Kingdom launched in 2017 a joint program with the goal to replace their cruise and anti-ship missiles circa 2030. (Source: News Now/https://www.navalnews.com)
12 Aug 19. UK police may buy more helicopters. The UK’s National Police Air Service (NPAS) has begun a process that could see the operator acquire a batch of new helicopters. According to tender documents, the provider has started a survey of the market to assess the availability, capability and cost of different rotorcraft types. Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer lists the NPAS as operating a 19-strong fleet, all from Airbus Helicopters: 15 H135s and four EC145s. The most elderly aircraft are a pair of H135 light-twins that are both 17 years old, although six helicopters in total are more than 15 years old. The NPAS declines to comment on its fleet strategy. However, the tender documents list the “soft market engagement” as related to “aircraft renewal”.
Given that the service has steadily shrunk in aircraft and base numbers since its inception, it is unlikely that any new helicopters will be used for fleet expansion.
When the NPAS launched in 2012, it had 25 helicopters across 23 bases, against 19 at 15 locations presently.
“NPAS’s intention is to explore what is within the market to assist with a procurement strategy, should purchase of new aircraft happen,” it says. The market evaluation runs until 3 September. (Source: News Now/FlightGlobal)
10 Aug 19. UK DASA seeks proposals for metasurface technology competition. The UK Government’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), along with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), is inviting proposals for phase two of the metasurface technology competition. The competition is looking for companies that can harness advances in metasurface technology to maintain an electromagnetic tactical advantage for the front-line.
DASA intends to integrate the innovative solutions into devices and onto platforms to maintain ‘effectiveness in the increasingly congested electromagnetic environment’.
In a statement, DASA said: “Advantage may be realised by sensing and communication superiority over an adversary. This applies equally to enhancing your own capabilities, degrading those of your adversaries, or being better able to differentiate your own signals from those in the congested environment.”
The advanced metasurfaces technology is expected to provide an improved understanding of the battlefield and facilitate secure communication by allowing better control of electromagnetic waves.
In addition, the solution will cut costs and reduce device footprint.
The competition seeks to invite experts in the private sector and academia to help develop the innovations.
Under the first phase of the competition, DASA awarded contracts to nine companies.
Companies looking to participate in phase two will have to submit proposals incorporating metasurface science for applications in defence and security.
The final round of the phase will require companies to make a practical demonstration of the work to defence and security end users.
DASA added: “We are keen to promote teaming between organisations from across industry, academia, and broader supply chains to develop the role of metasurfaces in relevant applications.”
The metasurfaces competition phase two is set to be launched at a demonstration day for phase one next month.
The organisation will provide at least £500,000 in funding for the second phase. Contracts are expected to be awarded by February / March next year. (Source: army-technology.com)
15 Aug 19. UK bans transfer of submersibles to Russia. The British government has extended its prohibition on the transfer of defence and dual-use goods to Russia, the Department for International Trade’s Export Control Joint Unit announced on 14 August. New measures that have been added to the UK’s export control list explicitly forbid the export of submersible vessels and related equipment, as well as software and technology, to Russia, with aims of frustrating the country’s development of the ability to locate and disrupt undersea communications cables. Alongside undersea vehicles, the new wording includes acoustic, communications, and navigation systems, as well as control and handling devices. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
04 Aug 19. UK begins search for future EW countermeasures. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is canvassing industry for electronic warfare countermeasures (EWCM) systems and technologies that could address the Royal Navy’s (RN’s) needs for future soft-kill anti-ship missile defence.
Forming the second component of the overarching Maritime Electronic Warfare Programme (MEWP), the EWCM activity is considering trainable launcher systems, delivery vehicles, and electronic payloads.
In a request for information (RFI) released in early July, the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation’s Maritime Combat Systems team advised that it was conducting market research “to gain a better understanding of the current marketplace and level of technology maturity,” adding, “This RFI encompasses Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) of TRL 5 and above and is primarily interested in commercial and military off-the-shelf (COTS/MOTS) trainable decoy launchers available now or in the very near future.” (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.