Friday, March 27, 2015

New flight simulator for Navy helicopter crews

CAE

Canberra March 27, 2015 - The Minister for Defence, Kevin Andrews, and the Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis, today announced that the first of two Navy MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ flight simulators had been commissioned into service.
The Seahawk Romeo training system is part of the $3.2 billion dollar investment that will deliver 24 new Seahawk Romeo naval combat helicopters.
More than 100 long term jobs will be created in the Shoalhaven area to support the new Seahawk Romeo capability.
The training system will include two full motion flight simulators and a wide range of sophisticated maintenance trainers, allowing Navy’s Seahawk Romeo crews to safely train in Australia across a wide range of operational and mission related training scenarios.
HMAS Albatross in Nowra, has already begun training Seahawk Romeo crew, with a training capacity of around 80 students a year, including pilots, aviation warfare officers, sensor operators, and maintenance personnel.
The simulators will prepare Navy crews for advanced maritime combat operations from Navy ships all over the world.
It is expected that the second simulator will be delivered in 2016.
The Seahawk Romeo helicopters are on track to achieve an Initial Operational Capability at sea by August 2015.

First Pass approval for ANZAC Air Search Radar Replacement

RAN

Canberra March 27, 2015 - The Australian Government had provided First Pass approval for project SEA 1448 Phase 4B – ANZAC Air Search Radar Replacement.
The ANZAC frigates use their air search radar to scan at long ranges for potential threats. The radar is an integral part of a modern warship and important for ensuring the safety of the vessel and other friendly ships in dangerous areas. The current ANZAC radar is old and requires replacement with modern technology to maintain the robust front-line capability provided by these ships.
In addition to the radar replacement, there will be an upgrade to the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) capability to comply with future military and civil Secondary Surveillance Radar aviation requirements.
The project intends to replace the ageing long-range radar onboard the ANZAC class frigates with significantly more capable radar, with integrated and upgraded IFF capability, currently under development by CEA Technologies in Canberra.
CEA is an internationally recognised Australian company that developed the successful Anti-Ship Missile Defence ‘CEAFAR’ radar currently being installed on the ANZAC frigates.
The new radar will build on this successful technology to deliver a generational improvement over the current ANZAC long-range radar. The CEA long-range radar is expected to provide earlier warning of potential threats and greater situational awareness to the ship and the task group. The two radars share the same design principles and will provide a significant capability advantage to our ships.
The Department of Defence will continue to work with CEA to successfully develop this new technology. As part of a Risk Reduction Program with CEA, the technology is expected to be demonstrated in 2015‑16. In the event that the Risk Reduction Program is not successful, Defence may consider military‑off‑the‑shelf radar options.
Government will consider the next steps for the project at Second Pass approval planned for 2016-17.
The new capability is forecast to be in service by the end of the decade. It is expected that it will be supported by Australian industry throughout its life.

New UK-French mine countermeasures contract awarded

BAE Systems

London March 27, 2015 - On behalf of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) in France and UK MOD’s Defence Equipment & Support organisation, OCCAR has awarded the Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) contract to Thales, in collaboration with BAE Systems and their partners in France (ECA) and in the UK (ASV, Wood & Douglas, SAAB). Initiated in 2012 under a cooperation agreement between France and the United Kingdom, the MMCM program develops a prototype autonomous system for detection and neutralisation of sea mines and underwater improvised explosive devices (UWIEDs).
The MMCM contract includes three stages, starting with a first phase for design. The next stages, which are subject to contract options, will manufacture and experiment the future mine countermeasures capabilities of both France (SLAM-F future mine countermeasures system) and the United Kingdom (MHC – Minecountermeasures and Hydrography Capability). The program will deliver an autonomous, remotely operated mine countermeasures solution.
As part of the MMCM program, Thales and BAE Systems are committed to providing systems to both the French Navy and Royal Navy for two years of evaluation testing. Each system will comprise a USV (Unmanned Surface Vehicle) equipped with an autonomous navigation system, an obstacle detection and avoidance sonar, a threat identification and neutralisation capability based on ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles), a T-SAS (Towed Synthetic Aperture Sonar) and AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles). The geolocated AUVs will use the latest-generation synthetic aperture sonar SAMDIS with multi-aspect functionality for improved classification. They will perform their tasks autonomously with control from a host ship or shore-based station via high-data-rate communication links.
The systems, meeting the operational requirements of both nations, incorporate state-of-the-art technologies including very high-resolution multiview imaging sonars and sophisticated analysis tools to provide unparalleled levels of performance in automatic threat recognition and classification.
The project will be delivered by an integrated team including personnel from Thales in France and the UK as well as BAE Systems.  French and UK contractors involved in the MMCM system include ASV Ltd for the supply of the surface vehicle, ECA for the supply of the underwater unmanned vehicles, SAAB for the ROVs and Wood & Douglas for communications.
Thales will deliver the integrated Portable Operations Centre (POC) solution, which will incorporate command & control by Thales and BAE Systems. BAE Systems will provide the Mission Management System, managing the command and information systems, as well as the ROVs, the virtual visualization and experimentation suite.
The launch of this program builds on the Lancaster House defence and security cooperation treaties signed in November 2010 and follows on from the Franco-British summit held on 31 January 2014.

U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey lands on a South Korean ship for the first time



Two Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys performed touch-and-go landings on the ROKS Dokdo on March 26, 2015, the first time an Osprey landing on a South Korean ship.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Maritime garrison stages tactical drill in South China Sea

The main artillery is firing at the target. A maritime garrison command of the South China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy held an one-week-long drill at a sea area in the South China Sea in middle and late March. Warships of multiple types practiced during the tactics drill of different maritime operations including firing at the surface target, missile attacks, anti-submarine, anti-terror and anti-piracy as well as comprehensive defense. (Chinamil.com.cn/Zhao Changhong)

Two rocket shells are launched from a warship in the drill. A maritime garrison command of the South China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy held an one-week-long drill at a sea area in the South China Sea in middle and late March. Warships of multiple types practiced during the tactics drill of different maritime operations including firing at the surface target, missile attacks, anti-submarine, anti-terror and anti-piracy as well as comprehensive defense. (Chinamil.com.cn/Zhao Changhong)

Two smoke jamming bombs are fired in the drill. A maritime garrison command of the South China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy held an one-week-long drill at a sea area in the South China Sea in middle and late March. Warships of multiple types practiced during the tactics drill of different maritime operations including firing at the surface target, missile attacks, anti-submarine, anti-terror and anti-piracy as well as comprehensive defense. (Chinamil.com.cn/Zhao Changhong)

The shells are well maintained. A maritime garrison command of the South China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy held an one-week-long drill at a sea area in the South China Sea in middle and late March. Warships of multiple types practiced during the tactics drill of different maritime operations including firing at the surface target, missile attacks, anti-submarine, anti-terror and anti-piracy as well as comprehensive defense. (Chinamil.com.cn/Zhao Changhong)

MOD announces go ahead for land transfer for Plymouth City Deal

MOD

London March 26, 2015 - Defence Minister Phillip Dunne today confirmed the transfer of land from MOD to allow the Plymouth City Deal to go ahead.
Speaking at a ceremony at the city’s historic South Yard, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:
Devonport has been at the heart of Plymouth for generations, so I am delighted to confirm that the Ministry of Defence will be transferring South Yard to Plymouth City Council for its City Deal program, which in total is expected to create more than 9,000 jobs and bring in more than £290 million in much-needed investment to the South West.
It will also preserve this vital part of Plymouth’s naval heritage, further strengthening the bonds between Plymouth and the Royal Navy.
More than 40 companies have already expressed interest in the site, which was declared an Enterprise Zone by Chancellor George Osborne in last week’s Budget. This will allow Plymouth City Council will be able to offer competitive packages to business wishing to relocate to South Yard.
The development of South Yard is expected to create 1,100 jobs as the site becomes a dynamic new center of marine industry. Once finished, the redevelopment of the site will create 25,000m2 of flexible employment space with deep water testing facilities suitable for the marine and advanced manufacturing sectors.
Base Commander of Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport Commodore Ian Shipperley said:
The redevelopment of South Yard will be a shot in the arm for the Plymouth economy and the South West in general. The unique facilities make this a prime location for the very industries that have been the lifeblood of Plymouth for hundreds of years, and we at HMRNB Plymouth are delighted to see this site put to such a good use.

Russia Continues to Expel Foreign Environmental Watch Dogs