DSEi: Asian region activities.
Byline: Ted Hooton / London
The United Kingdom held its Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEi) defence exhibition at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands in September and it proved another successful event.
The show is one of Europe’s largest displays of defence equipment and is unusual in covering land, sea and air aspects. There were more than 1,300 exhibitors and numerous delegations including those from the Pacific Rim.
Thales Australia was highlighting the Hawkei lightweight 4 x 4 Light Protected mobility vehicle.
The company is hoping to capitalise on the export success of the Bushmaster but the emphasis in Hawkei is on winning the Land 121 Phase 4 contract. Major attractions for potential customers are the versatility of the basic design and the ease with which the 6.8 tonne vehicle can be upgraded.
The vehicle is based not upon a chassis but upon the crew/payload pod. The latest concept is a soft-topped Special Forces vehicle which would be 6.2 metres long.
CEA Technologies had plenty of good news when they attended DSEi as part of a world-wide marketing effort.
The company’s CEAFAR and CEAMount radars have been fitted into HMAS Perth as part of Anti-Ship Missile Defence Project and the ship has now been deployed. Meanwhile CEAFAR has been demonstrated by Northrop Grumman’s Naval and Marine Systems Division in Maryland.
The self-contained Dual Face Demonstration unit consists of two CEAFAR faces requiring only power and an Ethernet connection to control the system. To enhance the demonstration, the CEAFAR radar was successfully integrated with Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Combat Management System and NG Con, a mobile command-and-control system in several threat scenarios demonstrated against controlled and uncontrolled air and maritime targets.
Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK) is seeking more orders for its Bronco armoured all-terrain vehicle.
Bronco has been bought by Singapore and Thailand and is one of the two contenders for the Swedish Army requirement, for which bids were to be received in early October. During DSEi the company signed a memorandum of understanding with AmSafe Industries to market the latter’s innovative Tarian rocket propelled grenade net protection system.
Tarian is already in service with the British Army and STK plans to offer it an option on its vehicles as well as marketing in regions where it already has a strong presence. Tarian has been designed as the replacement for bar armour and is claimed to offer weight savings of up to 98 per cent.
ST Kinetics revealed a contract worth S$68 million (A$53 million) from the Singapore Defence Ministry to supply its Spider Light Strike and spares.
Designed with a unique centre drive configuration allowing for weapon systems to be mounted on both sides of the driver, the Spider LSV incorporates a state-of-the-art electronic controlled engine, a four-speed automatic transmission and an enhanced suspension system capable of high cross-country manoeuvrability. The Spider LSV has an increased seating capacity for a crew of six and is heli-portable and delivery is expected in 2013-14.
Rolls-Royce Marine revealed it had won a contract from India’s Cochin Shipyard to supply 60 water jets for a new fleet of 20 fast patrol vessels for the Indian Coast Guard.
The company will supply Kamewa 71S3np water jets and associated equipment including a control system. The 50-metre vessels, which are currently under construction, will operate in Indian coastal waters and around island territories.
Nexter’s revealed it is partnering with Larsen & Toubro to build a towed version of its 52 calibre 155mm cannon to compete for the Indian Army artillery competition.
Dubbed Trajan, the weapon takes the ordnance from the Caésar wheeled self-propelled gun system and places it on a new steel trail giving a weight of some 13 tonnes, compared with 4.3 tonnes of the 39 calibre BAE Systems’ M 777. It will feature an 80 hp diesel auxiliary power unit to aid local mobility and in this role will be controlled remotely from the cab of the towing vehicle.
The weapon will feature the same aids as Caésar; inertial navigation unit, muzzle velocity radar and ballistic computer and will be compatible with any command system. The exact degree of work share is currently being negotiated.
Nexter has sold 183 Caésars, including six operated by Thailand, and representatives stated they anticipated sales would be around 200 by the end of the year.
Selex Galileo received a €4.3 million (A$5.47 million) contract to supply an initial quantity of 42 thermal sight systems for the Royal Thai Army’s Scorpion light tank upgrade programme. Deliveries of the TSS, which comprises STAWS (Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Weapon Sight) and displays for commander and gunner, are to begin in February 2012, with service entry due for the middle of the year.
The UK is stepping up efforts to bring international partners into a Global Combat Ship (GCS) programme whose key elements will be incorporated in the Royal Navy’s next-generation Type 26 frigate.
Brazil has already been formally invited to join the GCS programme, with several other interested nations expected to receive formal invitations by the end of this year. India, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand are among those that have already held talks with the UK.
The Main Gate (manufacture) decision will be in 2013 with an in-service date at the end of 2020 but the ships will remain in service until the 2060s. At the end of the year the Programme Board will decided the ship’s precise role, the size of the crew and armament and this will be followed by 18 months of detailed design and costings.
The ship will have a displacement of 5,000-6,000 tonnes and will be adaptable for a variety of roles, although it is anticipated there will be eight anti-submarine and five general purpose vessels.. It will share common design modules with the Daring (Type 45) class destroyers and will benefit from the technology of the Type 23 (Duke class) frigate Capability Sustainability Programme.
It is likely to have a complement of 115 with 15-20 flight crew and Royal Marines. Thanks to automation it will have a total crew of 130 plus 36 personnel added in a crisis.
It will probably be CODLOG propulsion but the new generation of diesels have not been ruled out. But an integrated electric propulsion system has been ruled out as having too high an acoustic signature. An all-electric propulsion has not been ruled out.
The ship will be capable of 27-28 knots and it will have a range of some 7,000 nautical miles (13,000 kilometres) at 15 knots. The British wish to export their design and have publicly stated they would welcome observers or representatives onto the design team although the window of opportunity is clearly beginning to close. A couple of representatives have joined the British programme from the Commonwealth but the British would like more from elsewhere in the world.
Meanwhile an Initial Gate decision on the Future Mine Countermeasures/Hydrographic/Patrol Vessel (FMHPV) is anticipated in 2017-2018. This will combine the characteristics of the River, Clyde, Hunt, Sandown classes as well as survey ships.
Rolls Royce Marine are emphasising their MT 30 gas turbine which is now being offered to Australia, Brazil, Canada, Korea and Turkey.
For Australia the company are proposing it for the New Frigate programme which is scheduled to enter service some three years after the Type 26 which is likely to have this gas turbine. Brazil’s frigate requirement is likely to begin about 2014-2015 while Canada is close to launching the Surface Combatant programme, a 6,000 tonne platform to replace destroyers and frigates. For Turkey it is a contender for TF 2000. For most of these programmes the MT 30 is associated with the Global Combat Ship, although stand-alone installations are also being marketed.
An exception is the Korean FFX whose Ulsan 1 (FFX Batch 1) ships are reported to be fitted with GE LM 2500 engines used in other Korean ships which have been paid off. This source is likely to diminish and for Batch 2 new engines will be required, although it seems likely that for logistical reasons Seoul will retain LM 2500.
Rolls-Royce are likely to benefit from their most recent acquisition Tognum, which manufactures the widely used MTU diesels. The company made an Euro 3.2 billion bid in March and this is important because MTU is the driving force in a revolution which has seen a significant improvement in the power-to-weight ratio of high-speed marine diesels. This in turn had made it possible to build diesel-only warships with top speeds approaching or exceeding 30 knots. Rolls will incorporate their Bergmann diesel engine business into a new diesel engine business.
The Australian Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) programme was briefly mentioned by a number of manufacturers at DSEi.
With the redistribution of module construction following BAE System’s recognition that its yard is over-extended, Navantia is in line for a number of modules. Company representatives stated the work would be performed at the El Ferrol yard but that negotiations were still under way with the Defence Department.
Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems stated they had delivered six Typhoon Mk 25 Mod 2 guns for the AWDs. Typhoon is a family of stabilised, lightweight, small-calibre weapon systems designed for autonomous operation or as an integral part of the combat system.
Ultra Electronics’ Sonar and Communications highlighted their Sea Sentor surface ship torpedo defence system. This is module of the Integrated Sonar System assembly being provided to the AWD and while based upon a soft-kill option Sea Sentor may later have a hard kill one.
The Pakistan Ordnance Factory displayed a new version of the G-3 rifle.
The G3S has a 350mm barrel and is a lighter weight weapon than its predecessors and is designed to be suitable for close quarter combat. The launch customer was Bahrain a year ago and the government is ordering more but due to the internal situation Islamabad is delaying supplies. The Pakistan Army have evaluated it and POF anticipates orders.
Making their first appearance at DSEi were Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering but the company was showing considerable discretion.
No one was available to discus the reported sale of two submarines to Indonesia. It is well known the yard has been refitting and upgrading Jakarta’s two Type 209s in succession.
The yard is currently involved in the KSS-2 (Type 214) submarine programme and anticipates the KSS-3 programme which has slipped several years. This will be for a 3,000-tonne boat, possibly with air independent propulsion, and it is believed it will start about 2015.
Raytheon were highlighting a synthetic aperture sonar developed by Applied Signal Technology.
This is a high resolution sensor suitable for mine counter-measures, hydrographic and oceanographic operations. The beam covers a swatch typically 150 metres wide and can detect objets only a few centimetres across. The 175kHz sensor can be used as a towed array or in an autonomous unmanned vehicle and operates some 15-20 metres above the sea bed.
The sensor is being evaluated by the Royal Australian Navy to meet a requirement with requests for proposals anticipated by the end of the year. It has been demonstrated in Jervis Bay behind a Bluefin AUV and detected exercise mines.
Raytheon Missile Systems has signed a US$65.5 million (A$66.7 million) contract to deliver five Phalanx Block 1B close-in weapon systems to the Korea Navy for its FFX-1 (Ulsan 1) class frigates. They will be installed from 2013 and represent Phalanx’s largest sale to South Korea.