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Saturday, February 20, 2010

No radiation danger as scrapped nuclear sub catches fire in north Russia

A nuclear submarine being scrapped caught fire on Friday at the Zvezdochka shipyard in northern Russia's city of Severodvinsk, but there is no radiation danger, the city administration said.

"A fire started in the hold of the third compartment of the K-480 Ak Bars nuclear submarine. The submarine is being scrapped, nuclear fuel has been removed from the reactor. There is no radiation danger for the population," it said in a statement.

No one was reported injured.

Up to 70 people are involved in the effort to put out the fire.

(RIA Novosti)

Repair Works On KD TAR Completed

Malaysia's first submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman (KD TAR) which was reported to have a mechanical fault, has been completely repaired and is expected to be go under water on Feb 22, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

He said the supplier and local engineers had tested the submarine and found that it was now functioning properly and that the mechanical fault had been fully repaired.

"There is no cost to be borne by the government because the submarine is still under guarantee and let's not make any speculation about this," he told reporters after opening the Armed Forces Maal Hijrah celebration at the Wisma Pertahanan, here Friday.

The fault on the submarine was detected on Jan 17, following maintenance work conducted at the Royal Malaysian Navy base in Teluk Sepanggar, Sabah.

The damage involved a part that channels water pressure movement which caused the submarine's failure to go under water.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said rumour that the construction of Gong Kedak Air Force base in Kelantan did not meet the required specifications should not be entertained until investigation on the matter was completed.

Friday, February 19, 2010

RAPVLA: Tracking Stealth Submarines in Deep Water

Submarines with improving stealth and attack capability – particularly modern diesel attack submarines – are proliferating worldwide. Locating these relatively inexpensive but extremely quiet boats presents a challenge to the US Navy, then Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Mullen warned Congress in 2007 testimony.

To counter this threat, the Navy is pursuing a distributed and netted approach to anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Among the ASW programs the Navy is pursuing is the Reliable Acoustic Path Vertical Line Array (RAPVLA). The RAPVLA is a deep water, bottom-mounted, high-grain sensor system that can automatically detect, classify, localize, track and report contacts of interest, such as stealth submarines.

Lockheed Martin recently received a $7 million order for applied research in support of the RAPVLA program…

In recent years, the Navy has researched the utility of deep water acoustic sensing technologies that exploit the deep water reliable acoustic path (RAP) using vertical line arrays (VLAs).

The first RAPVLA array was large and deployed over the side of a research vessel. The measured acoustic signals were routed to a central node that served as a data recorder.

New Submarine Project Office to be formed

A new Australian Submarine Program Office will be established in Adelaide in March, Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, has announced.

"The establishment of the joint Australian Submarine Program Office is a vital step towards achieving the submarine output Government expects," Combet said.

HMAS Farncomb is scheduled for maintenance at ASC West following the recent electrical failure of one of its three main generators.

"The idea for a new project office follows discussions between the Navy, the Defence Material Organisation and ASC Pty Ltd on how better results can be achieved.

"The Government has made clear to all parties involved in the maintenance of the Collins class submarines that we expect better results.

"We understand this will take time but we are determined to see an improvement.

"This marks the start of a new partnership between Navy, the DMO and ASC which will set the basis for a strong and enduring submarine capability over the next decade."

The Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Russell Crane, DMO Program Manager Submarines Kim Gillis, and CEO of ASC Pty Ltd Steve Ludlam met to develop a new charter to drive the relationship between the three key players in Australia's submarine force.

"Discussions between the parties have also focused on a way forward for HMAS Farncomb's generator repairs and a maintenance schedule change which will improve overall submarine availability," Combet said.

HMAS Farncomb is scheduled for maintenance at ASC West following the recent electrical failure of one of its three main generators.

The office will commence work in March and will operate as an integrated product team of Navy, DMO and ASC personnel led by DMO's Director General Submarines Commodore Bronko Ogrizek.

Given the coals that the submarine team were dragged over at Senate Estimates last week (Hansard can make for interesting reading sometimes), the move can't come soon enough.(source australiandefence)

Weapons Launch System for Spanish S-80 Submarines Achieves Milestone

Babcock International has completed delivery, on-schedule, of all six of the internal slide valve lengths for the Weapon Handling and Launch System (WHLS) for the first of the new Spanish S-80 submarines. These items (part of a new design for the S-80) are the first major elements of system hardware to be delivered, marking an important milestone in the project.

Babcock was contracted in 2006 to design and supply the WHLS (including four sets of weapon handling and discharge equipment, and a set of weapon embarkation equipment) for the four planned S-80 air-independent propulsion/diesel electric hybrid submarines, being built for the Spanish Navy (Armada EspaƱola) by Navantia. Babcock is undertaking the design, development, manufacture and supply of the WHLS, including mechanical, electrical, electronic, hydraulic, pneumatic and software systems, as well as defining the interfaces with the submarine structure, combat system and weapons.

The 2,400 tonne S-80 submarine, with a Lockheed Martin / Navantia Systems combat system core, will carry various weapon types including torpedoes, missiles and mines. These will be handled and launched by the WHLS, which features six torpedo tubes providing positive air discharge of multiple weapons using rotary air-turbine pumps. Key features of the WHLS equipment being supplied by Babcock include a modular system and semi-automated weapon handling and stowage system.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

India tested AUV ( autonomous underwater Vehicle)

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

A wireless robotic sea-vehicle that can map the seafloor.

By Vantika Dixit, February 2010

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Researchers at Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) - the apex R&D institute for mechanical engineering under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – have developed India’s first indigenous autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The robotic vehicle is expected to complete the final sea trial by August 2010. The mega system can fulfill tasks such as seafloor mapping, coastal surveillance, mine countermeasure, and oceanographic measurements during adverse weather conditions.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MES), the AUV has been built to operate 150 feet under the sea (see Specifications) to map the seafloor and collect sensor-based data. With no physical cable connection to the surface control station and possessing on-board intelligence and energy supply, the vehicle, designated as AUV-150, has much to boast about.

U.K. Trident Submarine Deal Delayed

The design contract for a new generation of Trident nuclear missile submarines, due to have been signed in September, has been put off, government officials revealed last night.

A Royal Navy Trident nuclear submarine. Photograph: Corbis

The decision marks a U-turn by ministers, who have insisted there could be no delay in the timetable. They have now agreed that any contract to design and build new Trident submarines will be delayed until an international conference reviewing the non-proliferation treaty in New York next year.

Pressure is growing for the government to abandon its plans to replace the existing Trident system, which could cost well over £70bn and would be redundant in the view of many military analysts.

There is also opposition to a new Trident system among defence chiefs faced with increasing pressure on their budget. The "profile of expenditure" on a new system will now be delayed until 2010.

Malaysian Scorpene submarine develops snags

Kuala Lumpur: Just five months after induction, Malaysia's first submarine, a French made Scorpene has developed serious problems, raising question mark over India's acquisition of the same deepwater warfare machine.

The defects in the submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, named after country's first Prime Minister, have delayed navy's tropical water trials which had to be stopped as the vessel was found unfit for diving, Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told reporters.

The submarine, the first of the two, was purchased for a staggering 3.4 billion ringgits (USD 961 million). The defects forced a three-month delay in the completion of the trials with the manufacturer DCNS (France) having to extend the warranty.

Navy Chief Abdul Aziz Jafar told Malay Mail that the problems have emerged in the submarine's cooling system last December and then again last month.

"We hope the manufacturer rectify the faults so we can complete the trials," he said. The Malaysian Navy is expecting the delivery of its second submarine by May.

The acquisition of the submarine has been embroiled in controversy with opposition claiming that huge kickbacks had been paid to the ruling party leaders.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Navy directs $118M to General Dynamics submarines

General Dynamics Corp.’s Electric Boat unit has landed $118 million from the U.S. Navy for engineering services on ballistic nuclear missile-equipped submarines, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Under the deal, an option on a previously won contract, Electric Boat will design a missile compartment on submarines equipped with nuclear missiles. Electric Boat will design the compartments for the replacement to U.S. Navy Ohio-class submarines and a new submarine for the U.K. Royal Navy.

Work on the contract, expected to be completed by December 2012, will be performed in Groton, Conn.; Newport, R.I.; Quonset, R.I.; and Newport News, Va.

Last October, Electric Boat took in more than $380 million in contracts for work on submarines. Under one deal, it received $320.1 million from the U.S. Navy for engineering work on nuclear submarines . The company also landed $43.7 million in a modification to a previously awarded contract for maintenance and repair support at the Naval Submarine Support Facility at the Naval Submarine Base in New London, Conn. Under a third deal, the company landed an $18.2 million modification to a previously won contract for reactor plant planning yard services for nuclear-powered submarines and support yard services for the Navy’s moored training ships.

Arihant to be armed with ballistic missiles

The man steering India’s highly classified nuclear-powered submarine programme has acknowledged for the first time that the warship will be armed with ballistic missiles.

Vice-Admiral D.P.S. Varma (retd), Director General, Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV) project, told HT at DEFEXPO-2010, “The K-15 submarine-launched ballistic missiles jolly well be there on INS Arihant when it is inducted into the Navy. The N-sub should hopefully be with the Navy by the end of 2011.”

The K-15 missile, a closely guarded DRDO secret, is capable of delivering a nuclear warhead up to 700 km. With 12 ballistic missiles in its arsenal, the Arihant will complete the sea-leg of India’s nuclear triad and give it enduring nuclear strike and counter-strike capabilities. India can carry out nuclear strikes with fighter planes and land-launched missiles.

Asked how work on Arihant was shaping up, Varma said, “We are on track. But the proof of the pudding lies in the eating. So we will know when the Navy inducts it.”

The usually tight-lipped Varma said India’s submarine fleet should have five to six nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. He said plans were afoot to build two more nuclear-powered submarines to reinforce India’s strategic deterrent force at sea. He said, “We have to cross a certain milestone before going into specifics.”

India to spend further $200b for arms

While Pakistani leaders and judiciary are locked in an unending internal battle and the armed forces are engaged in an ongoing treacherous terrorism network Pakistan’s arch rival India has embarked on a huge armament programme that is seen as genuine threats to both Pakistan and its strategic ally China.

According to a latest report New Delhi has planned to spend as much as US$ 200 billion on defence acquisitions over the next 12 years acquiring state-of-the-art war planes, sophisticated helicopters, tanks and nuclear-propelled and nuclear-arm submarine.

An India Strategic defence magazine has reported that nearly half of the Indian defence funding, or $100 billion, will go to the Indian Air Force (IAF) which would need to replace more than half of its combat jet fleet as well as the entire transport aircraft and helicopter fleet.

According to a study the Indian army had the largest requirement of helicopters while the navy needs both combat jets, helicopters, and a fleet of nearly 100 carrier-borne combat jets.

The details of the study is due to be published in March but according to a brief report released in India Strategic’s DefExpo show daily published Monday India’s plans to acquire surveillance aircraft, lesser in capability though the IAF’s Phalcon AWACs and the navy’s P8-I Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) are also being worked out while pilotless intelligence aircraft (drones) generally called UAVs, including those armed, are also on the top of the list of the three arms of the forces.

The briefing noted that India’s “three services as well as the Coast Guards and paramilitary organisations needed satellites and net centricity.”

The report further added that IAF has a plan to build 45 combat squadrons (about 900 aircraft), up from its maximum effective strength of 39.5 squadrons a few years ago. Many of its aircraft have been phased out due to simple ageing.

Shooting incident at Trident base

An investigation is under way into a shooting incident at the home of Britain's Trident submarine fleet.

Ministry of Defence police were alerted at about 1320 GMT on Friday to reports that a weapon had been discharged at the Faslane Naval Base on the Clyde.

The Royal Navy Service Police are investigating the incident at the base

Two Royal Navy service personnel were later detained and an air rifle was recovered from a room at the base.

No-one was injured during the incident and the investigation has been handed over to the Royal Navy Service Police.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "MoD Police were called on Friday 12 February following reports that a weapon had been discharged from an accommodation block within Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde.

Indian Navy Ships,Planes,Submarines

Sonar contract for Thales UK

Thales UK has been awarded a contract by BAE Systems to upgrade three Trafalgar-class and three Astute-class submarines with the Sonar 2076 Stage 5 system.

Once work is completed, 2076 Stage 5 will be fully deployed across the Royal Navy's nuclear-powered attack submarine fleet. The contract builds on Thales UK's relationship with BAE Systems Submarine Solutions, demonstrating the success of the Performance Partnering Agreement jointly put in place.

The Stage 5 Inboard Replacement (Stage 5 IR) contract is the latest in a series of developments to improve the capability, efficiency and through-life cost of the system — ensuring that Sonar 2076 retains its reputation as the world's most advanced, fully integrated, passive/active search and attack sonar suite. Stage 5 IR achieves the MoD's requirement for reduced through-life costs and the need for rapid capability insertions of new hardware, software functionality and new algorithms to meet the RN's changing mission requirements.

The upgrade also delivers an open architecture that allows a high degree of commonality with the future Astute and Vanguard-class replacement (Successor) submarines, and supports the MoD's vision for the evolution of a common sonar and combat system across the RN submarine flotilla. S2076 Stage 5 is currently being deployed on the 'first-of-class' platform, scheduled to complete by the middle of the year. Equipment procurement and manufacture work on the Stage 5 IR contract will start immediately, with the platform upgrades planned for later this year through to late 2011.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rosoboronexport at Defexpo India International Exhibition 2010

The Defexpo India International Exhibition is the major venue for arms exporters in the Asian Pacific Rim. The exhibition takes place biennially in New Delhi under the auspices of the Indian Ministry of Defence and Confederation of Indian Industry. This year’s exhibition is organised by the Defence Exhibition Organization of the Indian Ministry of Defence.
Since the first Defexpo in 2000 Russian defence enterprises have always been participating in these displays of land and naval defence systems, offering the best products of the Russian defence industry.

Years of strategic partnership

Russia is a long-standing dependable strategic partner of India. The history of military technical cooperation between the two countries starts in November 1964 when the first agreement on the delivery of the MiG-21 aircraft to India was signed, later on followed by light tanks and helicopters. For a long period of time India has been taking up almost one third of the Russian arms exports. As a result, arsenals of the Indian military services have been up to 70% complete with Soviet/Russian-origin weapons. Total amount of the Russian military sales for the entire period of the military technical cooperation between the two countries has reached 50 billion US dollars.

Since then our countries have been constantly strengthening their strategic partnership, developing new forms and directions of mutually advantageous cooperation. Even though India is now actively diversifying its arms acquisitions, it still remains Russia’s major strategic partner. In fact, during the last three years our country has won 75% of all finalised Indian tenders.

Among major projects being implemented these days, one can find the T-90S tank and Su-30MKI aircraft licensed production, and delivery to the Indian Air Force of the Mi-17 type military transport helicopters. Russian enterprises are implementing the Indian orders on delivery of the MiG-29K/KUB ship-based fighters and Ka-31 radar picket helicopters.

The Russian-Indian Military Technical Cooperation Programme in 2001-2010 is nearing its completion. The new Military Technical Cooperation Programme for the period of up to 2020 has been signed during the recent visit to Moscow of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. No similar document has been signed yet by India with any other major arms exporter.
In recent years the new trend becomes more and more pronounced, showing increased participation of the Indian industry in the development and production of Russian military equipment procured for the Indian Army and Navy. Our bilateral cooperation is now transitioning to a qualitatively new level: from deliveries to India of Russian finished military-purpose products to joint research and development, Russian-origin technology transfers and organisation of licensed production in India. This answers strategic interests of both states.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Northrop Grumman has awarded $49 million contract to Goodrich for Virginia-Class submarines' component

Goodrich Corporation has received a $49 million contract from Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding to provide a number of composite components for the next eight Virginia Class nuclear fast attack submarines, collectively referred to as Block III.

Northrop Grumman has awarded $49 million contract to Goodrich for Virginia-Class submarines' component

Northrop Grumman has awarded $49 million contract to Goodrich for Virginia-Class submarines' component Goodrich's Engineered Polymer Products team in Jacksonville, Fla. is building components to support the construction of one ship per year in 2009 and 2010, rising to two ships per year from 2011 through 2013. The components include the bow dome, and sonar and weapons equipment.

"These contract awards continue the core work that is the foundation of our submarine business," said Jim Pollock, vice president for Goodrich's Engineered Polymer Products team. "We have been able to expand our composite product content on the Virginia-class Block III multi-year buy, and will remain focused on securing additional content for Block III as well as developing composite solutions for Virginia-class Block IV and the Ohio-class replacement submarine. We will continue to invest in our people, processes and technology to provide innovative world-class solutions for submarines".

BAE hopes results will signal a new start

Astute with convoy of boats

The two fines of $400m (£255m) and £30m that the company has agreed to in order to settle investigations with the US Department of Justice and the Serious Fraud Office respectively will be paid for from last year's earnings, removing what has been a significant source of uncertainty for shareholders in recent years.

Analysts are forecasting sales of around £21.5bn, up from £18.5bn and earnings before interest and taxes of £2.2bn, compared with £1.9bn last year. That excludes the fines, but the company is also in line for a tax gain of around $410m from its US business.

The fines will knock about 8p a share off earnings, which is "easily affordable", analysts at Citigroup said.

Orders for new equipment and service contracts in the UK are expected to account for a significant proportion of earnings growth. During 2009, the Ministry of Defence agreed to buy the third block of Eurofighter Typhoon jets, and deliveries of that plane to Saudi Arabia got under way. The company also won maintenance contracts for the Harrier and Typhoon.

Work on the Type 45 destroyer and Astute nuclear-powered submarine have stepped up and steel was cut on the first of two aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy. The Government reiterated its commitment to the £5bn carrier programme as part of a defence green paper earlier this month, although all large projects will come under scrutiny in the strategic defence review to be carried out after the general election.