dijous, 29 de novembre de 2012

Spanish Admiral to Lead EU Anti-Piracy Mission*

BRUSSELS, November 27 (RIA Novosti) – A Spanish admiral was appointed on Tuesday to lead the EU anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden, the Council of the European Union said.
Rear Admiral Pedro Angel García de Paredes Perez de Sevilla will take up the post of force commander for operation Atalanta on December 6. He replaces Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino from Italy on the rotation basis.
Operation EU NAVFOR ATALANTA, launched in December 2008, aims to prevent acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast and in the Indian Ocean.
In March 2012 the Council of the EU extended the EU counter-piracy operation until December 2014.
Including land-based personnel, EU NAVFOR consists of around 1,500 military personnel.
The composition of EU NAVFOR changes constantly due to the frequent rotation of units and varies according to the monsoon seasons in the Indian Ocean. However, it typically comprises 4 – 7 surface warships and 2 – 3 maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
Additionally, a considerable international military naval presence is now in the area, comprising the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), NATO and also units from China, India, Japan, Russia, Taiwan and others.
Task forces from the Russian Navy, usually led by Udaloy class destroyers, operate in the area on a rotating basis.
Russian warships have successfully escorted hundreds of commercial vessels from various countries through pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast since 2008, when Russia joined the international anti-piracy mission in the region.
Russia has also called for the creation of a special UN juridical body to try hijackers captured during anti-piracy operations off the Somali coast.
According to latest UN reports, sea pirates carried out 291 attacks and hijackings around the globe in the first 10 months of 2012. They hold at least 293 hostages.
Pirates are most active in coastal waters around Africa, especially in the Gulf of Aden.

*Notícia publicada a RIA Novosti.

dimecres, 28 de novembre de 2012

The Legend of ENTERPRISE*

USS Enterprise bow shot
USS Enterprise (CVN 65), the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, commemorates a name that has been a continuing symbol of the great struggle to retain American liberty, justice and freedom since the first days of the American Revolutionary War. It is the eighth ship of the Fleet to carry this illustrious name that is literally defined as boldness, energy, and invention in practical affairs.


Enterprise IThe first Enterprise originally belonged to the British and cruised on Lake Champlain to supply their posts in Canada. After the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by the Americans on 10 May 1775, it became the object of desire in the mind of Benedict Arnold who realized he would not have control of Lake Champlain until its capture. He learned it was stationed at a small British garrison at St. John’s on the Richelieu in Canada, and set out from Skenesborough (Whitehall, New York) in the commandeered sloop Liberty for that place on 14 May 1775. He surprised and captured the British garrison on 18 May, took possession of the 70-ton sloop, and sailed it south to Crown Point. It was named Enterprise by Arnold and fitted out with twelve long 4-pounder carriage guns and ten swivels. About 1 August 1775, Captain James Smith was sent by the New York Provincial Congress to General Philip Schuyler and ordered to take command of “the sloop Enterprise.”


Enterprise IIThe second Enterprise was an eight-gun schooner of 25 tons with a crew of 60 men. Granted a letter of marque commission from the state of Maryland, it made a remarkably successful cruise (June-December 1776) under the command of Captain James Campbell. Enterprise was purchased by the Committee of Secret Correspondence of the Continental Congress 20 December 1776. Under the command of Captain Campbell, Enterprise served chiefly in convoying transports in Chesapeake Bay. It was also active in reconnoitering the enemy’s ships and preventing their tenders and barges from getting supplies from the shores of Maryland and Virginia.



Enterprise IIIThe third Enterprise was a twelve-gun schooner built by Henry Spencer at Baltimore, Maryland at a cost of $16,240.00. It had a length of 84 feet, 7 inches; extreme beam of 22 feet, 6 inches; tonnage of 135, depth of hold, 10 feet; and a complement of 70 officers and men. It was originally armed with twelve long 6-pounders and placed under the command of Lieutenant John Shaw. On 1 September 1812, Enterprise got underway in search for British privateers reported off the coast of Maine. After chasing a schooner to the shore on Wood Island, Enterprise discovered what appeared to be a ship of war in the bay near Penequid Point on the coast of Maine. It immediately gave chase and soon found her quarry to be the British brig Boxer, mounting fourteen 18-pounder carronades, and manned by 72 men. When within half a pistol shot, broadsides exchanged by the two brigs brought death to Lieutenant William Burrows as well as to the British commander, Captain Samuel Blyth. Another broadside was exchanged before Enterprise ranged ahead to cross Boxer’s bow and kept up a deadly fire until the enemy hailed and said they had surrendered but could not haul down the colors that were nailed to the mast. The surviving senior officer, Lieutenant Edward R. McCall, took the prize into Portland where a common funeral was held for the two commanders, both well known and favorites in their respective services.


Enterprise IVThe fourth Enterprise was a schooner built by the New York Navy Yard where it launched on 26 October 1831. Its length between perpendiculars was 83 feet, molded beam 23 feet, 5 inches; depth of hold 10 feet and tonnage 197. It was armed with ten 24 and 9-pounder guns. The schooner was placed in commission on 15 December 1831 when Lieutenant Commander Samuel W. Downing assumed command. Its original complement was nine officers and 63 men.


Enterprise VIThe fifth Enterprise was a steam corvette with auxiliary sail power. Its hull was built of live oak in Portsmouth Naval Yard by John W. Griffith. It was launched 13 June 1874 and placed in commission 16 March 1877, Commander George C. Remey in command. The ship measured 185 feet between perpendiculars, breadth, 35 feet; depth of hold, 16 feet, 2 inches; tonnage 615, and displacement 1,375 tons. It had a speed of 11.4 knots and a complement of 20 officers and 164 men. Its original armament was one 11-inch moth bore, four 9-inch broadside guns, one 60-pounder pivot, and 1 short Gatling gun.


Enterprise VThe sixth Enterprise was a 66-foot motor patrol craft purchased by the Navy on 6 December 1916. It was placed in the service of the Second Naval District on 25 September 1917 and performed harbor tug duties at Newport, Rhode Island. It shifted to New Bedford, Massachusetts, on 11 December 1917 for operations inside the breakwaters and was transferred to the Bureau of Fisheries on 2 August 1919.


Enterprise VII (CV 6)The seventh Enterprise (CV 6) was the first of the Enterprise ships to receive the nickname of Big 'E'. Other nicknames included the Lucky 'E', the 'Grey Ghost' and the 'Galopping Ghost'. CV-6 became the sixth aircraft carrier to join the U.S. Navy fleet upon its commissioning as a Yorktown-class carrier on Oct. 3, 1936. It had an overall length of 827 feet and displaced more than 32,000 tons of water. Enterprise fought in many of the key Pacific theater battles of World War II, and was one of only three American carriers commissioned prior to World War II to survive the war (aloCV6 Flight Deckng with USS Saratoga and USS Ranger).
Enterprise was ordered to serve in the Pacific fleet in April 1939, and was sent underway to conduct training and transport Marine Fighter Squadron 211 (VMF-211) to Wake Island in November 1941. Big 'E' was returning to the Hawaiian island of Oahu on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941 when it received news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Enterprise became one of the first ships to respond to its nation's call to war and went on to earn 20 battle stars, the most for any U.S. warship in World War II, for the crucial roles it played in numerous battles including Midway, Guadalcanal, Leyte Gulf, and the 'Doolittle Raid' on Tokyo. Japanese forces announced that the Big 'E' had been sunk in battle on three separate occasions throughout its Pacific campaign.
After its legendary World War II service, the first Big 'E' was decommissioned on Feb. 17, 1947 as the most decorated ship in U.S. naval history.


Enterprise VIII (CVN 65)In 1954, Congress authorized the construction of the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the eighth U.S. ship to bear the name Enterprise.
The giant ship was to be powered by eight nuclear reactors, two for each of its four propeller shafts. This was a daring undertaking. for never before had two nuclear reactors ever been harnessed together. As such, when the engineers first started planning the ship’s propulsion system, they were uncertain how it would work, or even if it would work according to their theories.
Materials used by the shipyard included 60,923 tons of steel; 1507 tons of aluminum; 230 miles of pipe and tubing; and 1700 tons of one-quarter-inch welding rods. The materials were supplied from more than 800 companies. Nine hundred shipyard engineers and designers created the ship on paper, and the millions of blueprints they created, laid end-to-end, would stretch 2400 miles, or from Miami to Los Angeles.
Constructing USS EnterpriseThree years and nine months after construction began, Enterprise was ready to present to the world as “The First, The Finest” super carrier.
The newly-christened Enterprise left the shipyard for six days of builder and Navy pre-acceptance trials. Its escort during the trials, destroyer Laffey, sent this message; “Subject: Speed Trails. 1. You win the race. 2. Our wet hats are off to an area thoroughbred.” When the Big “E” returned to port, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral George W. Anderson, Jr., stated enthusiastically, “I think we’ve hit the jackpot.”
After years of planning and work by thousands the day finally arrived. At the commissioning of Enterprise, the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Secretary of the Navy John B. Connally Jr. called it a worthy successor to the highly decorated seventh USS Enterprise of World War II. “The fighting Gray Lady, as it was called, served in such well-known battles as the raid on Tokyo and the Battle of Midway.” Secretary Connally went on to say, “The new Enterprise will reign a long, long time as queen of the seas.”
USS Enterprise Commissioning ProgramIn October 1962, Enterprise was dispatched to its first international crisis. Enterprise and other ships in the Second Fleet set up quarantine of all military equipment under shipment to communist Cuba. The blockade was put in place on October 24, and the first Soviet ship was stopped the next day. On October 28, Soviet leader Krushchev agreed to dismantle nuclear missiles and bases in Cuba, concluding the Cuban Missile Crisis, the closest the U.S. and USSR have ever come to nuclear war.
In the Fall of 2001, Enterprise aborted her transit home from a long deployment after the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C., on Sept. 11, and steamed overnight to the North Arabian Sea. In direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Big 'E' once again took its place in history by becoming one of the first units to respond in a crisis with its awesome striking power. Enterprise expended more than 800,000 pounds of ordnance during the operation. The ship returned to home port at Naval Station Norfolk November 10, 2001.
USS Enterprise in Marmaris, TurkeyFollowing several more deployments and an extended shipyard period that began in 2008, Enterprise embarked on its 21st deployment in January 2011, during which the carrier supported operations Enduring Freedom, New Dawn and multiple anti-piracy missions. During its six-month tour of duty, Big ‘E’ made port visits to Lisbon, Portugal, Marmaris, Turkey, the Kingdom of Bahrain and Mallorca, Spain.
Big 'E' became the fourth aircraft carrier in naval history to record 400,000 arrested landings on May 24, 2011. The milestone landing was made by an F/A-18F Super Hornet piloted by Lt. Matthew L. Enos and Weapon System Officer Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Welsh from the Red Rippers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11.
400,000th landing aboard USS EnterpriseEnterprise aircraft launchOn November 25, 2011, Big ‘E’ celebrated its 50th birthday, making the carrier the oldest active duty ship in the U.S. Naval fleet. Enterprise is currently on its 25th and final deployment, expected to make its final return to homeport Norfolk in the fall.

Today, Enterprise Sailors continue to set the standard for excellence aboard the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier - proudly furthering the legend begun by the first Enterprise Sailors more than two centuries ago.

* En motiu de la retirada del servei del USS Enterprise, compartim amb vosaltres aquest article. Una llegenda de la Història militar, que ha estat 51 ANYS EN SERVEI! Al teu honor "Big E" 

Steaming onward

La Armada desguazará el portaaviones Príncipe de Asturias el próximo año*

El portaaviones "Príncipe de Asturias", actualmente inmovilizado en la base naval de Rota, será desguazado el próximo año en los astilleros de Ferrol, tras veinticuatro años como buque insignia de la Armada española. Así lo ha decidido la Armada ante la situación de recortes económicos y tras constatar que poner a punto el portaaviones costaría unos cien millones de euros, según fuentes militares.
Sus partes principales y piezas más importantes tendrán como destino el museo naval u otros museos, según las mismas fuentes que han subrayado la "carga emocional" que supone deshacerse de un buque, que además lleva el nombre del título del heredero de la Corona. Con base en Rota, el emblemático portaaviones española realizó su primera salida al mar el 3 de noviembre de 1987 y fue entregado a la Armada el 30 de mayo de 1988 por la Empresa Nacional Bazán.
Esta incorporación, según la Armada, supuso el ingreso de la Marina española en el selecto grupo de marinas de guerra con un portaaviones. Su misión principal ha sido proporcionar defensa al Grupo de Proyección de la FLOTA (GRUFLOT) y superioridad aérea en la zona de despliegue. El principal medio ofensivo y defensivo del buque era su Unidad Aérea Embarcada, con una capacidad aeronaval máxima de 29 aeronaves. Entre ellas aviones Harrier de despegue vertical, helicópteros SH-3 SEAKING y helicópteros AB-212, cuyas misiones abarcan transporte, Salvamento y Rescate (SAR) y evacuación medicalizada.
Ya en 2007 se acometió una inversión para su reparación y modernización por 3.665.000 euros. Entonces se reformaron las instalaciones de descanso, ocio, aseos y camarotes, y las estancias de oficiales, suboficiales y marinería se diseñaron en estructura modular. En sus 24 años de vida, ha participado en la Operación "Southern Guard" con motivo del conflicto del Golfo Pérsico.
En 1994, ante el recrudecimiento de las acciones contra UNPROFOR, varias naciones de la OTAN enviaron fuerzas navales al Adriático, en previsión de operaciones de protección a los cascos azules. España destacó el Grupo Naval Operativo 81-01, encabezado por el portaaviones "Príncipe de Asturias".
El 28 de junio de 2005 el portaaviones asistió a la Revista Naval Internacional que el Reino Unido organizó en Portsmouth con motivo del II Centenario de la Batalla de Trafalgar. Del 6 de febrero a 30 de marzo de 2006 el buque participó, integrado en una agrupación de la Armada en la que se incluían algunas unidades extranjeras, en el despliegue GALIBER 07 por aguas del Atlántico y Mediterráneo. 

* Notíca publicada a Atenea Digital. Com es va notant, la crisi arriba a tots els àmbits. El portaavions Príncipe de Astúrias, amb només 24 anys de servei s'enviarà a desballestar. Un exemple de que l'adquisició de qualsevol sistema d'armes hauria de comportar també la planificació del cost de manteniment i actualització.

dijous, 22 de novembre de 2012

Type 210 Ula (Type P 6071) *

The Ula is a Norwegian diesel electric submarine. The boats were constructed during 1989-1992 by Thyssen Nordseewerke in Emden Germany. In the Norwegian Navy six boats are currently operational: KNM ULA S300, KNM UTSIRA S301, KNM UTSTEIN S302, KNM UTV�R S 303, KNM UTHAUG S304, KNM UREDD S305. The Ula-class in the Norwegian Navy (Hunter Killer's) bear the names of islands in the near proximity of the base. They are quite outstanding in terms of operational capabilities. The cost was 2.4 billion NOK each when purchased and built in the beginning of the 1990's. ULA Class submarine, including on board equipment, weapons, investment in bases etc, had a calculated price per submarine of approximately 1,197 million.
During World War II KNM Ula was one of three Norwegian submarine, which comprised the Norwegian Section in the 9th Submarine Flotilla. Overall this fleet consisted of Norwegian, British, Dutch, Polish and French submarines. Construction of the Ula was started in autumn 1941 at an English shipyard, where also some Norwegians were hired and participated in the work. The boat was christened by King Haakon VII 28 mars 1943. March 1943. During the ship manager Reidar M. Sars' command completed "Ula" a number of expeditions in the Atlantic, Channel, North Sea and Skagerrak. The submarine did strongly noted, because it was the Allied submarine that sunk the most enemy ships. It was also the only one who succeeded to sink an enemy submarine in submerged condition, and was also the one who survived the most depth charges in an attack - 114 pcs. The submarine was in service until August 1964, when it was discarded.
The Ula class began a series of upgrades in 2006. By 2008, Norway's fleet will have new sonars, periscopes, communications equipment, andelectronic warfare systems. With these additions, the Ula will remain in service until 2020.
On 09 May 2008 Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace signed a contract with the Armed Forces` Logistics Organisation for the delivery of a new Combat System Integration Infrastructure, a new passive sonar system and the upgrading of a tactical simulator for Norway`s six Ula Class submarines. With a scope of MNOK 179, the contract was won in an open international competition. Delivery was scheduled for completion within 52 months.
For more than 30 years, KONGSBERG has delivered command and weapon control systems for Norwegian, German and Italian submarines, and this contract marks an important further development of products within submarine systems. The contract is a response to a campaign conducted over several years to strengthen the company`s position as a supplier of complete, integrated sonar and command and weaponscontrol systems for submarines. The world market includes a rather significant number of submarines that are or will soon be in need of lifeextension programmes. In this context, this is an important reference contract.
KONGSBERG is a multinational, knowledge-based group with more than 4400 employees in more than 25 countries. The Group delivers high-technology systems to discerning customers engaged in offshore oil and gas production, the merchant marine, and the defence and aerospace industries. KONGSBERG is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (Ticker: KOG) and had a turnover of NOK 8.3 billion in 2007. The subsidiary Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace is Norway`s premier supplier of defence and aerospace-related systems. The company had operating revenues of NOK 3.3 billion and more than 1600 employees in 2007.

Type 210mod

HDW presented a new submarine at SUBCON 2007, the Type 210mod. The design is obviously based on the Type 210, which is better known as the Norwegian Ula class. Several subcomponents will be identical to or derived from Type 212A/214 hardware, others (as with Type 210) will come from the proven Type 209 line. With the Type 210mod HDW said it was trying to tackle "budget" markets, in particular in South America and South-East Asia, to be able to directly compete on price with the current Russian export offensive in those areas. HDW planned this sub as a direct competitor to Amur and SMX-23. Additionally, HDW saw the Type 210mod as a good potential "entry submarine", for navies without submarines. A secondary market is to sell certain navies a new budget submarine instead of costly modernization of existing submarines. And the third market is as a "low-end" supplement to navies with Type 214 or Type 209/1400 (or similar) subs, as HDW will market it with interoperability and straight compatibility (including crew training) to those classes. Type 210mod apparently garnered a lot of interest at SUBCON 2007, at which time TKMS/HDW was in the final design phases and expected to have the design ready for biddings in 2008.

Article publicat a Global Security. Informació complementària per conèixer millor l'Armada Noruega

Norwegian Navy to receive fifth Skjold-class patrol boat from DCNS *

DCNS has delivered the fifth of six Skjold-class fast patrol boats (FPB), P965-Gnist, to the Royal Norwegian Navy.
Delivery of the vessel forms part of a programme led by Skjold Prime consortium, which consists of DCNS serving as the combat system design authority and co-supplier as well as two Norwegian contractors, Umoe Mandal and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.
Specifically designed to support maritime security and safety missions in Norway's littoral waters, the recently christened 50m-long heavily armed Skjold FPB is integrated with a combat system, modern communications and sensor suites.
The P964-Gnist's combat system comprises eight Kongsberg Nye Sjoemaals Missiler or Norwegian strike missile (NSM) anti-ship missiles and an Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid gun with a range in excess of 12km that is capable of engaging several targets simultaneously.
DCNS was also awarded a contract by the Norwegian Defense Logistics Organisation (NDLO) to provide support for the Senit 2000 combat management system (CMS), which is equipped onboard the six FPBs.
The Norwegian Navy has already received four of the boats, P961-Storm, P962-Skudd, P963-Steil and P964-Glimt, while the final vessel is expected to be delivered before 2013.
The first P961-Storm was delivered to the Norwegian Navy on 9 September 2010, P962-Skudd on 28 October 2010, while the third and fourth vessels of the class, P963-Steil and P964-Gnist were delivered on 30 June 2011 and in March 2012 respectively.
DCNS had served as the prime contractor for the modernisation of 14 Hauk-class FPBs for the Royal Norwegian Navy between 1997 and 2004.

* Notícia publicada a Naval Technoogy. Noruega continua renovant i adaptant la seva flota a les necessitats del segle XXI.

dimarts, 20 de novembre de 2012

Beijing's Senkaku goal: Sub 'safe haven' in South China Sea +

Quest for isles a strategic aim: former MSDF rear admiral

Staff writer
What's at stake in the smoldering diplomatic crisis with China over the uninhabited Senkaku Islands, which only seem to attract fishing boats and ultranationalists?
News photo
Sub-chaser: Sumihiko Kawamura, ex-commander of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's antisubmarine air wing, is interviewed recently in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. REIJI YOSHIDA
Many Japanese observers say Beijing, which claims the Japan-controlled islets in the East China Sea and calls them Diaoyu, is trying to secure natural resources in the surrounding area, whereas China says the islets were captured by Japan in the 1890s at the start of its aggression toward China.
But according to Sumihiko Kawamura, a former rear admiral and commander of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's antisubmarine air wing, Beijing has a more critical but less-articulated goal that, if achieved, could tip strategic military superiority from the United States to China in the Pacific.
Kawamura believes Beijing is trying to turn the South China Sea into "a safe haven" for its nuclear-powered submarines, which are armed with ballistic missiles that can reach the United States. For that purpose, seizing the Senkakus — just 190 km east of Taiwan and close to the northern gateway to the South China Sea — is indispensable, Kawamura says.
Submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) are considered China's only viable option to maintain a strong nuclear deterrent against the U.S., because America has identified all of China's ICBM silos and could easily destroy them in a pre-emptive nuclear strike, he says.
If Beijing maintains a second-strike capability with SLBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland, Kawamura says, this risk would possibly dissuade America from intervening in a major conflict involving China.
"This is directly related to the nuclear strategy of China. China will never give up the Senkakus," the former vice principal of the Joint Staff College of the Self-Defense Forces said during a recent interview with The Japan Times.
News photo
"This is just the beginning. Even if it takes 100 years, Beijing will try to seize the islands" to turn the South China Sea into a safe haven for its missile subs, he said.
Kawamura indicated the MSDF has the capability, with the U.S. Navy, to contain China's submarines within the South China Sea, which is partially enclosed by Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam.
The MSDF's nonnuclear "ultraquiet" submarines, working together with the U.S. Navy, can find, track and even sink any Chinese submarine that tries to enter the Pacific Ocean by crossing anywhere along a sea line that runs from the Japanese main islands to the Philippines via Okinawa and Taiwan, Kawamura said. The Chinese navy calls the line the First Island Chain, given its strategic importance.
"(We can) sink Chinese submarines anytime we want if it comes to a showdown" in the Pacific Ocean, said Kawamura, who in August published a book detailing a possible Japanese-Chinese military clash over the Senkaku Islands.
"No option is left (for China) except for trying to make the South China Sea a safe haven and defending submarines carrying nuclear missiles there," Kawamura said.
According to The New York Times, Xiong Guangkai, then deputy chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army, threatened the U.S. in 1995, saying China would consider launching a nuclear attack on Los Angeles if the U.S. were to intervene in a Taiwan conflict.
In 2005, Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu sparked a sensation by telling reporters that Beijing would have no choice but to conduct a pre-emptive nuclear strike against American cities if China faced the prospect of defeat in a conventional conflict over Taiwan.
"Japan has been protected by the nuclear umbrella of the U.S. If the U.S. cannot fully trust its deterrence power (against China), the U.S. won't interfere in" military conflicts between Japan and China, nor those involving Taiwan, he said.
Recently, China started calling the South China Sea one of its "core interests," signaling that no compromise would be acceptable and the use of force wouldn't be ruled out to protect its interests in the area.
China has also opened a large naval base on Hainan Island in the South China Sea that reportedly can accommodate as many as 20 submarines. This is part of the strategy to provide its nuclear-armed subs with a safe haven, Kawamura said.
Experts believe China's SLBMs have a maximum range of about 8,000 km. This means the lower 48 states in the U.S. would be out of reach from submarines in the South China Sea.
But China is working to extend the range of its SLBMs so they can hit the U.S. without its subs having to venture too far into the Pacific, according to Kawamura.
He said he believes China is being forced to follow the same tactic the Soviet Navy adopted during the Cold War.
The MSDF and U.S. Navy were able to track "almost all of the Soviet submarines" and thereby minimized the SLBM threat in the Pacific, Kawamura said.
As part of its nuclear deterrence against the U.S., the Soviet Union tried to turn the Sea of Okhotsk into "a bastion" for its nuclear sub fleet by crowding many surface warships and subs there.
China still lacks the technology to make its submarines stealthy. They are far noisier and easier to track than the Soviet subs, Kawamura said.
"When navigating, Chinese submarines sound like they are pounding a drum or bell," he said.
He believes that for now, the MSDF has supremacy over the Chinese navy, particularly because of its advanced antisubmarine warfare capabilities.
Submarine warfare could be the decisive element in a modern naval engagement. At present, China has only four antisubmarine aircraft, whereas 77 MSDF P-3C sub hunters regularly patrol the seas around Japan.
"As far as submarine warfare is concerned, China still doesn't have the ability to do what we were doing 30 years ago (to counter Soviet submarines). They are 30 years behind us," Kawamura said.
China recently launched its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, sparking a media sensation. But the carrier's operational theater would be restricted to just the South China Sea if a real war broke out, given its various technological limitations, Kawamura said.
Echoing many other military analysts, Kawamura noted China lacks the catapult technology to launch heavy carrier-based jets.
China's subs also aren't quiet enough to protect a carrier. The Liaoning would only "fall prey to" MSDF submarines even if it is dispatched, for example, to the East China Sea in the case of a war with Japan, Kawamura said.
"I don't think China will able to have an aircraft carrier that really performs within 10 years or so," he added.
If China were to attack and try to seize the Senkaku Islands now, it might be able to temporarily occupy them. But the occupation would not last long and the Chinese would eventually lose because the MSDF can easily cut off the maritime logistical lines for any occupiers, Kawamura said.
"If China has analyzed (the MSDF's capability) in a calm manner, I don't think it will resort to force. But there can be an accidental escalation" leading to a military clash, he said.
Chinese leaders may also try to use military force to attack the Senkakus to divert the frustration of the Chinese people, Kawamura warned.
He thus urged the government to enact legislation to ease regulations on the MSDF and Japan Coast Guard to allow them to fire warning shots against foreign ships approaching the islets. Otherwise, Chinese ships will keep coming back to the Senkakus for years to show they effectively control the territory, he said.

* Entrevista publicada al Japan Times. Creiem  que les opinions d'un alt oficial amb l'experiència de l'almirall Kawamura són per tenir en molta consideració.

dimarts, 13 de novembre de 2012

The Full Electric Warship Can Utilize STEALTH AC Propulsion*

The Norwegian drive specialist STADT has introduced the STEALTH AC electric propulsion technology for naval ships in any category. The technology has been on the civil marine market for several years, and has proven its low noise characteristic there. STADT provides the fully integrated scope of electric propulsion, from main switchboards via the STEALTH AC drives and the electric propulsion motors.
The system has a unique set of valuable characteristics not seen from any other electric propulsion systems so far, such as negligible losses in the drive itself, compact design without big transformers, and use of very reliable technology all the way throughout the system.
No electromagnetic interference EMI - the STEALTH feature
STADT offers a real sine wave technology that is very different from the more known Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) type of AC motor drives. The Sine-wave motor control does not generate any Electromagnetic interference, the noise is fully eliminated. Thus complex screening of power cables for the propulsion drives are not needed any more.
An other advantage is the possibility for medium voltage grid, up to 15 kV system voltage for this new system, giving minimal electric field from the ships systems.
No harmonic voltage disturbances THD
The STEALTH drives also pulls linear power from the generators, so no disturbances are generated. The ship grid will operated with a pure un-distorted voltage within all of its main switchboards. This eliminates any overheating of power components and eliminates malfunctions of any kind.
No big transformer needed
Up till now electric propulsion systems has used very big an heavy propulsion transformers, for the purpose of cancelling harmonic distortion from the PWM drives. The STADT STEALTH AC drives do not need such filtering, thus the transformers are obsolete. This contributes to major weight savings, as well as space and loss reduction. And one less item that might fail.
NO-LOSS AC drive, patented
In practical terms, the STADT STEALTH AC drive does not generate any excessive heat during operation, except from electric losses in alternator and electric propulsion motors. This leads to additional system benefits such as:
  • Less fuel consumption, up to 8 % improvement compared to other type of electric systems
  • Longer endurance for the ship
  • Less emission of COx, NOx, etc
  • Less wild heat dissipation, reduced need for air condition systems etc
  • Increased reliability
This also leads to elimination of intricate water cooling systems within the AC drive, again leading to improved reliability.
Compact design saves space
The new drives saves space due to the eliminated need for big transformers, and due to a major reduction of number of components in the inverter topology. Improvements of more than 50 % in weight and volume is possible.

Rugged technology, well proven and approved

Throughout the years of development, STADT has focused very much on how to improve reliability in electric drives for propulsion. Vulnerable components such as capacitors has got a modest role to play in the new STEALTH drives. Insulation strategy is also improved dramatically, and robust thyristors plays an important role in parallel with IGBT switching and bypassing element operating in sequence.
The drive topology takes advantage of the best features in each components type, and utilizes them in the most effective way. Giving a solution with the desired new features mentioned.
The STEALTH drives also operates in conjunction with the CPP propeller systems to perform optimal manouverability and optimal energy efficiency for the vessel.
Redundancy is part of the solution
To avoid the situation where a tiny component failure might stop the ship propulsion, STADT has for this drive system implemented a redundant concept from generators, via MSB, drives and electric propulsion motors that takes redundancy in to account in each level of the system.
Electric Ship Propulsion motors, generators and switchboards
The STADT drive systems can be supplied with custom built AC propulsion motors in different technologies, such as navy approved with water cooling, as well as new designs based on superconducting elements to reach the most compact design with highest efficiency.
Comprehensive product range
The STEALTH AC drives are available from 100 kW and up to 100 MW in different configurations and a full range of voltage classes - 230 V to 15 kV.

* Nota publicada a Naval Technology. Tot i que poc coneguda, la indústria de defensa noruega ha fet grans aportacions. No tenim cap dubte que aquesta ho tornarà a ser. Més encara si ha d'anar en els destructors de classe Zumwalt, dels que es diu que tindran una signatura acústica comparable a la d'un SSN classe Los Angeles

Russia Set to Hand India another Missile Frigate*

KALININGRAD, November 9 (RIA Novosti) – The second of three stealth frigates that Russia builds for India at the Yantar Shipyard in Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad will be handed over to the Indian Navy on Friday.
Sergei Mikhailov, a spokesman for the Yantar Shipyard, the solemn ceremony of delivering the warship will be held in Kaliningrad and be attended by high-ranking military officers both from Russia and India.
Russia and India signed a $1.6 billion contract on construction of three modified Krivak III class (also known as Talwar class) guided missile frigates for India in 2006. The first frigate, INS Teg, joined the Indian Navy on April 27.
The last in the series of three frigates, The Trikand, currently undergoes dock trials and after it completes sea trials in the Baltic Sea will join the Indian Navy in the summer of 2013.
The new frigates are each armed with eight BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.
They are also equipped with a 100-mm gun, a Shtil surface-to-air missile system, two Kashtan air-defense gun/missile systems, two twin 533-mm torpedo launchers, and an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) helicopter.
Russia previously built three Talwar class frigates for India - INS Talwar (Sword), INS Trishul (Trident), and INS Tabar (Axe).
Notícia publicada a RIA Novosti. 

dissabte, 10 de novembre de 2012

SSDS: Quicker Naval Response to Cruise Missiles *

Right now, in many American ships beyond its Navy’s top-tier AEGIS destroyers and cruisers, the detect-to-engage sequence against anti-ship missiles requires a lot of manual steps, involving different ship systems that use different displays. When a Mach 3 missile gives you 45 seconds from appearance on ship’s radar to impact, seconds of delay can be fatal. Seconds of unnecessary delay are unacceptable.
Hence Raytheon’s Ship Self Defense System (SSDS).

SSDS: Current Versions

SSDS began Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) in 1997 on USS Ashland [LSD 48], a Whidbey Island Class amphibious assault ship. It will be added as a refit to other vessels, and qualification of the SSDS Mk 2 MOD 1 was completed on the USS Ronald Reagan [CVN 76] carrier in March 2003. Variants of the SSDS system are deployed on a number of CVN-68 Nimitz Class super-carriers, as well as some LSD-41 Whidbey Island Class amphibious assault ships, all LPD-17 San Antonio Class amphibious assault ships (SSDS Mk 2 MOD 2), and some LHD-1 Wasp Class amphibious ships. SSDS will be used across the carrier force, including the newLHA-R escort carriers with secondary amphibious assault roles, and the CVN-78 Gerald R. Ford Class of super-carriers. Finally, components of SSDS have migrated to the future combat systems of the USA’s new Littoral Combat Ships and the 14,500t DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class destroyers.SSDS uses software and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronics to turn incoming data from several systems (radar, radar warning receivers, combat identification, electro-optics) into a single picture of prioritized threats. SSDS will then recommend an engagement sequence for the ship’s crew, or (in automatic mode) fire some combination of jamming transmissions, chaff or decoys, and/or weapons against the oncoming threat. The entire ship’s combat system concept, including the sensors and weapons, is known as Quick Reaction Combat Capability (QRCC) – and SSDS is the key element that ties it all together.

SSDS is currently delivered as the Mk 2 version, which includes Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) and tactical data links (Links 4A, 11 and 16) that can gather and fuse data from other ships, aircraft, and helicopters when creating the overall combat picture. The Mk2 set also adds compatibility with the AN/SPQ-9B radar, and the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile. Finally, it meets Category 3 of the U.S. Navy’s Open Architecture Computing Environment (OACE) standard, which uses commercial electronics rather than military-specific hardware in order allow simpler and cheaper upgrades, enhancements, and plug-ins over a ship’s lifetime.
Weapon systems integrated with SSDS currently include the AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Attack System, the NULKA missile decoy system, Mk 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon System, Rolling Airframe Missile (Block 2 integration in progress), RIM-7 Sea Sparrow Missile System and theRIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile.
The US Navy’s May 2009 budget justification looked at future areas for improvement. Mindful of key trends, it aims to cross-reference a wider array of different detection methods. That should improve the odds of finding incoming threats that don’t show up well on radar, and are either flying low, or riding on the surface. The Quick Reaction Combat Capability (QRCC) (2178) project includes SSDS, and Raytheon continues to work on integration of new and improved ship sensors within the system.
Another area for improvement was highlighted by a Pentagon testing report released in October 2010. It said that: “The LPD-17 exhibited difficulty defending itself against several widely proliferated threats, primarily due to… Persistent SSDS Mk 2-based system engineering deficiencies.”
Overall, the Navy wants better coordination of available defensive weapons and decoys. For those ships with an Advanced Combat Direction System (CDS), central system engineering management of SSD developments needs to include integration of SSDS with those capabilities.
Over the longer term, SSDS MK 2 Pre-Planned Product Improvement (P3I) will add conversion kits that will replace electronics within SSDS as they become obsolete. The lifespan of electronics is always much shorter than the life-span of the ships. Managing that difference is where the benefits of open architecture/ commercial approaches really shine, by dramatically reducing the cost and difficulty of fielding compatible upgrades.

Article publicat a Defense Industry Daily. La cooperació en la defensa contra míssils de creuer no és cap tema menor. És cabdal davant la proliferació d'aquest tipus d'armes, especialment quan són adquirides per agents no estatals ( recordem el llançament de míssils anti-buc per part de Hiz-Bollah el 2006).