Latest updates[?]: Raytheon Canada will overhaul and provide in-service support for the Royal Canadian Navy's Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems. Valued at CAD$330 million (USD$260.1 million), the deal tasks Raytheon with providing "maintenance, fleet technical support, repair and overhaul services on the Phalanx mounts which will ensure the systems are ready to address current and emerging threats." Work will take place at Raytheon Canada's Calgary facility. The deal follows an award reported earlier this month for Raytheon to upgrade the radars used on the RCN's Phalanx CIWS.
HMCS Montreal & sub:
Launched between 1988-1995, and commissioned between 1992-1996, Canada’s 12 City Class (now Halifax Class) frigates currently form the high end of its naval capabilities. The Canadian Navy has declined drastically from its post-WWII status as the world’s 4th largest navy, and the Halifax Class itself is finding that its open-ocean design is not suited to cope with modern littoral threats and improving anti-ship missiles. Replacement vessels are still many years away, which means that the 4,750t frigates will need to be modernized within the limits of their design if they are to remain effective.
Canada’s government has decided to fund that modernization, much as Australia and New Zealand are modernizing the Halifax Class’ ANZAC Frigate contemporaries. Refits are scheduled to begin with HMCS Halifax in 2010, and that ship is scheduled to re-enter service about 18 months later in 2012. By 2017, all 12 frigates are scheduled to be upgraded as part of a C$ 3.1 billion (about $2.9 billion) program. This DII Spotlight article explains the scope of the upgrades, notes the current systems, and covers the contracts and developments involved.
Latest updates[?]: South Korea is shopping for 12 new naval helicopters as its Defense Acquisition Program Administration earmarks $768 million for the acquisition. A decision will be made by the end of 2018 with AgustaWestland’s AW-159, the Sikorsky MH-60R, and NHIndustries’ NH-90 are all in the running. Deliveries will take place between 2020-2022 and the choppers will be deployed on next-generation frigates to counter North Korean submarines and surface vessels.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced May 26/09 [PDF] South Korea’s official request to buy 46 SM-2 Block IIIA missiles, 35 SM-2 Block IIIB missiles, 3 SM-2 Block IIIB Telemetry Missiles for testing, 84 SM-2 missile containers, and associated test and support equipment, spare and repair parts, training, and other forms of support. The estimated cost is $170 million, and the prime contractor will be Raytheon in Tucson, AZ. The sale would require temporary travel for U.S. Government or contractor representatives to the Republic of Korea for in-country training, as a recurring requirement during the life of the missile systems.
How does this purchase fit into South Korea’s overall defense plans?
Lockheed Martin Maritime Sensors and Systems won a $124 million cost-plus-award-fee contract modification to upgrade Japan’s Kongo-Class AEGIS destroyer JS Kongo [DDG-173] to give it AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense Block 2004 capability. Japan’s Kongo-Class destroyers are based on the USA’s Flight II DDG 51 Arleigh Burke Class, but feature many modifications both internally and externally. The Kirishima itself was posted to the Indian Ocean as part of Japan’s contribution to the war on terror, acting as flagship for the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force.
Back in 2008, the Navy signaled its desire to its desire to incorporate the “far term sea-based terminal defense” capacity of the SM-6 into its Aegis system, with one hurdle being some ships’ radars being capable of handling the sensor data requirements. They then hoped for operational capability in 2015. Yesterday, Raytheon announced in a widely-parroted release that the Navy had indeed approved the SM-6 for additional Aegis systems, to include those Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers from the 1994-keel-laid The Sullivans (DDG-68) onward.
It’s time to modernize New Zealand’s only serious combat ships. New Zealand bought 2 ANZAC frigates in the 1990s, as a cooperative venture with Australia using the MEKO 100 German design. F77 Te Kaha was commissioned in 1996, and F111 Te Mana was commissioned in 1997. At the time, the ships were adequate low-end frigates, but 20 years later, they’re simply obsolete. New Zealand has long realized that changes were required, and has been planning and funding a whole series of changes since 2006.
In August 2005, Australia’s Ministry of Defence reported that Australia and the United States had joined forces by signing a joint agreement to develop active phased array radar technology in Australia. The hope was that it would kick-start a new Australian electronics and systems integration industry, based on S-band active array and X-band phased-array technology, sized for and applied to smaller ships like frigates and corvettes.
This technology is being developed by ACT electronics company CEA Technologies, and has become part of Australia’s ASMD project to make its ANZAC Class frigates survivable against supersonic cruise missiles. Other military and civil applications on land and sea are also possible, given the radar’s characteristics.
A quick look at almost any modern warship shows a bewildering array of gear on its mast and upper surfaces. These “topside apertures” serve an array of functions, from communications, to data transmission, to electronic listening and defense. Not only do they disrupt ship smoothness, and hence radar profiles, when installed, but they can also be extremely difficult to integrate together so that object A’s transmissions aren’t interfering with critical service B. While firms like Thales in Europe pursue “integrated modular mast” technologies, the US Navy is aiming to go one step beyond. They’re funding “Integrated Topside” R&D to go beyond just a pre-packaged array, and turn all of these little bolt-ons into one common, smooth-running, and upgradeable basic architecture.
InTop for surface ships will be based on AESA radar technology, and aims to become an innovative, scalable suite of electronic warfare, information operations, and line-of-sight communications hardware and software. Its performance goals are to improve ships’ anti-radar profiles, increase communications bandwidth, and resolve electromagnetic interference and compatibility issues…
In late May 2013, Thales UK signed a 10-year, GBP 600 million Sensor Support Optimisation Project (SSOP) with the Ministry of Defence. It extends the 2003 Contractor Logistics Support deal that covered electronic warfare/ ESM and sonar system support on an array of submarines and surface ships.
SSOP coverage includes all British submarine classes (SSN Trafalgar and Astute classes, SSBN Vanguard Class), Type 45 Daring Class destroyers, Type 23 Duke Class frigates, and the Hunt and Sandown Classes of minehunting vessels. It also covers all visual systems (periscopes etc.) for all Royal Navy submarines, which had been a separate contract with Thales UK’s optronics business in Glasgow. This progression is familiar to readers who have followed British Future Contracting for Availability practices over the last several years.
In mid-May 2013, MBDA signed an MoU with Lockheed Martin that has the potential to shake up the naval missile industry. It sounds innocuous: both companies agree to jointly explore the market for the integration of MBDA naval missile systems into Lockheed Martin’s MK-41 Vertical Launch System, and ExLS VLS/cell insert. They’ll begin with a late 2013 demonstration involving Britain’s new CAMM-M Sea Ceptor missile, but the implications reach far beyond.
Right now, the naval missile market is divided by launcher type, and many of MBDA’s missiles sit in a DCNS banlieue.
As missile defense imperatives get stronger, and western defense budgets get weaker, one might expect both competition and cooperation to increase within this sector. That should be especially true around naval platforms, where multinational deployments are the normal operating mode. There are early signs that this is coming true.
In September 2011, Raytheon announced successful testing for a prototype dual-band datalink, allowing ships that use either Lockheed Martin’s SPY-1/ AEGIS system, or Thales Nederland’s APAR radars, to employ the full range of long-range Standard Missiles for air defense. That matters, because the SM-x family also includes a number of options with missile defense capabilities…