U.K. Royal Navy’s Successor Class SSBN(R) Likely To Be Equipped With Type 2076 Sonar

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Successor Class SSBN. Source: U.K. MoD

The final shape of the U.K. Royal Navy’s Astute program is becoming clearer: three submarines are in service; three submarines are under construction; and one additional submarine is projected, though its future is uncertain. Additionally, items with long lead times have been ordered. Any hope that an eighth Astute class submarine would be ordered has vanished, and there are growing doubts that the seventh-of-class will be built. The current odds seem to favor the program being held at six submarines, with a new class being designed to make any required force structure enlargements. Continue reading

Another Tender, Another Failure as India Seeks to Reboot Its Minesweeper Project

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Kangnam Minesweeper.  Source – Kangnam Corporation.

The Indian Navy’s pressing requirement for modern mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) continues to take a back seat to bureaucratic bungling, “Make in India” industrial offset requirements, and pushback from South Korean shipbuilder Kangnam. Continue reading

S-Cube the Sonar of Choice for New Submarines

By Richard Sterk, Defense Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

S-Cube Submarine Sonar System. Source: Thales

The older generation Eledone (technology- based) sonars such as the TSM-2233 are being phased out by newer sonars like the S-Cube and the UMS-3000.  (The UMS-3000 appears to be the designation for the system intended for the Barracuda class SSNs and Le Triomphant class SSBNs.)  Forecast International’s market forecasts for the UMS-3000 and S-Cube systems are based upon the procurement of submarines (platforms) that host these sonars, such as the Scorpène class subs under construction for Brazil, India, and Spain.  They are also based on expected retrofits and upgrades to various Type 209 submarines. Continue reading

Taiwanese Navy Pushes the Throttle on Indigenous Shipbuilding with LHD Plan

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Computer drawing of LHD amphibious warfare ship based on Juan Carlos class.

The Taiwanese Navy has revealed its plans for a proposed helicopter-carrying, amphibious landing helicopter dock (LHD) warship that aligns with the indigenous defense industry buildup approach being pursued by the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen. Continue reading

Sounds of Life Heard from Cold War Sonar System

by Richard Sterk, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

U.S. Navy Surveillance Towed Array Sensor Systems (SURTASS) Low Frequency Active (LFA) is part of the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS), installed on U.S. Navy T-AGOS class ships. (Source: U.S. Navy)

Today, more and more nations are using highly advanced diesel-electric submarines that are extremely difficult to detect. And, the U.S. Navy has been forced to rely once again on its Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) – not seen in priority use since the height of the Cold War. This sonar system is considered essential to America’s efforts to detect newer and quieter diesel-electric submarines, especially those operating in the littoral environment. Continue reading

Indian Navy’s Quest for New Minehunters Mired on Shoals of Indigenization Pressures

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Kangnam mine countermeasures vessel

The Indian Navy’s long-standing quest for a new-build, modern class of mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) continues to flounder amid government demands regarding technology transfer and indigenization. A $5 billion project to build 12 MCMVs through state-owned Goa Shipyard Ltd is currently stalled as South Korea’s Kangnam Corporation balks at the Indian Ministry of Defence requirement for transfer of complete intellectual property rights of the ships. Continue reading

Smooth Sailing Ahead for Rolls-Royce MT30 Marine Engine

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

MT30 Marine Engine. Source: Rolls-Royce

MT30 Marine Engine. Source: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce is solidifying its position in the naval power generation market with new, state-of-the-art applications for the company’s MT30 marine engine.  The commissioning of the U.S. Navy’s newest destroyer, the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), later in the year and the Royal Navy’ s HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2017 shines a spotlight on the relatively new powerplant, as both platforms feature the MT30 as their main power generation system.  The MT30 has a bright future, with Forecast International predicting that nearly 60 units collectively worth $1.345 billion will be produced over the next 10 years. Continue reading

Egypt Receives First Mistral Vessel

By Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

The two Egyptian Mistral vessels in France. Source: DCNS

The two Egyptian Mistral vessels in France. Source: DCNS

On June 2, Egypt received the first of its two Mistral helicopter carrier vessels, constructed by French shipbuilder DCNS. The ship, named for Egypt’s late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, is partaking in exercises with the French Navy prior to setting sail for Alexandria. Continue reading

Was the LHA-6 a Good Idea?

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

LHA 6 America

LHA 6 America

Replacing the five original LHAs was an urgent requirement; the ships were old, had been worked hard, and had reached the end of their operational lives.  When the first of the replacement ships was designed, a number of key decisions that seemed logical at the time have since become questionable.  Of these, the most controversial has been the deletion of the well deck and the resulting reliance on aircraft to carry out the ships’ missions.  In reality, the new ships were LPHs rather than LHAs. Continue reading

We Should Never Have . . .

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

CVN-78 aircraft carrier

USS Gerald R Ford is the latest U.S. aircraft carrier Source: U.S. Navy

Sea-Air-Space Symposium, Washington One of the topics that invariably comes up at a meeting of naval-oriented people concerns the iniquities of the past wherein ships that were supposedly the perfect solutions to the requirements of the time were scrapped, allegedly to “save money.”  Those of the aviation persuasion add in their pleas on behalf of aircraft that were once in service but are now relegated to museums.  So, why were these alleged paragons of virtue removed from service and scrapped? Continue reading