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

Finmeccanica Becomes ‘One Company’ with Assimilation of Legacy Firms

by Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International

AgustaWestland Lynx Wildcat. Source - U.K. Ministry of Defence

AgustaWestland, now Finmeccanica-Helicopters, Lynx Wildcat.  Source – U.K. Ministry of Defence

Under Finmeccanica’s latest “One Company” restructuring effort (effective January 1, 2016), the firm is now focused on the helicopters; aeronautics; space; and catchall electronics, defense, and security systems sectors.  The company serves these sectors through seven divisions formed from the legacy companies of AgustaWestland, Alenia Aermacchi, Selex ES, Oto Melara, and WASS. Previously, the headquarters of Finmeccanica acted as more of a holding company for the aforementioned operating brands. The aim of the restructuring effort is to cut costs by removing areas of duplication in areas such as R&D and to divest unprofitable activities across the board. Continue reading

The Submarine Tsunami

by Stuart Slade, Warships Analyst, Forecast International.

Virginia Class SSN Under Construction   Source - US Navy

Virginia Class SSN Under Construction.  Source – US Navy

The significant impact of a tsunami lies not in the height of the wave but in its duration. A tsunami may only be a few feet high but its length, often several miles, means the water just keeps on coming. It is the cumulative volume of water that drives the head of the flood far inland and is responsible for the resulting damage. Continue reading