Power to Our (Naval) Elbow?

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval & Marine Power Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

LM500 Ships Service Generator. Source: GE Marine

The last decade has seen the promise of a new generation of naval weapons and sensors.  The development of railguns and lasers has caused these weapons to slowly emerge from the pages of fiction and become an impending if not quite fully realized reality.  They are directed by equally new generations of active-array radars that provide a level of range and target discrimination that enables the long-sought defense against ballistic missile attack. These new systems have a major factor in common: they are all voracious consumers of electrical power. Continue reading

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

Naval Group Looks to International Growth With Fincantieri Tie-up

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

Shortfin Barracuda. Source: Naval Group

As DCNS continues on its restructuring path, the company took another step in this direction and renamed itself Naval Group earlier this year.  The renaming is part of an effort aimed at improving the company’s exposure and recognition in international markets. Continue reading

End of an Epoch

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

Decommissioning of the Almirante Grau
Source: Peruvian Navy

Five hundred years of naval history ended in late September when the world’s last armored, gun-armed cruiser was decommissioned by the Peruvian Navy.  The Navy’s long-time flagship BAP (Buque Armada Peruana) Almirante Grau lowered her flag for the last time after 45 years of service.  With her departure, the world’s last warship designed primarily as a platform for her guns is gone and a line of development stretching back to the 15th century has ended.  The BAP Almirante Grau was replaced as fleet flagship by BAP Montero, a Carvajal class frigate built by Servicios Industriales de la Marina (SIMA) and commissioned into the Navy in 1984. Continue reading

Major Expansion of U.S. Navy Amphibious Warfare Fleet?

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

LPD-17 – Source, US Navy

The decision to use the LPD-17 design as the baseline for the LX(R) has opened up a major discussion on the future size and composition of the U.S. Navy amphibious warfare fleet.  This decision resulted from the Navy’s determination that the Ingalls Shipbuilding production line for LPD-17s is now working so efficiently that another ship could be ordered to bridge the gap between LPD-17 construction and the start of the LX(R) program. As a result, lawmakers provided $1.8 billion for LPD-29, the 13th ship in the class, in the fiscal year 2017 spending plan.

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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

There Is Something Wrong With Our Ships Today – And There Is Something Wrong With Our System

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

Damage to the John S McCain. Courtesy Royal Malaysian Navy.

Ten sailors are missing and five were injured after DDG-56 USS John S. McCain was involved in a collision with the Alnic MC, a 600-foot oil tanker.  The collision took place off Singapore about 5.24 a.m. local time on August 21.  Five sailors were injured in the collision, and 10 are missing. The McCain suffered “significant damage to the hull” after a hole was torn in the warship beneath the waterline. It led to flooding of crew accommodation and a communications rooms and, most critically, caused flooding in a shaft tunnel.

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Forecast International Launches Improved U.S. Defense Budget Database

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

Source: Forecast International’s U.S. Defense Budget Forecast

Forecast International is pleased to announce the launch of a newly enhanced U.S. Defense Budget Forecast database, now featuring the ability to track major program spending and identify winners and losers within every Pentagon budget request.  FI’s budget database provides quick access to DoD request and forecast budget data, justification documents, congressional markups, and more.  The Pentagon’s massive weapons spending plan can be sorted by value, with options for filtering programs by appropriation title (R1/P1), service, and appropriation account.       Continue reading

Dolphins in Trouble

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

Dolphin-Class Submarine. Source: IDF Navy

With the original group of Dolphin-class submarines designed to have a hull life of 30 years and a design initiation-to-commissioning cycle of at least 10-15 years, attention turned to designing replacements for the first three submarines in 2015.  At first, Israeli ambitions seemed somewhat excessive, with references to “an entirely different submarine from the Dolphin or the Dolphin AIP.” Reality appears to have set in, however, with attention now focused on an upgraded version of the Flight II Dolphin class that includes “some room for growth, with new materials, better sonar … but pretty much the same design.” Continue reading

China’s Long March toward Global Naval Presence Symbolized in New Carrier

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

Chinese Carrier Liaoning. PLAN Photo.

With the April 26 launch of its first indigenous aircraft carrier, China has signaled its resolve to build a first-rate navy with a global reach.  China’s long-term goal of building a blue-water navy capable of extending its maritime presence beyond its immediate region continues to bear fruit. That process took a step forward with the launching in the northeastern port city of Dalian of the locally built ship.    Continue reading