Navy Currents

Equipment for New Zealand
Navy Training

Boat-handling technology from Vestdavit is playing a central role in The Royal New Zealand Navy’s drive to operate realistic working environments (RWE) at its new Devonport Naval Base training facility, Auckland. RWE uses “like for like” equipment installed on board Navy ships, working within a controlled training environment.

The new center includes a purpose-built, land-side facility housing a replica inshore patrol vessel, plus an innovative Seamanship Training Aids Facility Pontoon (STA). The STA is kitted out with a range of equipment designed to allow new trainees to develop their seamanship skills in boat handling, rope work, anchoring, berthing and towing through repetition.


ONR Awards for 2018
Young Investigator Program

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced awards of $16 million through its 2018 Young Investigator Program (YIP). The awards were made to 31 scientists whose research holds strong promise across a wide range of naval-relevant science and technology areas. Typical grants are $510,000 over a three-year period. The YIP is a highly competitive process, rewarding the achievements made by young faculty members. This year’s candidates were selected among more than 340 highly qualified applicants based on past performance, technical merit, potential for scientific breakthrough and long-term university commitment. All are college and university faculty who have obtained tenure-track positions within the past five years.


Mooring Buoys for
US Arctic Study

DeepWater Buoyancy’s StableMoor mooring buoys have been chosen to support the Stratified Ocean Dynamics of the Arctic (SODA) initiative headed by the U.S. Office of Naval Research. The buoys were custom-designed and built to specifications provided by the University of Washington Applied Physics Lab and the University of New Hampshire. These buoys will support instrumentation that will map the underside of sea ice in support of the research project.


GE Propulsion for
Chilean Navy Antarctic Vessel

GE’s Marine Solutions was chosen by ASMAR Shipyards to provide the complete scope of an integrated marine propulsion system for the Chilean Navy’s new Antarctic icebreaking polar-class vessel. It will replace the retired icebreaker to continue the Navy’s Antarctic expedition for search and rescue missions, scientific research, logistic support and resupplying bases in the Chilean Antarctic Territory.

The 110-m-long vessel will have GE’s full marine propulsion system to power and propel the vessel, including diesel electric propulsion, GE’s International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Tier 3-compliant diesel engine, a complete propulsion shaft line and propeller, a tunnel thruster, SeaLyte Dynamic Positioning (DP) and vessel automation system.

The vessel has received Lloyd’s Register PC 5 polar-class notation, reflecting the strong icebreaking capability of the vessel. With an installed power of 14.5 MW, it will be capable of breaking 1 m of ice at 3 kt.


Naval Group Acquisition Plan
For Future French Frigates

Naval Group has started to select the first equipment suppliers for the five future intermediate-size frigates (FTI) intended for the French Ministry of Defence. The first of these frigates will be delivered to the French Navy in 2023. Naval Group has chosen the suppliers: Axima for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; CNIM for sonar hatches and torpedo hatches; iXblue for navigation units and their computers; Leonardo for 76-mm medium-caliber artillery systems; MBDA for integration and services relating to missile-firing installations; MTU for large diesel engines; Safran Electronics & Defense for the optronic identification system incorporating the very long range of the PASEO XLR (eXtra Long Range) sight; and Thales for the sonar suite, electronic warfare suite, IFF (identification, friend or foe) and the communications system.



Design Contract
For Saudi MMSC

Lockheed Martin has awarded Gibbs & Cox a contract to support the functional design of Saudi Arabia’s Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC).

A derivative of the Freedom-variant, Lockheed Martin’s MMSC was selected to fulfill the Royal Saudi Naval Forces’ multi-mission surface combatant requirement. In May 2017, the U.S. Navy and Saudi Arabia signed a letter of offer and acceptance for four MMSCs.

This agreement represents the first sale of a U.S.-built surface combatant to another nation in more than 40 years.


Propulsion Diesel Engines for
San Antonio LPD Ship

Fairbanks Morse has been awarded a contract to build and deliver the main propulsion diesel engines (MPDE) that will power LPD-29, the U.S. Navy’s 13th San Antonio landing platform dock (LPD) class ship.

Construction of the engines will begin in 2019, and they are scheduled to be delivered in 2020 to Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Fairbanks Morse will then support installation, testing and sea trials for the vessel.


US Navy Opens Electronics
Evaluation Facility in Spain

The U.S. Navy’s first permanent Shipboard Electronic Systems Evaluation Facility (SESEF) site in Europe is now operating in Rota, Spain. A Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport tenant activity site at Naval Station Rota, the facility services Commander 6th Fleet forward-deployed naval forces, supporting four guided-missile destroyers currently stationed at Naval Station Rota. The ships require periodicity testing and certification of various onboard tactical electromagnetic systems.


Diver-Held Sonars
For Pacific Special Ops

Sound Metrics completed delivery of four ARIS Defender diver-held high-resolution imaging sonars and associated topside supervisory packages to the Pacific Special Operations Command in Hawaii. The ARIS Defender 3000 systems will be used to provide an accurate identification and classification of previously-mapped suspicious underwater targets. ARIS Defender combines two sonar models in one package and can be tethered or operated autonomously.


Rugged Tablets for
US Navy Shipyards

The U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) has selected the DT Research DT311 rugged tablets for deployment to U.S. Navy personnel working at various shipyards across the country. The tablets can be used for technical maintenance management, warehouse and fleet inventory control, field testing and training, and other field-office data operations.


CODA to Develop
3D Head-Up Display for Divers

Coda Octopus Group Inc. received a subcontract award from the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State as part of a Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) program. The award is for the development of a prototype real-time 3D head-up display solution for divers (3D HUD system). It will feature real-time 3D sonar imaging hardware and real-time 3D augmented visualization software by Coda Octopus. The 3D HUD System will feed directly into the diver’s augmented vision display embedded inside the diving helmet. The prototype is expected to be ready for testing in the second quarter of 2018.



Elbit, Lockheed Partner to Upgrade
Royal Navy’s Electronic Warfare Capa

Elbit Systems UK and Lockheed Martin UK have signed a strategic teaming agreement to partner on the Maritime Electronic Warfare Programme (MEWP) for the Royal Navy to upgrade the Royal Navy’s Electronic Warfare capabilities.

Delivered in increments, the upgraded system will be fielded on the Royal Navy’s frigates, destroyers and amphibious assault ships, with the program expanding to the wider fleet including submarines in due course.

NUWC Encourages Industry, Academia
To Collaborate on Tech Development

NUWC Division Newport’s virtual submarine (VSUB) is available to industry and academia. VSUB is a set of submarine nonpropulsion electronic systems, including combat control, radio room, periscopes, antennas and sonar, as well as launchers, weapons and unmanned vehicles that are connected via a secure campus network. This unique capability allows NUWC Newport to configure its facilities to emulate any submarine platform in the fleet.

The VSUB is a key enabler in support of test and evaluation, experimentation, integration, life cycle support and rapid prototyping of undersea warfare capabilities.

Industry and academic institutions throughout the southeastern New England region and beyond are encouraged to use this unique tool for innovation as they partner with the Navy to advance the state of the art for submarine technologies.

NUWC’s objective is to optimize the systems for which it is responsible to support and enhance fleet mission execution. Partnering with industry and academia is paramount, and collaborating on technology development is the next logical step to increase naval capabilities.

France, Italy Cooperate
On Naval Defense

Naval Group and Fincantieri welcomed the decision of the French and Italian governments to launch a joint process paving the way for the future creation of a progressive alliance in the naval defense sector.

The two groups will play a key role in the steering committee with the objective to define by June 2018 a roadmap detailing the principles of the future alliance.

Furthermore, the agreement reached by the two governments on the shareholding structure of STX France foresees the presence of both Naval Group and Fincantieri, representing a first important step in naval cooperation.

Metal Shark to Build
Up to 50 PB(X) Vessels for US Navy

Metal Shark has been awarded the contract to produce the U.S. Navy’s next-generation patrol boat, the PB(X). This award is the culmination of a process by the Navy to select the replacement for the fleet of force protection boats currently in use with Navy Expeditionary Combat Command’s Coastal Riverine Forces (CRF). Subject to annual appropriations, the Navy intends to replace approximately 100 to 160 of its existing 25-ft. and 34-ft. CRF patrol boats with the larger and more modern PB(X) platform over the next 15 years.

The Navy has placed an initial, immediate order for 11 of the new vessels.

Metal Shark will build up to 50 PB(X) vessels for the Navy, along with trailers, spares and training packages, and technical support.

GD Demos Display
Command, Control, Comms Capabilities

General Dynamics Mission Systems and General Dynamics Electric Boat demonstrated multiple mission command, control and communication capabilities connecting Bluefin Robotics’ UUV and a third-party-provided unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a simulated AN/BYG-1 submarine combat control center ashore. A Stackable Air-powered Launch System (STAPLS) designed for use aboard submarines was also used.

The goal of the General Dynamics demonstrations was to provide available solutions to the communications challenges of operating in a contested, undersea environment.

Each demonstration took place at the U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) in Newport, Rhode Island, as part of the Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) 2017.

New OPV to Protect
Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone

Israel Shipyards Ltd. launched a new OPV for the Cypriot Navy. The OPV will be delivered to Cyprus toward the end of the year. It will be used to protect the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus.