Navy Currents 2018

2019:  JAN | MAY


Ocean Infinity Signs Agreement with US Naval
Meteorology and Oceanography Command

Ocean Infinity has signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC), based at the Space Center in Stennis, Mississippi. During the next five years, the collaboration will focus on combining and expanding technologies relating to a broad range of deepwater platforms and sensors focused on undersea data gathering and analysis.

Damen Marine Components to Supply
Chilean Navy Polar Vessel

Damen Marine Components has won a contract to supply steering gear, rudders and stern tube parts for an Antarctic research vessel of the Chilean Navy, under LRS -Polar 5 class notation. The contract was awarded by ASMAR Talcahuano Shipyard, Chile.

Design of the vessel was done in collaboration with VARD Canada.

Damen Marine Components will supply twin COMMANDER Ram-Type electrohydraulic steering gear units, twin ATLANTIC semi-spade rudders and twin stern tube casting parts. The equipment will be delivered in 2020. The vessel is scheduled to set sail on its maiden voyage to the Antarctic Polar Circle in 2023.

Students Demonstrate Skills
In Autonomous Subs and Presentation

The International RoboSub Competition took place in San Diego at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific Transducer Evaluation Center. The week-long autonomous submarine competition is co-sponsored by the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Association of Unmanned Vehicles International Foundation. All submarines must demonstrate autonomous capability by completing a series of visual- and acoustic-based tasks that simulate duties required of underwater vehicles.

To meet this year’s mission requirements, the submarines—without human or computer interaction—had to complete “casino-themed” tasks including: touching dice buoys; dropping chips into a roulette bin; pulling a slots lever to fire mock torpedoes through small cutout holes; and cashing in by grabbing a chip, then surfacing the vehicle and dropping the chip into a cashier’s register. Teams also had to create a website, write a paper that outlined their work and give a presentation.

Harbin Engineering University (China) took this year’s top prize, while National University of Singapore and École de Technologie Supérieure (Canada) placed second and third, respectively.

DVL for US Navy Micro-UUV

Teledyne RD Instruments’ (TRDI) new ultracompact 600-kHz Pathfinder DVL has been selected by Riptide to provide precision navigation capability for its micro-UUV for the U.S. Navy. The DVL, coupled with an iXblue INS, will deliver a 200 percent increase in navigation performance with minimal impact on vehicle endurance.

eMARINE to Continue Servicing Korean Navy

eMARINE Global Inc. announced the extension and expansion of its maintenance contract with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy for work through 2019. eMARINE Global has been servicing the ROK Navy continuously for nine years, providing routine, preventive and emergency maintenance, as well as chart updates for the electronic charts display and information systems (ECDIS) onboard Korean naval vessels. The latest contract extends this relationship and expands it to more than 213 vessels.

Combat Diver Navigation System
For Poor-Visibility Environment

JFD, part of James Fisher and Sons plc, has partnered with the U.S. Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Centre – Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) to develop an advanced combat diver navigation module, Shadow NAV, bringing a hands-free underwater navigation capability to the military market for the first time.

Military combat divers frequently conduct underwater navigation missions in hazardous conditions with extremely poor visibility. Accurate underwater navigation is critical, as well as staying within closed-circuit oxygen rebreather depth limits to prevent oxygen toxicity.

The Shadow NAV ensures combat divers have continuous visibility of accurate information with a mask-mounted head-up display.


US Navy Chooses
Naval Strike Missile

The U.S. Navy has selected the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), offered by Raytheon Co. and Kongsberg Gruppen, to meet its over-the-horizon requirement for littoral combat ships and future frigates.

Raytheon and Kongsberg will manufacture and deliver weapon systems under a $14.8 million contract for offensive missiles loaded into launching mechanisms, and a single fire control suite.

NSM is a long-range precision missile that strikes heavily defended land and sea targets. The missile, which can defeat enemy defenses up to 100 nautical miles away, uses advanced seeker and target identification technology.

Omniphobic Coating Will Improve
Vessel Fuel Efficiency

The U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) is sponsoring work by Dr. Anish Tuteja of the University of Michigan to develop a new type of “omniphobic” coating. This chemical coating is clear, durable, can be applied to numerous surfaces and sheds just about any liquid. The rubber-like combo can be sprayed, brushed, dipped or spin-coated onto numerous surfaces, and it binds tightly.

Of particular interest to the Navy is how omniphobic coatings can reduce friction drag on ships, submarines and unmanned underwater vessels.

Up to 80 percent of a ship’s fuel at lower speeds, and 40 to 50 percent at higher speeds, goes toward maintaining its speed and overcoming friction drag. Tuteja’s omniphobic coating could be a solution.

The coating could also protect high-value equipment like sensors, radars and antennas from weather.

Tuteja and his research team studied vast computer databases of known chemical substances, then entered complex mathematical equations based on each substance’s molecular properties to predict how any two would behave when blended. After analyzing hundreds of combinations, they found the right mix.

The coating is undergoing further testing and should be ready for small-scale military and civilian use within the next couple of years.

Australia Gets Hyperbaric
Equipment for Sub Rescues

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the Australian government have granted the license to operate new $19.7 million AUD hyperbaric equipment, which means that, for the first time, the whole crew of an Australian submarine can be treated at once.

The equipment, a transfer-under-pressure chamber and recompression treatment suite, was received from JFD, part of James Fisher and Sons plc, as part of an existing escape and rescue contract.

Up to 88 people can now receive life-saving medical treatment in the hyperbaric equipment suite and pressurized transfer chamber at any one time. When you consider that a Collins-class submarine has a crew of 48 to 60, this new capability represents an important milestone for submarine rescue in Australia.

The hyperbaric equipment suite is able to withstand and operate effectively in rough, continuous seas with swells of 5 m. This capability is critically important as the new kit is the final step in a submarine rescue, which begins with rescuing the crew from a disabled submarine and transferring them safely into a JFD free-swimming, piloted rescue vehicle that carries them safely to the surface and onto the deck of a rescue ship. The submariners are then moved through the transfer-under-pressure chamber and into the hyperbaric equipment suite, with doctors monitoring their wellbeing and helping them overcome any life-threatening effects resulting from being rescued from pressurized waters.

Diver Vision Display System
In Naval Development

Coda Octopus Group Inc. has entered into a cooperative research development agreement (CRADA) to transition the prototype of the Divers Augmented Vision Display-Head Up Display system (DAVD-HUD) into a complete system that is ready for operational use with U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD).

A four-phase, multigenerational development program will run through 2025.


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.