Russia to Lay Keel for 4th Project 11356 Frigate

yantar shipyard

MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Navy’s fourth Project 11356 frigate will have its keel laid on Thursday, the Yantar shipyard said on Monday.

The start of construction work on the Admiral Butakov frigate was postponed in October 2012.

The Kaliningrad-based shipyard is to build a total of six Project 11356 frigates under a contract with the Defense Ministry.

The lead warship in the series, the Admiral Grigorovich, was laid down in December 2010, the second, the Admiral Essen, in July 2011 and the third, the Admiral Makarov, in February 2012.

The shipyard is to hand over the six warships to the Navy between 2014 and 2016.

Project 11356 frigates are designed for anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare on the high seas, and for anti-aircraft operations, both independently and as an escort ship. The vessels are armed with strike anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles, gun mounts, torpedoes and bombs, according to navaltoday.com.

Final Royal Navy Frigate Gets Sonar Upgrade

type23

Following an extensive refit, HMS Portland has become the final Royal Navy Type 23 frigate to be fitted with Thales UK’s Sonar 2087, a towed array sonar system that enables warships to hunt submarines at considerable distances and locate them beyond the range from which they can launch an attack. Portland has now returned to service, with a re-dedication ceremony on 21st March.

The 12-month multi-million pound refit in Rosyth Royal Dockyard of Portland’s sensors, weapons and systems completes a successful joint programme between industry and the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) to ensure the upgraded ships are now the most advanced of their kind in service.

The Royal Navy has described how the combination of a Type 23 frigate fitted with Thales’s Sonar 2087 and a Merlin helicopter equipped with the Thales FLASH dipping sonar makes the class the “most potent anti-submarine warfare platform of any navy at sea today”.

Eight of the Royal Navy’s fleet of Type 23 frigates have now been upgraded for use as submarine hunters. The other seven upgraded ships are Westminster, Northumberland, Richmond, Somerset, Sutherland, Kent and St Albans.

Sonar 2087 is a low-frequency sonar with both active and passive sonar arrays. The system is manufactured at Thales sites in the UK (Cheadle Heath in Manchester and Templecombe in Somerset) and France (Brest).

Greg Pugh, Sensors Programme Manager for the MOD’s Defence Equipment & Support headquarters, said: “The T23 frigates are at the heart of the Royal Navy’s frontline fleet, and are proving to be a formidable and highly-effective capability. The Sonar 2087 is a very capable ASW system, giving these platforms a significant capability enhancement.”

Ed Lowe, head of Thales UK’s naval business, said, “We welcome the news that HMS Portland has completed this upgrade. Fitted with Sonar 2087 and FLASH dipping sonar, the Type 23s represent a formidable anti-submarine warfare force. We are proud to be a key sensor supplier to the Royal Navy.”

Thales is a global technology leader for the Defence & Security and the Aerospace & Transport markets. In 2012, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion (equivalent of £11.5 billion) with 67,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements.

Boeing P-8 testing complete, set for 2013 deployment

p8

The Boeing P-8 Poseidon has successfully completed operational testing and is set to deploy for the first time later this year with the US Navy, programme and company officials say. The aircraft is also set to enter full-rate production in 2013.

“We’re rapidly coming to the conclusion of almost all of our SDD [system development and demonstration] tasks,” says Rick Heerdt, Boeing vice-president for the P-8A programme, during a briefing at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition. “We’re focused and driving towards a full-rate production decision and initial operational capability later this year.”

The first operational squadron will deploy in December 2013, says Capt Aaron Rondeau, the navy’s P-8A Poseidon integrated product team lead.

The only remaining developmental task left to complete is full fatigue life testing on the Boeing 737-dervived airframe, Heerdt says.

Production is ramping up in 2013 to 10 aircraft, from seven in 2012, with three of this year’s examples being for India, Heerdt says. India’s first P-8 will arrive in the country in the second quarter of 2013, with two more to arrive during the third quarter under an eight-aircraft order with the nation’s navy.

Australia is also expected to order a minimum of eight P-8s, Rondeau says. Canberra is expected to have the aircraft delivered and in service around 2016 or 2017, he adds. Australia is already participating in the development of the P-8’s Increment 2 and Increment 3 upgrades.

Increment 2 is broken up into two parts, the first of which will become operational in 2014, Rondeau says. This includes an early iteration of the Multi-static Active Coherent (MAC) sonar system, which consists of dozens of active sonar buoys that send out sonar pings from various directions while passive sonar buoys listen for the returns. Information is networked together to help the P-8 find and kill submarines.

A second, more advanced package will become operational in 2016. It will include an improved MAC, high altitude anti-submarine warfare (ASW) sensors and a high altitude ASW weapons capability, which Rondeau says is a Mk 54 torpedo with a wing-kit.

Increment 3, which is set to become operational in 2020, will add greater network centric warfare capabilities to the P-8, Rondeau says. It will also greatly improve the aircraft’s computer architecture and add new networked anti-ship weapons.