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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Subsea Defense News

10 May 2024

Babcock Receives SBTi Net-Zero Validation

(Credit: Babcock)

Defense company Babcock Intern has been grated validation from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its science-based near and long-term emissions reduction targets aligned with reaching net-zero no later than 2050.In 2021, Babcock launched its Plan Zero 40 decarbonization strategy, which commits to the delivery of a 2030 science-based target in line with a 1.5 °C pathway and achieving 90% emissions reduction across its estate, assets and operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 2040…

06 May 2024

Sea Drone Warfare has Arrived, and the US is Floundering

A long-range unmanned surface vessel (LRUSV) transits the Pacific Ocean during Integrated Battle Problem (IBP) 24.1, March 07, 2024. IBP 24.1 is a U.S. Pacific Fleet experiment, executed by U.S. 3rd Fleet, operationalizing multi-domain employment of unmanned systems to create fleet warfighting advantages. (Photo: Ian Delossantos / U.S. Navy)

The U.S. Navy's efforts to build a fleet of unmanned vessels are faltering because the Pentagon remains wedded to big shipbuilding projects, according to some officials and company executives, exposing a weakness as sea drones reshape naval warfare.The lethal effectiveness of sea drones has been demonstrated in the Black Sea where Ukraine has deployed remote-controlled speed boats packed with explosives to sink Russian frigates and minesweepers since late 2022.Yemeni-backed Houthi rebels have employed similar vessels against commercial shipping in the Red Sea in recent months…

25 Apr 2024

US Navy Announces First Mine Countermeasures Mission Package Embarked on USS Canberra

(Photo: U.S. Navy)

The U.S. Navy embarked the first Mine Countermeasures Mission Package (MCM MP) aboard USS Canberra (LCS 30), April 18, service officials announced. With the MCM mission package now onboard LCS 30, the Navy anticipates the first MCM Mission Package deployment in Fiscal Year 2025.As part of the embark process, the Navy installed sensors, unmanned vehicles, support containers and the software that enables Sailors to execute MCM operations from an Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship.

19 Mar 2024

Saipem and Fincantieri Form Subsea Alliance

(Credit: Saipem)

Saipem and Fincantieri have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to evaluate commercial and industrial opportunities for cooperation in the field of autonomous subsea vehicles (AUV) and their integration with surface and underwater units.The MoU is among the initiatives aimed at promoting and developing Italy’s national excellence in the underwater sector.The agreement aims to enable the two companies to participate in major programs in the Italian and international markets in the area of surveillance and control of critical underwater infrastructure and rescue activities…

18 Mar 2024

US Navy Christens Submarine Idaho (SSN 799)

(Photo: U.S. Navy)

Groton, Conn. submarine builder General Dynamics Electric Boat hosted a christening ceremony for the U.S. Navy's new Virginia-class submarine Idaho (SSN 799) March 16.Idaho is the 26th submarine in the Virginia class, designed for the full range of 21st-century mission requirements, including anti-submarine and surface ship warfare and special operations support. Electric Boat and its partner Newport News Shipbuilding share construction of the Virginia class in a teaming agreement. Idaho is the 13th submarine in the class to be delivered by Electric Boat.The submarine will be the fourth U.S.

15 Mar 2024

Dutch Government Picks France's Naval Group for Submarines Order

Illustration (Credit: Naval Group)

The Dutch government on Friday said it had picked French defense company Naval Group to build four new submarines in coming decades in a long-brewing deal seen by politicians as a potential lifeline for the national shipbuilding industry.The government said the first two submarines would be operational within the next 10 years. It did not specify the exact value of the multi-billion euro contract.The submarines will be of a size to both operate in shallow waters and take part in missions far from base.The agreement still has to be approved by the Dutch parliament…

07 Mar 2024

Damen and Saab Agree to Export C-71 Submarines

L to R: Micael Johansson, CEO of Saab, and Arnout Damen, CEO of Damen Shipyards (Credit: Damen)

Damen Shipyards and Saab have agreed to export the advanced expeditionary C-71 submarines, which have been developed for the Royal Netherlands Navy to replace the current Walrus class.The agreement doubles the long-term prospect of employment and income for the Netherlands Naval Cluster with the replacement of the Walrus submarines by Saab-Damen.Saab and Damen have been working together since 2015 to build, modernize, and maintain the new expeditionary submarine for the Royal Netherlands Navy.The two companies have now also agreed to offer their advanced expeditionary submarines to Canada…

28 Feb 2024

Kraken Robotics Delivers Minehunting Systems to Royal Danish Navy

Kraken KATFISH on MSF drone vessels (Credit: Kraken Robotics)

Canadian company Kraken Robotics has completed deliveries and sea acceptance tests of all systems for its minehunting sonar equipment under the contract with Royal Danish Navy.The contract was signed in September 2020, following a competitive bidding process. Under the contract with the Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO), Kraken has delivered four complete turnkey minehunting systems.Each system consists of a KATFISH towed Synthetic Aperture Sonar…

21 Feb 2024

Fincantieri and EDGE to Launch JV for Naval Vessels Construction

Hamad Al Marar, EDGE’s Managing Director and CEO, and Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO and Managing Director of Fincantieri (Credit: Fincantieri)

EDGE Group, a United Arab Emirates-based advanced technology and defense group, and Fincantieri, one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, have entered into a term sheet aimed at creating a joint venture (JV) that will focus on the manufacturing of a broad range of sophisticated naval vessels.EDGE will hold a 51% stake in the venture, which has a commercial pipeline valued at approximately $32.4 billion (€30 billion), with management direction provided by Fincantieri.The Abu Dhabi-based JV will be awarded prime rights to non-NATO orders…

10 Jan 2024

Newport News Delivers First Columbia-class Stern

HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division has delivered the first Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine stern to General Dynamics Electric Boat (Photo by Ashley Cowan/HII).

HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division announced today delivery of the first Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine stern to General Dynamics Electric Boat.The stern for District of Columbia (SSBN 826) was transported by barge from Newport News to Electric Boat’s facility in Quonset Point, R.I..“This is a major milestone in the ramp-up of Columbia-class module production here at NNS,” said Brandi Smith, NNS vice president of Columbia-class submarine construction. “Our shipbuilders have worked with pride to accomplish this milestone…

11 Dec 2023

UK to Transfer Two Minehunters to Ukraine

(File photo: U.K. Ministry of Defense)

Britain said on Monday it would transfer two Royal Navy minehunter ships to the Ukrainian Navy, as it sets up a new maritime defence coalition alongside Norway to help strengthen Ukraine's sea operations.Britain said the two Sandown Class mine countermeasures vessels will enable Ukraine to better counter the threat from Russian sea mines, aiming to restore Ukraine's export routes via the Black Sea.The transfer of the vessels was announced alongside the launch of the Maritime Capability…

05 Dec 2023

Greensea IQ Demos Autonomous Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mission

Image courtesy Greensea IQ

Greensea IQ reports it has completed a demonstration of a prototype Autonomous EOD Maritime Response Vehicle (AEMRV) for the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and US Navy. Leaning on the capabilities of OPENSEA Edge, the system provides the computing resources needed to power edge perception systems and advanced autonomous behaviors of EOD Workspace, allowing human-on-the-loop autonomy and untethered command and control over the ROV platform.The demo took place over several days in September in the open ocean off the coast of San Diego…

04 Dec 2023

UK, Finland, Estonia Practice Subsea Infrastructure Protection in Baltic Sea

(Photo: Estonia Ministry of Defense)

The navies of Britain, Finland and Estonia were practising subsea infrastructure protection in the Baltic Sea region on Monday together with the Finnish Border Guard, Finland's Defence Forces said in a statement.In early October a gas pipeline linking Estonia and Finland was damaged along with three telecommunications cables in the area, which is known for its dense seabed infrastructure.Finland and Estonia suspect the gas pipeline and cable incidents are linked, and believe a Hong Kong-flagged container carrier caused the damage by dragging its anchor along the seabed.

04 Dec 2023

"AI is the Game Changer"

Image courtesy U.S. Navy

Austal USA Advanced Technologies is working with the US Navy on technical solutions that will power the next-gen of navy assets. Don Hairston recently took the helm of the AAT team, and discusses how additive manufacturing and artificial intelligence are powering the future of naval asset design, construction and lifecycle maintenance.Don, what specifically attracted you to the position as GM of Austal USA Advanced Technologies?I liked Austal USA as an up-and-comer; it offers tremendous growth opportunities.

22 Nov 2023

Finland-Estonia Gas Pipeline System to Get Bigger Capacity after Repair

Credit: Approximate location of Balticconnector between Finland and Estonia. - Credit: Wikimedia Maps

The Balticconnector gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia, which was damaged last month, will get a bigger northbound transmission capacity next year following repairs, Finnish operator Gasgrid said in a statement on Wednesday.The increase will come from an enhancement of the Latvia-Lithuania interconnection, which allows for higher gas volumes to be transported around the Finnish-Baltic region, it added.The pipeline will in the future get a base capacity of 70.5 gigawatt hours of gas per day in the direction from Estonia to Finland…

10 Nov 2023

Babcock Signs $916M Submarine Infrastructure Deal with UK Defense Ministry

Credit: Babcock

Defense contractor Babcock has signed a four-year £750 million (~$916 million) contract with the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA), to deliver the infrastructure required to support and sustain the UK’s submarines for decades to come.As part of the major infrastructure program underway at the Devonport site, Babcock said it would deliver substantial upgrades to existing infrastructure that will support the future capability of the Royal Navy and the…

23 Oct 2023

US Navy Taps Bollinger to Build Four More Mine Countermeasure USVs

(Photo: Bollinger Shipyards)

The U.S. Navy has awarded Bollinger Shipyards a contract to build four additional Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vessels (MCM USV). This brings the total number of vessels under contract up to seven, with options for up to 18 more vessels.“Bollinger is honored to be entrusted by the U.S. Navy to continue building the Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vessel program,” said Ben Bordelon, president and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards. “Our skilled workforce is second to none. We are proud to support and protect the men and women of the U.S.

20 Oct 2023

Finland Contacts China, Russia Regarding Baltic Sea Pipeline Probe

Finland's foreign ministry said on Friday it had contacted China and Russia via diplomatic channels regarding the investigation of damage to a pipeline and a telecoms cable in the Baltic Sea.Early on Oct. 8, a gas pipeline and a telecoms cable connecting Finland and Estonia were broken, in what Finnish investigators say may have been deliberate sabotage. The Finnish foreign ministry in a statement to Reuters on Friday said it had contacted China to seek help to get in touch with the NewNew Polar Bear vessel, a ship named as a subject of investigation by Finnish police.Regarding Russia, Finland contacted the Russian foreign ministry, "stating the seriousness of the matter"…

18 Oct 2023

Converted OSV Enters Service in the UK as an Underwater Surveillance Ship

RFA Proteus (Photo: UK Royal Navy)

A converted offshore support vessel has taken on a new life as a dedicated underwater surveillance ship for the U.K.'s Royal Navy.Christened during a ceremony in London on October 10, RFA Proteus will be operated by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary as a launchpad for remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROV) and a home to a suite of specialist capabilities similar to those found in the offshore oil and gas industry.The ship, built in 2017 as a subsea construction vessel named Topaz Tangaroa, was acquired by the U.K.

18 Oct 2023

Hanwha Ocean Eyes Submarine Exports to Canada, Philippines, Poland - official

Credit: show999/AdobeStock

South Korea's Hanwha Ocean has pitched offers to build submarines to Canada, the Philippines, and Poland, a company official said on Wednesday, as the country pushes to become one of the world's top four defense exporters.Canada is studying potential builders for new submarines and has expressed interest in Hanwha Ocean among other foreign rivals, Kim Seung-min, leader of Hanwha Ocean's naval and special ship overseas marketing team, told Reuters in an interview, without naming the competitors."We are now checking on our shoelaces at the start line before the race kicks off…

16 Oct 2023

Fearing China, South Korea Targets Contractors on Taiwan Navy Submarines

Credit: Taiwan President Website

South Korean authorities cited the risk of Chinese economic retaliation when they charged marine technology firm SI Innotec last year with violating trade laws for its work on Taiwan's new military submarine program, according to a police document seen by Reuters and two people familiar with the matter.In a Feb. 17, 2022, affidavit to a judge seeking the arrest of SI Innotec executive director Park Mal-sik, police said authorities feared a repeat of the sweeping sanctions imposed by Beijing in 2016, after Seoul decided to install THAAD, a U.S. anti-missile system.

12 Oct 2023

Turkey to Work with Romania, Bulgaria Against Black Sea Mines

© sdubrov / Adobe Stock

Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria will work together against the threat of floating mines in the Black Sea due to war between Russia and Ukraine, the Turkish Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.The ministry gave no details of how it would address the floating mine problem. It said on social media platform X that the three countries had discussed the issue at the NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels.Last week, the British government said Russia may use sea mines to target civilian shipping in the Black Sea, including by laying them on the approach to Ukrainian ports.

05 Oct 2023

Thales to Equip Polish Navy's MIECZNIK Frigates with Combat Management System and Sensors


Thales said Thursday it would equip the Polish Navy MIECZNIK (Swordfish) frigates with the TACTICOS combat management system, sonars, infrared sensor, and radars, providing the warships with multiple functions for detection, identification, command and control, and decision-making. The first ship is expected to enter service in 2029 through a strategic program, which incorporates a cooperation agreement between Thales and the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium (lead by Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa).Designed to carry out a wide range of tasks at sea…