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August 22, 2018 | International, Naval

Thales to provide new minehunting system to U.K. Royal Navy

By Stephen Carlson

Aug. 21 (UPI) -- The U.K. Royal Navy has accepted Thales' newest 2093 mine countermeasures sonar after extensive sea trials.

The 2093 variable depth sonar has been in Royal Navy and worldwide service since the 1980s. The current version being adopted by the U.K. is a wideband variant expected to be installed on the Sandown-class minesweeping vessels, Thales said in a news release.

The system has undergone 3 months of trials over the summer onboard the HMS Grimsby minesweeper. It is expected to be installed as the standard countermine system aboard Royal Navy ships, according to Thales.

2093 Wideband is a multi-frequency variable depth sonar system designed to detect mines in all depths of water.

The sonar receiver and transmitter are part of a towed array which is lowered below the ship by cable cable, which allows it to penetrate oceanic temperature layers. Thermal layers can block or interfere with sonar signals, making depth of the system important for some applications.

The system is based off the 2193 hull-mounted system that is in use on the Hunt-class minesweeper and other ships.

The system is expected to be widely exported to nations in Asia, the Middle East and Europe that already use similar legacy systems.

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  • NATO Members Drive Fastest Increase in Global Defence Spending for a Decade, Jane’s by IHS Markit Reveals

    December 19, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    NATO Members Drive Fastest Increase in Global Defence Spending for a Decade, Jane’s by IHS Markit Reveals

    Spending rose by nearly 5 percent in 2018 to reach USD1.78 trillion, driven by budget increases in North America and Europe December 18, 2018 03:00 AM Eastern Standard Time LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Global defence expenditure grew by 4.9 percent in 2018, the fastest growth rate since 2008, according to the annual Jane's Defence Budget report, released today by business information provider IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO). Global defence spending grew for the fifth consecutive year to reach a total of USD1.78 trillion in 2018, significantly exceeding the post-Cold War record of USD1.69 trillion in 2010, according to the report. Fueling this global growth was a 5.8 percent boost to NATO spending, which totaled USD54 billion, largely due to higher defence spending in the US. Jane's by IHS Markit forecasts that overall NATO defence expenditure will exceed USD1 trillion in 2019. “Following a challenging period for NATO members in the wake of the global financial crisis, countries have begun to increase defence spending again, in response to emerging threats,” said Fenella McGerty, principal analyst, Jane's by IHS Markit. “This has slowed the rebalance in defence expenditure toward emerging markets.” Jane's by IHS Markit projects that global defence spending growth will moderate to a level of around 2 percent per year over the next five years as budget increases in Europe and North America slow and emerging markets again become the key source of growth. “In 2018, we've seen a reversal of recent trends with Western states driving growth,” said Craig Caffrey, principal analyst at Jane's by IHS Markit. “Going forward we still see Asia and the Middle East as the key sources of sustainable increases in defence spending.” NATO members increase spending In 2010, NATO member spending accounted for two thirds of global defence expenditure. As emerging markets expanded and developed economies implemented cuts over the decade, the balance of global defence expenditure shifted dramatically. The NATO share of expenditure steadily declined to just 55 percent in 2017 with non-NATO spending on track to surpass NATO expenditure by the early-2020s. “As 24 of the 29 NATO members increased their defence budget in 2018, the decline in the NATO share of global spending has stalled,” McGerty said. “The recommitment to defence in Western states means the global balance of expenditure between NATO and non-NATO markets is now more likely to shift from the mid-2020s.” Nine NATO members will reach the 2 percent of GDP benchmark for defence expenditure in 2019 – compared to just four members in 2014. These countries are the US, Greece, Estonia, Lithuania, United Kingdom, Poland, France, Latvia and Romania. US continues to invest in modernisation US defence spending increased by USD46 billion in 2018 to reach USD702.5 billion as the Pentagon sought to improve military readiness and bolster missile defence capabilities. The 7 percent boost to the Pentagon's budget represents the largest increase in US defence spending since 2008. “Modernisation accounts will reach USD244.1 billion in FY19 – the highest level of investment funding since the period FY07-10, which experienced the maximum Overseas Contingency Operations and maximum US Department of Defense (US DoD) spending levels,” said Guy Eastman, senior analyst at Jane's. “The funding levels for FY18 and FY19 have enabled the US DoD to start on the road to improved readiness and acquire improved warfighting capabilities.” Eastern European budgets continue to expand, while Germany's 11 percent spending boost will bolster Western Europe's total Six of the ten fastest growing defence budgets in the world in 2018 were situated in Eastern Europe. Defence spending in the region grew by almost 9 percent in 2018 with Poland, Romania and the Ukraine driving increases. Notably, spending on military equipment has more than doubled in the region since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Western European defence spending increased for the third consecutive year in 2018 to reach USD248 billion – 2.4 percent higher than 2017. In 2019, regional spending should exceed pre-financial crisis levels as growth accelerates to 3.6 percent driven by a major 11 percent increase in the German defence budget. “As fiscal balances have improved, countries are able to respond to a markedly poorer security environment and address the capability gaps that have emerged,” McGerty said. “European defence cooperation is also a driving factor as countries look to bolster domestic capabilities but also partner on new technologies, all of which requires greater investment.” While the outlook for defence spending growth in Europe appears on an upward trend, this hinges on a stable UK defence budget and therefore upon the outcome of Brexit negotiations and the impact on the UK economy. Strong economic conditions in Asia-Pacific drive accelerated growth Growth in Asia-Pacific accelerated to 3.6 percent in 2018 but remains below the average 4.8 percent rate seen over the past decade. Total regional spending reached a record high of USD465 billion in 2018. Despite security concerns, economic growth continues to be the primary driver of defence budget growth in Asia. “Strategic drivers are undoubtedly becoming more important, but trends continue to be dictated by economic and fiscal conditions. Strong underlying economic fundamentals mean that Asia is where we expect the majority of the sustainable long-term growth will come from,” Caffrey said. “From a budgetary perspective, we're still seeing very few indicators that an arms race is underway in Asia.” Saudi surpasses France as fifth largest defence spender Higher oil prices over the course of 2018 contributed to an uptick in growth in the Middle East and North Africa with total spending in the region reaching USD180 billion. Saudi Arabia increased its defence outlay by 7 percent to hit USD56 billion, making the Kingdom the fifth largest spender on defence globally. “The large increase in Saudi Arabia's defence budget drove trends in MENA,” Caffrey said. “With oil prices falling again in the latter part of the year, regional growth is likely to remain relatively conservative in the short term.” Brazil dominates defence spending in Latin America Latin America's defence spending grew by 10.4 percent in 2018, reaching a new high of almost USD62 billion. Brazil's allocation of USD29.9 billion accounted for 48.3 percent of this total. “The recovery in Latin American defence budgets continued this year, but aside from Venezuela, where hyperinflation necessitated massive spending supplements, growth was markedly slower than in 2017,” said Andrew MacDonald, senior analyst at Jane's by IHS Markit. Top 20 defence budgets - 2017 and 2018 (USD billion) Position Country 2017* Position Country 2018* 1 USA 656.7 1 USA 702.5 2 China 191.2 2 China 207.6 3 India 61.2 3 India 62.1 4 UK 57.0 4 UK 58.4 5 France 52.5 5 Saudi Arabia 56.0 6 Saudi Arabia 52.1 6 France 53.6 7 Russia 50.9 7 Russia 51.6 8 Japan 48.3 8 Japan 45.1 9 Germany 43.5 9 Germany 44.5 10 South Korea 38.0 10 South Korea 39.1 11 Australia 32.1 11 Australia 32.0 12 Brazil 28.9 12 Brazil 29.9 13 Italy 26.7 13 Italy 27.2 14 UAE 19.3 14 UAE 21.4 15 Canada 16.5 15 Iran 17.4 16 Israel 16.4 16 Canada 16.1 17 Iran 16.2 17 Israel 16.0 18 Taiwan 14.6 18 Spain 15.3 19 Spain 14.4 19 Taiwan 14.5 20 Pakistan 12.0 20 Turkey 13.0 *Figures in constant 2018 USD billions. The intelligence cutoff for this report is 13 December 2018. About IHS Markit ( IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world's leading financial institutions. IHS Markit is a registered trademark of IHS Markit Ltd. and/or its affiliates. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners © 2018 IHS Markit Ltd. All rights reserved. About the Jane's Annual Defence Budgets Report The Jane's Defence Budgets team produces the annual Jane's Defence Budgets Report every December. The report examines and forecasts defence expenditure for 105 countries and captures 99 percent of global defence spending. The Jane's Annual Defence Budgets Report is the world's most comprehensive, forward-looking study of government's defence budgets. Tracking 99 percent of the global defence expenditure from 105 of the world's largest defence budgets, data is compiled from Jane's Defence Budgets online solution platform. It includes five-year forecasts, historical data, budget charting, trend evaluation and in-depth analysis by country. In this study, values are based on constant 2018 US dollars. Contacts Freya Lewis IHS Markit +44 203 159 3255 Press Team +1 303 858 6417

  • Lockheed Martin-Led Team Begins Construction On Navy's Littoral Combat Ship, The Future USS Nantucket

    October 10, 2019 | International, Naval

    Lockheed Martin-Led Team Begins Construction On Navy's Littoral Combat Ship, The Future USS Nantucket

    MARINETTE, Wis., Oct. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Fincantieri Marinette Marine marked the beginning of construction on Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 27, the future USS Nantucket, with a ceremony in Marinette. As part of a ship-building tradition dating back centuries, a shipyard worker welded the initials of Polly Spencer, USS Nantucket ship sponsor and wife of U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, into the ship's keel plate. This plate will be affixed to the ship and travel with Nantucket throughout its commissioned life. "The USS Nantucket will confront many complex challenges," said Richard V. Spencer, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy. "It will confront humanitarian relief all the way to great power competition, drawing on the strength of every weld, every rivet applied by the great people here." Unique among combat ships, the focused-mission LCS is designed to support mine countermeasures, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions today and is easily adapted to serve future and evolving missions tomorrow. The Freedom-variant LCS is: Flexible — Forty percent of the hull is easily reconfigurable, able to integrate Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30 mm guns, and manned and unmanned vehicles designed to meet today's and tomorrow's missions. Lethal — LCS is standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute. Fast — LCS is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots. Automated — LCS has the most efficient staffing of any combat ship. "LCS' built-in flexibility makes it unlike any other Navy ship in the water today," said Joe DePietro, vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems. "LCS can serve a multitude of missions to include surface, anti-submarine and mine countermeasure missions by quickly integrating mission equipment and deploying manned and unmanned aerial, surface or sub-surface vehicles." LCS 27 is the first Navy ship to be named after Nantucket, Massachusetts in more than 150 years. Nantucket has a deep connection to sailing and maritime traditions, serving as a whaling hub in the 1800s and as the home of generations of American sailors since the town's beginning. The previous USS Nantucket, the first to be named after the island, was commissioned in 1862 to serve during the American Civil War. "I have been given a very special honor in being the sponsor of the future USS Nantucket. I am happy she is being built here in Marinette, Wisconsin, which has an impressive history of shipbuilding," said Polly Spencer, LCS 27 sponsor. "Thank you to all the talented people who are bringing this ship to life... it is going to be an amazing journey that I am thrilled to be on." LCS 27 will be the 14th Freedom-variant LCS and will join a class of more than 30 ships. It is one of six ships in various stages of construction and test at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard. "We are very excited to begin construction of the future USS Nantucket," said Jan Allman, CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. "Our men and women are proud to put their efforts into giving the Navy versatile ships to keep our country and its interests safe." Multimedia assets are available here: Social media video: B-roll: Speaker remarks: Photos: For additional information, visit our website: About Lockheed Martin Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. About Fincantieri Marinette Marine Fincantieri is the leading western shipbuilder with a rich history dating back more than 230 years, and a track record of building more than 7,000 ships. Fincantieri Marine Group is the American subsidiary of Fincantieri, and operates three Great Lakes Shipyards: Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, and Fincantieri ACE Marine. Fincantieri Marine Group's more than 2,100 steelworkers, craftsman, engineers and technicians in the United States specialize in the design, construction and maintenance of merchant ships and government vessels, including for the United States Navy and Coast Guard. About Gibbs & Cox Gibbs & Cox, the nation's leading independent maritime solutions firm specializing in naval architecture, marine engineering and design, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. The company, founded in 1929, has provided designs for nearly 80 percent of the current U.S. Navy surface combatant fleet; approaching 7,000 naval and commercial ships have been built to Gibbs & Cox designs. SOURCE Lockheed Martin

  • MQ-25 Schedule/Costs May Increase If Navy Misses Install Windows

    June 9, 2020 | International, Naval

    MQ-25 Schedule/Costs May Increase If Navy Misses Install Windows

    Navy officials told the Government Accountability Office (GAO) the MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial tanker developmental schedule might be delayed by three years and increase program costs if the Navy misses windows to install the aircraft on aircraft carriers.

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