9 mai 2024 | International, Aérospatial

Capella Space automates vessel classification in satellite imagery

“There might be a lot of different locations you’d be monitoring that you’re not really interested in — until a warship shows up.”


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  • Babcock Team 31 selected as preferred bidder for UK Type 31 frigate programme

    13 septembre 2019 | International, Naval

    Babcock Team 31 selected as preferred bidder for UK Type 31 frigate programme

    September 12, 2019 - Babcock Team 31 has been selected by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) as the preferred bidder to deliver its new warships. Led by Babcock, the Aerospace and Defence company, and in partnership with the Thales Group, the T31 general purpose frigate programme will provide the UK Government with a fleet of five ships, at an average production cost of £250 million per ship. Following a comprehensive competitive process, Arrowhead 140, a capable, adaptable and technology-enabled global frigate will be the UK Royal Navy's newest class of warships, with the first ship scheduled for launch in 2023. At its height the programme will maximise a workforce of around 1250 highly- skilled roles in multiple locations throughout the UK, with around 150 new technical apprenticeships likely to be developed. The work is expected to support an additional 1250 roles within the wider UK supply chain. With Babcock's Rosyth facility as the central integration site, the solution provides value for money and squarely supports the principles of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. It builds on the knowledge and expertise developed during the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier modular build programme. The announcement follows a competitive design phase where Babcock Team 31 was chosen alongside two other consortia to respond to the UK MOD's requirements. Work on the fleet of five ships will begin immediately following formal contract award later this financial year, with detailed design work to start now and manufacture commencing in 2021 and concluding in 2027. Archie Bethel, CEO Babcock said: “It has been a tough competition and we are absolutely delighted that Arrowhead 140 has been recognised as offering the best design, build and delivery solution for the UK's Royal Navy Type 31 frigates. “Driven by innovation and backed by experience and heritage, Arrowhead 140 is a modern warship that will meet the maritime threats of today and tomorrow, with British ingenuity and engineering at its core. It provides a flexible, adaptable platform that delivers value for money and supports the UK's National Shipbuilding Strategy.” Arrowhead 140 will offer the Royal Navy a new class of ship with a proven ability to deliver a range of peacekeeping, humanitarian and warfighting capabilities whilst offering communities and supply chains throughout the UK a wide range of economic and employment opportunities. A key element of the Type31 programme is to supply a design with the potential to secure a range of export orders thereby supporting the UK economy and UK jobs. Arrowhead 140 will offer export customers an unrivalled blend of price, capability and flexibility backed by the Royal Navy's world-class experience and Babcock looks forward to working closely with DIT and MOD in this regard. Arrowhead 140 is a multi-role frigate equipping today's mariner with real-time data to support immediate and complex decision-making. The frigate is engineered to minimise through-life costs whilst delivering a truly leading-edge ship, featuring an established, proven and exportable combat management system provided by Thales. Victor Chavez, Chief Executive of Thales in the UK said: “Thales is delighted to be part of the successful Team 31 working with Babcock and has been at the forefront of innovation with the Royal Navy for over 100 years. “With the announcement today that Arrowhead 140 has been selected as the preferred bidder for the new Type 31e frigate, the Royal Navy will join the global community of 26 navies utilising the Thales Tacticos combat management system. Thales already provides the eyes and ears of the Royal Navy and will now provide the digital heart of the UK's next generation frigates.” Babcock will now enter a period of detailed discussions with the MOD and supply chain prior to formal contract award expected later this year. View source version on Babcock: https://www.babcockinternational.com/news/babcock-team-31-selected-as-preferred-bidder-for-uk-type-31-frigate-programme/ https://www.epicos.com/article/481187/babcock-team-31-selected-preferred-bidder-uk-type-31-frigate-programme

  • U.S. Startups Seek to Claw Back China's Share of 'Technology Minerals' Market

    7 septembre 2021 | International, C4ISR

    U.S. Startups Seek to Claw Back China's Share of 'Technology Minerals' Market

    U.S. Startups Seek to Claw Back China's Share of 'Technology Minerals' Market

  • Congress to buy 3 more LCS than the Navy needs, but gut funding for sensors that make them valuable

    19 septembre 2018 | International, Naval

    Congress to buy 3 more LCS than the Navy needs, but gut funding for sensors that make them valuable

    WASHINGTON — Congress loves buying littoral combat ships, but when it comes to the packages of sensors and systems that make the ships useful, lawmakers have been less enthusiastic. In the 2019 Defense Department funding bill that just left the conference committee, lawmakers have funded a 33rd, 34th and 35th littoral combat ship, three more than the 32-ship requirement set by the Navy. But when it comes to the mission modules destined to make each ship either a mine sweeper, submarine hunter or small surface combatant, that funding has been slashed. Appropriators cut all funding in 2019 for the anti-submarine warfare package, a variable-depth sonar and a multifunction towed array system that the Navy was aiming to have declared operational next year, citing only that the funding was “ahead of need." The National Defense Authorization Act had authorized about $7.4 million, still well below the $57.3 million requested by the Navy, citing delays in testing various components. Appropriators are also poised to half the requested funding for the surface warfare package and cut nearly $25.25 million from the minesweeping package, which equates to about a 21 percent cut from the requested and authorized $124.1 million. Nor are this year's cuts the only time appropriators have gone after the mission modules. A review of appropriations bills dating back to fiscal 2015 shows that appropriators have cut funding for mission modules every single year, and in 2018 took big hacks out of each funding line associated with the modules. The annual cutting spree has created a baffling cycle of inanity wherein Congress, unhappy with the development of the modules falling behind schedule, will cut funding and cause development to fall further behind schedule, according to a source familiar with the details of the impact of the cuts who spoke on background. All this while Congress continues to pump money into building ships without any of the mission packages having achieved what's known as initial operating capability, meaning the equipment is ready to deploy in some capacity. (The surface warfare version has IOC-ed some initial capabilities but is adding a Longbow Hellfire missile system that will be delayed with cuts, the source said.) That means that with 15 of the currently funded 32 ships already delivered to the fleet, not one of them can deploy with a fully capable package of sensors for which the ship was built in the first place — a situation that doesn't have a clear end state while the programs are caught in a sucking vortex of cuts and delays. “This is a prime example of program issues causing congressional cuts which lead to further delays, then more cuts in a vicious cycle," said Thomas Callender, a retired submarine officer and analyst with The Heritage Foundation. The Navy has been pursuing a strategy of buying 32 littoral combat ships and then 20 more lethal frigates now in development. Surface warfare boss Vice Adm. Richard Brown told Defense News in August that both the surface warfare package and the anti-submarine warfare package were on track to be ready in 2019, but that future is now in doubt, Callender said. “The appropriators' FY19 cuts of zeroing out ASW module and cuts to the MCM [mine countermeasures] module will likely delay IOC and operational testing,” Callender said. But the appropriators shouldn't take all the heat, he added. The development of the different modules have hit technical issues and are all drastically behind schedule. The minesweeping package, for example, was initially supposed to deliver in 2008, but now isn't slated to IOC until 2020, a date that will be further in doubt if Congress passes the appropriations bill as it left committee, sources agreed. “The technical development issues and subsequent delays with several modules, especially the ASW and MCM mission packages, contributed to congressional angst and some of these cuts,” Callender said. “Many of these cuts, including the cuts recommended from the House Armed Services Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee for FY19 were reductions in the number of initial modules purchased until they have successfully completed operational testing.” Both authorizers on the House and Senate Armed Services committees and the Appropriations committees have taken hacks at the funding to the modules, but ultimately the National Defense Authorization Act from the services committees is more of a guide for appropriators than a set of handcuffs. Appropriators can fund what they want to fund. A statement from the office of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said the committee works with the Navy on these programs and funds what is ready to be funded. “The Committee has worked with the Department of the Navy to understand the mission system test requirements — which have often changed due to variety of reasons — and focused on funding those requirements that are ready for production,” said Blair Taylor, Shelby's communications director. Merry-go-round Part of the reason the program is vulnerable to these cuts in a way that, for example, the Arleigh Burke destroyers are not to the same extent is because of the program's structure. The ships were to be purchased separately and designed to be highly versatile, switching out in a matter of days when pierside from anti-surface systems to countermine systems to anti-submarine systems as the missions changed. But a reorganization of the program in 2016 ordered by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and led by then-head of the Naval Surface Force Pacific Adm. Thomas Rowden changed each of the ships to single-mission ships, with the first few ships slated to be surface warfare variants. But the warfare packages are still being developed under separate programs, leaving them as low-hanging fruit for cuts. “The separation of the mission modules from specific LCS hull procurement does leave them more vulnerable to these type of programmatic cuts,” Callender said. The whole issue is taking on increasing urgency as LCS builders Fincantieri in Marinette, Wisconsin, and Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, begin pushing ships to the fleet by the handful each year. As of August, the Navy had 15 LCS vessels delivered, with 29 awarded and 11 in various stages of construction. But as the development modules has devolved into a merry-go-round, where cuts beget delays that beget more cuts, the fix in which this puts the Navy becomes more real by the day. The fleet needs the capabilities the LCS modules are supposed to deliver. For example, the Navy is slated to decommission its last Avenger-class minesweeper in the 2020s. This means the minesweeping package really can't suffer too many more delays without greatly increasing the threat posed to the Navy by cheap marine mines, leaving the fleet with only ad hoc solutions for combating them until the minesweeping package can be fielded in numbers. And while there are other ships in the fleet such as the DDGs that can do anti-submarine and anti-surface missions, it's the minesweeping package that has Bryan McGrath, a retired destroyer skipper and consultant with The FerryBridge Group, worried. “I'm concerned that there aren't enough MCM modules coming along fast enough, and I am concerned that there aren't enough LCS in the current plan (four on each coast) dedicated to the MCM mission,” he said. “I'd like to see the LCS plan re-evaluated and more of them devoted exclusively to MCM.” https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/09/18/congress-to-buy-3-more-lcs-than-the-navy-needs-but-gut-funding-for-sensors-that-makes-them-valuable

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