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Saab hoping to edge its radar into Navy's future frigate program
By: Valerie Insinna
2 days ago
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has tapped Raytheon’s Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar as its preferred radar for the future frigate, but Swedish defense company Saab is closely watching the program to see if an opening develops for its Sea Giraffe agile multibeam radar, company officials said Monday.
Saab believes its Sea Giraffe might be able to fill a complimentary role on the future frigate, known as FFG(X), even if the Navy moves ahead with its presumed choice of EASR, said Jay Abendroth, Saab’s vice president and general manager of sensor systems.
“Right now, EASR is the main surveillance radar on there,” he told Defense News during an interview on the floor of the Surface Navy Association symposium.
“What they are going to expect the frigate to do does open a lot of potentials, because again it’s not just about air surveillance with this set of radars, it gets a lot more into the other missions — navigation and other things — that might not actually be required of EASR. There may be other radar or sensor packages that will do those missions as well.”
Saab’s Sea Giraffe family of systems has been a success story for its U.S. radar business. General Dynamics in 2005 selected the Sea Giraffe for the Independence-class littoral combat ship built by Austal, after which the Navy gave it the designation AN/SPS-77.
A derivative of the AN/SPS-77, called the multi-mode radar, has been chosen for the Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter, with first delivery expected this year. The company is also adapting the AN/SPS-77 for Nimitz-class carriers as well as America-class and Wasp-class amphibious assault ships, where it will support air traffic control.
Saab is under contract to provide the AN-SPS-77 for littoral combat ships up to LCS 30, and the program is slated to end after 32 ships are produced. However, there are signs that the Navy could expand the LCS shipbuilding program even as they press ahead with the development of FFG(X).
SAAB LOOKS TO FUTURE CUSTOMER BASE FOR FIXED FACE RADAR
Published: 15 January 2018
Saab told MONS that it is seeing a clear market demand for fixed face naval surveillance radars, and that this demand has influenced the company’s decision to unveil such a version of its Sea GIRAFFE-4A S-band (2.3 Gigahertz/GHz to 2.5GHz/2.7-3.7GHz) to the marketplace: “When we created the baseline for our Sea GIRAFFE-4A radar, we of course designed it to be scalable and to cater for different configurations, for example rotating or fixed face configurations,” the company told MONS via a written statement.
The firm continued that it has been offering this version of the radar, in addition to the SeaGIRAFFE-4A rotating antenna version, “to selected customers for some time,” adding that it has now “decided to unveil the (fixed face) configuration to a broader customer base.”
Saab continued that the performance of both SeaGIRAFFE-4A variants largely remains unchanged, thanks to the radar’s modular design, with the radar offering an instrumented range in the region of 151.2nm (280km) and an elevation coverage of up to 70 degrees, according to the company’s literature: “Some customers prefer a ship design with an integrated mast for optimised performance while others focus on cost and top weight. The Sea GIRAFFE-4A can now offer both of these optimisations.”
That said, the firm continued that the fixed face variant of the radar will offer some advantages, notably, “increased flexibility in update rate, enabling quicker track initiation resulting in more time to act.”
Regarding customers, Saab stated that the firm is currently in discussions with potential customers regarding both fixed, and rotating, versions of the Sea GIRAFFE-4A. Interestingly, reports stated on 9 January that the company was closely watching the US Navy’s FFG(X) future frigate programme, to see if an opportunity develops to offer Sea GIRAFFE family radars to equip these new vessels alongside their Raytheon Enterprise Air Surveillance Radars.
Saab already provides the AN/SPS-77(V)1, the US designation for its Sea GIRAFFE-AMB C-band (5.25-5.92GHz) naval surveillance radar for the US Navy’s INDEPENDENCE-class littoral combat ships and the US Coast Guard’s HERITAGE-class offshore patrol cutter.
AN/SLQ-32 BLOCK-2 COMPLETES CONSTRUCTION
Published: 15 January 2018
Lockheed Martin completed the construction of the first two examples of the AN/SLQ-32(V)6C Block-2 ship-borne Electronic Warfare (EW) system for the US Navy. The system is being procured via the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Programme (SEWIP) which is working to upgrade the RaytheonAN/SLQ-32 EW system equipping all major US Navy surface combatants. Initial deliveries of the AN/SLQ-32(V)6C Block-2 system are expected to equip the US Coast Guard’s HERITAGE-class offshore patrol cutters, according to reports.
The news follows disclosures on 12 January that the additional funds will be spent by the US Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command, which supervises the AN/SLQ-32 SEWIP effort, to correct as yet unresolved deficiencies in the system. These were highlighted by declassified report published by the US Department of Defense in December 2017 which underscored a number of shortcomings regarding the AN/SLQ-32 SEWIP initiative to date such as problems experienced with the Block-2 segment of the work which was tasked with upgrading the electronic support antenna and receiver of the AN/SLQ-32 ensemble so as to enhance the system’s electronic support capabilities.
GTV tests loom for ESSM Block 2
Richard Scott, London - IHS Jane's Missiles & Rockets
22 January 2018
Raytheon and the US Navy (USN) are gearing up for two key live test events for the RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2 programme.
Planned to occur on the Self-Defence Test Ship (SDTS) by the end of the first quarter of this year, Guided Test Vehicle-1 (GTV-1) and GTV-2 will exercise the new Block 2 guidance section in flight for the first time. Successful completion is a pre-requisite for a Milestone C approval to start low rate initial production (LRIP).
The ESSM Block 2 programme is a co-operative effort between the USN and its 11 NATO SeaSparrow Consortium partners (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey) to develop an upgraded ESSM ‘front-end’ to enter service from 2020 to counter the evolving anti-ship cruise missile threat.
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Japan completes development of ASM-3 supersonic air-to-ship missile, says report
Gabriel Dominguez, London - Jane's Defence Weekly
21 January 2018
Japan has completed development of its first domestically designed supersonic air-to-ship missile, according to a 7 January report by The Mainichi newspaper.
Known as the ASM-3, the radar-guided missile is set to enter series production in Fiscal Year 2019, said the report, adding that development of the weapon was completed at the end of last year.
The ASM-3 was jointly developed by the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as a successor to Japan's Type 93 series of missiles, according to Jane's Weapons: Air-Launched .
The missile, which has an estimated top speed of Mach 3 and a maximum range of 200 km, is expected to be primarily carried by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force's (JASDF's) F-2 multirole fighter aircraft.
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BAE Systems to provide U.S. Navy with modernized Mk 45 guns
22 Jan 2018
The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $46.8 million contract option to deliver four additional Mk 45 Naval Guns.
The contract modification calls for upgrading existing guns to the Mod 4 configuration to increase the firepower and extend the range of the weapons. This modification to the initial 10-gun contract brings the full value of the award to $176.8 million for the 14 guns.
The Mk 45 is the lightest, most compact, 5-inch fully automatic naval gun in the world and is the most widely deployed to the U.S. Navy and other allied navies. Updates to the Mod 4 configuration include a structurally strengthened gun mount and more advanced electronics. With its stronger mount, the gun can achieve 50 percent higher firing energy, allowing munitions or projectiles to travel faster and farther. Its new fully digitized control system also provides significantly greater computing power and features a touch-screen user interface.
“The Mk 45 is the industry standard for large caliber naval guns, and the Mod 4 updates make the system easier to integrate onto the ship and more adaptable to advanced munitions,” said Joseph Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. “As the world leader in developing and manufacturing maritime guns, we are committed to producing reliable and affordable technology that meets the warfighter’s needs today and well into the future.”
The upgraded Mk 45 guns are expected to remain in service for decades to come. The cost-effective Mod 4 conversion helps increase their adaptability for advanced munitions that are under development and are considered an essential component of future surface warfare.
Work on the Mk 45 Mod 4 conversions will be performed at the BAE Systems’ facility in Louisville, Kentucky, with support from the company’s supplier base, and is expected to be complete by 2021.
NSM anti-ship missile to be tested from U.S. Army HEMTT during RIMPAC 2018
SNA 2018 Show Daily News
POSTED ON THURSDAY, 25 JANUARY 2018 14:40
At the Surface Navy Association's (SNA) 2018 National Symposium held in January near Washington DC, Navy Recognition learned from Raytheon and Kongsberg that the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) will be test fired from a U.S. Army HEMTT truck during RIMPAC 2018 exercise this summer.
Kongsberg CGI showing an NSM being launched from a US Army HEMTT vehicule.
The U.S. Army will demonstrate the "cross domain fires / cross domain integration" concept by firing an NSM against a ship target at sea during the joint exercise taking place in (and off) the island of Hawaii. A contract was awarded to Raytheon for this.
The first mention of this live test came from the Chief of U.S Pacific Command, Amiral Harris, talking at the Association of the United States Army LANPAC Symposium and Exposition last year in May.
"Significant to this audience, during RIMPAC 2018, USARPAC will fire a Naval Strike Missile from the shore to sink a ship." Admiral Harris said at the Army symposium last year.
Talking to Navy Recognition at SNA 2018, Tom Copeman, Vice President, Business Development, Air Warfare Systems at Raytheon Missile Systems, said "The missile, no matter where you shoot it from, can hit moving targets at sea or can hit a target stationary ashore so it is designed from the get go to be a cross domain capable weapon".
Gary Holst, Senior Director, Business Development at Kongsberg said "We think that the emphasis on cross domain and bringing all shooters together in a distributed fashion to mass on a target or targets provides a wonderful opportunity, we are just really excited about it!".
The NSM Coastal Defence System is designed for high precision strike missions against high threat targets or highly defended targets at sea or on land up to 200 km and above.
NSM defence system is already fielded by the Polish Navy coastal defence squadron based in (Northern Poland near Gdansk). Polish Navy personnel explained to Navy Recognition the typical organization of a coastal battery at MSPO 2014.
The NSM is a fifth generation anti-sip missile, developed by KONGSBERG for the Norwegian Navy. NSM reached Initial Operational Capability on the new Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen Class frigates and the new Norwegian Skjold Class corvettes in 2012. It is also fielded by the Polish Navy (coastal defense batteries) and has been selected by the navies of Malaysia and Germany. NSM was also tested by the US Navy on LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) #4 USS Coronado in 2014.
Raytheon Company and Norway's Kongsberg Defence Systems entered in teaming agreement in 2016 and Raytheon received an initial contract to produce Naval Strike Missile (NSM) launchers at its production facility in Tucson, Arizona in August 2016.
Hans Kongelf, Vice President of Missile Systems at Kongsberg previously told Navy Recognition that the main strength of the NSM are:
- Defense penetration capabilities thanks to its stealth, extremely low sea-skimming flight profile and high G maneuvers.
- Target recognition: Each NSM is fitted with a library of ship profiles to recognize each ship classes.
- NSM is available today, it is in production, fielded by the Royal Norwegian Navy, the Polish Navy and selected by the Royal Malaysian Navy and German Navy.
Harpoon Block II+ completes operational test shot
Richard Scott, London - IHS Jane's Missiles & Rockets
25 January 2018
The US Navy (USN) has completed a live-fire test of the Boeing AGM-84N Harpoon Block II+ anti-ship missile demonstrating interoperability with the latest F/A-18E/F Super Hornet software upgrade.
A modification of the existing AGM-84D Harpoon Block 1C missile, the Block II+ weapon is a net-enabled, air-launched anti-ship cruise missile with the ability to receive in-flight updates to improve the targeting and engagement of moving maritime targets. Developed as a rapid-capability enhancement for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the P-8A Poseidon, the Harpoon Block II+ introduces a GPS guidance kit, a new datalink interface that enables in-flight updates, improved target selectivity, an abort option, and enhanced resistance to electronic countermeasures.
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