Wednesday, 28 March 2012

DCNS to Showcase Wide Range Expertise at Defexpo India 2012

Highlights include the Indian Navy’s Scorpene SSK, the Mistral-Class LHD, the Gowind OPV L’Adroit together with the Barracuda SSN, a future Aircraft Carrier design and DCNS’ services solutions

At the centre of the focus, the Scorpene submarine which Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) is producing under ToT from DCNS will be displayed. The first Scorpene submarine is to be launched at the end of 2013 and commissioned in 2015. Recently, DCNS India has delivered the first locally produced Scorpene submarines equipment to Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) for the P75 Scorpene submarines, thus illustrating DCNS’s commitment to the indigenization. At Defexpo, DCNS local presence will be strong with DCNS India representatives explaining the successful indigenization for the P75 program in India.

“Defexpo is a very important platform for DCNS to showcase the services we can provide to our Customers through genuine transfer of technology. We have a deep industrial expertise, from the design to the in-service support.” said Bernard Buisson, Managing Director of DCNS India. “We remain fully committed to bring to the Indian government and our partners our innovative and proven technologies.”

The DCNS booth will showcase:

The Scorpene Family SSKs:

Already chosen by the Chilean, Royal Malaysian, Indian and Brazilian Navies Scorpene-Family submarines represent the state-of-the-art in submarine design and construction and benefits from the latest technologies developed for nuclear-powered classes operated by the French Navy, particularly as regards acoustic discretion and combat system performance. At Defexpo, the Scorpene is presented with its SUBTICS combat system and its optional MESMA AIP section.

– SUBTICS combines long-range capabilities in all navigation conditions with powerful weapons (torpedoes, anti-ship missile, counter-measures, land-attack capability). As a fully-integrated system, all functions are operated from Multifunction Common Consoles and its open architecture and modularity guarantee that the system can be adapted to every type of submarines and configured according to operational requirements. It can also be upgraded during its lifetime to fulfil new missions and keep its operational superiority.

– The MESMA (Autonomous Submarine Energy Module) is an electrical energy production module designed specifically for conventional submarines. As well as supplying electricity to the vessel and to the propulsion system, it can also be used to recharge the batteries without the need to surface. Together with a MESMA section, a Scorpene will be able to carry out extended missions with an over 3 weeks submerged endurance. The 10 meters’ MESMA module can be considered as a new-build option or installed during an upgrade.

The Barracuda SSN:

DCNS is drawing on 50 years’ experience as a designer and builder of nuclear-powered submarines to develop this new-generation, combining the latest advances in acoustic discretion and propulsion. The Barracuda SSN is designed for the French Navy to undertake blue-water missions anywhere in the world; and to do so either alone or as part of a naval force. In a word, it will be the centrepiece of the military means: an attack submarine capable of massive deep strike operations, which can also control vast maritime domains or deploy as part of a coalition force. Highly versatile, Barracuda will be assigned strategic defence missions, including the protection of LHDs and aircrafts carriers. The first-of-class SSN Le Suffren is scheduled to enter service in 2017. Between 2017 and 2027 six Barracudas will replace the six Rubis/Améthyste-class boats currently in service.

The Contralto-S torpedo countermeasures suite:
The Contralto-S torpedo countermeasures suite for submarines is designed to defeat latest-generation torpedoes. It uses acoustic decoys and is based on the ‘confusion/dilution’ principle. Contralto-S is designed for all types of submarines (i.e. SSKs, SSNs and SSBNs) and can be incorporated into new-build designs or added to existing boats as part of a refit or modernisation programme. Customers to date include the French Navy’s SSBN and SSN fleets under the Nemesis programme and the Brazilian Navy for its new class of SSKs.

The Gowind OPV:

The Gowind OPV is designed to meet the operational needs of a large number of navies focusing on coastal missions/homeland security. With a length overall of 87 metres and 1,000 tonnes displacement, the Gowind OPV will offer three weeks’ blue-water endurance, a range of 8,000 nautical miles and a top speed of 21 knots. The Gowind OPV L’Adroit has been manufactured in less than two years; it is used by the French Navy since October 2011.

The Mistral-Class LHD:

With a length of 199 metres and a displacement of 21,500 tonnes, a Mistral-Class LHD offers a global projection capability for troops and materiel. Mistral-Class LHD also offers ample capacity as hospital ships or for large-scale humanitarian missions. The design features electric propulsion using azimuth pods and high-level automation compatible with a complement of just 170. A high-performance communications suite, a 3D surveillance radar and a Senit 9 combat management system (CMS) make the type ideal as a naval force command vessel. For the record, the third Mistral-Class for the French Navy was delivered ahead of schedule and the construction of the first Mistral-Class LHD for the Russian Navy has started.

The PA2 Aircraft Carrier:

After developing and building the CVN Charles de Gaulle, DCNS now designed a next-generation aircraft carrier offering increased power projection capabilities, optimized maintainability and improved at-sea availability. The PA2 is a 285 metres, 60,000 tonnes, aircraft carrier featuring a 13,400 m2 flying deck. The PA2 is designed to offer improved maintainability and at-sea availability thanks to lessons learned through fleet-wide through-life support. Special attention has been be paid to living conditions for a reduced crew of 900 (air wing and command team). The ship will accommodate up to 1,690 passengers.

The PA2 capabilities include air/sea control over a wide area, strike attacks against land and maritime targets along with missions as part of a carrier group or in cooperation with allied forces. On operational deployments with an air wing of 40 aircraft, the PA2 will be able to carry out up to 75 air missions per day for extended periods.

Comprehensive services solutions:

DCNS provides a wide range of support services during the entire lifecycle of surface ships and submarines. These services stretch from the simplest order of spare parts to the through-life support of complete fleet. On top of current support operations, DCNS can carry out modernization and life extension programs to maintain fleet availability at optimal cost. DCNS also offers a complete set of courses and solutions designed to train all levels of naval and industrial personnel, from the start of a project through decommissioning and/or dismantling. Finally, DCNS proposes services in naval bases and shipyards from the design, engineering, construction, operation to the maintenance. This global offer is designed to help navies to maintain and expand their self-sufficiency within technology transfer programs.

DCNS is a world leader in naval defence and an innovative player in energy. The Group's success as an advanced technology company with global reach is built on meeting customer needs by deploying exceptional know-how and unique industrial resources. DCNS designs, builds and supports surface combatants, submarines and mission-critical systems and equipment incorporating the most advanced technologies. It also proposes services for naval shipyards and bases. Last but not least, DCNS offers a range of solutions in civil nuclear engineering and marine renewable energy. DCNS is committed to sustainable development and was one of the first defence contractors to achieve Group-wide certification to ISO 14001. In recognition of the success achieved by its Filières du Talent knowledge sharing programme, DCNS was awarded the Trophée National de l'Entreprise Citoyenne (national award for corporate citizenship) under the patronage of the French Senate. The Group employs 12,800 people and generates annual revenues of around €2.6 billion.

The Indian Navy is Pressing for Foreign Construction of Next Generation Submarines

Bowed to pressure from the Navy, India’s ministry of defense (MoD) has ruled that foreign and government owned shipyards will be allowed to compete for the construction of new Project 75I submarines. In contrast to previous policy, MoD determined that no private sector shipyard in the country has the infrastructure and capability required for building the next generation conventional submarines that the Indian Navy wants. As a result, the long-delayed plan to build six conventional submarines for an estimated Rs 30,000-35,000 crore (about US$6 billion) will be divided between foreign shipyards and the defense public sector.

According to Secretary of Defence for Production, Shekhar Agarwal, two Project 75I submarines will be built abroad by the foreign vendor that wins the MoD contract with the follow-on four vessels to be constructed in India, by the Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai (MDL) and Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Visakhapatnam (HSL).

This decision is a blow to the private sector shipyards. Larsen & Turbo (L&T) shipyard. The company is playing a major role in building the Arihant-class nuclear submarines. ABG Shipyard and Pipavav Shipyard have also invested on infrastructure in preparation for major defense contracts. According to the long-term Submarine Construction Plan introduced in 1999, Indian shipyards would build 24 conventional submarines by 2030. The latest MoD decision to build two submarines abroad runs contrary to this plan.

The Indian Navy insists that the lead Project 75I submarines will be built abroad, preventing the delays it is experiencing with its current Project 75 (Scorpene) class. Project 75 involves the construction of six Scorpene submarines in MDL, in partnership with Franco-Spanish consortium DCNS. The first Scorpene, which was to be delivered this year, will only be completed in 2015. With P75 subs delayed, the next Project 75I project is still in RFI phase, with both French (AIP Scorpene) and the Russian (Amur 1650 class) being considered though the massive technology transfer expected to deliver through the current phase will make Scorpene significantly more competitive in a future competition.

In 2005 India and French firm DCNS have signed the contract for the construction of the six submarines and transfer of technology from DCNS. The cost of the program is worth over project Rs 23,000 crore ($4.6 billion).

The program encountered significant delays in qualifying local subcontractors and suppliers to deliver parts for the submarines. Last month, seven years after the contract was signed DCNS has announced the supply of the first lot of India-made equipment to MDL, for installation on these Scorpene submarines. The equipment was manufactured by Indian firm Flash Forge India Pvt Ltd based out of Vishakhapatnam. “We are providing know-how and technical assistance to our Indian partners, and with MDL, we are qualifying suitable companies which are meeting the specifications needed for the submarines” explained Bernard Buisson, Managing Director of DCNS India. He acknowledged that due to delays in procurement of MDL-purchased items, the delivery schedule of the Scorpenes has been adversely affected and the first of it is commissioned only in 2015.

The Scorpene is a 1,700-tonne submarine that can remain at sea for 40-50 days. India has an option to install Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems in the last two Scorpenes that MDL builds, and then retrofit AIP into the other four Scorpenes as well.

The submarine designer, the French company DCNS is displaying at Defexpo 2012 two new technologies addressing this submarine – the SUBTICS integrated combat system and the MESMA – an Autonomous Submarine Energy Module (also referred to as AIP).

SUBTICS combines long-range capabilities in all navigation conditions with powerful weapons (torpedoes, anti-ship missile, counter-measures, land-attack capability). As a fully-integrated system, all functions are operated from Multifunction Common Consoles and its open architecture and modularity guarantee that the system can be adapted to every type of submarines and configured according to operational requirements. It can also be upgraded during its lifetime to fulfill new missions and keep its operational superiority.

The MESMA is an electrical energy production module designed specifically for conventional submarines. As well as supplying electricity to the vessel and to the propulsion system, it can also be used to recharge the batteries without the need to surface. Together with a MESMA section, a Scorpene will be able to carry out extended missions with an over 3 weeks submerged endurance. The 10 meters’ MESMA module can be considered as a new-build option or installed during an upgrade

Rolls-Royce will play key role in nuclear submarine revamp

ROLLS-ROYCE will be carrying out work to upgrade one of the Royal Navy's nuclear missile submarines, in a move which will help safeguard Derby jobs.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed the £350 million overhaul of the Trident-carrying HMS Vengeance yesterday.

 ​Members of the East Midlands branch of CND protest outside Rolls-Royce at Raynesway. From left, Marguerite Sansome, Lesley Mathews, Richard Johnson, Dorothy Skrytek, Ian Cohen, Penny Walker, Michael Gerard and Rosy Townsend.

The upgrade on the Vanguard Class submarine is part of a programme of planned works to improve the Royal Navy's fleet.

The overhaul includes "refuelling" the submarines.

A new reactor core made by engineers at Rolls-Royce's marine division, in Raynesway, will be supplied to HMS Vengeance.

The core is the energy source that powers the 15,000 tonne vessel.

Rolls-Royce declined to comment on its involvement in the overhaul, which will be carried out at Devonport Dockyard, in Plymouth, where HMS Vengeance has been moored since the start of the month.

But speaking during a visit to the dockyard yesterday, Mr Hammond said that the work would secure more than 1,000 jobs at defence firm Babcock, a further 300 at other firms in Plymouth and another 700 jobs in the supply chain.

He said "As well as securing 2,000 UK jobs, this contract will ensure the nuclear deterrent submarine fleet can continue to operate safely and effectively to maintain a continuous at-sea deterrent.

"As we stabilise the defence budget we are increasingly able to commit to equipment projects to safeguard the UK's national security.

"Our White Paper published earlier this year said we would support key sovereign capabilities in British companies that help us to protect our national security and this contract is evidence of that commitment."

The reactor cores manufactured at Raynesway use uranium as the fuel, delivered to the site by the MoD.

Apart from testing new designs, the cores are not operated at the Derby site.

They are delivered to dockyards for installation in the submarines.

Nuclear-powered submarines work by gaining energy from a controlled nuclear reaction.

This reaction in the reactor compartment produces enormous heat energy.

This heat is channelled through a piping system that then heats water in a second, separate circuit of pipes. The heated water turns to steam, which passes through a turbine to power the submarine's propulsion drive. The steam also provides internal electric power via a turbine-driven generator.

Rear Admiral Simon Lister, director of submarines for the MoD, said: "The highly sophisticated nature of the work involved in the deep maintenance of these magnificent vessels is testament to the experience and skills of the workforce across the UK."

The Vanguard class of submarines carry the Trident nuclear deterrent.

Yesterday afternoon, members of the anti-Trident group, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, gathered outside Rolls-Royce's Raynesway site to protest against the Government's nuclear defence spending.

The group held a similar protest outside the Houses of Parliament during the Budget last week.

CND believes that government cash would be better spent on other industries and has suggested a "conversion of skills" to "peaceful and sustainable uses".

Rosie Townsend, from the East Midlands branch of CND, said: "The Government will not decide until 2016 whether it will keep the deterrent yet it is still investing in it right now.

"This money could be better invested in green energy alternatives, which would utilise the skills at companies like Rolls-Royce."

'It makes no sense to negotiate with Argentina,' Falklands Governor

On the verge of the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War, the British Governor of the South Atlantic Islands Nigel Haywood told reporters that negotiating with Argentina “makes no sense as long as Buenos Aires keeps denying the Islanders right of self-determination.”

In conversations with a French news agency, Haywood remarked that the islands “are British, and we have all rights over the territory plus the islanders want to be British.”

Likewise, Haywood emphasized that “Argentina is constantly defying the Islanders right of self-determination, hence negotiations are totally pointless.”

Furthermore, the British official said that “the sovereignty of the Islands cannot be negotiated if they keep skipping the islanders’ opinion disobeying the United Nations’ charter on regards people’s right of self-determination.”

Haywood also unveiled that a referendum to see whether islanders want to remain British or not could be conducted among islanders in case the UN ask them to do so.

Comments came after the British government led by Primer Minister David Cameron said it will always respect the islanders’ right of self-determination before Argentina’s claims of sovereignty over the Falkland Islands invaded by British forces in 1833.  

Uruguay - 'We won't back any economic blockade to Malvinas,' Uruguay's Almagro

Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Luis Almagro rejected and denied all journalistic pieces indicating that a group of Uruguayans businessmen would be travelling to Malvinas islands within the next weeks in order to extend commercial links and pursue new ventures, thus playing down the sayings of the VP of the British Chambers of Commerce in the neighbouring country.

“The pieces of information published yesterday by the media were simply crazy and senseless. There are neither an official nor private business missions travelling to Falkland/Malvinas.”

Almagro's statement surprised everybody as it was the very same Vice President of the British Chambers of Commerce in Uruguay, Guillermo Wild, who confirmed yesterday to Submariners World that a Uruguayan trade mission should arrive to the islands within the next days to explore business opportunities.

Further surprising was the conversation Almagro held with reporters of El Universal radio station of Montevideo as the minister confirmed that an air-freight will departure from Montevideo and land on Malvinas on April 13 carrying Uruguayan goods following commercial agreements clinched by a group of 19 businessmen of the neighbouring country during a private trip to the Islands last February. A private trade mission that had received the go-ahead of Uruguay’s President José Mujica. 

"Uruguayan businessmen are free to negotiate with whoever they want", Almagro said.

On this matter, Almagro emphasized that "Uruguay won’t back any kind of economic blockade as such a measure would represent a violation to the human rights of the Islanders, and we keep the same stand we have on the blockade the US imposes to Cuba."