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Issue N° 29 – September / October 2016

Eu r o p e a n D ef en ce R e v i e w

Of Dolphins and Barracudas: the on-going rush for oceanic ssks Unmanned eyes over the sea New stopping power at sea Artillery and big calibre guided rounds


The largest range of solutions, to rule the waves







Eu r o p e a n D ef en ce R e v i e w 

Issue n o. 29


Of Dolphins and Barracudas: the on-going rush for oceanic ssks – By Jean-Michel Guhl




Unmanned eyes over the sea By David Oliver


New stopping power at sea By Luca Peruzzi



Artillery and big calibre guided rounds By Paolo Valpolini


CZ become one of the key players in the small arms – By Paolo Valpolini Publisher: Joseph Roukoz Editor-in-chief: David Oliver European Defence Review (EDR) is published by European Defence Publishing SAS

EDR – September / October 2016

36 44 3

P What could be a Barracuda Mk.1, a conventional

propulsion derivative of the Suffren-class SSNs of the French Navy now being developped by DCNS in Cherbourg using experience gained with advanced nuclear-propelled oceanic attack submarines. This model will be the basis for the 5,000 t Shortfin Barracuda variant selected by the Royal Australian Navy in 2016.


Of Dolphins and Barracudas: the on-going rush for oceanic ssks By Jean-Michel Guhl


ith the now very palpable resurgence of maritime tensions around the world, above all in Asia, a number of countries are today seeking to enhance their naval capabilities in the submarine field: certainly the world’s most potent weapon in everyone’s imagination since Jules Verne made captain Nemo’s Nautilus famous in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, a French novel published in 1870. For those nations – aside from the five members of the UN Security Council all fielding nuclear-powered submarines, plus India with direct support from Russia-attack submarines offer a unique platform to strike enemy targets on land or at sea using conventional or, in very limited cases, nuclear-tipped weapons. An attack submarine or SSK (a US acronym now widely used in publications to describe Conventional Attack Hunter-Killer Submarines) is an extremely forcible tool, even more powerful today where propulsion systems, sonars, missiles and torpedoes have reached the acme of technology. Being both capable of extreme endurance and silence (with a noise level below 100 decibels), a SSK will respond to the wildest wish of any vessel commander, from long-range intelligence gathering to all oceanic aspect combat, including the unseen landing and extraction of special forces. 4

Totally invible and lethal, well hidden in the deep, modern oceanic SSKs are nowadays able to roam over all the waters of the globe, just like their SSN brethren, and even dive under the polar caps for long periods of time. Being among the world’s most highly complex machines they however operate in a very unforgiving environment, and this implies both a highly rigorous industrial process and rugged construction on the one hand and perfect daily underwater individual training (to assure crew safety and mission readiness) on the other. This is not within reach of many a navy even in the age of electronics.

A borderless and immense battleground Not long ago, the chief of the French Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOM), IGA Bruno Frachon, reported: «Today our knowledge about the Martian surface and relief is far above what we know of our own planet oceans!» SHOM, the successor to the Dépôt royal des cartes et plans de la Marine, founded in 1720, is certainly one institution today which has the deepest scientific and geographical knowledge about the world oceans and land-locked September / October 2016 – EDR

satellite to sail into space, TOPEX/Poseidon helped revolutionize oceanography by proving the value of satellite ocean observations. Although a malfunction ended normal satellite operations in January 2006, TOPEX/Poseidon’s radar altimeter provided the first continuous global coverage of the surface topography of the oceans. From an orbit located 1,330 kilometres above the Earth, TOPEX/Poseidon provided measurements of the surface height of

N Over the turn of the millennium,

the Franco-US TOPEX/Poseidon observation satellite mission provided the first human opportunity to map the oceans and seas of the world. A real strategic bonanza as well for the French and U.S. Navies.


seas: i.e. 70% of the planet surface – whose rugged abyssal topography remains much shrouded in mystery. It is there, cruising in the deep unnoticed from the surface, that hundreds of submarines criss-cross today the vast liquid masses of the globe, scouting, detecting, observing, listening, exploring… and always ready to act on demand from a distant headquarter.   If little was known before the turn of this millennium, during some 12 years, starting in 1993, the French Navy and the U.S. Navy did gain much knowledge of our planet’s oceans through the TOPEX/Poseidon observation programme (which was a joint satellite mission between NASA, the U.S. space agency, and CNES, its French counterpart), to map the world’s ocean surface in order to gain some knowledge of the seabed topography with its huge intercontinental submerged mountain chains. The first major oceanographic research

EDR – September / October 2016


95% of the ice-free ocean to an accuracy of 3.3cm, with the technology of that time! The satellite’s measurements of the “hills” and “valleys” of the sea surface led to a fundamental new understanding of ocean circulation, all the while delineating new dynamic routes for military submarines. The mission’s most important achievement was to determine the patterns of ocean circulation. Since the ocean holds most of the Earth’s heat from the Sun, ocean circulation is a driving force of our climate. TOPEX/Poseidon made it possible for the first time to compare computer models of ocean circulation with actual global observations the gathered data being used to improve climate predictions, all the while fostering Western naval military studies. For example, it is a well known fact nowadays that submerged submarines can often hide from sonars to such a point as to “disappear” in layers of oceanic underwater currents while drifting off with their engines shut down, the differences in temperature and salinity spelling out the trick!

How deep can they go?

© U.S. Navy

If early SSKs did not dive very deep due to their poor submerged hydrodynamics, modern SSKs can reach depths between 250 and 400m, but actual figures are always a well kept secret. How deep can


they go ? A cheeky Frenchman would say : « Certainly not deeper than President François Hollande whose popularity has today reached the bottom of a pathetic agony! » Irony set apart, the Russian Akula II-class SSNs are reported to currently reach 700m, just like their U.S. counterpart, the Ohio-class SSNs… But it is certainly more, leaving much questions unanswered even for dye-hard experts.  Just remember that in 1989, the Soviet SSN K-278 Komsomolets built by the Rubin OKB with a titanium outer hull reached 1020m in the Barents sea (a world record among military submarines). At such depths water pressure on the submarine cylindrical hull hits the 100-bar limit, i.e. 100kg per square centimetre or 10 t per square metre! In light of such criterias, designing SSKs today requires

N USS Bonita (K-3), one of the first sonar-equipped

attack submarines specially designed in the USA to hunt and kill other submarines. A small boat, suitable for mass production designed to meet early Cold War requirements, it spawned the three submarines of the K-1 class (later named the Barracuda-class), which entered service in 1951. At 760 tons surfaced, they were considerably smaller than the standard submarines produced in World War II or later. Armed with four torpedo tubes, the Barracuda class submarines were equipped with an advanced passive sonar, the Edo BQR-4 mounted far away in the bow to stay clear from the submarine’s own noise ! She was last used as a shock-test target during the Eniwetok U.S. nuclear tests of 1958 where her onboard electronic systems were shattered by the intense EMP generated by the underwater atomic explosion, although she escaped hull destruction.

September / October 2016 – EDR

© Israel Embassy

M Moored in Cartagena, S74 Tramontana (last

of the Spanish Navy’s batch of four Agosta-class SSKs) is one of the oldest NATO SSKs still around. Commissioned in 1985, she is still operational. In total 13 Agosta-class SSKs were built for France, Spain and Pakistan, the last of these being PNS/M Hamza (S 139) a 2,000 t Agosta 90B launched in Karachi and commisioned in 2004 after a transfer of technology contracted with DCNS. Eight Agosta-class remain active in Spain and Pakistan.

(or Super-Dolphin, a Type 212 variant) built by TKMS in Germany for the Israeli Navy. This vessel is pictured in 2014 on its arrival in Haifa after sailing out from Kiel. The ship’s upper half and masts, like all Israeli submarines, are painted in mid-blue, a colour well adapted to the mostly sunny Mediterranean marine theatre. The inscription in Hebrew reads IN Tannin or Crocodile.

N HMAS Otama, an Oberon-class SSK returning from

a south east Asian deployment to Fleet Base West for homeporting in 1999. Replaced since in Australia, as well as in four other navies, by more modern submarines, the British-designed Oberon-class was among the best conventional hunter-killer submarines ever designed by Vickers-Armstrong. Reported to be very silent and with a streamlined blade profile (which allowed for a 17 knots submerged speed) these SSKs had a range of 10,000nm. Of note are the folded diving planes stowed for homecoming and the huge sonar dome so characteristic of the Oberon-class which numbered 27 units in total. © ADF official

© Navantia

M INS Tannin, the first of three Dolphin II SSKs

© ADF official

M HMAS Farncomb, one of the Royal Australian

Navy’s six Collins-class SSKs which represent today the mainstay of that country’s submarine fleet. All six 3,400 t submarines evolved from a Kockums blueprint are named after RAN personnel who distinguished themselves in action during World War II. Built between 1990 and 2003, they were the first submarines to be constructed in Australia. Expected to remain in service until the 2020s, they are scheduled to be replaced by up to 12 Shortfin Barracuda Mk.1s designed by DCNS, the first of which should be launched in 2025 to remain in active service for a half century.


mounds of scientific background, an advanced steel and titanium industry, hefty budgets and much operational experience on top of that. That is why conceptors of SSKs are so few. And the reason why submarines are among the most costly and all the while the most lethal and elusive weapon systems extant. Very much like the table fork or the Coca Cola bottle, whose respective four-pronged end and hobbled lines cannot be much improved, modern submarines seem to have reached a definitive long bullet- or cigar-shaped silhouette which has most of the hydrodynamical virtues of cetaceans, their killer-whale sail included. Typical of new generation oceanic attack submarines, these vessels muster one of the widest choice of missions and capabilities of any marine weapon, transport and projection of special forces team included.  True designers of SSKs are not many around the globe, and for the sole exception of the USA and the UK which shipyards today only build highend nuclear-powered submarines (SSNs) countries with a staunch naval industry are to be found today exclusively in Europe and in Asia with historical roots well immersed in the nascent 20th Century and WW1. France, Germany, Great-Britain, Italy, Japan and the USA all have their names printed in history books, only to be joined since WW2 by Russia and later by Communist China, with lesser countries like the Netherlands or Sweden indulging for their specific national needs.

Europe’s giants: DCNS, OSK and TKMS As far as conventional attack submarines are concerned, Europe has three champions in the shape of: – DCNS of France, designer of the famous Agostaclass (13 units launched) and Scorpène-Class SSKs (14 units so far) and Barracuda-class conventional derivatives (12 units planned for Australia) in Cherbourg; – OSK Rubin from Russia in Saint-Petersburg with their new Amur-class SSKs, successors to the famous Kilo-class family (62 units of all variants launched and sold to 7 foreign countries) in fact the fourth generation of the Kilo-class, with two main models in development; – and Thyssen-Krupp Marine Shipyards in Germany, based in Kiel, which built the famous HDW Type 209 SSKs, that can be found in every oceans of the world September / October 2016 – EDR

DCNS. Your naval partner. DCNS. Your naval partner. DCNS. Your naval partner. DCNS. Your naval partner. DCNS. Your naval partner. DCNS. Your naval partner.

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© Saab Defence

M Designed and built by the Kockums shipyards

in Malmö, and commissioned already 20 years ago, the three Gotland-class submarines of the Swedish Navy are modern 1,500 t diesel-electric submarines, the first type in the world to feature a Stirling engine and AIP propulsion system, which extends their underwater endurance from a few days to several weeks. Interestingly, since the end of the Cold War and in order to remain hard to spot when surfaced, no navies sport external signs on their submarines with the exception of neutral Sweden which always carries the country’s famous tri-crown roundel on the sail. The Gotland-class is to be backed by two all new Saab Kockums A26 ssks as of 2022. and their successors, the Types 210/212/214. All three shipyards have been quite successful in exporting their submarines all over the globe. TKMS, with no less than 63 units delivered to this date and many of them still serving some 14 navies around the globe as well as the much more modern Type 212A and 214 submarines is Europe’s overall champion. It is true to say that no other classes of submarine have been built in such great and widespread number since World War II. Many assembled under license in national shipyards in South America, Europe and Asia.   Among the many customers of TKMS, at least one navy turned to Germany to provide a unique set of undersea capabilities, although for very different areas of operation. A small country with no strategic depth, long faced with a lingering 10

Iranian nuclear programme and the hostility of many Arab nations, Israel required a second strike platform able to deter Teheran from fulfilling its very undiplomatic pledge to “wipe Israel off the map”. The Israeli Navy acquired that capability through TKMS-manufactured Dolphin submarines (similar to the German Navy’s Type 212 vessels) supplied to the Hebrew nation’s small submarine fleet. This Super-Dolphin variant is equipped with an air independent propulsion (AIP) system which authorise the vessel to remain submerged for very long periods of time while remaining almost silent, rendering it almost impossible to detect. Let’s recall that Germany provided Israel with its first two Dolphin submarines in 1991 (INS Dolphin and Leviathan) and also paid a significant amount of the purchase price for Israel’s third submarine INS Tekumah. Three additional Dolphins are slated to be delivered to Israel by 2017 (INS Tannin, Rahav and Dakar). This fleet, with its ability to stay submerged for weeks in virtual silence, will provide the bulk of Israel’s second strike capability which remains unrivalled in the Middle-east. They are believed to carry cruise missiles with a range of 1,500km.   The latest iteration of German SSKs is the HDW Class 216 submarine. A long-range 90m long multi-mission two-deck fuel cell submarine with long endurance. Fitted with six weapon tubes her modular weapon and sensor mix, in combination with the submarine›s air-independent features, makes the Type 216 predestined for anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, as well as intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance September / October 2016 – EDR

P A brilliant testimony of the “make in

is one of some ten Diesel-electric attack submarines in current service with the Indian Navy. A member of the Sindhughosh-class, it is a Kilo-class 3,000 t vessel of Soviet design commissioned in March 1991.

EDR – September / October 2016


N INS Sindhuvidjay (S62)

© Indian Navy

India” trend, INS Kalvari (S50) is pictured after her launch at the Mazagon Dock Shipyards in 2015. Lead vessel of the new stealthy Kalvari-class she is currently undergoing sea trials and is to be commissioned at the time we are closing for press in September 2016. Five other vessels of this Scorpène 1,600t design from DCNS are expected to be delivered and commissioned during the 2017-2020 period. These fast attack and highly automated submarines are equipped with 6 x 533mm torpedo tubes for 18 Whitehead Alenia Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes or MBDA Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles (or 30 mines in place of torpedoes). They will gradually supplement the Shishumar- and Sindhughosh-class attack submarines before replacing the latter class after 2025. They are not to be confused with the old Kalvari-class of the nineteen sixties which last example, INS Kursura (S20) was decommissioned in 2001.


© Indian Navy

M INS Chakra (S71) is the only nuclear powered

attack submarine of the Indian Navy. A Russian Akula-II-class vessel launched in 2009, this huge 12,500 t (submerged) submarine has been leased from the Russian Navy for a period of ten years. Due to be handed back only in 2022, she is providing New Delhi with a powerful accustoming tool. The operational training of Indian's crew with this vessel is viewed as crucial to India's own nuclear SSBN programme: the Arihant-class whose head of class is to be commissioned soon.

(ISTAR) and land attack capability. It is also earmarked for Special Forces operations with deployment of unmanned vehicles as well as mine operations and mine reconnaissance. It is said to feature two pressure-tight compartments, high crew comfort levels and an extremely flexible payload for weapons and mission-orientated exchangeable equipment enhanced by the innovative Vertical 12

Multi-Purpose Lock (VMPL). Using Permasyn propulsion motor and lithium-ion battery technology, the 4,000 t surface displacement vessel has a composite propeller and a compact sail. It incorporates high and proven automation level for its reduced 33 seamen crew and an HABETaS rescue system. With the Dutch submarine industry now gone, only Sweden and Greece (under the auspices of TKMS) still build SSKs. Spain also has a paltry submarine industry derived from lessons learned from France when Bazán (now Navantia) constructed four Agosta-class vessels for the Spanish Navy and the front halves of the two Chilean Scorpène SSKs under license from DCN, now DCNS. The S-80 class (or Isaac Peral-class) currently under construction for the Armada española is a blownup 2,500t copy of the basic 1,500t Scorpène design incorporating U.S. technology. Four have been ordered, three of which are under construction in Ferol by Navantia. These AIP submarines are being fitted with a new propulsion system designed September / October 2016 – EDR

for a high degree of autonomy under water. The first was planned to enter service in 2015, with a second in 2016, but a weight imbalance issue was prematurely identified which is said to hold up the project for several years. The S-80 has not attracted any export customers so far, but Indian sources,


NThe Russian Kilo-class (Project 877) B402 Vologda entering the bay of Severomorsk, HQ of the Russian Northern Fleet in the Kola peninsula. Located on the Barents Sea, near Murmansk, Severomorsk is the port from where all Russian patrols under the Arctic iceshelf are conducted. Most recent purchaser of the 3,000t Kilo-class family SSK is Vietnam whose sixth Project 636.1 submarine was delivered recently in Cam Ranh in 2016. The Kilo family submarines (Projects 877 & 636) are reckoned to be excellent vessels gifted with a very low noise emission level which, according to U.S. experts, provides them with a level of undetectability when submerged.

under Project 75I, lists the S-80 SSK as a likely contender for the Indian Navy next generation of mid-size submarines. While DCNS is nowadays fully involved in constructing with the Shortfin Barracuda Mk.1 programme a true new generation of multirole SSKs, Russia’s Kilo-class submarines are still a proven vessel for the Russian Navy and a valuable export tool for OSK in Saint Petersburg. Among the foreign users of this attack submarine, Iran which owns three units based in Bandar Abas, is probably the most notorious as these vessels are the only ones operational among the seven countries of the Gulf region. And more is to come, the Russian Navy has a current order going for six Project 686.3 uparmed variants, of which five have been commissioned already. A number of former Russian Navy Kilo-class are also now available on the pre-owned market, either as original Project 877 Paltus models, or later Project 636 Varshavyanka. Vietnam is the most recent client of the modernised Kilo-class and it has been reported that Indonesia could become a likely purchaser of up to five of these SSKs, all second-hand, in order to stand up against China’s active operations in

EDR – September / October 2016


N Derived from the abandonned

At the epicentre of tensions As noted, Asia today is really where all the naval stir is, the continent witnessing a nascent submarine race, with Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam all vying for new and improved acquisitions in the face of China’s burgeoning fleet of nuclear/diesel-electric boats and aggresive intrusion around disputed distant archipelagoes in the South China Sea. If some, like Malaysia have only recently created ab nihilo a small submarine force dedicated to the protection of its elongated two-part country and to regional surveillance, others are going much further. Vietnam is now about to commission its sixth Kilo-class submarine, all vessels obviously


Lada-class and also designed by OSK in Saint Petersburg, the family of modern Amur SSKs is made of two models (1650 and 950) which can only be externally differentiated from those of the original Kilo-class family by the presence of a larger fin and sail-mounted diving planes. In truth, the new vessels are the fourth generation of the Kilo family. The Amur-1650 is larger and intended for longer missions while the Amur-950 is armed with a VLS missile system capable of salvo-fire at multiple predesignated targets. Sonar signatures of these submarines are several times lower than the older Kilo-class SSKs. Both designs are equipped with new generation electronic warfare armament and they can be outfitted with AIP fuel cells, considerably improving submerged endurance and range.

the South China Sea. Already Jakarta has ordered three Korean-made advanced KSS-III vessels to beef up the Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Laut (TNI-AL)’s small two-SSK f leet which is thus expected to grow to some ten units by 2030 if the important Kilo-class deal with Russia ever gets through.


September / October 2016 – EDR

ready to oppose the PLAN in the East Sea, the Vietnamese name of the South China Sea! On its part, the Republic of Singapore still musters a f leet of revamped ex-Swedish Sjöormen-class submarines and a pair of refitted Västergötland-class; all formerly built by Kockums and purchased second-hand from Sweden to form the present Challenger- and Archer-class SSKs. In 2014, Vietnam received its two first Project 636.1 Kilo-class submarines at the revived Cam Ranh naval base: HQ-182 Hà Nội and HQ-183 Ho Chi Minh City. They have since been joined by HQ-184 Hải Phòng, HQ-185 Đà Nẵng, HQ-186 Khánh Hòa, and HQ-187 Bà Rịa Vũng Tàu. The submarines have a 3,000-ton displacement, and are able to operate at a maximum depth of 300 metres and at a speed of 20 nautical miles per hour with over 50 crew members. They are said to be equipped with six 533mm torpedo tubes, torpedoes and 3M-54 Klub submarine-launched anti-ship missile on board, according to a Vietnamese media source.   Outside of Europe, Asia is the only place where original SSKs are being developped and built today: namely in China, at the very modern Wuchang Shipyards in Wuhan and the Jiangnan Shipyards in Shanghai; and in Japan, by Kawasaki and Mitsubishi in Kobe; while South Korea (with Hyundai in Okpo and Daewoo in Ulsan) produces German design SSKs under license only, and due for 2025 a first home-made exportable derivative: the 4,000t KSS-III (Jangbogo III) which draws enormously on original TKMS-HDW technology, and which has been ordered by Indonesia. They will form the Nagabanda-class with three vessels that will supplement de existing two Cakra-class (Type 209) submarines which constitutes all the Indonesian Navy underwater fleet today. Let’s remember that today’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries is the inheritor of the century old and exceptionnaly rich Nipponese submarine industry which produced hundreds of vessels for the Rising Sun Empire until 1945, at times it had been one of the world’s most powerful navies. EDR – September / October 2016

M X-ray

depiction of the Amur-950 SSK designed by the Rubin OKB at the OSK Saint Petersburg shipyards. Like anything military produced in China, not much is known of the submarines developped for the PRC Navy. A master in the art of deception and reverse-engineering, the Communist regime has a tendancy to hide what it has in operation and to brag about what it does not have ! Whatever, current Chinese SSKs draw a lot on original Soviet technology. This is in particular the case with the Yuan Type 041 and Song Type 039, the first commissioned in 1999, built by Wuhan and the Jiangan Shipyards. Some half-dozen Yuan-class vessels has been supplied to the PLAN, and Pakistan is planning to purchase six from China as a way to counter the influence of expanding Indian maritime power, it was reported in 2014. Some local experts say that the submarines will be S20s, the export version of the Type 041. The only difference between the Type 041 and the S20 is that the latter does not have the former’s AIP system. Earlier the PLAN used a dozen Type 039 smaller 2,250t SSKs : the Song-class. Featuring a low-drag hydrodynamically profiled hull and sail, the Type 039 was the first submarine to use a teardrop hull design. The body is water-drop shaped and the hull is covered with rubber tiles to absorb the sound waves of sonar. The class is equipped with a sevenblade propeller and an engine fitted with a shockabsorbing base. The submarine incorporates Chinese and Western technologies. Type 039 has a length of 75m, a beam of 8.4m and a draught of 5.3m. Japan which has a very long history of building and fielding submarines, boasts today the Soryuclass oceanic submarines capable of cruising at 20kts under the sea manned by a crew of 65, the first of which, built by the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyards, was commisioned in 2009 in the Japanese 15

© U.S. Navy

M An ex-Royal Navy Upholder-Class SSK,

the Royal Canadian Navy long-range patrol submarine HMCS Victoria is pictured at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in December 2011 for a port call in the USA. Renamed Victoria-class, this is one of four vintage 2,400 t diesel-electric SSKs which still make today the Canadian underwater fleet. Designed in the UK in the late 1970s to supplement the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine force, they were withdrawn after a short length of service under British flag in order to save money. In 1998, with the Cold War now behind, they were acquired by Canada, following the cancellation of the Canadian SSN programme, to replace the recently decommissioned Oberon-Clas SSKs. Of note is the array of lateral sensors housing sonars and various underwater detection gears.

Maritime Self-Defence Force. Of the diesel-electric type, the Soryu-class is an evolution of the Oyashioclass SSK, the only visual difference between the two being the X-shaped rudders of the latter. With a 4,200 ton submerged displacement, the Soryus have the largest displacement of any submarine used by post-war Japan. Eight units have so far been produced, the final target being to equip the JMSDF with about a dozen. They are Japan’s very first AIP submarines. All are fitted with Kockums Stirling type engines (built in Japan under license by Kawasaki Heavy Industries) allowing them to stay submerged for longer periods of time. Their armament is made of some 30 torpedoes which can be launched through six tubes. Notable change, the 11th and 12th Soryu-class submarines, should be different from the earlier models by mounting lithium-ion batteries, for improved underwater endurance.

N One of nine Type 214/Son-Won-Class/KSS-II built

by Daewoo (DSME) since 2004, SS 075 An-Jung-Geun is pictured prior to her launch in 2008. Four submarines of the same type have been produced also in Greece by Hellenics Shipyards in Skaramangas. South Korea, Greece and Portugal operate this SSK type which can dive down to 400m deep.

© Daewoo

The Australian competition


Despite of all their qualities and the intense lobbying of Japanese political spheres, the AIP Soryus, along with the German Type 216, lost in 2016 the competion to re-equip the Australian submarine fleet in favour of DCNS of France and their heavier Shortfin Barracudas – about which to be frank very little is known actually ouside Canberra’s governmental spheres. A huge defence deal involving the construction in Australia of no less than twelve 5,000t vessels to replace the Royal Australian Navy’s current obsolete Collins-class SSKs, it is one of the biggest submarine export deals ever made, and certainly for France and Australia the September / October 2016 – EDR

most important ever. Some far-sighted Australasian analysts suggest that: although it is today in 2016 a politically untenable position for the government in Canberra, by selecting DCNS against all other contenders the present Turnbull government wants to keep a nuclear-powered attack Barracuda an open option. In fact, the design, development, and construction in Adelaide of the new submarines could take well over a decade. And public opinion as well as political attitudes in Australia could change considerably by that time due to an ever growing Chinese threat in the South China Sea and beyond. Leaving the nuclear option open is thus a serious consideration for Mr Malcom Turnbull’s government, and this is an area where DCNS had a particularly appealing offering. The brand-new French Navy’s incoming Barracuda-class (or Suffrenclass) submarines are nuclear attack vessels (SSN). The DCNS Shortfin Barracuda Mk.1A variant on offer for the Royal Australian Navy should see a conversion of the propulsion system to a conventional diesel electric bid. Of course, should an SSN become politically viable for Australian needs in the future, converting the Shortfin Barracuda‘s propulsion system back would be a viable option. With the diesel-electric Soryu and Type 216, this option was effectively closed off from the start. Just wait ans see…

While a study of the current SSKs on the market and their armaments will be the focus of a later article to appear in EDR magazine, a true novel characteristic of modern SSKs is the current availability of vertically launched weapons, placed in a section behind the sail, which provide an added combat capacity, in anti-surface warfare as well as in coastal and land operations. On top of that, the larger SSK models now can transport unmanned rovers or mini-subs to support the covert actions of special forces.

Stirling engine for conventional submarines A 200-year old invention due to the Scottich engineer Robert Stirling, the Stirling engine is a closed-cycle regenerative heat engine using a permanently gaseous working f luid. Originally conceived in 1816 as an industrial prime mover to rival the then prevalent steam engine of the emergent industrial era, its practical use was largely confined to low-power domestic applications for over a century. Exploiting almost any heat source and wielding a high 50% efficiency compared to steam engines a Stirling motor is also capable

P A Korean Chang-Bogo-class (KSS-I) TKMS Type

© Hyundai

209 built under license by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Ulsan. Today a total of 14 navies worldwide currently use this type of attack submarine which represents both a naval standard in the field of submarines and a big success for the German naval industry.

EDR – September / October 2016


N The most modern Japanese SSKs

© ADF official

are the Soryu-class. JS Hakuryu (SS 503) on approach to Sydney Heads is seen during Exercise Nichi Gou Trident in 2015. The exercise, which has been conducted between Australia and Japan since 2009, aims to develop and enhance the bilateral naval relationship between the RAN and JMSDF by practising maritime skills and improving levels of interoperability. Of note is the X-shaped fin peculiar to this family of SSKs.

of quiet operation, a godsend for submarines. Rather than produced by internal combustion as with the Diesel engines, in a Stirling motor the thermodynamic cycle energy source is generated externally, all heat transfers to and from the working f luid taking place through a heat exchanger, thus isolating the combustion process and any contaminants it may produce from the working parts of the engine. A first efficient application of the Stirling engine on SSKs was achieved by the Swedish shipyards Kockums for the three Gotland-class submarines of the Royal Swedish Navy operating in the shallow waters of the Baltic sea. A Stirling powered SSK can be reckoned as the next best thing to a SSN. N JS Oyashio (SS 590) seen during a port call in Hawaii. Built by Kawasaki she is the head of the Oyashio-class diesel-electric submarine family (4,000t submerged) launched exactly 20 years ago. The last of 11 boats of this class was launched in 2008. All are still operational, SS590 having been meanwhile converted to the sole training role of submarine crews.


September / October 2016 – EDR


© Natcom - - 01 47 30 31 32 - Photos : Sirpa Terre, Mer et Air – DCI


© East Wind Pictures

P A Chinese Yuan-Class pictured moored in

the muddy waters of Changxing Island by the Yangze river mouth north of Shanghai, home of the new relocated Jiangnan Shipyard. Yuanclass SSKs represent the new generation of PLA Navy conventional attack submarines. With AIP technology, a Type 041 Yuan SSK can stay underwater for two to three weeks at a time. Some six units are believed to have been commissioned since 2006 when the first vessel was noticed conducting sea trials off the coast of Shanghai. In 2015, the Kiangnan Arsenal (today’s Jiangnan Shipyard) celebrated 150 years of continuous existence.

Providing more air and gaseous assets Ever since there have been submarines, the goal has been to extend their diving time in order to improve their combat value. With air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems, this has also become a possibility for non-nuclear SSKs. These propulsion systems increase the underwater range significantly and thus reduce the risk of discovery while on a sea mission. At TKMS in Kiel an air-independent propulsion system has been simultaneously developed and deployed : the HDW fuel cell plant. The 212A and 214 submarines were the first in the world to undertake extra long dives independent of external air sources, equipped with a high-performance fuel cell propulsion system.  On its part, DCNS now offers dedicated hull sections, available on order or as retrofit, known as Autonomy Boosting Sections. Whereas SSKs typically have a submerged endurance of about three days, DCNS now proposes three new technologies to extend this critical parameter to three weeks. The first is a hull plug equipped with new-generation high-capacity 20

lithium-ion batteries. Easy to operate, the technology offers high submerged speeds on demand and improved response to power ramp-up and variations. Lithium-ion batteries can also be recharged at sea. The endurance of a standard Scorpene-type submarine is thus increased to seven days resulting in a significantly enhanced tactical capability. The second solution, the Mesma air-independent propulsion (AIP) system, is packaged as a compact dedicated hull section. Mesma’s steam turbine-based technology uses a fuel that is readily available in ports and is ideal for extending an SSK’s endurance at patrol speeds. The sea-proven Mesma system increases the submerged endurance of a Scorpene-type submarine to two weeks. The third solution, a second-generation fuelcell AIP, represents a technological breakthrough compared to current-generation AIPs in terms of performance, safety, flexibility and maintenance. This solution combines several key DCNS innovations in fuel cell technology. Hydrogen is produced from diesel fuel by hydrocarbon reforming as required, overcoming the need to store hydrogen on board the submarine. This revolutionary technology increases submerged endurance to three weeks; a capability that confers a decisive advantage in certain theatres of operations. How long will it take for other shipyards in the world to copy or improve these advanced systems ? No one knows, except that the global race for better SSKs is now well on for sure! J Acknowledgements: Special thanks to the U.S. Department of Defense for providing the author with much of the operational pictures of foreign submarines illustrated in this issue of EDR.

September / October 2016 – EDR

© US Navy

P The navies of Italy, the Netherland, the United Kingdom and the United States operate the ship-launched Bowing ScanEagle long-endurance mini-UAV.

Unmanned eyes over the sea By David Oliver The US Navy was the first to appreciate the value of ship borne tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). In the late 1980s the navy identified a requirement for an inexpensive unmanned targeting aerial vehicle with a reconnaissance capability, so it ordered the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)-designed Pioneer short-range, tactical UAV. The Pioneer UAVs were on hand for Operation Desert Storm following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. Launched from US Navy warships using rocket-assisted takeoff (RATO) and US Marine assault ships, Pioneers flew more than 300 Desert Storm combat missions. EDR – September / October 2016



ince then the US Navy has deployed various ship-launched UAVs, the most successful of which has been the Boeing ScanEagle which was used in Operation Unified Protector over Libya in 2011. Launched from ships by a pneumatic catapult and recovered by a skyhook retrieval system, the longendurance mini-UAV has been flown from UK Royal Navy frigates since 2013 to hunt pirates and drug traffickers in the Indian Ocean and search for migrant boats in the Mediterranean. European navies have been slow to adopt ship borne UAVs but trials have been undergoing by the Royal Navy’s Rotary Wing Unmanned Air System (RWUAS) capability concept demonstration (CCD) programme. The trials, contracted to AgustaWestland in 2013, took place at Llanbedr airfield in Wales, with a PZL Swidnik SW-4 Solo optionally-piloted rotarywing vehicle carrying out 26 flights over 27 flight hours, with 22 further simulated ship launch and recovery demonstrations to demonstrate the ability of the UAV to land on a pitching and rolling surface. No 700X Naval Air Squadron was established at RNAS Culdrose to oversee the deployment of the Boeing ScanEagle Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) and to pave the way for similar aircraft in the future.

These included the world’s first totally 3D-printed fixedwing mini-UAV. Developed by experts at the University of Southampton University, the Laser-Sintered Aircraft, shortened to SULSA, is made of nylon, printed in four major parts and assembled without the use of any tools. It is controlled from a laptop, cruises at nearly 60mph and is all but noiseless thanks to its tiny engine. Each one costs no more than £7,000, cheaper than an hour’s flying time by a Royal Navy helicopter. Having been tested off the Dorset coast last summer with HMS Mersey, the 3kg aircraft was deployed to the Antarctic aboard the Royal Navy’s ice patrol ship HMS Protector. The series of flights conducted by Southampton staff in conjunction with the navy have shown just what can be achieved with smart design and low cost digital manufacture. After flights of up to 30 minutes’ duration the mini-UAV landed in the icy waters and was retrieved by one of HMS Protector’s boats so it could be launched once more “This trial of these low-cost but highly versatile aircraft has been an important first step in establishing the utility of UAVs in this region,” said Captain Rory Bryan, Protector’s Commanding Officer. The results of Protector’s trial have been fed back to Royal Navy headquarters in Portsmouth, 700X Squadron in Culdrose and the Maritime Warfare Centre at HMS Collingwood.

P The Royal Navy’s Rotary Wing Unmanned

© AgustaWestland

Air System (RWUAS) programme used an optionally-manned PZL Swidnik SW-4 Solo helicopter.


September / October 2016 – EDR

However, there is no clarification on what the Royal Navy intends to do following the completion of these UAV trials although there are a number of initiatives including the forthcoming ‘Unmanned Warrior 16’ (UW16) experiment, taking place within the next UK-led NATO Exercise Joint Warrior in October this year which is intended to demonstrate and trial the tactical employment of unmanned and autonomous systems in the littoral and wider maritime environments. Meanwhile the smaller Hero rotary-wing UAV, co-developed by AgustaWestland, now Leonardo Helicopters and Ingegneria Dei Sistemi (IDS), is closing on certification with Italian civil regulator ENAC. With a six-hour endurance and a 25kg payload, integrated payloads for Hero include an active electronically-scanned array radar and an electrooptical/infrared sensor, with Selex ES Sage electronic support measures system and a communications relay capability being future options. One of the most successful European rotarywing UAVs is the Schiebel Camcopter S-100. The Austrian manufacturer has conducted a series of ship borne trials and demonstrations of the S-100 with several navies. The multi-sensor capability of the S-100 underpins the helicopter’s outstanding operational performance across a wide spectrum of applications, from peace-keeping and humanitarian assistance to industrial, maritime and military support. The 3.1m-long UAV can carry a 50kg sensor payload over a 200km mission radius. With missions completed on thirty different naval vessels, the French Navy deployed the S-100 during its EU NAVFOR anti-piracy operation in the Arabian Sea, and the Italian Navy utilizes it for it Mare Nostrum Operation in the Mediterranean. EDR – September / October 2016

© Schiebel

© Royal Navy

M The 3D-printed SULSA mini-UAV undertook trials from the Royal Navy’s ice patrol ship HMS Protector in the Antarctic.

For the past three years, Schiebel has been supporting Migrant Offshore Air Station ((MOAS), a global search and rescue charity organization, in the Mediterranean. Besides its takeoff and landing capability on the 40-meter-long MOAS ship, the S-100 provides real-time daylight and infrared video which enables the MOAS crew to precisely locate and rescue persons in emergency situations and provide them with medical aid from their ship-borne station. Especially over long distances beyond horizon, in rough sea conditions and at night, the S-100 significantly increases chances to find and identify small ships, thus saving the lives of thousands of migrants.

M Schiebel’s Camcopter S-100 has been conducted

trials on more than different classes on naval vessels and is used to track migrant boats in the Mediterranean. The Mozambique Navy has ordered three Camcopter S-100 UAVs for use in Ocean Eagle 43 ocean-going patrol vessels that were recently delivered by French shipbuilder Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN). A close competitor to the S-100 is the Saab Skeldar V-200, a 4m-long rotary-wing UAV. Following an agreement between UMS Aero of Switzerland and Sweden’s Saab Group earlier this year to join forces and UAV technologies and platforms UMS Skeldar was created to produce a global force in the mid-range market providing a strategic role for platforms in military, civilian and security sectors and provides maritime capabilities. With a 40kg sensor payload, the Skeldar has a 23

N Thales launched a new

ship-launched mini-UAV, the Fulmar X which is built entirely of composite materials.

90km mission radius and an endurance of more than 6 hours. UMS Skeldar is under consideration for a tender with the Royal Australian Navy for integration of the multi-role Skeldar V-200, the heavy fuel rotary-wing UAV with proven seaborne capabilities in maritime exercises. Earlier this year, another Swedish company, CybAero ended an extensive test campaign with its ship-based rotary-wing UAV, Apid One. The clients of the campaign were FMV (the Swedish Defence Procurement Agency) in collaboration with the Swedish Navy. The year-long campaign has been ended with numerous flights from HMS Karlstad, a Swedish Visby-Class stealth corvette. During the test campaign the system’s ability to perform autonomous starts and landings from a fast moving ship was one of the capabilities being tested. The Apid One System carried out missions such as to identifying small objects in the water. The system landed autonomously on the corvette at a speed of 25 knots, and in wind conditions up to 15 m/s. This is the first time that an unmanned helicopter of this type and size has performed fully autonomous landings on a corvette. Ship Operations in littoral waters include complex tasks, with elements such as smugglers, submarines and refugees. CybAero claims that its Apid One two unique features, the automatic ship landing system and the heavy fuel propulsion. In addition to military applications, the Apid One system can be used for civilian missions, for example finding refugees lost at sea, inspection of oil rigs and coastal mapping. Thales launched a new fixed-wing maritime UAV at the Farnborough Airshow 2016, the Fulmer X. Resembling a scaled down ScanEagle, the Fulmar X system has an endurance of over 8 hours and an operating range more than 80 km. Built entirely from carbon fibre composite, the UAV has a 3m wingspan, is launched using a catapult and recovered 24

automatically with a net, which can be operated in very confined areas such as a ship or vehicle. The recovery system is available in a number of configurations for quick, easy deployment from a fixed location with no dedicated infrastructure. The UAV carries a combined EO/IR sensor for day/night operations. With its modular design, the Fulmar X system can readily be fitted with other equipment such as AIS automatic identification system or Mode 3/C transponder to meet the requirements of each customer and mission. Fulmar X makes extensive use of off-the-shelf technology to benefit from the latest developments in sensors and engines, while complying with the highest standards of reliability and safety. The system includes a simple user interface so that personnel can focus on the mission itself. It is highly reliable and easy to maintain, requiring only simple technical support. It can be deployed as a stand-alone system or fully integrated to wider surveillance systems. Thales recently announced a contract from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) to provide six maritime Fulmar systems for its new patrol craft. Designed to support the Malaysian authorities in the renewal and updating of its naval fleet, the system will be used on a broad range of missions, including counter-piracy, antismuggling operations, fisheries policing and border surveillance. In its maritime application, the Fulmar system works with a standalone ground control system (GCS) that can control up to three aerial vehicles September / October 2016 – EDR

and is not integrated with a vessel’s wider network. In the case of an emergency landing on water the UAV’s electronic systems and avionics are designed to be able to withstand damage for up to 30 minutes. The Thales designed power plant is a multi-fuel unit, and the systems being supplied to Malaysia will operate with JP5 fuel. Thales is also involved in the wider application of maritime UAVs. For the first time, Thales’s Watchkeeper Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), currently in service with the British Army, will fly in a littoral environment operating alongside a Royal Navy Type-23 warship and merchant ship. Watchkeeper will be integrated into a series of exercises varying from persistent wide-area surveillance support, to landing forces and naval gunfire support. It will operate up to 150 km offshore, working collaboratively with the Royal Navy to survey the littoral environment. The combination of Watchkeeper’s EO/IR sensor and I-Master Radar make Watchkeeper optimised for both land and sea operations, and for tracking fast moving targets such as jet skis and small boats. Data collected by the UAS will be streamed down remotely to the

vessels and analysed by operators to enable them to make informed command decisions in support of the trials exercises. Thales is also involved in the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL) innovative research programme called Maritime Autonomous Platform Exploitation (MAPLE). Partnering with QinetiQ, Thales and SeeByte, BAE Systems will deliver the programme to develop the future architecture for Unmanned Systems Command and Control, by enabling multiple unmanned platforms, such as UAVs, unmanned surface vehicles (USV), and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV), and their payloads to be commanded and controlled from a single control station. The Safran Patroller tactical UAS that has been ordered by the French Land Force in preference to the Thales Watchkeeper system, also has a projected maritime version. The Patroller is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE), 20-hour, 200km, multisensor tactical UAV that will be in service in 2018 in the French Army’s SDT programme to replace the Sperwer interim tactical drone system (SDTI). Its airframe is derived from an ES15- type manned aircraft built by Ecarys, formerly Stemme AG. The Patroller-M would be equipped with an AIS transponder and satellite data links in addition to its 250kg sensor payload that includes optronics, radars and electronic warfare (EW) systems. There seems to be a growing appreciation of the unmanned aerial vehicle that range from ship launched fixed-wing and rotary-wing mini-UAVs to land-based maritime patrol medium-altitude longrange (MALE) unmanned aerial systems to be an integral part of future naval capabilities. J

P A maritime surveillance variant of the Safran Patroller medium-altitude

EDR – September / October 2016

© Safran

long-range (MALE) UAV would be equipped with an AIS transponder and satellite data links in addition to its 250kg sensor payload.


New stopping power at sea


By Luca Peruzzi

© Luca Peruzzi

n the latest years, worldwide Naval Forces are facing a wider range of operational scenarios and threats, from the shift in naval warfare toward the littoral scenarios and the outburst of global terrorism. To cope with this wider range of non-traditional asymmetric threats, ranging from small high-speed surface craft (fast inshore attack craft, FIAC) to low and slow air vehicles such as helicopters, light aircraft and unmanned platforms, in addition to shore-based weapon systems managed by terrorists or conflicting parties, as well as operating in constabulary or ‘freedom of navigation’ scenarios with short reaction times, many Naval Forces have progressively invested in small and then larger calibre guns to protect their fleet platforms. On parallel to the advance of larger calibres, which today sees the proliferation of 20-to-40-mm guns as primary weapon system to provide increased range and significantly greater stopping power for small inshore patrol craft and OPVs but also as main defence line against asymmetric threats for larger naval and maritime security vessels, Naval Forces have invested in stabilised and sophisticated mounting, fitted with advanced sights and remotely operated to enhance protection, without forgetting lightweight, reduced ship impact and greater affordability.

Rheinmetall These operational scenarios and range of threats pushed the naval systems business of Rheinmetall Air Defence to developed the Oerlikon Searanger 20 remote-control gun system and associated SAPPIE-T (Semi-Armour Piercing Pyrotechnically Induced Effect – Tracer) 20 mm x 128 insensitive ammunition. Having completed qualification trails at 2015-end, the Searanger 20 integrates the new Oerlikon KAE 20 mm cannon, which is basically the single barrel, gas-operated KAA version, firing 20 mm x 128 ammunition, adapted by the addition of an electrical trigger device and an electrical cannon control unit, and its cradle assembly with an electrically driven, independently stabilised mounting supplied by South Africa’s Reutech Solutions. To support day/night surveillance, tracking and fire control, Searanger 20 is fitted with an on line-of-fire electro-optical sensor package including a colour TV camera, an uncooled 8-12 micron dual field-of view thermal imager, an optional laser rangefinder, and an integrated video tracker. Remotely controlled by a compact operator console and easily installable on any deck, the Searanger 20 mounting weighs 490kg, increasing to 570 kg with the 200-round ready-touse ammunition box installed. Fully stabilized, this 20mm medium-calibre system combines a high rate of fire with excellent accuracy, claims Rheinmetall, being able to operate in single shot, burst or rapid single shoot mode, which makes it especially wellsuited for engaging swarms of individual targets at distances of up to 2000 metres around the ship. The parallel developed and qualified 20x128 mm SAPPIET-T round combines, according to Rheinmetall, armour-piercing characteristics with a cascading pyrotechnic impact inside the target, yet contains neither explosives nor fuse, allowing safe and easy transportation and storing. O Rheimentall has unveiled the Oerlikon Searanger

20mm remotely controlled gun at Euronaval 2014. 26

September / October 2016 – EDR

© Luca Peruzzi

which was later transferred to the Egyptian Navy. Since 2016, the French Navy is also installing the Narwhal 20B (two-guns configuration) on board its three-ship Mistral-class BPC (Batiment de Projection et de Commandement) multipurpose amphibious vessels, starting from Dixmude, to be followed by Tonnere and Mistral within 2018. In addition to Egyptian navy, the Nexter Systems’ Narwhal family of remotely controlled systems is reported to have been selected or acquired by the navies of Lebanon and Gabon.

MSI-Defence Systems To meet the growing demand for a primary weapon to be installed on smaller coast-guard and constabulary craft down to about 20m in length, the UK MSI-Defence Systems offers the 20mm Seahawk Lightweight, which baseline model employs the

M Nexter Systems’ Narwhal 20B system

is operational on French and Egyptian navies’ FREMM frigates.

France’s Nexter Systems developed the Naval Remote Weapon Highly Accurate, Lightweight (Narwhal) remotely operated and stabilized gun system family found success on both export and national markets. Promoted in two versions, including the lighter Narwhal 20A, which integrates a 20M621 cannon with 20mm x 102 standard NATO ammunition, the most sophisticated and heavier Narwhal 20B mounting features a 20M963 gun employing 20mm x 139mm ammunitions. Fully stabilized with no deck penetration, the Narwhal 20B mounting presents two interchangeable magazines providing 200 ready-to-fire 20x139mm ammunitions rounds for a total weight (including ammunitions) of 470kg. The ‘stand alone’ remotely controlled and easy-to-install system features an Exavision EO sensor provided-package with dual-field colour TVcamera, uncooled thermal imager, laser rangefinder and moving target autotracker. Remotely operated from a console in manual or automatic mode, it can be integrated with the host platform’s combat system for slaved fire control, providing a 3,000m target detection and 1,500m effective firing ranges. The Narwhal 20B, in a dual weapons configuration, has so far been installed and interfaced with French Navy’s Aquitaine class FREMM multi-mission frigates combat system, with integration trails completed on board the second-of-class Normandie vessel in 2015, EDR – September / October 2016

© Luca Peruzzi


M MSI-Defence Systems offers 20 mm

Seahawk Lightweight system for smaller Coast guard and constabulary craft. Denel G12 20mm cannon, an EO sensor package including thermal imager, colour TV camera and laser rangefinder, an auto tracker and a compact remote-control console. Offering minimal footprint, easy installation and low power consumption, MSIDefence Systems sees significant retrofit potential for customers wishing to reuse legacy ordnance from manually operated 20mm systems. 27

© Luca Peruzzi


M Leonardo’s defence systems division

is working on the qualification of Hitrole 20 mm gatling gun mount. N BAE Systems teamed with Rafael,

Leonardo Based on the successful Hitrole family of 7.62-to-12.7mm gun mountings, Leonardo’s defence systems division is offering a 20 mm, fully stabilized, electrically operated and remotely controlled naval weapon system. Designated Hitrole 20mm, it employs the same 20x102mm three barrels gatling

© US Navy

the developer of the Typhoon naval stabilized and remotely operated gun system, is providing the Mk38 mod 2 version to US Navy.

Looking to South African Navy requirement for a remotely controlled 20 mm system which can act as primary armament for its future inshore patrol vessel and secondary weapon for future OPVs and auxiliary ships, South Africa’s Reutech Solutions has developed the Super Rogue 20 mm gun system. Based on the development and electronics of Rogue family of remotely weapon systems (RWS) for 12,7mm lightweight gun, the latest model of Super Rogue mounting, which also forms the basis of Rheinmetall Searanger 20 mm system, features the Rheinmetall KAE 20x128mm rapid fire cannon, using standard NATO ammunition. A version of the Super Rogue using the KAE gun is reported to have been ordered by a Middle East coast guard customer.


September / October 2016 – EDR

The world meeting of naval technologies for the future

th 25 EDIT ION




17th 21st 2016



© Luca Peruzzi

P The Rheinmetall MLG 27 stabilised gun mounting

system has been sold mainly in the Middle East in addition to German MoD.

gun system used on the AgustaWestland AW 129 combat helicopter with a 750 rds/min high-rate of fire and a 750 ready to fire rounds magazine. Based on the digital, high-performances servos, optical sight package and high-speed ballistic hardware/software developed for smaller-calibre Hitrole family, the non-penetrating, low radar-cross section design mount (with a 600kg mass) featuring a -30°-to+75° elevation range, can engage efficiently and effectively in short time both surface and air threats with significantly high payloads on them, Leonardo claims. Already tested in-house, the Hitrole 20 mm is expected to completed qualification trails on board a naval platform at sea within 2016-end, while being already marketed based on customer requests.

Rafael The Typhoon naval stabilized and remotely operated gun system and its derivatives, developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems on the requirement and experience gained by the Israeli Defence Forces, can claim to be the first to have reached the market and achieved any significant sales success. Designed to be operated independently using an on-mount electro-optical sight, including a TV camera, thermal imager and laser range-finder, or slaved to an off30

mount electro-optical director (EOD), Typhoon performs fire-control computations using its own on-mount ballistics computer. Capable to receive a range of guns up to a calibre of 30mm, which ATK Mk 44 gun operationally tested in December 2014, with on-mount ammunition stowage of 200 rounds (calibre depending), the highly stabilized mounting with a pointing accuracy of less then 0.5 mrad, can accommodate a co-axial 7.62mm machine gun. Able to operate autonomously or in a slave mode, interfacing with the command management system, the Typhoon family include mountings incorporating either surface-to-surface (Typhoon NTD which employs Spike-ER missiles NTD) or surface-to-air missiles in addition to the gun. Among others customers, including Australia, which is employing the 25mm gun mounting on different ship types including the Hobart-class destroyers and Canberra-class LHDs, Colombia, India, Singapore (in stealthy configuration) and Sri Lanka, Typhoon is provided to US Navy under Mk 38 Mod 2 Machine Gun System Ordnance alteration (ORDALT). BAE Systems teamed with Rafael, is upgrading legacy Mk 38 Mod 0/1 mountings, based on the ATK M242 Bushmaster 25mm chain gun, with a fully stabilised Typhoon gun mount and onmount TopLite EOD. To better address more-recent threats, an Mk 38 Mod 3 version with updated September / October 2016 – EDR

electronics, performances and a coaxial 7.62 mm ATK chain gun is being readied and trailed for first deliveries and fielding in FY 2017. According to US Navy, the total program-of-record is for 517 systems, of which about half have been delivered within 2015. The Mk 38 Mod 2 also saw Foreign Military Sales (FMS) delivery to the Philippines and Spain, while in August 2015 BAE Systems has been contracted by Canadian DoD to provide six Mk 38 25 mm gun systems for the Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) program, the guns mountings being customized to operate in arctic and normal conditions.

Rheinmetall The German Rheinmetall group also markets the MLG 27 stabilised, remotely controlled, nondeck penetrating small-calibre gun system, which saw customers entry-into-service worldwide in the Middle East, including United Arab Emirates and Kuwait Naval Forces, East Asia and recently selected by the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (as part of US Mk V fast patrol boats procurement), apart from German Navy’s fleet-wide installation, including the new F125-class multirole frigates. Centred on the airborne-developed 27mm BK 27 gas-operated revolver cannon, it can fire up to 1,700 27x145mm frangible armour-piercing sabot (FAPDS) rounds per

minute (90 are available on the mounting), which Rheinmetall claims can achieve similar penetration to a sub-calibre kinetic energy round, while delivering fragmentation-based incendiary effects comparable to high-explosive ammunition. The total mounting weight is 850kg, including a gun-mounted EOD and fire control provided by Atlas Elektronik.

Aselsan Based on the successful and well-proven 12,7/25mm equipped STAMP/STOP products, Turkey’s Aselsan has developed and is producing the Muhafiz/Smash 30mm remote controlled stabilized naval gun system. Fed via two separate ammunition lines selected by the operator, the 200 rds/min, 30mm Mk44 BushmasterII gun is integrated with an independent EO/IR sight which can accommodate thermal and TV cameras, a laser rangefinder and gyroscope, and which can operate in a surveillance mode without aiming the gun. With a 1,250kg weight including 150 rounds, Smash/ Muhafiz doesn’t require deck penetration and provides automatic target detection and tracking, automatic ballistic calculation and can be slaved to external sensors and command and control systems. Muhafiz/ Smash is already in service with Turkish Yonca-Onukbuilt 34m MRTP 34 fast patrol/attack craft provided to Qatar Emiri Naval Forces, while Aselsan has been

© Luca Peruzzi

P Aselsan is proposing the Muhafiz/Smash 30 mm remote controlled naval gun system.

EDR – September / October 2016


O SI-Defence Systems DS30M A2

is here depicted with Thales Lightweight Multirole Missiles. reported several 44-meter patrol vessels being built in Malaysia under the NGPC (New Generation Patrol Craft) program for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

© Luca Peruzzi

MSI-Defence Systems

contracted with two separate contracts in 2015 to provide the same family’s systems for five 43.5m coastal patrol vessel being built for the Croatian Coast Guard by the local Brodosplit shipyards as well as

The UK-based MSI-Defence Systems offers a complete family of 20/25/30mm naval gun systems, which uses a standard range of control system configurations, customisable with a weapon options range including ATK Mk44/M242, Oerlikon KCB and Rheinmetall Mk 30-2 in dual or single feed configurations. The Seahawk product portfolio builds today on Seahawk Lightweight and the DS30M A2, which equipped with 30mm Mk 44 Bushmaster II gun, forms the basis of the Automated Small-Calibre Gun (ASCG) mounting in service with Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate

N Leonardo’s defence systems division Marlin-WS here depicted in the Netherlands

© Luca Peruzzi

Navy’s Holland-class OPVs provided version with independent operating, gun-mounted EOD.


September / October 2016 – EDR

© US Navy

P US Navy’s Mk 46 Mod 2 Gun Weapon System (GWS) produced by General Dynamics is equipped with 30 mm Mk 44 Bushmaster II cannon.

class to satisfy UK’s Defensive Anti-Surface Warfare requirement, and to equip the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, Type 26 Global Combat ship frigates and second batch River-class OPVs. MSI-Defence Systems has already sold or delivered Seahawk naval gun systems to at least 16 navies including Algeria, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Iraq and more recently again with Malaysia for its Second Generation Patrol Vessels and Algeria for its Meko A-200AN frigates.

UAE Naval Forces’ Abu Dhabi class-corvette in a more sophisticated dual guns configuration using independent EOD, the Netherlands Navy’s Hollandclass OPVs in a configuration with an independent operating, gun-mounted Electro-Optical sensor package, the Portuguese Navy’s Viana do Casteloclass OPVs, Royal Oman Navy’s Al-Ofouq-class OPVs, and is reported to be selected by the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces for its new class of four 3,000-tonne multipurpose corvettes.


General Dynamics

Leveraging of the product families of small-calibre gun systems, ranging from 12,7 to 40mm, Leonardo’s defence systems division developed the Mod 584 single 30mm Modular Advanced Remotely controlled Lightweight Naval Weapon Station (MARLIN-WS) to meet the emerging requirements of modern naval warfare. Adopting a fully digital architecture, the new modular, non-penetrating and lightweight mounting has several control configurations being expanded, including remote control by the ship combat system, remote using an independent EOD package and on-mount ballistic computer, and remote or autonomous operation using an on-mount coaxial electro-optical package and ballistic computer. Being offered with Rheinmetall Mk 30-2 and ATK Mk 44 Bushmaster II 30mm cannons or the Oerlikon KBA and ATK M242 Bushmaster 25mm guns, with respectively a 160 or 200 rounds on-mount stowage and a dual ammunition feed system, the Marlin-WS has an unloaded (gun included) 1,090-to-1,350kg weight. Thanks to these capabilities and superior performances in terms of traverse/elevation rate, Leonardo claims, the product has been installed on Iraqi Navy’s Fateh-class patrol vessel, on the

To provide protection among others, against small, high-speed surface craft, the US Navy is acquiring the Mk 46 Mod 2 Gun Weapon System (GWS) produced by General Dynamics Land Systems. A remotely controlled gun mounting which uses a 30mm Mk 44 Bushmaster II cannon and an electro-optical package


N The Brazilian Navy is the first customer

© BAE Systems

for BAE Systems Bofors 40 Mk 4 gun system, with deliveries to begin in early 2017.

September / October 2016 – EDR

EDR – September / October 2016

© Luca Peruzzi

including a thermal imager, low-light TV camera and laser rangefinder, the GWS can be operated as a the gun turret or remotely from the ship’s command management system. It is permanently installed on San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock and Zumwalt-class destroyers and can be installed on Freedom-class  and  Independence-class  Littoral Combat Ships as part of the surface warfare (SuW) package. Looking to the latest naval scenarios, with the appearance of smarter, multiple and longer-range threats, including simultaneous attacks of fast, swarming surface targets, both BAE Systems Weapon Systems - Sweden and Leonardo’s defence systems division worked on their 40mm gun families, with the aim of providing small inshore patrol craft and OPVs with a compact, lightweight and affordable multirole weapon system. Having completed qualification trials in 2012, BAE Systems Bofors 40 Mk4 gun system has been conceived and developed to obtain and later achieved a substantial reduction in volume, weight and price compared to the earlier Mk3 version. To achieve these goals, BAE Systems has substantially reengineered the system mounting introducing among others enhancements, a more compact and stealthy cupola, a fully-digitised modular architecture, the same elevation mass of the Swedish Army’s CV 90 armoured vehicle family, new electric drives instead of older hybrid electro-hydraulics. With a less than 2,500kg mounting weight (including 100 ammunitions rounds) compared to the older 3,700kg heavy Bofors 40mm Mk 3 version, the new model has a 30 ready-to-fire rounds in the primary magazine, plus 70 rounds in an intermediate magazine, with the possibility to shift between two different types of ammunitions. Capable to employ any 40mm L/70 round according to BAE Systems, Mk4 version offers full compatibility with latest programmable 3P ammunition, providing 6-mode programmable all-target ammunition, which means less round types, transport, storage, weight and space requirements. With a maximum range of 12.5km and a cyclic rate of fire of up to 300rds/min, the operator can now select any firing rate between 30rds/min and 300 rds/min. In May 2015, BAE Systems announced the Brazilian Navy as the launch customer for the Mk4 version, being a long-time Bofors 40-mm user, to equip the five Macaé-class patrol vessels, with first delivery in early 2017. During IDEX 2015 exhibition, today Leonardo’s defence systems division unveiled the Forty Light

M Leonardo’s defence systems division in working

on the Forty Light 40 mm naval gun system and associated programmable proximity fuze 40mm smart ammunition. mounting and associated programmable proximity fuze 40mm smart ammunition. Leonardo’s defence systems division has re-used the in-house 40mm technologies in term of the 300 rds/min 40/L70 gun already used in the Fast Forty single gun and ammunition feed while adapting mechanical structures, electrical servos, electronics and software from the existing MARLIN 30mm gun mounting to develop a 40mm naval system weighting no more than 1,900kg without ammunitions in a full remote configuration, with a footprint, weight and power consumption similar to a 30mm gun mounting. The resulting Forty Light system is a high rate of fire gun with a 72 ready-to-fire rounds (adding 175kg to the overall mass) magazine with a dual gun feeder to allow switching between programmable and all types of 40mm conventional ammunition, all enclosed within a compact, low RCS gun carbon fibremade shield. On parallel, Leonardo is working on a new programmable pre-formed fragmentation (PFF) ammunition, integrating the new 4A40 OM smart fuze. Based on the 4AP fuze for 76, 127 and 155mm applications, the latter enhances performances against air and fast surface targets, while improving lethality with a reduced number of rounds fired. Programmed with a wireless link, the new fuze supports six different modes of operation including proximity, gated proximity, time and impact/self-destruct modes. Being developed in three variants (remote CMS control, remote control with local emergency control and standalone with micro-fire control system), a Forty Light engineering development model is planned to conduct in-house fire trails within end-2016 with the new fuze and programming development and trails expected to be completed within the same period. J 35

P The Long Range Land Attack Projectile

developed by Lockheed Martin for BAE Systems Advanced Gun System is aimed at the US Navy DDG 1000 Zumwalt Class destroyer.

© Lockheed Martin

Artillery and big calibre guided rounds By Paolo Valpolini Reducing collateral damages is the current mantra for any artilleryman. It is especially true for land based artillery, but with the sudden come back of naval fire support against ground targets this key criteria is also impacting ship-based artillery.



hile targeting procedures and cycles become more and more sophisticated, in the end once the target has been precisely identified and cleared by the upper command echelons, it is just a matter of round accuracy to avoid hitting sensitive objectives close to it. Some guided rounds can also bring in artillery effectiveness against moving targets, either in an autonomous way or with the assistance of a targeting device, usually ground based but which can also be air based. Cost is obviously an issue as well, guided rounds being considerably more expensive than standard ones. However, beside the previously mentioned advantages, the reduced number of rounds needed to neutralise a target becomes also a plus, especially when artillery deployment areas have to be reached by air rather than by road due to distance or danger considerations. The reduced ammo consumption is a plus also for naval artillery, as it allows increasing the number of targets that can be treated before resupplying the ship. September / October 2016 – EDR

fired during trials at Yuma Proving Ground. The ground version has an estimated range of 100km when fired from a 52 calibre gun.

Artillery at sea: where precision is king Starting with the naval field, Lockheed Martin developed the LRLAP (Long Range Land Attack Projectile) which is dedicated to the 155mm Mk 51 Advanced Gun System (ADG) installed on the new US Navy DDG 1000 Zumwalt Class destroyer, prime contractor for the ADG being BAE Systems. The 155mm projectile is propulsed by a rocket motor, which gives it a range of up to 63 nautical miles (105km); 2.2 metres long with a weight of 104kg, it is fitted with a g-hardened guidance system that includes a global positioning system (GPS) and an inertial navigation system (INS). Considering the weight and dimensions of the round, a fully-automated handling and storage system has been adopted on the ADG, which holds a total of 600 rounds in two magazines, each AGS gun being capable of firing up to 10 rounds per minute. An MRSI (Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact) capability is available, six round being able to hit the same target within two seconds. While the DDG 1000 first of class was accepted into service on 20 May 2016, in that same month Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control was awarded a $7,735,508 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract 38

for engineering services required to complete component requalification, safety testing, and initial operational test and evaluation support analyses and telemetry development tasks for the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) programme. Work is expected to be completed by May 2017. The LRLAP is not the only guided round that the US Navy is looking for: in May 2014 the service issued a Request for Information for a guided round compatible with its Mk45 127mm guns, which led at least three companies to answer the requirement. BAE system proposed its MS-SGP (Multi Service-Standard Guided Projectile) which however has been designed to answer a joint requirement, as the same round fitted with a sabot can used by 155mm systems, the US Army and the US Marine Corps being the obvious potential customers. The guidance system is a development of the GPS/ INS used in the LRLAP, the MS-SGP being also a rocket assisted ammunition, its motor having been fully tested: a shot from a Mk 45 gun allowed it to reach a target at 36km distance with an error of only 1.5 metres and at an impact angle of 86 degrees. The latter performance ensures increased capability against targets hidden in urban canyons, compares to conventional artillery shells which September / October 2016 – EDR

© BAE Systems

P A Multi Service-Standard Guided Projectile is

© P. Valpolini

M The Excalibur in its first versions has been

extensively used in Afghanistan by the US Army and the USMC. maximum angle of fall is slightly more than 60 degrees; until now such targets have to be dealt with much more expensive weapon systems. The MS-SGP is fitted with a data link that allows retargeting while the round is in flight, the time of f light at 70km being estimated in 3 minutes 15 seconds, largely enough to allow the shift from one target to another, the CEP being estimated at 10 metres, although tests proved that the average CEP is much less. Maximum ranges are evaluated at 80km when fired from an Mk 45 Mod 2 127mm gun, which is fitted with a 54-calibre barrel, and 100km when fired from the 62 calibres barrel Mod 4. As for land systems the range with a 39 calibre 155mm is estimated at 85km with Modular Artillery Charge System (MACS) 4  and 100km EDR – September / October 2016

with MACS 5, while 120km should be reached when using a 52-calibre gun. As far as effectiveness is concerned, according to BAE Systems and US military data, a surface target of 400x600 metres should be neutralised with 20 MS-SGPs, compared to 300 conventional 155mm rounds. The warhead represents 16.3kg of the overall 50kg round weight, the MS-SGP being 1.5 metres long. BAE Systems is also considering adding a low cost EO/IR seeker to allow the round to hit moving targets illuminated by a laser system. According to the company the MS-SGP is considered at TRL 7, and needs two years to be on the market. The Raytheon answer to the Navy requirement goes the other way round, its proposal being based on a derivative of the 155mm Excalibur guided round, which is in service with the Army and Marines, some 800 rounds having been fired in action. The Raytheon round has succeeded on the export market, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden being the first non-US customers. The version currently in full production is the Excalibur IB, a re-engineered version which cost is considerably lower than that of the first versions. The guidance unit is based on a GPS receiver and an IMU, the electronics being installed in the nose, which can withstand the 15,000 g of the gunfire. The electronic unit leads the movements of the guidance section made of four canard wings that open forward. An export version, known as Excalibur S, is being developed, fitted with a laser spot tracker that allows to use the round against moving targets marked by a laser illuminator; first. At the rear the Excalibur IB is fitted with a base bleed aggregate and with rotating stabilization wings. Fuse setting and target data insertion are done via the EPIAFS (Enhanced Portable Inductive Artillery Fuse-Setter), a handheld device linked to a computer. The fuse can be set in three different modes, proximity, point detonation, and point detonation delayed. In the first part of the trajectory only the eight rotating fins at the rear of the round open up; once the round reaches the apogee the GPS is activated and the four canard wings are deployed, providing lift and course correction. The lift allows to increase the range, an Excalibur IB being able to reach a target at 35-40km when fired from a 39-calibre gun, a range increased to 50-60km when the shot is from a 52-calibre system. The declared CEP is 10 metres, but in fact the average miss target distance is much lesser. 39

20.5 nautical miles (38 km) and a near vertical angle of fall, the second being a live round which impacted with zero miss distance a boat target, its fuse being set in the proximity mode, the one that would be used against small fast patrol boats. Considering the latter threat, Raytheon is developing a microwave seeker that can be installed in the nose, providing a fire and forget capability to the round; this is a key capacity to counter swarms of fast attack crafts, one of the current threats for naval vessels.

The European answer and other entries


Oto Melara, now Leonardo Defence Systems Division, has developed in parallel the Vulcano family of ammunition, which include 127mm and 155mm rounds in two different versions, BER (Ballistic Extended Range), and GLR, for Guided Long Range. The latter are fitted with a guidance system based on a GPS/IMU unit located in the nose, behind the fuse, followed by the four canard fins. To increase range, drag reduction was carried out adopting a sub-calibre solution, a sabot being used to seal the round in the barrel. The fuse adopted features four different modes for the 127mm version, impact (instantaneous/delayed), height of burst, time. Fuse

M An artillery team with the 26th Marine

Expeditionary Unit prepares an Excalibur 155mm round on Fire Base Bell, Iraq, while conducting fire missions against the Islamic State on March 18, 2016.


P The 127 mm version

© P. Valpolini

To allow its guided round to be shot from the Mk45 naval gun, known as N5 for “Naval 5 inches”, Raytheon has taken most of the high-tech components adapting them onto a 127mm body. The aim is to more than triple the maximum effective range of the naval gun, while providing an accuracy of less than 2 metres. The front guidance section is the same of the 155mm round, with only minor modification to the canard wings. As for the rear, the 127mm version does not feature the rotating fins but has them fixed. Overall the Excalibur N5 reuses some 70% of the Excalibur IB components. First tests were carried on in September 2015, one round without warhead having impacted the target with a miss distance of 0.81 metres at a range of

of the Vulcano ensures a range of over 80 km, and can be fitted with an IR seeker for operating against naval targets.

September / October 2016 – EDR

© P. Valpolini

a 52-calibre system is used, or 55km from a 39 calibre barrel. SAL rounds range is marginally reduced due to the slightly grater drag generated by the laser seeker head. As for 127mm rounds standard range is said as being over 80km. A version fitted with an IR seeker is also being developed, to be used against naval targets at sea; the sensor, provided by Diehl Defence, is conceived to pick-up a warm target against a quite uniform background. Here too the increased drag of the sensor leading to a slight range reduction. The Vulcano in both land and naval calibres was selected for a joint qualification programme by the Italian and German armed forces. Both nations field the PzH2000 SP howitzer as well as naval platforms fitted with the 127/64 LW gun. Initially the Vulcano 155mm ammunition used in the PzH 2000 will be programmed using a field programming unit, the company being developing a kit that will allow to fully exploit the SP howitzer semi-automatic loading system; this should be fitted to the PzH 2000 at a later date. Development trials have been concluded in spring 2016 in South Africa, where both versions have demonstrated their range and fuse capabilities, height of burst and delayed, while some SAL rounds were fired in different configuration, hitting the target with the required accuracy. The 127mm round has also been tested fitted with the IR sensor, which guided it onto a hot target as required. Development being concluded,

programming is carried out via electric contacts embedded in the gun or via a handheld device (for 155mm only). Should the selected mode fail, the impact mode is always activated when the round hits the target, in order to avoid unexploded ordnance. A semi-active laser version is also being produced, following an agreement with Diehl Defence, which provides the SAL seeker. Those rounds can work only in impact mode. The Vulcano warhead features a preformed fragmented body with tungsten fragments of defined size, the round being highly insensitive. According to the company the lethality is twice that of a standard grenade, thanks to the fuse and warhead, even if the round is undercalibre. This characteristic allows Vulcano 155mm rounds to reach 70km when EDR – September / October 2016

© P. Valpolini

M Not strictly a guided ammunition, Nexter’s Bonus, developed together with BAE Systems, contains two submunitions each capable to find an armoured vehicle and to destroy it generating an EFP.

M The Metric Precision Munition is among

the French Army requirements, but has been postponed to 2018; Nexter has received a contract for the development of the navigation system. 41

Other companies developed guided artillery rounds. the company is now starting qualification trials that are being carried out jointly by Germany and Italy in firing ranges in the two countries as well as in South Africa. Qualification should be concluded by late 2017/early 2018, Leonardo Defence Systems Division and Diehl Defence are expecting production contracts for guided and unguided, naval and land ammunition, from both nations, the timeframe and priorities remaining still unclear. Other countries have shown interest in the Vulcano, among which the United States. Nexter is developing on company funds the Menhir guided ammunition, aiming at simplicity and low cost while maintaining accuracy, thanks to a hybrid inertial/satellite guidance system. A decametric accuracy is foreseen, a semi-active laser guidance being considered for metric accuracy with man in the loop. Nexter, together with BAE Systems, has also developed the Bonus; although not strictly a guided round, the Bonus round contains two 6.5kg sensor-fused sub-munitions, which are expelled over the target area. Each one is fitted with a dual mode sensor, LADAR and infrared, which search for armoured vehicles within a 200 meters diameter area. Once a target is detected within the footprint, an EFP (Explosively Formed Penetrator) is generated that destroys the target hitting the vehicle’s roof. Some thousand Bonus rounds have been so far produced, the ammunition being in service today in four European armies, among which French, Swedish and Finnish, and in one Middle East force. Production for export is continuing, the next spell of assembly being scheduled for 2017. A similar solution has been developed in Germany by GIWS (Gesellschaft für Intelligente Wirksysteme 42

© P. Valpolini

P The GP155A is a Chinese version of the Russian Krasnopol, developed by Norinco.

mbH), a 50/50 joint venture between Rheinmetall and Diehl Defence; known as SMArt 155 or DM702, it also contains two sensor fused sub-munitions fitted with a multi mode sensor system with containing a MMW radar, a MMW radiometer, an IR sensor and a re-programmable signal processing unit. These are activated once the sub-munitions have been expelled and start a stable descent under parachute. Once the target is identified the round is initiated generating the EFP. The Smart 155 is currently in service with Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Australia. Russia and China also developed guided artillery ammunition. During the Soviet Union era KBP of Tula produced the Krasnopol in the 152mm calibre, used by the Soviet Army and it’s allied. The round featured a midcourse inertial guidance that allowed directing it over the target area, and then a semiactive laser seeker was activated, which picked up the laser reflected by the target. A 50kg round, 6.4kg being of explosive, it had a range of 20km and could hit a target moving at 35km/h with 80% probability. Known as 2K25, it was succeeded by the KM-1, a very similar system. Following the end of the Cold War the Russian industry developed the KM-1M in the 155mm calibre. Slightly heavier but shorter, it contains 11kg of explosive and can reach up to 25km, the Malakhit fire control system allowing to direct it over the target with a success rate of nearly 90%. In China Norinco proposes its GP155A, derived from the Russian Krasnopol, while ALMT recently unveiled its WS-35, claiming a 100km range. Based on a GPS/INS guidance system, it features the typical four canard wings and four rear tails for stability, CEP being estimated at 40 metres.  J September / October 2016 – EDR

Kitted rounds

© Nexter

Beside completely fitted guided rounds we find kits that allow to dramatically increasing standard artillery grenades accuracy, although usually this remains lesser than that obtained

M Nexter’s Spacido is a low cost solution

© P. Valpolini

for reducing the range dispersion of a standard artillery round.

M ATK’s M115A1 Enhanced Portable Inductive

© P. Valpolini

Artillery Fuse-Setter (EPIAFS) is used to programme both the Excalibur and the PGK, providing to the guidance system target data as well as setting the fuse mode.

M BAE Systems has under development

the Silver Bullet guidance kit which should give a CEP of under 10 metres to conventional rounds.

EDR – September / October 2016

with guided ammunition. In Europe Nexter developed, in cooperation with Junghans T2M, the Spacido, not really a guidance kit but a system that allows to reduce range dispersion. The Spacido contains the fuse and is screwed in place of the original fuse; a radar installed on the gun gives the exact muzzle speed and established the time of flight when the three discs contained in the Spacido should open, in order to increase drag and allow the round to fall as close as possible to the target. Medium range qualification trials have been concluded. Spacido qualification should be completed by late 2016; the delay being due to the scarce availability in Europe of firing ranges capable to host artillery tests with ranges in excess of 31km. Orbital-ATK’s M1156 PGK (Precision Guidance Kit) is another screw-on system, but this time we talk about a real guidance system as it contains a GPS (SAASM) antenna at the front, followed by the four small fixed cant canard wings and by the height of burst sensor of the proximity fuse. Two opposite wings provide counter-rotation, used to produce electrical power and to initiate the inside battery, the other two wings providing lift. Once the GPS receiver acquires the signal the CPU starts comparing the actual trajectory with the reference ballistic trajectory. The ensuing signal orients the lift wings in order to bring the round within the 50 metres CEP required. Programming is made via the EPIAFS, the system used also to programme the Excalibur round. The latest version of the PGK is designed to work also with insensitive munitions. The PGK saw action in Afghanistan both with the US Army and the USMC. BAE Systems Rokar, the Israeli arm of BAE, is in the final development phase of its Silver Bullet, over 200 shots having been carried out, including demonstrations in South Korea and Israel. Another GPS based system with canard wings, navigation is activated after eight seconds from leaving the gun barrel. Roll stabilised, it is designed to minimise the drag in order to increase range, declared CEP being 20 meters; however most of the shots led to a miss distance of less than 10 metres.


P A CMC machine at work to produce the Pro CZ P-07 pistol

CZ become one of the key players in the small arms By Paolo Valpolini With over 1.6 million pieces produced the CZ 75 is definitely the trademark of the Czech small arms production capacity. Both the production number 00001 and the 1000000 are proudly exhibited in the historical collection of Česká zbrojovka a.s., Uherský Brod (CZUB), which became independent in 1950 but which was built in around four months in 1936, 2016 marking therefore the 80th anniversary of the plant.



oday the company has over 1,800 employees, and has become one of the key players in the small arms world. In the last years the company has increased the number of weapons sold, and while in 2011 and 2012 it totalled around 180,000 pieces, 2013 overcame the 200,000 line with around 240,000 fire arms sold, the following year increasing to around 270,000 to consolidate at 250,000 in 2015, with a forecast for 2016 of around 280,000 pieces. As for the sales, these are constantly increasing, and after two years around 80 million Euro, 2013 saw CZ overcoming the 100 million landmark, with 2014 and 2015 at around 130 million, the expectation for 2016 being to overcome the 140 million Euro. The company strategy is to grow step by step, explained Ladislav Britaňák, the company commercial director, underlining that CZ products are distributed in over 90 countries, and that CZ is among the three Czech companies with the highest number of international partners; the last agreement signed is that with the Peruvian FAME (Fabrica de Armas y Municiones del Ejercito), the Army plant in Lima with which CZ launched a long-term September / October 2016 – EDR

© P. Valpolini

slides. CZ is heavily investing in new production equipment.

© P. Valpolini

M A machined slide and the metal piece

from which it is obtained after a number of operations carried out by the same CMC machine.

N A container full of pistol frames.

© P. Valpolini

The CZ factory at Uherský Brod produces an average of 1,000 firearms per day.

manufacturing and technological cooperation. It is just the last example of transfer of technology, which can go from assembly to the production of parts, up to the complete production of weapons. CZ Uherský Brod controls Zbrojovka Brno in the Czech Republic, involved in hunting rif les manufacturing, and two companies in the United States, CZ USA in Kansas City and Dan Wesson in Norwich, N.Y., which produces yearly around 11,000 pistols and revolvers. CZUB is also part of the CZ - Slovakia joint venture, based in Nováky, which 200 employees produce parts of the CZ weapons and will assembly those ordered by the Slovak military and law enforcement agencies. Looking at aggregate numbers between civilian and military/law enforcement products, Europe remains the main market, with around 36%, closely followed by North America with 32%. Asia and Africa represent respectively 16% and 12% of the pie, Australia and Latin America being the junior areas, both with a 2%, the latter mainly because of the severe restrictions on firearms in that area. In recent years, under the thrust of its current CEO Ing. Lubomír Kovařík, CZ considerably increased the share of the military/law enforcement sales, these now accounting for a 35-40% of revenues, while in the past the company was mostly oriented towards the civil market, providing firearms for hunting, sports shooting and hobby shooting.

EDR – September / October 2016


© P. Valpolini

CZUB however does not produces only small arms: 20% of its revenues come from mechanical work done in the aerospace and automotive field, and seeing elements of aircraft engines in the surface treatment department was thus not a surprise. As for investments, in the last five years the company reinvested between 7 and 11 million euro, most of which, between 6 and 9 million some for improving its production capacities. The results can be easily seen while touring the company premises in Uherský Brod, brand new CNC machines being used, while older ones have been recently refurbished and brought to the same level of accuracy. These are mostly used to produce pistol slides, while lost wax casting makes frames and other high precision mechanical elements.

M Lost wax casting is the manufacturing

method used to obtain frames and many other precision mechanical parts. 46

Wax comes from the UK, but it is one of the few elements acquired outside the Czech Republic; CZ choose to maintain a strong national imprint, using for example Czech steel and aluminium, as well as plastic elements produced by Czech companies. According to CZ having local subcontractors adds flexibility and allows quick reaction when needed, something impossible if these were located in far Asia. Production flexibility is another mantra at the Uherský Brod company, to allow to rapidly shift from one product to another when shorttime delivery contract are acquired. While lost wax is not the quickest production process, it is definitely not this stage that represents a choke point in the manufacturing process: barrel production is considered the stovepipe and to improve this CZ is acquiring a fourth cold hammering machine, the barrel department being already at the maximum pace, working 24/7. The addition of a new machine of that type, a heavy financial investment, should allow to overcome the current average of 1,000 weapons per day produced at Uherský Brod. At the company most departments work on three shifts, a high percent of personnel being local, and entire families being part of the company, which after 80 years in the same premises has become one of the main employers in the area. The surface finishing department deals with numerous processes, among which vacuum hardening in nitrogen: here too investments will improve the situation, as in two years time a new machine, with a bigger vacuum chamber and able to increase pressure up to 13 bar, the current one works at 8 bar, will be added. The department also deals with barrels chrome plating; this treatment is limited to assault rifles barrels, which thanks also to this treatment have a guaranteed life time of 20,000 rounds. While the company catalogue lists nearly 20 main products, without counting the many variants and sub-variants, we will stick here to the militaryoriented production, which names go back to the company tradition: Skorpion and Bren. The latter was a light machine gun which became famous in British Army service, however the weapon was a licensed version of Czechoslovak ZGB 33, which was a modified version of Zbrojovka Brno vz. 26. As for the Skorpion, this was a 7.65mm submachine gun also known as vz. 61, produced between 1961 and 1979 by CZ. Adopted by numerous countries, it was used also by numerous terrorist groups, which led it on the first pages of daily newspapers. September / October 2016 – EDR


O The Scorpion

EVO A1 submachine gun has been adopted by Czech armed forces and extensively exported. burst or auto, although the Scorpion remains quite controllable, thanks also to its dimensions and weight, 2.63kg without magazine, which does not make it the lightest in the category but definitely helps in shooting straight. The other military weapon tested at Bzenec was the Bren 2, that is the evolution of the CZ 805 Bren adopted by the Czech Army and other customers, namely Mexico and Indonesia. Announced at DSEI 2015, this assault rifle is an evolution of the 805, designed leveraging the lessons learned from the Bren 1 customers Working on the design and on materiel CZ managed to reduce weight by over 0.5kg. The Bren 2 features only auto and semi-auto firing modes, the 2-round burst having

EDR – September / October 2016

© P. Valpolini

The current Scorpion (with a “c”), which EDR had the chance of firing at the Bz enec Cz ech Army shooting range, keeps in common with the vz. 61 only the name. Chambered in 9x19 or 9x21mm, the Scorpion EVO 3A1 is a modern blowback operated submachine gun fitted with a 196mm long barrel. The frame is made of polymers and the weapon is fitted with a folding and removable polymer stock, which length can be adjusted to fit the shooter’s needs. Fully ambidextrous, the cocking handle can be reversed to fit left-hand users, it features Picatinny rails on the four sides of the forward frame to allow the use of accessories. Available in the A1 version, with safe, single shot, three burst and full auto selector, and in S1 version, single-shot only, the Scorpion EVO A1 fired at the range was obviously the auto version. Equipped with a Meopta ZD-RD (M-RAD) reflex sight, it was nearly impossible to miss the target at 25 metres, even when M This close-up of the Bren 2 shows well the new selector, firing in high repetition mode. A mode we definitely prefer to threewithout the 2-round burst.


© P. Valpolini

11” barrel has a weight of 3.05kg without magazine, only NATO magazines being accepted in this calibre, compared to the 3.65kg of the Bren 1. Conversion in the other calibre requires the changing of the magazine insert, bolt carrier and barrel. EDR could test the Bren 2 in 5.56mm calibre and in all three lengths of barrel. The 14-inch was fitted with an Trijicon ACOG x6 sight and bipod, and hitting a small target at 100 meters at high repetition rate in single shot was really a pleasure. The 11-inch proved that even with folding aperture open sights shooting in the standing position, while the 8-inch was fitted with Aimpoint Micro T-1 red dot sight. All three versions showed a very good stability even when firing threeshot bursts, ergonomy having a great importance especially when the shooter has an average training. The launch customer for the Bren 2 is the Czech Army, which in late 2015 announced the acquisition of 2,600 pieces fitted with a Meopta ZD-Dot sight, 800 M The three versions of the Bren 2, from top the 14-inch barrel to be fitted with CZ 805 G1 40mm version with bipod, the 11-inch and the 8-inch, all available for trial grenade launcher. These will go to the Quick Reaction Brigade; the Czech during the firing session at the Bzenec firing range. Army already received over 17,600 Bren 1 in two batches. If these will be shifted been dropped; this also provides a better feeling of to reserve stocks, all ready forces receiving the Bren the selected mode under stress. A new-patented flash 2, is still to be decided and will depend much on hider has been adopted, which brakes sound and budgets. Deliveries of the first Bren 2s are scheduled can accept a suppressor. The trigger guard has been for late 2016. Aversion of the new assault rifle is being proposed to Pakistan for the one million pieces bid improved to allow easier use when wearing gloves. currently underway, selection being awaited in Fall The gas selector has now three positions, standard, 2016. CZ provided 30 rifles for testing, which were bolt action and hard conditions, and can be moved used in technical tests as well as in user trial tests, without tools. The weapon is fully ambidextrous, a non-reciprocating charging handle having also been carried out in multiple locations and diversified adopted. Disassembly is now easier, no tools being climate conditions. required while pins cannot be lost. The Bren 2 is With its submachine gun and new generation available in two calibres, 5.56x45mm and 7.62x39mm, assault rifle, complemented by the wide range of and three different lengths of barrels, respectively 8”, service handguns, Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod 11” and 14” for the NATO calibre and 9”, 11” and 14” is definitely back as one of the major players in the for the Russian one. The 5.56mm version with the military and law enforcement small arms arena. J 48

September / October 2016 – EDR

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