August's top stories: British Royal Navy's future sub concepts, Thales $4bn AJISS deal

The British Royal Navy presented a series of futuristic submarine concepts and Thales secured a C$5.2bn ($4.13bn) in-service support (ISS) contract for the Canadian Navy's AOPS and JSS fleet. Naval-technology.com wraps up key headlines from August 2017.


British Royal Navy unveils new concepts for future submarines

The British Royal Navy presented a series of futuristic submarine concepts, which are expected to bring about changes in underwater warfare operations over the next 50 years.

The new concepts were designed as part of a Royal Navy project named Nautilus 100 by a team of young engineers and scientists from UKNEST, a not-for-profit organisation in the UK.

They include futuristic concepts such as a crewed mothership with a manta ray-like appearance, unmanned eel-like submarines and fish-shaped torpedoes launched to swarm against enemy targets.


Thales receives $4.13bn ISS contract for Canadian Navy's AOPS and JSS fleet

A joint-venture (JV) between Thales Canada and Thales Australia secured a C$5.2bn ($4.13bn) in-service support (ISS) contract for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Arctic and offshore patrol ships (AOPS) and joint support ships (JSS).

The new contract demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to renewing the country's federal fleet of combat and non-combat ships via the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS).

The deal will see the JV carry out various servicing and maintenance operations, including refits, repairs, maintenance and training for the RCN’s fleet.


Qatar closes €5bn deal to buy seven Italian naval vessels

The State of Qatar signed a new €5bn deal with the Republic of Italy to purchase seven Italian naval vessels for the Qatari Emiri Naval Forces (QENF).

The deal was announced at a joint news conference in Doha, which was attended by Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano.

Al Thani said: “We have strong political and economic relations with Italy, and important cooperation in defence and security fields, along with the continued political consultation between the two countries.”


UK's future flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives at Portsmouth

The British Royal Navy's future flagship Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, arrived at its homeport of Portsmouth harbour for the first time.

The 65,000t vessel is berthed at the Princess Royal Jetty at Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Portsmouth, which will serve as the homeport for both of the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers.

Princess Royal Jetty was refurbished and strengthened to support the two new carriers as part of a £100m infrastructure upgrade programme, which was carried out ahead of the first vessel's arrival.

The 280m-long HMS Queen Elizabeth underwent sea trials prior to its arrival in Portsmouth, after setting sail from Scotland's Rosyth dockyard in June.


Germany and Norway begin long-term cooperation on submarines and naval missiles

Germany and Norway officially entered a long-term naval defence material cooperation on submarines and missiles.

The Norwegian Government previously confirmed its intention to enter a strategic partnership with Germany for the common purchase and lifetime management of new submarines in February.

The bilateral cooperation was formalised through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two nations.


Russian Helicopters to deliver modernised Ka-27M aircraft to Russian Navy

Rostec subsidiary Russian Helicopters is set to begin the serial delivery of upgraded multi-role Ka-27M helicopters for the Russian Naval Aviation.

The first aircraft scheduled for delivery has successfully completed a series of factory tests and assessments.

The modernised helicopters feature a new tactical command system that includes the latest acoustic and magnetometric systems, a radio reconnaissance device, an information computation solution and an active phased-array airborne radar station.


Indian Navy commissions second LCU Mk-IV-class vessel

The Indian Navy commissioned its second landing craft utility (LCU) Mk-IV-class ship known as IN LCU L52 at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The LCU MK-IV amphibious ships are primarily used for transporting and deploying main battle tanks, armoured vehicles, troops and equipment from the vessel to the shore.

The vessels are set to be based in the Andaman and Nicobar Command and used for multi-role activities such as beaching operations, search and rescue, disaster relief operations, supply and replenishment, and evacuation from far-away islands.


Australian Navy receives first pass approval for Huon-class minehunters

The Government of Australia granted first pass approval for the service life extension of the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) Huon-class minehunter coastal vessels.

Navy Capability head rear admiral Jonathan Mead said that the project will ensure that the RAN is capable of providing an effective maritime mine countermeasure capability by 2030.

Mead said: “Minehunters play a vital role in protecting Australia’s ships, harbours and infrastructure from the threat of sea mines."


DARPA demonstrates TALONS capability aboard US Navy vessel

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) tested a prototype of a low-cost elevated sensor mast on-board the US Navy's commissioned Cyclone-class patrol coastal ship USS Zephyr for the first time.

The three-day trial period saw the crew of the 174ft-long naval vessel evaluate the prototype of DARPA’s Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS) near Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

TALONS exhibited safe and routine operation from USS Zephyr’s deck under different sea states and wind conditions during the trials, without adversely affecting the vessel’s operational capability.


Egyptian Navy receives second Type-209 submarine from Germany's TKMS

The Egyptian Navy officially received the second of four Howaldtswerke-Deutche Werft (HDW) 209/1400mod-class submarines from Germany.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) launched the new vessel at its shipyard in Kiel, Germany.

The Type 209/1400 submarine features a length of 60m-73m and has the capability to sail for 11,000nm at a speed of 21k.

It will also be able to launch missiles and torpedoes for the Egyptian Navy.