February's top stories: ONR's lightweight boots, Dstl extends efficiency funding

Researchers at the US Navy's Office of Naval Research TechSolutions office have developed a new lightweight boot for sailors and naval aviators, while the UK has contributed £2m to the Technology Strategy Board for research and development competition. Naval-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from February 2014.


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ONR develops new lightweight boot for sailors

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Researchers at the US Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) TechSolutions office have developed a new lightweight boot for sailors and naval aviators to increase comfort over long watches at sea.

Designed to replace current steel-toed boots, the new footwear with a composite replacement toe is scheduled to undergo six-month user evaluation starting this month.

Initially, around 150 participants including sailors and naval aviators aboard submarines, destroyers and amphibious vessels in the third, fourth, sixth, seventh and Pacific fleets will begin the user evaluation.

Russian Navy's Lada-class submarine to feature advanced quiet propulsion

The Russian Navy will install advanced ultra-quiet propulsion systems on the first Lada-class attack submarine within the next three years, the Russian naval commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov said.

RIA Novosti cited Chirkov as saying that the latest generation attack submarine will be integrated with the air-independent system by 2016 aimed to improve the submarine's range and stealth capabilities.

Being developed at the northern Sevmash shipyard, the new air-independent power plants enable submarines to stay submerged for weeks at a time, while providing significant advantages over diesel-electric submarines.

Bergen wins Norwegian Armed Forces maintenance and service contract

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The Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (FLO) has awarded a framework agreement to Bergen Group Services for maintenance and service work related to MTU engines in the Norwegian armed forces.

Under the four-year Nkr60m ($11m) framework agreement, Bergen Group will provide maintenance and service on the propulsion engines of a variety of naval vessels and combat vehicles.

The agreement also includes maintenance for engines on the Navy's Skjold-class coastal corvettes, minesweeper vessels and frigates, and Combat Leopard vehicles.

Malaysian Navy's SGPVs to feature Thales sonar and radar systems

Contraves Advanced Devices has awarded a contract to Thales to supply radar and sonar systems in support of the Royal Malaysian Navy's second generation patrol vessel (SGPV) littoral combat ships (LCS).

Under the contract, Thales will supply six SMART-S Mk2 naval surveillance radar systems and six CAPTAS-2 towed sonar systems for installation aboard the Royal Malaysian Navy's patrol vessels, which are under construction by Boustead Naval Shipyard in Malaysia.

Initially, Thales will build and test the first two SMART-S Mk2 radars in Hengelo, the Netherlands, while Contraves will assemble and test the other four systems in Malaysia prior to the radar's delivery, scheduled to begin within the next few years.

Zodiac Milpro delivers first ECUME boat to French Navy commandos

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The French Ministry of Defense (MoD) has taken delivery of the first multi-purpose ECUME rigid inflatable (RIB) boat from Zodiac Milpro.

The French defence ministry has also placed orders for the supply of nine boats for the French Navy commandos, marking the first part of the investment option.

Designed to meet the needs of French Navy commandos operating in three mission areas including special operations, air-sea operations and activities relating to the protection of the maritime approaches, the ECUME serves as a multi-mission craft that can be deployed individually or as part of a powerful assault group.

Thales to equip Scout Mk3 radar aboard Royal Netherlands Navy JSS

Thales has signed a contract to deliver and install a Scout Mk3 naval surveillance radar on the joint logistic support ship (JSS) being engineered by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) for the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Designed to identify very small objects even in high sea states or in close vicinity to larger objects, the radar also provides automatic detection and tracking, approach and guidance for helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), as well as a high availability and low lifecycle costs.

Commissioned by the Netherlands' Defence Materiel Organisation, the ship will be integrated with new Mk3 naval surveillance radar and is scheduled to undergo first sea trials in May.


BAE releases investment options for Glasgow manufacturing facilities

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BAE Systems has released two potential investment options for its two manufacturing facilities in Glasgow, UK, ahead of public consultations, which are scheduled to be held next week.

The two manufacturing facilities, Govan and Scotstoun shipyards in Glasgow will play a major role in helping to ensure the long-term future of its ship building business.

Under the first option, a single site strategy, BAE is planning to build a new manufacturing facility at Scotstoun while the second option, a two site strategy, involves upgrading the existing facilities at Govan and Scotstoun

Dstl extends funding for second competition on vessel efficiency

The UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has contributed £2m to the Technology Strategy Board for its second collaborative research and development (CR&D) competition on vessel efficiency.

Dstl's contribution to 'Vessel Efficiency II: Better Systems at Sea' has increased the total budget available for the competition to £5m, which aims to fund innovative ideas that help cut emissions and increase the performance of marine vessels.

Built on the success of the first version of the competition, the new round intends to encourage the exchange innovation between civil and defence applications by developing novel projects.