A century on from some of the world’s first successful submarine rescues, dangers still abound despite massive advances in technology and international co-operation. This timeline explores how far we’ve come and how far there still is to go.
Last September, BAE Systems revealed plans to build a A$100 million digital shipyard in Adelaide, if the company’s contender wins the competition for the Royal Australian Navy’s SEA 5000 Future Frigate programme. While the final decision between Navantia’s evolved F-100, Fincantieri’s modified FREMM and BAE’s variant Type 26 ‘Global Combat Ship’ is not scheduled to be made until later this year, the announcement focused attention on one of the sector’s hottest, but arguably lesser known, topics – digitised shipbuilding.
While there are ‘not a lot of tree huggers in the marines’ – as was recently pointed out – bold and aggressive moves to cut down the US Navy’s vast energy footprint are beginning to show dividends. So is the Navy on track to clean up its act?
North Korea has threatened Guam before, but until now it has always seemed a hollow threat; Kim Jong Un’s ramped-up and revitalised missile programme has changed all of that. Dr Gareth Evans takes a closer look at the strategic US base.
The UK Defence Secretary has promised a ‘renaissance’ in British maritime power with significant investment across the board. But with the budget heavily dented by new carriers and replacement for Trident, is the money there for investment in key areas? Dr Gareth Evans reports.
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Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group has invested several years into developing a tool to model acoustic signatures for all classes of naval vessels. Acoustic signatures allow friendly forces to recognise their own vessels, but can also give away position. Claire Apthorp finds out how new modelling is improving the safety of military vessels at sea.
A report released earlier this year suggests that there are major vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers to render the UK’s nuclear missile equipped Trident submarines useless, or worse. Could that be true, and if so what can be done? Dr Gareth Evans reports.
Alongside directed energy weapons and electromagnetic rail guns, supercavitating torpedoes repeatedly feature at the top of the wish list of must-have capabilities for any self-respecting navy of the future – and it is easy to see why. The allure of a rocket propelled super-weapon capable of delivering a nuclear or conventional warhead at speeds in excess of 200 knots is pretty self-evident, unless, of course, you are the one on the receiving end.
As things stand, 2018 will see the Royal Navy’s Harpoon (Block 1C) missile – the sole heavyweight anti-ship missile system in its service – retire without replacement, leaving the UK with a serious under-capacity to perform the most fundamental of all naval tasks – sinking ships.