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April 28, 2022

Twitter round up: Israel’s INS Dragon submarine and more

Naval Technology lists five of the most popular tweets on naval tech in Q1 2022 based on data from GlobalData’s Aerospace, Defence and Security (ADS) Influencer Platform.

The top tweets are based on total engagements (likes and retweets) received on tweets from more than 150 naval experts tracked by GlobalData’s ADS Influencer platform during the first quarter (Q1) of 2022.

The most popular tweets on naval tech in Q1 2022: Top five

1. H I Sutton’s tweet on Israel’s INS Dragon submarine

H I Sutton, a defence writer and analyst, shared an article on Israel’s latest Dolphin-II Class submarine, the INS Dragon or Drakon. The submarine is speculated to be longer than the earlier submarines and equipped with a vertical launch system (VLS) that may translate into new missile capabilities for nuclear deterrence. The remaining three boats currently in order are also speculated to have similar capabilities including new and additional weapons due to the recent increase in the cost of Israeli submarines.

The  latest submarine is expected to be the world’s second contemporary submarine to be equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP). The first is the South Korean KSS-III class that recently entered service. The two submarines are considered to be part of a shift towards introducing VLS onto conventionally powered submarines. The INS Dragon is estimated to be extended by about 2.4m-4m (8ft-13ft) overall, the article highlighted.  

Username: H I Sutton

Twitter handle: @CovertShores

Likes: 421

Retweets: 112

2. David B. Larter’s tweet on the US Navy exploring new operational concepts for littoral combat ships (LCS)

David B. Larter, a navy veteran, shared an article on the US Navy exploring new missions for the LCS. The LCS mission packages were developed in the early 2000s around three areas, namely surface warfare, mine countermeasures (MCM) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW). However, only surface warfare has been completely fielded and used in deployments abroad. The ASW package is still not ready for testing due to technical issues despite appearing to be ready in 2019, while only half of the MCM package has been tested.

Surface navy leaders are now trying to explore how fleet commanders can use the LCS in emerging concepts. Naval Surface Forces believe that the LCS can be used to deploy manned or unmanned vehicles into the air or water for counter-trafficking and intelligence, and for surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

The Navy has continued to advance the LCS’ capabilities, despite the surface warfare mission package being the first to be fielded, according to Capt. Gus Weekes, the LCS mission modules programme manager. The surface warfare mission package includes 30mm guns and the small boat, apart from the Surface-to-Surface Missile Module or the Longbow Hellfire missile that is currently being manufactured and is expected to be deployed around June, Weekes added.

Username: David B. Larter

Twitter handle: @DavidLarter

Likes: 170

Retweets: 21

3. Navy Lookout’s tweet on projects delivered by UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)

Navy Lookout, a platform for Royal Navy news and analysis, tweeted on the new naval projects delivered by Dstl for the UK’s defence and security in 2021. The projects included the integration of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) along with humans to enable better, quicker, and informed decision making and planning. The projects are assessing the use of a variety of human-machine teams or Agents for Decision-Making (ADeMs), and their interaction with the Intelligent Ship Artificial Intelligence Network (ISAIN).

Other projects included the creation of the Extra Large Uncrewed Underwater Vehicle (XLUUV) by MSubs, which specialises in the provision of manned and unmanned submarines. The XLUUV is being used as a testbed for new sensor and payload technology and onboard systems to allow the Royal navy to explore the operational boundaries and effectiveness of uncrewed underwater vehicle systems, the article detailed.

The Dstl also carried out an Urgent Operational Requirement to the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Navy’s flagship fleet, to ensure radiation safety compliance. Dstl pioneered Wi-Fi under the waves by collaborating with the government, oil, gas and communications industries, and academic leaders, the article noted. The agency also enabled minefields to be cleared quickly and efficiently through a prototype technology delivered underwater by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and is developing the Next Generation Air Platform Protection (APP).

Username: Navy Lookout

Twitter handle: @NavyLookout

Likes: 95

Retweets: 11

4. The War Zone’s tweet on the US Navy developing HPM directed-energy weapons

The War Zone, a military news platform, shared an article on a new department for the US Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) created for analysing and developing high-power microwave (HPM) directed-energy weapons. The new class of weapons is expected to use microwave energy to destroy the electronics inside enemy systems, such as small boats, missiles, and drones, the article highlighted.

The successful research and development of HPM weapons will enable the US Navy to provide further protection to its high-value military assets. An important feature of HPM weapons is that it offers lower cost-per-shot than kinetic weapons. Experts claim that HPM weapons can work alongside lasers to jam target devices and destroy electrical systems.

Another advantage of HPM weapons and directed energy weapons is the magazine depth, which can be unlimited compared to kinetic weapons that have fixed magazine sizes and must be reloaded, the article detailed.

Username: The War Zone

Twitter handle: @thewarzonewire

Likes: 90

Retweets: 52

5. Breaking Defense’s tweet on Preble destroyer getting Lockheed Martin’s high-energy laser

Breaking Defense, a digital defence magazine, shared an article on the aerospace company Lockheed Martin’s high-energy laser with integrated optical-dazzler and surveillance, called HELIOS, planned to be installed onboard the Preble (DDG 88) Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

HELIOS has undergone several tests at a Navy facility in 2021, the installation of which comes at a time when there is heightened congressional scrutiny about its tech and contract deadlines, the article noted. HELIOS, a 60kw laser, along with the Solid-State Laser Technology Maturation effort and the Optical Dazzling Interdictor, comprise the Navy’s family of laser weapons.

Lockheed Martin entered into a three-year contract with the US Navy to build and produce the HELIOS, with options for up to nine production units. However, doubts over the technology led to a delay in its development. Lawmakers further limited the Navy to purchase one HELIOS unit per year in the fiscal 2019 defence policy bill, until the Pentagon provided the terms of the contract and acquisition strategy, the article highlighted.

Username: Breaking Defense

Twitter handle: @BreakingDefense

Likes: 57

Retweets: 28

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