Submarine leads the Naval top trends among the most mentioned terms or concepts in Twitter discussions of more than 150 defence experts tracked by GlobalData’s ADS Influencer platform during the third quarter (Q3) of 2021.

1. Submarine – 1,332 mentions

The development of the Type-212CD submarine, holographic sonar display created for submarine warfare, and development of a new class of submarines for the UK Royal Navy were some of the popular discussions on submarine in Q3.

H I Sutton, a defence writer and analyst, shared an article on Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) developing the Type-212CD submarine as part of a joint project initiated by the German and Norwegian governments. The shipbuilder is constructing two submarines for Germany and four for Norway valued at approximately $6.3bn as part of the project. The construction of the first submarine will begin in 2023, which will be received by the Norwegian Navy in 2029. The German Navy is expected to receive its first vessel in 2032. The Type-212CD submarine will be much bigger than the present Type-212A submarine with a 65% increase in surface displacement, 30% increase in length, 50% increase in width, and 2m increase in height.

In another tweet, Seapower Magazine, the official publication of the non-profit organisation Navy League, shared an article on software company Kongsberg Geospatial partnering with technology company Avalon Holographics to create a holographic sonar display for submarine warfare. The Canadian Department of National Defence is funding the project under the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) programme. The three components of the system include a sonar sensor system, a sonar map rendering system, and a holographic display. The display minimises the cognitive burden on passive sonar analysts and helps in improving situational awareness in terms of target detection.

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By GlobalData

Submarine was also discussed in an article shared by the UK Royal Navy on the commencement of development work for a new class of submarines that will eventually replace the Astute Class submarines. The navy awarded £85m ($117m) each to aerospace and defence company BAE Systems and engineering company Rolls-Royce to commence the design work on the new submarine class under the Submersible Ship Nuclear Replacement (SSNR) programme. BAE will be responsible for the design and construction of the new class, while Rolls-Royce will be responsible for the development of the submarine’s reactors. The investment will enable the navy to be ready with a replacement for the Astute Class submarines when they are retired from service in 2026.

2. Frigate – 347 mentions

Completion of tropicalisation works of HNoMS F-311 Roald Amundsen frigate, Indian Navy’s INS Tabar conducting a maritime exercise with Egyptian Navy’s ENS Alexandria frigate, and Link Microtek delivering its communications systems for the Type 26 frigates were some of the popular discussions on frigate in Q3 2021.

Collin Koh, research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), shared an article on the completion of the tropicalisation of Royal Norwegian Navy’s frigate HNoMS F-311 Roald Amundsen by shipbuilding company Navantia. The F311 frigate’s cooling capacity was increased as part of the works, enabling it to travel in warmer areas and water temperatures than the usual operating environments. The frigate is the second ship of the Fridjof Nansen (F310) class constructed by Navantia.

SpokespersonNavy, spokesperson of the Indian Navy, shared an article on the INS Tabar Talwar-class frigate conducting a maritime exercise with the Egyptian Navy’s ENS Alexandria frigate in the Mediterranean Sea. The two frigates were involved in multiple activities encompassing a wide range of naval operations including transit drills through a threat environment, intercepting suspect vessels at sea, and communication protocols. The exercise will help in improving interoperability between the two navies and conducting joint operations against maritime threats.

Frigate was also discussed in an article shared by Navy Recognition, an online media agency, about radio frequency and microwave systems manufacturer Link Microtek delivering its Azdec secure optical mobile local communications (MLC) systems. Link delivered the first three ship-sets of the MLC systems for installation onto the Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigates including the HMS Glasgow, HMS Belfast, and HMS Cardiff. The Aztec optical MLC system offers secure and interference-free audio communications enabling naval personnel to wander freely away from their base stations.

3. Nuclear – 192 mentions

North Korea criticising the US for offering nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, ballistic missile submarines being detected at China’s Yulin submarine base and defence contractor Naval Group to provide maintenance services to the French Navy’s nuclear attack submarines (SSN) were some of the popular discussions on nuclear in the third quarter.

Military Times, an online military news website, shared an article on North Korea criticising the US for its decision to offer nuclear-powered submarines to Australia. A partnership with Australia and the UK was announced by US President Joe Biden to provide eight armed nuclear-powered submarines. North Korea announced that the decision would undermine the security balance in the Asia-Pacific region, which could start a nuclear weapons race, according to the article.

In another tweet, ChinaPower, the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) publication examining the rising power of China, shared an article on a commercial satellite capturing images of China’s ballistic missile submarines at Yulin submarine base. The satellite captured images of the Type 094 Jin-class Submersible Ship Ballistic Missile Nuclear (SSBN) submarines along with two Type 093 nuclear-powered attack Submersible Ship Nuclear (SSN) submarines. The Type 094 SSBNs is the only submarine in China’s navy capable of launching nuclear weapons and is part of the country’s nuclear weaponisation plans. The Type 094 SSBNs, however, is louder compared to US and Russian submarines.

Nuclear also trended in discussions about Naval Group entering into a deal with the information technology company Fleet Support Service to provide operational maintenance support to the French Navy’s nuclear attack submarines (SSNs) for three more years. Naval Group will provide engineering services, maintenance of tools and equipment and training platforms for the Rubis and Suffren-class SSNs under the contract. The contract is being implemented before the Rubis-class SSNs are withdrawn from service and the new generation Suffren-type SSNs enter service.

4. Maritime security – 159 mentions

The US Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) training with Indonesia’s Maritime Security Agency, Japan’s coast guard deploying patrol ships to the Ishigaki coast guard office, and India, Maldives, and four other countries establishing a maritime security framework were some of the trending discussions on maritime security in the last quarter.

7th Fleet, the official Twitter account of the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet, shared an article on US Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) performing drills and operations with Indonesia’s Maritime Security Agency, Badan Keamanan Laut (BAKAMLA). The exercises included drills such as ship-to-ship communications, multi-unit navigation, and maritime domain awareness. The operation was aimed at enhancing capabilities, and promoting maritime governance, security and peace in the Indo-Pacific region.

In another tweet, the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), the CSIS’ source of information on maritime security in Asia, shared an article on the Japan coast guard (JCG) deploying the Asazuki patrol ship to the Ishigaki coast guard office in the Senkaku Islands. The 6,500 tonne-class vessel will be deployed to boost surveillance as Chinese patrol boats have been operating around the islands. The Japanese central government intends to raise the number of patrol vessels with a capacity of 1,000 tonnes from 69 to 77 by 2024.

Maritime security was also discussed by Abhijit Singh, head of the Maritime Policy Initiative at think tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF), in an article on Bangladesh, Mauritius and Seychelles joining India, Maldives, and Sri Lanka to develop a maritime security framework for the Indian Ocean region. The framework is being developed in light of China’s expanding presence in the region including the Bay of Bengal. The six countries attended the Colombo Security Conclave meeting to develop the framework. Maritime security, terrorism and radicalisation, trafficking, and cyber security were highlighted as the main goals of cooperation at the meeting.

5. Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) – 145 mentions

US Navy’s LCS deployments in the Indo-pacific region, the US Navy’s Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS) programme, and the decommissioning of LCS Independence were some of the popular discussions on LCS in Q3.

USNI News, a news agency, shared an article on LCS deployments by the US Navy in the Indo-pacific region becoming more unpredictable to enable the service to respond to unexpected interaction opportunities and ensure that LCS is not bound to a single location for a long period of time. The US Navy plans to deploy four LCS in Singapore but in the future, it is likely to increase LCS deployment in the Western Pacific. The navy’s plans aim to ensure the service remains innovative and is not self-limiting in terms of geography.

In another tweet, Seapower Magazine shared an article on the completion of the initial operational test and evaluation for the US Navy’s Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS) programme aboard the USS Manchester (LCS 14). The evaluation was completed by the Program Executive Office for Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC) and is part of the LCS mine countermeasures mission package. The LCS MCM include an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) and a towed minesweeping payload. The evaluation highlighted the capability of using MCM capability using a USV from an LCS in a realistic environment.

LCS was also discussed in an article shared by Military Times on the decommissioning of LCS Independence by the US Navy. The Independence commissioned in 2010 was one of the first ships under the LCS programme’s test and training vessels. The LCS required extensive upgrades to remain in operation, hence the navy decided to retire the ship. The retirement was also part of the navy’s plan to free up resources and manpower towards initiatives that increase lethality, the article highlighted.