February’s top news stories

5 March 2019 (Last Updated March 7th, 2019 09:58)

Naval Group signed a strategic partnering agreement (SPA) with the Australian Government for the A$50bn Future Submarine programme, and the Canadian Government awarded a contract to a Lockheed Martin-led team to design 15 new Canadian Surface Combatants for the Royal Canadian Navy. Naval-Technology.com wraps up key headlines from February 2019.

February’s top news stories
Officials at the SPA signing event for Australia’s future submarine programme. Credit: Naval Group Australia.

Naval Group signs SPA for Australian Future Submarine programme

Naval Group signed a strategic partnering agreement (SPA) with the Australian Government for the A$50bn ($35.42bn) Australian Future Submarine programme.

Under the programme, Naval Group will help to build and deliver 12 Attack-class submarines for use by the Royal Australian Navy.

Naval Group was chosen by the government as its partner for the Attack-class submarine programme in April 2016 following a competitive evaluation process.


Defence firms win C$60bn Canadian Surface Combatants design contract

The Canadian Government awarded a contract to a Lockheed Martin-led team to design 15 new Canadian Surface Combatants for the Royal Canadian Navy.

The surface combatants are based on Type 26 global combat ship developed by BAE Systems and will be built at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard.

Canada Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility Carla Qualtrough said: “Our government is providing the Royal Canadian Navy with the ships it needs to do its important work of protecting Canadians.”


US Navy awards $15.2bn to build two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers

The US Navy issued a $15.2bn contract modification to Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division to build two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

The multi-ship contract comes after the US Navy expressed its intention to pursue a block-purchase of two Ford-class aircraft carriers in a bid to save money.

According to the Navy, the deal is expected to deliver savings of more than $4bn to the government.


Defence Ministry maps out plans for UK littoral strike ships

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is investing in a concept and development phase of new UK littoral strike ships for use by the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines.

In a speech delivered at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson revealed that the new ships will form part of two new littoral strike groups comprising escorts, support vessels and helicopters.

To be funded by the government’s Transformation Fund, the new class of assault ships will be designed to support a range of missions in all types of environments.


BWXT subsidiaries reach $2.1bn deal for naval nuclear reactor components

BWX Technologies’ (BWXT) subsidiaries entered a pricing agreement on new contracts, valued at $2.1bn in total, to manufacture naval nuclear reactor components and fuel for the US Navy.

BWXT Nuclear Operations Group (BWXT NOG) and Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) signed the agreement with the US Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.

The contracts include future-year options with initial contract awards expected to take place in the first quarter of this year.


India issues EoI for $3bn naval utility helicopters acquisition project

The Indian Ministry of Defence issued an expression of interest (EoI) for the procurement of 111 naval utility helicopters.

The Indian Navy did not give financial details of the deal. However, the acquisition is estimated to be Rs217bn ($3.06bn).

The proposed acquisition represents the first one to be executed under the new Strategic Partner (SP) procurement model under the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.


Papua New Guinea commissions first Guardian-class patrol boat

The Papua New Guinea Defence Force commissioned the first Guardian-class patrol boat during a ceremony held at Port Moresby.

HMPNGS Ted Diro represents the first of 21 Guardian-class patrol boats that the Australian Government agreed to grant to 12 Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste under the Pacific Maritime Security Program.

Over a 30-year period, Australia will contribute A$2bn ($1.42bn) to the Pacific region to enhance maritime security in cooperation with Pacific island nations.


UK awards nuclear submarines propulsion contract to Rolls-Royce

The UK Government awarded a £235m contract to Rolls-Royce Submarines to support nuclear propulsion systems for the Royal Navy’s fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

Under the contract, Rolls-Royce will deliver the support, advice and material required to ensure the safety and availability of the propulsion systems on the existing fleet of Trafalgar, Vanguard and Astute class submarines until 2022.

The contract work is expected to sustain 500 UK jobs, mainly at Rolls-Royce in Derby and satellite offices at HMNB Clyde and HMNB Devonport.


Leonardo and ADSB to create CMS naval integration laboratory

Leonardo signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) to jointly work on the development of a Combat Management System (CMS) naval integration laboratory.

The MoU was signed at the IDEX International Defence Exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

The CMS naval integration laboratory is expected to enhance the collaboration between Leonardo and ADSB in the naval sector.


DARPA funds five teams for Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors programme

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funded five teams of researchers to develop new types of sensor systems by analysing behaviours of marine organisms to help detect undersea activity.

The research is part of DARPA’s Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors (PALS) programme, which was first announced in February last year to incorporate biology into new solutions for monitoring adversary movements across the world’s oceans and seas.

Northrop Grumman, the Naval Research Laboratory, Florida Atlantic University, Raytheon BBN Technologies, and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are leading the five teams.