Category Archives: Naval Warfare

Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)

Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)


The Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) is a lightweight air-to-surface and surface-to-surface missile under development by Thales Air Defence for the United Kingdom. LMM is a low cost, lightweight, precision strike, missile, which has been designed to be fired from tactical platforms including fixed or rotary winged UAVs and surface platforms. The system is designed to provide a rapid reaction to a wide range of the surface threats from wheeled or tracked vehicles, towed artillery or static installations; naval threats from small ships and fast inshore attack craft and an air threat from light aircraft. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has placed an initial order for 1,000 missiles and deliveries were due to start in 2013.The missile is known as Martlet in British service. The LMM missile’s propulsion system consists of a two-stage rocket motor. It has a velocity of more than Mach 1.5 and an operational range between 6km and 8km, while the minimum range is 400m.

Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)

Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)


The missile, sealed in its canister, consists of a two stage motor, warhead and dual mode fuze, together with guidance electronics and a highly
accurate control actuator system. The low cost, covert, flexible LMM missile features soft launch design and has a shelf life of 15 years. It has immediate launch, high lethality, as well as fire on-the-move capabilities. The missile measures 1.3m in length, 0.26m in wing span, and 76mm in diameter. It has a maximum weight of 13kg. It is equipped with a modular shaped charge / pre-fragmented blast warhead, which weighs up to 3kg. The warhead is activated by a highly sensitive laser proximity fuse. The versatile design of the weapon system allows it to be configured to function as an all-in-one weapon system for larger naval platforms and as a hybrid missile / gun system fitted with LMM and integrated with naval guns. It can also be customised for integration on a fast patrol boat.
Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)

Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)


Guidance for the LMM missile is provided from an optical tracker system attached to the launch platform. The missile can be operated in multiple secure guidance modes including laser beam riding, automatic guidance and laser designation to ensure precision attack of targets with man-in-the-loop. It can also be equipped with IR terminal homing guidance with INS and GPS navigation, as well as semi-active laser guidance. The guidance section is part of an optically stabilised mount, featuring charge-coupled device (CCD) and thermal cameras connected with an automatic target tracker (ATT) and missile laser guidance unit. On target indication, the weapon operator acquiresthe target in the display monitor. The ATT is directed onto the target by the operator and he engages the ATT, which locks a box around the threat. When the target is within range the operator selects ‘System On’ and presses the firing trigger. The missile is launched and guided automatically to the target.
Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)

Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)


LMM is intended to provide a single family of weapons that can be used in different modes, including:

  • Maritime – LMM will be carried on the new Lynx Wildcat helicopters of the Royal Navy for use against small surface vessels. ASELSAN of Turkey has developed dedicated mounting systems which can also enable the LMM to be launched from naval platforms such as fast attack craft (FAC).
  • Surface-To-Surface – The dual-effect (blast fragmentation and shaped charge) of the LMM’s warhead makes it suitable for use against a wide range of ground targets including light/medium armour.
  • Air-Launched – The missile’s modular design allows for future development and introduction of alternative warheads and seekers.

LMM was initially conceived as Thales’ response to the MoD’s Future Air-to-Surface Guided Weapon (Light) FASGW(L) requirement. The FASGW-L missile system consists of five barrel launchers and a laser guidance system. LMM has been designed to be launched from a variety of naval, air and land platforms against a wide range of targets. In July 2014, Thales unveiled a modification of the LMM that turns it into a glide bomb, called the FreeFall LMM (FFLMM). Thales partnered with Textron to market it as the Fury for the U.S. market, who provides a height-of-burst sensor and electronic safe and arm device.

Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)

Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)

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Brazilian Navy Amphibious Assault Ship Atlântico

Brazilian Navy Amphibious Assault Ship Atlântico


PHM Atlântico (A140) is an amphibious assault ship and current flagship of the Brazilian Navy. Originally constructed in the United Kingdom for service with the Royal Navy, she was commissioned on 30 September 1998 as HMS Ocean, serving until being decommissioned on 27 March 2018, and then commissioned into service with Brazil that following June. In December 2017, the Brazilian Navy confirmed the purchase of the ship for (GBP) £84.6 million, (equivalent to R$359.5M and USD $113.2M). Following her decommissioning from Royal Navy service in March 2018, she will undertake a period of maintenance in the United Kingdom and is expected to arrive in Rio de Janeiro by 25 August 2018,[9] with the intention of being commissioned and fully operational by 2020. Brazilian defence officials confirmed the purchase, as well as officials from the UK MoD, as of 17 February 2018.

Brazilian Navy Amphibious Assault Ship Atlântico

Brazilian Navy Amphibious Assault Ship Atlântico


The Brazilian Navy commissioned the multi-purpose helicopter carrier PHM Atlântico (A140) on 29 June in the United Kingdom. The helicopter carrier package for Brazil includes an Artisan 3D search radar, KH1007 surface surveillance radar system, four 30 mm DS30M Mk 2 remote weapon systems and four Mk 5B landing craft. However, the three original 20 mm Mk 15 Block 1B Phalanx close-in weapon systems, the torpedo defence systems and 7.62 mm M134 machine guns were removed from the ship before its transfer to Brazil. The ship displaces 21.578 tonnes, is 203.43 m long and has a range of 8,000 n miles. It has been undergoing maintenance work by Babcock and BAE Systems since February. Scheduled to reach its homeport, Arsenal de Marinha do Rio de Janeiro (AMRJ), on 25 August, PHM Atlântico will undergo operational sea training under the Royal Navy’s Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) programme.
Brazilian Navy Amphibious Assault Ship Atlântico

Brazilian Navy Amphibious Assault Ship Atlântico

Aselsan ZOKA Torpedo Countermeasure

Aselsan ZOKA Torpedo Countermeasure


Aselsan developed the ZOKA Torpedo Countermeasure family (comprising both stationary and self-propelled jammers and target emulator decoys) with up-to-date signal processing capability under the DAKA (Acoustic Decoy System for Submarines) Project. ZOKA effectors are capable of operating effectively against any torpedo threat that has acoustic homing capability operating in active, passive or combined modes. Two types of ZOKA effectors, jammers and decoys, are used in HIZIR-Torpedo Countermeasure System for Surface Ships and ZARGANA-Torpedo Countermeasure System for Submarines. The system offers considerably reduced reaction time compared with signal tube ejection thanks to being fully integrated into the submarines’ combat management system.

Aselsan ZOKA Torpedo Countermeasure

Aselsan ZOKA Torpedo Countermeasure


ZOKA jammers transmit wide band high-level noise to saturate acoustic operating frequency bands of all existing torpedoes. In this way, jammers mask the noise of submarines against passive torpedoes and reduce the detection range of echo signals reflecting from the submarine by increasing the noise level against active torpedoes. ZOKA decoys deceive and confuse the torpedo by simulating the acoustic and dynamic characteristics of the platform and attract the torpedo to themselves. ZOKA decoys have separate receive and transmit sections. A hydrophone is towed from the stern of the decoy. Having separate receive and transmit units allow decoy to perform noise generation and echo generation of torpedo active pulses at the same time. The combined use of ZOKA decoys and jammers has been highly effective against acoustic torpedoes.
Aselsan ZOKA Torpedo Countermeasure

Aselsan ZOKA Torpedo Countermeasure


ZOKA effectors with various lengths have mobile capability in vertical and/or horizontal plane and can be launched from surface ship launchers, submarine signal ejectors and submarine outboard launchers. Some 280 ZOKA decoys and four ZARGANA TCMS were manufactured for the AY-class submarines, with a further 360 and eight respectively for the PREVEZE- and GUR-classes. All three classes can launch the LAPIN, MERCAN, CIPURA and CACA (10x50cm and 10x100cm) decoys though signal ejector tubes: PREVEZE- and GUR-class boats, however, use the ZARGANA launcher for the 12.5x120cm self-propelled LIPSOZ target emulator and ESKINA jammer.

Japan commissions second Asahi-class destroyer JS Shiranui (DD-120)

Japan commissions second Asahi-class destroyer JS Shiranui (DD-120)


Japan’s second Asahi-class destroyer, the JS Shiranui (Unknown Fire), entered Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) service in a ceremony at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)’ Nagasaki Shipyard Nagasaki Shipyard on February 27. Shiranui is the third ship to hold the name after the Murakumo and Kagerō class destroyers. JS Asahi DD-119, the lead ship in the class was commissioned a year before, on March 8, 2018. It is the third ship to hold the name after the Murakumo and Kagerō class destroyers. The destroyer is assigned to the JMSDF’s Escort Division 7 based at Ōminato Base in Aomori Prefecture. JS Shiranui (DD-120) was launched in October 2017 and was commissioned without delays.

Asahi-class destroyer JS Shiranui (DD-120)

Asahi-class destroyer JS Shiranui (DD-120)


The Asahi-class is based on the existing Akizuki-class destroyer to reduce acquisition cost and allow future development and growth. Unlike the Akizuki-class (which focuses on anti-aircraft warfare) the Asahi-class focuses on anti-submarine warfare. This 5,100-ton general-purpose escort destroyers class used to be designated “25DD” – referring to a date on the Japanese calendar, specifically the 25th fiscal year of the Heisei period (2013). The procurement of KS Asahi (119) destroyer began in 2013 in response to the reduction in the number of destroyers within the JMSDF. JS Shiranui (DD-120) destroyer was procured a year later.
Asahi-class destroyer JS Shiranui (DD-120)

Asahi-class destroyer JS Shiranui (DD-120)


The two major characteristics of Asahi-class destroyers is its bigger emphasis on anti-submarine warfare and the adoption of the COGLAG (combined gas turbine electric and gas turbine) propulsion system. They measure 151 meters in length and reach speeds of 30 knots, according to the Japan defense ministry. Asahi-class destroyers are the first JMSDF ships to deploy with periscope detection radars in addition to being equipped with new towed array sonars. Armament includes Mark 41 vertical launch systems for self protection, 62-caliber naval guns, close-in weapon systems and two Mark 32 surface vessel torpedo tubes. The destroyers will have a complement of around 230 and embark one Mitsubishi-built SH-60J/K are anti-submarine patrol helicopter.
Asahi-class destroyer JS Shiranui (DD-120)

Asahi-class destroyer JS Shiranui (DD-120)


Another unique feature about this destroyer is the usage of a GaN-AESA (Gallium nitride – Active electronically scanned array) Multifunction Radar. According to Navy Recognition, to their knowledge the Asahi-class is the first Japanese and the world’s second class of warship to be outfitted with this technology (the first being the German Baden-Württemberg-class frigate with their TRS-4D radar). The destroyer’s radar is based on the FCS-3A radar used for the Akizuki-class but uses Gallium nitride to improve performance. In radar technology, Gallium nitride offers a number of advantages over the traditionally used Gallium arsenide (GaA). These advantages include higher power density, efficiency, thermal spreading and frequency coverage. This in turn allows the GaN chip to be smaller than their GaA counterpart, thus reducing cost and increasing overall cost effectiveness.
 Asahi-class destroyer JS Shiranui (DD-120)

Asahi-class destroyer JS Shiranui (DD-120)

Textron Systems Ship-to-Shore Connector

Textron Systems Ship-to-Shore Connector


The Textron Systems’ Ship-to-Shore Connector is the U.S. Navy’s replacement for the US Navy’s Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) hovercraft fleet. During on-water testing, Textron Marine & Land Systems and the U.S. Navy are testing initial craft functionality. The landing craft is designed for the US Navy and the US Marine Corps forces to transport personnel and armoured vehicles between naval ships and shore. The Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) is also suited for amphibious assault, humanitarian assistance and disaster response missions. It can be deployed from naval ships such as landing platform dock, landing ship dock, LHD/LHA amphibious assault ships, and Expeditionary Transfer Dock.

Textron Systems Ship-to-Shore Connector

Textron Systems Ship-to-Shore Connector


The Ship-to-Shore Connector, which looks similar to the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) it replaces, improves on the legacy craft by adding a fly-by-wire control system, a new drive and propulsion system and more powerful engines, all while reducing the total number of parts to simplify the logistics chain and maintenance requirements. The first Ship-to-Shore Connector, called LCAC 100, got underway in a bayou near the East New Orleans shipyard in 2018. Textron pilots had been conducting testing while tethered to a ramp ahead of time to prepare for the first in-water event, and the official builder’s trials would soon follow now that the craft is in the water.
Textron Systems Ship-to-Shore Connector

Textron Systems Ship-to-Shore Connector


Textron Marine & Land Systems and L-3 Communications entered a deal to develop the US Navy’s next-generation landing craft in October 2009. Aluminium structures manufacturer Alcoa Defense joined the SSC development team in September 2010. Textron Marine & Land Systems team received a $213m contract from the US Navy in July 2012 for the design and construction of one SSC test and training craft with an option for eight production craft. As the prime contractor, Textron Marine & Land Systems is in charge of building the craft, while L-3 Communications is responsible for the design, integration and testing of C4N suite (command, control, communication, computers and navigation).
Textron Systems Ship-to-Shore Connector

Textron Systems Ship-to-Shore Connector


Built using aluminium alloys, the SSC landing craft’s hull offers increased stability, corrosion resistance, and lower maintenance costs. The craft’s advanced skirt design permits high manoeuvrability over the sea, while reducing the drag. The overall length and beams of the SSC are 27.9m and 14.71m respectively. The craft is manned by five crew members including a pilot and a co-pilot. The craft has a full load displacement of 180.57t and a payload capacity of 74t. It can hold a single M1-A1 main battle tank on the 1,809ft² cargo deck or can carry up to 145 combat-equipped naval infantry in enclosed personnel transport module. The landing craft is fitted with two MK93 gun mounts, which can be armed with M2-HB .50 calibre machine gun, M-60/M240 7.62mm machine gun and MK19 40mm grenade launcher.

Preparing the new frigates of the Royal Netherlands Navy for the future with Thales

Preparing the new frigates of the Royal Netherlands Navy for the future with Thales

The current multi-purpose frigates in service of the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Belgian Navy are reaching the end of their lifecycle. The next generation will replace these two Dutch and two Belgian M-frigates as of 2024. Although their primary role will be anti-submarine warfare, the new frigates must be able to independently defend themselves as well as nearby units against air and surface threats. For this purpose, they will be equipped with a state-of-the-art surface warfare fire control system, called AWWS.

The development of AWWS has become necessary because above-water threats are growing exponentially in terms of complexity, coordination and speed. Missiles go up to three times faster than the speed of sound, and possibly even up to five times faster in 2020. Currently used technologies are insufficient to make use of all the new sensor and weapon systems to counter these threats in the future. This new system continuously generates the best solution to counter any incoming threats, whatever the environmental conditions or threat complexity. The system will support the operator in making the right decision at every decisive moment.

When faced with scenarios of several different threats arriving simultaneously and employing complex behaviours, such as very high speed, a human operator will no longer be able to schedule and plan the right defensive priorities effectively and efficiently. However, AWWS will offer the operator information to make the right decisions within seconds, so the ship can protect itself successfully and continue on its mission.
AWWS will consist of a new generation of sensors, coupled with intelligent software that continuously calculates which actions are best suited to tackle each threat detected by radar and other sensors in the right manner. This maximizes the chance of survival, while the crew stays in control.
Smart combination of sensors

Thales signed a contract to replace two Dutch and two Belgian M-class frigates. Photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Jeremy L. Grisham/U.S. Navy

Thales signed a contract to replace two Dutch and two Belgian M-class frigates. Photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Jeremy L. Grisham/U.S. Navy


This system uses the latest sensor technology from Thales to detect and monitor all above-water threats, including the next-generation, fully digital dual-band X/S radar suite: an integral combination of Active Phased Array Radar (APAR) and Sea Master 400 radar technologies. Prior to the AWWS contract, the Dutch Ministry of Defence initiated advanced research into this technology with DMO, TNO and Thales more than ten years ago. This resulted in an agreement for a “technology demonstrator”. The technology demonstrator will eventually be installed at a shore-based test site for tests and trials.

“For many decades, the naval building cluster, knowledge institutes and Defence have been supplying modern and technologically advanced products in what we call the Triple Helix. These products are essential for our national security. The Triple Helix is therefore a priority technology area in our new Defence Industry Strategy. It is great we are taking an important step for this priority with the development of the AWWS project with Thales” Arie-Jan de Waard, Director, DMO
“Thales has been a supplier for the Royal Netherlands Navy for almost 100 years. We have developed multiple systems in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Navy in the past. I am proud that we can contribute to the Dutch Navy through the AWWS contract. Together, we can set the new standard for the rest of the world. This development will also strengthen the opportunities of the Dutch Industry in the big development programs in Europe and beyond.” Gerben Edelijn, CEO, Thales Nederland B.V.

Milkor MN Centurion Interceptor

Milkor MN Centurion Interceptor


The MN Centurion Interceptor is a long-endurance high-speed interceptor boat with lightweight composite structure and a reduced radar signature. The interceptordesigned and manufactured by South African defence solutions provider Milkor to serve the requirements of the military and coast guard forces. The MN Centurion is suited for multi-role missions, including maritime patrol, surveillance, asset protection, counter-piracy, search-and-rescue (SAR). It can be configured to perform unmanned surface vehicle (USV) and personnel transport and deployment roles. It was officially launched at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2018 international aerospace and defence exhibition held at Air Force Base Waterkloof, Centurion, South Africa, in September 2018.

The Milkor high-speed interceptor craft is a 12m stepped hull, hydrofoil-assisted catamaran design with lightweight composite structure and a reduced radar signature. Designed and configured for multi-role operations, it is ideally suited for long endurance missions. The command and control bridge is shock-mitigated, ballistic-protected and airconditioned able to house the crew in safety and comfort. The high-speed interceptor craft houses an array of surveillance equipment, communications equipment and weapons giving it a full spectrum of capabilities for any inshore or offshore operation. Milkor designs, manufactures and offers after sales service for Naval and Commercial requirements.

Milkor MN Centurion Interceptor

Milkor MN Centurion Interceptor


It is fitted with a 40mm AGL by ST Kinetics (under a stealth cupola) at the bow and a secondary 20mm RWS. It is also armed with a 20mm remotely operated stabilised weapon station and up to four optional radar guided missiles to defeat enemy targets. With ballistic protection and armoured glass, the crew is able to remain secure under threat allowing full attentiveness to the mission. The vessel can also be configured to operate as an Unmanned Surface Vehicle. The command and control bridge houses world class communications and surveillance equipment, along with its reduced radar signature hull, giving this craft the advantage for surveillance patrol, counter-piracy, and asset protection missions.

The vessel has a length of 12 meters, a beam of 4;8 meters and a displacement of 10 tons. The MN Centurion catamaran comes with two propulsion options, either two 440hp diesel inboard engines or two 350hp outboard engines. It can reach a top speed of 54 knots. The typical cruise speed of the vessel is from 30k to 40k. The boat has a maximum range of approximately 700nm and carries a large fuel tank with a storage capacity of 2,400kg. It can also hold up to 500l of freshwater. It remains the heart of this craft providing the comfort of an airconditioned shock-mitigated cabin for rough conditions. The vessel is capable of operating under rough sea conditions for up to five days.

Milkor MN Centurion Interceptor

Milkor MN Centurion Interceptor