Sub plot: Germany heads anti-air missile initiative
In June 2009, delegates at the Undersea Defence Technology [UDT] Europe conference in Cannes learned that the German Navy had allocated funding to take the IDAS (Interactive Defence and Attack System for Submarines) submerged-launched precision weapon into production.
Developed by the ARGE IDAS consortium - comprising ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems' Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) division, Diehl BGT Defence and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA) - IDAS is intended to provide a precision attack capability against surface and onshore targets and a 'last ditch' self-defence capability against anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters.
Supported by Germany's Federal Office for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB), the navy is planning to retrofit IDAS into its Type 212A submarines. Four of the HDW-built boats were commissioned between 2005 and 2007, and two more are expected to enter service in 2013.
Diehl BGT Defence's product manager, Klaus-Eberhard Moeller, told the UDT audience: "In 2011 we will conclude [IDAS] proposal and contracting activities with the BWB, with a four-year full development programme beginning in 2012. Production will start in 2016."
The ASW helicopter is probably the submariner's deadliest foe. Operating from a land base or surface ship, an aircraft can reach a target area rapidly, conduct a persistent search for submarines using its active dipping sonar, and prosecute a torpedo attack with no fear of retaliation from the submerged boat.
The possibility of developing a submarine-launched missile to counter this threat has been under discussion internationally since the 1980s.237 of 2006 words
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