Canada upgrades maritime COMINT/SIGINT capability under Project Strongbow

by Richard Scott

Under Project Strongbow, the Halifax-class frigates will receive a tactical radio direction finding and signals collection, analysis, fusion, and exploitation strategic capability. (Canadian DoD)

Canada is investing in an improved communications intelligence (COMINT) and signals intelligence (SIGINT) capability, known as Project Strongbow, for the Royal Canadian Navy's (RCN's) 12 Halifax-class frigates.

Under a CAD40.9 million (USD32.5 million) contract, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is to supply a new COMINT/SIGINT solution that will replace the obsolete AN/SRD-504 VHF/UHF equipment suite. The new capability is expected to be delivered from 2023, and is projected to remain in service for at least the next 15 years.

Project Strongbow will provide tactical radio direction finding and signals collection, analysis, fusion and exploitation strategic capability to the Halifax-class frigates. The requirement promulgated by Public Works and Government Services Canada called for a system combining new main mast antennas (with space and weight not to exceed that apportioned to AN/SRD-504) together with below decks processing and a below-decks human machine interface. It also specified a modular design architecture based on commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) components in order to facilitate upgrades and technology insertions through-life.

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Turkey successfully test fires new indigenous 76/62mm naval gun

by Lale Sariibrahimoglu

Turkey successfully conducted a second land-based live test-firing of its indigenous 76/62 mm naval gun at the Karapınar shooting range in central Konya province on 2 December, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced.

The latest test follows a first firing on 10 November.

The national 76/62 mm naval gun is being developed jointly by state-owned gun and ammunication manufacturer Machine and Chemical Industry Inc (MKE) and the Shipyards General Directorate in partnership with private sector companies İğrek Makine (Machine), Anzatsan Mühendislik (Engineering), and Ermaksan Teknoloji (Technology).

MKE unveiled the naval gun for the first time at the International Defense Fair (IDEF 21) in Istanbul in August.

In a video message released by Turkish Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) on 2 December, Erdoğan said the national naval gun, which was produced in 12 months, has an effective range of 16 km and can fire 80 rounds per minute with five different shooting modes.

“Unlike the systems currently used, the national naval gun is equipped with a digital fire control system developed with domestic and national resources,” he said.

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Navantia starts work on reinforced cyber-security system for Spanish Navy's S-80 subs

by David Ing

Navantia has started work with Telefónica Tech to develop a reinforced cyber-security system for the S-80-class submarines it is building for the Spanish Navy.

It will be incorporated in the final phase of construction and offers a high level of commonality with the systems to be installed in the Spanish Navy's upcoming F-110 frigates, the state-owned shipbuilder said on 30 November.

According to Navantia it will handle the cyber-defence “wardrobes” for each of the four submarines, along with the engineering of the systems and integration of the main systems.

Navantia will also provide the land-based test site for the development and qualification of the system.

As well as protecting against cyber attacks, the new system will provide real-time monitoring of the combat, control, and advanced communications systems, alerting of any possible threat.

Another feature will be its advanced registry system that will permit forensic analysis, enabling the study of incidents to identify their sources, the level of threat, and the mechanism used for the intrusion to enable the ship to take corrective action.

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Argentine and Peruvian navies focus on joint submarine training as they eye fleet revamps

by Alejandro Sanchez

Argentine sailors train aboard Peruvian submarine. (Peruvian Navy)

As the Argentine and Peruvian navies revamp their struggling submarine fleets, the two countries' maritime forces are focusing on joint training to help retain their subsea operational capability.

Joint training programmes aboard Peruvian submarines have become a catalyst to increase training ties between the navies of Argentina and Peru. Educational exchanges of naval personnel and joint training are not uncommon and the most recent wrinkle includes putting Argentine sailors aboard Peruvian submarines for training.

This initiative occurred for the first time in 2018 after the loss of Argentina's TR-1700-class diesel-electric submarine ARA San Juan (S-42) on 17 November 2017, hampering Argentina's ability to conduct – or prepare for – subsea operations. The Peruvian navy offered to support the training process of its counterpart. “As long as the Argentine navy does not have the necessary resources [for submarine training], they can count on the support of the Peruvian Navy,” a retired Peruvian naval officer told Janes, on condition of anonymity.

The most recent training programme, from 17 October to 6 November, involved three Argentine officers and 13 non-commissioned officers who took courses at Peru's submarine school.

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