DSEI 2021: SEA wins communications system upgrade for RNZN ANZAC frigates

by Richard Scott

HMNZS Te Kaha on post-refit trials. Te Kaha and sister ship HMNZS Te Mana are to receive a major communications upgrade. (RNZN)

SEA, a subsidiary of the UK-based technology group Cohort, has been contracted by the New Zealand Ministry of Defence as prime integrator for the first phase of a communications upgrade on the Royal New Zealand Navy's (RNZN's) two MEKO 200ANZ ANZAC frigates.

Valued at GBP4.6 million (USD6.3 million), this initial contract increment covers the design of the communication system to be implemented on HMNZS Te Kaha and HMNZS Te Mana under the Frigate Sustainment Phase 1 (FSP1) – Communications Project. The contract represents first of the two planned project phases, which will deliver new capability from 2024.

Last month, the New Zealand government approved the NZD21.2 million external communications upgrade, which covers the introduction of a new communications control system, and modern radios for data and voice communication. The upgrade is designed to ensure the ships can handle the increasing volume of data generated by modern communications systems, and operate with other New Zealand Defence Force capabilities and coalition partners.

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AFA 2021: US TRANSCOM awards Rolls-Royce contract for air refuelling management software prototype

by Pat Host

The US Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) has awarded Rolls-Royce a USD800,000 contract to demonstrate and continue developing air refuelling asset management software, according to a company statement.

The Rolls-Royce Air Refueling Optimization and Planning System (AROPS) is intended to increase air tanker availability and eliminate inefficiencies caused by disconnected systems and process challenges within a highly complex air refuelling enterprise. Nadine Melind, services executive for Rolls-Royce Digital Services, told Janes on 15 September, ahead of the Air Force Association's (AFA's) annual conference, that this is because the current air refuelling enterprise is a mix of software packages and general communication methods, such as email, mobile phone text messages, spreadsheets, and whiteboards.

The idea is to standardise the toolset to make it faster, more efficient, repeatable, and feature more effective communication, Melind said. Rolls-Royce's AROPS software will be more agile and will optimise assets for mission requirements, she added.

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DSEI 2021: Saudi Arabia continuing to build on engagement opportunities for foreign suppliers

by Charles Forrester

Saudi Arabia is continuing to promote inward investment and contracting opportunities in its defence industry, His Excellency Ahmad Abdulaziz Al-Ohali, Governor of the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), told Janes during the DSEI 2021 trade show in London.

“We have identified that we have up to 74 supply chain opportunities that branch into hundreds of billions of dollars of opportunities worldwide,” Al-Ohali said. “This represents a green-field environment for people who want to invest and who want to join our journey.”

The formal release of the Industrial Participation Program (IPP) in 2020 has allowed the country to codify its requirements and engagement with foreign suppliers, linking offset obligations to defence procurements. The focus on growing Saudi industry has been a key aspect of the IPP as part of efforts to grow the country's sovereign capabilities.

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DSEI 2021: Babcock outlines Arrowhead 140 bid for Greece

by Charles Forrester

Babcock is bidding the Arrowhead 140 design for Greece's naval modernisation programme, with the company also proposing significant in-country development and support. (Babcock)

Babcock has outlined to Janes its approach to the four pillars required for Greece's naval procurement programme, for which it is bidding the Arrowhead 140 frigate.

Speaking to Janes at DSEI 2021in London, Babcock vice-president for Marine Business Development Jonathan Walton said that the company had submitted a competitive bid at the end of July that will involve building the vessels in Greece at the Scaramanga and Elefsis shipyards, taking advantage of the modular block-build approach for the vessels. The Arrowyard concept, which was launched at DSEI on 15 September, will be utilised to deliver the build concept to Greece.

Walton also said that the company hoped to leverage its experience on the maintenance, support, and upgrades of MEKO 200 vessels for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Royal New Zealand Navy, as well as its experience in working on the UK Royal Navy's (RN's) Type 23 Duke-class frigates, as part of the second pillar of the Hellenic Navy's requirement.

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SEA, a subsidiary of the UK-based technology group Cohort, has been contracted by the New Zealand Mi...

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