USCG to test LEO communications in Arctic

by Michael Fabey

The US Coast Guard cutter Healy is testing a new satellite communications network in the Arctic during its upcoming Arctic deployment. (Michael Fabey)

The US Coast Guard (USCG) cutter Healy (WAGB-20) will be testing prototype USCG communications capability using the recently launched low Earth orbit (LEO) Starlink satellites, according to Captain Ken Boda, Healycommanding officer.

“We're going to prototype Starlink [communications] in the Arctic this year,” Capt Boda told Janes on 23 July during a port call in Seward, Alaska, en route to a deployment in the higher latitudes, which includes a planned trek to the North Pole.

Capt Boda touted the potential for such a capability in a region infamous for spotty, unreliable, and often nonexistent communications.

“That'll be a big step forward,” he said. “High-latitude communications is really important for command-and-control.”


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MADEX 2023: LIG Nex1's Sea Sword-5 piques interest as future command ship USV

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A model of the Sea Sword-5 USV by LIG Nex1 on display at MADEX 2023. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) is now considering LIG Nex1's Sea Sword-5 as one of the vehicles that will be operated from its future command ships for unmanned systems.

The Sea Sword-5 is an 8 m unmanned surface vessel (USV) that was first unveiled by LIG Nex1 in 2022 and originally positioned for the Korea Coast Guard's maritime surveillance requirements.

However, the USV has now also received interest from naval planners as a force protection vehicle that can be deployed from the RoKN's future command ships, said an LIG Nex1 representative who spoke to Janes at the MADEX 2023 exhibition in Busan.

South Korea is believed to be in the process of acquiring the so-called command ships that will play host to a wide variety of unmanned air, surface, and underwater vehicles. Shipbuilders Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hanwha Ocean have each presented proposals for this upcoming requirement.


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Joint sprain: USN, USMC navigate rough seas to implement new operational concepts

by Meredith Roaten & Michael Fabey

The US Marine Corps is focusing on developing better logistics. (Janes/Michael Fabey)

To lay the foundation for revamped US Marine Corps (USMC) expeditionary operations, USMC leadership has underscored the need to properly support dispersed forces with sufficient logistics.

In much the same way, the US Navy (USN) is developing its own somewhat similarly designed distributed lethality concept that also must provide the logistics support for those far-flung, thinly spread forces.

The USN acknowledges the importance of logistics force and support vessels in its recently released Report to Congress on the Annual Long-Range Plan for Construction of Naval Vessels for Fiscal Year 2024, saying, “These smaller ships are critical enablers of the USMC Force Design [2030] and Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO).”

Speaking at a Brookings Institution event on 23 May, General David Berger, USMC commandant, said, “It's very clear to me that logistics among the warfighting functions is the one that we need to make the most progress on right now. It's not fires, it's not intelligence, it's not command-and-control.”


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MADEX 2023: Hanwha Systems displays naval MUM-T concept

by Chinmay Kohad

The Sea Ghost (above) can control up to four M-Searcher USVs operating in swarm. (Janes/Chinmay Kohad)

Hanwha Systems displayed its manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) solution for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) at the MADEX 2023 exhibition in Busan, which concluded on 9 June. The concept features two types of unmanned surface vessel (USV) platforms – the Sea Ghost and the M-Searcher.

The Sea Ghost USV has a length of 12 m and a width of 3.5 m. This vessel is powered by two engines using hybrid propulsion, with two water-jets enabling a cruise speed of 20 kt and a maximum speed of 40 kt.

The Sea Ghost has been fitted with a navigation radar, a wave radar, and an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor. For communications, it uses an electronically steerable satellite communications (satcom) antenna fixed on a mast and linked to a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite and an underwater acoustic system in the stern.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/c4isr-command-tech/latest/uscg-to-test-leo-communications-in-arctic

The US Coast Guard (USCG) cutter Healy (WAGB-20) will be testing prototype USCG communications capab...

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