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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Philippines eyes second Pohang-class corvette

by Manasvi Shanker Sharma

A total of 24 ships of this class were built and commissioned by the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) in four batches between 1984 and 1993. Of these, 10 are still in service with the RoKN, while several others have been transferred to countries including Egypt, Peru, Vietnam, and Colombia.

The Philippine Navy (PN) appears to be moving ahead with plans to acquire another retired South Korean Pohang-class corvette.

The vessel under consideration is ex-ROKS Andong (ex-PCC 771), which was withdrawn from RoKN service in December 2020.

If the transfer goes ahead, it will be the second Pohang-class corvette acquired by the PN from South Korea. The first, ex-ROKS Chungju (ex-PCC 762) , was transferred in 2019 and is now in Philippine service as BRP Conrado Yap (PS 39). According to local Filipino news outlet Inquirer , a PN delegation visited South Korea in early November and conducted a joint visual inspection of ex- Andong

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Ukraine receives two former US Coast Guard Island-class patrol vessels

by Cem Devrim Yaylali

M/V Ocean Grand passes through the Bosphorus en route to Odessa with the delivery of two ex-USCG Island-class patrol boats, Sumy (ex- Ocracoke ) and Fastiv (ex- Washington ), on board. (Devrim Yaylalı)

Two decommissioned US Coast Guard (USCG) Island-class patrol boats, destined for the Ukrainian Navy, arrived in Odessa onboard the US-flagged cargo ship M/V Ocean Grand on 23 November.

The two vessels, renamed Sumy (ex-Ocracoke) and Fastiv (ex-Washington), were gifted to Ukraine under Washington's Excess Defense Articles (EDA) programme. They will be used for maritime security operations in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. In preparation to operate the vessels, their Ukrainian crew completed a six-week training course provided by the USCG.

A total of five Island-class patrol boats are being supplied to Ukraine under the EDA. The first pair, Slavyansk (ex-Drummond) and Starobilsk (ex- Cushing), were commissioned into Ukrainian Navy in 2019.

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Indra to supply upgraded Pegaso defence system for Korean KSS-lll SSK

by David Ing

Indra is to supply South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering with an upgraded version of its Pegaso electronic support measures (ESM) system for fitting to the Republic of Korea Navy's (RoKN's) first KSS-III-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK) of the second batch.

Announcing the contract on 25 November, the Spanish group said its system “offered the probability of intercepting enemy signals in its working band close to 100%”.

Indra has already supplied the system for the first batch of the 3,750 tonne (dived), 83.5 m Dosan An Chang-ho-class submarines, and is hoping to secure the orders for the remainder in the scheduled nine-ship programme.

An Indra spokesman told Janes the latest version has been improved in that it combines the systems for monitoring electromagnetic signals for signals intelligence (SIGINT) with radar and communications electronic support measures (RESM/CESM).

“The solution integrates both sensors in a single antenna to increase its efficacy, saving on space and reducing the radar section of the submarine, making it more difficult to be detected by the enemy,” Indra said.

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