Euronaval Underscores the Need for Alliances with Emerging Markets

The show covered spheres ranging from naval sovereignty to state action at sea with respect to maritime safety and security, including the enforcement of public order at sea, marine navigation and fisheries policing, and maritime and coastal surveillance

Issue: 6 / 2012By R. Chandrakanth

Euronaval is the most definitive international naval defence and maritime safety and security event held biennially in Paris. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from all over the world descend on the venue to exhibit their products and solutions, but only two Indian companies were present—BrahMos Aerospace and MKU—at this year’s exhibition. In fact, media houses from India outnumbered Indian defence companies.

While the publications see the potential that exists in the maritime industry considering the vast coastline India has and its mammoth security needs, the Indian companies are yet to get aggressive globally, particularly when the OEMs are looking at marketing opportunities; strategic alliances and partnerships with the Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) countries and other emerging markets. Observing the importance of emerging markets, the French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves le Drian observed at the Euronaval inauguration that the future of the industry (French and also European) lies within rational export policies and tactical alliances with developing countries such as India and Brazil. The Minister admitted that the French naval business was still too fragmented and vowed to put together a global strategy.

This applies to most of Europe which if it has to keep the industry alive, has to look for major revenues from non-European countries and there were nearly 76 official delegations from various countries. Organised under the joint patronage of the French Ministry of Defence and the Secretariat of State for the Sea, as in the previous years, Euronaval reaffirmed its position as the leading international naval defence and maritime safety and security event.

The show covered spheres ranging from naval sovereignty to state action at sea with respect to maritime safety and security, including the enforcement of public order at sea, marine navigation and fisheries policing, and maritime and coastal surveillance. It sought to highlight innovations by French and international players in the naval sector and new technologies in what is a high-tech industry.

Le Bourget, the venue of Euronaval, gave adequate play for naval drone manufacturers—both underwater and aerial—and satellite applications in communications, navigation, defence and security. In all, Euronaval attracted close to 400 exhibitors from 35 countries and trade visitors from 100 countries with growing participation from Germany, Brazil, the UK and Russia, with, for the first time, a Korean shipyard among the exhibitors. Over a period of five days, Euronaval attracted market influencers and buyers from across the sector, 76 official delegations, and 300 guests of honour from over 60 countries, including high-ranking government figures—i.e. ministers and the equivalent—secretaries of state, navy chiefs and national armaments directors.

Business-wise, the talk was about Saudi Arabian Navy’s intent to overhaul its French-built F-2000 frigates and oilers at an estimated contract worth $1.3 billion which has enthused the US and French companies.

Saudi Arabia’s neighbour, the United Arab Emirates, another oil-rich country, expressed interest in buying a small, corvette-sized combatant and Lockheed Martin, Austal and Fincantieri have reportedly made their offers. Lockheed Martin has on offer a scaled-down version of its 116-metre littoral combat ships, while Austal has put forth its 80-metre multi-role vessel (MRV). Fincantieri from Italy has an edge as it is already fitting out the Abu Dhabi, 89-metre long large corvette, besides building the first two 56-metre Falaj 2 class patrol boats.

Moving east, South Korea has ordered its 100th ship-borne Sigma 40 inertial navigation system from Sagem (Safran group), confirming its confidence in the system’s laser gyro technology. The Sigma 40 is a highperformance ship-borne inertial navigation system. It is available in different versions to cover operational needs for warships, from corvettes to nuclear submarines.

DCNS a World Leader in Naval Defence

DCNS was present in full strength at Euronaval and some of its innovative products at Le Bourget were surface combatants; submarines, besides its service offerings.

One of the highlights was FREMM-ER (extended range) with its enhanced antiair capabilities. Thanks to its four-panel phased-array antenna and continuous hemispherical coverage, the new radar can detect and track threats at unprecedented ranges enabling the combat management system (CMS) to exploit the ship’s current and future weapons systems to the full. These capabilities are particularly important for littoral operations, in bad weather and against increasingly stealthy threats.

Gowind range: DCNS is currently developing a Gowind version for mine countermeasures (MCM). The ship is being tailored to deploy unmanned vehicles designed specifically to detect, identify and destroy underwater mines. For the Gowind Combat, DCNS is designing a new superstructure module comprising, in a single building block, the bridge, operations room and enclosed mast. This module will be deliverable to partner shipyards as part of contracts calling for local shipbuilding.

Submarines: The Andrasta compact submarine is designed to operate in shallow littoral waters as well as deep ocean waters. A direct descendent of the Scorpene, it is remarkably effective in all roles close to coasts. Recent advances have focused on improved acoustic discretion, improved sonar detection capabilities, particularly in coastal environments and additional provision for intelligence gathering; an essential role in coastal theatres. Endurance has also been extended to three weeks.

Services: The stand also presented the Group’s global service offering. Drawing on experience acquired serving the French Navy and international customers, DCNS offers a range of services (technology transfers, teaching programmes, training, simulation solutions, etc) to help client navies make the best use of their assets, maintain them (throughlife support programmes, upgrades, etc) and manage naval base infrastructure (design, construction, operation and/or maintenance, integration of defence-critical facilities, shipyard refurbishment, etc.

Thales Introduces Vigile DPX Radar Systems

Following the successful deployment of the Vigile DPX radar electronic support measures system on the British Royal Navy’s Type 45 class destroyers earlier this year, Thales introduced the system to the international market for the first time.

“This is a ground-breaking new radar system,” said Phil Naybour, head of UK maritime activity at Thales UK. Navies now see themselves in a cluttered littoral environment due to radar use from both military and civilian operators, Naybour explained, so the DPX uses a wideband digital receiver to directly sample the full bandwidth of the radar RF spectrum instantaneously. Operators can then detect signals otherwise hidden behind this clutter.

Nexter’s NARHWAL on Show

French firm Nexter Systems presented its naval remote weapon, highly accurate, lightweight (NARWHAL). NARWHAL weapon system includes a gyro-stabilised turret, 20mm automatic cannon, an aiming sight and the associated command and control terminal.

In November last, 22 systems of the NARWHAL 20B configuration were purchased by the French shipbuilder DCNS to arm the 11 French Navy´s Aquitaine class FREMM multi-mission frigates. The system is believed to have been ordered for the single FREMM ship being built for the Royal Moroccan Navy. Other naval equipment by Nexter were ViPer, the Optsys local situational awareness and driver vision enhancement system, or the PBS console, the FREMM frigate control panel developed by Nexter Electronics and DCNS. Nexter Munitions was also an exhibitor with its entire medium-calibre and naval ammunition range.

Navantia Ties Up with Rosoboronexport

Spanish company Navantia and Russian agency Rosoboronexport signed a contract to arm Spanish Avanteclass patrol ships with Russian weapons for further export to third-party countries. The agreement was signed during the Euronaval.

Under the contract between Rosoboronexport and Navantia, the Russian side will contribute its know-how, while the Spanish side will provide financing and ensure North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) certification of the finished product.

Eurocopter’s Maritime Helicopters

Eurocopter’s extensive range of helicopters for naval and maritime missions was on display. The company displayed models of the NH90 NFH, the AS365 N3+ and the AS565 MB/Panther. With a diversified product line tailored to numerous operational requirements, Eurocopter helicopters are counted on for such missions as anti-submarine and aanti-surface warfare, anti-piracy and antismuggling missions as well as coastal or deep-sea maritime search and rescue operations. Built by NH Industries, a consortium formed by Eurocopter, AgustaWestland and Fokker, the NH90 was just one of the models on show. Till date, 122 NH90s have been delivered to customers, 18 of them the NFH naval version. The fleet has now clocked up a total of 30,000 flight hours, mainly in search and rescue (SAR) missions performed in especially demanding environments and also in the Afghan theatre of operations.

Raytheon Launches Synapsis Bridge

Raytheon Anschütz launched the Synapsis Command Bridge, an innovative system solution for OPV’s, smaller naval and coast guard vessels. It is a combination of commercialoff-the-shelf navigation with command and control capabilities to a new, homogeneous bridge system. The bridge aims to provide a solution that not only includes the Synapsis Integrated Navigation capabilities but also transfers enhanced command and control capabilities from the Raytheon Anschütz’s SmartBlue surveillance system to a new sea-based application.

Atlas Electronik SeaSpider in the Front

Atlas Electronik showcased a SeaSpider and a SeaHake torpedo as models, besides the UUV SeaOtter. Also on demonstration was its “low frequency active towed array sonar” for surface ships ACTAS and a mine countermeasure container model. Furthermore, the company exhibited its ‘expanded flank array sonar’ (EFAS) which ideally complements the submarine sonar sensor suit.