All Stories

Phoenix Upgrades U.S. Navy Deep Drone ROV

Phoenix International Holdings, Inc. (Phoenix) recently completed an upgrade of the U.S. Navy’s 8,000-foot depth capable remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Deep Drone. All work was performed under a multi-year contract with the U.S. Navy’s Office of Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV). The upgrade included installing a new umbilical, sonar, high definition camera, LED lighting system, an updated frame, and a new foam pack. In addition, and at the heart of the upgrade, Phoenix installed a completely new Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) based vehicle control system.

This new PLC based control system was designed to increase the vehicle’s bandwidth to accommodate advanced sensors and provide intuitive, accessible functionality to allow ROV technicians to address common software related challenges (e.g., installing and integrating new sensors to address specific operational requirements). To support the greater demand for bandwidth, the overall system design also included fiber optics throughout the vehicle and within the vehicle’s new umbilical. Additional advantages of the PLC based control system design include improved maintainability and reliability due to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components and software that are readily available and supported worldwide. Incorporated into the PLC based control system was an extensive graphical user interface (GUI) for both control and diagnostics with GUI screens. In designing the GUI, the effort focused on supporting rapid customization, including information displayed, items controlled, and layout of each GUI page. With the design in place, Phoenix engineers and technicians commenced a step-by-step process to replace Deep Drone’s legacy control system with a PLC based control system.

Work started with the development of the basic control system using simulated digital inputs and outputs. Phoenix personnel then assembled and tested the complete system, including the vehicle control station, ROV housed PLCs, and maintenance van, within a laboratory environment. This approach had the added benefit of keeping Deep Drone fully operational during the control system development process. Once fully tested in the laboratory environment, the system was tested with the vehicle operating in Phoenix’s above ground vehicle test tank. A final series of open ocean system tests were conducted aboard USNS Grasp (T-ARS-51) near Andros Island, Bahamas. During these tests, Phoenix personnel fully exercised the vehicle and its new control system. Following these successful tests, the upgrade was complete and Deep Drone was placed back into a mission-ready status.

Phoenix is an employee-owned, ISO 9001-2008 Management System certified marine services contractor providing manned and unmanned underwater solutions to complex undersea challenges, deep ocean search and recovery, underwater inspection, maintenance, and repair, submarine rescue, design engineering, and project management services to a diverse set of clients worldwide. Expertise is available from seven regional offices in the areas of wet and dry hyperbaric welding, Nondestructive Testing (NDT), subsea engineering services, conventional and atmospheric diving, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), and other robotic systems.

For further information please contact Pete LeHardy ( Tel: 301.341.7800; Fax: 301.499.0027, or view our web site:

Hydro Group Secures Canadian Defence Contract

Aberdeen based, Hydro Group Plc, a global design and manufacturer of underwater cables and connectors for subsea, underwater, topside and onshore applications, has secured a six figure contract with the Canadian Department of National Defence.

Hydro Group has been selected by the Canadian National Defence Organisation for cable repair work and to design and develop a new cable system infrastructure for an undersea sensor range installation in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The contract follows a string of successful projects supporting a Canadian Naval installation in Victoria, British Columbia in 2013. Hydro Group successfully repaired on-site a submerged sensor network that was out of service due to a damaged cable, restoring the range to full functionality, meeting environmental and life time requirements of the system.

Graham Wilkie, Hydro Group Sales Director, said: “The contract is a direct result of Hydro Group’s capabilities, as well as the quality of our work. We were pleased to receive the initial request for support from the Canadian National Defence Organisation and responded to the urgent need to return the damaged system to full operation.

“We are especially pleased that our initial service has led to the development of our business with the Canadian Defence Organisation and we will continue to design and deliver reliable cable connection systems to meet their requirements.”

Hydro Group’s cable and connectivity solutions are built to withstand the harshest environmental conditions, including salt water, shock, extreme temperature cycling and vibration. These factors place extreme pressure on the subsea systems, connectors and cables, resulting in the company’s connectors being designed and manufactured for flexibility and environmental endurance.

Jim Pedersen, an Electrical Engineer who serves as the Canadian Navy’s Undersea Electromagnetic Signature Authority, said: “We are delighted to be working with a supplier that can provide a product and service that meets the demanding needs of our undersea range sensor networks that must operate reliably in harsh subsea conditions.

“Hydro Group’s technologists and engineers are incredibly skilled, and have exclusive capabilities and product offerings which we witnessed first-hand. Our systems are required to be in operation continuously for many years without maintenance and Hydro Group provides a product and service that meets our needs perfectly.”

Hydro Group is at the forefront in the development and innovation of subsea product technologies, with involvement from prototype concept through to design, manufacture and project management. Hydro Group manufacture the complete package including FAT at its state-of-the-art facilities in Aberdeen, Scotland; umbilical cables, electrical and optical connection systems / assemblies for data, power and signal transmission. The company's customer base include all blue chip and major operators and contractors in both domestic and international subsea markets.

Photo Caption: Jim Pedersen, Electrical Engineer who serves as the Canadian Navy’s Undersea Electromagnetic Signature Authority with Graham Wilkie, Hydro Group Sales Director.

Bollinger Delivers the CGC William Trump, the 11th Fast Response Cutter to the USCG

LOCKPORT, La., Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. has delivered the WILLIAM TRUMP, the 11th Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to the United States Coast Guard.

The announcement was made by Bollinger Chief Operating Officer, Ben Bordelon. “We are extremely happy to announce the delivery of the latest FRC built by Bollinger, the WILLIAM TRUMP, to the 7th Coast Guard District in Key West, FL. We are looking forward to honoring and celebrating the heroic acts of William Trump at the vessel’s commissioning.”

The 154 foot patrol craft WILLIAM TRUMP is the eleventh vessel in the Coast Guard's Sentinel-class FRC program. To build the FRC, Bollinger used a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. It has a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art command, control, communications and computer technology, and a stern launch system for the vessels 26 foot cutter boat. The FRC has been described as an operational “game changer,” by senior Coast Guard officials.

The Coast Guard took delivery on November 25th, 2014 in Key West, Florida and is scheduled to commission the vessel in Key West, Florida during January, 2015.

Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty. This vessel is named after Coast Guard Hero, Motor Machinist’s Mate First Class William Trump. Because of his valor in action in the assault phase of the landing at Normandy, William Trump was awarded a Silver Star.

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. ( is a leading designer and builder of fast military patrol boats, ocean-going double hull barges, offshore oil field support vessels, tug boats, rigs, liftboats, inland waterways push boats, barges, and other steel and aluminum products from its new construction shipyards. Bollinger has 10 shipyards and all are strategically located between New Orleans and Houston with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River and the Intracoastal Waterway. Bollinger is the largest vessel repair company in the Gulf of Mexico region with a total of 28 dry-docks in Louisiana and Texas.

Leidos Completes At-Sea Testing of Prototype Maritime Autonomy System

Leidos (NYSE: LDOS), a national security, health, and engineering solutions company, completed a total of 42 days of at-sea demonstrations of the prototype maritime autonomy system designed to control all of the maneuvering and mission functions of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV). Using a 32-foot work boat as a surrogate vessel, Leidos installed autonomy software and sensors to mimic the configuration intended for an eventual full-size ACTUV prototype.

Manned vessels are obliged to obey a set of navigation rules published by the International Maritime Organization. Generally referred to as COLREGS (collision regulations), those rules determine in the event of an encounter between vessels, which vessel has the right of way (the "stand on" vessel) and the appropriate behavior for both the "stand on" and "give way" vessel to avoid a collision.

The Leidos strategy to evaluate the prototype ACTUV autonomy system for COLREGS compliance includes both simulation and at-sea testing. The team has completed approximately 26,000 simulation runs of the system. Testing of COLREGS involves the ACTUV surrogate and one interfering vessel in a variety of meeting, crossing, overtaking and transit scenarios in both simulation and on the water test events.

During a recent on-the-water test event, the surrogate boat autonomously navigated through narrow channels avoiding navigation aids and submerged hazards. The boat safely avoided surface ships it encountered along the route, satisfying COLREGS requirements in completely unscripted events.

During 42 days of at-sea testing that included 101 individual scenarios, the autonomy system directed course and speed changes of the surrogate vessel to stay safely outside a 1-km standoff distance from the interfering vessel. The test program demonstrated the ability of the ACTUV autonomy system to successfully maneuver and avoid collision with another vessel and paves the way for follow-on testing involving multiple interfering contacts and adversarial behaviors of interfering vessels.

While continuing to use the surrogate vessel to test ACTUV software and sensors, construction of Sea Hunter, the first ACTUV vessel, continues at Christensen Shipyard in Clackamas, Oregon. Sea Hunter is scheduled to launch in late summer 2015 and begin testing in the Columbia River shortly thereafter.

Baumann Relieves Matthews as SUPSALV Director

Capt. Gregg Baumann assumed command from Capt. Mark Matthews as the Director of Ocean Engineering, Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV), Naval Sea Systems Command announced.

Baumann reports to SUPSALV after serving as program manager for the International Fleet Support Program Office. He also served as chief of staff for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Ship Programs, executive assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development and Acquisition and DDG 51 program manager representative. He also completed a SUPSALV tour, serving as the assistant for salvage.

"Earlier in my career, I was fortunate to have served with the professional men and women of SUPSALV," said Baumann. "Now, I'm truly honored and humbled to be selected as the Director of Ocean Engineering, Supervisor of Salvage and Diving to lead this world class team."

Matthews served as SUPSALV Director since February 2012 and has been selected as program manager for the Advanced Undersea Systems Program Office.

The Office of the Director of Ocean Engineering, Supervisor of Salvage, directs development and maintenance of the Navy's salvage, underwater ship husbandry, diving and certification program for the U.S. Navy.

Australian Army purchases VSTEP maritime simulator classroom

The maritime wing of the Australian Army purchased and installed a VSTEP simulator classroom at its Townsville base in Queensland. The maritime simulators are used for landing craft operations and navigation training.

The simulator purchase was made following an enquiry from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Bohemia Interactive Simulations, a global software company providing simulation training solutions for military and civilian organizations. As a developer of certified maritime simulators, VSTEP was approached by the ADF to supply an advanced maritime simulator classroom for the Australian Army at the Townsville base.

The maritime simulator classroom delivered by VSTEP includes 12 NAUTIS Desktop Trainers and 2 NAUTIS Instructor Stations. The simulators use the NAUTIS Naval Task Force software module, a training module specifically designed to meet the training requirements of the military. NAUTIS Naval Task Force includes tactical communications, landing craft operations, replenishment at sea and anti-piracy training.

To maximize familiarization during training, VSTEP has also modelled and integrated the Townsville base and surrounding waterways into the NAUTIS simulators.

Joost van Ree, VSTEP Sales Director: “Supplying the Australian Army with maritime simulators to realize its high end simulator classroom and fulfil its training objectives was a priority for us. The VSTEP Simulators provide the Australian Army with a very effective training tool for naval and landing craft operations due to their integrated Naval Task Force module.”

The Australian Army contract is the latest in a row of military simulator contracts for VSTEP. Earlier this year, VSTEP won the contract to provide maritime simulators to the Mexican Navy.

Coast Guard, NOAA Sign Fleet Plan Agreement

Senior leaders from the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) signed a Fleet Plan and Officer Exchange memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Wednesday at a ceremony at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters.

Coast Guard Vice Adm. Charles Michel, deputy commandant for operations, and NOAA Vice Adm. Michael Devany, deputy under secretary for operations, were the signing officials for the joint letter of promulgation.

The Coast Guard and NOAA have collaborated for over 200 years. The Fleet Plan supplements the Cooperative Maritime Strategy (CMS) that was signed in February 2013 and establishes a course of action to guide cooperation in the operation and maintenance of marine and aviation platforms. This direction also expands valuable inter-agency work currently underway, such as repairing NOAA ships at the Coast Guard Yard and advancing Arctic preparedness through collaboration with the Coast Guard's Arctic Shield test and evaluation program.

The Officer Exchange MOU supports both the CMS and the Fleet Plan by allowing the exchange of officer personnel for the purpose of sharing professional knowledge, expertise, doctrine, and for the professional development of officers. Coast Guard officer candidates and the NOAA Corps already train together at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

"The Fleet Plan and Officer Exchange MOU builds on the long history of cooperation between NOAA and the Coast Guard. Our shared responsibilities in serving the American people's interests in the maritime domain are fortified by our even closer relationship," said Michel.

"NOAA and the Coast Guard share a commitment to providing the highest level of service to the nation," said Devany. "These important agreements provide a framework for leveraging our respective resources and enhancing collaboration where we have common interests regarding personnel, fleet operations, research and development."

More information about the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps is available at

The Future Is Now: Navy’s Autonomous Swarmboats Can Overwhelm Adversaries

As autonomy and unmanned systems grow in importance for naval operations, officials at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced today a technological breakthrough that will allow any unmanned surface vehicle (USV) to not only protect Navy ships, but also, for the first time, autonomously “swarm” offensively on hostile vessels.

The first-of-its-kind technology—successfully demonstrated over two weeks in August on the James River in Virginia—allows unmanned Navy vessels to overwhelm an adversary. Its sensors and software enable swarming capability, giving naval warfighters a decisive edge.

“This networking unmanned platforms demonstration was a cost-effective way to integrate many small, cheap, and autonomous capabilities that can significantly improve our warfighting advantage,” said Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations.

The technology—called CARACaS (Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing)—is under development by ONR, and can be put into a transportable kit and installed on almost any boat. It allows boats to operate autonomously, without a Sailor physically needing to be at the controls—including operating in sync with other unmanned vessels; choosing their own routes; swarming to interdict enemy vessels; and escorting/protecting naval assets.

“Our Sailors and Marines can’t fight tomorrow’s battles using yesterday’s technology,” said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder. “This kind of breakthrough is the result of the Navy’s long-term support for innovative research in science and technology.”

In the demonstrations, as many as 13 Navy boats operated using either autonomous or remote control. First they escorted a high-value Navy ship, and then, when a simulated enemy vessel was detected, the boats sped into action, swarming around the threat.

In the future, the capability could scale to include even greater numbers of USVs and even to other platforms, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

“This multiplies combat power by allowing CARACaS-enabled boats to do some of the dangerous work,” said Dr. Robert Brizzolara, program manager at ONR. “It will remove our Sailors and Marines from many dangerous situations—for instance when they need to approach hostile or suspicious vessels. If an adversary were to fire on the USVs, no humans would be at risk.”

The new technology will allow the USVs to detect, deter or destroy attacking adversaries. Any weapons fire from the USVs would need to be initiated by a Sailor supervising the mission.

Naval leadership has emphasized a blended force of manned and unmanned systems in recent years. Not only can USVs take on dangerous missions, thus protecting the warfighter, but even multiple USVs are a fraction of the cost of a single large manned ship.

The swarm demo announcement comes near the somber anniversary of the terrorist attack on USS Cole (DDG-67) off the coast of Yemen. In that October 2000 attack, a small boat laden with explosives was able to get near a guided-missile destroyer and detonate, killing 17 Sailors and injuring 39 others.

Autonomous swarmboat capabilities could play a vital role in protecting people, ports and commerce. “While the attack on Cole was not the only motivation for developing autonomous swarm capability, it certainly is front and center in our minds, and hearts,” said Klunder. “If Cole had been supported by autonomous USVs, they could have stopped that attack long before it got close to our brave men and women on board.”

To view a video on autonomous swarm, visit:

By David Smalley, Office of Naval Research

David Smalley is a contractor for ONR Corporate Strategic Communications.

Royal Navy of Oman Takes Delivery of Damen Clipper

Proud ceremony follows sophisticated Sail Training Vessel’s successful sea trials

On 12 September, the Royal Navy of Oman formally accepted ownership of its new sail training vessel at a ceremony at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in Vlissingen, the Netherlands. The three-masted steel clipper, named RNOV Shabab Oman II, will sail the world’s oceans as an ambassador for Oman, demonstrating the country’s centuries-old maritime tradition. The 87-metre vessel is Damen's third such clipper, proving the value of Damen’s reliable craftsmanship and engineering.

Among the guests at the ceremony were representatives of the Royal Navy of the Netherlands and Omani diplomats. Speaking on behalf of the Omani Royal Navy, Commodore Khalifa said, “This new vessel will sail around the world with a message of peace and friendship. Thank you to Damen for building this magnificent ship for us.”

The Dutch flag was subsequently lowered from the stern spanker line to be replaced by the Omani Naval ensign while a local orchestra played the Omani national anthem.

“This is a proud moment for Damen Shipyards,” said Damen CEO René Berkvens during the ceremony. “I wish the crew and captains of the Shabab Oman II fair winds, following seas and many returns to port.” Mr Berkvens described the clipper as “an extremely powerful performer – a true diamond of the sea.”

Strong emotions

The acceptance ceremony follows the successful completion of sea trials in late July that took place in North Sea coastal waters around Vlissingen.

“During the trials, we checked everything that cannot be tested while moored in the harbor,” explained Damen Project Manager Arnoud Both. Shabab Oman’s impressive 2,700 m² sail area was also put to the test. “The proper functioning of the sails and propulsion systems can only be tested at sea,” explained Mr Both. “With a total of 28 sails, and the amazing amount of standing and running rigging involved, it was wonderful to see that everything works smoothly. We have put two years of blood, sweat and some tears into this project but it is all worth it because it was such a beautiful moment seeing the ship at sea in full sail. It was a very emotional and fulfilling experience.”

Close to the wind

Damen brought in eight of its own technical personnel and a number of systems subcontractors for the sea trials. However, sailing such a special vessel requires specialized expertise.

“We hired an experienced clipper captain and some of the officers and crew members from another Damen-built clipper, the Stad Amsterdam,” said Mr Both. The crew of the 76-metre Stad Amsterdam were enthusiastic about the sea trials. “It was great to hear the positive feedback from the crew about the sailing experience and handling characteristics of the Shabab Oman II. The ship handles well and can sail closer to the wind due to design improvements from Dykstra Naval Architects.”

Proven track record

Three different Damen yards have coordinated their construction, engineering and naval architectural expertise to produce this high performance sailing vessel: Damen Shipyards Gorinchem handled overall project management and procurement while Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania performed the major construction works, launching the clipper in December last year. Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in Vlissingen then took over with its own personnel and subcontractors carrying out final outfitting works such as installation of the three 50-metre steel/aluminum masts, rigging and spars as well as modern technical systems.

Damen’s proven track record in constructing traditional steel clippers now stands strong with this third STV delivery – the company previously having built the 74-metre Cisne Branco, the Brazilian navy’s STV, and the Stad Amsterdam.

VIDEO Short videos on the Shabab Oman II and Damen’s other two STV’s are available at Shabab Oman II

Kongsberg Mesotech Launches the M3 MARSEC, A Turn-Key Shallow-Water Maritime Security Sonar System

Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd., a Kongsberg Maritime subsidiary and a leader in the underwater acoustic industry, has launched a bundled system developed to meet the needs of customers who want a rapid deployment turn-key system for maritime security. The M3 MARSEC Shallow-Water Maritime Security Sonar System delivers excellent quality data at a low cost of ownership.

The M3 MARSEC has multiple applications including berth clearance, hull inspection, structure inspection, unexploded ordinance (UEXO)/IED detection, body and evidence recovery as well as diver detection and supervision.

At the core of the M3 MARSEC is Mesotech’s proven M3 MultiMode Multibeam Sonar. The M3 Sonar is the only instrument in its price point that produces high-quality imaging records and 3D profiling data using the same sonar head.

The M3 MARSEC is a complete plug-and-play system that is supplied in rugged, re-usable equipment cases. The M3 MARSEC includes all required sensors for deployment. It can be set up by two people in under one hour using the Quick Start Guide; experienced users can set up and deploy the system in 15 minutes. The system is designed for rapid installation, operation and removal using vessels of opportunity.

Globally supported by KONGSBERG’s network of Service Centres, the M3 MARSEC is the best choice for a rugged, reliable, easy-to-operate, affordable instrument for shallow-water security and surveillance needs.

Watch video clips of various sonar records in the M3 MARSEC gallery at

Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel under Construction, At-Sea Testing Expected by 2015

An autonomous unmanned vessel designed to track quiet diesel-electric submarines spanning miles of ocean depths for months at a time with minimal human input is now under construction and is expected to set sail for testing in 2015. Leidos (NYSE: LDOS), a national security, health and engineering solutions company, has begun construction on ACTUV (Autonomous Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel) under a Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) program for the design, development, and construction of a vessel originally conceived for an anti-submarine warfare mission.



"ACTUV's advanced sensor technology should allow for continuous surveillance which, combined with the vessel architecture and design, is expected to provide autonomous safe navigation supporting Navy missions around the world," said Leidos Group President, John Fratamico.

ACTUV carries other sensors and mission packages designed to allow it to conduct a variety of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and other alternate missions. With situational sensors that can ensure safe navigation, the ACTUV trimaran has electro optics, long range and short range radar.

"A cross-disciplinary Leidos team leveraged insights and innovation from across the organization to develop the concept of the autonomous unmanned vessel. It would help keep our troops out of harm's way and provide capability in more harsh environmental conditions for a longer period of time," added Fratamico.

Maritime and hydrodynamic engineers designed the platform, and scientists and experts designed autonomy for safe navigation, status and health reporting, and sensor control and processing. Analytics experts programmed the logic for identifying other vessels and predicting their behavior.

Leidos received direction to start construction of the ACTUV from DARPA Program Manager Scott Littlefield at the conclusion of a Production Readiness Review held in February. Christensen Shipyard, Ltd. (CSL), is constructing ACTUV in Vancouver, Washington using non-traditional composite structures and modular construction techniques under supervision of Leidos and Oregon Iron Works (Clackamas, Oregon). CSL employs a lean manufacturing process with parallel work flow to complete ACTUV construction in approximately 15 months. ACTUV is scheduled to be launched on the Columbia River in 2015.

Maritime expertise at Leidos includes development of manned, low observable combat patrol craft, autonomous vehicles, payloads, and component development. Other capabilities include ocean science, phenomenology, advance modeling, and undersea simulation to support the development of ocean sensors, processing, and deployable system solutions. Leidos production facilities are located in Long Beach, Miss., Lynnwood, Wash., Sterling, Va., St. Petersburg, Fla. and Hawaii, with offices in Newport, R.I., Arlington, Va., Bowie, Md., Long Beach, Miss., Poulsbo, Wash., and San Diego, Calif.

About Leidos
Leidos is a FORTUNE 500® science and technology solutions leader working to address some of the world's toughest challenges in national security, health and engineering. The Company's 22,000 employees support vital missions for our government and the commercial sector, develop innovative solutions to drive better outcomes and defend our Nation's digital and physical infrastructure from 'new world' threats. Headquartered in Reston, Va., Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $5.77 billion for its fiscal year ended January 31, 2014 after giving effect to the spin-off of the company's technical services and information technology business.

SeeByte Successfully Launches SeeTrack Military V4 at UDT in Liverpool

seebyte-logoSeeByte, a global leader in creating smart software for unmanned maritime systems, is proud to announce the successful launch of SeeTrack Military V4.

SeeTrack Military, now in use by 19 world navies, benefits from improved capabilities. These capabilities include the ability to concurrently plan and monitor multiple missions for multiple assets from a single shared user interface. SeeTrack Military also allows a user to post-process and store the data in a shared database and visualise it in both GIS and sensor specific displays. The software is built using a Service Orientated Architecture and provides users a simple software development kit. Operators are able to operate and integrate new AUVs, diver hand-held systems, ROVs and towfish sonars using a common interface. Military users are offered simple to use and powerful contact management databases compatible with popular tactical decision level software suites. Compatibility with Version 3 of the software is preserved.

Chris Hurt, BAE Systems Business Development, said, "I was truly impressed by the way the new version of SeeTrack Military handles multiple missions from a single Geographical Information System. It's as simple as choosing a region in the world, say the Firth of Forth, and all the missions and mission plans ever generated for that place are made instantly accessible. I don't believe any other system offers this capability."

SeeTrack Military is an open-architecture platform solution for rapid on-site analysis and data fusion that can be easily adapted for specific user needs. Developed as a mission-planning, monitoring, post-processing and reporting tool, this software technology has been successfully deployed on numerous surveys, military and security operations and scientific experiments.

Navies Now Looking to Address Skills Decline in Maritime Special Forces

JamesfisherDefenseHowever, reintegration of capabilities is presenting new challenges in the design, manufacture and integration of sub-sea and surface systems for maritime Special Forces

James Fisher Defence, a leading global sub-sea operations and engineering company, has stated that navies around the world are now seriously addressing the need to re-develop their skills in the use of maritime warfare, specifically in relation to maritime Special Forces and strategies for operations and intelligence gathering. This is leading to new challenges in how sub-sea and surface systems are designed, manufactured and integrated.

JFD, which is exhibiting its new range of Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) at the Undersea Defence Technology conference in Liverpool, UK, believe there are a number of reasons for this changing dynamic. This includes the increasing reliance on good and accurate intelligence to enable successful missions despite reduced defence budgets; the fast-paced nature of today's threats and the need to launch intelligence operations at very short notice. As well as this, there is still a continued need for human intelligence gathering to complement the progression in satellite and overhead surveillance innovation.

Ben Sharples, Director, James Fisher Defence, said:

"In recent years there has been a shift to land-based conflicts, such as Afghanistan, as well as the war against terror. However, we are now seeing a significant change as navies look to reintegrate and develop their maritime Special Forces skills. In particular, in today's environment, threats happen quickly, which demands a rapid response in the gathering of accurate intelligence. In addition to this, with navies wanting to keep their physical assets as far away from conflict as possible, we are seeing a focus on surface and sub-surface delivery, which is leading to the development and integration of advanced swimmer delivery vehicles onto suitable submarines and other platforms."

However this change also presents challenges from a design, manufacture, implementation and training perspective. For example, it is critical to be able to get combat divers successfully through Lock in/Lock out (LiLo) systems. And with divers needing to operate at shallow depths to avoid decompression issues, the design of sub-sea systems is also being tested in terms of delivery capability and the rapid configuration that is required to suit a specific mission.

Sharples continued:

"What we're finding is that it is critical to be able to deliver a scalable solution that facilitates the inclusion of existing legacy systems, as well as allowing room for the development of new and emerging technologies and next generation systems. And importantly, there must be a phased integration, in conjunction with advanced training, so that systems can be increased in their sophistication as skill sets develop."

JFD, as one of the world's most experienced and innovative SDV providers, recently launched a new range of SDVs called The SEAL Pod; surface or sub-sea craft, which can be optimised for a particular deployment method or mission profile and can be provided in a number of configurations:

SEAL Carrier; surface and subsurface vehicle operating at speeds greater than 30 kts delivered by surface ship or air-drop.

Sub SEAL; six-man submersibles delivered via an attachment to the casing of a submarine Torpedo SEAL; a two-man chariot delivered within a standard submarine torpedo tube


Corporate Headquarters

Ocean News & Technology
is a publication of TSC Strategic

8502 SW Kansas Ave
Stuart, FL 34997