Singapore DTA 2008 Focused on Unmanned Vehicles
BY WENDELL MINNICK
SINGAPORE - Singapore is considering buying unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), Navy Chief Rear Adm. Chew Men Leong said in the keynote speech at the Defense Technology Asia (DTA) 2008 show, held here May 22-23.
The show featured conferences on unmanned vehicles, naval surface, submarine and anti-sub warfare, organizer Samuel Mathews said.
Most of the exhibitors were Europe-based, with exhibits from Ital's Selex Sistemi Integrati, France's ECA, Singapore Technologies Electronics - Training & Simulation Systems, France's Eurotorp, Germany's Germanischer Lloyd, France's Sagem Défense Sécurité, Germany's MTU Friedrichshafen, Italy's Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei, U.S. company L-3 Communications Ocean Systems and French shipbuilder DCNS.
Marc Heller of U.S. company Lockheed Martin described the littoral uses of his company's remote multimission vehicle (RMMV), a semi-submersible diesel-powered vehicle with a data link to the mother ship and an endurance of 24 to 72 hours.
Its above-water sensors can perform coastal and harbor surveillance; electronic warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive detection.
Below-water sensor missions include mine warfare, side-scans, synthetic aperture sonar, low-frequency broadband, active and passive anti-submarine warfare, hauling supplies for special operations troops, and environment assessment.
The U.S. Navy has three RMMVs, with five more on order. One has completed a deployment aboard the destroyer Bainbridge. An anti-submarine warfare version is being planned.
Patrick Vincent of Thales Naval Division and Claudio Ceccarini, head of marketing for Eurotorp, presented papers on the role of unmanned surface vehicles for anti-submarine warfare. Ceccarini talked about unmanned surface vehicles' use in ISR, force protection, mine warfare, precision engagements, anti-terrorism, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare. He said they could detect submarines at a safe distance from the mother ship, then fire lightweight torpedoes at them.
Lanfranco Benedetti, of the Italian Ship Model Basin, talked about swarms of 2-meter unmanned surface vehicles equipped with inertial navigation systems, Global Positioning System, gyros and accelerometers. He said a low-power wireless network was under development.
ST Electronics promoted its Integrated Mission Debriefing Station, saying it "records and [plays back] all the simulators and instrumental platforms and can be reviewed in 3-D form rather than the traditional 2-D format." Other features include stealth view, adaptive head-up display, event analysis and display control.
During DTA, Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) announced the company won the Seatrade Asia Award for Technical Innovation for the first 1.5m C-Band stabilized satellite antenna for sea vessels.
"This breakthrough caters to the increasing demand for 'always-on' broadband solutions such as e-mail, Internet access, e-Surveillance, GSM coverage and Voice-over-IP calls," said Titus Yong, SingTel's vice president of Satellite.