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  1. #26
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    Remote control submersibles
    Goldie is right about the ROV Vs UAV however I dare say a USV system would be of more practical use to the Navy then either ROV or UAV. That of course isnt saying a USV is of practical use, just more useful then the other 2.

  2. #27
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    In what way?

    ROV's are vital for locating wrecks, inspecting underwater structures etc.

    UAV's greatly enhance the intel umbrella of a ship and allow for greater productivity in the deployment of very limited resources(8 ships only).

    USV's are about as practical as the hovertanks. At least for the medium term.

    Edit: "ROV vs UAV" You sure you're on the same page here? There is no ROV Vs UAV. Dev just misread the posts and Goldie was pointing that out!
    Last edited by Jetjock; 8th September 2011 at 16:04.

  3. #28
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    Hi Jetjock,
    Edit: "ROV vs UAV" You sure you're on the same page here? There is no ROV Vs UAV. Dev just misread the posts and Goldie was pointing that out!
    I understand that and I was pointing that Goldie is correct, an ROV works in water Vs a UAV that likes to stay out of it.

    ROV's are vital for locating wrecks, inspecting underwater structures etc.
    ROVs are only useful on known targets after they have been located by other means such as sonar. Apart from the very odd occasion that the NS are called for bodysearches / recovery is there much use for one? I would also be very surprised, given their low cost (Dependent on system of course), if the NS dont have at least a limited capability in this area already.

    UAV's greatly enhance the intel umbrella of a ship and allow for greater productivity in the deployment of very limited resources(8 ships only).
    IF you can get them in the air. Under current regulations UAVs MUST operate in restricted airspace. While you could do this off the west coast the NOTAMs this would generate will advise every smuggler in the country what area you are working in. If you dont want NOTAMs you have to operate under current radio control legislation.
    Also due to Line of Sight restrictions the control limit will be about 15-20nm (Whats the ships radar horizon currently) before the UAV has to climb to maintain radio signal. Once it does this it will lose the viability of what it can and cannot see with its payload. That is of course unless you go for high end equipment in which case you arent talking about a ship based operation anymore and are moving into the cost bracket of a manned aircraft which, in civil airspace, is much more flexible.
    Besides the intel umbrella is already expanded by the CASA fleet that do 2 patrols every day, one every 12 hours or so and pass all of the intelligence to the NS. Oh no wait, now I am in the land of hovertanks. Unfortunately, for different reasons, the CASA has the same flaw as the UAVs, ie IF you can get them in the air.

    USV's are about as practical as the hovertanks. At least for the medium term.
    Already answered:
    That of course isnt saying a USV is of practical use, just more useful then the other 2.
    However I should note that the context is of course the NS operating in civil airspace.

  4. #29
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    What are we calling USVs again? I'm confuzzled. The NS already operates Remotely Operated Submersibles. Quite a nice bit of kit, comparable to anything currently being used in the offshore industry.
    As for UAVs... it doesn't take much to put an "eye in the sky". But as the skies 200-500 miles off the west coast are quite free of other traffic, so would it not be an ideal place to test the technology, with the NS providing an ideal platform to test from?
    Would be a nice boast for an irish company to say they tested their NAVAL UAVs in harsh atlantic conditions.

  5. #30
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    Hi Goldie,
    A USV is an Unmanned Surface Vessel, something like this:
    http://www.aaicorp.com/products/uas/uas-cusv.html

    I suppose the question really is this; Is the operation of UAVs by the NS for the betterment of the NS operation or for the testing and promotion of a private companies UAV so they can sell it elsewhere.
    The problem is that even at 200-500nm the average system can only operate out to about 15nm and probably only carry a basic sensor. It will also be seriously limited by both sea conditions for launch and recovery and by environmental conditions for in flight operation and sensor performance. It would be of very limited use to the NS especially considering the likely cost and loss rate. It should be noted that in the micro-mini class of UAV, while every effort is made to recover them, they are classed as expendable.

    With regards to testing a system in the North Atlantic it would indeed be a great sales pitch but reckless in the extreme without serious land based testing first. TBH I think Ireland has a great area off the west coast of Ireland for UAV operations / testing and training. We also have a highly skilled workforce who could knock these yokes up in the morning but until we ditch this childish quasi neutrality, therefore no military sales c*** its never really going to happen. Just my opinion.

  6. #31
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    Realistically though Tadpole, the only low level off shore civilian traffic around our coast operates in the Ireland UK corridor and the between Cork and the Kinsale gas field. About 20% of the Irish NS area of Operations. It would be very easy to class everywhere else as a RA from surface to 10,000ft with little or no impact on civilian traffic. A short term solution only as UAV systems will have Civilian Airspace approval regs in place in the medium term.

    UAV Line of sight limits are multiples greater than 15-20nm depending on the datalink used. 75-100nm for the TLOS datalink system.

  7. #32
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    http://www.schiebel.net/Download/Brochures.aspx

    A UAV becoming more and more common with maritime forces. Range dependent on antenna used. LOS from 45km to 200km.

  8. #33
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpole View Post
    Hi Goldie,
    A USV is an Unmanned Surface Vessel, something like this:
    http://www.aaicorp.com/products/uas/uas-cusv.html

    I suppose the question really is this; Is the operation of UAVs by the NS for the betterment of the NS operation or for the testing and promotion of a private companies UAV so they can sell it elsewhere.
    The problem is that even at 200-500nm the average system can only operate out to about 15nm and probably only carry a basic sensor. It will also be seriously limited by both sea conditions for launch and recovery and by environmental conditions for in flight operation and sensor performance. It would be of very limited use to the NS especially considering the likely cost and loss rate. It should be noted that in the micro-mini class of UAV, while every effort is made to recover them, they are classed as expendable.

    With regards to testing a system in the North Atlantic it would indeed be a great sales pitch but reckless in the extreme without serious land based testing first. TBH I think Ireland has a great area off the west coast of Ireland for UAV operations / testing and training. We also have a highly skilled workforce who could knock these yokes up in the morning but until we ditch this childish quasi neutrality, therefore no military sales c*** its never really going to happen. Just my opinion.
    I appreciate your cynicism, it has good foundation, based on our history, but what I am saying is, MERC3 provides the full range of land based testing. There is an intention to include a model test tank for wave energy at the facility, for example, and there is already a number of local industries involved in Military robotics, such as Kentree who would no doubt appreciate a nearby testing facility. The last stage would be the ability to utilise a Naval Vessel(that would be in the area anyway) to field test such a piece of equipment.
    Fcuk AFRI.

  9. #34
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    Jetjock,
    The type of system you are talking about will cost a couple of million plus and you might get a couple of air vehicles with that. The Army UAVs were basic LOS systems and they came in at about €250,000 per system.
    Add a couple of million for the loss attrition replacements over a number of years and you are, as I said, into mid size manned aircraft territory. Interestingly this doc: http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell...19-clingan.pdf gives the mishap rate (airframe nolonger usable) of a high end system such as the Scaneagle at between 1-214/500 flight hours. ie an airframe loss about every 400 hours.

  10. #35
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    Goldie,
    I am delighted to see that companies in Ireland are forging ahead and I wish them all the best. No doubt they will be able to sell the equipment as dual use. Its just annoying that we have the perfect coast, maritime regions, rural land areas and under utilised regional airports that would be perfect testing and training grounds for companies like Lockheed Martin or Boeing / Insitu in partnership with local electronics companies bringing much needed International investment.

    Fcuk AFRI.
    Agreed, I never did like the Arid Forest Research Institute

  11. #36
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpole View Post
    Jetjock,
    The type of system you are talking about will cost a couple of million plus and you might get a couple of air vehicles with that. The Army UAVs were basic LOS systems and they came in at about €250,000 per system.
    Add a couple of million for the loss attrition replacements over a number of years and you are, as I said, into mid size manned aircraft territory. Interestingly this doc: http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell...19-clingan.pdf gives the mishap rate (airframe nolonger usable) of a high end system such as the Scaneagle at between 1-214/500 flight hours. ie an airframe loss about every 400 hours.
    Bad if you are a user, good if you are a manufacturer(or a research facility ).

  12. #37
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    I dont even think the Orbiters with the Army got close to that attrition rate at the start!

    However, I doubt any embarked system would reach half that number of hours per year.

    Regarding cost, that is still a tiny fraction of the cost involved with purchasing a manned shipborne helicopter, an even smaller fraction of the operating costs and an even smaller fraction of building a ship capable of deploying one.

    Some form of aerial ability is a must for the NS and an area in which future NS vessels must be self sufficient, ie no longer fully reliant on land based fixed wing assets. There is a difference of role between land based assets and ship deployed manned or unmanned aircraft in any case.

    UAV's are the only aerial system that are anywhere within the bounds of fiscal possibility for our Navy.

    It is a good time too, with technology maturing and experience being gained by various other maritime forces.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpole View Post
    I suppose the question really is this; Is the operation of UAVs by the NS for the betterment of the NS operation or for the testing and promotion of a private companies UAV so they can sell it elsewhere.
    Who cares? The DF may get some money for it / experience? And it will help fund Irish jobs.

    but until we ditch this childish quasi neutrality, therefore no military sales c*** its never really going to happen.
    They just have to apply for a licence that is all... same in most countries.... in the US you need a Foreign Military Sales agreement, the State Department must be approval and it must be presented to Congress!

  14. #39
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    I dont even think the Orbiters with the Army got close to that attrition rate at the start!
    Dont know how many flights have taken place but at least 2 out of 9 were lost in accidents.
    However, I doubt any embarked system would reach half that number of hours per year.
    In which case is it really needed?
    Regarding cost, that is still a tiny fraction of the cost involved with purchasing a manned shipborne helicopter, an even smaller fraction of the operating costs and an even smaller fraction of building a ship capable of deploying one.
    Agreed, but it is close to the cost of a fixed wing manned aircraft. However considering the NS already have access to FW assets perhaps they just need a better integration with and service from them.
    Some form of aerial ability is a must for the NS and an area in which future NS vessels must be self sufficient, ie no longer fully reliant on land based fixed wing assets. There is a difference of role between land based assets and ship deployed manned or unmanned aircraft in any case.
    Why? What are they doing that requires these assets? Bear in mind as already stated that a standard system has about 15nm range, if you want more you will be talking millions each and thats only for 1 vessel. Is it worth the money when land based assets if utilised correctly can good most if not all the jobs of a shipborne asset?
    UAV's are the only aerial system that are anywhere within the bounds of fiscal possibility for our Navy.
    If the NS dont need it or its operational not worthwhile then its not really affordable either.
    It is a good time too, with technology maturing and experience being gained by various other maritime forces.
    Agreed, however the consensus at the moment is that UAVs have there place but where possible traditional assets are now being redeployed after a less then brillant experience with UAVs.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpole View Post
    Agreed, but it is close to the cost of a fixed wing manned aircraft. However considering the NS already have access to FW assets perhaps they just need a better integration with and service from them.
    What sort of fixed wing aircraft? Certainly nothing that is viable in the maritime sphere. The CASA's for example were circa £17.5m each at 1994 prices.
    The capability were are talking about is a rapidly deployable ship borne asset. Land based aircraft are fantastic for a known situation or a routine patrol. The lead time involved in getting a land based asset to an area where a developing situation is taking place is also an issue. In any case, two aircraft cannot be everywhere and they are hardly maintained at 5 minutes readiness.

    Why? What are they doing that requires these assets?
    The new ships are being delivered with UAV capability. It appears there is a role and what's more a decision on this issue has already been taken. The new information in this particular thread is that the NS are admirably ambitious in involving themselves with an initiative to develop maritime UAV's.

    Bear in mind as already stated that a standard system has about 15nm range, if you want more you will be talking millions each and thats only for 1 vessel.
    Only the most basic of systems. And why would they purchase such a limited capability?

    Ranges of up to 200km are possible. As stated before already the only range limiting item is the system's datalink antenna. The most common naval light UAV the S-100 Camcopter(brochure above) has a range of antennae sizes available. The only consideration in selecting antenna size is how mobile the system needs to be. A complete UAV operating system would be a permanent fixture on a ship, hence the largest antenna would be purchased. As the antenna is only one item of a larger system, the overall cost implications wouldn't be prohibitive.

    Is it worth the money when land based assets if utilised correctly can good most if not all the jobs of a shipborne asset?
    Different capabilities. An embarked UAV allows a vessel to operate outside the land based aircraft's umbrella.(Anti piracy operations in the Indian Ocean for example)

    If the NS dont need it or its operational not worthwhile then its not really affordable either.
    Just to reiterate, the NS has already decided they require the capability and has taken the decision to have the new ships delivered with the capability. In relative terms it is the only affordable embarked aerial capability.
    Last edited by Jetjock; 8th September 2011 at 19:23.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpole View Post
    Agreed, but it is close to the cost of a fixed wing manned aircraft. However considering the NS already have access to FW assets perhaps they just need a better integration with and service from them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jetjock View Post
    What sort of fixed wing aircraft? Certainly nothing that is viable in the maritime sphere. The CASA's for example were circa £17.5m each at 1994 prices.
    The capability were are talking about is a rapidly deployable ship borne asset. Land based aircraft are fantastic for a known situation or a routine patrol. The lead time involved in getting a land based asset to an area where a developing situation is taking place is also an issue. In any case, two aircraft cannot be everywhere and they are hardly maintained at 5 minutes readiness.
    Plus the aircrew (6+), ground crew (8+) spares, maintanance equipment etc etc...

    However the key thing is that a manned aircraft is more versatile, but the response time of a UAV would be a lot lower. For example, the Nimrod in Kinloss was at 2 hours readiness!

  17. #42
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    What sort of fixed wing aircraft? Certainly nothing that is viable in the maritime sphere. The CASA's for example were circa £17.5m each at 1994 prices.
    You can start with something like a DA42, yes prob only one sensor (same as most UAVs) and I wouldnt like to be in it at 200nm however cost in the region of €1.5m. King Air 200 fully fitted for Marpat with ISAR radar and FLIR for approx $6m.

    The capability were are talking about is a rapidly deployable ship borne asset. Land based aircraft are fantastic for a known situation or a routine patrol. The lead time involved in getting a land based asset to an area where a developing situation is taking place is also an issue. In any case, two aircraft cannot be everywhere and they are hardly maintained at 5 minutes readiness.
    Agreed, the only thing that could provide an immediate response capability for the vessel must be shipborne. However is this required? If the FW manned assets are providing a comprehensive patrol coverage logging vessels that in reality are only travelling at 10-12 kts what is likely to sneak up on the NS vessel that it requires immediate eyes on surveillance?

    The new ships are being delivered with UAV capability. It appears there is a role and what's more a decision on this issue has already been taken. The new information in this particular thread is that the NS are admirably ambitious in involving themselves with an initiative to develop maritime UAV's.
    I agreed. I would love to see the NS getting whatever it is they need. While I am sure the NS will take a very logical route there is a general perception in the public domain that overstates the usefulness of UAVs while also understating their cost and complexity of operation. In general this is being lead by industry promotion.

    Ranges of up to 200km are possible. As stated before already the only range limiting item is the system's datalink antenna. The most common naval light UAV the S-100 Camcopter(brochure above) has a range of antennae sizes available. The only consideration in selecting antenna size is how mobile the system needs to be. A complete UAV operating system would be a permanent fixture on a ship, hence the largest antenna would be purchased. As the antenna is only one item of a larger system, the overall cost implications wouldn't be prohibitive
    You can get whatever you want to pay for. The S-100 is an excellent piece of kit, its also $1.5-2m per unit. Add to that what the deck limits are likely to be for launch and recovery of a VTOL system. You might get better reaction from a land based asset in most North Atlantic weather.
    Bear in mind that the S-100 will prob only carry one payload at a time. If FLIR is fitted it is useless as a wide area search system so its really only going to have a look at targets already designated by the ships radar, useful so the ship doesnt have to route to each radar target but is it worth the cost. If you want radar, prob something like Picosar but it is only stripmap or spotlight SAR, again no use for wide area coverage.

    Different capabilities. An embarked UAV allows a vessel to operate outside the land based aircraft's umbrella.(Anti piracy operations in the Indian Ocean for example)
    It would if that were something that we were doing but its not plus areas such as the Indian Ocean are already covered by manned aircraft such as IAF DO228s out of the Seychelles.
    I would also be seriously worried about an OTH UAV mixing it with other manned heli ops in areas like this.

    Just to reiterate, the NS has already decided they require the capability and has taken the decision to have the new ships delivered with the capability. In relative terms it is the only affordable embarked aerial capability.
    Again, I would love to see the NS getting this gear if it makes sense. Fair play to them for getting it this fair but just because a ship can operate a UAV doesn't mean it will ever see one.

  18. #43
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Any naval UAV would be required to provide an over the horizon set of eyes. Providing overwatch for boarding ops, or even just extending the range of lookout. Things like hiding the ship around an inlet while watching the target vessel on the other side.

    It isn't always a Predator type we are looking at. The key is the NS, returning to the OP, will be well placed to provide an evaluation platform for such machines In conjunction with MERC3 who would be developing them. Go back to the interview and see what the plans are. We are not talking about getting UAVs for the NS(though in the long term they would be a useful asset, but the technology is still too new)..

  19. #44
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    Hi all,
    I was reading recently, an F15 pilot's account of encountering two Predator-type UAVs. The first, while he was plugged into the refuelling boom of a KC-135, when a UAV came within a wingspan of collision with the combination. The second, when a UAV, falling in a spin from above, passed through his formation. Clearly, he didn't trust them at all.

    regards
    GttC

  20. #45
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Pilots not trusting technology that could potentially replace them.
    What a shock.

  21. #46
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    His issue was that (a) the airspace system had allowed seperate aircraft to conflict, ie, the tanker's airspace is normally kept free of aircraft that are not actively involved in refuelling (b) in the case of the near-miss, the UAV operator was clearly not situation-aware, ie, he did not realise how close he was to other aircraft (c) the spinning UAV was either an inflight system failure that caused it to stall and spin or the UAV pilot lost control. Apart from that, I'm quite sure the F15 pilot will get a job after he leaves, as the maturity of the UAV is still ahead of us.

    regards
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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpole View Post
    Not without getting over the biggest stumbling block of them all, the IAA!!!
    Unless of course you want to operate below 400ft and within 500m or line of sight which ever is less!!
    There is of course segregated airspace but for so many reasons its impractical.
    What regulation would the IAA have over the naval service airborne assets?

  23. #48
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    National aviation authorities have full regulation of military aviation, although military certification is less stringent than the civilian equivalent.

    However dubious the figures quoted, the onus is on the operator to prove non interference with civil aviation. A very easy ask in Irish airspace.

    Tadpole, can you elaborate on those numbers?

  24. #49
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balkanhawk View Post
    What regulation would the IAA have over the naval service airborne assets?
    The IAA is responsible for the management of Irish airspace (including the Restricted, Military Operating and Danger areas).

  25. #50
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    The IAA is responsible for the management of Irish airspace (including the Restricted, Military Operating and Danger areas).
    The naval service don't always operate in Irish Airspace, in particular off the SW and NW coast.

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