Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR AUG 2014 Contents 19
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 01 | AUG 2014
S-97 Raider powers up
Sikorsky reached a milestone in the development of its
S-97 Raider prototype helicopter in late May by powering
on the aircraft for the first time, marking the successful
installation of the avionics system.
The powering on, according to the company, means that
the cockpit multi-function displays and control display unit
(CDU) are operational, as are the CDU controlled electronic
circuit breakers. The aircraft was expected to be put through
electrical power and avionics acceptance test procedures to
complete the checkout of the remaining avionics, electrical
and flight control systems.
Two prototype aircraft are to be built under the Raider
program, with first flight planned by the end of 2014. Flight
test and evaluation of one S-97 Raider aircraft by the US
military will commence in 2015.
The S-97 Raider leverages off Sikorsky’s X2 Technology
demonstrator, which achieved a 250 knot flight speed in 2010,
around twice the speed of conventional helicopters. Cruise
speed is given as greater than 200 knots. Other S-97 Raider
flight attributes are anticipated to include high-G turning
manoeuvres at high speed, precision manoeuvring at low
speed, improved hot-high performance (hover out of ground
effect – 6,000ft at 95° F) and reduced acoustic signature.
The S-97 Raider features twin coaxial counter-rotating
main rotors (in place of a single main rotor and tail rotor) for
lift and forward flight and a pusher propeller for high-speed
acceleration and deceleration.
Sikorsky is positioning the S-97 Raider to meet future US
military light tactical helicopter requirements, including armed
reconnaissance, close air support and air assault. In the latter
role, the cabin will be able to accommodate up to six troops.
– Matthew Mendenhall
Removing sub tiles gets faster
Australian shipbuilder ASC has developed a novel method
of removing tiles from Royal Australian Navy Collins-class
submarines that is calculated to save up to 4,000 hours
of production effort during a typical submarine full cycle
As part of efforts designed to reduce time spent on
hull cuts to remove equipment for major maintenance and
overhaul – a task which requires removal of anechoic
tiles from the external skin of the submarine hull — a cross
functional ASC team evaluated a number of tile removal
Of these, it was found that ultra high pressure water
blasting was the most efficient. The trial, according to ASC,
showed that the water blasting would take approximately 35
minutes to remove a tile compared to around 17 hours via the
An engineering assessment of the hull test piece also
identified that the water blasting left the hull in a better state
than the previous manual method.
The first submarine to benefit from the improved tile
removal method will be HMAS Farncomb during her
– Ian Bostock
GLOBAL WEAPONS SYSTEMS PTY LTD
Australia/New Zealand Agents
Tel: +61 3 9311 9676
Po Box 122, Sunshine
VIC 3020, Australia
THE GAME JUST CHANGED!
US Navy blows smoke as ASM defence
To address the ongoing vulnerability of surface ships
to the anti-ship missile (ASM) threat, the US 7th Fleet and
the Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) are
assessing the potential of man-made clouds of obscurants to
degrade the ability of ASMs to detect and strike their targets.
Testing of these maritime obscurant generator prototypes,
also known as Pandarra Fog, took place between 21 and
25 June under a variety of at-sea conditions in waters south
of Guam and involved the guided missile destroyers USS
Mustin and Wayne E. Meyer and the submarine tender USS
Generated by a shipboard device, carbon-fibre particles
were suspended in a cloud of smoke, the clouds absorbing
or diffusing radar waves emanating from the seekers of
incoming ASMs. As part of a defence-in-depth approach
to asset protection, Pandarra Fog also adds a level of
uncertainty and unpredictability to the ASM defence
According to a 7th Fleet report, the initial assessment of
Pandarra Fog was that testing was “very successful” in terms
of tactical employment, usability and cost-effectiveness.
The testing also confirmed that the obscurants caused no
damage to participating ships or ship systems.
Whilst the precise composition of Pandarra Fog is
classified extensive testing has confirmed it is both sailor and
– Ian Bostock
THIS ISN’T JUST SMOKE OR CHAFF...
THIS IS A POTENTIAL GAME-CHANGER
IN TERMS OF EFFECTIVENESS OF A
LAYERED APPROACH TO [MISSILE
Capt. Dave Adams, head of US Navy 7th Fleet Warfighting Initiatives Group
A US Navy destroyer generates carbon-fibre filled clouds of
obscurant in testing off Guam during late June.
Image: US Navy
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