Tag Archives: shephard media

Port of Rotterdam makes a splash

Last week I took a trip over to Rotterdam for the inauguration of a new patrol boat into the fleet of vessels for the Port of Rotterdam, the RPA8.

Rotterdam is one of the largest ports in Europe as well as being a fantastic Dutch city.

However, I did not bet on my trip coinciding with one of the deadliest storms to hit Northern Europe. Gusts of up to 140km/h (90mph) saw Schiphol airport close its doors for most of the day and the Dutch rail network ground to a halt.

Driving through the port the damage and disruption was clear to see with water taxis forced onto their moorings, cargo containers tumbling from their stacks and Dutch cyclists batting against the high winds.

Despite this, the show must go on and I was able to take a look on board the RPA8 Patrol Boat which entered service with the Port of Rotterdam Harbour Master on 18 January following its official christening ceremony.

The boat is one of the most advanced designs of vessel the port authority has in its fleet now.

The RPA8 was constructed by Dutch Shipyard Kooiman, representing the first time the shipbuilder has constructed a patrol boat, and designed by Dutch Naval Architects Van Oossanen.

The integration of Hull Vane technology from Van Oossanen, essentially an underwater spoiler, has allowed energy saving on the boat, reduces wave making and assists in noise reduction

One feature that could be applicable to the future use of Hull Vane is that can enable pitch and yaw damping, stabilising the boat, allowing for weapon systems to be more accurate and assist in helicopter landings on larger vessels through the improvement of the core stability.

While to-date the Hull Vane has a modest portfolio of ships it has been integrated on the possibilities appear significant both for retrofit and new builds.

Typically navies and fleet operators tend to trust proven designs, with new vessels using the Hull Vane this presents an opportunity for the maritime community to see the technology in action.

The company is now testing the Hull Vane on the Holland Class OPV to see what advantages it can bring to large naval vessels. The market for the Hull Vane is typically large vessels with high speed requirements of around 25kt.

If the Dutch navy is seen to adopt this technology it could open the floodgates for Hull Vane. Pardon the pun.

Leaves of change

Autumn, or Fall for our US friends, is now in full effect, and as the fallen leaves start piling up outside of Shephard Towers, we are looking at our sense of change.

In September, we refreshed our branding and rolled out a new fully responsive website, and we are now focusing on, among other things, developing our email content and delivery.

Please do get in touch with any feedback or if you would like to learn more about accessibility email me at: marketing@shephardmedia.com

OCTOBER’S MOST READ NEWS STORIES

US Army advances robotic mule use

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Ten unmanned systems will be taking part in the US Army’s Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) programme with trials currently taking place at Fort Benning, Georgia, Shephard has learnt…

Frigates and OPVs parade three by three in Australia

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Frigates and OPVs were a major focus at the Pacific International Maritime Exposition in Sydney last week, with each programme – Project Sea 5000 and Sea 1180 respectively – shortlisted to three contenders each after RfTs were earlier issued.

KAI unveils T-50A variant

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Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) unveiled its latest variant of the T-50 advanced jet trainer (AJT) at this week’s Seoul ADEX, being held from 17-22 October.

OCTOBER’S MOST VIEWED VIDEOS

BAE showcases SHORAD for Bradley

Rheinmetall Canada displays armed UGV

Helitech 2017: Show review 

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Event highlights

Defence & Security 2017

This year’s Defense & Security event in Thailand kicks off next week and we will be providing both news and video coverage. If you are there, please visit us at Booth B 15.

VIEW OUR DEDICATED SHOW SITE

Dubai Airshow 2017

From 12-16 November, we will be covering this year’s Dubai Airshow. If you are at the show, make sure to drop by our booth (1882) and say hello.

I/ITSEC 2017

We will be providing news and video coverage of this year’s I/ITSEC, from 27 Nov to 1 Dec, in Orlando, Florida. Come see us at Booth 2117.

Other events

In November, we will also be attending Global MilSatCom and the Commercial UAV Show in London; Milipol in Paris; and AOC Annual in Washington.

If you would like to learn more about Shephard please visit www.shephardmedia.com

Andreea Tomut, Marketing Manager

 

 

Catching on: commercial UAS expansion

There is no doubt that the commercial unmanned market is continuing to grow in leaps and bounds. Many of the events aimed at the UV sector are now leaning increasingly towards non-military operators, and solely civil-focused unmanned events are now a firm fixture on our calendar.

An examination of the market shows there is huge opportunity for both the likes of DJI, providing small UAS to hobbyists and photographers, as well as the traditionally defence-orientated companies looking to service large industries such as energy and agriculture.

The latest issue of UV magazine looks into the commercial business units (CBU) that have been set up by such companies as they look to tap into what looks to be a lucrative market.

It is easy to recognise the likes of the Insitu ScanEagle and Textron Aerosonde as platforms initially made for the military. However, both companies are leading the commercial charge, and while they continue to maintain their relationships with government customers, executives are clearly looking to the future and a commercial world predicted to be worth billions of dollars.

What we have found to be most interesting about these commercial offerings is the idea of providing a whole service. It is understandable that, unlike government customers, those in the business world do not want the added expense of actually acquiring systems.

Additionally, the service concept puts a large focus on analytical tools. It was apparent at this year’s Xponential in Dallas that there is now an emphasis on data analytics within the unmanned market beyond simply the platforms themselves. Again, while government customers are able to pay for their own in-house analytics, commercial users prefer to contract someone to provide that as part of a service.

Textron and Insitu are now over 12 months into CBU operations and are both beginning to see the fruits of their labour, although at this time it is making up a small part of their profits.

One reassuring aspect of big defence organisations working in the commercial world is their know- how when it comes to regulations. Insitu told me that it continues to work with regulators on how best to incorporate UAS into commercial airspace and wants to lead by example.

While legislation on UAS is still in a state of flux, there is clearly a desire from industry to get it right. The misuse of UAS is only likely to damage opportunities in the future for those in the commercial market.

What is positive to see is a serious and thoughtful approach by the defence world to satisfy commercial requirements.

Military use of UAS also continues to move forward, with more demands being put on the platforms than ever before, including increased payload capacity, extended operational range and the fast collection of ISR data.

The enduring capability of tactical UAS is something that the same companies who are looking to the commercial market are trying to keep on top of. Military contracts continue to come thick and fast.

Again, the challenge for those key players who currently dominate US and European military procurement will be transitioning this success to the commercial world.

Competition will come from disruptive new players entering the market. While we have seen plenty of start-ups attending events with small quadcopters, there is also room for companies with new business models that appeal to the commercial customer.

Defence companies are set to make a bigger splash in the civil market – they have now gone well beyond just dipping their toes in the water, and Shephard will continue to follow the CBU journey closely.

DSEI video highlights

The recently concluded DSEI exhibition brought us new robots, boats and vehicles and the Shephard news team caught it all on video.

If you missed any of the action here are some of the video highlights from the week.

The UK based consortium led by MBDA and Leonardo showcased its Dragonfire capability for a laser directed energy weapon system.

Rheinmetall came to the show with a weaponised UGV.

On the water Supacat unveiled and demonstrated a new RIB, the SC12.

Back on dry land Harris was awarded a contract by the UK MoD for its T7 Counter IED UGV.

Finally, our very own Grant Turnbull gives us a rundown of some of his highlights from the event.

For all the coverage and even more video content from the show head to the Shephard Media website.

UDT 2017: Changing Tides

Change is ahead in the underwater environment as this year’s Underwater Defence Technology (UDT) event in Bremen, Germany, highlighted.

With many nations looking to the next generation of submarines, mine countermeasure vessels and anti-submarine warfare we are likely to see many new platforms being inaugurated to the underwater domain in the next decade.

During the days of the conference it was noted by RAdm Thorsten Kahler, chief of staff of the German Navy, that for many years the underwater threat did not receive the number one priority in the service.

The Germany Navy, along with its partners Italy and Norway, is now looking at future submarines as well as other technology. You can read about the developments here.

UDT Europe 2017: Next-gen submarines on the horizon

Meanwhile, there was a key focus on unmanned systems and how best to integrate them into the underwater territory. Leading the way is the use of such systems for mine countermeasures but various other applications are now being explored.

Cpt Herman de Groot of the Royal Netherlands Navy noted that ‘AUVs will change the underwater battlespace forever’ and UAVs will also soon become a part of the underwater environment.

Saab, Atlas Elektronik and L-3 Clazoni were among exhibitors showcasing their unmanned technologies.

While industry has been showcasing and proving its unmanned capabilities for some time now it is up to military to fully embrace the technologies and put it to the best use against adversaries who are undoubtedly looking into similar unmanned platforms.

The use of unmanned technology will of course throw up various legal dilemmas for the maritime industry.

 

 

While vessels and submarines were a key focus at UDT there was a significant nod to the underwater special forces community with various companies displaying specialised diver equipment.

One of the talking points though came from two companies showing off various diver delivery systems. Rotinor with its Black Shadow 730 and JFD with its Torpedo Seal, two very different designs for a similar application.

 

Next year UDT is set to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, so expect a big presence from the UK Royal Navy and we hope to see you there.

From fiction to action

I recently met with Bell Helicopter’s design and engineering team about the aesthetics of their concept aircraft the FCX-001.

When looking at the aircraft it is easy to see elements seemingly influenced by film and TV such as Star Wars and Flight of the Navigator, and this was deliberate. The team told me how at the drawing board stage they went with their imaginations before the final design.

While Bell might be prioritising the technologies on board the FCX-001 over the platform itself; the capacity to experiment and play with designs brings excitement to an industry which has seemed gloomy in relation to the oil and gas market.

Levi Bilbrey, senior brand strategist at Bell Helicopter, explained further. ‘We are using virtual reality as an experimental tool for market as a design tool[and] looking at augmented reality as a pilot and a passenger experience. We are thinking that the cockpit of the future is going to be a heads-up display.’

Here at Quill we’ve had a bit of fun looking at the wider aerospace market and how sometimes art (in the loosest sense of the word) imitates life.

On AvGeek forums we have been wrestling with fellow enthusiasts over whether Thunderbird 2 resembles the KC-390 or the An-124. What do you think?

Heli-Expo 2017: Shephard hits town

The Shephard team arrived in Dallas, Texas on Saturday night for a week of helicopter excitement at Heli-Expo 2017.

After some steaks, birthday cake and a good night sleep, the team went out and about to explore.

For the rest of the show we are hard at work bringing you all the latest helicopter news. Keep an eye on our show news site for updates through out the week.

For now enjoy the behind the scenes video:

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