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Underwater Defence & Security 2019 Conference Agenda Highlights
Global instability has put the spotlight firmly on the strategic importance of submarines and Fleets are keen to develop their abilities in terms of design, build, operations and stealth. With over a million separate parts these machines are one of the most complex ever designed. To attain and maintain readiness for future conflicts Navies must ensure newer, faster, quieter, safer and more flexible technologies are being prepared and considered for upgrades and acquisition.
NEW SUBMARINE DESIGNS & PROJECTS
The increasing complexity of the underwater arena has led many countries to address their subsurface capabilities. Several countries are turning to joint programmes to achieve advanced submarines at reduced cost, whilst others at looking at upgrades and acquisition of legacy platforms. The opening section will address the upcoming and ongoing submarine programmes around the world and what technologies are putting them at the forefront of design.
MAXIMISING NAVIGATIONAL CAPABILITIES FOR UNDETECTED OPERATIONS
Underwater topography, infrastructure cables, surface vessels and other submarines are all huge threats to safe submarine operations. The solutions demand improved navigation safety, intelligence gathering and mission equipment that aids tactical situation assessments. This section will discuss the current innovations in tactical and navigation technology.
OPTIMISING SUBMARINE SAFETY
Submarine & crew safety is one of the most important aspects of using these platforms, the very nature of the platform itself make rescue and coordination between surface and sub-surface difficult. This area of the agenda focuses on improving human factors and ensuring safety for crews such as understanding the submarines layout to enhance escape and the method of escape itself. This session will pull together the lessons from recent events their impact on current and planned programmes.
MARITIME UNMANNED SYSTEMS IN NAVAL MINE WARFARE
As technology moves forward, nations now more than ever are looking towards the viability of using unmanned assets to find and neutralise naval mines, be it legacy or the presumption of a modern threat. By taking the man out the minefield, navies will be able to free up manned assets for other operations. This section of the agenda looks at recent exercises involving man in the loop systems and how they have streamlined the hunt for mines.
PLATFORM DESIGNS FOR MCM
Due to the complexity of designing & constructing MCM vessels, new technologies cannot necessarily be retrofitted to current platforms. Therefore, it is imperative that navies must instead construct new vessels to meet current MCM demands. This section of the focus day sets out to look at the procurement plans for new MCM vessels and how capability gaps have fed into their requirements.
BROADENING THE REACH OF OFF BOARD SYSTEMS
By having off board systems, a ship can further its capability efforts into a range of areas, including MCMThese systems can conduct operations on their own without the need for the mothership. This section of the agenda investigates how nations are furthering their offboard system development to allow for a decreased usage of manpower while still maintaining its efficiency
ASW THROUGH AUTONOMOUS SOLUTIONS
As the threat of enemy submarines increase, and the technologies onboard them make them harder to detect, nations are continually developing new ways to conduct effective ASW. Consequently, it is seen that utilising autonomous solutions for ASW will be the way forward, allowing assets to be freed up for operations elsewhere. This section of the agenda investigates autonomous ASW measure and how nations are developing their solutions.
AIRBORNE ANTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE (ASW)
As naval fleets become larger and therefore more vulnerable to submarine warfare, nations are constantly looking for new ways to combat this underwater threat using assets from the air. This is due to the flexibility and speed that they can react to a threat. This section of the agenda looks at the role aircraft play in ASW and the technology that aids in this.
ENABLING ASW THROUGH MULTI-STATIC SENSORS
Utilising multistatic systems for countering a submarine threat involves the cooperation of all platforms involved. They must share sonar information between ASW assets to improve detection, tracking and classification of a submarine threat. This section of the agenda investigates multistatic solutions and nations are utilising them to build a bigger picture of the underwater threat.
UNDERSTANDING THE COMPLEXITY OF THE UNDERWATER BATTLESPACE
Over 40 different nations utilise some form of underwater vehicle and navies now are in a constant race to match systems with the capabilities of fighting in the underwater battlespace to maintain this domain. This is made difficult due to the properties that underwater warfare brings including working into the 3rd dimension, the effect of water on systems etc. This section of the agenda sets the scene for how underwater warfare is shaping the naval sector and what nations are doing to prepare for it.
AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS IN THE MARITIME ENVIRONMENT
The capability of autonomous systems and their domains of application have advanced significantly in recent years, with successes in both the military and civilian sector. Autonomous systems technology in the naval domain is truly transformational with benefits in both cost and risk reduction. This section of the agenda looks to develop the idea of autonomous systems and how they are utilised in the naval domain.
OFFENSIVE & DEFENSIVE UNDERWATER COMBAT SYSTEMS
Attacking vessels below the waterline presents real opportunities for nations to ultimately destroy vessels. Even when a direct hit is not necessarily scored, pressure bubbles from the explosion can still break a ship’s back, ultimately causing severe damage. This section of the agenda looks at offensive systems and how nations are looking to develop effective defensive measures to increase vessel survivability.
EXPANDING MCM FLEETS – THE INTEGRATIAN OF NEW INTO OLD
With navies now taking delivery of both new vessels and new systems, it is imperative that this equipment can be implemented seamlessly into current MCM fleets. In this section of the agenda, attendees can hear from nations that are implementing new vessels into their current MCM fleets, the challenges that are faced doing this and how they are overcome.
NATIONAL PROGRAMS & TECHNOLOGY ROUNDTABLES:
The roundtable discussion session will take place in the main conference room. Each of our roundtables will drive 90 minutes of thought leading discussion from like-minded individuals. It offers the opportunity for participants to innovate ideas and create new concepts.
Our first collection of roundtable discussions will be based upon “National Programs”. Each table will focus on a specific nation and will allow those present to discuss national programs and areas of interest with key stakeholders from that country.
Our second collection of roundtable discussions will focus on the key technologies that nations collectively are involved in. Having worked with experts in the underwater domain, certain technologies have been identified as having a large impact into the underwater battlespace.
UNDER WATER PROGRAMMES
Off board, remote, unmanned and autonomous technology present opportunities to either supplement or replace conventional systems and increase capabilities. Over 40 countries now operate some form of this technology and this session will analyse some of these platforms, whilst considering their potential impact on the underwater battlespace.
USING AIRCRAFT TO ENHANCE MARITIME AWARENESS
Maritime surveillance can be conducted from land sea and air, with a range of different assets available to enhance maritime situational awareness. With the use of fixed wing aircraft over rotary wing, nations can extend both the range and time they are over a target, allowing for a better real time situation awareness. This section of the agenda establishes how nations are working on improving their long-range aerial assets and solutions available.
IMPLEMENTING COMPLEX AI INTO THE UNDERWATER DOMAIN
As nations move towards autonomy as the future fighting force, it raises questions towards it use. As man in the loop systems become more common, nations are once again looking to reach the next technological step. It is understood that by implementing complex AI, systems become able to learn and communicate with each other to react to different situations, leading to man out of the loop. This section of the agenda sets out to discuss how autonomous systems are changing the naval battle ground.
NAVAL DOMAIN INTELLIGENCE
With the various depths that submersibles operate at and how the salinity of water can degrade communications to almost unintelligible levels, submarines must routinely approach the surface to communicate, leaving it vulnerable to attack. Therefore, nations are conducting research to improve this, be it using laser technology, pop up bouys etc. This section of the agenda will be exploring new technologies and future development that will enhance the ability to communicate underwater.
CONDUCTING SUCCESSFUL ANTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE (ASW) TRAINING
To conduct successful ASW, nations must be well trained and drilled to perfect this difficult part of warfare. Normally, it will consist of a range of assets, working together to shape different scenarios and the responses required to eliminate the threat. In large international exercise, friendly nations can be used as target, but unmanned systems can be used also. This section sets out to look at ASW training and finishes with a panel discussion looking at maintaining maritime dominance.
Underwater Defence & Security 2019 brought together the underwater defence community for three days of meetings and discussions. Please download the 2019 edition agenda.
Military, Navy and Government personnel receive free entry.