The Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate St Albans was called upon to sail on 23 December and keep watch on the new Russian warship Admiral Gorshkov as she passed close to UK territorial waters. HMS St Albans remained at sea on Christmas Day to monitor the Russian frigate, keeping track of its activity in areas of national interest. It was planned that the frigate would return to Portsmouth on 26 December and remain ready for very short notice tasking over the holiday period.
The festive season saw an upsurge in Russian units transiting UK waters. HMS Tyne was also called upon to escort a different vessel, a Russian intelligencegathering ship, through the North Sea and the English Channel on Christmas Eve. A Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron, based at RNAS Yeovilton, was then dispatched to monitor two further Russian vessels.
At its 65th session held at IALA HQ in St Germain-en-Laye, (78100) France, early in December, the IALA Council adopted a new specification guideline for digital services in the maritime domain. Based on input from EfficienSea2, the new guideline will help ensure that the best digital solutions work across different oceans and different equipment.
Digital services in the maritime industry have for years been drafted in many different formats, making it difficult to achieve interoperability between different systems and across different geographical spheres. Now, however, a new specification guideline has been adopted by the IALA Council that will strengthen the harmonisation of digital services in the future.
On 15 December the US Navy announced from Washington issue of the Strategic Readiness Review (SRR). In September, the Secretary of the Navy, Richard V. Spencer, ordered a fleetwide review in the light of recent surface fleet incidents which resulted in significant loss of life and injury.
It is understood that the SRR was an independent review by a team of subjectmatter experts that examined the systemic conditions influencing and existing within the Navy over the last 30 years. Running concurrently with the US Fleet forces-led Comprehensive Review the SRR considered its findings, but its assessments and judgments are independent of the military Comprehensive Review findings.
The IALA World-Wide Academy, in conjunction with Ports and Maritime Public Domain Directorate (Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, Kingdom of Morocco), take the opportunity of the second Preparatory Diplomatic Conference, held on 7-8 February 2018 in Marrakesh (Morocco), to raise awareness on maritime safety in Africa by arranging a Seminar on this theme on the same venue, immediately prior to the conference on 6 February 2018 in Le Palais des Congrès Mogador in Marrakesh, Morocco.
The Seminar aims to enable participants to be fully aware of coastal states’ obligations, of international organisations’ strategies (for example those of IALA and IHO, and will take into account actions implemented in Africa to determine the way ahead for safety of navigation in the continent. Furthermore, the Seminar will be an added value for Marine Aids to Navigation managers of the region who would then participate in the 2nd Preparatory Diplomatic Conference.
IALA hosted a seminar on Arctic Navigation from 9 to 10 November 2017 at its HQ in St Germain-en-Laye, 78100, France. This event was following-up a meeting held in February 2010 at IALA attended by Arctic nations where a number of actions were agreed by participants.
In this further meeting (9-10 November 2017) on Arctic navigation the views on the challenges of ensuring safe navigation in Arctic waters of all Arctic nations and international organizations having an interest in the field were discussed. Thirty-eight delegates, representing eight countries and six Sister organisations attended and the seminar was structured with presentations on relevant topics.
See the full report.
The European Navigation Conference 2018 will be held in the technology-rich city of Gothenburg on the campus of Chalmers University of Technology on Sweden’s west coast from 14-17 May 2018.
The ENC is the premier conference in Europe in the fields of positioning, navigation and timing, with special emphasis on the European Galileo and EGNOS. Through a peer-reviewed manuscript selection process, it will showcase state-of-the art and innovations in the field of terrestrial and satellite-based navigation and its applications. Implementation of new technologies will be demonstrated through an industry exhibition arranged in parallel to the conference.
The conference will comprise technical session, poster sessions, invited keynotes, and a best paper award. The conference strongly emphasizes a quick turn-around time and high quality of the published papers.
The 2nd Announcement for this four-yearly event has been issued. The 2018 IALA conference will be hosted by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea with IALA. The conference will be held from May 27 to June 2, 2018.
The theme will be: Successful voyages, sustainable planet – A new era for marine aids to navigation in a connected world.
The Conference includes a broad technical programme of cross-disciplinary presentations by world-class experts and an industrial exhibition providing first-hand viewing of the latest R&D, innovative aids to navigation products and services, and related exhibits of contemporary interest and future promise. A novel feature of the Conference will be a Heritage Exhibition which will showcase the unique cultural significance of lighthouses around the world.
A workshop on How to Run the MCP (Maritime Connectivity Platform) was hosted by IALA on behalf of the EfficienSea 2 Project on 21 / 22 November 2017. The workshop was attended by 52 delegates, representing 19 countries.
Noting that the EfficienSea2 project funding from the EU ends in April 2018, the objective of the workshop was to address the implementation of the MCP with a focus on identifying preferred governance and business models and preparing a related exploitation plan for global information exchange. Legal and Liability issues were also explored.
The workshop produced a report, including 35 conclusions and recommendations.
The early bird registration deadline is approaching for the US ION’s co-located (ION) International Technical Meeting (ITM) and the Precise Time and Time Interval (PTTI) 2018.
The ITM is the ION’s winter meeting with peer-reviewed technical papers related to positioning, navigation and timing and includes the ION Fellows and Annual Awards presentations.
The PTTI is the technical conference designed to disseminate and coordinate PTTI information at the user level; review present and future PTTI requirements; inform government and industry engineers, technicians and managers of precise time and frequency technology and its problems; and provide an opportunity for an active exchange of new technology associated with PTTI.
Delegates are invited to attend the complimentary Cognizant Autonomous Systems for Safety Critical Applications (CASSCA) workshop on 29 January 2018 from 0830 to 1730 at the Hyatt Regency Reston in Reston, Virginia. The workshop is complimentary but registration is required to attend.
A Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) for the Boston Barrier (England, East Coast) has received approval, giving the Environment Agency the goahead to proceed with the construction and operation of a £100 million flood defence scheme to better protect Boston’s homes and businesses from the risk of tidal flooding.
As part of a public enquiry, HR Wallingford’s UK Ship Simulation Centre worked with Mott MacDonald and the Environment Agency to create a virtual navigation simulation to help river users better understand what navigating the river would be like, both during the construction phase and when the barrier is in place.
The Israel Navigation Workshop and Exhibition (INWE18) is a biennial event organized and sponsored by the Israel Association for Automatic Control (IAAC).
Following the huge success of previous events, the 2018 edition of the Israel Navigation Workshop and Exhibition has been scheduled for January 29, at the Daniel Hotel in Herzliya.
INWE18 will be a one day event dedicated to technical talks in navigation systems, ranging from fundamental research, to applications, to field test results. The topics of interest include navigation, positioning and timekeeping in all their variations, sensors, systems, optimal integration of multiple sensors, and novel or emerging technologies in the field of navigation.
In parallel with the talks INWE18 will host a technical exhibition in which navigation equipment manufacturers and suppliers will have the opportunity to show their current products and most recent technical innovations. You can expect to see the latest, most innovative navigation products and services from top navigation companies.
Finally, the event will bring together the large community of researchers, suppliers and users in the navigation area in Israel, making it a unique opportunity to meet all the who’s who in the navigation field in the country.
IMO announced on 1 December that the Assembly had elected the following States to be Members of its Council for the 2018-2019 biennium:
Category (a) 10 States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services: China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.
Category (b) 10 States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain,
Sweden, United Arab Emirates.
Category (c) 20 States not elected under (a) or (b) above, which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world: Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey.
The Council is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the Organization. Between sessions of the Assembly, the Council performs all the functions of the Assembly, except that of making recommendations to Governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention.
The new Officer Commanding Number 617 Squadron, Wing Commander John Butcher, Royal Air Force, has taken his first flight in an F-35B Lightning, the UK’s new multi-role stealth combat aircraft. 617 Sqn (The Dambusters) is designated as the first front line UK F-35B Lightning squadron and will return to RAF Marham in Norfolk next summer. The flight was made at the US Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.
Wg Cdr Butcher said: ‘This was a memorable day and climbing into the cockpit for the first time felt really familiar as the simulator in which I have been training is so realistic.’ This first flight followed weeks of ground school training and during his flight Wg Cdr Butcher flew over the Atlantic Ocean where he was able to explore how manoeuvrable the aircraft is before conducting some approaches at Beaufort.
It was reported by the European Space Agency (ESA) from Paris on 30 November that Director General Jan Wörner had signed a Memorandum of Intent with Rolls-Royce, as the two entities agree to investigate how space technology can be used to develop autonomous and remote-controlled ships. The partners will pool their expertise to analyse and implement space-enabled services for autonomous and remote-controlled shipping, which reduces the opportunity for human error and allows ships’ crews to concentrate on more valuable tasks. It is understood that the plan is to study the applications of various space assets to autonomous shipping, such as satellite-based positioning, better situational awareness using Earth observation data, and satellite communications (satcom) services for improved onboard connectivity.
In Australia the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation` (CSIRO) has launched Oceans: Science and Solutions for Australia, a book bringing together the latest science to explain the crucial role oceans play in the lives of all Australians.
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Director Dr Tony Worby said Australia faced several opportunities and challenges, with three of the world’s four major oceans in its marine estate. He commented: ‘Australia’s oceans cover almost 14 million square kilometres, nearly twice the area of our land, and hold the key to our climate, weather, economy, international security, and social well-being.’
‘Our oceans do the heavy lifting with respect to carbon dioxide and heat absorption and their capacity to continue to do these things is one of many areas we are focused on through our climate research.’
Oceans editor and CSIRO Chief Research Scientist Dr Bruce Mapstone added: ‘Importantly, this book takes complex and detailed research and translates it into clear English that can be understood by policy makers and just as importantly students, some of whom are Australia’s future marine scientists.’
On 20 November the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEISC) of the House of Commons (Lower House) of the Westminster Parliament published the written evidence for its Brexit inquiry on the British aerospace industry.
Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the BEISC, said: ‘The evidence we have received suggests the impact of Brexit and increased customs checks could mean a potential £1.5bn in added costs for the UK aerospace sector. That is extremely worrying.’
One section of the evidence is that concerning navigation systems: ‘Post-Brexit, the UK should seek full and unfettered access to EU Research and Innovation programmes post 2020, continuing to contribute as full and voting members of strategic programme committees. Such access should include ongoing participation of UK businesses to existing EU and Horizon 2020 projects, the planned European Defence Research Programme, as well as EU coordinated Space programmes such as Copernicus and Galileo. In addition, reciprocal rights for researchers to move freely across Europe to engage, participate and lead EU funded research projects in which the UK is involved, would be vital.’
The Israel Navigation Workshop and Exhibition (INWE18) is a biennial event
organized and sponsored by the Israel Association for Automatic Control
INWEI18 will be a one day event dedicated to technical talks in navigation systems, ranging from fundamental research, to applications, to field test results. Topics of interest include navigation, positioning and timekeeping in all their variations, sensors, systems, optimal integration of multiple sensors, and novel or emerging technologies in the field of navigation.
In parallel IAAC will host a technical exhibit in which navigation equipment manufacturers and system suppliers will have the opportunity to show their current products and most recent technical innovations.
Finally, the event will bring together the large community of researchers, suppliers and users in the navigation area in Israel, making it a unique opportunity to meet all the players in the navigation field in Israel.
The 12th Arctic Shipping Summit will be held on 21-22 February, 2018, in Montreal, Canada, under the heading of ‘Developments in Arctic Shipping Operations & Infrastructure’.
Early Bird Discount of £200.00 is offered until 30 November 2017. In the words of the organisers: ‘Sign up now and pay only £1,395 instead of £1,595.’
The two day conference will consist of a number of informative presentations followed by interactive Q&A sessions, panel discussions and an open discussion to further involve the delegates. These talk will give insight on the views shared from the different aspects of Arctic Shipping. We will explore and discuss current regulations and requirements from the IMO & the Coast Guard, examine commercial aspects, infrastructure and promising changes in cruise operations as well as the insurance challenges that are increasing ongoing. Also we’ll be looking into training requirements and ship design options to help aid in the future of Arctic operations.
It was announced from Aarhus, Denmark on 15 November that Danish aerospace, defence, and security company Terma, in partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL), India as Prime contractor has been awarded a contract to execute the Indian Navy’s Surface Surveillance Radar (SSR) project for 31 radars. It is understood that the SSR programme is the first procurement by the Indian Ministry of Defence under the Buy and Make (Indian) category of the Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP). This project involves delivery, installation, and commissioning of radar systems in Indian Navy vessels as well as delivery of simulators, establishment of depotlevel facilities, and integrated logistics support with deliveries spread over ten years. Furthermore, the radar is being manufactured in India with Transfer of Technology from Terma, Denmark.
Training and professional development needs to be addressed at the highest level if we are to continue to improve maritime safety, concluded attendees at The Nautical Institute’s 2017 Command Seminar series. At the most recent event, held in Cyprus, attendees emphasised that it is important to ensure continuity in the maritime profession, making sure that seafarers make the most of new technology, while maintaining existing skills and knowledge.
Over the course of 2017, more than 500 people from a broad spectrum across the industry, from cadets to sailing Masters and senior industry figures, have attended The Nautical Institute’s five Command Seminars.
As well as the latest technical innovations and technology updates, the conference will cover the legal, ethical, human cognitive and regulatory issues associated with realising new opportunities. The presentations, exhibition and networking at RIN INC2017 are designed to broaden knowledge and provide a range of perspectives on topics as diverse as artificial intelligence, authentication, privacy, machine learning and augmented reality in location applications. In addition, on 27 November the Resilient PNT Forum will meet in the afternoon, in partnership with RIN INC2017, following the very well attended meeting at RIN INC2016.
See the latest programme.
On 23 October the (UK) Ministry of Defence announced an over £90 million investment in a world-leading helicopter simulation centre to help train the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy helicopter pilots of the future. Simulators put pilots through their paces, replicating extreme real-life scenarios, from flying in blizzards or under enemy fire to dealing with power failures and electronic warfare.
It is understood that this will sustain 70 jobs at the Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility based at RAF Benson in South Oxfordshire.
On 8 November it was announced from Sydney that CANSO, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, has awarded the CANSO Global Safety Achievement Award 2017 to the Air Traffic Management Division and Air Traffic Engineering Services Division of the Civil Aviation Department Hong Kong. This organisation was commended for commissioning a new air traffic management system (ATMS) in Hong Kong and further enhancing air navigation safety and efficiency in the Hong Kong flight information route (FIR).
On 5-6 April 2018 the 32 partners behind the EfficienSea2 project will showcase their results at a conference taking place in Copenhagen. It is understood that the conference will be a mix between real-life demonstrations, forward-looking ideas and presentations on innovative maritime solutions. During the two half days, the focus will be on highlighting the 15 new or improved maritime services, the web-based platform BalticWeb for displaying them on tablets or computers, work on the so-called VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) and the centrepiece of the project: The Maritime Connectivity Platform (MCP) – formerly known as the Maritime Cloud.
On 2 November the US Navy released the report of the Fleet Comprehensive Review conducted by Commander, US Fleet Forces Command, Admiral Phil Davidson.
Collisions between USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and mv ACX Crystal and between USS John S McCain (DDG 56) and mv Alnic MC, along with other similar incidents over the past year, indicated a need for the US Navy to undertake a review of a wider scope to better determine systemic causes. The US Navy’s Comprehensive Review of Surface Force Incidents, completed 26 October represents the results of this effort. This review represents a summary of significant actions needed to fix the larger problems and their causes leading up to these incidents.