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Company insight Into the deep blue water


FMV Naval Test Ranges is the naval branch of FMV’s test and evaluation (T&E) division. The division is responsible for the T&E of all equipment, systems and platforms procured to the Swedish Armed Forces by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration. Jonas Linde, director of marketing and sales, breaks down some of the benefits that the organisation’s test ranges offer.


What are the main services offered by FMV Naval Test Ranges and what are their benefits for naval forces? Jonas Linde: Our main focus is providing naval T&E services for systems and platforms in the above and below-surface domains, and to enable complex T&E and training and exercise scenarios from ship level and above for the Royal Swedish Navy, as well as other naval forces and the wider defence industry. The T&E portfolio includes a range of services and capabilities, as well as some unique infrastructure. The naval forces of today and tomorrow are operating in a very demanding security environment, with new complex threats and increased pressure from the political side to step up readiness levels and frontline operations. We can support the naval community with different T&E services, enabling shorter development cycles, and high-level training opportunities to sharpen the readiness level for frontline units.


What T&E capabilities are you currently developing to meet the general increase in global defence spending over the past few years? In 2018 we talked to Defence and Security Systems International about the four-


dimension battlefield at our Härnösand Naval Range. This concept was originally developed for surface warships, but we have now adapted it for submarines. This enables us to set up an advanced environment for the training and exercise of submarine on-board weapon systems such as vertical or torpedo tube-launched missiles against representative surface or airborne targets, among other scenarios. The battlefield also includes subsurface drones with representative signatures that can be engaged by torpedoes.


The subsurface domain has become a particular area of focus for FMV Naval Test Ranges. What other new capabilities are you working on in that area? Within the subsurface domain we are working on three major areas: subsurface shock testing; the launch of Ægir, our submergible system integration laboratory; and developing our underwater noise measurement abilities. With regards to subsurface shock testing, we are developing our MIL-DTL-901E heavyweight shock- testing capability. Our aim is to use a large floating shock platform, which will enable us to perform shock testing of on-board equipment such as power and electrical


racks, pumps and engines. Another recent advancement is the introduction of our 367t blast target, Ægir. This will enable very realistic subsurface shock testing of hull components, structures and sections. At our sea range in the archipelago, we have been able to perform subsurface shock testing with a charge weight of up to and including 300kg of high explosives. However, we have seen that there is demand for more powerful charges. Now, after some research and development, we have increased the maximum high explosive charge weight to 1,000kg, which will allow first of class trials as well as beyond design limit subsurface explosion trials. To enable this, we had to move our test site further north from our Archipelago Sea Range to the Härnösand Naval Range.


What exactly does Ægir involve and what test possibilities does it offer? Ægir is a decommissioned Royal Swedish Navy submarine of Näcken class. HMS Näcken was set to be dismantled but at the last moment we decided to give the hull a second life as a system integration laboratory. After some heavy modifications, including the removal of the power and engine section, the submarine was re-christened Ægir and will now serve as our research, development and test platform. Ægir is complete from the prow until just behind the forward section of the tower, so the tube package is fully functional. The hull is structurally intact and vertical launch tubes can be installed if required. It is fully submergible – for the moment only manually but a remote-controlled functionality is on the drawing board. Ægir can be used for a wide array of T&E tasks, including signature development, shock testing, and weapon and counter- measure development, making it a great platform for research and development activities in the decades to come. ●


Ægir: the submergible system integration laboratory with complete torpedo tube package. 62 www.fmv.se Defence & Security Systems International / www.defence-and-security.com


Saab Kockums


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