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Saab Global

Saab Naval Portfolio and Teaming with India

12 min read

The Indian Navy (IN), the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the vast Indian coastline provide a dream market for Saab’s naval and maritime portfolio of products, solutions and services that cover the air, surface, underwater and coastal security domains. The comprehensive coverage provides Naval forces solutions for complete command over the seas. Saab’s “Thinking Edge” approach, coupled with the long term strategy of teaming up with India through suitable Indian industry partners from the public as well as the private sectors provides for a practical approach to help build the Indian Defence industry base with state of the art technology and industry practices through appropriate work-share and collaboration. Saab’s objective to co-develop and co-produce in India for India (and where applicable, the world market), complements the successive Indian Naval Chief’s stated objective of Indian Navy being a Builder’s Navy.

Saab Naval Portfolio

Saab can support the operational needs with solutions for:

  • Surface Warfare (Surveillance & Reconnaissance, Decision Support, Precision Engagement, Force Protection)
  • Anti Submarine Warfare (Surveillance & Reconnaissance, Decision Support, Precision Engagement)
  • Air Warfare (Surveillance & Reconnaissance, Decision Support, Precision Engagement, Force Protection)
  • Mine Warfare ( Mine Reconnaissance, Mine Hunting, Mine Countermeasures)
  • Maritime Surveillance (Maritime Patrol and support aircraft suitably equipped for surveillance and SAR)
  • Coastal and Harbour Security
    The Products and Systems for the Naval and Maritime domain include:
  • Command and Control Systems
  • Missile Systems
  • Naval multi-role surveillance systems
  • Fire Control and other sensor systems
  • Ship Control systems
  • Naval ESM and laser warning systems
  • Mine warfare data center
  • Vessel Traffic Management Systems
  • AUVs, ROVs for underwater and deep sea operations and rotary wing unmanned aerial vehicle for surveillance and SAR at sea
  • Training Systems

While Saab has a long history of working with the Indian government, their entry into the coastal security domain has been made through DG Light houses and Light ships with the setting up of the National AIS network, which was inaugurated last year by the Hon Union Minister for Shipping. Saab is committed to support the further enhancement of this network and also to provide improved C2 capability to strengthen coastal security.

Saab’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, AUV 62, configured as a self-propelled underwater advanced trainer (AUV 62AT)is a unique product that assists the training of ASW operators. In addition, this unique and modular self-propelled underwater vehicle has the possibility of being configured for a number of operational roles through a change of the payload module. The payload module can be changed by the ship staff at sea to re-configure the use of this training system for mine reconnaissance, general reconnaissance and surveillance, seabed mapping, sub-bottom Mapping and environmental monitoring.

In addition to the AUV, Saab has in its portfolio a wide range of tethered remotely operated vehicles that are suitable for a wide variety of simple tasks to very heavy duty tasks for deep sea applications. The portfolio comprises of vehicles used for observation, inspection, survey, and actual work. Two unique products in our underwater vehicles inventory are the SAROV (semi-autonomous ROV) that can be used either as a ROV or as an AUV; and SUBROV (submarine ROV) which can swim out from a standard 21” torpedo tube and be used to recover our AUV 62 that is launched submerged from the standard 21” torpedo tube. Other systems in the underwater domain include fixed / portable diver detector and diver interdiction systems, hull inspection systems, virtual fence, software defined sonars, degaussing and mine warfare systems.

Saab has started with Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company (PDOC) a combat systems engineering group (CSEG) and is teaming with them for the development of indigenous Combat Management Systems, structured around Saab’s framework of the 9LV Combat Management System.

The 9LV solutions extend from a simple situation awareness terminal (9LV SAT) which can be used even in a RHIB boat with wireless connectivity to mother, to the 9 LV Compact suited for smaller and more compact platforms, to the full-fledged 9LV CMS suited for Frigates, LPDs, Destroyers, aircraft carriers, and submarines. Through the setting up of these capabilities in the country, the indigenous effort to configure operational platforms through a systems engineered analysis will help optimise operational systems and provide the Commanding Officers those few extra seconds for making the right decisions!

Saab’s 9LV family offers complete C4I for all types of naval platforms, including submarines. 9LV provides the command team with outstanding operational capabilities, supporting all mission types from littorals to the open ocean. Options range from FCS solutions to complex Combat Management Systems with large numbers of interfaces and vast responsive decision support. The whole family uses open standards, and Saab can integrate any sub-system with a 9LV solution. By enabling flexible, effective operations, it increases mission capability.

The system is modular and scalable, allowing unique software connectivity and interoperability. Its design means that it is quicker and more affordable to develop, upgrade and support. Saab has more than 40 years of experience in naval weapon control systems. Our 9LVsolutions have been provided to leading navies around the world, with deliveries being completed to more than 230 ships. Many of the Fire Control Systems we delivered 25-30 years ago are still in operation.

Saab also has on offer light weight optronic tracking system (EOS 500) and efficient all weather fire directing system (Ceros 200) capable to direct a wide variety of guns and missile systems. Over 200 installations of this system are in use by several Navies in the world.

Saab has offered their RBS 15 anti-ship missile to the Indian Navy. This can be launched from land, air and sea, making it suitable for a wide spectrum of threat scenarios. The RBS15 missile family, consisting of RBS15 Mk 3 and the RBS15F ER air launched version, has the unique flexibility of launch from various platforms. The RBS15 Mk3 is the latest development in the RBS15 family of surface-to-surface (SSM) missile system. It is a true fire-and-forget multi-purpose anti-ship/land attack, ultra-low sea skimming, cruise missile.

The missile possesses a very high hit probability through the means of a flexible pre-launch programmable active radar seeker. It has unique ECCM and defence penetration capabilities by a stealthy approach featuring a very low terminal trajectory with a set of evasive manoeuvres and re-attack options.

The RBS15F ER the air-launched version of the missile can be launched from both fighter as well as reconnaissance aircrafts. The RBS15 missile is designed to operate from blue sea conditions to littoral warfare and in land attack missions. The long flight range and extremely flexible trajectory enables attacks from short distances to ranges well beyond the horizon. RBS 15 Mk 3, being a smaller and lighter sea-skimming missile can serve as a cost-effective complement to the supersonic missile Brahmos, which is Indian Navy’s standard fit for large platforms. In addition to the Missile, Saab has also responded to the Navy’s RFI for the mobile coastal missile systems with the 3 D Saab multi-role GIRAFFE AMB as the primary radar sensor and integrated C2 and RBS 15.

Saab is proud of its Naval radars that have been used by many Navies in the world. The fact that it is selected as the Naval radar on the US Navy Littoral Combat ship program is a proud testimonial of its multirole capabilities. The factor that appeals to operational commanders is that the Saab radars maximizes the response time of the naval commander due to a high target up-date rate in the full search volume.

Saab’s 3D Sea GIRAFFE AMB radar has been chosen by most customers worldwide for its capability to detect sea-skimming missiles out to the radar horizon, automatic track initiation in high-clutter environments like littorals, and above all more than 97% availability in combat environment.

In addition, the radar has a built in RAM function that is perhaps unique in that it provides capability to detect and pin-point the source of artillery fire and impact point looking from sea-wards, an aid very useful for platforms used in landing operations. This also adds value for adjusting your own fire.

The light electronically stabilised antenna (640 Kg) and high speed of rotation (30/60 rpm) also make this radar very suitable particularly for a wide variety of naval platforms. For naval and coast guard commanders who need to assure Maritime Domain Awareness and ship survivability, the Sea GIRAFFE LT is an augmented 2D version of the 3D Sea GIRAFFE AMB radar. This performs both surface and air surveillance and tracking simultaneously, has a low top weight (< 250 kg), incorporates three antennas in one (search + navigation + IFF), and is easy to upgrade to a 3D Sea GIRAFFE AMB radar.

The SG AMB and SG LT use the newest available radar technology and the C-band frequency to optimize both air and surface surveillance in all weather conditions. The factor that appeals to operational commanders is that the Saab radars maximizes the response time of the naval commander and has multi-role capabilities. The factor that appeals to Naval platform builders is their low footprint and weight above and below deck.

Self-defence for airborne platforms means knowing whether anyone is observing me or making me a target. That requires keeping track of every type of signal out there. Saab's IDAS is an EW system designed to provide self-defence in sophisticated, diverse and dense threat environments. IDAS can be configured to become the high-end system with laser-warning, missile-approach-warning, as well as full multi-spectral detection capability for radar. Saab’s IDAS EW suite has been installed on the ‘armed’ version of the advanced Indian Light Helicopter, Dhruv, and "provides these platforms with integrated electronic warfare (EW) self-protection." The helicopter features a modern glass cockpit that features a fully integrated IDAS system.

Also, in the Saab EDS portfolio is the comprehensive SIGINT System HES-21, and other avionic systems including the light weight Head-UP display (RIGS) for both helicopters and fixed wing platforms, data recorders, mission computers and Communications management systems. Saab has a complete solution offering in above equipment for both surface, sub-surface and air platforms.

On the communication side, Saab’s TactiCall ICS enables the platform to communicate across all known radio-communication technologies, civil or military, regardless of vessel type and operational duties. It provides the entire communication infrastructure of a naval vessel, connecting all communication platforms and networks into one, easy to operate, communication solution that puts one in control of all communication both internally and externally. TactiCall constitutes a robust and highly survivable system with no single point of failure, which lets one handle voice- and data communication, red as well as black, in a fast and efficient manner.

From peacekeeping operations to real combat scenarios- today’s missions demand seamless implementation of strategies-and aircraft to match. Saab has extensive experience from supporting air forces with aircraft solutions designed to enhance operational capabilities and reduce the cost of ownership. Saab is currently working to design the carrier-based version of the Gripen new generation multi-role fighter aircraft, ie the Sea-Gripen, the marine variant of the Gripen NG.

Saab is ready with their Saab 340 MSA (Maritime Security Aircraft) for Airborne Maritime Surveillance. This aircraft is a very capable multi-role aircraft that enhances maritime surveillance capabilities and complements the naval and/or land-based surveillance solutions. The aircraft can operate from short airfields. A number of on-board sensors that include a 360 degrees Maritime radar, retractable multiple payload FLIR sensor, secure AIS, and Direction finder integrated with the Mission Management System provides the aircraft with the capabilities required for monitoring large maritime areas day and night, in rain, fog and inclement weather. To provide continuous communication capabilities, the aircraft is equipped with secure-AIS data links and a reliable voice and data SATCOM system, thereby providing the higher command or other units with a real-time maritime common situational picture and a fast link for orders. The aircraft is available for use within short time frames.

Saab has also introduced ‘Skeldar’, the rotary wing UAV with capability to operate from ships. It’s a modular, simple to operate and low cost system that provides excellent aerial surveillance capability in day and night conditions. It can be easily fitted with different payloads as required and provide an additional 150 km surveillance footprint to the ship or even the entire fleet.

It is also pertinent to mention that while no specific mention for a specific Coast Guard portfolio is made, Saab uses their thinking edge for both maritime security and naval warfare by leveraging the high end warfare capabilities into easy to use and powerful maritime security solutions as well. A significant part of their Naval portfolio and solutions set is thus equally deployable by the Coast Guard.

The Saab Naval portfolio, addressing the 3 dimensions of air, surface and subsurface solutions provides comprehensive solutions to the challenges posed by the maritime environment today. Since more than 90% of global trade is carried by sea, the need to protect these trade flows is growing. This is why there is a rising demand in the naval market for expeditionary and coastal capabilities. Technological advances are also driving development, such as ships with smaller crews and more sensors used to monitor and record traffic along coasts and in harbours.

Saab has a strong position in radar and early warning, command, control and communication systems (C4ISR), tactical weapons and underwater systems. Some of these solutions are airborne: multi-role surveillance aircraft ensuring full control and command of maritime arenas, operating independently or in unision with other marine and land-based assets in military as well as search-and-rescue missions.

……and above all, Saab looks at India as its home market where it would like to share the Saab’s “Thinking Edge” and team up with suitable partners in India to develop and contribute to the Defence industrial complex in India.