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The Undersea Defense Technology (UDT) Europe ’98 Conference was held 23-26 June 1998 in London, UK. Delegates from 24 countries attended the conference. New registrations from Russia pushed the total number of delegates to 490. Ninety-one exhibitors of undersea warfare products from 17 countries covered 1,520 square meters of floor space, an increase of more than 10 percent over the last conference in London. This year’s number of exhibitors was the largest since 1994. Visitors numbered in the thousands.

The conference chairman, Captain Patrick Tyrrell, RN, opened the conference with the opinion that submarines remain the “most survivable” naval platform. He further stated that, ” … in some respects, U.S. ASW efforts appear in trouble. .. “, further increasing the importance of ASW in Europe. The introduction of Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarines is making ASW a top priority.

The opening and keynote speakers focused on the challenges facing the defense industry. In particular, Sir Robert Walmsley, Chief of Defence Procurement, MoD, UK, explored some ideas on smart procurement including the development of cross functional project teams comprising operational, procurement experts, and development scientists together with their defense industry colleagues tasked with looking after projects from cradle to grave.

At the NATO Confidential classified conference on 26 June 1998, Rear Admiral Jonathan Band reminded those present that all efforts were geared to supporting military forces on or under the sea with advanced technology. Six NATO countries presented 26 classified papers including four by U.S. delegates.

Exhibitors displayed wares ranging from entire submarines to simulation software. The proliferation of AIP submarines stimulated considerable interest in active detection equipment including multi-static sonar systems.

Delegates from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, PRC, Russia, SACLANT, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UK, and the USA attended the conference.

Embassy representatives included individuals from Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Egypt, Greece, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Peru, Portugal, Thailand, and Turkey.

In 1999, UDT will return to Nice, France. The dates have been established as 29 June to 1 July 1999.

I have attended every UDT conference over the history of the program. It has evolved from a UK/French show 11 years ago to an international conference. In the last two years, UDTs were held in Hamburg, Germany (July 1997) and Sydney, Australia (February 1998). The product lines exhibited have expanded from torpedoes and sonars to entire submarines and every possible supporting product and service, including acoustic ranges, UUVs, mines and software of every description.

I found the list of embassy representatives interesting. Four or five years ago, the list was dominated by Western European countries. This year buyers from countries with fledgling navies were prominent. Submarines and undersea warfare technology is proliferating. If the United States is to remain superior in undersea warfare, this is no time to short change supporting research and development.


Dolphin Scholarship Foundation grants are available, on a competitive basis, to high school or college children/s~pchildren (unmarried, up to age 24) of: (1) members or former members of the Submarine Fon:e who have qualified in submarines and have served in the Submarine Force for at least 8 years; or (2) Navy members who have served in submarine support activities for a minimum of 10 years. There is no minimum period of service for children of personnel who died on active duty while in the Submarine Force.

Anyone desiring to request an application package should contact: Dolphin Scholarship Foundation, 5040 Virginia Beach Blvd., Suite 104-A, Virginia Beach, VA 23462. Phone: (757) 671-3200; FAX: (757) 671-3330.

Completed applications must be received on premises by April 15 to be considered for the following school year.

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