Safran’s HRG navigation system in service with the US Coast Guard
September 13, 2017
Safran Electronics & Defense's new BlueNaute® inertial navigation system has been installed on a first seagoing patrol boat for the United States Coast Guard. Its service entry is the latest milestone in the contract awarded to Safran by the USCG to modernize navigation systems on all Reliance class medium endurance cutters (WMEC), as well as Juniper class seagoing buoy tenders (WLB).
The BlueNaute system chosen by the US Coast Guard is based on an innovative technology patented by Safran, the hemispherical resonator gyro (HRG). Featuring very high reliability, the BlueNaute's ruggedness and ergonomic design were decisive factors in the USCG's choice of this technology to modernize some of its seagoing vessels, especially because these ships will be called on to operate in very demanding environments.
The BlueNaute navigation system reflects Safran's dynamic focus on innovation. It was developed to meet emerging maritime navigation needs, in compliance with the requirements of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) treaty. Offering the best mean time between failures (MTBF) on the market, BlueNaute is clearly establishing its reputation as the navigation instrument of choice for coast guard and maritime police missions, as well as the oil and gas industry, scientific missions and search & rescue at sea. The HRG inertial core in the BlueNaute system marks a veritable revolution in maritime navigation, bringing a disruptive technology to replace previous-generation inertial solutions: mechanical or fiber-optic (FOG) gyros.
BlueNaute has also been chosen by Norway for its own coast guard ships, and by Canada for its upcoming Harry DeWolf class ships in the AOPS (Arctic Off-shore Patrol Ships) program.
The USCG's navigation system modernization program also illustrates the dynamic partnership between Safran and the US armed forces. Safran Electronics & Defense calls on its companies and production facilities in the United States to develop and produce avionics and optronics equipment for the US Army and Marines Corps.
A world leader in navigation systems, Safran has developed proven expertise in all inertial technologies (mechanical, laser, optical fiber, resonating, MEMS). It has more than 70 years of experience in providing civil and military navigation systems for all operating environments: air, land, sea and space.
 The US Coast Guard's Reliance class medium endurance cutters (WMEC) displace 1,145 metric tons fully loaded, with an overall length of about 210 feet (64 meters). Offering endurance of six to seven weeks, their missions include the fight against all types of trafficking, anti-pollution, fisheries protection and at-sea search & rescue.
Juniper class seagoing buoy tenders displace about 2,000 metric tons. Featuring reinforced ice-resistant hulls, they are specialized in the installation of navigation buoys, the fight against pollution and deep sea search & rescue. The US Coast Guard deploys 16 ships of this type.