dimarts, 29 de novembre de 2011

India Looking for Amphibious Ships*

In 2007, India’s amphibious capabilities took a big step forward, as the US Navy transferred the Austin Class LPD USS Trenton [LPD 14] to India. The 16,590t INS Jalashwa [L41] now serves alongside 2 smaller 5,600t Shardul Class LST-Ls, and 4 remaining 1,324t Polnochny Class LST-Ms. As India looks to project power within the Indian Ocean, however, and upgrade its disaster response capabilities, larger amphibious operations ships become a high priority.
Reports to date indicate that India is looking for up to 4 LHD type aviation & amphibious ships, with designs to come from foreign firms. The expected candidates come from France, Italy, Spain, and even South Korea…

Reported Contenders

Mistral LHD
Mistral Class LHD
(click to view – Français)
Indian media report that Indian Army Army has almost 10,000 soldiers in 3 amphibious brigades, based in South India, West India and the Andaman Nicobar Command joint force. What it doesn’t have, is the naval carrying capability to turn all of that into a projectable force. LHD type ships could help change this, with their full-ship aviation decks, internal hangars and storage space for utility and attack helicopters or UAVs, ample internal space for vehicles and troops, and specialized areas from hospital facilities to naval command centers. LPD ships like INS Jalashwa offer many of the same potential benefits, at the cost of reduced helicopter capabilities, smaller aviation decks, and generally smaller size. To date, reports conflict, and the Indian government has been vague about its exact requirements. Touted contenders include:
Mistral LHD (DCNS). France’s DCNS is currently India’s shipbuilding partner for its new and sorely needed Scorpene Class diesel electric fast attack submarines. Their offering would reportedly be the 21,300t Mistral Class, which is also about to be exported to India’s ally and weapons supplier, Russia. This may allow for common modifications, if India wants to use Russian weapons on its ships.
Multifunctional Ship LHD (Italy). Italy’s Fincantieri recently delivered the first Deepak Class oiler vessel to the Indian Navy, and is working with India to build Air Defence Ship/ Project-71 30,000t range escort carriers, based on their Cavour Class. Cavour Class aircraft carriers can already convert aircraft hangar space into vehicle storage, and offload using rear ramps. Further conversion steps toward a full amphibious operations ship may be possible, but Mer et Marine refers to Fincantieri’s 20,000t “Multifunction Ship” design, which builds on their experience with the 7,980t San Giorgio Class hybrid design in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Their industrial relationship with India is a strong point for Fincantieri, but they’re also the only mentioned contender without a produced ship of type.
LHD Canberra Cutaway
Canberra concept
(click to view full)
The next 2 competitors don’t have the same history of naval industrial relations, but each offers benefits of its own.
BPE LHD or Galicia LPD (Navantia). Spain’s Navantia has already exported LHDs to the region, thanks to its big deal with Australia for the BPE-derived Canberra Class. These 27,000t ships come with a “ski jump,” much like the Cavour Class, which could let operators fly some types of fast jets from its deck. They also improve carrying capacity for all fixed-wing aircraft, including some UAVs. Australia doesn’t intend to use them that way, but Spain will be flying AV-8 Harrier jets from the Juan Carlos I.
If India would consider LPD ships like the current INS Jalashwa, Navantia’s options expand to include their 13,900t Galicia Class, which was co-developed with Royal Schelde and fielded by the Dutch as the very similar Rotterdam Class. That same “Enforcer” base design also spun out BAE’s smaller Bay Class LSDs, one of which was sold to Australia in 2011, but the Bay Class’ lack of a helicopter hangar probably dooms it in India.
Dokdo LHD (Hanjin HI). The 4th reported contender is Asian, not European. South Korea’s 18,860t Dokdo Class lists itself as an LPH (Landing Platform Helicopter), but it has a full well deck that can launch boats and amphibious vehicles, just like the Mistral and Canberra classes.
Contracts & Key Events
ROKS Dokdo
ROKS Dokdo
(click to view full)
Nov 23/11: Reports surface that India has issued an international RFP for up to 4 amphibious operations vessels with strong helicopter carrier capabilities. The actual India MoD release, however, is more restrained:
”[The Cabinet’s] Defence Acquisition Council has accorded Acceptance of Necessity for induction of four large amphibious ships. Induction of these ships would help to enhance the amphibious lift capability of the Indian Armed Forces. The capability would also be useful for assistance to civil administration, disaster relief and other contingencies.”
Indian shipyards were reportedly consulted first, but of course they have never developed such vessels, and had no design to propose. Indian Government | Mer et Marine [in French] | Navy Recognition.
Sept 10/11: Indian media report that India’s Ministry of Defence is finalizing a Rs 16,000 crore (INR 160 billion, or about $3.17 billion) proposal to buy 4 foreign-designed amphibious ships in INS Jalashwa’s size class. Reports at this point center on LPDs, which would add options like the Dutch/Spanish Rotterdam/Galicia Class, and Britain’s derivative Bay Class (one of which is now serving with Australia), to the mix. 

The winning design would reportedly be built by Hindustan Shipyard (HSL) “as well as private shipyards,” which would be a notable departure for India’s military. Times of India.

* Article publicat a Defense Industry Daily.

dilluns, 28 de novembre de 2011

Soviet Era Ship Killers Slipped Into Syria*

Despite the growing civil war in Syria, Russia is honoring an order, earlier this year, for an unspecified number of SSN-26 Yakhont anti-ship missiles. The order was finally confirmed eight months ago, after four years of haggling and efforts by Israel and the United States to block the sale. Apparently the missiles have already been paid for, and Syrian has assured Russia that the missiles can safely be delivered by ship. Russia is happy for any sale, but seems particularly anxious for this missile to get some combat experience.
The Yakhont was under development throughout the 1990s, but was delayed by lack of funds. Now it's in production, and the Russians have been energetically seeking export sales. The Yakhont uses a liquid-fuel ramjet and travels 300 kilometers at speeds of over 2,000 kilometers an hour (using a high altitude cruise and a low-altitude approach; if it travels entirely at low altitude the range is cut to 120km). When the missile arrives in the area where the target is supposed to be, it turns on its radar and goes for the kill. Israel is the only one in the region the Yakhonts would be used against. However, because Iran is supplying (unofficially) the cash for the missiles, there is also the risk that some of the Yakhonts would end up in Iran for use against numerous targets in the Persian Gulf.
The ground based Yakhont can use truck mounted or fixed launchers, with up to 36 missiles supported by a land based search radar and helicopter mounted radars (to locate targets over the horizon). Once a target has been identified and located, one or two missiles are programmed with that location and launched. The Yakhont is a 8.9 meter (27.6 foot) long, three ton missile with a 300 kg (660 pound) warhead. 
An improved version of the Yakhont, the PJ-10 BrahMos missile, was developed for India. The 9.4 meter (29 foot) long, 670mm diameter missile is an upgraded version of the Yakhont. Lacking money to finish development and begin production, the Russian manufacturer eventually made a deal with India to finish the job. India put up most of the $240 million needed to finally complete two decades of development, an effort which produced the long delayed Yakhont, and more capable BrahMos. The PJ-10 is being built in Russia and India, with the Russians assisting India in setting up manufacturing facilities for cruise missile components. Efforts are being made to export up to 2,000, but no one has placed an order yet. Russia and India are encouraged enough to invest in BrahMos 2, which will use a scramjet, instead of a ramjet, in the second stage. This would double speed, and make the missile much more difficult to defend against. 
The 3.2 ton BrahMos has a range of 300 kilometers and a 300 kg warhead. Perhaps the most striking characteristic is its high speed, literally faster (at up to a kilometer per second) than a rifle bullet. The high price of each missile, about $2.3 million, restricts the number of countries that can afford it. The weapon entered service with the Indian navy in 2005. The maximum speed of 3,000 kilometers an hour makes it harder to intercept, and means it takes five minutes or less to reach its target. The air launched version weighs 2.5 tons, the others, three tons or more.

*Article publicat a strategy page. Donades les greus circumstàncies a Síria, creiem adequat compartir-lo amb vosaltres.

diumenge, 27 de novembre de 2011

USS Enterprise: 50 Years of Service*

The following post is written by CAPT William C. Hamilton, 22nd Commanding Officer of the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in honor of the carrier’s 50th birthday, November 25, 2011.

Today one of the most storied ships in U.S. Navy history broke another record.  The world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) became the first aircraft carrier in history to celebrate 50 years of active service.  The oldest warship still in active service, ENTERPRISE has participated in every major naval conflict from the Cuban Missile Crisis through six arduous tours in Vietnam, the Cold War, the Gulf Wars, and today’s effort to rid the world of terrorism and piracy.

To serve as Commanding Officer of the Big E is nothing less than an honor and a dream fulfilled.  To carry the name ENTERPRISE is a great responsibility and one that I hold dear.  As a Student Naval Aviator in 1985, I was qualified to operate from carriers while flying from her deck.  As an F/A-18 Hornet squadron Department Head in 1995, I flew patrol and combat missions from her deck.  As Executive Officer in 2004, I learned to appreciate the heritage and legacy of the ship and the challenge of operating and maintaining her.  And now, as her Commanding Officer, I fully understand that ENTERPRISE is not a piece of steel, pointed at one end and blunt at the other.  Rather, ENTERPRISE is the pride, spirit, dedication, and hard work of the 200,000 Sailors that have served aboard and flown from her deck.

There is something special about being an ENTERPRISE Sailor.  We have a saying onboard… “There is tough, and there is Enterprise tough.”  The reputation is well known throughout the Fleet and well deserved.  Sailors studying at Nuclear Power School are often met with chuckles and false condolences when it is learned they will be serving on ENTERPRISE.  When they transfer following their tour aboard, the chuckles and false condolences become respect and congratulations.  ENTERPRISE Sailors have to work a little harder and a little longer than their peers on other ships.  They have to overcome and adapt to the challenges of maintaining a 50 year old piece of hardware for which there are precious few spare parts.  And at the end of the day, ENTERPRISE Sailors walk a little taller knowing they kept her “Ready on Arrival” for half a century.

Through three tours in ENTERPRISE, I have been fortunate to have a part in several milestones, but today is like no other and I expect the days ahead will be moving, to say the least.  In the days ahead, I look forward to welcoming home so many of our shipmates, hearing first-hand the many stories of those who served throughout Big-E history, and sharing the bond that each and every ENTERPRISE Sailor knows.

CAPT William “Boomer” Hamilton
Commanding Officer
USS Enterprise (CVN 65)
* Article publicat al lloc web de la US Navy. Hem cregut adequat compartir-lo no només per la celebració, sinó per recordar que amb un correcte manteniment i actualitzacions, els bons dissenys navals poden durar dècades.

dissabte, 26 de novembre de 2011

HMS Bangor returns home from Libya mission*

The Faslane-based Sandown Class minehunter was welcomed home by families and friends who braved the bitterly cold winds and heavy rain as she sailed into HM Naval Base Clyde this morning, 25 November 2011.
Rear Admiral Chris Hockley, Flag Officer Scotland Northern England & Northern Ireland (FOSNNI) was on hand to congratulate the ship’s company on their latest deployment.
HMS Bangor sailed to the Mediterranean in June in support of the NATO Operation Unified Protector off Libya. Her tasks involved scouring miles of sea bed off the Libya coast as the battle between rebels and Colonel Gaddafi raged.

The painstaking work led to her finding a 2,400-pound (1000kg) mine and a torpedo lying on the seabed off the port of Tobruk in eastern Libya. Both were safely destroyed using the ship’s Sea Fox system – an underwater drone armed with explosive charges.

Lt Cdr Neil Marriott, Commanding Officer, said,

“HMS Bangor’s Ship’s Company has produced some excellent results during the past five months off the coast of Libya and their efforts have significantly aided the safety of Libyan civilians.
"They have spent in excess of 120 days at sea, of which 37 were within range of Pro-Gadaffi Forces’ weapons whilst clearing safe routes for merchant traffic and the delivery of Humanitarian Aid, and cleared 2 pieces of ordnance off the coast of Tobruk.”
Bangor did not lose a single day’s work to defects or breakdown during the summer, despite sailing hundreds of miles at a time and working round the clock.

Initially bound for duties with NATO in the North Sea, she was retasked to work in the Mediterranean.
Ops Room Supervisor, Petty Officer Steve 'Stirling' Moss, said:

"When we're mine hunting we have several people watching the screens for any contact.
"On the Tobruk task we saw several items which looked about the size of a mine, and two of them turned out to be real.
 "It's not a regular thing to happen, so we're really pleased we found them and we were able to destroy them."
After Colonel Gaddafi fell the operational pace dropped, and Bangor was able to complete the final mine hunting task into Sirte.

NATO operations concluded on the 31 October and she commenced her way home. She stopped in Gibraltar off southern Spain last weekend, where sailors could run to the top of the rock ahead of a Remembrance service where a wreath was laid at the territory’s Cenotaph. Lt Cdr Marriott said:

“For many, this was their first operational deployment or time away from family and friends, and they are all deserved of their forthcoming leave following the very successful mission, for which they should be rightly proud.”
Commander David Bence, the Commanding Officer of the First Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCM1) at HMNB Clyde, said:

“Today sees Faslane welcome home a Minehunter from active service in the Mediterranean.
"Her contribution to the NATO mission off Libya has been outstanding and has been far in excess of expectations.
"HMS Bangor’s ships company epitomise everything that is great about our men and woman, from their stoic response to her short notice activation to the professional and flexible manner in which they conducted operations; the country, the RN and their families should be proud.”

*Notícia publicada al lloc web oficial de la Royal Navy. 

divendres, 25 de novembre de 2011

La DGA livre le premier catamaran de débarquement*

La direction générale de l’armement (DGA) a réceptionné le 24 novembre 2011 à Toulon le premier engin de débarquement amphibie rapide (EDA-R), qui quintuple la capacité de débarquement offerte par rapport aux chalands en service. Les EDA-R seront utilisés sur les bâtiments de projection et de commandement (BPC) de la marine.

Notifié en juin 2009 dans le cadre du plan de relance de l’économie, le marché comprend l’acquisition de quatre EDA-R en tranche ferme et leur maintien en condition opérationnelle jusqu’à mi-2015. Les trois autres engins seront livrés d’ici mi-2012. Basé sur un concept unique au monde (L-CAT - Landing Catamaran ) breveté par la société CNIM (Constructions industrielles de la Méditerranée), l’EDA-R est un catamaran rapide en mode transit, qui se transforme en navire à fond plat pour plager et enradier, grâce à une plate-forme élévatrice centrale. Chaque BPC peut emporter deux EDA-R dans son radier.

Conçus pour effectuer le débarquement de troupes et de véhicules militaires à partir d’un bâtiment amphibie positionné au-delà de l'horizon (30 nautiques/55 km), les EDA-R pourront être utilisés pour des opérations humanitaires dans des zones dépourvues d’infrastructures portuaires. Long de 30 mètres et large de 12, l’EDA-R a une capacité d'emport de 80 tonnes et une vitesse de 18 nœuds à pleine charge et de 30 nœuds à vide. Ses portes à l’avant et à l’arrière simplifient les opérations de chargement et de déchargement des véhicules. Au total la capacité du flux logistique est 5 fois supérieure à celle offerte par les chalands en service.

Le chantier naval Socarenam, sous-traitant du maître d’œuvre CNIM, fabrique la coque sur son site de Saint-Malo et finalise le navire à Boulogne-sur-Mer. La charge de travail générée par la réalisation des quatre engins est d’environ 400 000 heures et représente plus d’une centaine d’emplois directs pendant 3 ans. Au coté de CNIM et de Socarenam, de nombreuses entreprises et PME françaises sont impliquées dans la réalisation des EDA-R.

* Nota de premsa publicada al web de la Marine Nationale.

dimecres, 23 de novembre de 2011

Navy frigate sent to Libya with four missiles

Royal Navy officers said HMS Westminster was “dangerously under-defended” when it was called on to patrol close to the Libyan port city of Benghazi in March. The warship can carry 32 Seawolf and eight Harpoon missiles but it is understood that military cutbacks left the Westminster and its crew of 190 with only a fraction of that capability. 

As Seawolf missiles — which are used to intercept incoming missiles — are fired in pairs, sources said the Westminster had just two rounds to defend against missile attacks from Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.
In another recent admission, the Royal Navy said it was unable to spare a warship to guard British waters for the whole of October after last year’s defence cuts.
Rear Admiral Chris Parry, a retired officer, said it was unbelievable that the Westminster had so few missiles on board and said ships in the Falklands and the Gulf wars were equipped to full capacity. He added: “This is yet another example of the incoherence of last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review. What if the Government’s bluff had been called? What would the Ministry of Defence be saying if the Westminster had been hit by something? They took a big risk.

“The Government needs to realise there’s only a limited amount you can cut the tail before the teeth fall out.”
Penny Mordaunt, the Conservative MP for Portsmouth North, who is a naval reservist, said: “I am absolutely convinced, and so are other warfare officers I’ve spoken to, that the Westminster would have been in danger. “We’ve hollowed out the capability to a dangerous level.” 

The Ministry of Defence accepted that the Westminster was short of missiles when it sailed to Libya and that it was not replenished at sea. But a spokesman would not confirm or deny claims that the ship had just four missiles in the war zone. Ursula Brennan, the Permanent Under Secretary at the MoD, said: “The assessment of the risk to HMS Westminster would have taken into account the other capabilities that we had in terms of submarines, aircraft and surveillance and so on. The questions will then have been asked, 'In those circumstances, do we think that is a risk worth taking?’ “That is a judgment our operations people take on a daily basis.” 

* Notícia publicada al Telegraph.

dimecres, 16 de novembre de 2011

Pedro´s Boat Centre guanya el concurs del varador del Cós Nou al port de Maó *

Palma, 10 de novembre de 2011.
El Consell d´Administració de l´Autoritat Portuària de l’APB ha aprovat avui horabaixa adjudicar a l´empresa Pedro´s Boat Centre S.L. l´explotació del varador per a la reparació d´embarcacions del Cós Nou al port de Maó. La decisió s´ha pres a proposta del president de l´APB, José María Urrutia, després que la comissió tècnica encarregada de valorar les ofertes presentades al concurs la considerà com la solució més avantatjosa.

Pedro´s Boat Centre S.L. gestionarà durant 23 anys el nou varador, que comptarà amb una superfície propera als 37.000 metres quadrats, dels quals 30.000 seran en terra i 7.000 de mirall d´aigua, i aportarà una inversió superior als 8,6 milions d´euros.

Entre altres serveis, oferirà la hissada i avarada d´embarcacions per a la seva neteja i reparació, trasllat i custòdia d´aquestes, l´explotació de locals i despatxos per a les empreses del sector, així com subministrament d´aigua, electricitat, telefonia i la recollida selectiva d´escombraries i residus.

El varador disposarà també d´un travelift de 200 tones capaç de transportar embarcacions de fins a 30 metres d´eslora. Tot això suposarà una substancial millora dels serveis nàutics oferts fins al moment, en especial atenció a la seguretat i a la protecció del medi ambient.

Aquesta nova instal•lació donarà un nou impuls al sector de la reparació d´embarcacions de Menorca amb la generació d´un centenar de llocs de treball, a més de proporcionar al port de Maó de major competitivitat i convertir-lo en un potencial punt de referència a la Mediterrània occidental en les prestació de serveis nàutics.

* Notícia publicada al web de l'autoritat portuària de les Illes Balears.

diumenge, 13 de novembre de 2011

Multi-Service Office to Advance Air-Sea Battle Concept

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Department of Defense announced Nov. 9 the creation of a new office to integrate air and naval combat capabilities in support of emerging national security requirements.

In the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates directed the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to develop a comprehensive concept to counter emerging anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) challenges. The services collaborated to develop the Air-Sea Battle (ASB) concept. On Aug. 12, 2011, Navy Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, and Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove established the Air-Sea Battle Office (ASBO), creating a framework to implement the ASB concept.

The ASB concept will guide the services as they work together to maintain a continued U.S. advantage against the global proliferation of advanced military technologies and A2/AD capabilities. Air-Sea Battle will leverage military and technological capabilities that reflect unprecedented Navy, Marine and Air Force collaboration, cooperation, integration, and resource investments.

The ASBO will oversee the concept implementation by facilitating coordination among the services, influencing service wargames, fostering development and integration of air and naval capabilities, and collaborating with the joint forces. The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps will each dedicate a minimum of two field grade officers or civil service equivalents to the ASBO.

Implementation of the ASB concept by the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps will foster positive change in the institutional relationships among the services, the integration of acquisition strategies, and the conceptual approach to warfare. The ASB concept is a natural and deliberate evolution of U.S. warfighting to counter emerging A2/AD threats that include conventional ballistic missiles, long-range precision cruise missiles, advanced integrated air and missile defense systems, electronic and cyber warfare capabilities, submarines, surface combatants, and modern combat aircraft. Air-Sea Battle will enable the projection of force in defense of U.S. interests and those of our allies and by sustaining stability and freedom of access throughout the global commons. 

The transcript of the background briefing is located at http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4923 .

divendres, 11 de novembre de 2011

Un tren amb 174 vehicles nous estrena la terminal ferroviària del moll Costa*

El Port de Barcelona ha invertit 2,5 milions d’euros en la infraestructura, que dóna servei a les terminals de short sea shipping.

La terminal ferroviària del moll Costa construïda pel Port de Barcelona va rebre ahir el seu primer tren, un ferrocarril carregat amb un total de 174 vehicles nous procedent de Saragossa. Amb una longitud de 398 metres i 15 vagons, el ferrocarril va arribar a la terminal ferroviària del moll Costa a les 8.55 hores. Un cop descarregats a la Terminal Ferry de Barcelona, els automòbils seran embarcats amb destinació a Itàlia.

La terminal ferroviària del moll Costa, dotada d’ample ibèric i mètric, ha suposat per a l’Autoritat Portuària una inversió de 2,5 milions d’euros. L’actuació ha comportat l’execució d’una línia ferroviària de 530 metres de longitud i d’un pas elevat per a vehicles que connecta aquesta infraestructura amb l’esplanada del moll Costa. Des d’aquest punt es donarà servei a la Terminal Ferry de Barcelona, situada al moll de Sant Bertran i gestionada per Acciona, i a la futura terminal de short sea shipping (SSS) del moll Costa.

A partir d’ara, aquesta infraestructura està a disposició dels tràfics de vehicles nous que utilitzin els serveis marítims concentrats en aquests molls: ferris amb les Illes Balears, línies de SSS amb Itàlia (Gènova, Civitavecchia, Livorno i Porto Torres) i amb el nord d’Àfrica. La nova terminal permetrà als fabricants de vehicles el trasllat massiu per tren d’automòbils que fins ara arriben al Port de Barcelona per carretera. Així, aquesta instal·lació ferroviària contribuirà a una impulsar la competitivitat de la indústria automobilística del hinterland del Port, ja que facilita una logística més sostenible i menys depenent dels combustibles fòssils.

El tràfic ferroviari de vehicles ha experimentat un important increment al Port de Barcelona durant els darrers anys. Fins al mes de setembre, el Port de Barcelona ha registrat un tràfic ferroviari d’automòbils de 122.500 unitats, un 22% més que al mateix període de l’any anterior. Aquest resultat suposa que el 26% del tràfic total de vehicles del Port arriba o surt del recinte portuari per mode ferroviari.

*Nota de premsa publicada al web del Port de Barcelona el dia 10 de novembre de 2011.

dimecres, 9 de novembre de 2011

CNIM - Landing Craft and Multipurpose Patrol Craft*

French-based company CNIM is involved in a wide range of activities within the defence industry. For the naval sector, CNIM has designed a new concept of landing craft for LCU, LCT and LST.

L-CAT landing catamaran

The L-CAT landing catamaran is an innovative amphibious fast shore-connecting concept developed by CNIM in reply to 'over the horizon' logistic and force projecting requirements of modern LPD / LHD vessels.

The L-CAT consists of a full length mobile platform operated by hydraulic jacks, which is suspended between the two hulls. During landing operations the platform lowers into the sea thereby lifting the vessel out of the water reducing its draft to approximately 0.8m allowing the vessel to navigate in shallow water and come to shore and beach. During high-speed navigation the platform is lifted in its highest position, improving the vessels sea-going capacities and allowing it to be deployed up to 200 miles from shore.
The L-CAT is designed to fit within the minimised space provided by dock ships, and provides full Ro-Ro capacities and open sea door-to-door logistics.

The French Ministry of Defence acquired four vessels and the first of series is scheduled to be delivered in 2011. The L-CAT can operate on any sea with or without a harbour. Her versatility makes her suitable for all kinds of disaster relief operations.

MPC multipurpose patrol craft

The MPC is a vessel dedicated to multi-role coast guard duties. It combines a number of innovative features allowing it to deploy fast intervention RHIBs (rigid hull inflatable boat), vehicles or trucks, oil recovery installations, ROVs and numerous other equipment on a large mobile platform installed between the two hulls. It has an effective payload capacity of 60t. 

The movable platform can be lowered into the water, thereby reducing the vessels draft, allowing it to navigate in shallow waters and approach the shore and beach. Its foldable bow ramp gives it the capability to load vehicles to and from beaches and quays, giving the vessel an effective Ro-Ro functionality. 

The capacity to deploy RHIBs in severe weather conditions is of major importance. Instead of performing RHIB operations from the side or over the transom, the MPC lowers and inclines its platform to create a sheltered sea area in between two hulls, as well as a protected and artificial landing area onto the inclined platform. Doing so, the operators can work under safe conditions, while the RHIBs navigate away from the vessels stern wake turmoil during launching and recovery manoeuvring. The ship provides accommodation for a complement of 12 crew and 16 special trained personnel, which allows for missions in excess of ten days and 1500 nautical miles. 

These combined features allow the MPC to be used for coastal patrol services, logistic support, humanitarian rescue, military operations, oil spill cleaning and combined asymmetric threat assessment.

MPC2 multi-role offshore patrol vessel

By using a unique patented lifting platform, the MPC2 combines shallow water landing and shore-connecting operations with the deployment of high-speed interceptors, helicopters, UAVs or observation ROVs. 

The movable platform can be lowered into the water, thereby reducing the vessels draft, allowing it to navigate in shallow waters and approach the shore and beach. RHIB launching and recovering operations are performed by lowering and inclining the ships platform to create a sheltered sea area in between two hulls, as well as a protected artificial landing area onto the inclined platform. Doing so, the operators can work under safe conditions, while the RHIBs and interceptors can navigate away from the vessels stern wake turmoil. 

The ship provides an effective platform payload of 200t and accommodation for a complement of 25 crew and 50 special trained personnel, which allows for missions in excess of 3000 nautical miles.
With economic speed ranges the MPC has a cost-effective interest within a number of multi-role deployment scenarios: 
  • Law enforcement and illegal traffic control
  • Deployment of high-speed interceptor and RHIB’s
  • Military force projections and high-speed shore connections
  • Logistic support for both military and humanitarian operations
  • Helicopter and UAV operations
*Notícia publicada a naval-technology.com

divendres, 4 de novembre de 2011

Construction of first German 125-class frigate moves ahead*

Construction of the German Navy's first 125-class (F125) frigate has progressed with the laying-down of the first hull section at the Blohm + Voss shipyard, Hamburg, Germany.The laying-down follows a three-year design and management phase, plus a six-month production period on the first hull section.

ARGE F125, a joint venture of ThyssenKrupp Marine System and Friedrich Lürssen Werft, was awarded a contract for production of four F125 frigates in June 2007.

The 149m-long vessel has a displacement capacity of 7,000t and can cruise at speeds of 26kt with accommodation for a crew of 190.

The F125 vessel has been designed for national and allied defence, peacekeeping initiatives, humanitarian rescue missions, and to combat terrorism and defend against asymmetric threats.

Delivery of the first vessel is planned for 2016, with the last vessel scheduled for delivery in 2018.

The German Navy's new F125 frigate will have the capability to be deployed worldwide for up to two years before returning to the home base and can be in operation for up to 5,000 hours a year, including under tropical conditions.

The main mission of the F125 frigate is taking part in joint assignments, including multinational assignments in network-centric operations. The 5,500t displacement frigate has a new and stealthy design of hull and superstructure, which appears to be based on a highly modified Meko-D configuration.

The German Navy started to plan a successor for the F122 Bremen Class frigates in 1997. The German Navy operates eight Bremen Class F122 frigates, which entered service between 1982 and 1990. The concept of the replacement frigates was originally as a multi-role combatant but, by 2005 the requirement for the F125 was based on a capability to counter asymmetric threats and perform stabilisation operations with lethal and non-lethal intervention. The German Navy announced that the F125 would be armed with land attack systems and air warfare point-defence equipment but would not be equipped with sonar.

In June 2007, ThyssenKrupp announced the Arge F125 consortium had been contracted by the Federal Office for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) for four F125 frigates. The Arge F125 consortium comprises the industrial leader, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (including Blohm + Voss and Nordseewerke) with Lurssen Werft. Construction began in May 2011 and delivery of the first of class F125 is scheduled for 2016. The final vessel is expected to be delivered by 2018.

F125 crew

Each frigate has two crews of typically 105 to 120 people, who are changed every four months. The number of crew represents an approximately 50% reduction in crew compared to previous generation frigates and is achieved partly through a high level of automation. The frigate also accommodates 50 special forces and their equipment. The special forces' transportation can be two helicopters or four armed boats.

Command and control

In March 2006, EADS was contracted to supply the F125 command and control and weapons deployment system, FuWES (Fuhrungs-und Waffeneinsatzsystem). The contract covered the development and delivery of the system, including the complete software, hardware and infrastructure and the FuWES testing and performance verification for all four frigates.

The FuWES system has an open and modular structure allowing flexibility to accommodate future additional or modified systems. In order to provide tactical data exchange and a high level of interoperability with other joint and combined military platforms, the communications systems, link 11, link 16 and link 22 are integrated into F125 command and control system. The combat management system is operated from the Atlas Elektronik OMADA consoles, designed specifically for the F125.

Integrated bridge and navigation system

Raytheon Anschutz in Kiel, Germany (previously Anschutz & Co, a subsidiary of Carl Zeiss) was contracted in August 2008 for the supply of the integrated bridge and navigation system for the F125 frigates. The integrated bridge and navigation system consists of six multi-function consoles capable of displaying various functions such as two X/S-band radars, two electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS) and NautoConning navigation data which reads and displays in a logically arranged manner and distributes the navigation data.

One of the six consoles is for route planning purposes. The integrated bridge and navigation system encompasses the ship steering and control equipment, a Raytheon ring-laser based dual MINS marine inertial navigation system, two data distribution units and a complete set of navigational sensors and meteorological equipment. A redundant laid out Ethernet bus configuration interconnects the multi-function consoles and sensors.


The ship is equipped for defence against air attack and also for land attack. The F125 is also armed with non-lethal weapons, such as water cannons and searchlights for non-provocative deterrence and defence.

F125 guns

The ship is fitted with ten guns, 12.7mm to 155mm, which allow fast automatic engagement. The BWB awarded Oto Melara contracts for the supply of five 127/64 LW Alleggerito lightweight naval guns, four for installation on the F125 frigates and the fifth for training.

The gun is installed on the forward gun deck. The turret of the 127/64 Alleggerito has a low radar cross section. The gun has two automatic feeding devices (AFDs), one for the charges and one for the projectiles, the rounds being automatically assembled before entering the turret, and can fire long-range Vulcano ammunition. The guns have a 35-rounds-a-minute rate of fire and a range of 23km against surface targets and 8.6km against airborne target.

The German Navy has also selected the Oto Melara remote controlled 12.7mm HITROLE naval turret in the naval tilting (NT) option for the F125. The contract covers the supply of 25 systems, five for installation of each of the four frigates and five for installation on land for training.


Two quadruple missile launchers for the Boeing RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile are installed amidship on the missile deck forward of the funnel. The Harpoon missiles are armed with a 227kg warhead and use active radar homing. The missiles have a high subsonic speed (Mach 0.9) and a range of up to 130km.

The F125 has two 21-cell mk49 launchers armed with the Raytheon RIM-116 rolling airframe missile (RAM). The RAM point defence missile is a lightweight infrared homing surface-to-air missile for deployment against incoming anti-ship cruise missiles. The forward launcher is installed immediately forward of the bridge and the aft launcher is installed on the roof of the helicopter hangar just forward of the helicopter deck.


The frigates have no conventional on-board sonar but instead have a diver and swimmer detection sonar to counter terrorist and special forces threats. The frigates are equipped with a 360° infrared surveillance system installed on the front surface of the tower mast at a position just lower than the air and surface search radar.

Radar systems will include an EADS TRS-3D air and surface search radar, navigation and fire control radars. The TRS-3D radar carries out automatic detection, track initiation and tracking of all types of air and sea targets. The navigation radar is installed on the roof of the bridge.


Much of the electronic warfare suite has not been announced but it will include four Rheinmetall MASS multi ammunition soft-kill systems. The MASS decoy and mini mortar dispensers are installed on the port and starboard sides above the bridge and on the helicopter hangar roof.


The frigate has a 490m² aft helicopter deck and a hangar for two NH-90 helicopters. The NH-90 helicopters have a range of 790km.


The frigates are fitted with a new combined diesel electric and gas (CODLAG) electrical propulsion system with a 20MW General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine, four MTU 20V 4000 M53B diesel engines providing 3,015kW each (total 12.06MW) and two Siemens electric motors providing 4.5MW each (total 9MW). The main machinery will run for 30,000 hours between major overhauls. The F125 is fitted with bow thrusters for precision dockyard manoeuvring without assistance.

* Apareguda la notícia sobre l'avanç en la producció de les fragates F125, hem cregut convenient penjar-vos també la fitxa tècnica.

dijous, 3 de novembre de 2011

Germany Sells Israel More Dolphin Subs*

In November 2005, reports surfaced that that Germany would sell Israel 2 AIP-equipped Dolphin submarines, to join its existing fleet of 3 conventional diesel-electric Dolphin Class boats. In 2006, the deal for 2 Dolphin AIP boats was finalized at a total of $1.27 billion, with the German government picking up 1/3 of the cost. The new boats are built at the Howaldtswerke-Deutche Werft AG (HDW) shipyard, in the Baltic Sea coastal city of Kiel, with deliveries originally scheduled to begin in 2010.
Reports that an additional sale may be in the offing have now been confirmed, but just absorbing these 3 new boats will be no small challenge for Israel’s “3rd service”...

The Dolphin Class, and Its Improvements

Dolphin sub Cutaway
Dolphin Class Cutaway
(click to view larger)
The Dolphins are quiet diesel-electric attack submarines that evolved from Germany’s famous and ubiquitous U209 Class. They can fire torpedoes and missiles from their 533mm torpedo tubes, perform underwater surveillance, and even launch combat swimmers via a wet and dry compartment.

Germany had already donated two Dolphin submarines to the Israeli navy after the Gulf War in the early 1990s. The first-of-class INS (Israeli Naval Ship) Dolphin was commissioned in 1999, while INS Leviathan was commissioned in 2000. The Israelis later bought a 3rd submarine for $350 million total, using a 50/50 shared cost arrangement with the German government. INS Tekuma (“revival, renewal”) also entered service in 2000. 

INS Leviathan
INS Leviathan
(click to view larger)
The Dolphin subs are reportedly designed for a crew of 35 and can support 10 passengers. They have a maximum speed of 20 knots (though as diesel subs, their endurance at speed is limited), and a maximum range of 4,500 km/ 2,700 miles. The submarines incorporate Atlas Elektronik’s ISUS 90-1 TCS for provides automatic sensor management, fire and weapon control, navigation and operation.

Dolphin submarines are versatile and heavily-armed, with a wet and dry compartment for deploying underwater swimmers, and no less than 10 bow torpedo tubes. Four of the tubes have a 650mm diameter, which can launch larger cruise missiles, but are also useful for launching commandos in swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs). The other 6×533mm tubes can launch STN Atlas Elektronik’s DM2A3 torpedoes or anti-ship missiles (likely Boeing’s UGM-86 Harpoons). Underwater mines offer another option.

It is also rumored that Israel has tested a nuclear-capable version of its medium-range “Popeye Turbo” cruise missile design for deployability from the 650mm torpedo tubes in its Dolphin Class submarines. The 2002 Popeye Turbo launch test location off Sri Lanka suggested that the tests may have been performed in cooperation with India.

HDW’s AIP System
The rumors concerning Israel’s nuclear-capable cruise missiles had stalled additional Dolphin class sales in 2003, as had Israeli issues with the price tag. Israel’s Navy is widely considered to be last among the country’s services on the spending priority list, and so finds itself with less latitude than the Army and Air Force. The final $846 million/ $424 million Israeli-German deal for 2 more submarines addressed Israeli price concerns to some extent, provided a job creation benefit for the German government, and completed the 2nd major long-delayed arms sale that the Schroeder government solidified during its final month in office. [1

The AIP system chosen for the 3 newest Dolphin boats (#4-6) has not specified. While HDW owns Kockums AB and its successful Stirling AIP system, it also has its own technology using Siemens PEM hydrogen fuel cells. This HDW system is used in the U212/214 Class, which the Dolphins resemble and which are also derived from the U209 1300/1400 subs.

* Fragment d'un article publicat web de Defense Industry Daily. Considerem important conèixer els submarins de la classe Dolphin, no només per l'aspecte tecnològic, sinó perquè poden ser una de les eines decisives que Israel empri en un conflicte amb l'Iran. S'ha arribat a comentar que podrien ser-hi instal·lats míssils balístics.

dimecres, 2 de novembre de 2011

JMSDF Anti-Submarine Warfare Training during AE11*

 By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Juan Pinalez

PACIFIC OCEAN - Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) assigned to Escort Flotilla Three, U.S. Navy Sailors assigned to Task Force 70, and the USS George Washington Strike Group, collaborated on anti-submarine warfare techniques during Annual Exercise 2011 (AE11) Oct. 28.
Click for a closer look.
PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 29, 2011) - Sailors prepare an F/A-18F Super Hornet from the "Diamondbacks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102 for launch on the flight deck of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam K. Thomas)

AE11 is a weeklong bi-lateral naval exercise conducted in the waters off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. It allows the United States and Japan to practice and evaluate coordination procedures and interoperability elements. These exercises are required to effectively and mutually respond to the defense of Japan, a regional crisis, or a contingency situation in the Asia-Pacific region.

“I’m very happy to be aboard George Washington and to participate in this year’s annual exercise,” said Capt. Fumihiko Tsukada, commander, Escort Flotilla Three (CCF3) Chief of Staff. “We are currently learning how to protect our high value targets against enemy submarines and are also increasing the interoperability between the U.S. Navy and the JMSDF.”

Tsukada’s role aboard George Washington is to coordinate with the JMSDF and the U.S. Navy in support of the large and complex exercise. It involves maritime training in air, surface and subsurface battle spaces in support of the defense of Japan.

Senior Chief Operations Specialist (SW/AW) Jason Madott, AE11’s assistant joint-interface control officer aboard George Washington said, “We have advanced systems that allow us to share radar information with each other to paint a very detailed and shared picture to fight a war if needed,” said Madott, “With our equipment we can pick up submarines, aircraft, or surface ships and put that data on a common operating picture so our commanders can work together to make the proper decisions to maintain sea superiority.”

For the JMSDF, the real asset gained is the experience they get from Destroyer Squadron 15 and the ability to share vital information openly between sea partners, said Tsukada. Tsukada participated in Keen Sword in 2010 and had the opportunity to see the display of sea power projection from one of the JMSDF ships.

“This year I am looking forward to seeing the view from George Washington’s Signal Bridge; I’ll see an impressive view of all the ships,” said Tsukada.

In addition to George Washington, other U.S. ships participating include the guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USS Dewey (DDG 98), USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Stethem (DDG 63) and USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108); the amphibious ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46); mine countermeasure ships USS Guardian (MCM 5) and USS Patriot (MCM 7); and maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft and U.S. submarines.
* Notícia publicada al lloc web oficial de la 7a Flota de la US Navy, responsable del Pacífic oest i part de l'Oceà Índic. Els exercicis conjunts entre les flotes dels Estats Units i el Japó, després d'un relaxament posterior a l'enfonsament de l'URSS, han ressorgit amb forces renovades davant el creixement xinés.