dijous, 28 de març de 2013

Indian Navy launches third Kamorta-class P-28 ASW corvette*

The Indian Navy
's Directorate of Naval Design has launched the third Project-28 (P-28) Kamorta-class anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, Kiltan, in Kolkata, India.
Built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), INS Kiltan has been named after an island, Kiltan, located in the Lakshwadeep archipelago of India.
GRSE has been previously awarded a contract by the Indian Navy to build and deliver four 109m-long Project-28 ASW corvettes by 2016.
Capable of cruising at a speed of 25k, the 2,500t P-28 ASW corvettes will provide anti-submarine warfare capabilities with a low-signature of radiated underwater noise and operate under nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) environment.
Featuring advanced stealth technology, the ships will be equipped with domestically manufactured state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, which include a medium-range gun, torpedo tube launchers, rocket launchers and close-in weapon system.
In addition to Bow mounted Sonar, the vessels will be fitted with advanced integrated platform management system for controlling and co-ordinating propulsion, auxiliary and power generation equipment."The vessels will be fitted with advanced integrated platform management system for controlling and co-ordinating propulsion, auxiliary and power generation equipment."
The ships are powered by a CODAG propulsion system, consisting of twin gas turbines, twin diesel engines and twin diesel generators, which will drive two-shaft, controllable-pitch propellers, according to globalsecurity.org.
Designed to accommodate a crew of 85, the ASW corvettes are armed with Klub-N 220km-range supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, AK-630M close-in weapon systems and 76-mm guns.
Launched in April 2010, the first GRSE-built ASW corvette, INS Kamorta is scheduled to be delivered to the Indian Navy by the year-end, while the second corvette, INS Kadmatt is currently under construction.
Scheduled for launch in 2014, the fourth ASW corvette INS Kavaratti will undergo trials prior to its delivery to the Navy in more than 20 months.

* Notícia publicada a Naval Technology. La Indian Navy segueix, continua el seu procés d'indigenització del material.

Chinese navy makes waves in South China Sea*

BEIJING — A Chinese navy flotilla is conducting military drills at an island chain that is claimed by nearby Malaysia in a rare and provocative visit to the southernmost part of the South China Sea.
The military show of force into the far reaches of the sea was seen by some experts as a signal from the new Chinese leadership installed this month under President Xi Jinping that it is going to enforce its claims to the entire South China Sea.
“It was a surprisingly strong message in sending out this task force on such a new operational role from previous PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy) patrols in the region,” Gary Li, a senior analyst with IHS Fairplay in London, told the Wednesday edition of the South China Morning Post.
“It is not just a few ships here and there, but a crack amphibious landing ship carrying marines and hovercraft and backed by some of the best escort ships in the PLAN fleet,” he said, adding that jet fighters had also been used to cover the task force.
“We’ve never seen anything like this that far south in terms of quantity or quality.”
The four-ship flotilla, including China’s most advanced amphibious landing ship, reached James Shoal on Tuesday. Sailors gathered on the ship’s helicopter deck declared their loyalty to the ruling Communist Party and vowed to “struggle arduously to realize the dream of a powerful nation,” Xinhua said.
James Shoal is a small bank 50 miles from the Malaysia coast, and 1,120 miles from China, south of the Spratly Islands. In 2010, China planted a monument on the shoal declaring it the Chinese territory of “Zengmu Reef.”
The act was part of China’s claims to all islands, fishing grounds and energy resources in 1 million square miles of ocean shared also by Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan. The South China Sea is also a major transit route for global shipping; half of all cargo in the world passes through the sea.
Malaysia says China’s claims are bogus and merely an attempt to seize resources such as possible oil and gas deposits that are well within the internationally recognized coastal territory of Malaysia.
Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, Northeast Asia director for the International Crisis Group, a non-profit working in conflict prevention, said the naval exercise is consistent with China’s “shift from a land-focused power to a maritime power.”
The strategy has been pushed over the past two years, during which China has grown more assertive over its maritime claims, she said.
The recent consolidation of maritime agencies is designed to make them “better focused, better equipped and more effective in defending China’s maritime claims,” Kleine-Ahlbrandt said.

* Notícia publicada a Navy News. La Xina continua marcant territori en el que considera de "sobirania indiscutible". Esperem que les amenaces no se'ls escapin de les mans.

dimecres, 27 de març de 2013

Tripulacions. La gent de bord de les barques de pesca

El conjunt d’homes que treballen a bord d’una barca de pesca és el que anomenem la seva tripulació. Tots ells són necessaris per a poder sortir a pescar. Cadascú té un paper clau durant la jornada de feina en mar i també quan arriben a port. Els seus rols, els horaris i les barques que utilitzen varien considerablement segons la tècnica de pesca que desenvolupen. Actualment a Catalunya els sistemes de pesca més representatius són l’arrossegament, l’encerclament, el palangre i els arts menors, aquests darrers conformats genèricament per diferents tècniques de caire artesanal com els tresmalls, les soltes, les nanses i els palangres.

Anar en mar comporta risc personal i incertesa respecte al fruit i el guany que se’n pot extreure. Ser pescador és un ofici que no s’assembla a cap altre dels que es desenvolupen en terra. En el seu medi, el marítim, treballen de forma ordenada i controlada. Les confraries, que agrupen els pescadors, fan una regulació i una defensa de la seva feina i dels interessos de tots els associats.

En aquesta exposició us presentem els membres de les tripulacions de les barques de pesca més comunes de Catalunya resumides en sis pescadors amb sis papers ben diferenciats. Us expliquem la seva feina, la tecnologia que utilitzen per a desenvolupar-la i el seu lloc a l’embarcació. A més a més fem un repàs d’aquells temes clau per entendre millor aquest ofici: l’associacionisme laboral, la formació, la tradició, la tecnologia o la seguretat.

Us animem a embarcar-vos i acompanyar-nos cap a un millor coneixement i reconeixement de les tripulacions: la gent de bord de les barques de pesca.

* Blau Naval anima als seus lectors a visitar aquesta exposició. Entendre els pescadors, posar-se a la seva pell, és també entendre Catalunya.

The Chinese Navy has a problem*

Debates over China’s anti-access system of systems
 and its desire to pierce the successive Pacific Island chains often overlook the fact that China faces a very basic set of maritime problems. The PRC draws its most important resources from across an ocean that it cannot control, and exports most of its finished goods to overseas partners who similarly lay beyond the reach of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).  Whether or not the PLAN can deter or defeat the
 U.S. Navy (USN) in China’s littoral, the organization’s true test lies in its ability to secure the PRC’s critical lines of communication.
The concept
 of the Sea Control Ship builds on the World War II experience of
 escort carriers; small, slow aircraft carriers with air wings focused on anti-submarine missions. The Royal Navy and the United States Navy pioneered development of these ships, designed to cover the gaps in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) air coverage over the Atlantic.  Escort carriers were remarkably successful in forcing German U-boats to remain submerged, or destroying them outright. 
The United States played with the concept (espoused most vigorously by Admiral Elmo Zumwalt) during the Cold War
 without ever embracing it outright, although it did convert several old Essex class carriers to perform anti-submarine duties. The USN also experimented with converting USS Guam (an Iwo Jima class LPH) to sea control duties, although the experience was not widely regarded as a success. Nevertheless, healthy debate
 in the Navy continued into the late 1970s and 1980s.
In practice, the USN did not need to construct dedicated Sea Control Ships, because so many U.S. allies operated (and continue to operate) small carriers that perform basic sea control missions.  Ranging from the Colossus class carriers
 distributed across the world at the end of World War II, to the Spanish Dedalo
, to the modern Hyuga class Helicopter Destroyer
, the USN could and can depend on allies to conduct escort missions. The USN could also rely on access to airbases worldwide in order to support land-based sea control aviation.
China has none of these advantages. No Chinese ally is likely to devote treasure to the construction of sea control ships in the near future (Pakistan might be the best long term bet), and China lacks access to good bases
 for counter-sea aviation.  For sea control beyond China’s littoral, the PLAN has few, if any, good options.
In a structurally similar position to China (although much less dependent on foreign trade), the Soviet Navy started with what amounted to Sea Control Ships, in the form of the Moskva class helicopter carriers and the Kiev class “heavy aviation cruisers.” Although these ships weren’t designed specifically with commerce protection in mind, they were specialized for anti-submarine warfare, with allowance for air superiority and surface warfare in the Kiev class. Moreover, Soviet naval aviation evolved over time, with new platforms benefitting from experiences earned with older vessels.
China has been determined to leap several stages, with consequences for training that arealready becoming apparent
. But perhaps more importantly, by skipping ahead the PLAN has left itself bereft of the kind of low cost, medium size platforms that can support sea control operations at a distance from home. The lack of these sea control platforms (or suitable alternatives) will leave the PLAN at a serious disadvantage when and if it needs to protect lines of communication in unfriendly environments. Liaoning can only operate
 in one place at a time, and only for a limited time period. The PLAN might have been better served by adopting the more evolutionary Soviet approach to naval aviation.

* Article publicat a The Diplomat. Certament, sense el control de les línies de proveïment marítim, la Xina segueix sent vulnerable. Com hem recordat molts cops, les capacitats ASW xineses són una assignatura pendent.

dilluns, 25 de març de 2013

Pakistan Navy to receive fourth Chinese built F-22P frigate next month*

The Pakistan Navy is set to receive the fourth F-22P Sword/Zulfiquar-class frigate
, PNS Aslat (254), built at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) in April under a technology transfer agreement signed with China.
Delivery of the frigate follows successful completion of all required harbour and sea trials.
The 2,500t multi-mission Sword-class frigates can be deployed for air defence of a force operating at sea or in convoy, interdiction of hostile surface combatants, commerce raiding, patrolling, protection of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and undertaking heliborn operations.
Powered by four main diesel engines, the F-22P vessels can operate in multi-threat environments and are armed with long-range surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles to attack multiple targets simultaneously.
Capable of accommodating about 200 personnel, the ships are also fitted with long-range sensors, navigational radars and trackers, sonars, electronic warfare systems, counter measures (ESM/ECM) systems and advanced command and control systems."The F-22P vessels can operate in multi-threat environments and are armed with long-range surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles to attack multiple targets simultaneously."
The first three F-22P frigates, PNS Zulfiqar, Shamsher and Saif, were built in China under a $750m technology-transfer agreement signed in 2005, aimed to bolster the Pakistan Navy's combat capabilities.
Meanwhile, Pakistan vice chief of naval staff vice admiral Muhammad Shafiq said the navy has received two Bollard Pull Pusher tugs from KSEW.
Designed with support from Damen Shipyards, the Pusher tugs are capable of cruising at a speed of 10k, and can safely handle submarines in harbour.
The navy has also signed an agreement with KSEW to manufacture a 15,000t capacity fleet tanker, while a fast attack missile craft and a 32t tug are currently under construction.

* Notícia publicada a Naval Technology. La renovació de la flota pakistanesa, no ens ha de fer perdre de vista la dependència que aquell país té de la Xina.

dissabte, 23 de març de 2013

America’s AirSea Battle, Arctic Style*

Call them American strategy's Odd Couple. Working together, the U.S. Coast Guard and Air Force could be the best defenders of U.S. policy in the Arctic Ocean, a theater that will expand and contract each year and where threats will — cross your fingers — remain modest in scope. Light combat forces patrolling the sea under the protective umbrella of land-based fighter cover may well be enough to manage events in northern waters. Ergo, it's worth thinking ahead about the material and human adaptations necessary to help such an Odd Couple fight together.
Think about it. One partner is an aviation force, the other a sea service. One operates under Pentagon jurisdiction, the other under the Department of Homeland Security. One is a combat arm designed to break things and kill people
, the other a constabulary agency meant primarily to execute U.S. law in offshore waters and skies and render aid and comfort following natural disasters.
Getting unlike institutions to work together smoothly is invariably an arduous chore involving not just hardware fixes but cultural transformation. The officers who would superintend such an unconventional joint force are now entering the service. Acquainting them with the brave new world they may face seems only prudent — and will help instill the right habits of mind. Gradual generational change will equip the services to manage unfamiliar challenges.
You guessed it: ever faithless, the Naval Diplomat has been stepping out again
. This time, I hold forth on maritime strategy for a fully navigable Arctic. This isn't a strategic question that demands an answer today, but it is an important one. A former U.S. Navy chief oceanographer, Rear Admiral David Titley, projects that the polar sea could be ice-free for a month each year by 2035. That's a mere tick of the clock in historical time.
If events bear out Titley's timetable, the Arctic promises to be a peculiar theater. Within its outer boundaries — traced by the coastlines of the five nations
 that front on polar waters, along with nautical entryways such as the Bering Strait — the ocean's size and shape will presumably fluctuate along with global temperatures. The ice will advance and retreat unevenly, and at varying rates, as the icecap thaws and refreezes. Thus the sea lines of communication may shift from year to year, if not within each summer. A combat theater that morphs from one thing into another and back again as time passes is a strange beast indeed. The Western Pacific may be a difficult zone of operations, but at least you know where geographic features are. The Arctic map may need to be continuously amended for shipping to safely transit the region.
Such quirks matter. The prospect of an ice-free polar ocean raises the possibility of geopolitical competition or conflict. Undersea resources such as oil and natural gas beckon. Russia leapt at the opportunity, for instance, by symbolically planting
 its flag on the ocean floor underneath the North Pole. Canada has been mulling over its own posture now that Russia will be a much closer maritime neighbor than before. The United States is belatedly getting into the act, along with Denmark and Norway. Staking claims to this new, old frontier under the law of the sea constitutes an obvious step. Economic development is Job One for any government worth its salt. In northern waters, as in warmer climates like the South China Sea, the chance to extract natural resources — and accelerate economic development — could propel nations into diplomatic feuds or even armed strife.

The Arctic could also become an arena for more traditional power politics.
 Geopolitical thinkers such as Halford Mackinder, Alfred Thayer Mahan, and Nicholas Spykman long debated the relative merits of land and sea power. They argued ceaselessly about whether a continental power whose seat was the Central Asian "Heartland," or sea powers operating around the East Asian, South Asian, and Western European "rimlands," held the upper hand in struggles for geopolitical supremacy. A navigable Arctic would open the northern rimland predictably for the first time, letting sea power impinge on Eurasia from northern points of the compass while enabling the Heartland power — Russia, roughly speaking — to radiate power and influence outward. Furthermore, seemingly inescapable dilemmas confronting Moscow — such as how to swiftly unify a fleet fragmented between coasts thousands of miles apart — would become soluble, at least intermittently, by exploiting northern routes.
The rhythmic character of a navigable Arctic Ocean makes it doubtful that Washington would deploy the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps as its primary weapon along the northern rampart. Surface forces could campaign for only a short time each year. The warfighting sea services, moreover, have bigger fish to fry in the Western Pacific
 and Indian Ocean, where the 2007 U.S. Maritime Strategy envisions staging preponderant combat power for the foreseeable future. Both services appear certain to shrink amid congressional budget-cutting, leaving them little to spare to mount a standing northern presence. They will have to concentrate where the demand is greatest rather than scattering across the globe.
The polar expanse is also unusual from Washington's standpoint because Arctic waters lap against North American shores. Territorial defense is something with which U.S. leaders seldom have to concern themselves. The U.S. military has played no home-court games since World War II, when land-based bombers hunted U-boats in the Atlantic in concert with U.S. Navy jeep carriers and convoy escorts. During U-boat skippers' "happy time"
 in 1942, German boats rampaged up and down the American eastern seaboard and into Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico waters. Navy units also dueled U-boats during the United States' brief but massive foray into World War I. The German High Seas Fleet posed at least a hypothetical threat to the Western Hemisphere around the turn of the century, but the Kaiser's and Admiral Tirpitz's imperial vision never really took shape. Though dire, these were fleeting menaces.
To find the last true threat to U.S. territory, in fact, you have to look all the way back to the War of 1812, when seaborne British expeditionary forces burned the White House and the Royal Navy throttled American commerce. Should the Arctic indeed open, U.S. leaders thus may find themselves compelled to relearn habits of strategic thought that have lain dormant for two centuries. Washington can turn the logic of anti-access and area denial to its advantage, harnessing land-based engines of war — combat aircraft, anti-ship cruise missiles, and so forth — as implements of sea power. But that's different from projecting power onto faraway coasts, and demands a different mindset.
Which could leave the U.S. Coast Guard — the chief steward of offshore maritime security, and the service with the most experience plying northern waters — occupying the forefront of U.S. Arctic strategy. Suitably augmented for combat missions, Coast Guard cutters could represent the vanguard of America's Arctic strategy. My recent
 article raises and ventures preliminary answers to such questions as: why are the Coast Guard and Navy different despite operating in the same, aquatic, medium? Why is strategy different for navies and coast guards? Who's the "enemy" for a coast guard, and why does that matter in practical terms? And how well equipped is the Coast Guard to hold the line during a hot war, until the Navy and Marines can rush heavy firepower to its rescue?
One nagging question lingers. The Coast Guard might have to rediscover its roots as an auxiliary combat force, commanding offshore waters for a time. But where would its air arm come from? The Coast Guard's modest inventory includes no combat aircraft. Nothing would keep enemy warplanes from walloping Coast Guard flotillas unless the Pentagon supplied tactical air power. And if you want air cover over waters adjoining American seacoasts, the U.S. Air Force would be an obvious partner to enlist. The Air Force has reinvented itself as an expeditionary service since the Cold War. Why not plan to configure anexpeditionary air wing
 for polar operations; temporarily stage that force in, say, Alaska during the warm months each year; and develop skills and doctrine that allow Air Force airmen to back up their brethren of the sea? Such a joint force could deter conflict or, failing that, supply some interim combat power until the heavy cavalry arrived on scene.
Coast Guard and Air Force capabilities might look like a strange alloy for a weapon of sea power. But it's worth experimenting with such mix-and-match force packages as American commanders contemplate a radically different maritime future. Call it AirSea Battle
, Arctic style!
James Holmes is professor of strategy at the U.S. Naval War College and coauthor of Red Star over the Pacific.

* Article publicat a The Naval Diplomat. El desgel de l'Àrtic genera un nou marc de confrontació pels recursos. Anem-hi pensant.

dilluns, 18 de març de 2013

Iran launches new destroyer in Caspian Sea*

TEHRAN – A new domestically manufactured destroyer, named the Jamaran 2, was launched in the Caspian Sea during a ceremony held in the port city of Bandar-e Anzali, in the northern Iranian province of Gilan. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, the chief of the general staff of Iran’s armed forces, and Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the commander of the Iranian Navy, attended the ceremony.   The Jamaran 2, which is a destroyer of the Moj class, has been designed and manufactured by experts at the Marine Industries Organization of the Iranian Defense Ministry.  The warship can carry helicopters and is equipped with advanced radar systems, electronic warfare systems, artillery and anti-aircraft guns, torpedoes, and surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles.  At the ceremony, the defense minister said that the Jamaran 2 would be used to guard the country’s sea borders and back up operations to combat human and drug smuggling.  It is about 100 meters long and weighs over 1,300 tons, Vahidi said.In addition, he said that the destroyer would undergo final tests over the next three months and would join the Navy in the first half of the next Iranian calendar year, which starts on March 21. Iran’s first domestically manufactured destroyer, the Jamaran, was launched in February 2010.  The Sahand destroyer was also launched in September 2012.  The Iranian Navy has also announced that it plans to build seven destroyers of the Sina class, which are capable of firing missiles. 

* Notícia publicada al Tehran Times. Tot i que dubtem de l'utilitat d'unitats de superfície superiors a les patrulleres en una mar con la Càspia, no deixa de ser curiós que l'Iran vulgui marcar territori al nord. Com s'ho prendrà Rússia? Turkmenstan i Azerbadjan demanaràn ajuda?

US Navy conducts EMALS shared generator testing*

The US Navy's Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment Program Office (PMA-251) has successfully completed shared generator testing of its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, US.
EMALS has been designed to replace the existing steam catapult system and hydraulic arresting gear equipped onboard the US Navy's new aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford
 (CVN 78).
PMA-251 programme manager captain Jim Donnelly said that EMALS is expected to transform the way crew launch aircraft from the navy's newest class of carriers.
During testing, the EMALS team used the ship-representative controls lab and launched dead-loads or weighted sleds to demonstrate simulated generator-sharing for multiple catapults.
EMALS integrated team lead George Sulich said: "It is important that we ensure proper sharing and operation of the generators at the land-based facility prior to testing the full four-catapult system onboard CVN 78, reducing risk to the ship."By using the lab before we started formal testing, we were able to groom the software so that during commissioning testing we weren't really discovering anything new."
Comprising six subsystems that work jointly and sharing components to power the four catapults on the ship, EMALS's motor generator is capable of storing up energy in its rotor and when the aircraft launch is initiated it frees that energy.
Enabling smooth acceleration at high and low speeds, the system's technology increases the carrier's ability to launch both lightweight unmanned aircraft and heavy strike fighters in support of troops.
The first CVN 78-class aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R Ford, is 1,092ft-long and has a full-load displacement capacity of around 100,000t.
EMALS had completed the functional demonstration phase in November 2012.

* Notícia publicada a Naval Technology. El sistema de llançament electromagnètic segueix progressant, sens dubte, un tema a seguir.

dissabte, 16 de març de 2013


The Navy’s new carrier has successfully carried out its first refuelling in the water – in miniature.
Two highly-accurate one-tonne scale models of HMS Queen Elizabeth and future tanker RFA Tidespring have been tested in Europe’s largest indoor water tank in Gosport to determine how the two ships can sail safely in company.
Key to any future operations by the carrier – the largest warship ever to sail under the White Ensign – will be sustaining her thousands of miles from home.
For that she’ll need to conduct a RAS – replenishment at sea – on a fairly regular basis with a tanker or support ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, whose ships provide crucial sustenance to Royal Navy vessels around the world daily.
Hand-in-hand with construction of Queen Elizabeth and her sister HMS Prince of Wales is the construction of a new generation of Fleet tankers – four Tidespring-class ships of 37,000 tonnes, entering service from 2016.
The basic design for the Tidesprings is almost complete – and key to that design has been testing how they perform when working with the future carriers.
When the two ships sail together to conduct a replenishment – fuel, water or dry supplies such as spare parts or fuel transferred by jackstay – they are subject to hydrodynamic forces which can drive them apart, or pull them together – both of which are highly dangerous.
So understanding these forces is key to safe operations.
Two 1:44 scale models – the 37,000-tonne 200m-long (659ft) tanker has been reduced to 4.5m (15ft) in length, while the 65,000-tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth has been shrunk from 284m (931ft) in length to 6.45m (21ft) – were built and taken to the enormous ‘ocean basin’ test tank, owned by defence research firm QinetiQ.
The tank in Haslar, Gosport, is 122m (400ft) long, 61m (200ft) wide and 5.5m (18ft) deep – over 15 times more water than in a typical Olympic-sized swimming pool – and can simulate both calm and rougher seas.
Whilst the tank is regularly used by the maritime community, this is the first time that two new ships have been tested for RAS operations.
“The RFA ships will have to keep station using the Queen Elizabeth-class as a guide during RAS,” explained Cdre David Preston, head of RFA Engineering.
“This will take great skill and concentration for long periods in very challenging conditions – so any analysis we can undertake early will provide comfort that the replenishment at sea capability can be met with the new ships.”
Tests in the Haslar tank were carried up to a simulated Sea State 6 – very rough seas, with waves up to 6m or 20ft high – and the two models also practised emergency breakaways and engine failures.
Once all the data has been gathered and analysed it will be used by the RN and RFA to draw up the guidelines for safe operations when Tidespring joins the Fleet in 2016.
* Notícia publicada al web de la Royal Navy. Les operacions de reaprovisionament al mar són un autèntic prodigi de l'enginyeria i el talent humà en general. Sabedors de la importància que tenen, els britànics ja les practiquen en models a escala pels seus futurs portaavions. Fets com aquest marquen la diferència.

divendres, 15 de març de 2013

Russia starts forming task force in the Mediterranean*

MOSCOW, March 11 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Navy has begun setting up a permanent task force to defend Russia’s interests in the Mediterranean, Navy Commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov said Monday.
“The defense minister has ordered us to form a task force that will operate in the Mediterranean Sea on a permanent basis,” Chirkov told reporters after a defense ministry meeting. “We have already started work on this task.”
The move comes at a time of increased international tension in the eastern Mediterranean due to the worsening civil war in Syria.
According to Chirkov, the issue has been discussed at the Navy's Main Headquarters, with the focus on logistics and training of commanding personnel.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said earlier on Monday that a decision to deploy a permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean had been made.
“I believe that we have the capability to form and maintain such a task force,” Shoigu said, citing the success of recent large-scale naval drills carried out by the Russian navy in the Mediterranean and Black seas.
The exercises involved warships from the Northern, Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific fleets, strategic bombers and naval infantry.
Neither Shoigu nor Chirkov mentioned a timeline for the deployment of the new task force, which would likely require significant effort to ensure efficient logistics and the proper maintenance of warships in the Mediterranean group.
Shoigu admitted Monday that the general state of affairs in the navy "could not be called satisfactory," particularly in terms of poor servicing and maintenance of vessels.
“A significant part of the fleet has to be operated with extended periods [of time] between repairs, while many ships and vessels have armaments and military equipment that can be used only with restrictions," Shoigu said.
A high-ranking defense ministry source told RIA Novosti in the beginning of March that a proposed Russian permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean Sea could consist of up to 10 combat and auxiliary ships from three of the existing fleets.
The task force may operate on a rotating basis and use ports in Cyprus, Montenegro, Greece and Syria as resupply points, the official added.
The Soviet Union maintained its 5th Mediterranean Squadron in that sea from 1967 until 1992. It was formed to counter the US Navy 6th Fleet during the Cold War, and consisted of 30-50 warships and auxiliary vessels at different times.

* Notícia publicada a RIA Novosti. Moviments que es poden.interpretar com una reacció a la més que probable pèrdua de la basr de Tartus ( Síria), la darrera de la Mediterrània. Veurem quina mena de "cohabitació" hi haura amb els NATO Standing Forces...

dimecres, 13 de març de 2013

Pakistan Navy concludes Aman 2013 multinational exercise*

The Pakistan Navy has completed a four-day multinational exercise and seminar in the North Arabian Sea, intended to enhance peace and stability in the region.
Around 24 warships, 25 aircraft and special operation forces from 13 countries have participated in the exercise to boost their naval forces' operational capabilities.
The exercise was conducted in two phases, including the coast and port special operation forces' drills as well as the ship-aircraft joint maritime drills.
Featuring a range of drills, the sea phase involved a special operations demonstration, gunnery trials and anti-surface warfare exercises.
In addition, participating forces' also trained to develop and practice response tactics, techniques and procedures against asymmetric and traditional threats during sea phase of the exercise.
The participating navy personnel exchanged ideas and techniques, while extending to special operations.
Pakistan Navy's two F-22P Zulfiquar-class frigates conducted simulated replenishment exercises with itsOliver Hazard Perry-class
 frigate and a tanker."The Aman series of multinational exercises aim to boost interoperability and demonstrate allied nation's capabilities to fight terrorism and other maritime threats such as piracy."
The US Navy's Northrop Grumman-built Arleigh Burke-class
 guided missile destroyer, USS William P Lawrence (DDG-110), as well as China Navy's replenishment vessel, destroyer and frigate also participated in the exercise.
Initiated in 2007, the Aman series of multinational exercises aim to boost interoperability and demonstrate allied nation's capabilities to fight terrorism and other maritime threats such as piracy.
The fourth in the biannual series, Aman-13 has also been designed as a common platform for sharing of information and mutual understanding, as well as to identify fields of common interest.
In addition to Pakistan, the drill involved navies from Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UAE, the UK and the US, as well as 20 observer nations.

* Notícia publicada a Naval Technology. No deixa de ser "curiosa l'absència de la principal marina de la zona... l'Indian Navy.

dimarts, 12 de març de 2013

What to Make of China’s Defense Spending Increase*

On Tuesday outgoing Chinese premier Wen Jiabao
 opened the annual meeting of the National People's Congress with a report announcing, among other things, that defense spending will expand by 10.7 percent this year, reaching an official figure of $115.7 billion
. Wise China-watchers attach a mental asterisk
 to economic and budgetary figures issuing from Beijing, which has every incentive and every opportunity to fudge such numbers for political reasons. Last year, for instance, the Pentagon estimated Chinese defense spending at $120-180 billion, against the official total of $106 billion. Its 2012 report on Chinese military power ascribed the disparity to such factors as "poor accounting transparency," the nation's "still incomplete transition from a command economy," and the absence of major expenditures such as foreign weapons purchases from the defense budget. In all likelihood the Pentagon's is a conservative estimate, compiled by U.S. defense officials worried about standing accused of peddling the "China threat theory," pursuing nouveau containment, and the rest of the usual sins.
Communist Party spokesmen drew a contrast between the Chinese and U.S. military budgets, pointing out that the Chinese figure remains a fraction of the American one.
 That's true, but it disguises as much as it reveals about the state of the U.S.-China competition.
Two comments, one about arithmetic and one about geostrategy. My amphibian buddy Commander Salamander
 points out that under the Rule of 72, the PLA budget will double in less than seven years if it increases at 10.7 percent each year. That casts new light on the soothing Chinese talking point that it will take China thirty years to catch up with the United States. Let's suppose the Pentagon bumps up its estimate of Beijing's actual spending to $130-190 billion for this year. Take the midpoint of that range, $160 billion. If the double-digit increases of the past two decades persist, doubling the defense budget around every seven years, then China may exceed U.S. spending long before three decades elapse. It will do so even using the official CCP numbers, albeit a tad more slowly. (The Pentagon budget stands at around $600 billion this year.) Call it Beijing's Thirty-Year Rule, a bizarro version of Great Britain's Ten-Year Rule. The interwar Royal Navy, that is, assumed there would be no war for the coming decade. For Britain the Ten-Year Rule mutated into an excuse not to spend scarce funds on modernizing the fleet; for China a Thirty-Year Rule provides a breathing space to get ready.
The geostrategic point is the one I made on Monday
, namely that side-by-side comparisons of defense figures mislead. For China the theater is the Asian seas, primarily the waters and skies landward of the first island chain. That's a relatively compact, manageable space. For the United States the theater is the world. Getting into most parts of that theater demands long voyages or flights through potentially contested thoroughfares. Projecting power across transoceanic distances is a daunting — and disproportionately expensive — enterprise. Apply a physics metaphor. Energy diminishes by the square of the distance from the energy source, not in linear fashion. It plunges. Much the same holds true for military power. The PLA has the luxury of concentrating its efforts, and its budget, on the fraction of the earth's surface that is maritime Asia. The U.S. military remains dispersed, and it must invest lavishly in bases, logistics, and large platforms capable of traversing vast distances, just to reach faraway scenes of action.
In short, the amounts the two competitors invest in usable firepower are closer than raw spending figures indicate. Let's refuse to be lied to by statistics.

*Notícia publicada a The Diplomat. Magnífica reflexió del professor James R. Holmes. Efectivament, a la Xina no li cal igualar el pressupost de defensa dels Estats Units per plantejar-li problemes seriosos.

ShadowHawk UAS to participate in US maritime demonstration programme

The US Navy and Naval Surface Warfare Center has selected Vanguard Defense Industries-built ShadowHawk unmanned aerial system (UAS) to participate in the Stiletto maritime demonstration programme (SMDP).
Funded by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering's Rapid Reaction Technology Office, Emerging Capabilities Division, the SMDP is aimed to help developers accelerate delivery of new maritime technologies for the armed services.
The first capability demonstration of the SMDP was conducted for the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia, in January 2013.
NECC's deputy assistant chief of staff for strategy and technology Dale Shiflett said that the SMDP has enabled NECC sailors to look at possibilities for new and improved technologies for military.
"Warfighting needs are rapidly changing, and our interest is in looking at mature technologies and future capabilities that could be transitioned to fill an operational need sooner than later," he said.“Warfighting needs are rapidly changing, and our interest is in looking at mature technologies and future capabilities that could be transitioned to fill an operational need sooner than later."
The US Navy will also collaborate with the UK Defence Science & Technology Laboratory to assess the ShadowHawk's capabilities during the demonstration.
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Rapid Fielding Rapid Reaction Technology director Glenn Fogg said: "The programme is open to other DoD commands, government agencies, industry, or academic institutions that have a need to observe or demonstrate their technologies underway in as relevant an environment as possible."
Equipped with a Mode C transponder for connectivity to Air Traffic Control, the UAS can gather high-resolution images and data to support national security interests, inspect vital natural resources and infrastructure as well as assess disaster damage.
Capable of fully refuelling in less than five minutes, the ShadowHawk UAS has been designed to fly during day and night in adverse weather conditions for up to three hours at a time.

* Notícia publicada a Naval Technology.

diumenge, 10 de març de 2013

L´APB tanca 2012 amb una xifra de negoci de 59,5 milions d´euros i un resultat final de 14,8 milions*

El Consell d´Administració de l´Autoritat Portuària de Balears (APB) ha aprovat el tancament provisional de l´exercici 2012 que dóna una xifra de negoci de 59,5 milions d´euros i un resultat positiu de l´exercici de 14,8 milions d´euros.

La xifra de negoci és un 0,69 per cent inferior a l´exercici passat i se situa mig punt per sota del que preveu el pressupost, mentre que el resultat provisional de l´exercici és un 5,3 per cent inferior al de 2011 però molt superior als 8,2 milions pressupostats. Tant en les despeses de personal com en despeses corrents, l´APB ha complert amb els límits imposats pel Pla d´Austeritat del Govern d´Espanya.

D´altra banda, respecte a l´any 2011 s´ha produït una disminució del deute que suporta l´APB a causa de dos factors: la disminució en el darrer any del nombre de deutors per vendes i prestacions de serveis de cinc milions d´euros, de manera que el total exigible se situa en 26,9 milions d´euros, i l´augment en els dos darrers anys de les provisions per insolvència en deu milions d´euros. Actualment l´APB compta amb 64 deutors per imports majors de 10.000 euros i 1.500 petits deutors per imports inferiors.

Ajornament de deute a STP

El Consell d´Administració de l´APB ha aprovat també un pla de pagaments de deute sol•licitat per l´entitat Servicios Técnicos Portuarios, SL (STP), per import de 7,6 milions d´euros a tornar en tres anys i mig, d´acord amb un quadre d´amortització i amb unes condicions en què s´inclouen els correponents interessos de demora i garanties de pagament.

* Notícia publicada al web de l'Autoritat Portuària de les Balears. Desitgem a l'APB que pugui anar millorant la seva situació, en tant que insturució estratègica per l'economia de les Illes

PortCastelló assoleix un nou rècord de contenidors el 2012*

El Port de Castelló ha batut un nou rècord en el tràfic de contenidors en sumar 160.934 TEUsl'any passat respecte al 2011, la qual cosa ha suposat un augment del 22,8 per cent, segons dades del balanç general de tràfics de 2012. Aquest augment percentual es tradueix amb vora 30.000 contenidors més al 2012 respecte a l'any anterior. El tràfic de mercaderies a les dàrsenes del port (Zona 1) s'incrementa un 7,85 per cent, sumant més de 6 milions de tones. No obstant això, el tràfic total de 2012 ha ascendit a 12.949.821 tones respecte als 13.117.726 de l'exercici anterior, el que ha suposat una caiguda d'un 1,2 per cent, influenciada, en part, per la parada tècnica de BP Oil. De fet, el trànsit derivat de la refineria (Zona 2) s'ha reduït un 8,4 per cent, el que ha significat 616.113 tones menys respecte a 2011.
El comportament de la mercaderia general ha sigut molt positiu, ja que aquest tipus de trànsit ha crescut un un 16 per cent mentre que els granels líquids de les dàrsenes del port han augmentat un 64,8 per cent. La mercaderia general també ha pujat un 22,8 per cent. L'últim trimestre ha sigut molt positiu per al recinte portuari castellonenc, amb augments mensuals respecte a l'any anterior d'un 48,3 per cent a l'octubre, un 10,3 per cent al novembre i un 25,4 al desembre.
D'altra banda, el Port de Castelló acapara ja el 40 per cent de tota l'exportació ceràmicaque es realitza via marítima després de créixer en volum un 30 per cent l'any passat. L'exportació de taulells i rajoles, que es manté com el tercer trànsit més important, ha augmentat un 30 per cent en les dàrsenes del port el 2012 respecte a l'any anterior, passant de 1.000.000-1.360.000 tones.
La millora de les infraestructures i els nous plantejaments estratègics i comercials han sigut decisius perquè el Port de Castelló haja anat guanyant quota de mercat en el sector del taulell pel que fa a exportació ceràmica a través de les seues dàrsenes. L'entrada en servei del Moll del Centenari, la incorporació de grues portainer i moderna maquinària, la construcció de la Dàrsena Sud i la recuperació del ferrocarril constitueixen una suma d'actius que afavoreixen la competitivitat i garanteixen un major servei al client. D´aquesta manera, el trànsit citrícolaha experimentat un creixement del 5% en l'última campanya, superant les 70.000 tones de fruits manipulats a la terminal citrícola del Moll Transversal Interior del Port de Castelló, destacant les exportacions a països com els EUA i Rússia.
El petroli cru és el primer trànsit del Port de Castelló pel que fa a volum es refereix, seguit del gasoil i de les taulells i rajoles. Les argiles i el feldspat figuren com a quart i cinquè trànsit per importància respectivament.

* Notícia publicada al web del Port de Castelló. Celebrem les bones dades d'aquest port, en un moment tant dur pel País Valencià.

El president del Port de Barcelona reclama l'adaptació de les infraestructures ferroviàries per a trens de 750 metres*

El president del Port de Barcelona, Sixte Cambra, ha reclamat a Brussel·les la construcció de nous apartadors de via o l'adaptació dels existents als principals corredors ferroviaris peninsulars i de connexió amb Europa per poder operar amb trens de més longitud i pes, reduir el cost dels serveis ferroviaris i millorar la competitivitat de les empreses exportadores i importadores i dels operadors logístics. Cambra s'alinea d'aquesta manera amb la hipòtesi de treball de l'associació FERRMED, organitzadora de la conferència Long and heavy trains, the way to EU rail freight competitiveness celebrada avui a la seu del Parlament Europeu.

Durant la sessió dedicada als principals ports europeus, Sixte Cambra ha exposat les limitacions infrastructurals i operatives per poder formar trens de 750 metres en dos dels tres principals corredors de transport d'Espanya: el Madrid-Saragossa-Barcelona i el Tarragona-Barcelona-França. Al corredor que connecta Barcelona amb el centre peninsular no és possible formar trens de més de 570 metres. En el cas del Corredor Mediterrani des de Tarragona a la frontera francesa les limitacions per a la circulació de trens més llargs i pesats s'agreugen per les característiques de la línia UIC d'ús mixt per a mercaderies i passatgers en alta velocitat i el pas pel túnel transfronterer de Le Perthus.

Cambra ha manifestat que l'ús de la via UIC (ample internacional) d'alta velocitat amb França –inaugurada el desembre de 2010 i que connecta Espanya amb la resta d'Europa a través de Barcelona– i el pas pel túnel de Le Perthus no resulten una solució ferroviària adequada per al tràfic de mercaderies. Es tracta d'una infraestructura pensada per als viatgers, ha indicat, i el seu ús per part de les mercaderies comporta limitacions operatives. 
D'una banda, les rampes a túnels de Girona i Le Perthus redueixen la capacitat de càrrega dels trens o obliguen a utilitzar doble tracció. Cal afegir el peatge del túnel transfronterer, que pot incrementar fins a un 10% el cost total dels serveis. A més, l'existència de tres tensions elèctriques diferents i diversos sistemes de senyalització suposa un altre cost. També cal preveure la menor disponibilitat de slots per a trens de mercaderies a causa de la priorització dels trens de passatgers d'alta velocitat i les possibles restriccions de tràfic de trens de mercaderies perilloses pel caràcter urbà del túnel Girona.

Tenint en compte aquestes limitacions, que frenen el desenvolupament de serveis ferroviaris competitius, en UIC entre Espanya i França, el president del Port de Barcelona ha advertit que és necessari disposar de via d'ample mixt (internacional i ibèric) per la via convencional entre Mollet (a prop de Barcelona) i la frontera francesa via Portbou.

El president del Port de Barcelona ha manifestat la seva confiança en que es licitin els accessos ferroviaris definitius al Port l'abans possible, respectant els estàndards FERRMED i molt especialment el gàlib C (altura total de 4,65 metres sobre el rail), que és un aspecte tècnic encara pendent de concretar.

*Una inversió molt rendible* 
Quant a les obres d'apartadors als principals corredors ferroviaris, Cambra ha assegurat que no comportarien grans inversions. Segons un estudi preliminar realitzat pel Port de Barcelona, per al tram Barcelona-Saragossa tindrien un cost d'entre 25 i 30 milions d'euros i entre Saragossa i Madrid seria molt menor, al tractar-se ja gairebé tot el tram de via doble. D'altra banda, entre Barcelona i la frontera francesa, per la línia d'alta velocitat, serien necessaris només dos nous apartadors.

En contrapartida, el fet d'augmentar la longitud dels trens a 750 metres reduiria el cost per tona transportada entre un 15% i un 22% i incrementaria la capacitat dels corredors en qüestió. Altres estudis fins i tot han elevat el possible estalvi fins al 30%.

L'objectiu final de reduir el cost dels serveis ferroviaris és millorar la competitivitat de les cadenes logístiques que transcorren per aquests corredors i per tant de les empreses importadores i exportadores. També s'incrementa l'atractiu peninsular per a la ubicació de grans operadors logístics internacionals.

A més, un major transport ferroviari de mercaderies genera altres efectes positius, com el descens de la congestió viària, la reducció de l'impacte ambiental o menors riscos d'accidentalitat associats a vehicles pesats.

Avui dia el Port de Barcelona és l'únic de la península Ibèrica connectat a l'ample de via internacional i compta, a més, amb una xarxa en ample ibèric i una altra en ample mètric. En la seva aposta per aquest mode de transport, la quota ferroviària del Port de Barcelona en el segment de contenidors s'ha quintuplicat en 7 anys. L'objectiu, tanmateix, és assolir una quota del 23%. Sixte Cambra ha insistit en la necessitat de majors i millors infraestructures ferroviàries que permetin accedir als mercats de consum europeu.

*Notícia publicada al web del Port de Barcelona. Donem suport, per descomptat, a la demanda de millors infraestructures pel Port de Barcelona, vitals pel progrés econòmic del conjunt de Catalunya.

dissabte, 9 de març de 2013

Japan's vessels instructed to avoid Chinese Navy ships near disputed islands*

JAPAN - Former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's administration had instructed the Maritime Self-Defence Force to observe Chinese Navy ships in the East China Sea from afar to avoid provoking Beijing, sources close to the government have said.
After the Noda administration nationalised the Senkaku Islands in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, in September, it told the MSDF to monitor the Chinese vessels from a distance at which the Japanese destroyers could not be seen by the Chinese, the sources said.
Liberal Democratic Party member Koichi Hagiuda asked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during Thursday's House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting whether he thought the Noda administration had given too much consideration to China with this decision.
Abe replied that he had been told the former government ordered the MSDF to impose restrictions on monitoring of Chinese ships.
"For fear of additional friction, [the Noda administration] excessively restricted the MSDF's activities when patrolling the sea. Right after the inauguration of the current administration, we fundamentally reviewed the policy of the former government," Abe said.
According to the government sources, in the early days of the DPJ's administrations, MSDF ships carried out their duty of patrolling the sea in a conventional way by coming as close as three kilometers to Chinese ships in the East China Sea when necessary.
However, after the escalation of confrontations between Japan and China following the nationalisation of the Senkaku Islands, the Noda administration changed the policy over MSDF patrols, according to the sources.
Some observers said the leaders of the previous government paid special consideration to China, for fear that military tensions could heighten if the MSDF approached the Chinese Navy ships.
It is generally said the distance at which people on a ship can see other vessels is 28 kilometers or less.
The MSDF is believed to have tracked the Chinese ships by radar while positioned more than 28 kilometers away.
The MSDF destroyers backed away when Chinese ships came close to them, the sources said.
After the Abe administration came into power in December, the new government restored the monitoring activities to their previous level.
Some government officials said when Chinese Navy vessels locked fire-control radar onto an MSDF destroyer north of the Senkaku Islands on Jan. 30, they might have done so because China interpreted Japan's sudden visible presence in the waters as a provocation.
"When Japan restored its monitoring system to the conventional level, China reacted in a menacing way, as it thought Japan took a provocative action," a senior official of the Defence Ministry said.

*Noticia publicada a Asia One. Evitar caure en provocacions és quelcom assenyat, ara bé, les polítiques d'apaivagament acostumen a produïr l'efecte contrari quan es tracta amb dictadures.

dijous, 7 de març de 2013

Pentagon’s Mad Scientists Want to Launch Killer Drones From Small Warships*

The military’s next killer drone could be launched and landed aboard small surface warships, extending the reach of America’s robotic arsenal to more remote battlegrounds than ever before.
That is, if an ambitious new effort by Darpa, the Pentagon’s fringe-science wing, can overcome a technical challenge dating back to the 1980s. Namely: how to boost a drone to flight velocity without the benefit of a five-acre aircraft carrier deck, and without resorting to a speed- and range-limiting helicopter design.
The new Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node program
, or Tern, “envisions using smaller ships as mobile launch and recovery sites for medium-altitude long-endurance fixed-wing unmanned aircraft,” Darpa announced on Friday. That’s for unarmed spy drones as well as those armed for “strike” missions. The blue-sky researchers want to launch a prototype within 40 months.
Tern complements one of the Navy’s main robotic development efforts. The Navy wants a drone, equipped with missiles
 and advanced spy gear, to take off and land from a full-sized aircraft carrier
, one of the hardest maneuvers in aviation. It’s currently experimenting with a 62.1-foot span, batwing-shaped prototype, called the X-47B
, which the Navy expects to launch the X-47B off a carrier deck at sea for the first time by May.
Except the jet-powered X-47B and the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike System it will yield will be much farther out to sea than the Tern. “About 98 percent of the world’s land area lies within 900 nautical miles of ocean coastlines,” Darpa program manager Daniel Patt explained in the announcement. “Enabling small ships to launch and retrieve long-endurance UAVs on demand would greatly expand our situational awareness and our ability to quickly and flexibly engage in hotspots over land or water.”

Some of the specs Darpa wants: The as-yet-undesigned Tern drone must carry up to 600 pounds of sensors and weapons while flying out 600 to 900 miles from the launching ship. That places Tern in the same class as the Air Force’s iconic Predator and Reaper, both capable of flying 12 hours or longer while hauling cameras, missiles and satellite communications gear.
The launching ship could be as small as the USS Independence type of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 
, which sports a 7,300-square-foot flight deck. The science agency’s concept art, shown above, depicts a somewhat Predator-esque drone flying over a Burke-class destroyer, the Navy’s workhorse warship, which is three times heavier than an LCS but has a slightly smaller flight deck.
Tern would fill a big gap in the Navy’s drone arsenal. The sailing branch currently flies the 10-foot-span ScanEagle drone
 from destroyers and other vessels, and the Fire Scout robot helicopter
 from LCS. In addition to developing the X-47B prototype and its descendants for aircraft carriers, it’s also got a land-based, unarmed patrol ‘bot
, the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance drone, based on the Air Force’s 737-size Global Hawk.
The latter have long range and high speed, but they’re tethered to the Navy’s 11 precious aircraft carriers and equally scarce land bases. The former can (in theory), take off from most of the Navy’s roughly 122 surface warships but lack range, speed and payload. What’s missing is a middleweight drone: a fast-flying, long-range, armed robot that takes up minimal deck space and is compatible with a wide range of surface ships.
One of Tern’s major technical obstacles is “devising a reliable launch and recovery technique,” according to Darpa. LCSs and destroyers don’t have the deck space for a long takeoff run — hence their reliance on the catapult-launched ScanEagle and vertical-liftoff robo-copters. In the 1980s and early ’90s, the Navy’s four World War II-vintage battleships carried the Pioneer drone, which was roughly twice the size of the ScanEagle and was boosted into the air with inelegant strap-on rockets.
The Pioneer landed aboard ship by awkwardly flying into a suspended net, whereas the ScanEagle catches a dangling wire
 and the Fire Scout, of course, lands vertically
. A higher-performance, fixed-wing drone could require a smoother and more powerful takeoff boost than the older models anda less unwieldy means of returning to its launching vessel.
It’s worth noting that in the 1990s, U.S. helicopter-maker Bell designed a small tiltrotor drone call the Eagle Eye, which, like the company’s V-22 Osprey
, took off and landed like a helicopter but cruised like an airplane thanks to its rotating engine nacelles. Eagle Eye never found a buyer and went defunct. The Tern initiative could very well lead to a revival.
If Tern succeeds, Darpa is poised to significantly expand the Navy’s flying robotic arsenal, potentially transforming almost every warship into a mobile drone base. All the agency has to do is solve a decades-old launch and landing problem.

* Noticia publicada a Wired. De fer-se realitat aquest projecte, ens trobariem davant d'una revolució en la concepció del poder aeri naval. Els portaavions, si bé no obsolets, ja no serien imprescindibles. Veurem si el DARPA se'n surt...

dimecres, 6 de març de 2013

El Port de Tarragona estudia acollir vaixells militars nord-americans*

Segons ha informat Radio Reus de la Cadena SER, el Port de Tarragona estudia acollir vaixells militars nord-americans. L’ambaixada dels EUA ha fet una sol·licitud per fer entrades a la ciutat i membres de l’ambaixada ja s’haurien traslladat a la ciutat per elaborar un informe sobre les condicions del port, les conclusions del qual serien positives.

Fa uns deu o dotze anys, segons ha explicat la mateixa emissora, ja hi amarraven vaixells militars, però ara el que es pretén és recuperar posicions en aquest àmbit. De fet, no serien estades de llarga durada sinó més aviat parades puntuals d’entre 2-4 dies i un setmana. Aquest fet en si, segons la Cadena SER, no comportaria cap guany econòmic directe, perquè per conveni el Port està obligat a donar-los entrada, però en canvi sí que n’implicaria per a la ciutat i per a les empreses que operen al port.

* Notícia publicada a Del Camp.cat. De ser certa podria ser una gran oportunitat per Tarragona i Catalunya, amb vistes de cimentar una aliança amb els Estats Units.

dimarts, 5 de març de 2013

 China Channels Billy Mitchell: Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Alters Region’s Military Geography*

By Andrew  S. Erickson

China’s DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) is no longer merely an aspiration. Beijing has successfully developed, partially tested and deployed in small numbers the world’s first weapons system capable of targeting the last relatively uncontested U.S. airfield in the Asia-Pacific from long-range, land-based mobile launchers. This airfield is a moving aircraft carrier strike group (CSG), which the Second Artillery, China’s strategic missile force, now has the capability to at least attempt to disable with the DF-21D in the event of conflict. With the ASBM having progressed this far, and representing the vanguard of a broad range of potent asymmetric systems, Beijing probably expects to achieve a growing degree of deterrence with it.
None of this should be surprising. Numerous data points have been emerging from Chinese sources as well as official statements and reports from Washington and Taipei for years now, available to anyone willing to connect them. They offer an instructive case study not only to military analysts, but also to anyone conducting analysis under conditions of imperfect information. For instance, relevant Chinese publications multiplied throughout the late 1990s, dipped in a classic “bathtub-shaped” pattern from 2004 to 2006 at a critical point in ASBM development and component testing, and rose sharply thereafter as China headed towards initial deployment beginning in 2010. China is always more transparent in Chinese, and analysts must act accordingly.
*The Ghost of Billy Mitchell*
What is perhaps most surprising is the foreign skepticism and denial that has accompanied China’s ASBM. Again, however, this sort of disbelief is nothing new. At the close of World War II, the following editorial appeared: “The ghost of Billy Mitchell should haunt those who crucified him a few years back when he so openly declared that no nation could win the next war without air superiority and advocated that the U.S. move at once to build a strong air force. Billy Mitchell was merely far ahead of his time and it is regrettable that he didn’t live to see his prophecy come true” ("Prescott Evening Courier", May 7, 1945). Mitchell’s legacy stems from his willingness to push for such revolutionary approaches as the July 21, 1921 test-bombing of captured German battleship "Ostfriesland", even at the cost of his career.
Consider the reported reaction of then-Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Mitchell’s proposal: “Good God! This man should be writing dime novels! … That idea is so damned nonsensical and impossible that I’m willing to stand on the bridge of a battleship while that nit-wit tries to hit if from the air!” Needless to say, Daniels was nowhere near "Ostfriesland" when army aircraft sunk it with two bombs ("New York Times", July 22, 1921) [1].
The test’s efficacy was hotly contested by the U.S. Navy and remains debated to this day. Theodore Roosevelt, then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy, was decidedly unimpressed:  “I once saw a man kill a lion with a 30-30 caliber rifle under certain conditions, but that doesn’t mean that a 30-30 rifle is a lion gun” [2]. Yet the fact of a hit, however manipulated and revealed, changed the strategic equation. It altered service budgets immediately and helped catalyze development of what later became the U.S. Air Force.
The future is difficult to predict. While it is certainly hubristic to insist that it "will" unfold in a certain way, it is equally hubristic to insist that it "will not".
*No Need for a “Lion Gun”*
As with anti-carrier aviation, physics allows for an ASBM, and is the same for China’s burgeoning defense industry as for any of its foreign counterparts. Like the Martin bombers that assaulted"Ostfriesland "with their 2,000 pound bombs, the DF-21D is not a novel idea or technology, but rather an architectural innovation, or ‘Frankenweapon,’ involving a novel assembly of existing systems to yield a new use with unprecedented maneuverability and accuracy. The United States and Russia could have developed an ASBM before China, but are proscribed from doing so by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty they ratified in 1988. Still, military capabilities are determined by effectiveness with respect to objectives, not technological sophistication for its own sake. To paraphrase Secretary Roosevelt, you do not need to invent a “Lion Gun” if a 30-30 rifle can be rigged to do the job. China frequently pursues an “80 percent solution” that may be just good enough to further, or even realize, many of its objectives. In light of sequestration, this approach should inform Pentagon deliberations surrounding prioritization and efficiency.
*No Need for a Chinese Mitchell*
China may never have had its own Mitchell, but it did not need one. Chinese prioritization of ballistic missile development dates to the 1950s, creating both strengths and institutional interests. Nobody risked court martial for suggesting that carriers could be attacked in a new way. Rather, following the 1995–96 Taiwan Strait crises and 1999 Belgrade embassy bombing, China’s top leaders—starting with Jiang Zemin—ordered and funded megaprojects to achieve precisely such effects.
ASBM development fits perfectly into Beijing’s far broader effort to further still-contested island and maritime claims in the Near Seas (Yellow, South China and East China Seas). The DF-21D epitomizes Sun Zi’s universally-relevant injunction: “In war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.” Together with China’s other ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, submarines and electromagnetic weapons, it targets specific physics-based limitations in U.S., allied and friendly military forces to increase the risk to them of intervening in crises on China’s periphery. Even among these other potent systems, however, the ASBM is distinguished by its ability to be fired from mobile, highly-concealable platforms toward moving targets hundreds of kilometers from China’s shores.
*No Longer a “Dime Novel”*
On March 16, 2011, Taiwan National Security Bureau Director-General Tsai De-sheng restated a previous claim from August 2010 that the PLA already had tested and was deploying the DF-21D (“Taiwan’s Intelligence Chief Warns about the PLA’s Growing Strategic Weapon Systems,” "China Brief", March 25, 2011). The 2011 ROC National Defense Report confirmed that “a small quantity of” DF-21D ASBMs “were produced and deployed in 2010” [3]. In December 2010, then-Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Admiral Robert Willard asserted “The anti-ship ballistic missile system in China has undergone extensive testing. An analogy using a Western term would be ‘Initial Operational Capability (IOC),’ whereby it has—I think China would perceive that it has—an operational capability now, but they continue to develop it. It will continue to undergo testing, I would imagine, for several more years” ("Asahi Shimbun", December 28, 2010).
As for supporting infrastructure, on January 3, 2011, Vice Admiral David Dorsett stated that the PLA “likely has the space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), command and control structure, and ground processing capabilities necessary to support DF-21D employment...[and also] employs an array of non-space based sensors and surveillance assets capable of providing the targeting information” (Bloomberg, January 3, 2011). Two days later, Dorsett added “The Chinese have tested the DF-21D missile system over land a sufficient number of times that the missile system itself is truly competent and capable. …they have ISR, they have sensors onboard ship that can feed into the targeting aspect of it. So could they start to employ that and field it operationally? Yes, I think so” ("Air Force Magazine", January 5, 2011).
Willard’s carefully-chosen words reflect the difficulty in equating Chinese and U.S. development benchmarks. The U.S. Defense Acquisition University defines IOC as “attained when some units and/or organizations in the force structure scheduled to receive a system (1) have received it and (2) have the ability to employ and maintain it” (dap.dau.mil, April 19, 2005). Essentially, China’s ASBM is not fully operational or necessarily fully tested, but is available to be used in some fashion. In a broadly analogous example, the E-8 Joint STARS aircraft did not achieve IOC until June 1996, when the U.S. Air Force received its first aircraft. According to the official history section on the Air Force’s website, however, two developmental E-8 Joint STARS were employed operationally as early as 1991 in Operation Desert Storm even though the aircraft was still in test and evaluation.
Analysts will be hard-pressed to identify a sharp red line between IOC and full operational capability for China’s ASBM. This is part of a larger analytical challenge in which Chinese “hardware” continues to improve dramatically, but the “software” supporting and connecting it remains uncertain and untested in war. Multiple trials have already validated DF-21D components, but Beijing’s ability to employ it against a moving, uncooperative sea-surface target remains unproven. Such confidence almost certainly requires additional testing. Lack of demonstrated progress in this area may be explained by concern that failure might undermine deterrence accrued thus far while alarming China’s neighbors—yielding “the onus without the bonus.” Limitations in jointness, bureaucratic-technological coordination and integration as well as data fusion—pervasive in the PLA more generally—represent larger challenges.
*Countermeasures…and a Moving Target*
The operational equation is certainly incomplete without considering U.S. countermeasures. In 2011, then-Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead stated, “even though the DF 21 has become a newsworthy weapon, the fact is our aircraft carriers can maneuver, and we have systems that can counter weapons like that” ("Navy Times", March 16, 2011).
Nonetheless, Chinese capabilities also represent a moving target. Beijing will not slow progress to accommodate U.S. sequestration. Backed by an economy that the U.S. National Intelligence Council predicts will surpass U.S. GDP in any major measure by 2030, China is already pursuing an array of weapons programs only equaled by the U.S., and utterly unmatched in dynamism and flexibility of resource allocation.
*Changing East Asia’s Military Geography*
Just as U.S. development of long-range precision strike from aircraft carriers enabled it to win the Pacific War by penetrating Japan’s previously impregnable homeland, Chinese development of long-range precision strike, exemplified by the ASBM, threatens the sanctuary of the aircraft carriers that have long served as well-defended platforms from which to launch strikes on sea and land. By threatening U.S. carriers at a greater distance than their aircraft’s range, this alteration of the ways of war could be every bit as momentous as the one that Mitchell identified.
As China’s ASBM becomes more effective operationally, it may reinforce China’s continentalist approach to defense, “using the land to control the sea.” To further its Near Seas interests, Beijing’s focus on developing a partially shore-based, missile-centric “Anti-Navy”  to deter foreign navies’ intervention is a far more efficient approach than pursuing a blue water navy of its own. Here, China’s institutional predilections serve it well, and permit it to challenge U.S. forces severely, even as it spends far less on its military than does the United States.
China appears to be already seeking to leverage the DF-21D for strategic communications about deterrence and the reliability of U.S. assistance to regional friends and allies. This is part of a larger trend in which a more capable and confident Beijing is becoming increasingly “translucent,” if still not fully transparent, regarding selected capabilities in order to enhance deterrence.
*Don’t Ignore Mitchell Twice*
As Washington flirts with sequestration, its leaders will have to decide quickly how important it is to sustain the Asia-Pacific role that their predecessors expended so much blood and treasure to establish. To maintain this powerful legacy, the U.S. must address such emerging challenges as the political-military effects of a working ASBM with respect to reassuring allies and deterring China.
U.S. advantages undersea—which are already proven in contrast to the advanced aerial vehicles that should also be developed—must be maintained. It would be a grave error to allow numbers or deployments of nuclear attack or guided missile submarines to erode in the Asia-Pacific.
Calibrated transparency about countermeasures is needed to demonstrate that U.S. aircraft carriers can continue to operate successfully in relevant East Asian scenarios. Washington must communicate convincingly with audiences outside the U.S. and Chinese militaries. U.S. taxpayers must be persuaded that investments are needed. Allied citizens must be reassured. Chinese citizens must be disabused of simplistic notions of U.S. weakness. All information should not be hoarded for a conflict that fortunately likely will never come; some should be used to win hearts and minds and prevail in peacetime.
Conversely, failure to maintain and demonstrate adequate countermeasures to asymmetric weapons such as China’s ASBM while pursuing Asia-Pacific rebalancing would create the worst of both worlds, in which China’s leaders feel targeted by rebalancing, but are emboldened by its hollowness.
Billy Mitchell—to whom U.S. leaders owe so much for their influence in the Asia-Pacific today—would turn in his grave if he found that his prophetic vision had been ignored not once, but twice.
  1 Emile Gauvreau and Lester Cohen, "Billy Mitchell: Founder of Our Air Force and Prophet without Honor", New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1942, pp. 41, 48.
  2 Ibid.
  3 National Defense Report Editing Committee, Ministry of National Defense, "2011 ROC National Defense Report", Taipei: Ministry of National Defense, August 2011, p. 71.

* Article publicat a China Brief. Els treballs i reflexions del professor Andrew S. Erickson són sempre peces imprescindibles. El progrés dels ASBM xinesos, ha de ser seguit sense alarmisme peeò tampoc amb desidia. Pot convertir-se el un "game changer" de primer ordre

dilluns, 4 de març de 2013

America’s Pivot, Taiwan and Anti-Access*

Strong allies help weak allies who help themselves. That's the message the Naval Diplomat will be conveying next Tuesday at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
, down in Washington, DC. The organizers asked me to comment on whether the U.S. pivot to Asia will enhance Taiwan's security, degrade it, or somewhere in between. My bottom line: it will bolster security if the islanders rededicate themselves to their own defense while helping U.S. forces pierce Chinese anti-access defenses. Beijing is trying to deter Washington from intervening on Taiwan's behalf; Taipei must mount a reciprocal effort to bias American decisionmaking toward coming to the island's rescue.
As recently as the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, a U.S. president could order naval forces to the area with little fear for the safety of those forces. The PLA had little capacity to detect, let alone target, U.S. Pacific Fleet carrier groups operating off Asian coasts. No longer
. President Obama and his lieutenants must tote up the likely costs and hazards of operations in China's near abroad, as well as the likely repercussions of combat losses for America's standing as a superpower. The United States remains a seafaring power; it depends on its sea services to preside over the system of global trade and commerce. Losing a major part of the Pacific Fleet in battle would set back U.S. vital interests far beyond the immediate expense of repairing or replacing damaged hardware. America's standing in the world could suffer irreparable damage while fighting for Taiwan.
No U.S. president can lightly make a decision that consequential. Strategy poobah Carl von Clausewitz notes that the value a nation assigns its political goals governs how many resources it's prepared to spend to achieve those goals, and for how long. This is straightforward cost/benefit analysis: what price will the nation pay, and what are the opportunity costs of the effort? Beijing wants to drive the price sky-high. The purpose of anti-access is to inflict heavy damage on a superior opponent
, inflating the costs of the effort to unbearable levels. Once the immediate costs or opportunity costs are too steep, Clausewitzian logic prompts leaders to abandon the venture — or forego it altogether.
This is the unforgiving logic Taipei must counteract. Showing Americans that fighting for Taiwan won't impose unacceptable losses or take too long is critical to swinging U.S. cost/benefit calculations toward intervention. That means devising strategy and forces that hold Chinese assailants at bay long enough for the U.S. Navy to force entry into maritime Asia. Taipei must stage some anti-access measures of its own, taking a strategically defensive stance that imposes prohibitive costs on PLA attackers. It means deploying sea and air forces to the island's east to help clear a corridor for American relief forces. And in all likelihood it means spending more on the armed forces. With defense spending hovering just over 2 percent of GDP, Taipei barely meets the standard set by NATO — an alliance whose members face no threat. This bespeaks a society in denial about the dangers it confronts.
Taiwan, then, must pivot to its own defense, helping the United States pivot to the Western Pacific. If the island's leadership appears unwilling to do so, Americans will understandably ask why they should run severe risks for an ally indifferent to its own defense — indeed, to its own political survival. To that Taipei will have no good answer.

*Article publicat a The Naval Diplomat. El professor James R. Holmes no deixa de donar-nos lliçons plenes de sentit comú: pe tal de poder demanar ajuda has de ser responsable de tu mateix. Tot i la seva referència a la relació US-Taiwan, el nucli de la reflexió continguda en aquest article és vàlid també per Catalunya. 

diumenge, 3 de març de 2013

Apunta't a la Vikimarató!*

El dissabte 16 de març tindrà lloc la Viquimarató Drassanes. L'activitat està organitzada per Amical Viquipèdia i el Museu Marítim de Barcelona amb el suport de patrimoni.gencat
 amb l'objectiu d'actualitzar l'article sobre les Drassanes Reials a la Viquipèdia.

Una Viquimarató consisteix en la trobada física de diversos viquipedistes per ampliar al màxim el contingut d'un article o temàtica concreta a l'enciclopèdia Viquipèdia.En aquesta ocasió, la temàtica triada han estat les Drassanes Reials, coincidint amb la recent inauguració de l'edifici rehabilitat.

La trobada inclourà una visita guiada a les Drassanes Reials, un petit curs de d'edició wiki i una Viquimarató.

Per a més informació feu clic aquí

A més, el mateix dia tindrà lloc una trobada d'sketchers per dibuixar les Drassanes. L' sketching és l'art del dibuix urbà al natural. Per a més informació feu clic aquí

Data: 16 de març
Hora: de 9.15 a 14h
LLoc: Sala Marquès de Comillas
Activitat gratuïta oberta a tots els públics. Recomanem fer inscripció prèvia.

* Des de Blau Naval aplaudim aquesta iniciativa del Museu Maritim i animem als vikipedistes a donar un cop de mà en aquesta jornada.

dissabte, 2 de març de 2013

The Navy is sick of one-person subs for deep diving

Moving around underwater in a diving suit is a lot less fun than it sounds. To survive at the deepest depths, divers need enormous, cumbersome, pressure-resistant suits that limit their mobility. But the Navy is sick of trading survivability for flexibility, no matter how far into the briny deep its divers wade.
In the Navy’s most recent round of technology solicitations to small businesses, the seafaring service is looking for someone to develop a lightweight atmospheric diving suit that weighs under 400 pounds and can withstand pressure at 1,000 feet below sea level. If the weight requirement still sounds pretty heavy, consider that the current generation of deep-sea suits can weigh thousands of pounds, limiting what divers can do in them.
According to the solicitation, the new diving suit is for “expeditionary diving and salvage forces
” (.pdf) and retrieving “high value material” in “austere environments.” Unlike the bulky suits divers currently wear — really more like one-person submarines — these might be light enough so divers can propel themselves with their own feet. (Current models use thrusters, not divers’ legs.) Still, a wetsuit this ain’t: It’s still a self-contained pressure suit.

It’s also extremely dangerous to dive below a few hundred feet
 without one of these single-serving subs. Below 500 feet, a neurological disorder called high-pressure nervous syndrome can kick in, which can lead to drowsiness and tremors. Breathing nitrogen and oxygen at depths below 300 feet can also cause blackouts and even death. Saturation diving, which relies on gradually acclimating to underwater pressure over time, isn’t perfect either. Surfacing too quickly can result in the bends, a form of decompression sickness caused by nitrogen bubblesexpanding and becoming stuck in vital organs
To prevent death from happening at these extreme depths, bulky atmospheric suits maintain a steady internal pressure of one standard atmosphere, or one atm
 — the same as the mean pressure at sea level. That also means deep-sea divers don’t have to depressurize when surfacing. But the Navy notes: “This size and cumbersome configuration severely constrains its use.”
Some experimental suits have some of the functionality the Navy wants. Canadian firm Nuytco Research recently developed an atmospheric diving suit called the Exosuit ADS
, which can descend to 1,000 feet — its crush depth is double that — and weighs between 500 to 600 pounds, just over the Navy’s requirement. Divers can wear flipper boots in addition to the suit’s thrusters. And the Nuytco model uses a foam coating ofteeny, tiny microbubbles
 to keep divers’ limbs buoyant. The suit also has artificial hands controlled by handles contained inside.
Nor is the Navy is the only part of the military giving divers a boost. The Pentagon’s blue-sky research agency Darpa wants to develop a sensor system that can detect signs of decompression sickness in divers
, and adjust for it by squirting small amounts of nitric oxide into divers’ lungs when there’s danger. But those divers won’t be operating at extreme depths. For that, you’ll still need a clunky suit — though a lighter one. With flipper boots.

Robert Beckhusen

* Article publicat a Wired. El descens a grans profunditats no és una qüestió menor. El rescat de tripulacions atrapades o bé l'extracció de tecnologies secretes o materials perillosos de dins de naufragis és quelcom vital per qualsevol país.

divendres, 1 de març de 2013

Supporting Pivot in the Pacific*

After a decade centered on asymmetric warfare in the Middle East and Central Asia, the US has announced a “Pivot to the Pacific,” designed among others to prevent China from subverting the international law of the sea, turning the bodies of water off her shores into mere extensions of her territory. The move has been welcomed by US allies like the Philippines and Vietnam, involved in territorial maritime disputes with Beijing, which are in turn also supported by India and Japan, and increasingly by Russia.

This prompts the question of how current and future NATO members could help the US secure this essential objective, keeping freedom of navigation and the framework of the law of the sea, one of the foundations of the post-war political and economic order on which the prosperity of the Free World rests, and one of the pillars of the Atlantic Charter, issued by US President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill.

Admiral David G Farragut, hero of the Union Navy during the American Civil War.
His father was a Catalan from Minorca
According to an article by James R. Holmes1, an associate professor of strategy at the Naval War College, "European capitals can order ships to cruise through the China seas and other expanses where freedom of the seas is under duress, flying Western flags from as many mastheads as possible." The idea is to undertake "freedom of navigation operations", carrying out certain activities within the Chinese EEZ that Beijing claims are forbidden in those waters which she considers to be territorial, and therefore prevent the emergence of precedents which may support such claims.In addition, the author believes that European Navies may aid the US by undertaking the main responsibility for securing the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, thus allowing the US Navy to concentrate en force in the Indo-Pacific area. He cites an historical precedent for this, namely the arrangements among London, Paris, Washington, and Tokyo, in the run up to the First World War. European NATO members would be responsible for securing the Western approaches to the Pacific, thus multiplying available US options if war broke out.Unfortunately, over the past year we have seen a NATO member state use her navy to:• Harass the territory of another NATO member state in pursuit of a territorial claim repeatedly rejected in successive referenda by the population involved, illegally entering her territorial waters, and causing a string of incidents.• Force trawlers from a territory incorporated by force in the past, which is gradually moving towards a restoration of sovereignty within NATO and the EU by democratic and peaceful means, to fly her flag.

Needless to say, these actions are incompatible with supporting the United States' "Pivot to the Pacific", since they tie up her scarce naval resources.

Monument to Catalan Admiral Roger de Lluria, in Barcelona

Therefore, in order for Europe to effectively support peace in the Indo-Pacific region, freedom of navigation, the wider Law of the Sea, countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines, and the US "Pivot to the Pacific", it is essential to see the following commitments:
• By existing NATO member states not to deploy their navies either in pursuit of territorial conflicts with fellow Atlantic Alliance partners or against territories peacefully and democratically exercising their right to self-determination.

• By new NATO member states to regularly deploy naval assets to the Chinese EEZ in order to prevent Beijing from claiming they are territorial waters, and to contribute such assets to the joint allied securing of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, thus freeing up the US Navy to more effectively redeploy to the Indo-Pacific theatre of operations.

"*Alex Calvo* is a Professor of International Relations and International Law, Head of the IR Department, and Postgraduate Research Director, European University (Barcelona Campus). An expert on Asian security and defence issues, he got his LLB from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London) and is currently doing an MA in Second World War Studies at the University of Birmingham. He is a former teaching and research fellow at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)."

1 HOLMES James R., "How Europe Can Support the ‘Pivot’", "The Diplomat", 9 July 2012, available at http://thediplomat.com/flashpoints-blog/2012/07/09/how-europe-can-support-the-pivot/

* Article publicat a Help Catalonia. Com sempre les reflexions del professor Alexandre Calvo són dignes d'estadista. Ens ofereix, amb el seu estil elegant i anglo-saxo, les pistes de com pot actuar Europa i l'OTAN, en el "pivot cap al Pacific, així com fa palés que hi ha catalans amb molt sentit d'Estat, quelcom imprescindible per assolir la Llibertat...