dissabte, 29 de març de 2014

Britain's super-sub: Navy unveils James Bond-style mini submarine carried on board HMS Astute which can launch from under water *



The Royal Navy's newest submarine - a miniature sub which can launch underwater that James Bond would be proud of, has been spotted moored off of Gibraltar.
The submarine is intended to launch underwater in order to carry commandos to their destinations covertly so they can perform attacks or infiltration near the water.
Attached to a large nuclear sub, the mini pod can carry up to around eight elite commandos in heavy assault gear and is designed to be as stealthy as possible.
The pod can be seen attached to the topside of the nuclear submarine, the HMS Astute, currently off the coast of Gibraltar.
n a covert attack, the secret submarine pod will detach from the HMS Astute and head to its destination, absorbing sonar on the way to evade detection.
The pod will be in use by Special Boat Service commandos in their covert operations, and the miniature submarine will likely make their activities hard to predict or anticipate.

Before it was mounted to the top of the HMS Astute, the miniature submarine had to be airlifted by helicopter to seas near its destination, before being picked up later.
Now the submarine will move closer to the destination, and plans for deployment and support for the commandos will be more readily available.
The miniature submarine, codenamed 'Project Chalfont', has been tested since it was installed in 2012, but this is the first time it will reach active service.
The HMS Astute is the largest attack submarine the Royal Navy has at its disposal, and is the lead ship of its class.
Thanks to air recycling it could theoretically circumnavigate the planet without having to resurface, and its nuclear power system means it will never have to refuel again during its 25-year-service.
However, its limit is that it is only able to carry three months worth of food for the 98 crew needed to man it.
The miniature submarine's main duties are for counter intelligence, as it allows for incredibly covert ops from discreet locations, and will now be able to deploy while hidden underwater, rather than having to travel by helicopter, which runs the risk of revealing its position.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2587116/Britains-super-sub-Navy-unveils-James-Bond-style-mini-submarine-carried-board-HMS-Astute-launch-water.html#ixzz2xIxeKcWE

*Notícia publicada al Daily Mail. La Royal Navy continua les seves activitats, sense que aparentment, li molestin gaire les provocacions espanyoles.

dilluns, 10 de març de 2014

Boats: ‘Get Out’ of South China Sea*



Back in November, Hainan Province issued new maritime regulations, including an article stating that “foreigners or foreign fishing ships entering sea areas administered by Hainan and engaged in fishery production or fishery resource surveys should receive approval from relevant departments of the State Council.” As many, including “Naval Diplomat” James Holmes, pointed out, this provision would apply to over half of the South China Sea.  However, experts wondered if China would be willing or able to enforce the regulation. M Taylor Fravel, writing for The Diplomat, noted that the new regulations had no information on how the provision would be enforced. “The sheer size of the waters nominally under Hainan’s administration indicates that actual implementation of these new rules would be a daunting operational task,” Fravel wrote.
Now, the question of whether these rules are being enforced seems to have been answered. Reuters reports that Hainan Party Secretary Luo Baoming said that authorities based on Sansha city have been regularly confronting unauthorized foreign fishing vessels. It’s apparently quite a common occurrence: “There’s something like this happening if not every day then at least once a week,” Luo said.
Luo also stressed that “the majority [of such incidents] are dealt with by negotiating and persuasion.” “We negotiate and dissuade as much as possible,” Luo said, although from his comments it seems the “negotiation” is actually an order. Authorities “tell them [unauthorized vessels] to get out, this is our area,” according to Luo.
Sansha city, a prefecture of Hainan province, administers several groups of disputed islands, including the Paracels (where Sansha is located), the Macclesfield Bank, and the Spratlys. Beijing established Sansha as a prefecture in July 2012, in what many saw as an attempt to increase de facto control over these disputed areas. Chinese officials agreed—Hainan’s Party Secretary said at the time that Sansha city would be “an important base to safeguard China’s sovereignty and serve marine resource development.” China has also established a military base on Sansha, and stationed a 5,000 ton patrol ship on the island.
Luo Baoming’s remarks confirm that Sansha is being used as a base to drive foreign fishing boats away from waters claimed by China. The fishing boats in question most likely originate from Vietnam and the Philippines, as the Paracels are claimed by both China and Vietnam and various islands in the Spratlys group are claimed by China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Taiwan also claims these territories, and has rejected Hainan’s fishing regulations.
The Chief of Staff of the Philippines Arms Forces claimed recently that Chinese Coast Guard ships used water cannons to drive Philippine fishing vessels away from the Scarborough Shoal. The Scarborough Shoal is not under Sansha’s administration, and it’s unclear whether Sansha authorities have used similarly aggressive tactics to force foreign vessels to leave. But given the unease caused by the mere announcement of Hainan’s new fishing regulations, confirmation that the provisions are being enforced is likely to stir up more tensions.

* Notícia publicada a The Diplomat. Una mostra més de com està "evolucionant" la situació al Mar del Sud de la Xina

dijous, 6 de març de 2014

Ukrainian Navy enraged by Moscow's denial that is has troops in Crimea*



In Sevastopol harbour the Ukrainian Navy's command ship Slavutych is ready to repel boarders.
Armed marines in body armour patrol the deck, mattresses are piled over railings to frustrate grappling hooks, and firehoses dangle at the ready.
With gangplanks pulled up, the only way the crew can receive gifts of cigarettes and tea from family and friends is via a makeshift pulley system running from the stern to the quayside.
Like their army and airforce colleagues on shore, the sailors on board the Slavutych and the corvette Ternopyl, both moored at the Ukrainian base in Sevastopol harbour, have for nearly a week been locked in a strange battle of nerves with surrounding Russian troops.
But judging by the Ukrainian navy's latest public statement, the crews don't find being blockaded by Russian troops and ships half as irritating as Moscow's refusal to admit what is happening.
After Vladimir Putin insisted in a press conference on Tuesday that the "men in green" who have occupied Crimea are local self defence forces, the navy fired an answering volley, "Based on [yesterday's press conference], we feel qualified to accused the President of the Russian Federation of blatant lies," the Ukrainian Navy wrote in an official announcement released on Wednesday.
"The warships Ternopyl and Slavutych, in Sevastopol bay, are currently blockaded by vessels of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, in each of which are marine units amounting to one platoon armed with automatic weapons and the corresponding kit."
"Given Mr Putin's remark that such uniforms and equipment can be purchased at any shop, we would like to take this opportunity to ask exactly which shops, and also where in violation of Ukrainian law you can also buy automatic weapons, combat pistols, and grenade launchers," the statement read.
It is the very question most journalists in Crimea have given up any hope of hearing a logical answer to.
While there are civilian pro-Russian "self defence" units in Crimea, they are generally dressed in either mixed army-surplus camouflage or simply tracksuits or jeans. The nearest they come to an actual armed force are the rag-tag Cossack units guarding the entrance to the peninsula.
They are light years from the highly disciplined, professional soldiers dressed in recent issue Russian field uniforms, driving Russian Tigr armoured jeeps, and carrying Russian weapons who have fanned out across Crimea since last Thursday.
Crimean civilians, whether pro or anti the occupation, have no doubts about the provenance of the men in green.
Ukrainian commanders who have negotiated with their unexpected guests have described how occupation force commanders introduced themselves as officers of the Russian military.
And as the occupation drags on, even the troops on the ground are struggling to maintain the pretence that their political masters in Moscow insist on maintaining.
On Saturday the soldier commanding a squad of men outside a Ukrainian navy installation in Simferopol identified himself to the Telegraph as a member of the 810th marine infantry brigade, the unit that has guarded Russia's Black Sea Fleet base since the 1960s.
Since then, journalists from Ukrainian and foreign media, including the Guardian and the BBC, have had numerous similar conversations with Russian troops who identified themselves as such.
On Wednesday a Ukrainian journalist managed to provoke a Russian officer in Kerch into an interview in which he said "we're Russian. We're here so there aren't terrorist attacks."
But for some reason, the official line from Moscow remains that there are no Russian troops in Crimea - or that if there are, they are simply regular Black Sea Fleet forces as agreed by treaty with Ukraine.
Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, has gone so far as to claim Moscow has no authority over the "self defence" units.
"Its complete nonsense," Sergei Shoigu, Russia's respected defence minister, said when his turn to utter the strange denial came round on Wednesday.
Russia's RT television network even broadcast a segment denouncing "mainstream media" hysteria about the invasion.
"The western media has been flooded with reports going so far as to suggest that Russia has invaded Ukraine," the presenter intoned solemnly during the piece.
The Russian troops watching over the Slavutych from a nearby cliff top on Wednesday were more disciplined than some of their other colleagues, keeping themselves to a stoic "no comment," in Russian and English when asked about their job.
"We'll take your photo though," they said, producing their own camera phones, apparently fed up of being on the receiving end of photography.
When the Telegraph volunteered correspondent's name and publication to caption the image, they said they didn't need it. "We're in the loop," they said, knowingly.

* Notícia publicada a The Telegraph. La intervenció russa a Ucraïna, com s'està veient, es condueix de forma molt més metòdica que la del 2008 a Geòrgia. Recomanem clicar a l'enllaç per veure el vídeo.

Indian Navy ready to commission third Saryu-class warship*

The Indian Navy's third Saryu-class naval offshore patrol vessel (NOPV), INS Sumedha, will be commissioned on 7 March 2014 at Goa shipyard (GSL).
Built by Goa Shipyard, the 105m-long offshore patrol vessel was delivered to the Indian Navy in January 2014 during a ceremony held in Goa.
GSL chairman and managing director Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital said that the ship is the result of many years of in-house design development and ship build techniques.
"The commissioning of this ship, marks a significant milestone in GSL's & nation's march towards indigenisation and self reliance," Mital said.
"It becomes more important as Sumedha is 200th ship indigenously built by GSL."
Designed for monitoring sea lines of communication, defence of offshore oil installations and other critical offshore national assets, the vessel can be deployed for escorting high value ships and fleet support operations.
"The vessel can be deployed for escorting high value ships and fleet support operations."
Capable of conducting ocean surveillance and surface warfare operations to prevent infiltration and transgression of maritime sovereignty, the 2,300t Saryu-class vessel can cruise at speeds in excess of 25km using two KOEL/Pielstick Diesel engines and have a range of 6,000nm.

The warship can also conduct ocean surveillance and surface warfare operations to prevent infiltration and transgression of maritime sovereignty while helping to meet the increasing requirement of the Indian Navy.

The Indian Navy has taken delivery of the first two Saryu-class vessels INS Saryu and Sunayna from GSL on 21 December 2012 and 02 September 2013 respectively.

Meanwhile, the GSL-built Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF), designed for landing trials of the MIG 29K & LCA at INS Hansa is also ready for commissioning.

* Notícia publicada a Naval Technology. Compartim aquesta notícia ja que, tot i que les OPV no tinguin el "glamour" d'un portaavions, donen bastanta polivalència i, per tant, són una inversió amb més retorn.

diumenge, 2 de març de 2014

Crimean PM announces creation of regional Navy*

Admiral Denis Berezovsky, appointed as head of Ukraine's Navy forces just two days ago, has sworn allegiance to the people of Crimea. Taking his oath, regional Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov announced creating Crimea's Navy.

Ukraine launched a treason case on Sunday against the head of the navy, who surrendered his headquarters on Sunday in the Crimean port of Sevastopol on only his second day on the job.
Denis Berezovsky was shown on Russian television swearing allegiance to the pro-Russian regional leaders of Crimea. Russian forces have seized the Black Sea peninsula and told Ukrainian forces there to give up their weapons.
"During the blockade by Russian forces of the central headquarters of the navy, he declined to offer resistance and laid down his weapons," said Viktoria Syumar, deputy secretary of Ukraine's Security Council.
"The prosecutor's office has opened a criminal case against Denis Berezovsky under statute 111: state treason," she said. Another admiral, Serhiy Hayduk, was placed in charge of the navy.
Commander of the Ukrainian Naval Forces Denis Berezovsky said Sunday that swore allegiance to the Crimean people. Earlier it was reported that Crimea-stationed Ukrainian troops have switched sides to join forces with local pro-Russia authorities in the Russian-dominated autonomous republic of Crimea. Allegedly the transition was peaceful and without a single shot being fired.
"I, Denis Berezovsky, swear allegiance to the people of Crimea and undertake to protect them, as required by statute," Berezovsky said at a press conference in Sevastopol.
Crimea-stationed Ukrainian troops have switched sides to join forces with local pro-Russia authorities in the Russian-dominated autonomous republic of Crimea, a source in the region’s administration has said.
The source has stressed the transition was peaceful and without a single shot being fired.
Some of the servicemen reportedly left their posts without prior warning, while others surrendedered letters of resignation but the majority went over to the Crimean government.
According to the source, all troops will soon be sworn in by the authority of the Crimean republic.
The Ukrainian military serving in Crimea-deployed units are joining local self-defence forces, the ITAR-TASS correspondent reports from Crimea. Many servicemen, disagreeing with Kiev's policy, are leaving their units and tendering their resignation. Some units have said they will take orders only from the command of Crimea's self-defence forces, the eyewitness says.
Crimea, an autonomous republic within Ukraine, is now at the center of the ongoing crisis in the country as pro-Russia groups move to distance themselves from the newly formed formed national parliament that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych a week ago.
The current development comes shortly after Russia's upper house of parliament unanimously approved a request from President Vladimir Putin on Saturday to deploy military forces in Ukraine's mainly ethnic Russian-populated region of Crimea.
Putin issued his request in response to what he said was a threat to the lives of Russian citizens and military forces in naval bases in Crimea.
Putin, who is the Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces, has not yet ordered the deployment of a "limited military contingent" in Ukraine, but said in telephone conversations with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US President Barack Obama early on Sunday that Moscow reserved the right to protect its own interests and those of Russian speakers in the event of violence breaking out in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.
There is already a substantial Russian military presence in southern Ukraine, courtesy of the leased Black Sea Fleet naval base on the Crimean Peninsula.
Large movements of Russian troops have been reported around the peninsula, which is in defiance of express instructions from Ukrainian authorities this week for Russian soldiers to remain confined to their quarters.
Meanwhile, thousands of pro-Moscow protesters staged a number of rallies in eastern Ukraine on Saturday backing the anti-Kiev stance of the Crimean population and calling for Russia to defend them as well.
New authorities in Kiev have already responded to Russia's plans by putting the army on high alert and calling up all military reserves.
Kiev also appealed to NATO on Saturday, with a request to, "consider all options to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine".
The North Atlantic Council, NATO's main governing body, is scheduled to hold an extraordinary meeting on Sunday to discuss events in Ukraine, the military bloc's secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said in his Twitter blog.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had a telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Saturday during which he expressed his interest in preserving stable and friendly relations with Ukraine, the Russian government press service says.
"However, it was noted that the Russian side reserves the right to protect the lawful interests of citizens and servicemen deployed in the territory the Autonomous Republic of Crimea," the press service said. Russian armed forces "in case of need have the right to act in the framework of the mandate issued by the Federation Council to the president," Medvedev said.
"Also during the conversation Medvedev pointed to the possible responsibility of Ukrainian officials, if they make unlawful decisions on the use of force against Russian citizens," the press service said.

*Notícia publicada a The Voice of Russia. Els fets a Ucraïna s'encadenen vertiginosament; la defecció de les forces navals estacionades a Crimea és tot un símptoma que aquesta crisi no és un episodi menor, per si algú encara no ho tenia clar.