Argentine and Peruvian navies focus on joint submarine training as they eye fleet revamps

by Alejandro Sanchez

Argentine sailors train aboard Peruvian submarine. (Peruvian Navy)

As the Argentine and Peruvian navies revamp their struggling submarine fleets, the two countries' maritime forces are focusing on joint training to help retain their subsea operational capability.

Joint training programmes aboard Peruvian submarines have become a catalyst to increase training ties between the navies of Argentina and Peru. Educational exchanges of naval personnel and joint training are not uncommon and the most recent wrinkle includes putting Argentine sailors aboard Peruvian submarines for training.

This initiative occurred for the first time in 2018 after the loss of Argentina's TR-1700-class diesel-electric submarine ARA San Juan (S-42) on 17 November 2017, hampering Argentina's ability to conduct – or prepare for – subsea operations. The Peruvian navy offered to support the training process of its counterpart. “As long as the Argentine navy does not have the necessary resources [for submarine training], they can count on the support of the Peruvian Navy,” a retired Peruvian naval officer told Janes, on condition of anonymity.

The most recent training programme, from 17 October to 6 November, involved three Argentine officers and 13 non-commissioned officers who took courses at Peru's submarine school.

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Year-long continuing resolution could delay submarine Columbia, US Navy official says

by Michael Fabey

The Columbia-class submarine programme could be delayed by a yearlong continuing resolution, the US Navy says. (US Navy )

A year-long continuing resolution (CR) to freeze funding could cause delays to the Columbia-class (SSNB 826) ballistic-missile submarine programme, according to Rear Admiral John Gumbleton, deputy assistant secretary of the US Navy (USN) for budget and director of the USN Fiscal Management Division.

Navy officials have been adamant for years that the service could not afford any additional delays to the Columbia programme if the vessels were going ready to start patrols once the current Ohio-class SSBNs retire.

Programme funding would be cut by about USD500 million under the CR, Rear Adm Gumbleton told reporters on 25 January during a media briefing on the possible affects of such a resolution.

“The Columbia has been our number one priority,” he said. However, with the money loss a CR would have on the programme there is a strong potential the schedule would be affected, he said.

However, he said the navy would “hopefully have an opportunity” to make up any time lost.

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Royal Thai Navy proposes to upgrade to Pattani-class OPVs, procure more vessels

by Ridzwan Rahmat

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has proposed separate programmes to upgrade the service's two Pattani-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) and procure at least three additional assets.

These proposals were outlined by the RTN in a video clip uploaded onto the service's official Facebook page on 21 January. The video clip has since been deleted.

The first proposal was the procurement of two additional gun patrol boats for the service. The RTN presentation did not give specific details of what it was proposing to acquire, but an image accompanying the presentation in the video clip suggests that it is considering the M36-class patrol vessel built by local shipyard Marsun.

The M36 class has an overall length of 36 m, an overall beam of 7.6 m, and a hull draught of 1.75 m. It has a top speed of 27 kt, a standard range of 1,200 n miles at 12 kt, and can be armed with either a Vekto G12 20 mm cannon or a 30 mm gun mounted on a stabilised remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) in the primary position.

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Russian Navy announces multiple exercises

by Tony Roper

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) announced on 21 January that it had received direct notification from the Russian Navy that the service intends to carry out live artillery and missile firing to the southwest of Ireland at the beginning of February.

“There will be a need to issue a notice to commercial pilots to warn them of this issue and there will be a closure of airspace,” it stated.

While exact details were not specified by the IAA, it indicated that the area was 240 km off the County Cork coast and was relatively small. Information of the notification leaked on social media shows that the area will extend up to 11,000 m in altitude (approximately 33,000 feet).

The area is in international airspace and is therefore not a penetration of any sovereign-controlled areas.

The IAA announcement follows a Russian Military of Defence (MoD) announcement on 20 January that, “In accordance with the training plan for the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for 2022, a series of exercises will be held in January–February in the areas of responsibility of all fleets of the Russian Navy.”

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