Damen awarded contract for Portuguese Navy's new multi-purpose vessel
30 November 2023
by Kate Tringham
The new multi-purpose vessel, which will be named
D João II
, is planned to enter service in the second half of 2026.
Damen Shipyards Group has been awarded a contract for the design, construction, and outfitting of a new multi-purpose vessel for the Portuguese Navy.
Announcing the contract award on 24 November, Damen said the 107 m-long vessel had been designed to meet the Portuguese Navy's requirement for a platform that combined oceanic research with unmanned systems deployment capabilities.
The new vessel, which will be named D João II, is planned to enter service in the second half of 2026.
The project follows a European tender process and has received funding from the European Union's (EU's) Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), which is part of NextGenerationEU, the economic recovery package to support EU member states affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. PRR funding for the project is valued at EUR94.5 million (USD103.8 million), with state investment amounting to EUR37.5 million.
The multi-purpose vessel will be used primarily for oceanic research, search-and-rescue, and emergency relief, with a secondary role for naval support and maritime security operations.
Spanish Navy decommissions fourth Galerna-class submarine
23 February 2024
by Kate Tringham
The Spanish Navy decommissioned
on 16 February 2024.
The Spanish Navy's fourth S 70 (Galerna)-class conventionally powered diesel-electric submarine (SSK) has been retired from service.
Tramontana (S 74), the youngest of four Galerna-class SSKs, was officially decommissioned during a ceremony held at the Spanish Navy's submarine base in Cartagena on 16 February.
Announcing the milestone the same day, the Spanish Navy said that since entering service in 1985, Tramontana has sailed a total of 315,144 n miles – 218,384 of them submerged. The submarine completed its last (and fourth) major overhaul between 2014 and 2017.
Highlights during Tramontana's career include the launching of a torpedo that sank a surface ship in October 2004. The submarine also contributed to the outcome of the crisis of Perejil Island in 2002, and participated in Operation ‘Unified Protector' in Libya in 2011.
The Galerna-class SSKs were built by Bazán (now Navantia) shipyards in Cartagena, entering service between 1983 and 1985.
Tramontana's decommissioning follows that of Siroco, which was decommissioned in June 2012, and Mistral in June 2020. Its retirement leaves just one remaining submarine, first-of-class Galerna
HII shipyard starts testing aircraft carrier John F Kennedy EMALS with dead-load launches
22 February 2024
by Michael Fabey
HII has started testing the catapults on aircraft carrier
John F Kennedy
with dead-load launches.
HII's Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) unit has started testing of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) on aircraft carrier
John F Kennedy
(CVN 79), marking a major milestone for the ship, HII confirmed on 21 February.
After testing catapults one and two – the bow cats – with no-load launch movements, NNS workers and
sailors started the dead-load testing, HII acknowledged in a release.
For the dead-load testing, large, wheeled car-like structures of graduated weights up to 80,000 lb (36,287.4 kg) to simulate the weight of actual aircraft are launched off the carrier's bow into the James River bordering the shipyard in Virginia, HII said.
The dead loads are retrieved and relaunched until the conclusion of the test programme to ensure the catapults are deemed ready to launch all US Navy (USN) carrier-based fixed-wing aircraft.
Officials connected with the Kennedy programme told
earlier this month that dozens of dead-load shots have been launched.
The preliminary design of the future aircraft carrier was visible in photos shared by the Turkish Navy. (Turkish MND)
The Turkish Naval Forces has initiated design activities to advance efforts towards acquiring a domestically built aircraft carrier.
In early January the Turkish government gave the green light during a meeting of the Defence Industry Executive Committee (SSİK), chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to progress plans for an indigenous aircraft carrier to the design phase.
During a visit to the Design Project Office on 15 February, Erdoğan inspected progress made with the indigenous aircraft project to date. The preliminary design of the future aircraft carrier, which was visible in photos of the visit shared by the
Turkish Navy, shows that the carrier will be in short take-off but arrested recovery configuration.
The design shows a single runway and ski jump of approximately 12–14°, with a single island on the starboard side. Other details such as the number of aircraft elevators and their parking spots were not immediately apparent.
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