DSEI 2023: Team Resolute unveils evolved UK Fleet Solid Support ship design

by Kate Tringham

The FSS on display at DSEI 2023. (Janes/Kate Tringham)

The Spanish/UK industry consortium Team Resolute showcased its evolved design for the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary's (RFA's) Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ship at the DSEI 2023 exhibition in London held from 12 to 15 September.

Team Resolute – led by prime contractor Navantia UK, a subsidiary of Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia, and including BMT and Harland & Wolff – was awarded a GBP1.6 billion (USD1.98 billion) contract to deliver the three-ship FSS programme on 18 January 2023 after being selected as the preferred bidder in November 2022. Construction on the new ships is planned to begin in 2025, and all three ships are expected to be operational by 2032.

BMT has responsibility for the 216 m-long FSS ship design, which will share some commonalities with the RFA's Tide-class fleet tankers and also draws on the company's experience across other naval programmes including the UK's Queen Elizabeth-class carriers, Type 31 frigate, and the Norwegian Logistics Support Vessel (LSV).

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First two Turkish Navy Akhisar-class OPVs launched

by Cem Devrim Yaylali

The first two Akhisar-class OPVs for the Turkish Navy were launched at Istanbul Naval Shipyard on 23 September. (Devrim Yaylali)

The first pair of Akhisar (modified MILGEM)-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) under construction for the Turkish Navy were launched at Istanbul Naval Shipyard on 23 September.

First steel for first-of-class Akhisar (P 1220) was cut in August 2021, and work on second ship Koçhisar (P 1221) started in November 2022. Under current planning, Akhisar is scheduled to be delivered on 9 June 2024, followed by Koçhisar on 9 October 2024.

Based on a modified MILGEM design with a ‘fitted for but not with' concept, the class has an overall length of 99.56 m, a beam of 14.42 m, a draft of 3.77 m, and a full load displacement of 2,300 tonnes.

The ships are powered by a combined diesel-electric or diesel (CODELOD) hybrid propulsion system, consisting of four diesel generators and two electric motors driving two shafts with controllable pitch propellers. The OPVs will have a maximum speed of 24 kt and a range of 4,500 n mile at 12 kt.

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SubSea Craft's Victa diver delivery unit achieves ‘proof-of-concept' certification

by Kate Tringham

The Victa DDU prototype is pictured during proof-of-concept trials, which were conducted at SubSea Craft's T3 facility in Portland, Dorset, in June and July 2023. (SubSea Craft)

The first prototype for SubSea Craft's Victa diver delivery unit (DDU) has achieved proof-of-concept certification after completing a series of advanced sea trials at the company's trials, testing, and training (T3) facility in Portland, Dorset.

The milestone, which was completed in July, has paved the way to start manufacture of the second unit, which will be a production-standard vessel, SubSea Craft's CEO Scott Verney told Janes.

The company has started demonstrating Victa to potential customers while continuing with waterborne trials as it continues to optimise the craft.

“Achieving proof of concept has vindicated our digital-first approach and our flexibility to changing technology as time has gone by, so we're pleased with that,” Verney said. “And while it's a huge milestone, and we're incredibly proud of it, we continue to evolve [and] we continue to enhance and make our capabilities better as our clients move forward and as the world changes.”

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ASEAN navies omit live-firing activities at inaugural joint exercise

by Ridzwan Rahmat

The Royal Brunei Navy Darussalam-class offshore patrol vessel, KDB Darulehsan , one of three visiting vessels taking part in the inaugural ASEAN multilateral naval exercise, which is being hosted by Indonesia. (US Navy)

Navies at the inaugural Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) multilateral naval exercise will not take part in any live-firing serials throughout the activity, Janes has learnt.

The drills, which have been dubbed as ‘ASEAN Solidarity Exercise in Natuna (ASEX-01 N) 2023', are the first multilateral naval exercise to be carried out exclusively for navies in the ASEAN bloc.

It is being hosted by the Indonesian Navy at various locations across the Riau Archipelago. A harbour phase of the exercise began on 18 September in Batam and a sea phase is being held from 20 to 23 September in the southern extremes of the South China Sea.

When the exercise was first announced in June 2023, Indonesian Armed Forces Chief Admiral Yudo Margono described the exercise as one that would validate the combat capabilities of all 10 navies across ASEAN.

However, exercise documents provided to Janes

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