French DGA orders first seven OPVs for French Navy

by Kate Tringham

Graphic depiction of the French Navy's new offshore patrol vessel. (Naval Group)

The French defence procurement agency, Directorate General of Armament (DGA), has ordered seven new multi-purpose offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the French Navy.

Announcing the milestone on 23 November the DGA said the acquisition covered three contracts totalling EUR900 million (USD985.03 million), which were signed on 17 November.

Under the contract awards, the ships will be built by a temporary shipbuilding consortium comprising Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN), Piriou, and Socarenam; Naval Group will be responsible for project management and the development and supply of the combat management system; and Thales will supply and integrate the maritime surveillance sensor suite.

Under current planning, the first new OPV is planned to be delivered in 2026.

“The first stage of the offshore patrol vessel programme, based on the acquisition of seven vessels, will fill a gap in the second-tier vessel segment, taking into account the decommissioning of offshore patrol vessels that have already taken place, and will initiate the ramp-up of these vessels on each of the three metropolitan coasts – Brest, Toulon, and Cherbourg,” the DGA said.


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Spanish Navy decommissions fourth Galerna-class submarine

by Kate Tringham

The Spanish Navy decommissioned Tramontana on 16 February 2024. (Spanish Navy)

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


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HII shipyard starts testing aircraft carrier John F Kennedy EMALS with dead-load launches

by Michael Fabey

HII has started testing the catapults on aircraft carrier John F Kennedy with dead-load launches. (HII)

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 Kennedy 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 Janes earlier this month that dozens of dead-load shots have been launched.

Kennedy


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Turkish aircraft carrier design takes shape

by Cem Devrim Yaylali

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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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/naval-weapons/latest/french-dga-orders-first-seven-opvs-for-french-navy

The French defence procurement agency, Directorate General of Armament (DGA), has ordered seven new ...

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