New specialist UK MCM mother ship arrives in Plymouth for conversion
01 February 2023
by Kate Tringham
The OSV MV
sails into Plymouth on 30 January. Ahead of delivery to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, the ship will undergo a short period of modifications for its new role as an MCM mother ship, with a view to being operational during the second quarter of 2023.
(UK MoD/Crown Copyright)
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has procured a second-hand Norwegian commercial offshore support vessel (OSV) that will be converted into a mother ship to host offboard autonomous minehunting systems.
The vessel, currently named MV
sailed into Plymouth from Norway to start its refit on 30 January. Following its conversion at His Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport, it will be handed over to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) and used to support mine countermeasure (MCM)
operations around the UK, as well as in North Atlantic and European waters if required. The ship will be based in Scotland at HMNB Clyde, and will work alongside the autonomous minehunting systems already operated from the base by the Royal Navy's (RN's) First Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCM1) under Project ‘Wilton'.
Indonesia begins contract negotiations for two Scorpene Evolved submarines
01 March 2024
by Ridzwan Rahmat
An Indian Navy Scorpene submarine. Indonesia has begun negotiations to procure the Scorpene Evolved variant of the boat, which will be equipped with lithium ion batteries. (Naval Group)
Representatives from French shipbuilder Naval Group have arrived in Jakarta to begin contract negotiations for two lithium ion batteries-equipped Scorpene Evolved diesel-electric submarines (SSKs).
Separate sources have confirmed to
that negotiations for the possible contract began at the Indonesian Ministry of Defense's (MoD's) office on Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat on 26 February. A major point of the discussions included how the programme would be financed should a contract materialise.
As part of its offer, Naval Group has partnered with the French government's Directorate General of the Treasury to fully fund the programme via three sources of loans,
has been informed.
These include a credit facility with France's Banque publique d'investissement and a direct loan from the Directorate General of the Treasury, which would fund up to 85% of Naval Group's portion of the contract.
German frigate successfully intercepts Houthi attack UAVs in Red Sea
01 March 2024
by Kate Tringham & Alex Pape
is pictured departing Wilhelmshaven naval base on 8 February to join the EU's new maritime security mission to protect commercial shipping in the Red Sea.
The German Navy's Type 124 Sachsen-class air-defence frigate FGS
(F 221) successfully repelled two one-way attack unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the Red Sea launched by Yemen-based Ansar Allah (commonly known as the Houthis) militants on 27 February.
Briefing media at a German government press conference on 28 February, German Federal Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson Michael Stempfle confirmed that the UAVs were launched in two separate attacks on the evening of 27 February.
The first UAV was detected by
at 2000 h local time and was successfully intercepted shortly after using the ship's onboard 76 mm gun. The second UAV was detected 20 minutes later and was successfully engaged using the ship's RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) short-range defence system, he said.
“They were detected by the radar system and were at different distances,” he said. “That's why there were two different weapons that were used.”
Spanish Navy deploys counter-UAV system on Santa María-class frigate for the first time
28 February 2024
by Neil Dee
The Santa María-class frigate
with the now-removed Meroka CIWS above the hangar. The frigate has embarked a counter-UAV system for the first time.
(Spanish Ministry of Defence)
The Spanish Navy has deployed a counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system on the Santa María-class frigate Canarias (F 86) for the first time ahead of the frigate's deployment to European Union Naval Force's (EU NAVFOR's) Operation ‘Atalanta' in the Indian Ocean.
Announcing the frigate's departure from Rota on 15 February the navy said that “in this deployment, and for the first time, the ship will operate specifically designed defence assets to counter the new unmanned air threats”. The addition of the counter-UAV system is likely a response to the increased threat profile in the region as a result of the attacks against commercial shipping in the Red Sea by Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (commonly known as Houthis).
The situation in Yemen is particularly complex. Even before the start of the attacks on shipping in November 2023 by Ansar Allah (commonly known as the Houthis), the country has been of interest to many. A large-scale humanitarian crisis has em...