Pakistan receives second modernised Khalid-class submarine

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A file image of PNS Saad , one of the Pakistan Navy's three Khalid-class submarines. The service recently took delivery of another modernised boat, PNS Khalid , from STM. Another vessel, PNS Hamza , completed its modernisation programme with STM in 2021. (Naval Group)

The Pakistan Navy has received its second modernised Khalid (Agosta 90B)-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK) from Turkish company STM.

The vessel, PNS Khalid , was handed over to the service with a new suite of sonars, periscopes, and command-and-control systems, STM disclosed via a media statement on 25 January.

The Pakistan Navy operates a fleet of three Khalid-class SSKs that were commissioned between September 1999 and September 2008.

First-of-class Khalid was built by Naval Group (then known as DCN) in Cherbourg, France. The second and third vessels, PNS Saad and PNS Hamza , were constructed by Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) under a technology transfer arrangement.

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UK Royal Navy selects Animal Dynamics' parafoil UAV for next phase of Heavy Lift Challenge

by Kate Tringham

A developmental Stork test vehicle going through flight trials. (Animal Dynamics)

Oxford-based Animal Dynamics' Stork STM parafoil unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been selected by the UK Royal Navy (RN) to participate in the second phase of its Unmanned Aerial Systems Heavy Lift Challenge (UASHLC).

The Stork STM was selected following a pre-selection flying competition in late 2022, in which it demonstrated the ability to conduct beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations and carry a 135 kg payload over a distance of 400 km – meeting the RN's requirements for both intra- and inter-theatre resupply tasks.

The UAV will now progress to the next round of flight trials, which will be carried out over seven days at Predannack Airfield in Cornwall, South West England, starting on 27 March.

As part of the UASHLC effort, the Stork STM will undergo marinisation, including integration of secure satellite communications (satcom) and fitting a sonobuoy dispenser. It will also undergo additional wing development work that includes a retraction capability to make it safe for deck operations, Animal Dynamics said.

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MST wins contract to supply 12 m RHIBs for German Navy Type 126 frigates

by Kate Tringham

An MST special forces FRISC. (MST)

Dutch-owned Damen Shipyardshas awarded UK boatbuilder Marine Specialised Technology Group (MST) a contract to equip the German Navy's Type 126 frigates with 12 m fast interceptor craft.

Under the contract, announced on 13 March, Merseyside-based MST will supply 12 of its latest-generation Fast Raiding, Interception and Special Forces Craft (FRISC) rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs). The scope of supply includes transportation trailers and a comprehensive integrated logistics support package.

The 12 m variant has a fully loaded displacement of 9.5 tonnes and can carry a team of 12 special forces operators, in addition to equipment. Propulsion is provided by two inboard diesel engines developing up to 600 hp each, to provide a top speed of 45 kt and a maximum range of 350 n mile.

According to MST, the craft will be equipped with the latest command, control, communications, computers, and, intelligence (C4I) systems and can be fitted with machine guns and other weapons to support lethality requirements. The vessel can be forward-deployed as an underslung load beneath a CH‐47 Chinook helicopter, or as an internal load onboard a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

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Pentagon budget 2024: USCG requests slight decrease

by Michael Fabey

The US Coast Guard's fiscal year 2024 proposed budget requests sustainment funding for ships such as the icebreaker USCGC Healy . (Michael Fabey)

The US Coast Guard (USCG) is requesting about USD13.5 billion in its fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget proposal, compared with the USD13.9 billion enacted in FY 2023, according to USCG budget documents.

The FY 2024 budget requests USD10.2 billion for Operations and Support (O&S) and USD1.6 billion for procurement, construction, and improvements (PC&I).

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The Pakistan Navy has received its second modernised Khalid (Agosta 90B)-class diesel-electric subma...

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