Pentagon budget 2025: US Coast Guard funding request reflects slight decrease

by Michael Fabey

The US Coast Guard's FY 2025 budget request includes funding for the HC-130J programme management. (Janes/Michael Fabey)

The US Coast Guard (USCG) fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget request of about USD13.8 billion represents a slight decrease from the USD13.9 billion FY 2024 amount, annualised to reflect the continuing resolution spending restrictions and the USD13.9 billion enacted for FY 2023, according to budget documents released on 11 March.

The FY 2025 request includes USD1.1 billion to recapitalise legacy surface assets and make capital improvements to extend the service life of cutters and boats.

This funding includes the following: USD216 million for the production of two Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) for the Indo-Pacific; USD530 million for the construction of the seventh Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) and long-lead time materials for the eighth OPC; USD135 million for the Waterways Commerce Cutter (WCC) including programme management and production activities; USD148 million for In-Service Vessel Sustainment activities on the 47 ft (14.3 m) motor lifeboat, 270 ft (82.3 m) Medium Endurance Cutter, cutter Healy

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Saab Kockums composite superstructures offer reduced weight as navies integrate more equipment

by Jeremiah Cushman

Saab Kockums builds the composite superstructure for Singapore's Independence-class littoral mission vessel. Above, the superstructure for the fifth ship in the class is being prepared for transport to Singapore. (Glenn Pettersson)

Saab Kockums offers composite products to provide navies options for surface warships. These include composite superstructures and the new Saab Lightweight Integrated Mast (SLIM), which is being procured by Finland for its Pohjanmaa-class corvettes, Magnus Dannemyr, Saab Kockums product manager for composites, told reporters at the Saab Kockums shipyard in Karlskrona in southern Sweden on 14 May.

Saab has decades of experience working with composites, starting with an all-composite sailboat in 1965, Dannemyr said. In 1974 the company produced its first composite warship, a mine countermeasure vessel constructed of glass-fibre-reinforced plastic (GFRP). In the mid-1990s the shipyard began construction on the Royal Swedish Navy's Visby-class corvettes, which have an all-composite carbon-fibre hull.

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Thailand announces USD77.6 million upgrade for Pattani-class OPVs

by Ridzwan Rahmat

The Royal Thai Navy's lead Pattani-class OPV, HTMS Pattani , seen here during an exercise in the South China Sea. (US Navy)

Thailand has announced plans to carry out a major upgrade programme for its two Pattani-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).

An announcement on this was released by the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) via its official website on 17 May under a section on procurement plans.

While the service has not given specific details of what the upgrade programme would entail, the work across the two vessels would cost THB2.83 billion (USD77.6 million), according to the announcement.

The RTN's two Pattani-class OPVs, HTMS Pattani and HTMS Narathiwat , were commissioned in December 2005 and April 2006 respectively.

Pattani was laid down in 2003 by China's Hudong Shipyard in Shanghai while Narathiwat was laid down by the same shipbuilder in 2004.

The class displaces about 1,400 tonnes at full load and has an overall length of about 95.5 m with an overall beam of 11.6 m.

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US Navy is close to getting waivers for new countermine platforms, says service official

by Michael Fabey

The US Navy needs a waiver to decommission countermine ships such as the USS Avenger pictured here to field replacement vessels. (US Navy)

The US Navy (USN) should soon have the waivers it needs to field its proposed countermine(MCM) replacement platforms, according to David Chase, USN Expeditionary Warfare deputy director.

“We are weeks, not months away from getting that over [the] goal line,” Chase said on 21 May during a keynote speech at the International Mine Warfare Technology Symposium 2024 in San Diego, California.

The USN needs two separate waivers from requirements, Chase noted, that must be cleared through Congress to lift certain restrictions.

“One prohibits us from decommissioning the Avenger-class MCM [ships],” he noted, adding that Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro must certify – and the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) must concur with that certification – that “what we are fielding is equivalent to the capability before decommissioning”.

The second restriction concerns surface ship requirements that would be unmet by the littoral combat ships (LCSs) slated to replace Avenger-class ships for MCM missions, according to Chase. The LCSs require an exception.

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The US Coast Guard (USCG) fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget request of about USD13.8 billion represents a...

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