Poland signs contract for additional Kormoran II MCMVs

by Kate Tringham

Mewa (603), the third Polish Kormoran II MCMV, is expected to be delivered later in 2022. The Polish Navy has ordered a second batch of three Kormoran IIs, which are planned to be delivered in 2026–27. (Polish Armaments Agency)

Poland's Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract for three additional Kormoran II (Project 258)-class mine-countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) on 26 June, the Polish Armaments Agency has announced.

Under the terms of the contract, valued at around PLN2.5 billion (USD563 million), the new ships are expected to be delivered in 2026–27, and will be based with the Polish Navy's 8th Coastal Defence Flotilla.

The new vessels will supplement the three Kormoran II MCMVs on order for the Polish Navy under contracts awarded to a consortium comprising Remontowa Shipbuilding (acting as the prime contractor), Gdynia naval shipyard, OBR CTM, and the CTO Ship Design and Research Centre.

The first MCMV, ORP Kormoran (601), has been in service since November 2017 and is based with the 8th Coastal Defence Flotilla's 13th Minesweeper Squadron. The second and third ships, ORP Albatros (602) and ORP Mewa (603), were launched in October 2019 and December 2020, respectively.

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Carrier Washington redelivery confirmed for 2023

by Michael Fabey

Aircraft carrier USS George Washington is scheduled to be redelivered to the US Navy following the ship's overhaul in 2023. (Newport News Shipbuilding)

Aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) is scheduled to return to the navy following its refuelling and complex overhaul (RCOH) in 2023, shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) CEO Chris Kastner confirmed.

“USS George Washington continues to make progress on the testing phase, and redelivery is now expected in the first quarter of 2023,” Kastner said on 4 August during a quarterly earnings call with investment analysts.

Started nearly five years ago at HII's Newport News Shipbuilding, the carriers' RCOH was initially schduled for an August 2021 redelivery.

Regarding other carrier RCOH programmes, Kastner told analysts, “CVN 74, USS John C Stennis, continues to make progress, and pre-advanced planning is under way on CVN 75, USS Harry S Truman ”.

Citing new carrier-construction programmes, Kastner said, “On CVN 79 [ John F ] Kennedy

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Fassmer starts construction on two SVK boats for German Navy

by Kate Tringham

View of the building block with section 5 of the first SVK boat for Germany. (WTD 71/Thomas Wallner)

Construction work has started on two new German Navy Seeversuch Küste (SVK) coastal trial support boats on order for the Bundeswehr's naval test and trials unit WTD 71.

In a 7 August announcement, the Bundeswehr said a keel-laying ceremony for both boats took place at the shipyard of Western Baltija Shipbuilding in Klaipėda, Lithuania, on 22 June.

The two SVK boats are being built under a contract worth EUR95 million (USD97 million) awarded to Fassmer by the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) on 22 July 2021.

Hull construction is taking place at the facilities of Western Baltija Shipbuilding in Lithuania, after which the boats will be transferred to Fassmer's shipyard in Berne, Germany, for outfitting. Under current plans the first boat will be transferred to Fassmer's yard for outfitting in October 2022, followed by the second boat in December 2022. The first boat is scheduled for handover to the Bundeswehr in June 2023, followed by the second boat in November 2023.

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MH-60R positions for potential Nordic maritime helicopter requirements

by Richard Scott

Lockheed Martin has to date delivered over 300 MH-60R helicopters worldwide. (US Navy)

With nine aircraft already in Danish service, Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky helicopter business is eyeing new opportunities for the US Navy's (USN's) MH-60R ‘Romeo' maritime helicopter elsewhere in the Nordic region as disaffected NH90 customers explore potential alternatives.

Norway in June 2022 announced its decision to withdraw its NH90 fleet from navy and coastguard service, terminate its contract with NHIndustries, and seek a full refund estimated at around NOK5 billion (USD513 million). Meanwhile, Sweden has expressed its continued dissatisfaction with the performance of its NH90 (HKP 14) fleet, and expects to take a decision on its future rotorcraft plans before the end of 2022.

Lockheed Martin has to date delivered over 300 MH-60R helicopters. Alongside the USN, export orders have been concluded with Australia, Denmark, Greece, India, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea through the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme. Speaking at the Farnborough airshow in July, Sikorsky's vice-president of army and air force programmes Nathalie Previte said the company was pursuing both repeat orders and new opportunities for the MH-60R through FMS sales.

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