UK's first underwater surveillance ship enters service

by Kate Tringham

RFA Proteus , the UK's first ship dedicated to underwater surveillance, entered service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary on 10 October. (UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

The UK's first underwater surveillance ship, RFA Proteus , entered service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) during a ceremony held on the Thames in London on 10 October.

Proteus (ex-MV Topaz Tangaroa ) is the first of two planned Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance (MROS) ships being acquired by the UK for underwater surveillance and seabed warfare, to be operated by the RFA.

The vessel was purchased secondhand by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) from P&O Maritime Logistics' subsidiary Topaz Energy and Marine in late 2022 and arrived at Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead in January 2023 to undergo modifications for its new role. According to the Royal Navy (RN), conversion work was completed in September, after which the ship completed a brief period of trials and training off the coast of Portland ahead of its dedication ceremony.

Built by Norwegian shipbuilder Vard in 2019 as an offshore support vessel, Proteus

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Australia decommissions lead Anzac-class frigate

by Ridzwan Rahmat

HMAS Anzac seen here in the Sydney Harbour. The ship was decommissioned on 18 May 2024. (Janes/Russell Smith)

Australia has decommissioned its lead Anzac (MEKO 200)-class guided-missile frigate.

The vessel, which saw service with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as HMAS Anzac, was formally retired in a decommissioning ceremony on 18 May at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia.

Prior to its decommissioning, Anzac was the longest-serving commissioned vessel in service with the RAN, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) noted in an 18 May statement to mark the retirement.

“Decommissioning HMAS Anzac will pave the way for the long-term investment in enlarging and enhancing [the] navy's fleet, in response to the recommendations made by the independent analysis of [the] navy's surface combatant fleet,” the statement added.

Anzac was commissioned by the RAN in May 1996 and is one of seven frigates in the class operated by the service.

The frigate displaces about 3,800 tonnes at full load and it has an overall length of 118 m, an overall beam of 14.8 m, and a hull draught of 4.5 m.

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Saab eyes potential procurement programmes in Canada

by Jeremiah Cushman

A model of the Saab GlobalEye AEW&C aircraft at Saab headquarters in Stockholm. (Janes/Jeremiah Cushman)

Saab has an extensive history in Canada, supplying the surveillance radar and fire-control system for Halifax-class frigates, Carl Gustaf anti-tank systems, and training and simulation systems to the Canadian Armed Forces. In February Canada chose Saab's RBS 70 NG (Next Generation) for its soldier-portable air-defence system (SPADS) programme, Simon Carroll, president of Saab Canada, told reporters at Saab headquarters in Stockholm on 13 May.

Canada is not as large a market as the neighbouring US but it is still important, Saab CEO Micael Johansson said on 13 May. The company is seeking to expand beyond its current offerings, focusing on land programmes for the short-to-medium term, and air and maritime projects over the medium-to-long term. There will also be investment to support Saab's global supply chain capability, he said.

Saab sees Canada as a good candidate for further growth given its similar strategic viewpoints. There is potential for a more reciprocal relationship that would be different from that with the US, which is much more protective, Johansson said.

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Germany launches third follow-on K130 corvette

by Michael Nitz

FGS Karlsruhe is the third of five follow-on K130 corvettes on order for the German Navy. (Michael Nitz, Naval Press Service)

The third follow-on Braunschweig (K130)-class corvette on order for the German Navy was launched at NV Lürssen (NVL) subsidiary Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg on 7 May, NVL Group announced the same day.

FGS Karlsruhe is the third boat of the second batch of five additional corvettes for the German Navy. The German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) ordered the five follow-on vessels from the ARGE K130 consortium, led by NVL Group and including thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS) and German Naval Yards Kiel (GNYK), under a contract worth more than EUR 2.2 billion (USD2.39 billion) in September 2017.

Following its launch, Karlsruhe will now enter the final outfitting phase. Its four sister ships, meanwhile, are at various stages of construction at Blohm+Voss's shipyard.

Due to information technology (IT) security challenges with the command and weapon control system the entire programme is running behind schedule. Originally all five second batch corvettes should already have been delivered to the customer.

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