Update: SubSea Craft's Victa diver delivery craft enters the water

by Peter Felstead

SubSea Craft's Victa-class DDU prototype being lowered into the water for the first time on 9 September 2021 outside the company's waterfront facility in Portsmouth, UK. (Blue Harbour Creative Media/SubSea Craft)

The first prototype of SubSea Craft's innovative Victa-class diver delivery unit (DDU) entered the water for the first time on 9 September.

Initial testing of the vessel is being conducted adjacent to the company's headquarters in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and focused on checking the vessel's equilibrium: a key first stage given that, unlike other diver insertion boats, the Victa concept combines a fast surface craft and a submersible within the same platform. The vessel can therefore approach its target at speed from offshore before submerging – an automated process in which the cabin is flooded – to effect the stealthy insertion of up to six divers seated behind a crew of two.

As the trials campaign moves forward the vessel will be tested in the waters around Gosport, Hampshire, and will then be moved to SubSea Craft's Trials, Testing, and Training (T3) facility at Portland in Dorset.

A SubSea Craft spokesman told Janes

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Indonesia holds offset talks with Abeking & Rasmussen for new hydrographic ship

by Ridzwan Rahmat

KRI Rigel , one of four survey ships operated by the Indonesian Navy. The service is looking to procure an ocean-going survey vessel and has held talks with Abeking & Rasmussen to understand possible offset arrangements. (Indonesian Navy Office of Public Communications (DISPENAL))

Indonesia's Ministry of Defense (MoD) held a virtual meeting with German shipbuilder Abeking & Rasmussen to discuss the possible procurement of an ocean-going hydrographic vessel.

According to meeting documents provided to Janes by a government source, the event was held virtually on 3 September.

The meeting was headed by Director General of Defense Potential, Brigadier General Aribowo Teguh Santoso, while Abeking & Rasmussen officials were accompanied by representatives from the company's local agent PT Agrapana Nugraha Katara.

Also present during the meeting were representatives from Indonesian shipbuilders, PT Palindo Marine, PT Batamec, and PT Bandar Abadi, state-owned electronics company PT Len, and the deans of the machining and electro-informatics faculties at the Bandung Institute of Technology.

The source that provided Janes

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UK MoD flags surplus ships for sale

by Richard Scott

Three RFA vessels are among the Royal Navy ships being advertised for sale, including ex-RFA Fort Austin (pictured), which is now laid up in Birkenhead with sister ship ex-RFA Fort Rosalie. (NAVYPIX/Richard Scott)

Frigates, mine countermeasures (MCM) vessels, fast craft, hovercraft, and auxiliary ships are among equipment being offered for sale by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

A sales brochure released by the MoD's Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA) earlier this month revealed details of over 10 Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels being offered for onward sale and potential further service. DESA is the organisation within the MoD responsible for managing the sale and transfer of surplus British Armed Forces military equipment.

Among the ships being offered for sale are RN Sandown-class minehunters, which will be phased out of service by the end of 2025 as a new generation of autonomous MCM systems begin to enter service. Ex-HMS Blyth and ex-HMS Ramsey, decommissioned at Rosyth in August 2021, are already earmarked for transfer to the Ukrainian Navy, following refits by Babcock.

A further five vessels – HMS Penzance , HMS Pembroke , HMS Grimsby

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Australia may lease submarines as it awaits delivery of nuclear-powered boats

by Ridzwan Rahmat

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) may be operating leased submarines while it awaits the delivery of its new nuclear-powered boats.

The matter was confirmed by Australia's Minister for Defence Peter Dutton in an interview with Sky News, the transcript for which was released by the defence ministry on 20 September.

Leaders of the US, the UK, and Australia announced the establishment of a new security partnership on 15 September known as AUKUS. The first initiative under the partnership will be to collaborate on developing a nuclear-powered submarine fleet for the RAN.

Australia operates a fleet of six Collins-class diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) that were commissioned between the late-1990s and early-2000s.

Given the age of the boats, there are concerns that the RAN might face a capability gap from the time the Collins-class SSKs are no longer operational till the nuclear-powered boats come into service in the late-2030s.

According to Dutton, discussions on whether Australia would lease submarines as an interim measure will be held as part of talks with the US and the UK over the next 12–18 months.

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The first prototype of SubSea Craft's innovative Victa-class diver delivery unit (DDU) entered the w...

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