US CRS report underscores Polar Security Cutter schedule uncertainty as USCG cites need for more icebreakers
13 July 2023
by Michael Fabey
The US Coast Guard says it will need more icebreakers for polar operations. (VT Halter Marine/Technology Associates)
As the US Coast Guard (USCG) is planning for a bigger fleet of new icebreakers, the service is facing continued uncertainty about the delivery schedule for its proposed new Polar Security Cutters (PSCs), the Congressional Research Service (CRS) noted in a recent report.
“The coastguard testified in April and June 2023 that it had recently signed out a new fleet mix analysis that concluded that the coastguard will require a total of eight to nine polar icebreakers to perform its various polar (i.e., Arctic and Antarctic) missions in coming years,” the CRS said in its report, Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program: Background and Issues for Congress, released on 10 July.
“Prior to this new fleet mix analysis, coastguard officials had stated that the service in coming years would need at least six polar icebreakers, including three capable of breaking heavy polar ice,” the CRS reported.
Spanish Navy commissions first S-80 Plus-class submarine
04 December 2023
by Kate Tringham
The Spanish Navy's first S-80 Plus submarine,
was commissioned into service on 30 November 2023.
The Spanish Navy's first new S-80 Plus-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK) has been commissioned into service following the completion of sea acceptance trials.
(S-81) was formally commissioned during a ceremony held at the Spanish Navy's naval base in Cartagena on 30 November.
is the first of four S-80 Plus-class submarines being built by state-owned shipyard Navantia at its facilities in Cartegena for the Spanish Navy under a contract awarded in 2004. Laid down in 2007 and launched in May 2021 following multiple delays, the lead submarine was put to sea for the first time in May 2022. In early 2023 it moved into final sea acceptance testing, completing its first static dive on 30 March 2023 and its maximum operating depth dive test in October.
Damen awarded contract for Portuguese Navy's new multi-purpose vessel
30 November 2023
by Kate Tringham
The new multi-purpose vessel, which will be named
D João II
, is planned to enter service in the second half of 2026.
Damen Shipyards Group has been awarded a contract for the design, construction, and outfitting of a new multi-purpose vessel for the Portuguese Navy.
Announcing the contract award on 24 November, Damen said the 107 m-long vessel had been designed to meet the Portuguese Navy's requirement for a platform that combined oceanic research with unmanned systems deployment capabilities.
The new vessel, which will be named D João II, is planned to enter service in the second half of 2026.
The project follows a European tender process and has received funding from the European Union's (EU's) Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), which is part of NextGenerationEU, the economic recovery package to support EU member states affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. PRR funding for the project is valued at EUR94.5 million (USD103.8 million), with state investment amounting to EUR37.5 million.
The multi-purpose vessel will be used primarily for oceanic research, search-and-rescue, and emergency relief, with a secondary role for naval support and maritime security operations.
formally entered service on 27 November.
(Islamic Republic News Agency)
The Northern Fleet of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) officially received its new frigate on 27 November, nearly six years after its previous one sank in an accident.
(78) was formally inducted into service in Bandar-e Anzali on the Caspian, with photographs showing the event took place at one of the port's grain terminals, not at the IRIN base where it was built.
(77), the second of Iran's locally built Jamaran-class frigates, which sank after hitting the breakwater around Bandar-e Anzali during a storm in January 2018.
Satellite imagery shows the first section of the hull for a replacement had appeared in the dry dock at the base by October 2018. Until recently, IRIN officers referred to the new ship as
and it had the number 77 painted on top of its bridge and helicopter flight deck until October, when this was changed to 78, indicating it was recently renamed after a town close to Bandar-e Anzali.
Claire Chu, Janes senior China analyst joins Harry Kemsley and Sean Corbett to discuss how China's economic activity projects influence globally and what she learnt as part of the recent US Congressional staff delegation to China.