Wellington to ban entry of Australia's future submarines into New Zealand waters

by Ridzwan Rahmat

Royal Australian Navy Collins-class submarines HMAS Waller and HMAS Dechaineux . Australia has announced a plan to eventually replace these boats with nuclear-powered submarines under the trilateral AUKUS partnership with the US and the UK. (Royal Australian Navy)

Australia's future nuclear-powered submarines will not be allowed to enter New Zealand waters.

In a statement forwarded to Janes by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office, the premier confirmed that Wellington's long-standing ban on nuclear-powered vessels remains despite news that Australia is procuring submarines with the propulsion type.

New Zealand prohibits nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships from using the country's ports or territorial waters, including vessels of its security partners like the US Navy (USN).

Leaders of the US, Australia, and the UK jointly announced the creation of an “enhanced trilateral security partnership” known as AUKUS on 15 September.

“As the first initiative under AUKUS, recognising our common tradition as maritime democracies, we commit to a shared ambition to support Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy,” reads a joint leaders' statement published by the White House on the same day.


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Naval Group hands over third OPV to Argentine Navy

by Vinod Kumar CV

Storny (P 53) was delivered to the Argentine Navy during a ceremony held in Concarneau, France, on 14 October. (Naval Group, France)

The Argentine Navy's multimission offshore patrol vessel (OPV) programme marked another milestone on 14 October when French shipbuilder Naval Group handed over the third Bouchard (OPV 87)-class vessel, Storny (P 53), in Concarneau, Brittany.

The delivery is part of a EUR319 million (USD380 million) contract signed by Naval Group with Argentina in 2018 to deliver four multimission OPVs. The first vessel, ARA Bouchard (formerly L'Adroit ) (P 51), was handed over in December 2020, followed by delivery of the second, ARA Piedrabuena (P 52), on 13 April. The fourth and final vessel, Cordero (P 54), was launched on 13 September.

Storny was built by Kership, a joint venture between Naval Group and Piriou. The ship was partly built in Lanester by Kership Lorient and assembled in Concarneau by Piriou Shipyards. The vessel features the same capabilities as Piedrabuena and is better armed and equipped than Bouchard


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South Korean navy receives second upgraded KDX-I-class destroyer

by Gabriel Dominguez

South Korea's DAPA announced on 22 October that KDX-I-class destroyer Gwanggaeto Daewang was returned to RoKN after completing an upgrade programme. (RoKN)

The second upgraded Gwanggaeto Daewang (KDX-I)-class destroyer has been returned to the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) after completing a modernisation programme aimed at improving the vessel's combat management system (CMS) and other sensors.

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement that Gwanggaeto Daewang (pennant number DDG 971) was returned to the service on 22 October during a ceremony held at the Jinhae Naval Base in South Gyeongsang Province.

The first destroyer of the three-vessel KDX-I class to have completed the upgrade was Yang Manchun (DDG 973), which returned to service in September 2020. The third destroyer, Eulji Mundeok (DDG 972), is currently undergoing upgrades and is expected to return to service in December, according to DAPA.


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Series of ‘causal factors' resulted in fire risk and damage to amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard, US Navy report finds

by Michael Fabey

A series of “causal factors” led to the fire risk and damage of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), a US Navy investigation found. (US Navy)

Different categories of “causal factors … allowed for the accumulation of significant risk and led to an ineffective fire response” for the 12 July 2020 blaze that caused the damage and eventual decommissioning of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), according to the US Pacific Fleet Command Investigation released on 20 October.

The investigation identified the four categories of causal factors: the material condition of the ship, the training and readiness of the ship's crew, the integration – or the lack of it – between the ship and supporting shore-based firefighting organisations, and the oversight by commanders across multiple organisations.

The command investigation concluded that “a lack of familiarity with requirements and procedural non-compliance at multiple levels of command” contributed to the loss of ship.

In releasing the report, Admiral Bill Lescher, vice chief of naval operations (VCNO), emphasised the navy's commitment to making “urgent and necessary changes” to correct the deficiencies and related root causes that led to the Bonhomme Richard fire.


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Australia's future nuclear-powered submarines will not be allowed to enter New Zealand waters.

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