Shangri-La Dialogue 2022: US and allies turn up rhetoric as Beijing vies for regional influence
16 June 2022
by Ridzwan Rahmat
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks with civilians assigned to USNS
(T-AKE-7) at Sembawang Naval Base in Singapore. Austin was in Singapore to participate in the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue.
(US Department of Defense)
At the final day of the Shangri-La Dialogue 2022, a representative from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) took the opportunity to lambast the forum as a pro-Washington event. During a question-and-answer session with Singapore's Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen, Senior Colonel Zhao Xiaozhuo described the three-day dialogue as a platform that is “dominated by the United States and its allies, serving the interests of the United States and its allies”. “The topics [discussed at the forum] often point to differences rather than co-operation, and divergence rather than convergence,” said the colonel, who serves as a fellow at China's Academy of Military Sciences.
Construction for guided-missile frigate Constellation set to begin
23 June 2022
by Michael Fabey
The US Navy recently exercised an option to acquire the guided-missile frigate
Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) is set to start building the first Constellation-class guided-missile frigate (FFG 62) close to the scheduled construction-start time, programme sources confirmed.
FMM and US Navy (USN) sources say Constellation work will begin during the US summer – that started 21 June and ends 22 September – but a source familiar with the programme told Janes the shipbuilder will likely begin construction in August.
That start is a bit later than the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) had indicated in its annual report on major Pentagon acquisition programmes, released on 8 June.
“The [FFG 62] programme office confirmed that the programme delayed the start of lead ship construction planned for April 2022,” the GAO reported. “The official said that the programme now plans to begin construction in July 2022.”
Officially, though, FMM spokesperson Eric Dent told Janes, “We are planning to start construction of the lead ship, the future USS Constellation, this summer.”
The keel-laying ceremony for the first of two Multipurpose Modular Patrol Vessels to be built for the Bulgarian Navy was held on 17 June at MTG Dolphin's shipyard near Varna, in the attendance of country's president, Rumen Radev, and the minister of defence, Dragomir Zakov. (Bulgarian Navy)
German shipbuilder NVL Group (formerly Lürssen Werft) held a keel-laying ceremony for the first of two Multipurpose Modular Patrol Vessels (MMPVs) on order for the Bulgarian Navy at the yard of its local shipbuilding partner MTG Dolphin in Varna,
on 17 June.
The new ship, named
(12), is planned to be delivered to the Bulgarian Navy in late 2025. Meanwhile, the keel for sister ship
(11) will be laid in early 2023 and is expected to be handed over in late 2026.
The MMPVs are being built under a contract signed with NVL Group on 12 November 2020 valued at BGN820 million (USD473 million). The vessels are based on the NVL Group's OPV-90 model.
Indonesian shipyard begins work on new missile-capable ‘president ship'
22 June 2022
by Ridzwan Rahmat
Indonesian private shipyard PT Karimun Anugrah Sejati (KAS) has begun work on a new guided-missile corvette that will double up as transport for dignitaries such as the Indonesian president.
A ceremony to mark the vessel's “first steel-cutting” and keel-laying was held on 9 June at PT KAS's shipbuilding facilities in Batam, Indonesia, a representative from the company has confirmed with
. It will be known as KRI
once it is commissioned.
Actual work on the vessel's keel began in March 2022, but the “first steel-cutting” ceremony was held in conjunction with a visit by the Indonesian Navy's Logistics Assistant to the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Puguh Santoso, to the facilities that day, the company said.
An IDR300 billion (USD20.2 million) contract to build the vessel was signed between PT KAS and the Indonesian defence in 2021. It has an overall length of about 73 m and will be powered by two MTU 16V 4000 M71 diesel engines that can propel the vessel to a top speed of 24 kt and a cruising speed of 16 kt.
Podcast recording date: 26 April 2022.
Huw Williams of our EMEA news team chairs a discussion focussed on the Russian invasion of Ukraine featuring Amael Kotlarski, Senior Analyst at Janes, Thomas Bullock, Senior Russia and CIS OSINT Analyst a...