Sea news

Australian navy's unmanned MCM development picks up pace

By Kelvin Wong 22 January 2021
The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) efforts to operationalise a rapidly deployable mine-countermeasures (MCM) capability using robotic and autonomous systems under Project SEA 1778 is picking up pace with acceptance testing of key systems under way, an Australian Department of Defence (DoD) spokesperson told  Janes  on 20 January.   “Thales Australia, the prime systems integrator, [is] in the early stages of acceptance testing of the first of these systems,” the spokesperson said, noting that the current deployable MCM su...

RMN confirms procurement priorities for next five years

By Marhalim bin Abas & Gabriel Dominguez 22 January 2021
The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has confirmed its procurement priorities for the next five years while adding vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to its list of requirements.  Speaking on 22 January, RMN chief Admira...

US Navy holds Lockheed Martin responsible for LCS Freedom gear repairs

By Michael Fabey 22 January 2021
The US Navy (USN) is holding ship prime contractor Lockheed Martin responsible for repairs after determining that a propulsion system combining gear-material defect on the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) was a latent defect-design issue,...

NS50 radars to equip BE/NL MCM mother ships

By Richard Scott 20 January 2021
Thales Nederland is to supply its NS50 dual-axis multibeam active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the Belgium/Netherlands future mine countermeasures (MCM) programme.  Under contract to Kership – a joint venture of Naval Group and Pir...

China to field more nuclear weapons that can target the United States, says report

By Gabriel Dominguez 20 January 2021
China’s missile force is expanding, with the number of nuclear warheads capable of reaching the United States on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) potentially increasing to “well over 200” within the next five years, according to a report by the US Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC).  Published on 11 January 2021, NASIC’s ‘2020 Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat’ report says that China, which “continues to have the most active and diverse ballistic missile development programme in the world”, has been ad...

UK signs for new influence sweep systems

By Richard Scott 19 January 2021
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has contracted Atlas Elektronik UK (AEUK) for the supply of new combined influence minesweeping systems as part of the Royal Navy’s (RN’s) Mine Countermeasures (MCM) and Hydrographic Capability (MHC) programme.  The new multi-influence sweep systems will be based on the MHC Sweep demonstrator handed over in 2018. This equipment has been evaluated by the RN’s Maritime Autonomous Systems Trials Team in a range of conditions. (Richard Scott/NAVYPIX)  Announced on 19 January, the GBP25 million (USD22.6 million) c...

Ghost Fleet Overlord USV participates in ‘Dawn Blitz' exercise

By Richard Scott 19 January 2021
An experimental Ghost Fleet Overlord unmanned surface vehicle (USV) has participated in a major amphibious exercise on the US Pacific coast, having previously transited over 4,700 n miles almost entirely autonomously.  Developed under a partnership between the US Department of Defense (DoD) and the US Navy (USN) through the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), the Overlord initiative is a joint programme designed to accelerate navy efforts to develop USVs and demonstrate increasingly capable autonomous beh...

Norway scraps frigate Helge Ingstad

By Nicholas Fiorenza 18 January 2021
The Forsvarsmateriell (FMA), the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, signed a contract with Norscrap West on 11 January to scrap the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate KNM   Helge Ingstad.  The company will scrap the frigate at its facility at Hanøytangen by the end of the year, according to the FMA website. The agency valued the contract at approximately NOK60 million (nearly USD7 million), with sales of the metal recovered expected to reduce the cost by several million kroner.     The FMA signed a contract with Norscr...

Vice Chief Hyten to approve joint guidance on EMSO this month

By Carlo Munoz 18 January 2021
New joint guidance governing how US armed forces’ will adopt, implement, and execute the Pentagon’s new strategy for electromagnetic spectrum operations (EMSO) is expected to be released by the end of January, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of S...

Surface Navy 2021: Competition puts focus on US Navy readiness

By Michael Fabey 18 January 2021
The growing power competition is putting a premium on US Navy (USN) readiness, said Admiral Christopher Grady, commander of US Fleet Forces Command, on 13 January at the virtual Surface Navy Association 2021 National Symposium, which began on 11 Ja...

Surface Navy 2021: NAVWAR chief sees spectrum, bandwidth challenges

By Carlo Munoz 17 January 2021
The US Navy is staring down looming challenges to a wide swath of service missions, as a result of changes in access to radio frequency (RF) spectrum and overall bandwidth availability for its fleet of networked systems and platforms.  The Pentago...

Surface Navy 2021: US Navy says land-based FFG 62 test site will lessen risk

By Michael Fabey 15 January 2021
The US Congressionally mandated land-based test site for the Constellation-class guided-missile frigate (FFG 62) will help reduce integration and related risks for the ship class, said Captain Kevin Smith, the FFG 62 Programme director, on 12 Janua...

Surface Navy 2021: US Navy touts MCM USV transition as DOT&E questions performance

By Michael Fabey 15 January 2021
With the Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MCM USV) and related equipment in the Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS) configuration reaching Milestone C in early 2020, the system has started low-rate production and transitioned to mi...

RAN's first Supply-class AOR vessel arrives at homeport in Sydney

By Gabriel Dominguez 15 January 2021
The first of two Supply-class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) ships for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has arrived at its homeport in Sydney Harbour.  The RAN’s future AOR vessel,   Supply  , arrived for the first time at Fleet Base East in Sydney, New South Wales, on 15 January.  (Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence)  The 19,500-tonne vessel, which will be known as HMAS   Supply  (II) (with pennant number A195) once it is commissioned in April, arrived for the first time at Fleet Base East in Sydney,...

ReCAAP reports 17% rise in piracy incidences across Asia

By Ridzwan Rahmat 15 January 2021
The intergovernmental maritime body Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) has reported a total of 97 piracy incidences across Asia for 2020.  This represents an increase of 17% over the...

North Korea unveils Pukguksong-5 SLBM at military parade

By Gabriel Dominguez 15 January 2021
Less than a week after announcing plans to modernise its military and bolster its nuclear arsenal, North Korea unveiled new missile systems, including the latest version of its Pukguksong (also spelled Pukkuksong) series of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), at a military parade held in the evening on 14 January.  The parade, which was held at Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung Square to mark the end of the Eighth Congress of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), took place only a day after media reports emerged about South Korea’s plans...

Surface Navy 2021: Congressional oversight slows naval unmanned programme development, US Navy officials contend

By Michael Fabey 14 January 2021
Expanded oversight of unmanned programmes has kept the US Navy (USN) from moving more quickly on the development of certain platforms and systems, according to USN officials.  “We’ve been marked several times in that area,” USN Undersecretary Grego...

Pioneering crew of Philippine's second missile frigate begin ship familiarisation

By Ridzwan Rahmat 14 January 2021
The pioneering crew of the second Jose Rizal-class guided-missile frigate on order for the Philippine Navy has begun at-sea familiarisation activities on board the vessel.  The programme milestone was confirmed by the service’s public affairs offic...

South Korea developing submarine-launched ballistic missile, says report

By Gabriel Dominguez & Dae Young Kim 13 January 2021
South Korea is developing a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) based on its 500 km-range Hyeonmu-2B (also spelled Hyunmoo-2B) ballistic missile, with underwater test launches set to be carried out later this year, according to local media reports.  The Yonhap News Agency quoted an unnamed military source as saying that ejection tests of the missile conducted on land – presumably at the at the Agency for Defense Development’s (ADD’s) Anheung test site in Taean County – were completed in 2020, adding that developers will now “move on t...

Elbit Systems to supply Seagull USVs to navy of Asia-Pacific country

By Gabriel Dominguez 13 January 2021
Israeli company Elbit Systems announced on 13 January that it has secured a contract to provide Seagull unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to the navy of an undisclosed country in the Asia-Pacific region.  The Haifa-based company said that under the contract, which is to be performed over a 17-month period, it will provide Seagull systems “specifically configured to perform mine countermeasures (MCM) missions while facilitating the option to add technology modules needed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW)” operations.  A Seagull USV performing an...
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