Sea news

Iranian ship attempts to capture US unmanned vessel

By Jeremy Binnie 01 September 2022
A screenshot shows the Iranian ship towing a Saildrone Explorer as USS   Thunderbolt  approaches on 30 August.  (US Naval Forces Central Command)  The US Navy's 5th Fleet reported the first attack on its new fleet of unmanned surface vessels (USVs) on 30 August, when it said one of its Saildrone Explorers was captured by an Iranian ship in international waters in the Gulf the previous night.    It identified the Iranian vessel as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy (IRGCN) support ship   Shahid...

Defense & Security 2022: Bangkok Dock proposes modified Krabi-class OPV to Thai navy

By Jon Grevatt 31 August 2022
Bangkok Dock is proposing a modified version of the 90 m Krabi-class OPV for the Royal Thai Navy. The company has built two Krabi-class vessels for the RTN, with the second vessel, HTMS  Prachuap Khiri Khan  , pictured above at its launch.  (Royal Thai Navy)  Bangkok Dock shipyard is proposing a series of modified Krabi-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) to meet requirements in the Royal Thai Navy (RTN). The proposals are being developed in collaboration with BAE Systems, the designer of the 90 m River-class OP...

HMS Prince of Wales breaks down after sailing from Portsmouth

By Kate Tringham & Alex Pape 31 August 2022
HMS   Prince of Wales   is pictured departing from Portsmouth on 27 August for its ‘Westlant 22' deployment. The 65,000-tonne warship broke down shortly afterwards and is now anchored off the south coast while a mechanical fault with the starboard propeller shaft is being investigated.   (Royal Navy/Crown Copyright)  The UK Royal Navy's (RN's) second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier is being inspected for damage after breaking down shortly after departing from Portsmouth, Hampshire, for a three-month mission...

Third Alaskan FRC will stabilise patrol schedule for ships in region

By Michael Fabey 30 August 2022
US Coast Guard Fast Response Cutter   Douglas Denman  arrived in Alaska in August.  (US Coast Guard)    With a third Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter (FRC) –   Douglas Denman  (WPC1149) – being home ported in Alaskan waters, the US Coast Guard (USCG) will be better equipped to maintain sufficient regional patrols while keeping a proper maintenance schedule, according to USCG Lieutenant Paul King,   Douglas Denman  's commanding officer.     “With three FRCs currently home por...

China on ‘high alert' after US Navy's rare two-cruiser Taiwan Strait transit

By Ridzwan Rahmat 29 August 2022
The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS  Antietam  (CG 54), seen here in a file image, is one of two ships that transited the Taiwan Strait on 28 August.  (US Navy)  The People's Liberation Army (PLA) remains on high alert and it stands “ready to thwart any provocation”, a military spokesperson said on 28 August after the US Navy's (USN's) latest transit through the Taiwan Strait.    The statement was issued hours after two USN ballistic missile defence (BMD)-capable Ticonderoga-class cruisers, USS...

Japan to procure another MCH-101 helicopter in 2022

By Ridzwan Rahmat 26 August 2022
Japan appears set to procure another MCH-101 AMCM helicopter in 2022, according to details published in the country's defence White Paper for the year. (Leonardo)  The Japanese government is procuring another MCH-101 airborne mine countermeasures (AMCM)-capable helicopter for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).  The procurement has been highlighted as one of the main projects for fiscal year (FY) 2022 in the Japanese Ministry of Defense's annual White Paper, Defense of Japan 2022. The publication has listed a projected expenditure...

First Saudi Avante 2200 corvette arrives in Jeddah

By Kate Tringham 26 August 2022
Al Jubail  , the first Avante 2200-class corvette built by Navantia for the RSNF, arrives at King Faisal Naval Base in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 25 August.  (SAMI)  The first Al Jubail Avante 2200-class corvette on order for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) has arrived in-country, marking an important milestone for the programme.  Al Jubail  (828) arrived at King Faisal Naval Base in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 25 August, the Saudi Press Agency announced the same day.   AlJubail  is the first of the five 104 m corv...

Changing tack: Pakistan Navy transforms amid increasing Indian Ocean rivalries

By Ridzwan Rahmat 25 August 2022
The Pakistan Navy's Zulfiquar-class frigate, PNS   Saif  , is seen firing anti-submarine mortars at Exercise ‘Aman 2021' in the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi.   (ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)  On the night of 4 D...

US Navy surface force chief touts unmanned systems work in RIMPAC

By Michael Fabey 19 August 2022
The US Navy incorporated its  Sea Hunter  medium unmanned surface vessel into the ‘Rim of the Pacific 2022' exercise.  (US Navy)  The US Navy (USN) conducted successful operations employing unmanned aerial and surface platforms during Exercise ‘Rim of the Pacific' (‘RIMPAC') between 29 June and 4 August in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California, according to Vice Admiral Roy Kitchener, commander, Naval Surface Forces and Naval Surface Force, US Pacific Fleet.  “I'm a big fan of the experimentation...

Combat systems on Malaysian LCS were selected despite navy objections, says declassified report

By Ridzwan Rahmat 19 August 2022
The Royal Malaysian Navy's first-of-class littoral combat ship   Maharaja Lela   seen here at its launching ceremony in 2017. A parliamentary committee investigation that concluded in 2022 indicates that the vessel has yet to enter the water.  (Royal Malaysian Navy)  Several weapons and combat systems on Malaysia's Maharaja Lela-class littoral combat ship (LCS) programme were selected to reflect recommendations made by the programme's main contractor despite objections from the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).  This wa...

Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll starts post-life extension upkeep

By Kate Tringham 18 August 2022
HMS   Argyll   is pictured in number 5 dry dock at Babcock's Frigate Support Centre in Devonport, where the ship is undergoing a post-LIFEX upkeep.  (Babcock)    The UK Royal Navy's (RN's) Type 23 Duke-class frigate HMS   Argyll   has started its post-life extension (LIFEX) overhaul at Babcock's Frigate Support Centre (FSC) in Devonport, the shipbuilder announced on 17 August.   Argyll  , which was commissioned in 1991, is the longest-serving Type 23 frigate in the fleet. It was the first i...

Polish Navy takes delivery of Kormoman II MCMV Albatros

By Kate Tringham & Jakub Link-Lenczowski 17 August 2022
Albatros,  the second Kormoran II MCMV overall, and the first serial production unit, was handed over to the Polish Navy on 12 August.  (Polish Armaments Agency)    The Polish Navy took delivery of its second Kormoran II (Project 258) mine countermeasures vessel (MCMV), ORP   Albatros  (602), during a ceremony held at Remontowa Shipbuilding on 12 August.     Laid down in December 2018 and launched in October 2019,   Albatros  is one of six Kormoran II MCMVs on order for the Polish Navy under c...

Snakehead LDUUV prototype completes ‘milestone' IPOE demonstration

By Richard Scott 16 August 2022
The single Snakehead prototype was built under LDUUV Phase 1 (US Navy)  The US Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport has revealed an end-to-end demonstration of a so-called intelligence preparation of the operational environment (IPOE) mission involving the Snakehead Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LDUUV) prototype.  Undertaken at the Narragansett Bay Test Facility in Newport, Rhode Island, in July, the test scenario was designed to build confidence in the vehicle software and hardware systems ahead of more compl...

First Italian PPA departs on maiden deployment

By Guy Toremans & Kate Tringham 16 August 2022
The Italian Navy's first PPA, ITS   Paolo Thaon di Revel  , has embarked on its maiden deployment. During the four-month mission the PPA will participate in international exercises in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean.  (Italian Navy)    The first of the Italian Navy's new class of multirole offshore patrol ships (Pattugliatore Polivalente d'Altura: PPA), ITS   Paolo Thaon di Revel  (P 430), has set sail for its maiden deployment.   Paolo Thaon di Revel  , the newest add...

Indonesia, US conclude massive multinational military exercise with eye on China

By Ridzwan Rahmat 15 August 2022
A US Army M119 105 mm howitzer being prepared for transportation by a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter as an underslung load at exercise ‘Super Garuda Shield 2022'. (US Army)  The US and Indonesia have brought down the curtain on what has become Southeast Asia's largest multinational military exercise, part of which was held near disputed waters of the South China Sea.  The inaugural exercise, ‘Super Garuda Shield 2022', was hosted by the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) and the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) at various locations acros...

Taiwan engages US on missile sustainment

By Jon Grevatt 15 August 2022
Taiwan has announced it will award a ‘missile engineering' contract to the United States. This will reportedly include sustainment of the island's Patriot air-defence system. (Lockheed Martin)  Taiwan has awarded the US a contract to sustain missile systems operated by the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF). The deal – worth TWD2.5 billion (USD84 million) – comes amid Taiwanese efforts to bolster missile production capacity on the island in the face of growing tension with China.  The missile sustainment deal was announced by Taipei's contra...

Carrier Washington redelivery confirmed for 2023

By Michael Fabey 11 August 2022
Aircraft carrier USS   George Washington  is scheduled to be redelivered to the US Navy following the ship's overhaul in 2023.  (Newport News Shipbuilding)    Aircraft carrier USS   George Washington  (CVN 73) is scheduled to return to the navy following its refuelling and complex overhaul (RCOH) in 2023, shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) CEO Chris Kastner confirmed.     “USS   George Washington  continues to make progress on the testing phase, and redelivery is n...

Fassmer starts construction on two SVK boats for German Navy

By Kate Tringham 10 August 2022
View of the building block with section 5 of the first SVK boat for Germany. (WTD 71/Thomas Wallner)  Construction work has started on two new German Navy Seeversuch Küste (SVK) coastal trial support boats on order for the Bundeswehr's naval test and trials unit WTD 71.  In a 7 August announcement, the Bundeswehr said a keel-laying ceremony for both boats took place at the shipyard of Western Baltija Shipbuilding in Klaipėda, Lithuania, on 22 June.  The two SVK boats are being built under a contract worth EUR95 million (USD97 million) awarded...

UK launches next phase of UAS Heavy Lift challenge

By Olivia Savage 10 August 2022
The Royal Navy trialling Windracers Autonomous Systems' Ultra fixed-wing UAS (pictured) in the UASHLC. (Crown Copyright 2022)  The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched Phase 2 of the Unmanned Aerial Systems Heavy Lift Capability (UASHLC) challenge.  According to the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) published on 5 August, the MoD is seeking to “support and inform the development of maritime operating concepts and enable assessment, analysis, exploration, and evaluation of the use of UAS for beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) payload...

USCG faces logistical and operational challenges in Alaska for Island-class patrol forces

By Michael Fabey 09 August 2022
Older navigation and propulsion systems make it difficult for the US Coast Guard to operate and maintain Island-class patrol forces. (Michael Fabey)    To maintain its Island-class boats and continue patrolling the treacherous Alaskan coast, the US Coast Guard (USCG) must overcome logistical and operational challenges, USCG officials told   Janes  .     The USCG believes it can keep the 110-ft (33.5 m) Island-class boats operational as the service builds and deploys the replacement fleet of Fast Response Cutters (FRCs)...
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