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NEW FRIGATE: Designed to endure
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 00:00

With a displacement of around 7,100 tonnes, the Type 125 will become the largest frigates in any navy.With a displacement of around 7,100 tonnes, the Type 125 will become the largest frigates in any navy.The first of a new type of frigate developed for the German Navy was officially named Baden-Württemberg (F222) during a ceremony at ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ Hamburg shipyard on 12 December.

The Type 125 class is designed to be able to deploy to an area of operation for up to two years at a time, spending 208 days a year at sea without requiring base support or dockyard maintenance. For such operations, a dual-crew system will operate, with technological innovations and a high level of automation allowing safe operation of the ships with a complement of just 120.

Four Type 125s, costing €650 million apiece, will replace the remaining five Type 122s from around 2016/17. The exact schedule is uncertain due to a manufacturing issue that has required costly remedial work to previously completed parts of the hull.

 
US NAVY: Splash and ripple
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 00:00

The future USS Milwaukee makes a dramatic entrance Lockheed MartinThe future USS Milwaukee makes a dramatic entrance Lockheed MartinThere were starkly different launch methods as the US Navy’s latest Littoral Combat Ships took to the water. The Independence class, Jackson (LCS 6), was sedately transferred from land to sea through a multi-step procedure from a new assembly hall at Austal USA’s Mobile facility on 14 December.

The 127m trimaran was lifted via self-propelled modular transporters to a deck barge and towed to the Southeast Shipyard of BAE Systems, where she was lowered into deeper water via a floating dry-dock. Austal is currently working on four other vessels, Coronado, Montgomery, Omaha and Gabrielle Gifford, as part of a US$3.5 billion 10-ship order.

 
RAN: Aussie carriers at sea
Thursday, 30 January 2014 15:27

NUSHIP Canberra began first of class sea trials in January 2014. Andrew MacKinnonNUSHIP Canberra began first of class sea trials in January 2014. Andrew MacKinnonThe Royal Australian Navy’s A$3 billion Landing Helicopter Dock project has passed significant milestones, with both ships at sea as the new year began. NUSHIP Canberra embarked on first-of-class sea trials in January as the hull of the second continued on its way to Australia, as cargo, after completion in Spain.

Canberra had earlier conducted successful initial harbour acceptance trials at the Port of Melbourne’s Webb Dock, where various types of Army vehicles, including an Abrams main battle tank and an armoured personnel carrier, were driven onto the ship via integral side ramp, manoeuvred around her two garage decks and disembarked down the ‘steel beach’ and out through the well dock. Canberra is due for delivery in May.

 
ROYAL NAVY: Spanish sabre rattling
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 00:00

The Royal Navy has two guard ships, Sabre and Scimitar, patrolling Gibraltar’s territorial waters. Maritime PhotographicThe Royal Navy has two guard ships, Sabre and Scimitar, patrolling Gibraltar’s territorial waters. Maritime PhotographicA smouldering dispute between Britain and Spain has been reignited with the unauthorised entry into Gibraltar’s territorial waters of a research vessel owned by the Spanish government. The incident led to the third diplomatic clash over Gibraltar since the current Spanish administration took office in December 2011.

In the latest incursion, the research vessel Ramon Margalef attempted to conduct oceanographic surveying activities in British territorial waters. A stand-off continued for 22 hours despite the Spanish vessel being ordered to leave by a RN guard ship. The impasse saw close-quarter jostling between Spanish Guardia Civil and British security vessels.

With the number of unlawful incursions by Spanish state vessels into disputed territorial waters increasing to around 40 per month during the past two years, Gibraltar’s’ Chief Minister has warned that further provocation could result in shots being fired.

 
Indian Navy: The Gorshkov saga
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 00:00

INS Vikramadiyta is scheduled to visit 14 ports during her passage to India. Indian NavyINS Vikramadiyta is scheduled to visit 14 ports during her passage to India. Indian NavyThe Sevmash shipyard has at last delivered INS Vikramadiyta (R33) to the Indian Navy. The troubled refurbishment project concluded with a commissioning ceremony at Severodvinsk on 16 November, five years late and three times over budget.

The Kiev class aircraft carrier, as Admiral Gorshkov, was decommissioned from Russian service in 1996, although she was first offered to India for the cost of her refit in 1994. After years of negotiation a US$947 million deal was forged in 2004, with the conversion scheduled to take 52 months.

However, after a series of setbacks because of the worse than anticipated material state of the hull and severe cold weather, the shipyard period lasted almost a decade, escalating costs to more than $US2 billion.

Still without air-defence or point defence weapons systems, Vikramadiyta embarked on a two-month voyage to her new west coast base at Karwar, accompanied by a frigate escort and the fleet tanker, INS Deepak.

 
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