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US Navy: Up against the clock
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 00:00

The USN has little time to resolve issues with new technologies on the future USS Gerald R. Ford. Huntington Ingalls IndustriesThe USN has little time to resolve issues with new technologies on the future USS Gerald R. Ford. Huntington Ingalls IndustriesAn internal Pentagon assessment of the state of new advanced technologies on the first of the navy’s new class of aircraft carriers has flagged up concerns over their readiness and reliability. Although still two years away from completion, initial inspections of key systems have highlighted significant performance-related issues that, if unresolved, could render the US$12 billion ship less effective than the previous generation of ship.

Primary among them is the electromagnetic aircraft launch system, which is replacing the conventional steam-powered catapult. The new method of launching aircraft will use a 100,000hp linear electric motor, with a slide that accelerates along a rail.

It was designed to substantially improve sortie rates but has yet to achieve a satisfactory level of reliability. The operational effectiveness of the new arrestor landing system, advanced dual-band radar system and weapons elevator were also identified as causes for concern in the report.

 
Bangladesh Navy: Veterans bow out
Thursday, 27 February 2014 16:30

Bangladesh has replaced its Type 41s with Chinese frigates.Bangladesh has replaced its Type 41s with Chinese frigates.Bangladesh has replaced two elderly frigates, BNS Abu Bakr (F15) and BNS Ali Haider (F17), with newly-acquired Chinese warships following an agreement for their transfer in September 2012. The ex-Chinese Navy Jianghu III Type 053 H2 frigates were handed over in January and have been given the same names and pennant numbers as their predecessors.

Although the Chinese pair, ex-Huangshi and ex-Wuhu, both date from the late 1980s, they are still considerably more modern than the Type 41 Leopard class frigates, Ali Haider (ex-HMS Jaguar) and Abu Bakr (ex-HMS Lynx), which originally entered service with the Royal Navy in the late 1950s.

The pair, sold to Bangladesh in 1978 and 1982 respectively, were decommissioned at BNS Isha Khan Jetty in Chittagong on 22 January. The navy still operates BNS Umar Farooq (ex-HMS Llandaff), a Type 61 Salisbury class frigate of similar vintage, that is expected to remain in service as a training ship until 2025. The navy also has two export versions of the Chinese Type 056 corvette under construction.

 
ALGERIAN NAVY: Algeria gearing up
Thursday, 27 February 2014 16:28

ABOVE Kalaat Beni-Abbes is scheduled for delivery in September. Giorgio ParodiABOVE Kalaat Beni-Abbes is scheduled for delivery in September. Giorgio ParodiThe Algerian Navy’s new amphibious assault ship, Kalaat Beni-Abbes, was rolled out at Fincantieri’s Riva Trigoso shipyard on 8 January for transport by barge to the Muggiano shipyard in La Spezia for final fitting out.

Displacing 8,800 tonnes, the LPD is an enlarged design based on the Italian Navy’s amphibious transport dock, San Giusto. Equipped with a command-and-control capability, she will be able to accommodate more than 600 personnel, including 152 crew, flight deck detachment and embarked amphibious forces.

The stern dock will house three LCMs, with three LCVPs and another LCP carried on davits. There are two helicopter landing spots, with the aft one able to take an Augusta Westland 101. The ship also has a garage deck, accessed by side ramp, for up to 15 armoured vehicles. Armament includes an OTO Melara 76mm gun, two 25 mm guns, and an eight-cell Sylver VLS silo for Aster 15 surface-to-air missiles.

 
WORLD WAR I: From Flanders Fields
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 00:00

The Belgian frigate Louise-Marie alongside HMS Belfast. Bill ScottThe Belgian frigate Louise-Marie alongside HMS Belfast. Bill ScottSoil gathered from 70 World War I battlefields arrived in London in November 2013 ahead of events to mark the centenary of the start of the conflict. The process of bringing the ‘sacred soil’ to the UK began on Armistice Day last year with a ceremony at the Menin Gate, attended by the Duke of Edinburgh. It was collected in sandbags by more than 1,000 British and Belgian schoolchildren and brought to the capital by BNS Louise-Marie.

After transfer to HMS Belfast, moored in the Pool of London, the bags were loaded onto a King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery gun carriage and escorted by the Household Cavalry from the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals, and mounted officers from the Metropolitan Police, to Wellington Barracks. The soil will be placed into the ground at the Flanders Fields Memorial Garden.

 
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.

 
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