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US Navy: Ten for price of nine
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 00:00

The US Navy plans to build around 33 Virginia class attack submarines. Maritime PhotographicThe US Navy plans to build around 33 Virginia class attack submarines. Maritime PhotographicThe US Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded its largest shipbuilding contract ever, worth a record US$17.8 billion. The fixed-price incentive multiyear contract for ten Block IV Virginia class attack submarines is for two vessels per year up to 2018, from hull numbers SSN 792 through to SSN 801.

The size of the order is anticipated to save US$2 billion through production efficiencies, together with design modifications that reduce maintenance periods, bringing down the cost of each Block IV Virginia to around $1.78 billion, compared to $2.6 billion for the first Block III boat.

 
Russian Navy: Russia fuels expansion
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 00:00

 An artist impression of Academician Pashin in Russian merchant navy colours. An artist impression of Academician Pashin in Russian merchant navy colours.The first of a new class of fleet tanker for the Russian Navy was laid down at the Nevsky Shipyard near St Petersburg on 26 April. Academician Pashin will become the first purpose-built ship to provide logistical and replenishment-at-sea support to the Russian fleet since the days of the Soviet Union.

Slated for delivery by October 2016, the Project 23130 medium-sized tanker has been designed to transfer both dry and liquid cargoes to two ships simultaneously while under way at sea. The design also features a small forward-located helipad, which provides a limited VERTREP capability.

 
ROYAL NAVY: Artful enters the water
Friday, 27 June 2014 08:04

The two-day operation to launch Artful took place over 16-17 May. BAE SystemsThe two-day operation to launch Artful took place over 16-17 May. BAE SystemsThe future HMS Artful is afloat after a delicate two-day operation to roll her out from the Devonshire Dock Hall and into the basin at Barrow-in-Furness. With experience gained in building earlier boats being applied, the third of the highly complex Astute class boats was launched in the most advanced state of construction of any submarine to be built by the submarine specialists at Barrow. After a phase of harbour trials to prove system safety and operability, initial sea trials are scheduled to begin in 2015.

Artful is the first boat of the class to be equipped with the Common Combat System (CCS). Using common consoles, electronics cabinets and commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software, the CCS is intended to be easier to update and maintain. Of the first two boats, Astute is on her maiden deployment, while Ambush is working toward becoming operational. Audacious, Anson, Agamemnon and Ajax are to enter service 2018-2024.

 
ROYAL NAVY: D-Day 70th anniversary
Friday, 27 June 2014 00:00

The 18,500-tonne amphibious assault ship HMS Bulwark has paid tribute to the Royal Marines and Allied Forces. Maritime PhotographicThe 18,500-tonne amphibious assault ship HMS Bulwark has paid tribute to the Royal Marines and Allied Forces. Maritime PhotographicThe Fleet flagship HMS Bulwark led a Royal Navy contingent of five ships and an international flotilla to the beaches of the coast of Normandy, France as part of events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. These began on 5 June with a public demonstration of the ship’s amphibious capability, with an assault by the Royal Marines onto the beach at Southsea in front of the Naval War Memorial.

There were also ceremonies across the Channel at Sword Beach, near Caen, on 6 June and at Port-en-Bessin on 7 June, with services of remembrance at Bayeux Cathedral, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery at Bayeux and a parade of veterans, drumhead service and laying of wreaths at Arromanches-les-Bains. Prior to participating in the remembrance of Allied Forces at D-Day, HMS Bulwark made a five-day visit to Greenwich in support of activities to mark the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines.

 
CANADIAN NAVY: Submarine integrity tested
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 00:00

HMCS Chicoutimi conducted camber dives at Victoria Harbour, Esquimalt between 16-18 April. DND-MDN CanadaHMCS Chicoutimi conducted camber dives at Victoria Harbour, Esquimalt between 16-18 April. DND-MDN CanadaHMCS Chicoutimi has successfully completed two camber dives to verify her watertight integrity and the functionality of communications and other key systems as she progresses towards operational service. The submarine is nearing the completion of an Extended Docking Work Period that begun at Victoria in 2010 and which has effectively rebuilt her.

The former HMS Upholder is on course to rejoin the fleet in August after almost ten years on the sidelines, since a fatal fire during her delivery transit from Scotland to Canada in October 2004.

Canada’s purchase of four ex-RN diesel-electric boats in 1998 still remains controversial, with the RCN yet to achieve its goal of having three in service together. At present, only HMCS Victoria is fully certified and capable of firing a torpedo.

HMCS Windsor has a defective diesel generator, is subject to dive restrictions and is not yet certified to fire her weapons. HMCS Corner Brook was extensively damaged after slamming into the ocean floor in June 2011 and has yet to be repaired.

 
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