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INDIAN NAVY: Brace marks watershed
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 00:00

INS Kolkota is the most potent warship to have been constructed in India.INS Kolkota is the most potent warship to have been constructed in India.The Indian Navy has commissioned two first-of-class indigenously designed and built warships. The guided missile destroyer, INS Kolkota, formally joined the fleet at Mumbai on 16 August, followed a week later by the anti-submarine corvette, INS Kamorta at Visakhapatnam.

India has traditionally bought its major warships second-hand so the introduction of advanced domestically-made ships is regarded as a symbolic moment towards of self-reliance. However, Indian ship building remains on a learning curve as both ships are years late and have entered service without receiving their full complement of equipment.

At 7,400 tonnes, INS Kolkota is the country’s largest and most powerful home-built warship. The first of three Project 15A ships is 60 per cent indigenous, with principal imported components that include Russian steel, Ukrainian gas turbines, propellers and shafts, and an Israeli 3-D air search radar and vertical launch system for Barak surface to air missiles.

 
RAN: Aviation training
Thursday, 18 September 2014 00:00

 The RANs as yet un-named OPV 2400 is part of a A$1 billion helicopter training project. Damen The RANs as yet un-named OPV 2400 is part of a A$1 billion helicopter training project. DamenThe new Australian government’s posture on defence has not been good news for the country’s ship building industry. Having strongly indicated the navy’s next-fleet of submarines is likely to be Japanese, the new aviation training ship for the Royal Australian Navy is to be built at a foreign shipyard amid claims that Australian industry could not come up with a viable tender.

The 2,400-tonne vessel will be constructed at Damen’s Song Cam shipyard in Hai Phong City, Vietnam to a design which is based on the Dutch company’s OPV 2400 platform. When delivered in 2017, the vessel will be leased by the navy from Serco-owned contractors DMS Maritime and crewed by civilians.

In addition to its primary Helicopter Aircrew Training System role for both navy and army Seahawk and MRH-90 helicopter types, the multi-function vessel will also be used for junior officer sea training, mine warfare training and torpedo recovery. With accommodation for 60 people, it will largely sail in east coast waters from its base in Sydney.

 
RNZN: EXPANDING HORIZONS
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 00:00

HMNZS Endeavour is to be replaced by a multi-role logistics vessel. Maritime PhotographicHMNZS Endeavour is to be replaced by a multi-role logistics vessel. Maritime PhotographicThe New Zealand government has given the go-ahead for the Ministry of Defence to seek a replacement for the fleet replenishment tanker HMNZS Endeavour. The South Korean-built single-hull vessel is due to be decommissioned in 2018, by which time she will be 30 years old and will contravene new international maritime regulations.

The NZDF has been studying options for a ‘Maritime Projection and Sustainment Capability’ for some time, with a request for tender expected to be issued in early 2015.Any replacement vessel is certain to be more versatile, offering a limited sealift capability in addition to its core capability as a tanker.

Options under consideration include a ship with a minimum of 260 lane metres for vehicles, along with its own landing craft and helicopters, to complement the amphibious role of HMNZS Canterbury. Performance requirements include a minimum 8,000 nautical mile range at 16 knots, with a maximum speed of 18 knots.

 
ROYAL NAVY: Illustrious bows out in style
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 00:00

HMS Illustrious, arriving at Portsmouth for the last time, will decommission on 28 August. Maritime PhotographicHMS Illustrious, arriving at Portsmouth for the last time, will decommission on 28 August. Maritime PhotographicThe last of the Royal Navy’s Invincible class aircraft carriers has been retired after 32 years’ service. HMS Illustrious entered Portsmouth for the final time on 22 July with a tug escort and flypast by helicopters from all three services, followed by a navy Hawk jet and a brief air display by a Hawker Sea Fury.

During a long career, the carrier served the nation’s interests in the Falklands, Bosnia, Iraq, Sierra Leone and most recently in the Philippines, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief after parts of the country were hit by a devastating typhoon. Fittingly, her final high profile public role was in support of the navy’s next generation of aircraft carrier at the naming ceremony of HMS Queen Elizabeth. Following public dissatisfaction about the way the other two carriers, Invincible and Ark Royal, were unceremoniously scrapped, the Ministry of Defence has invited tenders from private companies, charities and trusts to preserve her. However, no word on her future has yet been announced.

 
JAPANESE MSDF: Reach for the skies
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 00:00

 The JMSDF’s Aegis fleet of six ships form Japan’s first layer of defence. The JMSDF’s Aegis fleet of six ships form Japan’s first layer of defence.The Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) is to get two more Aegis-equipped destroyers equipped with the latest ballistic missile defence (BMD) systems. The move to bolster air defence capability with more ships is similar to that taken by neighbours South Korea, with their navy to receive three additional Aegis destroyers to guard against the North Korean threat.

The JMSDF ships are likely to be a modified version of the Atago class (pictured), itself an enlarged and improved version of the Kongou class, based on an American Arleigh Burke design. Slated to enter service around 2020-21, their introduction will increase the fleet of BMD-capable ships to eight, with four Kongou and four Atago class. The current pair of Atago class ships are to have their systems upgraded.

 
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