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RFA: Incoming tide for tanker

First of class, RFA Tidespring will enter service in 2016. BMT Defence ServicesFirst of class, RFA Tidespring will enter service in 2016. BMT Defence ServicesConstruction of a new class of replenishment tanker for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary is under way after a steel-cutting ceremony at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Mechanical Engineering’s (DSME) Opko shipyard. DSME will build four of the British-designed Tide class as part of the UK MoD’s Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) Fleet Tanker programme.

The manufacture of each ship is scheduled to take ten months from start to launch, with block integration taking just seven weeks. The basic ships are to be delivered at six-monthly intervals with the first-of-class, Tidespring, planned for October 2015, Tiderace in April 2016, Tidesurge in October 2016 and Tideforce in April 2017. After the handover of each completed build, an RFA crew will deliver the ships to a UK shipyard for customisation and fitting out.

The 37,000-tonne tankers will replace the ageing Rover and Leaf class single-hulled tankers, which are no longer fully compliant with international maritime legislation.

 
ROYAL NAVY: HMS Queen Elizabeth named
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 00:00

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the second ship to carry the name after the Dreadnought battleship which served in both World Wars.  John Linton/ACAHMS Queen Elizabeth is the second ship to carry the name after the Dreadnought battleship which served in both World Wars. John Linton/ACAHM the Queen named HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, at a high-profile ceremony in Rosyth on 4 July. The traditional bottle smash was performed with a bottle of Bowmore Surf single malt whisky, aptly known as the ‘water of life’. The Bowmore Distillery on the Isle of Islay was selected for its historic links to the Queen and the sea.  

The grounding of all F35 aircraft prevented the first UK appearance of a British Lightning II aircraft, although a life-size replica was on the ski-ramp. HMS Illustrious, the navy’s current aircraft carrier berthed in an adjacent dock. With the latter being decommissioned later this year, it will be the only time the two will be seen side by side.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has been structurally complete since the installation of the aft aircraft lift in May. Weighing more than 55,000 tonnes, she will be flooded up and moved out of the assembly dock for final fitting out.

 
Peruvian NAVY: Peru’s new supplier
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 00:00

 The 19-year-old HNLMS Amsterdam has been sold to Peru. Maritime Photographic The 19-year-old HNLMS Amsterdam has been sold to Peru. Maritime PhotographicAn ambitious Peruvian Navy has acquired the fast combat support ship HNLMS Amsterdam for an undisclosed fee. Transfer of the 17,000-tonne  replenishment ship, complete with her 30mm Goalkeeper CIWS, is scheduled for December. An economic upturn in Peru has enabled the acquisition, which is part of long-term plans to develop the navy into a more capable, open ocean force.  

Built in 1995, the ship can supply 8,475 tonnes of fuel and 290 tonnes of stores from four abeam RAS stations or by VERTREP. She is also equipped with a large flight deck and hangar capable of operating up to three medium-sized helicopters.

The sale will leave the RNLN without a tanker until her replacement, Karel Doorman, becomes operational in 2015. The new Joint Logistic Support Ship was delivered in July after successful sea trials, which included her first replenishment-at-sea with the frigate HNLMS Tromp.

 
RAN: Nuship’s bad vibrations
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 14:22

The helicopter carrier Nuship Canberra has suffered teething problems during sea trials. Andrew MackinnonThe helicopter carrier Nuship Canberra has suffered teething problems during sea trials. Andrew MackinnonThe ‘shakedown’ cruise of the Royal Australian Navy’s new helicopter carrier Canberra was literally that, as the ship encountered excessive vibration at high speed, leaks and electrical problems during her sea trials while en route from Williamstown to Sydney in May.

The source of the vibrations was attributed to cavitation caused by the incorrect operation of the ships two propulsion pods, which were not aligned in tandem as required above speeds of eight knots. Canberra was calling at the New South Wales capital to be dry-docked for the hull to receive its final coat of paint and for flight deck painting.

A crack in the hull, thought to have been caused during the heavy-lift transit from Spain, was also repaired. Other problems with an electrical starter box and the anchor windlass revealed by sea trials were also fixed. Canberra is scheduled to return to sea for further sea trials in July ahead of her delivery later this year.

 
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.

 
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