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[*] posted on 30-11-2018 at 01:35 PM


Early report blames confused watchstanders, possible design flaws for Norway’s sunken frigate

By: David B. Larter and Carl Prine   31 minutes ago


The Norwegian frigate "KNM Helge Ingstad" is seen partly under water in the sea near Bergen, western Norway, on November 13. A new report from Norwegian investigators raises questions about the design of the ship.(MARIT HOMMEDAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Norway’s Accident Investigation Board is raising questions about the watertight integrity of the Nansen-class frigates and is pointing its finger at shipbuilder Navantia in the wake of the collision and subsequent sinking of the frigate Helge Ingstad in early November.

In a preliminary report released Thursday, the board reached an initial conclusion that confusion on the Ingstad’s bridge during watch turnover was the proximate cause of the accident, but the sinking of the ship was caused by progressive flooding that appeared to over-match Ingstad’s watertight integrity.

The board was so concerned that it issued a public addendum to the report and a pair of warnings that the issues that sunk Ingstad could also apply to other Navantia ships, raising questions about a widespread quality issue at the Spanish shipbuilder.

“The AIBN has found safety critical issues relating to the vessel's watertight compartments,” the report reads. “This must be assumed to also apply to the other four Nansen-class frigates.”

“It cannot be excluded that the same applies to vessels of a similar design delivered by Navantia, or that the design concept continues to be used for similar vessel models. The AIBN assumes that its findings are not in conformity with the required damage stability standard for the Nansen-class frigates.”

In a statement to Defense News, Navantia spokesperson Esther Benito Lope stressed that the report is “very preliminary” and that the company has offered to work with Norway on the investigation.

“Navantia has offered, since the very beginning, its collaboration with the [Royal Norwegian Navy] in order to clarify the accident,” Benito Lope said. “Navantia will analyze all the possibilities, considering that some of the mentioned possibilities … are concluded from a very preliminary investigation.”

The statement went on to say that the company has not received any official notice or fielded any consultations about the cause of the accident.

“Navantia has not received any official communication, neither any consults about possible causes, nor participated in any action … in Norway,” Benito Lope wrote.

Progressive Flooding

In the addendum to the report, the board found that the initial assessment by the crew in the wake of the accident was that some crew quarters, the aft generator room and the ship’s stores room were flooded, but that the ship was stable and could survive it the situation remained relatively controlled.

But then it didn’t.

The crew began seeing water quickly flooding into the gear room via the ship’s hollow propeller shaft, with flooding then creeping into the engine rooms through the bulkheads.

Propeller shafts have to pass through multiple engineering spaces through watertight openings in the wall known as stuffing tubes of stuffing boxes that are supposed to tighten down as water tries to get through, preventing progressive flooding.

The board’s initial assessment based on crew interviews is that the stuffing boxes did not work as designed on Ingstad.

“This meant that the flooding became substantially more extensive than indicated by the original damage,” the report reads. “Based on the flooding of the gear room, it was decided to prepare for evacuation.”

As a result of the findings, the AIBN issued two warnings: one to the Norwegian military to assess their ships to address the safety concerns, and one to Navantia to “conduct investigations into the issues identified during this initial investigation and to ascertain whether this is also an issue relating to other vessels.”

Confusion

Apart from the flooding that ultimately sank the Ingstad, the accident itself raises some vexing questions.

Ingstad collided with the Mata-flagged tanker Sola TS at around 4 a.m. in unlimited visibility just minutes after Sola had gotten underway from Norway’s Sture Terminal.

The report found that Ingstad was transiting the channel at about 17 knots well before dawn, faster than one might expect near a busy port at night. It also found that the collision took place about 10-15 minutes after a watch turnover.

The report concludes that Ingstad’s bridge watch team mistook Sola for an object on land, and that Sola’s illuminated deck lights obscured its navigation lights from view. Furthermore, even after the Sola got underway there would have been relatively little motion of Sola’s lights as it moved away from the quay.

In the last six minutes before the collision, Sola contacted Ingstad and instructed it to turn away from its course. Ingstad’s watch standers through they were communicating with one of the other ships in the channel, still thiking Sola was a stationary object, and said if they turned they’d run into the object that turned out to be the rapidly closing tanker.

By the time Ingstad’s bridge team recognized the error and tried to evade Sola, it was too late, the report found.

“The AIBN's preliminary assessment is that the accident was not caused by any single act or event, but can be explained by a series of interacting complex factors and circumstances,” the report reads. “The investigation team is seeking to identify and understand these factors.

“So far, the AIBN has not seen any indication of technical systems not working as intended up until the time of the collision.”

A Google Earth image of Sture Terminal, Norway. (Google)

More questions than answers

To retired Capt. Lawrence Brennan, a career Navy attorney and now an instructor at Fordham University’s School of Law, what’s interesting isn’t just what’s in the interim report but what was left out and will be explored later by other probes.

He pointed to the crew of the frigate Helge Ingstad and wondered what condition they had set the frigate to mitigate or prevent flooding.

He asked about the shift change on the bridge that seemed to coincide with the frigate entering waters bustling with commercial shipping in low visibility.

He indicated that more will be learned from engineers poring over the gash in the hull which “seemed to be opened up like a can opener” and interviews with crew members who can trace the quick decision-making process of a watch that realized, like aviators, that their vessel had “put itself in a box” and faced increasingly bad options as danger loomed.

As for the Accident Investigation Board Norway’s twin interim safety recommendations to shipyards and Oslo’s military leaders, Brennan said that’s exactly what everyone should expect from an initial probe.

“We saw the exact same sort of investigations into defects discovered in Japanese-built container ships,” Brennan said.
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[*] posted on 1-12-2018 at 02:26 PM


Investigation of Marine Accident, Collision Outside the Sture Oil Terminal in Hjeltefjorden, Norway

(Source: Accident Investigation Board Norway; issued Nov 29, 2018)

One would hope and wish that someone from the RAN is watching this closely, and taking note of the technical points raised............

On the morning of Thursday 8 November 2018, the Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) was informed of a collision between the frigate 'KNM Helge Ingstad' and the Maltese registered tanker 'Sola TS' in Hjeltefjorden, outside the Sture terminal in Øygarden Municipality in Hordaland County, Norway.

The AIBN contacted the Defence Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN) and it was decided to initiate a joint investigation into the accident, led by the AIBN. The AIBN then contacted the Marine Safety Investigation Unit of Malta (MSIU), which is also a participating party in the investigation; cf. Chapter 18 Section 474 of the Norwegian Maritime Code.

On 29 November 2018, the AIBN publishes a preliminary report on the accident and two interim safety recommendations. This preliminary report is published to communicate the information obtained during the initial phase of the ongoing investigation. The purpose is to provide a brief update on how the investigation is progressing as well as a preliminary description of the sequence of events and disseminate safety-critical issues identified at this stage of the investigation.

This preliminary report also identifies areas that need further investigation and describes lines of investigation that will be followed up.

Click here for the full report (5 PDF pages) on the AIBN website.

https://www.aibn.no/Marine/Investigations/18-968?iid=25573&a...

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[*] posted on 4-12-2018 at 09:35 AM


Norway Blames Navantia for the Sinking of A Frigate Due to "Critical" Design Failure

(Source: El Pais; published Nov 30, 2018)

By Miguel González (Unofficial English translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

MADRID / COPENHAGEN --- The Norwegian investigation board blames [Spanish shipbuilder] Navantia for the sinking of the frigate KNM Helge Ingstad (F-313) after she collided with an oil tanker on November 8.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) claims to have detected a "critical" failure in the design of the ship, delivered by the Spanish shipyard in 2009. Navantia, on the other hand, says that it has not received official communication of the report nor has it been able to participate in the investigation. Spanish military experts question the Norwegian version, and stress that the accident was due to negligence.

The Appendix to the board’s preliminary report says that the failure would be related to the “watertightness” of the KNM Helge Ingstad, and could also be found in the five frigates built in the first decade of this century by Navantia for the Norwegian Navy for about 1.050 million euros each.

The board maintains that the failing "is not in conformity with the required standard of stability against damage," and assumes that "this also affects the other four frigates of the Nansen class," displacing 5,300 tonnes and 143 meters of length.

The watertightness of the compartments guarantees that, in case of opening of a bulkhead, it does not flood the rest of the ship, causing it to sink. According to an annex to the preliminary report, the flood affected three compartments (the aft generator quarter, crew cabins and the storage compartments). Initially, the crew believed that the ship could stay afloat, but when warning that the water fell from the generator room to the gear unit through the hollow of the propellers and that it flooded quickly, it chose to evacuate.

"It was discovered that water was flowing through the shaft into another compartment. They were not hermetic," Kristian Haugnes, member of the commission, told a news conference, admitting that the investigation is still in the preliminary phase and that "the circumstances could be the object of further investigation."

More cautious was the Norwegian Navy chief, Admiral Nils Andreas Stensones, who considered it "premature" to draw conclusions about the causes of the incident.

The accident, in which eight of the 136 crew members of the frigate were slightly injured, occurred at dawn on the 8th, on the west coast of Norway, north of the city of Bergen, when the ship was returning to its base. after having participated in the NATO Trident Juncture exercise. Although the circumstances of the wreck have not been clarified, the sources consulted by EL PAÍS explain that the frigate and the tanker, who found themselves facing the interior of the fjord, exchanged messages before colliding. The captain of the tanker told the frigate to fall to starboard (right), but he refused alleging the proximity of the coast (900 meters). The two ships maintained their course without altering it and, at the last moment, the frigate fell to port (left), which precipitated the shock.

The frigate also was steaming at high speed (17.5 knots) and with the AIS (Automatic Identification System) turned off, despite navigating in restricted waters. It is, according to the sources consulted, a serious negligence in the maneuvering of the ship. The frigate sank a week after the collision, failing all attempts to keep it afloat.

The announcement of the investigation board’s report was received with stupor by Navantia. "We have no official communication of the report, we have not been consulted as to the possible causes, nor have participated in any of the proceedings," said a spokeswoman.

"Navantia offered from the beginning to collaborate with the Norwegian Navy on whatever was required. We are going to analyze the circumstances and the hypotheses that have been made public," she added. In any case, according to the public shipyard, "the design complies with all certifications and satisfies the sealing conditions applicable to military vessels".

Experts in naval accidents expressed surprise at the fact that the commission had reached these conclusions before refloating the ship and without the advice of the manufacturer. "The shaft could have moved as a result of the collision, breaking the watertightness of the ships, but it would be an unexpected circumstance, not a design problem," they explain. The violence of the collision was such that it opened two gashes in the hull of the frigate, one of them of around 40 meters long -- almost a third of the ship's length – which is the maximum without compromising her buoyancy.

The sealing of the ship, add the same experts, must be checked before delivery, not only by Navantia, but by the inspectors of the Norwegian Navy itself. These frigates also have a hatch closure system to reinforce watertightness when navigating in areas where there is a risk of collision.

Click here for the original article, on the El Pais website.

https://elpais.com/economia/2018/11/29/actualidad/1543515235...

Click here for the Preliminary Report (5 PDF pages), on the AIBN website.

https://www.aibn.no/Marine/Investigations/18-968?iid=25573&a...

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[*] posted on 8-12-2018 at 11:34 AM


Spanish Shipyard Says Norwegian Navy 'Passes the Buck' Over Sunken Frigate

(Source: Sputnik News; posted Dec 07, 2018)


The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad resting on rocks before sinking. Investigators found that the propeller drive shafts allowed flooding to spread, but it is not clear whether this is a design fault or a consequence of the collision. (Forsvarets photo)

While the Norwegian Navy has taken urgent measures [aboard the sister-ships] of the sunken frigate KNM Helge Ingstad to prevent [flooding], the Spanish shipyard that manufactured the hapless warship has accused the Norwegian authorities of looking for excuses.

Following an interim report by the Norwegian accident investigation commission, which blamed technical errors in waterproof bulkheads on board the KNM Helge Ingstad that sank after a collision with an oil tanker while returning from NATO drills, the Norwegian Navy has completed temporary measures to prevent rapid [flooding] of warships of the same class in the event of similar collisions, the tabloid daily Verdens Gang reported.

The [Norwegian] Defence Material Agency said inflatable belts were installed as a temporary solution to seal the hollow propeller shaft in order to prevent water from entering the frigate's engine room in case of an emergency.

According to the report, which blamed the frigate's rapid sinking on a construction error, saltwater first penetrated the generator room of the KNM Helge Ingstad, before spreading to other rooms and finally reaching the engine room.

"All the [Nansen-class] frigates are built in the same way. The Navy has implemented interim measures on three out of four frigates", Steinar Nilsen, maritime chief at the Defence Material Agency, told Verdens Gang.

The fourth frigate, the flagship KNM Fridjof Nansen is currently in the process of a major, planned maintenance. The vessel will receive inflatable belts when it is re-launched in April next year.

However, the claims of the warships being less waterproof than stated made the Spanish shipyard that manufactured the Nansen-class frigates, currently considered the backbone of the Norwegian Navy, see red.

"We have never received such complaints ever before. Not even once", Navantia Shipyard official and union leader Javier Galán told national Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

He dispelled the Norwegian Navy's allegations of a faulty construction of the propeller shaft being the culprit.

"Had the shaft leaked water in this way, it would have become obvious far earlier. Also, the frigate would have sunk long ago", Galán said.

According to him, the propeller shaft must have been damaged during the collision itself, which is the only explanation why water appeared between the sections altogether.

"Imagine you have a car. Even if it's a good one, it will run into problems if you crash it", Galán said.

Galán blamed erroneous navigation, venturing that the crew had misinterpreted the lights from the Maltese-flagged tanker Sola TS, mistaking it for solid land.

"I believe the only thing they are looking for is cop-outs. The way I see it, it's just passing the buck. The crew should have avoided the collision", Galán said.

Navantia issued a statement ensuring that the Nansen-class frigates shipped between 2006 and 2011 to the tune of NOK 21 billion ($2.5 billion), fulfilled all technical requirements before handed over to Norway. (This statement has not been posted on Navantia’s websites, and the company could not be reached for comment—Ed.)

Meanwhile, Galán stressed that the accusations may lead to the company's reputation being damaged, which is the fifth-largest in Europe and ninth-largest internationally.

"We are an international company. And this makes a terrible damage, because it leaves an impression that we are unable to make ships. Even though we have been doing it for centuries", Galán said.

Navantia dates back to military shipyards established by the Spanish crown in 1730. Over centuries, it has gone through several name changes, the recent one in 2005. It is 100 percent owned by a government holding.

The KNM Helge Ingstad collided with the Sola TS on November 8, while returning from the NATO drill Trident Juncture off Trøndelag's coast. The vessel suffered a large hull breach, lost control and was manoeuvered into a shallow bay to prevent rapid inundation.

The Sola TS is currently being repaired in Gdansk, Poland. According to its owner, the Greek shipping company Tsakos Energy Navigation, it will be back in the water by mid-December.

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[*] posted on 8-12-2018 at 12:38 PM


Rheinmetall Transfers Nautical Training Facility to German Navy

(Source: Rheinmetall Defence; issued Dec 06, 2018)


Rheinmetall’s AANS includes two large and four small bridge simulators, six trainer stations, an auditorium for post-operation briefings as well as supporting infrastructure; it has now been handed over to the German Navy. (RhM photo)

Today Rheinmetall formally transferred a new nautical training facility to the German Navy School in Mürwik on the Baltic. One of the most advanced facilities of its kind, the German Navy will use it for training its bridge personnel.

Ordered almost exactly three years ago, the system – known as the “Ausbildungsausstattung Nautische Schiffsführung”, or AANS – will be used for training all German Navy cadets, all future watch officers, and for preparing bridge personnel for nautical operations. The capability spectrum ranges from basic navigation and nautical training through to crew resource management, e.g. for helping bridge teams prepare for operations.

The AANS includes two large and four small bridge simulators, six trainer stations, an auditorium for post-operation briefings as well as additional infrastructure for planning exercises and administrating and updating the database. Every surface combatant now in the German inventory – from minesweepers to supply ships – is modelled in the AANS. This applies not only to the physical depiction of various ships and boats, but to their exact performance characteristics.

In addition, numerous German and NATO maritime training areas are replicated, as are current and potential areas of operation.

This state-of-the-art training facility will also be used by the German Federal Police.

For over forty years, Rheinmetall has numbered among the world’s foremost developers and manufacturers of simulation technology. The Group’s product spectrum here ranges from computer-supported learning to systems for training the crews of ground vehicles, aircraft and ships, right through to major training areas where entire formations can engage in tactical exercises using their original equipment.

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[*] posted on 8-12-2018 at 03:17 PM


Greek defense minister makes crowd-funding plea to afford new warships

By: Sebastian Sprenger   11 hours ago


Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos (center) speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a family photo set after the North Atlantic Council (NAC) of Defence Ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels on February 10, 2016. (Photo by Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images)

COLOGNE, Germany – Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos has asked wealthy citizens to help fund new warships for the country’s navy.

“We now need the great donors and benefactors of our country,” Kammenos was quoted by local news outlet Ekathimerini.com as saying in a Dec. 6 speech at the Naval Academy in Piraeus. “I call on Greek ship owners and all Greek citizens to assist in the national effort as of January 1, 2019, when the bank account will open to support the Navy and purchase new frigates and a flagship.”

Kammenos said he would personally make a contribution to the fund.

His speech made reference to George Averoff, a 19th-century Greek businessman whose fortune helped fund a warship in 1910 that was named after him.

The call for crowdfunding donations came on Saint Nicholas Day, which marks the patron saint of the Greek navy.

“Greece is showing its strength through its martial and merchant navy, and due to instability with neighboring countries, such as Turkey, responsibility will grow,” the Australia-based website Greek City Times quotes Kammenos as saying.

Athens is still reeling from a national debt crisis so severe that it required significant intervention from the European Union through the prescription of harsh austerity measures.

Fotios Amanatides, a political scientist and regional expert at the University of Cologne, said the defense minister’s crowdfunding plea made headlines internationally, but less so in Greece.

“I consider the proposal as one of his typical, shrill rants with little substance,” Amanatides told Defense News, adding that he believes Kammenos' populist, right-of-center party may not make it back into parliament after the next election.

“If the message was intended for anyone outside the Greek navy, then it was aimed at the big Greek shipbuilder families, who have financially evaded the government for years,” Amanatides said.
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[*] posted on 15-1-2019 at 03:31 PM


An ocean apart: Few naval vendors manage to pierce US and European protectionism

By: Tom Kington , Andrew Chuter , and Sebastian Sprenger   16 hours ago

ROME, LONDON and COLOGNE, Germany — The U.S. and European shipbuilding industries lead largely separate lives against the backdrop of a massive Asian naval buildup, but some trans-Atlantic projects still manage to thrive.

The building of warships has always been a prime example of nations nurturing a highly specialized industry deemed so crucial that outside economic forces cannot be allowed to intervene. And while some European nations have begun to think about pooling shipbuilding forces on the continent, analysts and industry executives in Europe say the wall separating the U.S. and European naval markets remains high.

Barring missile launchers and the Aegis combat management system, U.S. firms have not grabbed a large slice of naval work in Europe, and no change is on the horizon, according to Peter Roberts, director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

“Warships are historically linked to national power, and if you stop building them you are no longer seen as a great power — you are at the bidding of others,” Roberts said.

“The Spanish, the British, the French — they haven’t given up shipbuilding, even if they were better off buying off the shelf, and we are unlikely to see a reduction of yards in Europe,” he added.

At the same time, the U.S. market has been relatively closed off to European shipbuilders, though there is a chance that could change somewhat with the Navy’s Future Frigate program.

“It’s a bit like two different planets,” said Sebastian Bruns, head of the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University in northern Germany. The reflex to buy only American-made warships is especially strong in the current political climate, he added.


HMS Daring, a destroyer of the Royal Navy, leaves Portsmouth Harbour on Jan. 11, 2012, in Portsmouth, England. HMS Daring, was first of six new Type 45 destroyers embarked from Portsmouth on its maiden deployment, a seven-month mission to the Middle East. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The sheer number of ships needed on each side of the Atlantic creates a natural differentiator, according to Bruns, who spent time working U.S. naval policy as a House staffer on Capitol Hill. He said the Navy tends to prefer no-frills designs made for maximum war-fighting power in a great powers competition, while Europeans have taken to building vessels with a kind of peace-maintenance role in mind, affording a greater level of automation and comfort for the crew, for example.

One British naval executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the lack of trans-Atlantic industrial touch points wasn’t limited to market access, arguing that cost-effectiveness was also an issue.

“Despite the problems we have and the programs that don’t go exactly according to plan ton for ton and capability for capability, the U.K. manages to build and deliver surface ships at a much lower cost than the United States,” he said.

“The U.S. shipyards know they would have difficulty competing in the region, particularly if you are talking about yards that have built a good track record. Naval Group, Fincantieri, Damen Shipyards, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems — these are yards that have been competitive and build with export experience behind them. They are already ahead of the game and I do think it comes back to the cost base, I think it is difficult for the United States to build as cost-effectively as the Europeans,” the executive argued.

If hull building is still jealously guarded by home players, naval systems are another matter, with Spain’s long-term partnership with Lockheed Martin to supply its Aegis combat system shaping the fundamental design of vessels emerging from the local Navantia shipyard.

The U.S.-Spanish partnership has led to the delivery of frigates to Spain, but also five Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates to Norway and Hobart-class vessels for Australia.

Another good example of the impact U.S. systems suppliers are having on the market is the foothold Lockheed Martin UK has secured in Britain, securing navigation radar upgrades, support of warship electronic chart display information systems across the fleet, and upgrading naval compass systems.

A spokesman for Lockheed Martin UK said in a statement there are a number of future capability requirements the company is also eyeing in the region.

The statement listed the British Royal Navy’s maritime electronic warfare program upgrade (MEWP), a long-range anti-ship missile (LRASM) requirement, laser weapon technology and cyber resilience as being among the opportunities.

One notable success for U.S. industry in this area is the Type 45 destroyer fleet fitted with Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine’s supplied platform management system. More recently, the U.K.-based subsidiary of Northrop Grumman was responsible for equipping the two aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy with an integrated navigation and bridge system.

“Of course the British will buy U.S. capability, particularly where they don’t have it themselves, which is to my mind why the systems houses are successful and stand to be even more successful in surface and submarine requirements of the future,” said another British naval executive. “Companies such as BAE Systems and Thales do feel the competitive pressures of their trans-Atlantic rivals in sensors and weapons.”

There may be other major opportunities in Britain for foreign suppliers in the next 18 months, as plans for new frigates and logistics ships take shape.
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[*] posted on 16-1-2019 at 11:42 AM


German Navy chief sees challenging year ahead

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

14 January 2019


German Navy Chief Vice Admiral Andreas Krause addressed the service's 59th Historical-Tactical Meeting in Dobbin-Linstow, close to Rostock, on 10 January. Source: Bundeswehr/Steve Back/PIZ Marine

The German Navy has a challenging year ahead, with new ships entering service, the Inspekteur der Marine (Germany's navy chief), Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, told the service's 59th Historisch-Taktische Tagung (Historical-Tactical Meeting) held in Dobbin-Linstow, close to the Baltic port of Rostock, on 10 January.

The admiral expected Germany's first two F125 frigates to enter service in 2019, with the first-in-class Baden-Württemberg during the first half of the year followed by the Nordrhein-Westfalen later in the year and the two other ships of the class in 2020.

He said the first steel would be cut for the Köln, the first of five new corvettes, on 7 February. The other four ships of the class will be named Emden, Karlsruhe, Augsburg , and Lübeck.

Turning to the MKS 180 multirole combat ship, Vice Adm Krause expected the best and final offer to be selected in the spring and parliamentary approval during the second half of 2019. The first MKS 180 ship will enter service in 2027 following a two-year delay, he explained.

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[*] posted on 22-1-2019 at 02:09 PM


Italy prepares to launch submarine rescue vessel programme

Luca Peruzzi, Genoa - Jane's Navy International

21 January 2019


The new multirole submarine rescue vessel will replace the Italian Navy's salvage ship. Source: Italian Navy

The Italian Ministry of Defence's Naval Armament Directorate is gearing up to launch its acquisition programme for a new multirole submarine rescue vessel by mid-2019.

The Special and Diving Operations - Submarine Rescue Ship (SDO-SuRS), for which EUR424 million (USD481.7 million) has been earmarked from 2018, is intended to replace the ageing salvage ship, Anteo . Jane's understands that the vessel will have a modular design in order to carry out its three main tasks of submarine rescue in addition to supporting special forces and diving operations carried out by the Italian Navy's Comando Subacquei ed Incursori (COMSUBIN) special forces and divers command.

Basic specifications include a full-load displacement of about 8,500 tonnes, an overall length of 120 m, and a 20 m beam. The ship will be powered by an integrated full-electric propulsion system (IFEP) - using two azimuthal propulsion pods and two bow-mounted thrusters - able to achieve a maximum speed of 15 kt.

The ship will be capable of embarking US Navy and NATO submarine rescue systems, a 12-man integrated saturation diving system, a suite of survey and rescue underwater vehicles (including an AUV capable of operating to depths of 3,000 m and two remotely controlled underwater vehicles), an atmospheric diving system capable of operating to a depth of 300 m, a McCann rescue chamber, and a hyperbaric simulator.

A dedicated underwater operations medical facility is to be fitted in addition to extensive special forces and command and control (C2) facilities and provisions for expeditionary operations.

The ship will feature aviation facilities for a medium-sized helicopter such as the Leonardo Helicopters AW101 and a stern area equipped for underwater and special forces operations.

Accommodation will be provided for 200 personnel in about 60 cabins. The new platform will be equipped with a comprehensive C4I suite with internal large-band wireless communications.

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[*] posted on 23-1-2019 at 10:03 PM


Italian Navy to launch its submarine rescue vessel with Fincantieri

POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 23 JANUARY 2019 11:36

From 2018, Italy had discussed its Special and Diving Operations - Submarine Rescue Ship (SDO-SuRS) programme for which an amount of € 424 million ($US 480 million) has been unblocked. This year, this acquisition programme is to be launched by the Naval Armament Directorate of the Italian MoD.


Italian Navy to launch its submarine rescue vessel programmeUSSP ship design (Picture source : Fincantieri)

This programme, which began in 2010, is to replace the ageing rescue ship Anteo in the near future by a brand new multirole submarine rescue vessel providing space for 200 people.

This new ship, built by the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, is a multipurpose submarine rescue vessel (Unità Supporto Subacqueo Polivalente - USSP in Italian) which will be able to accomplish different missions.

These missions include submarine rescue (through a deployable Submarine Rescue System - SRS - embarked on the weather deck), diving support (through an organic saturation system - SAT - including two hyperbaric chambers, one transfer under pressure system, one hyperbaric boat and one working bell), hydro-oceanographic activities (specific sensors and hardware, including echo-sounder, doppler log, sub bottom profiler, acoustic doppler current profiler, ...) and also Navy Seals support (through hosting and deploying them and their relevant equipment).

This ship is scheduled to be equipped with a wide range of sensors, including 2 high precision acoustic positioning, 1 single beam echo-sound, 3 multi beam echo-sound, an underwater telephone, etc... It will also accomodate some deployable equipment such as a McCann rescue chamber, an Atmospheric Diving Suit (ADS), 3 Remotely Operated Vehicles (1 ROV working down to 3,000m depth, 1 ROV watching down to 3,000m depth and 1 ROV light working down to 1,000m depth) and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV going down to 3,000m depth).

This suite that has been mounted on the USSP will permit it to take over a lot of situations related to submarines being in troubles. Therefore, in the future, we could hope to see less casualties during submarine rescue missions.
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[*] posted on 23-1-2019 at 10:11 PM


Italian Navy to launch its submarine rescue vessel with Fincantieri

POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 23 JANUARY 2019 11:36

From 2018, Italy had discussed its Special and Diving Operations - Submarine Rescue Ship (SDO-SuRS) programme for which an amount of € 424 million ($US 480 million) has been unblocked. This year, this acquisition programme is to be launched by the Naval Armament Directorate of the Italian MoD.


Italian Navy to launch its submarine rescue vessel programmeUSSP ship design (Picture source : Fincantieri)

This programme, which began in 2010, is to replace the ageing rescue ship Anteo in the near future by a brand new multirole submarine rescue vessel providing space for 200 people.

This new ship, built by the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, is a multipurpose submarine rescue vessel (Unità Supporto Subacqueo Polivalente - USSP in Italian) which will be able to accomplish different missions.

These missions include submarine rescue (through a deployable Submarine Rescue System - SRS - embarked on the weather deck), diving support (through an organic saturation system - SAT - including two hyperbaric chambers, one transfer under pressure system, one hyperbaric boat and one working bell), hydro-oceanographic activities (specific sensors and hardware, including echo-sounder, doppler log, sub bottom profiler, acoustic doppler current profiler, ...) and also Navy Seals support (through hosting and deploying them and their relevant equipment).

This ship is scheduled to be equipped with a wide range of sensors, including 2 high precision acoustic positioning, 1 single beam echo-sound, 3 multi beam echo-sound, an underwater telephone, etc... It will also accomodate some deployable equipment such as a McCann rescue chamber, an Atmospheric Diving Suit (ADS), 3 Remotely Operated Vehicles (1 ROV working down to 3,000m depth, 1 ROV watching down to 3,000m depth and 1 ROV light working down to 1,000m depth) and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV going down to 3,000m depth).

This suite that has been mounted on the USSP will permit it to take over a lot of situations related to submarines being in troubles. Therefore, in the future, we could hope to see less casualties during submarine rescue missions.
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[*] posted on 25-1-2019 at 02:13 PM


German Navy returns to treating the Baltic Sea as a potential theater of war

By: Sebastian Sprenger   1 day ago


The Bundeswehr Navy frigate Hessen returns to port on July 21, 2018, in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. (David Hecker/Getty Images)

COLOGNE, Germany — The German Navy inaugurated its first-ever class of officers leading the multinational Baltic Maritime Component Command on Wednesday, providing fresh evidence that military planners are seriously considering the possibility of a military confrontation with Russia in Germany’s once-pacified backyard.

Navy chief Vice Adm. Andreas Krause established the German Maritime Forces Staff in the northeastern German city of Rostock, where the BMCC headquarters is being built. The German officers, led by a Navy captain, form the core of a small planning cell that will offer its services to the militarized NATO Command Structure once fully operational in 2025 or so.

The move, though largely symbolic at this point, is something of an about-face for the German sea service, which had focused its attention on low-intensity operations in more distant waters following the Soviet Union’s fall.

Relations with Russia have become icy once again, however, with Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and an aftermath of military posturing near the borders with NATO countries. Reports of Russia bolstering its enclave Kaliningrad, which borders the Baltic Sea between alliance members Lithuania and Poland, have further increased tensions.

“The north Atlantic and the wider northern flank have returned to our attention as potential areas of operations,” Krause said at the ceremony in Rostock. “The Baltic Sea has grown to a never-seen strategic significance in the past years.”

During the Cold War, the German Navy viewed the western part of the Baltic Sea as a barrier against Warsaw Pact ships seeking to break through to the North Sea to attack supply lines from the United States. Today, “the whole of the Baltic Sea is a vital lifeline, linking allies in Poland and the Baltic states as well as our close partners in Finland and Sweden with the rest of Europe,” Krause said.

For Germany, the Baltic Sea presents a unique challenge because nowhere else does homeland defense and the defense of allies so immediately overlap, said Sebastian Bruns, head of the Center for Maritime Strategy and Security at the University of Kiel. It is also an area where Germany, whose governments have preferred supporting roles — or none at all — in global crises, is truly on the hook. “The United States, the United Kingdom or France don’t appear to have a lot of interests there,” Bruns said.

The German Navy’s acquisition pipeline already bears the imprint of a return to traditional naval warfare preparedness, industry executives and analysts have said.

For example, the service has plans to build four new corvettes optimized for “confined and shallow waters,” conditions found in the Baltic Sea, according to Bruns. Also on the wish list are at least four copies of the MKS 180 multipurpose combat ship, as well as a modernization of the country’s mine-warfare fleet.
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[*] posted on 5-2-2019 at 09:32 PM


German Navy eyes new sensors, BMD for air-defence frigates

Grant Turnbull, London - Jane's International Defence Review

04 February 2019

Germany has officially begun a tender to replace the long-range SMART-L search radars fitted to the navy's three in-service Sachsen-class (F 124) air-defence frigates, with the service also looking to introduce an expanded ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability during the sensor retrofit.

A request for bids was released in late January and outlined a requirement for the production, delivery, and ship integration of three new radars, along with associated identification friend or foe (IFF) systems. One more radar and IFF system are to be purchased for test, reference, and training purposes at the Maritime Engineering School (Marinetechnikschule) in Parow.

A spokesman for the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr: BAAINBw) told Jane's that a contract winner was likely to be announced by mid-2020.

(159 of 376 words)
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[*] posted on 7-2-2019 at 05:14 PM


Measures Taken After the Frigate Accident

(Source: Norwegian Ministry of Defence; issued Feb 05, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


After colliding with a tanker in unexplained circumstances on Nov. 8, the Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad foundered and later sank, wiping out one-fifth of Norway’s frigate force. The defense ministry is taking steps to remediate this loss. (RNN photo)

The operational consequences of KNM Helge Ingstad's accident on November 8, 2018 are substantial. The Government has decided on temporary measures. The material damage that the frigate suffered is considerable, and so far the work on securing and raising her has cost just under NOK 500 million.

The accident has significant operational consequences. With one of five frigates out of service, the Armed Forces' operational capability has been reduced, and the ability to maintain a presence in priority areas is weakening over time.

The Government is concerned that the operational ability should be re-established. The Armed Forces have already implemented measures to reduce the operational consequences. Among other things, one of the remaining frigates will sail with a double crew; This means that planned sailing days for the frigate flotilla are maintained in a short-term perspective of one to two years.

Acquire lost equipment

The Government has identified further measures that can be implemented in the short term. This includes reproducing lost spare parts and doubling the number of crews on the KNM Maud logistics vessel from one to two. The latter will increase the ability to support the frigates, which in turn extends the vessels' operational availability. Maud, who is scheduled to arrive in Norway in the middle of the year, will also increase the capacity to contribute to international operations.

The weapon holdings on board were part of Norway's emergency stock, and the government is considering whether they will also be replaced. Such a replacement will be considered in the budgets for the coming years.

However, these measures will not restore the operational ability at the level it was before the loss of Ingstad. If it should not prove possible or economically appropriate to repair the ship, alternative permanent measures will therefore have to be implemented. These assessments have already been undertaken.

Raising depends on weather conditions

The costs associated with the work on raising and transporting the frigate are characterized by many uncertainties. The weather is the biggest challenge, and bad weather has been the main cause of the delays. In order to carry out the raising as planned, sufficiently stable, good weather is needed over a period of one week.

The timing for the actual raising, and thus also for the entire salvage operation, is therefore uncertain.

After raising, security measures for equipment and materials that can be reused will be immediately implemented. When this work is completed and the vessel is secured, it will be transported to the Navy's main base at Haakonsvern, where further inspections and assessments of the extent of the damage will be carried out.

In consultation with the classification company Det Norske Veritas, temporary measures have been implemented on the other frigates in order to safeguard the vessels’ 'waterproof integrity and ensure their seaworthiness.

These measures prevent the transfer of water between the relevant watertight sections, and thus correct the safety-critical conditions. Work has also been initiated which will provide a permanent remedy for the deficiencies.

A permanent solution is planned to be installed on all frigates by March this year.

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[*] posted on 9-2-2019 at 12:44 PM


Norway awaits arrival of new LSV

Richard Scott, London - Jane's Navy International

08 February 2019


KNM Maud has begun its delivery voyage. Source: RNoN

The Royal Norwegian Navy's (RNoN's) new and much-delayed Logistics and Support Vessel (LSV), KNM Maud , has begun its delivery voyage from South Korea.

Separately, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence (Forsvarsdepartementet) has announced that Maud will be dual-crewed to maximise operational availability. This move follows the sinking of the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate KNM Helge Ingstad in Hjeltefjorden last November following a collision.

Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), partnered by BMT Defence Services, was awarded a NOK1.32 billion (USD153.2 million) contract in June 2013 by Norway's Defence Logistics Organisation for the design and build of the LSV under Project 2513. The new ship is intended to meet the RNoN's long-standing requirement for a multirole auxiliary vessel to provide afloat and logistics support for a maritime task group, and to contribute to NATO-led international operations.

Construction work on Maud began at DSME's Okpo shipyard in May 2015 after a programme critical design review the previous month. Keel laying occurred in December 2015, followed by launch in June 2016.

Under the original programme schedule, ship acceptance had been planned for September 2016. However, the construction programme suffered significant delays attributable to DSME's financial situation and the complexity of the build and integration. As a result, the LSV delivery schedule was pushed back to April 2018.

Sea trials began in December 2017, but the programme encountered a further delay after the ship's main machinery suffered damage during testing. Rectification and repair work meant Maud was not accepted off contract until 16 November 2018, more than two years later than original planned.

Maud departed DSME's Okpo yard on 3 February to begin the first part of its delivery voyage across the Pacific to San Diego. After transiting through the Panama Canal and crossing the Atlantic the vessel is expected to reach Haakonsvern naval base in Bergen in late March.

(329 of 579 words)
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[*] posted on 21-2-2019 at 09:38 AM


Helge Ingstad Salvage Delayed Still Further

(Source: Forecast International; issued Feb 19, 2019)

OSLO --- The Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad that sank on November 2 following a collision with the tanker Sola TS will not now be salvaged until after Easter.

Officially, the problem is that adverse weather conditions are preventing the wrecked frigate from being raised. However, other reports from the area had suggested that the damage to the ship's hull is so bad that there is a significant danger she will break up if an attempt to raise her is made.

The projected remedy for this situation is a very carefully calculated dewatering of the hull at each stage of the ship's recovery.

Meanwhile, a legal controversy appears to be developing over the sinking of the Helge Ingstad. In a letter from Legal Director Johan W. Kvandal of the Norwegian Defense Materials Department to the Spanish shipyard Navantia, the Norwegian Navy appears to be claiming that they will use "all legal steps or claims" against both the Spanish shipyard and the subcontractors.

In his reply, Esteban Garcia Vilasanchez of Navantia says that the shipyard does not see any grounds for claims from Defense Material. He added that Norway has notified Navantia too late about any alleged deficiencies in the frigate, and that the Norwegian Navy has already waived claims relating to the frigates.

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[*] posted on 2-3-2019 at 07:23 PM


Norway begins refloating Spanish-built frigate that sank after collision

efe-epaCopenhagen26 Feb 2019


A support boat (L) begins the salvage operation of the shipwrecked Norwegian navy frigate KNM Helge Ingstad in Hjeltefjorden near Bergen, Norway, Feb 26,, 2019. EFE-EPA/VIDAR RUUD NORWAY OUT

Norwegian authorities announced on Tuesday they had started salvage operations to refloat a Spanish-built Norwegian Navy frigate that listed and sank in shallow waters after colliding with a large tanker.

The 5,290-ton "KNM Helge Ingstad," a Nansen-class multi-role frigate of the Royal Norwegian Navy, with a crew of 137 on board, collided with 62,557 ton Malta-registered tanker Sola TS with a crew of 23, near the Bergen (West) oil terminal in Nov.

The decision to raise the stricken ship was taken early Tuesday jointly by the Royal Norwegian Navy, the Defense Ministry and the Salvage company BOA, a rescue operation that could take from 5-6 days to two weeks, depending on local weather conditions in the Hjelte fjord, authorities said.

Norwegian officials said they hoped that by this weekend they could tow the frigate back to Haakonsvern naval station where they will evaluate whether to repair or decommission it.

The salvage operation has been marred by bad weather and constant delays due to its complexity as it requires two massive floating crane vessels, the Rambiz, and the Gulliver, which will lift the frigate simultaneously using four large booms.

The lifting operation must be perfectly synchronized as the crane barges must remain completely stationary next to each other before raising the frigate and depositing it on a semi-submersible floating pontoon, on to its final destination.

The Norwegian Navy has warned that worsening weather conditions could suspend or even halt the salvage operation involving around 300 people.

The warship, which has remained secured to the mainland by pairs of tensor chains, had its chains cut at the stern early this morning to facilitate the complex maneuvres required to raise it the now completely sunken frigate in the fjords shallow waters.

Three weeks ago, Frank Bakke-Jensen, Norway's defense minister, pointed out the salvage operation's provisional costs ascended to some 500,000 Norwegian crowns (around 59,000 euros, $67,000).

The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) issued on Nov. 28 a provisional report suggesting the accident "was not caused by any single act or event" but by a series of "interacting complex factors and circumstances."

However, in an AIBN additional safety alert appendix, it also reported "safety critical issues relating to the vessel's watertight compartments."

The AIBN also called for shipbuilder Navantia to "issue a notification to relevant shipbuilding yards, owners and operators, advising on necessary measures to address safety"

The Norwegian report added the incident was "not in conformity with the required damage stability standard for the Nansen class frigates," and assumed it could also "apply to the other four Nansen-class frigates" which the Spanish shipbuilder Navantia built in the past decade.

A Navantia source contacted by EFE in Madrid assured the frigate's design was fully in conformity with international warship standards and more specifically it followed the provisions on maximum flooding capacity that enables a ship to remain afloat even if a number of watertight compartments are compromised.

The Spanish shipbuilder told EFE that from the onset of this incident it had offered Norway its absolute disposition to assist in its inquiries.

According to the initial AIBN report, the accident was caused by a series of confused visual and radio communications exchanges between the frigate, the tanker, and the oil terminal which culminated in the frigate being struck, losing its main propulsion, and soon afterward, the evacuation and abandoning of ship as it steadily took in water.

That day, the "KNM Helge Ingstad" was returning to its home-port after participating in the "Trident Juncture 2018" NATO war games when it collided with a tanker, lightly injuring eight sailors and forcing the shut-down of nearby oil terminal operations for a few hours.

Norway's Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, stated last Nov. her government would not enter any claims or liabilities against Navantia until the AIBN investigation was completed.
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[*] posted on 22-3-2019 at 09:12 PM


Decision On Naval Ship Probably Not Before End of the Year

(Source: Defense-Aerospace.com; posted March 21, 2019)

PARIS --- The decision to launch the German Navy’s new MKS 180 class of multipurpose frigates is unlikely before the end of the year, and could well slide into the first quarter of 2020, the President of the German Senate, Daniel Günther, told the DPA news agency in Paris.

The multi-purpose MKS 180 is considered the future flagship of the German Navy and intended for long-duration missions and blue-water operations, and will have air-defense, anti-ship and anti-submarine capabilities, as well as having the capability to carry and land commandos or marine infantry troops.

Two groups are bidding for the contract: German Naval Yards in Kiel, teamed with Germany’s TKMS, and the Dutch shipyard Damen Shipyards and its German partner Blohm &Voss.

VIDEO: MKS 180 / F-126 Saxony Class Frigate:https://youtu.be/TkQJsM0mCuQ

The Navy hopes for a decision in the current tendering process in the spring and the required parliamentary approval in the second half of the year.

The program, which is considered as a prestige program for the German Navy, is operationally significant because its current frigates, including the latest F125 class, were designed to operate in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the North Atlantic, and have an endurance of about 30 days at sea.

The MKS 180 class was initially due to cost around four billion euros for four ships, but is expected to end up costing over 5 billion euros.
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[*] posted on 1-4-2019 at 10:55 PM


Observation Voyage

(Source: Accident Investigation Board Norway; issued April 01, 2019)

The investigation of the accident with the tanker Sola TS and the frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad, has been ongoing since 8 November 2018. Considerable amounts of information have been collected, both through conversations with those involved, inspections of HNoMS Helge Ingstad and in form of technical and electronic data.

To obtain an even better understanding of the course of the events, both the police and the Accident Investigation Board want to carry out a voyage in the accident area with one of HNoMS Helge Ingstads sister ships, at the same time as Sola TS leaves the Sture terminal.

The aim is to carry out the voyage under conditions that are as similar as possible to those at the time of the accident.

The shipping company that owns Sola TS, Equinor, the Norwegian Coastal Administration and the Norwegian Navy will assist the AIBN and the police with carrying out such a voyage.

The Sola TS is planned with loading at the Sture terminal Monday 1 April, and unless something unforeseen occurs, the voyage will be carried out the night of April 2.

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[*] posted on 5-4-2019 at 02:21 PM


Three Named as Suspects in Helge Ingstad Collision (excerpt)

(Source: Maritime Executive; posted April 02, 2019)

Norwegian police have named three suspects in the investigation into the collision that sank the Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Instad last November.

An employee at the local Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), an officer aboard the Ingstad, and the pilot who had the conn on the other vessel, the tanker Sola TS, are now considered suspects. No one has yet been charged in connection with the casualty.

Seven individuals were on the bridge of the Ingstad at the time of the casualty, including one U.S. Navy trainee. According to a preliminary report from the Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN), the frigate's bridge team members were confused by Sola TS' deck lights and incorrectly believed that the oncoming tanker was a fixed object.

Despite extensive attempts at communication between the tanker, the VTS center and the Ingstad, the Ingstad's team did not attempt to alter course until they were in extremis. The tanker's bow struck Ingstad amidships on the starboard side, suggesting a starboard-to-starboard passing attempt.

Post-accident photos show that the 140,000-ton displacement Sola TS sustained superficial damage to her starboard side anchor guard and a small hole above the waterline on her starboard bow.

The 5,000-ton displacement Ingstad suffered extensive hull damage along her starboard side, lost propulsion and steering control, experienced flooding in three compartments, and quickly drifted aground. Eight personnel were injured.

Despite salvage efforts, Ingstad sank within several days, and salvors worked through difficult Norwegian winter weather to raise her again. She was refloated in late February and taken to the port of Hanytangen for an investigation. Based on her condition after several months under water, the Royal Norwegian Navy will determine whether to salvage surviving equipment and scrap her or to attempt a restoration. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Maritime Executive website.

https://maritime-executive.com/article/three-named-as-suspec...

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[*] posted on 6-4-2019 at 01:42 PM


Naval Surface Shipbuilding to Become Key Defense Technology

(Source: Defense-Aerospace.com; posted April 04, 2019)

PARIS --- Surface shipbuilding should be recognized as a key defense technology, the Maritime Coordinator of the Federal Government, Norbert Brackmann, told German radio Deutschlandfunk on Thursday.

This is equivalent to a fundamental policy decision, and the corresponding Cabinet decision should therefore follow in the fall.

Germanys northern states have long been calling for the government to declare surface shipbuilding as a key national defense technology, just like it has already done for submarine construction. Among other things, this will allow the German Navy to award warship orders without having to tender throughout Europe, and instead buy directly from German shipyards.

Schleswig-Holstein's Prime Minister Daniel Gnther (CDU) welcomed the decision. He also told Deutschlandfunk that they had been fighting to obtain this status for a long time, and that it was indeed part of the coalition agreement. After all, in Schleswig-Holstein, there is a high level of expertise in surface marine shipbuilding. Our yards are also in competition with state-owned companies, and the fact that we've finally got this priority right is also good news for the entire region.

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[*] posted on 26-4-2019 at 05:10 PM


First air defence-enhanced FREMM launched

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

25 April 2019

Alsace , the first Frgate Europenne Multi-Missions (FREMM) frigate with enhanced air defence capabilities, was launched by Naval Group at its site in Lorient on 18 April, the French shipbuilder has announced in a press release.


The Alsace, the first Frégate Européenne Multi-Missions (FREMM) frigate with enhanced air defence capabilities, was launched by Naval Group at its Lorient site on 18 April. (Naval Group)

Naval Group said Alsace, which is designated FREMM DA, has the same anti-submarine warfare capabilities as FREMMs launched before it. FREMM DA programme director Pierre-Jean Cusinier said the frigate has retained its multi-mission character but that its increased anti-air warfare capabilities were achieved by modifications mainly to the combat system.

Naval Group said Alsace has a more powerful Herakles multifunction radar, improved communication systems, a new radar and electro-optical fire control system, SETIS combat management system with anti-air defence functions, and Aster 15 and 30 missiles. It can also be armed with Exocet MM 40 surface-to-surface missiles and MU 90 torpedoes.

(161 of 305 words)
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[*] posted on 26-4-2019 at 07:30 PM


Navantia Signs the Contract for the Construction of F110 Frigates with the Ministry of Defense

(Source: Navantia; issued April 23, 2019)


Almost a month after the Spanish Cabinet authorized its award, the Spanish Ministry of Defense has signed a contract worth 4.317 billion euros with Navantia, its national shipbuilder, for the construction of five F110 frigates of its design. (Navantia image)

Navantia and the Spanish Ministry of Defense have signed today the contract for the construction of five F-110 frigates for the Spanish Navy. The contract was signed by the Deputy Director of Acquisitions of Weapons and Material, Alfonso Torn; by the Director of Operations and Business of Navantia, Gonzalo Mateo and by the Commercial and Business Development Director of Navantia, Sofia Honrubia.

In addition, the signing, held at the headquarters of the Ministry, was attended by the Secretary of State for Defense, Angel Olivares; the Director General of the DGAM, Santiago Ramn Gonzlez and the President of Navantia, Susana de Sarri.

This new generation of F-110 frigates, whose construction will begin shortly in Ferrol, stands out for having its own Spanish design and a high degree of industrial and technological sovereignty. About 80% of purchases and supplies will be made from Spanish companies.

The design of this new frigate will incorporate remarkable technological advances, such as the new integrated mast configured with different solutions of sensors and antennas, the incorporation of a multi-space mission that expands the capabilities of the ship in all the segments of defense and a new hybrid propellant plant more efficient and silent endowing the ship with great versatility. In addition, it will integrate unmanned vehicles on board and will have the capacity for the future installation of directed energy weapons.

The frigates will be equipped with a Spanish combat system, SCOMBA, developed by Navantia. This system acts as the vessels brain and integrates all the frigates sensors and weapons, such as surface sensors, EW and IFF supplied by Indra, Band S radar and Lockheed Martin vertical launcher, AAW SM-2 from Raytheon, the antisubmarine warfare systems and SAES sonars and the navigation and communications systems from Navantia Sistemas.

It should be noted that the frigate F-110 will be the first major Spanish naval program developed within the framework of Astillero 4.0 which will involve the most advanced integrated control and simulation systems, with the digital twin, which will be complemented by an intelligent management and communication nervous system without cables, which will permanently connect the crew to each other, and the crew to the ships systems.

In addition, it will incorporate processes and components with additive fabrication or 3D printing and will be the first ships in the fleet to have an integrated cybersecurity system that shields ships against increasing threats. This makes it possible for the ship to have reduced crew for its operation and high standards of habitability.

This program will benefit all the shipyards of Navantia with an impact on the employment of approximately 7.000 jobs annually for almost a decade, between direct and induced jobs. In addition to the workload for the Ferrol Shipyard, it will also generate activity in the Bay of Cadiz, through Navantia Sistemas with the development of the frigates combat system.

(EDITORS NOTE: When it approved the contract on March 29, the Spanish Cabinet said it was worth 4,317 million.)

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[*] posted on 26-4-2019 at 07:46 PM


Norway Considers Selling Salvaged Frigate for Scrap Metal to Cut Losses

(Source: Sputnik News; posted April 24, 2019)


Finally raised after five months underwater, the Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad is beyond repair, and may be sold for scrap to recover some financial costs. Norway may also seek damages from the shipyard that built her. (Forsvaret photo)

I foresee a monumental shit-fight between the Norwegian Navy and the Yard, that almost certainly will drag into involvement the respective governments..........:no: :no: :no:

Following a fateful collision in the aftermath of NATO drills in late 2018 and after spending four months under water, the KNM Helge Ingstad is estimated to have lost half of its value. The salvaging of the frigate alone cost $85 million.

A recent annual report by the Norwegian Armed Forces features the first estimate of the expected costs of the salvaging operation to lift the KNM Helge Ingstad, which sank in November 2018 following the Trident Juncture NATO drills.

The total price tag for the salvage operation that included raising, securing and towing reached NOK 726 million ($85 million), almost 100 million more that the previous estimate provided by Norwegian Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen.

The loss of the Helge Ingstad has left Norway's defence capabilities drastically weakened, the report said. The strain on the remaining four frigates has also increased as they have to sail more frequently than usual to offset the loss.

"The accident will affect the Armed Forces' operational ability and preparedness," the report said.

Last year, the Navy's operating expenses exceeded the budget by NOK 82 million ($9.6 million), mainly due to the KNM Helge Ingstad, national broadcaster NRK reported.

After being submersed for four months in salt water, the frigate's value has been written down by NOK 2.2 billion ($260 million). This means that the KNM Helge Ingstad has lost more than half of its initial value of NOK 4.3 billion ($500 million).

Evaluations of how much of the equipment on board can be saved are underway. The Armed Forces is also considering selling the steel to cut the losses.

"It should also be considered whether parts of the frigate can be used for the remaining vessels, or whether it is possible to sell the steel", the report said.

The KNM Helge Ingstad collided with the Maltese-flagged tanker Sola TS in Hjeltefjorden in Hordaland on 8 November. The ship suffered a 45-metre-long gash in its hull on its starboard side and went down shortly thereafter.

Starting from mid-November, it was completely submerged for several months. On 4 March, it was ultimately salvaged after months of preparations and transported to the naval base of Haakonsvern.

On 2 April, it was announced that three people were suspected in connection with the accident, the pilot on board the Sola TS, the security officer on the bridge of the frigate and an employee at the sea traffic centre at Fedje, Norway.

On 10 April, the frigate was relaunched after the gash was plugged using steel plates.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 3-5-2019 at 09:34 AM


F125 frigate Baden-Wrttemberg handed over to Bundeswehr

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

02 May 2019


The F125 frigate Baden-Wrttemberg was handed over to the Bundeswehr on 30 April. Source: Bundeswehr/Carsten Vennemann/Redaktion der Bundeswehr

Key Points

- The Bundeswehr received the frigate Baden-Wrttemberg from the ARGE F125 consortium on 30 April
- The first-in-class Baden-Wrttemberg is scheduled to enter service in June

The frigate Baden-Wrttemberg is slated to enter service with the German Navy in June after the Arbeitsgemeinschaft (ARGE) F125 consortium delivered it to Germany's Federal Office of Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) at the Wilhelmshaven naval base on 30 April.

The German Navy said on its website that it and industry would conduct further sea trials and safety tests with Baden-Wrttemberg and test the radiation emissions of its IT systems over the next seven weeks. In parallel, these systems will be integrated into the Bundeswehr's communications network.

The German Navy said the F125 class is highly automated, allowing the crew to be reduced to 126 compared with 200 for the oldest F122 frigates. In addition, the F125 class can remain in a deployment area for two years, with the rotation of entire crews.

(185 of 260 words)
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