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[*] posted on 26-6-2019 at 07:45 PM


Norway to scrap damaged frigate

Richard Scott, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

25 June 2019


Norway has confirmed that the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate KNM is beyond economic repair after colliding with the tanker Sola TS on 8 November 2018 and will be scrapped. Source: Emil Wenaas Larsen/Forsvaret

Norway's government has confirmed that the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate KNM Helge Ingstad is beyond economic repair and will be scrapped.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed in a press release on 21 June that it had accepted the conclusions of a report submitted by the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (Forsvarsmateriell) in mid-May. This found that repairing the salvaged ship - one of five Fridtjof Nansen-class ships commissioned between April 2006 and January 2011 - would cost more than buying a new-build replacement.

Helge Ingstad was severely damaged on 8 November 2018 after colliding with the tanker Sola TS in waters just outside Ågåtnes oil terminal in Hjeltefjorden. The ship was run aground, but later sank in shallow water.

A salvage operation was undertaken in late February/early March following the recovery of missiles and torpedoes from the submerged frigate. After being lifted onto the submersible barge Boabarge 33, Helge Ingstad arrived at Haakonsvern Naval Base, Bergen, on 3 March.

Following surveys of the ship, the Forsvarsmateriell estimated that repairs to the frigate would cost NOK12-14 billion (USD1.4-1.6 billion) and take more than five years. The cost of purchasing a new similar vessel is estimated at NOK11-13 billion, with a similar time to completion and less risk, leading the government to conclude that it should dispose of Helge Ingstad rather than proceed with repairs.

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[*] posted on 4-7-2019 at 01:15 PM


Local shipyard to build Romanian corvettes

Ben Vogel, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

03 July 2019

Four new Gowind multirole corvettes for the Romanian Navy will be built locally at Constanţa Shipyard (Santierul Naval Constanta – SNC), after Romanian defence minister Gabriel Leş confirmed the winning bid on 3 July.

France-based Naval Group was selected for the programme ahead of Damen Schelde of the Netherlands and Italy-based Fincantieri, having submitted the lowest bid – EUR1.2 billion (USD1.355 billion) – of the three. The three bidders were downselected for the final stage of the tender on the promise to partner with Romanian shipyards.

“SNC will receive the necessary know-how to support the complete lifecycle of the corvettes, from building to maintenance and modernisation,” Naval Group announced on 3 July.

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[*] posted on 4-7-2019 at 02:00 PM


Romania Chooses the Joint Offer of Naval Group and Santierul Naval Constanta for the Corvette Programme

(Source: Naval Group; issued July 03, 2019)


Despite a last-minute protest by Italy’s Fincantieri, its new naval shipbuilding partner, France’s Naval Group’s €1.2 billion bid to supply Romania with four locally-built Gowind corvettes has finally been selected by the Romanian government. (NG photo)

PARIS --- The Romanian authorities announced today the selection of Naval Group and its partner Santierul Naval Constanta (SNC) for the programme to build four new Gowind multi-mission corvettes, to modernize the T22 frigates and to create a maintenance centre and a training centre.

The Naval Group and SNC teams are honoured by the trust of the Romanian authorities and look forward to working together to provide the Romanian Navy with the four state-of-the art Gowind® corvettes.

With this programme, Romania will benefit from Naval Group’s long tradition of excellence and experience. The Gowind design has already been chosen by several countries. The platform and its combat system including the Setis combat management system (CMS) offer a comprehensive set of state-of-the-art NATO-standard combat-proven capabilities for anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-air warfare (AAW). The Gowind is the perfect solution for Romania to carry out its strategic missions as a major NATO partner in the Black Sea and will also strengthen European Defence capabilities.

Naval Group and SNC's offer is based on the complementarities of their partnership, which will ensure Romania's sovereignty and autonomy since SNC will receive the necessary know-how to support the complete life cycle of the corvettes, from building to maintenance and modernisation.

Naval Group is the European leader in naval defence. The group designs, builds and supports submarines and surface ships. It also supplies services to shipyards and naval bases. The group reports revenue of €3.6 billion and has a workforce of 14,860 (data for 2018).

Santierul Naval Constanta S.A. (SNC) is a European leader in building product and chemical tankers and other customized vessels as well in the repair, modernization, conversion and retrofit works for commercial and military vessels. SNC is ready to team up with Naval Group in the most ambitious program Romanian Navy has launched in the last 70 years.

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[*] posted on 5-7-2019 at 01:34 PM


Romania Chooses Naval Group for Its New Corvettes

(Source: French Armed Forces Ministry; issued July 03, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


Romanian Defense Minister Gabriel Les greets Florence Parly, his French counterpart, for a bilateral meeting in Brussels during the NATO ministerial in late June, where they presumably lifted the final doubts about the corvette contract. (RO MoD photo)

PARIS --- The Romanian Ministry of Defense announced on 3 July 2019 the victory of Naval Group, teamed with the Romanian shipyard SNC, in the competition to supply four multi-mission corvettes and the modernization of two Romanian Type 22 frigates.

Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, welcomes this decision which is fully in the spirit of efforts to build a strong and ambitious European defense.

This decision will have a positive economic impact for the shipyards and their subcontractors. Over 400 jobs will be consolidated at several Naval Group sites over the next five years.

The first corvette will be delivered by 2022, the value of the contract (4 corvettes and two modernized frigates) amounts to 1.2 billion euros.

For the past six months, "Team France" has sold 22 military surface ships, largely destined for European countries (Romania, Belgium, the Netherlands). This is a historic record, given that the previous 22 surface ships were sold over a period of thirty years.

Context

This strategic program for Romania covers both the acquisition of four multi-mission corvettes, the modernization of the two Type 22 frigates in service in the Romanian Navy, and the creation of a maintenance center and a training center.

The Romanian Ministry of Defense on March 1, 2018 published a request for tenders to which various European candidates responded, including Naval Group, which partnered with the Romanian Santierul Naval Constanta (SNC) shipyard, located on the Black Sea coast. Naval Group proposed the Gowind corvette equipped with the SETIS combat management system, equipped with Thales hull and towed sonars, and armed with MBDA MICA-VL and Exocet missiles.

Romania thus becomes the first European country, and also the first NATO country, to acquire this type of warship. With limited signatures in all areas (infrared, radar, magnetic, acoustic) and with anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-surface combat capabilities of the highest order, the Gowind offers the ideal capability to allow Romania to ensure its security in the Black Sea.

At the industrial level, if the main sub-systems of the corvette will be supplied by the Naval Group plants at Lorient and Toulon-Ollioules, a large place will be made for local partnerships:

-- the detailed design studies required to accommodate Romanian requirements will be carried out in cooperation with the Icepronav design office;

-- the communication system will be produced by the company Interactive through a transfer of technology;

-- the construction of the vessels and their final assembly will be carried out at SNC’s Constanta shipyard, also thanks to transfer of technology.

Delivery of the first corvette is expected in 2022. The entire program will be completed within seven years.

This acquisition, a major one for Romania, from a French manufacturer echoes the long tradition of cooperation between the two countries, honored in 2018 on the occasion of the centenary of the creation of modern Romania in which the France played an important role.

While fulfilling its commitments to NATO, Romania demonstrates with this acquisition its desire to strengthen the defense of Europe and develop the defense industrial and technological base by turning to its partners of the European Union for its acquisitions of military equipment.

This approach is to be welcomed; it is part of the European orientation that France promotes relentlessly. In 2018, 25% of our defense exports went to our European partners, compared with an average of 10% in previous years. Beyond export markets, it is the interoperability of our forces and the strategic autonomy of Europe of defense that are at stake.

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[*] posted on 5-7-2019 at 07:38 PM


French Navy brings forward Lynx retirement

Henri-Pierre Grolleau, Brest - Jane's Navy International

04 July 2019


The Lynx Mk 4(FN) will be retired from French Navy service in 2020, two years earlier than previously planned. Source: Henri-Pierre Grolleau

The French Navy is to retire its remaining Westland Lynx Mk 4(FN) helicopters in 2020, two years earlier than previously scheduled.

A total of eight Lynx Mk 4(FN) helicopters remain on the strength of Flotille 34F at Lanvéoc-Poulmic. Of these, all but one have undergone a limited upgrade programme to introduce improved connectivity and allow unrestricted operation in all airspace.

The Lynx Mk 4(FN) had been planned to retire in 2022, but with support costs rising the decision has now been made to bring forward the type's out of service date by two years as a savings measure. No firm date has been announced as yet, but Jane's has been told that the type will be withdrawn in mid-2020 at which time Flottille 34F will be temporarily disbanded.

Early retirement of the Lynx will leave a capability gap as the type, equipped with the DUAV-4 active dipping sonar, constitutes the primary anti-submarine rotorcraft on board the French Navy's last two F70-class frigates, La Motte-Picquet (D645) and Latouche-Tréville (D646). These ships, both based in Brest, are unable to accommodate the larger and heavier NH Industries NH90 Caïman.

Under current plans, La Motte-Picquet is due to decommission in 2020 with Latouche-Tréville scheduled to follow two years later.

The decision to bring forward the Lynx out-of-service date means that Latouche-Tréville will have to operate with another helicopter type from mid-2020 - most probably the AS565 Panther - but this stopgap will not be equipped with a dipping sonar.

It is currently anticipated that Flottille 34F will be recommissioned in short order to parent a fleet of civilian-owned but military-registered Dauphin N3/N3+ helicopters that will be leased to replace the Alouette III.

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[*] posted on 11-7-2019 at 07:17 PM


Flottille 36F to become French Navy UAV parent squadron

Henri-Pierre Grolleau, Paris - Jane's Navy International

10 July 2019

The French Navy will make Flottille 36F, based at Hyères, near Toulon, its first shipborne unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) squadron.

The move will see Flottille 36F operate the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter UAVs, which will be deployed onboard the navy’s Mistral-class landing helicopter dock ships. The squadron currently operates the AS565SA Panther helicopter.

The decision to form a dedicated UAV parent squadron reflects the French Navy’s desire to concentrate unmanned aviation expertise into a single specialised entity. Previous internal studies had explored a number of options, ranging from the creation of a brand new dedicated UAV unit to the formation of flights within Flottilles 31F, 35F, or 36F (all of which are based in Hyères).

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[*] posted on 13-7-2019 at 02:58 PM


France launches first Barracuda SSN

Emmanuel Huberdeau, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

12 July 2019


France’s first new-generation Suffren-class (Barracuda) SSN Suffren, was launched at Naval Group’s Cherbourg site on 12 July. Source: Richard Scott

France’s first new-generation Suffren-class (Barracuda) nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN), Suffren, was ceremonially launched at Naval Group’s Cherbourg site on 12 July.

Although the event was qualified as a launching ceremony, Suffren’s drydock will not actually be flooded until the end of July. Ahead of the event, the boat was transferred from the shipyard’s assembly hall to the launching platform on 4–5 July.

Harbour trials are planned to start on 13 July and will continue until the second quarter of 2020, after which at-sea trials will begin. The loading of the nuclear core of the reactor is planned for September 2019, and the reactor is expected to go critical for the first time in November or December, according to Pascal Lucas, director for nuclear propulsion at France’s Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission CEA).

Under current scheduling, Naval Group will deliver Suffren to the Direction générale de l’armement (DGA), the French defence procurement agency, in mid-2020, following acceptance trials beginning in the first quarter of 2020. The French Navy will then begin at-sea trials that will include the launching of new weapons, the F21 torpedo and Missile De Croisière Naval (MDCN) naval cruise missile, and a long-term deployment.

Suffren’s first crew was officially activated on 11 July.

Suffren is the first of six new SSNs being developed under the Barracuda programme. The French Loi de programmation militaire 2019–2025 military funding programme foresees the commissioning of four Barracudas by 2025, and the final two by 2030. The Barracuda SSNs are expected to remain in service until the 2060s.

The Suffren class will progressively replace the French Navy’s ageing fleet of six Rubis Amethyste-class SSNs.

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[*] posted on 18-7-2019 at 08:58 AM


France receives sixth FREMM

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

17 July 2019

The Direction générale de l'armement (DGA), the French defence procurement agency, has announced on its website that it received the sixth Frégate Européenne Multi-Missions (FREMM) frigate, Normandie , for the French Navy in Brest on 16 July.


The DGA received the French Navy's sixth FREMM on 16 July. (DGA)

The DGA said on 17 July that it had completed testing of the smooth operation of Normandie and that it meets expected performance requirements.

Naval Group stated in a 26 June press release that Normandie had been built in 40 months, faster than any of the first five FREMMs.

Analysis

Naval Group is therefore on schedule to deliver all six FREMMs, specialised in anti-submarine warfare and ordered by the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) on behalf of the DGA, to the French Navy by the end of 2019.

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[*] posted on 20-7-2019 at 01:48 PM


Decision on MKS 180 is Approaching - German Naval Yards Kiel Submits Final Offer

(Source: German Naval Yards Kiel; issued July 18, 2019)


The MKS 180 frigate is a larger and more capable warship than those currently operated by the German Navy; it is designed for long-duration foreign deployments, with an endurance more than tripled compared to the current F125 frigates. (TKMS image)

The Schleswig-Holstein shipyard German Naval Yards Kiel (GNYK) submitted the final offer for the construction of the multi-purpose warship MKS 180 on 18 July. Together with its cooperation partner ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, the company is competing for the largest naval contract in the history of Bundeswehr. GNYK is the only remaining German general contractor in the European competition of the German Ministry of Defense.

Jörg Herwig, Managing Director of German Naval Yards Kiel, said: "By submitting our offer, we have done everything in our power to obtain this contract for Germany. Should we win the contract, not only we as a shipyard, but hundreds of small and medium-sized companies throughout Germany will benefit from the project. It is decisive that we as German shipyard receive orders from our own government. This is the only way we can become less dependent on exports."

The construction of MKS 180 could provide a major impetus for German naval shipbuilding. "This is vital for the innovative strength of the entire industry. Furthermore, thousands of jobs could be preserved permanently. With the construction of MKS 180, we as German shipbuilding companies have the opportunity to maintain our technological leadership in international competition," said Herwig.

German Naval Yards Kiel will develop, design and build MKS 180 in Germany. The initial plan is to build four ships. The decision on the allocation is now incumbent on the Federal Ministry of Defence. A decision is expected at the end of 2019.

GNYK has a first-class infrastructure and the necessary experience to build technologically highly complex naval vessels. The shipyard is also able to repair simultaneously several large ships. An operating shipyard infrastructure on the Baltic Sea is of particular importance in terms of security policy for NATO operations or military exercises.

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Why Germany Urgently Needs the Multi-Purpose Battleship

(Source: German Naval Yards Kiel; issued July 09, 2019)

The fundamental principle of NATO as a defense alliance is burden-sharing. Exactly 70 years ago, a number of states decided to divide the task of securing peace in the world between several shoulders. Germany joined the so-called North Atlantic Treaty in 1955 - and in retrospect this can be seen as a favorable, wise and far-sighted political decision.

Never before in history has our country experienced such a long-lasting period of peace. But today of all days, in times of many conflicts and crises in the world, Germany is struggling to bear the burdens of security with determination: the Bundeswehr lacks the equipment to be able to fully meet its alliance obligations.

With the construction of the multi-purpose warship 180, or "MKS 180" for short, Germany now has the opportunity to fundamentally modernize at least its navy and to arm it for current and future threats. In terms of variability and operational capability, the MKS 180 clearly surpasses the ships already in the service of the German Navy. The decision to award the contract for the largest naval project of the German post-war period is to be made before the end of this year.

But what makes this ship so special?

The MKS 180 will be able to defeat targets in the air, on land as well as above and under water. Whether monitoring sea areas, combating piracy, humanitarian aid, enforcing arms embargoes or supporting special forces and evacuation operations - the new ship will be designed for all these tasks. A major innovation will be expand-ability.

By equipping the MKS 180 with mission modules, for example for submarine hunting or mine defense, it can be adapted at any time to different operational tasks. In addition, the MKS 180 will be able to operate continuously for up to two years in a single operational area.

Technologically, this ship is a huge step forward. And it is precisely for this reason that it is crucial that German companies are assigned to build the ship. Only by participating in such challenging projects Germany can further develop its technological competence in naval shipbuilding.

At present, Germany has too few ships at its disposal in view of the increasingly tight world security situation, which, in addition to the extensive deployment obligations, can also implement a credible "power projection".

The F123 class frigates commissioned in the mid-1990s are [reaching the end of their service life] and the highly specialized AAW F124 class frigates are not really suitable for long-term low- to medium-intensity operations. The F125 frigates are mainly designed to support stabilization operations, while the K130 corvettes complement the frigate's capabilities and are particularly suitable for smaller operations in marginal seas and coastal areas.

In view of the changed operational realities, where in particular a scalable and sustainable weapon system is needed for worldwide deployment, the MKS 180 is urgently needed.

According to all [official] statements, Germany wants to assume more responsibility internationally. The Federal Government is thus automatically renewing its 1955 commitment to share the burdens of the North Atlantic Alliance. Because peace in the world cannot be secured by diplomatic and humanitarian means alone.

The German Navy is already involved in numerous peacekeeping missions. With the MKS 180, however, Germany will assume a leading role in the Alliance on the sea and thus be able to make a very significant contribution to peacekeeping in the world.

(Signed)
Jörg Herwig
CEO, German Naval Yards Kiel GmbH

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[*] posted on 3-8-2019 at 04:27 PM


NSPA Tests Effectiveness of Strategic Sealift Contract

(Source: NATO Support and Procurement Agency; issued July 29, 2019)


NATO Support and Procurement Agency supports six NATO member nations by providing assured access to three medium-sized roll-on/roll-off vessels for crisis response, under a contract awarded to Dutch shipping group Spliethoff. (NSPA photo)

Recently, NSPA conducted a successful tabletop exercise of the Strategic Sealift Contract along with the contractor, Spliethoff, and the participating nations, at the Spliethoff’s premises in Amsterdam.

The NSPA Sealift Contract provides six nations of the MSSC (Multinational Sealift Steering Committee) with a strategic sealift capability, which is currently a scarce resource on the commercial market. It provides Croatia, Hungary, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Slovenia with assured access to three medium-sized roll-on/roll-off vessels for crisis response.

During the two days exercise, not only the NSPA contract, but also the national contracts from the Netherlands and Norway were tested in a realistic scenario coordinated in advance with the participating nations and the MCCE (Movement Coordination Centre Europe).

Six activations for these highly specialized ships took place during the exercise, which allowed NSPA to assess not only the contractors’ performance and the related activation procedures, but also to identify lessons and areas for improvement.

The contractor performed as requested and allocated the vessels within the period required.

Upon conclusion of the exercise, the Chief of the NSPA Transport & Warehouse Division, Franck Verdierre highlighted, “this challenging exercise confirmed that the assured access concept works and that NSPA, together with industry, is delivering a very effective tool able to deliver to our customers, the nations, solutions suited to their needs.”

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[*] posted on 13-9-2019 at 02:38 PM


KNM Helge Ingstad: External Review of the Salvage Operation

(Source: Norwegian Ministry of Defence; issued Sept. 11, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

The Storting has asked the government to facilitate an external and independent investigation of the salvage operation following the accident with KNM Helge Ingstad.

After a bidding round, it has been decided that PwC will conduct the review.

The review of the salvage work following the frigate accident on November 8 last year will conclude in a publicly available report to be delivered by the end of 2019.

PwC will review the assessments that were made, the decisions that were made and the measures taken during the salvage work. The starting point is the information, knowledge and resources that were available to the salvage management when it happened.

The time to be covered by the review is from the crew was evacuated until the vessel was brought to Haakonsvern Orlogstation in Bergen.

The review should focus on the system, not on people.

The investigations shall not include matters addressed by the authorities' investigations of causal or liability matters, criminal or criminal liability, liability or liability or graded information.

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[*] posted on 1-10-2019 at 09:43 AM


First Networked Firing by Forbin and Languedoc

(Source: French Navy, issued Sept. 27, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


In a first for the French Navy, the air-defense frigate ‘Forbin’ engaged an aerial target using targeting data provided by another frigate, ‘Languedoc,’ via tactical data link. (French Navy photo)

Engaged in the Gabian high intensity training off the Isle of Levant, the air-defence frigate ‘Forbin’ and the multi-mission frigate ‘Languedoc’ on September 18, 2019 completed a networked missile strike on an air target using a Tactical Data Link (TDL) – in other words, target tracking elements were provided to the firing vessel by another ship.

In this case, an Aster 30 anti-aircraft missile was fired by ‘Forbin’ using target data transmitted by ‘Languedoc,’ the first time a networked missile firing was achieved by French Navy ships.

The success of this network firing validates the robustness of the data link architectures allowing the ships to share the tactical situation and to demonstrate their coordination capabilities to ensure effective air defense at sea.

These training firings are essential for future operations and are therefore an essential preparation for a “fighting Navy” which requires ships, weapons systems and crews that are experienced, and therefore well trained.

From its DGA missile testing center on the Ile du Levant, the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) took part in this shooting, as it does in every such training, notably through the general coordination of the test and the provision of the threat-representative targets.

As is increasingly the case for the operational readiness of the forces, the virtual reality capabilities of DGA Missile Tests were also used. Thus, in order to enrich the tactical situation of the two frigates, the center transmitted by Link 16 additional data generating for these ships a hybrid environment combining real tracks and simulated tracks, and thus contributing to offer the Navy training that is always more representative of conditions on theaters of operations.

This training success also supports the development of the Naval Cooperative Watch (VCN) capability, inaugurated on the two frigates during the exercise, and which consolidates the operational capabilities of a "state-of-the-art Navy."

Cooperative naval watch

The cooperative naval watch is a developing capability based on networking all the information of provided the all of the sensors of a naval air group. It differs from tactical data linking because it exchanges raw data directly from the sensors, which is much more accurate, and not data that has already been processed.

In future, thanks to the cooperative naval watch, the Navy will have an optimized image of the threat, with sufficient information to implement the most effective anti- missile interceptor, and so facilitating the choice of the most suitable weapon to deal with the threat.

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[*] posted on 2-10-2019 at 09:30 AM


Turkish navy receives fourth and last Milgem corvette

Lale Sariibrahimoglu, Istanbul - Jane's Defence Weekly

01 October 2019


TCG Kinaliada, Turkey’s fourth and last Ada-class (Milgem) anti-submarine warfare corvette, has now entered service. Source: Turkish SSB

Turkish Naval Forces Command (TNFC) received its fourth and last Ada-class (Milgem) anti-submarine warfare corvette, TCG Kinaliada (F 514), on 29 September at a commissioning ceremony held at Istanbul Naval Shipyard.

"Recent developments around the world and the Mediterranean Sea have shown us that we have to be much stronger in the seas, just as we are in other areas," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during the ceremony.

He said Kinaliada would differ from the previous three corvettes as it will be equipped with Turkey's Roketsan-built Atmaca (Hawk) anti-ship cruise missile, which is intended to replace the navy's AGM-84 anti-ship missiles. The Roketsan- and Havelsan-built Advent ship management system will also be installed for the first time in Kinaliada , he added.

Other state-owned local companies have also performed major work on Kinaliada : STM Defence has provided design, construction, and engineering activities, while Aselsan has provided gun and sensor systems for the ship.

Erdogan claimed that Turkey has become one of 10 countries able to develop, build, and maintain a warship using exclusively domestic means.

"We will soon build our own warplanes, just as we have built our own UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles [and] ATAK [attack] helicopters. If they woke the sleeping giant, they will suffer the consequences," he said, referring to Turkey being expelled from the US-led F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme.

The Milgem project reached a local industrial content level of 70%, with 50 Turkish companies taking part as subcontractors in the project, Erdogan noted.

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[*] posted on 26-10-2019 at 12:29 PM


Florence Parly, Minister of the Armies, Launches the Construction of a New Class of Frigates in Lorient

(Source: French Armed Forces Ministry; issued Oct. 24, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


The French Navy’s future FDI-class frigates are heavily armed warships intended for independent operations. The first ship will be delivered to the French Navy in 2023, and the Greek Navy has already signed an LOI for at least one ship. (NG image)

PARIS --- The Minister of the Armed Forces today attended at Lorient, on Naval Group's industrial site, at the cutting ceremony of the first metal for first French Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention, or Defense and Intervention Frigate, FDI), which will be named "Amiral Ronarc'h."

The event took place in the presence of the Delegate-General for Armaments Joel Barre, the Chief of Staff of the Navy Admiral Christophe Prazuck, his Greek counterpart Vice-Admiral Nikolaos Tsounis and Hervé Guillou, CEO of Naval Group.

The FDI is a 4,500-ton surface combatant with a crew of 125 officers and ratings. They will be capable of participating in all combat areas on the high seas, and will incorporate many innovations, including the world's first fully-digital fixed panel radar.

The FDI program was launched in 2017. The 2019-2025 military programme law provides for the first two IDF to be delivered to the French Navy by 2025. Five IDF will be serving with the French Navy in 2030. On Admiral Prazuck's proposal, the Minister of Armed Forces has decided that one of them will bear the name of Admiral Louzeau, who recently passed away.

The FDI program contributes to the renewal and strengthening of the French Navy's surface fleet, in accordance with the conclusions of the 2017 strategic review, which will include 15 first-class frigates by 2030: eight multi-mission frigates (FREMM), two air-defense frigates (FDA Horizon) and five Defense and Intervention Frigates (FDI).

The first FDI was ordered in April 2017 by the Directorate General of Armament (DGA) to the Naval Group shipyard group, teamed with Thales and MBDA. Its delivery to the Navy is scheduled for the end of 2023.

Complementary to the FREMM, the IDF is a 4,500-ton-class, multi-purpose, hard-wearing warship with a crew of 125 officers and ratings.

IDF integrates from its design a concentrate of innovations:

-- They can intervene in all combat domains on the high seas: anti-ship, anti-aircraft, and anti-submarine.

-- They are able to control large air spaces and are also able to defend against asymmetric threats and to deploy a detachment of special forces.

-- To evolve in a more and more digital world, the FDI has native protection against the cyber threats and two digital centers (Data Centers) that combine the computing capabilities of all the on-board sensors and weapons.

-- New-generation on-board equipment includes a fixed four-panel radar that provides 360-degree continuous monitoring on a single mast, and launchers capable of firing several types of anti-aircraft missiles depending on the threat. They are also the first frigates to be able to simultaneously embark a helicopter and a drone of class 700 kg.

-- Designed to be scalable, the FDI will evolve into standards to adapt to changing threats.

Since the award of the contract by the DGA in the spring of 2017, each technical milestone has been crossed in time either for the design of the ship or for the development of the embedded innovations, thanks to a collaborative work on a common platform combining the DGA, industry and the Navy.

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Naval Group Launches the Construction of the First Digital Frigate for the French Navy

(Source: Naval Group; issued Oct. 24, 2019)

The steel-cutting ceremony of the first defence and intervention frigate (FDI) took place on the Naval Group site of Lorient. The ceremony was held in the presence of the Minister for Armed Forces, Florence Parly, the Head of the French Armament Directorate (DGA) Délégué général pour l’Armement, Joël Barre, the Chief of Staff of the French Navy Christophe Prazuck, the Chief of the Hellenic Navy Nikolaos Tsounis, many French officials and foreign delegations as well as Naval Group CEO, Hervé Guillou.

The First of Class will be delivered in 2023 and is part of a series of five vessels.

Sylvain Perrier, Naval Group Director of the FDI program declared during this event: “Today, after the successful completion of the initial studies and development phases, we are proud, to reach this first industrial milestone. This ceremony is the first for this major program for which, the DGA will be in charge of prime contract management to the benefit of the French Navy. Thanks to this program, Naval Group will also keep on developing its international exposure. This program will increase to fifteen the number of first-rank frigates of the French Navy, as planned in the French military spending plan (LPM). We were able to uphold our commitment thanks to the collaborative work model we adopted with our client and to the mobilisation of state and industrial actors.”

A digital multi-mission 4,500 tons-class frigate

The FDI is a high sea vessel with a 4,500 tons class displacement. Multipurpose and resilient, she is capable of operating, alone or within a naval force, through all of types of warfare: anti-surface, anti-air, anti-submarine and allows for special forces projection.

Strongly armed (Exocet MM40 B3C anti-surface missiles, Aster 15/30 anti-air missiles, MU90 antisubmarine torpedoes, artillery), the FDI is able to embark simultaneously a helicopter and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). She can also receive a Special Forces detachment with their two commando boats.

The FDI will be the first French frigate natively protected against cyber threats, with a Data Centre accommodating a great part of the ship applications. The FDI introduces the concept of a dedicated system for asymmetric threats warfare, distinct from the operation room. Located behind the bridge, it will lead asymmetrical warfare against air and surface threats such as mini-UAVs or tricked boats. The FDI which gathers the best of French technology in a compact platform. She is a powerful and innovative frigate, designed for facing evolving threats.

The design and production of the FDI build on the experience of the FREMM program: Naval Group benefits from the operational feedback given by the French Navy.

Key figures:

-- Displacement: 4,500 tons class
-- Length: 122 meters
-- Beam: 18 meters
-- Max. speed: 27 knots
-- Autonomy: 45 days
-- Accommodation: 125 + 28 passengers

A large-scale industrial collaboration that particularly mobilises the Naval Group site of Lorient

Five defence and intervention frigates (FDI) have been ordered in April 2017 by the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) to the benefit of the French Navy.

The build of the first of class represents around one million hours of work for the teams of Naval Group’s site of Lorient. Furthermore, it contributes to the economic development of its suppliers and subcontractors, to local employment around Lorient but also to the other Naval Group sites that brought their specific know-how to the program. The conception and development studies also represent around one million hours of work for the entire series.

Industrial key figures:

-- A 100% digital conception – zero paper blueprints
-- 1 million hours of production work for each unit of the series on the Naval Group’ site of Lorient
-- 1 million hours of conception and development for the program
-- 400 subcontractors
-- 20 km of tubes and 300 km of cables for each FDI

Many export opportunities

The future frigate targets the intermediary tonnage ship segment for which there is an international demand. Thanks to its modularity, the ship can be configured to fulfil diverse missions depending on the expressed needs. Thus, with on the one hand the Gowind 2,500-tonnes corvette, on the other hand the 6,000-tonnes FREMM and now the FDI, Naval Group proposes a complete offer for strongly armed military ships.

A Letter of Intention was signed on the 10th of October 2019 by the Greek Minister of Defence, Nicolaos Panagiotopoulos and the French Minister for Armed Forces, Florence Parly. This announcement is in line with the strategic cooperation between the two countries and will allow a close dialogue in order to bring the best answer to the needs of the Hellenic Navy.

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[*] posted on 9-11-2019 at 02:49 PM


The Norwegian Accident Investigation Board Has Released A Report

(Source: Norwegian Accident Investigation Board; issued Nov. 08, 2019)


Exactly one year after the event, Norway’s Accident Investigation Board has published its first report into the Nov. 8, 2018 collision between frigate Helge Ingstad and an oil tanker in the Hjelte fjord, which so damaged the frigate that it sank. (Forsvarets photo)

The Norwegian Accident Investigation Board has released a report:

Part one report on the collision on 8 November 2018 between the frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad and the oil tanker Sola TS outside the Sture Terminal in the Hjeltefjord in Hordaland county.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) and the Defence Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN) has together with the Marine Safety Investigation Unit of Malta and the Spanish Standing Commission for Maritime Accident and Incident Investigations (CIAIM) conducted a joint investigation of the collision between the frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad and the oil tanker Sola TS.

The part one report contains the results of the Accident Investigation Boards Norway’s investigation of the sequence of events up until the time when the collision occurred.

The AIBN’s investigation has shown that the situation in the Hjeltefjord was made possible by a number of operational, technical, organisational and systemic factors.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway submits a total of 15 safety recommendations based on the investigation of the sequence of events leading up to the collision.

Click here for the report’s home page on the AIBN website.

https://www.aibn.no/Marine/Published-reports/2019-08-eng

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[*] posted on 9-11-2019 at 03:34 PM


Five European navies rally around Cold War-era ‘Channel Committee’

By: Sebastian Sprenger   11 hours ago


A Russian naval vessel appears through the mist behind a ferry in the English Channel on Oct. 21, 2016 near Dover, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

COLOGNE, Germany – Senior navy leaders from Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands signed a pact on Thursday placing a renewed focus on the English Channel as a key strategic region for NATO.

The agreement effectively re-awakens the dormant “Channel Committee” of the Cold War, which formed the alliance's braintrust for defending the sea lane connecting the North Sea to the Atlantic. The move follows a pattern of recent naval strategizing by European nations to fortify their territorial waters against a hypothetical incursion by Russia.

Channel Committee member nations pledge to “harmonize” their naval acquisition plans, possibly to the point of common procurement, the declaration text reads. Countries also want to ramp up the level of their personnel exchanges and joint training, and move toward honoring service members' professional qualifications across the group.

“The Channel area is the front door to Central Europe and an important gate to the Baltic Sea,” the text states. “It is the critical choke point for the maritime traffic between the United Kingdom and continental Europe.”

The German navy has previously set its sights on the Baltic Sea as a potential theater of operations that warrants greater emphasis. Membership in the Channel Committee essentially ensures that both bodies of water that touch Germany, east and west of Denmark, come with some type of naval advocacy.

“For Germany, it's important to not just be associated with the Baltic Sea,” said Sebastian Bruns, who heads the Center for Maritime Strategy and Security at the University of Kiel in northern Germany.

What is yet to come, he said, is formulating naval aspirations that go beyond the country’s immediate neighborhood, namely the Indo-Pacific.

But first, officials here should work to explain their CHANCOM vision and fill out the largely symbolic declaration with a more concrete work program, Bruns said. That goes especially for NATO, where leaders may need help understanding the utility of the patchwork approach to naval theaters.

Almost as a side effect, having the U.K.’s Royal Navy onboard means maintaining another military link to London in a post-Brexit future, an objective that German officials have been pushing hard publicly and behind the scenes.
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[*] posted on 10-11-2019 at 08:41 AM


"A Russian naval vessel"?! WTF?

The Royal Canadian Navy would like a word with Mr Sprenger




It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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the lips acquire stains,
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It is by will alone I set my mind in motion
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[*] posted on 13-11-2019 at 04:12 AM


European Patrol Corvette (EPC)Italy, France

objective is to design and develop a prototype for a new class of military ship, named “European Patrol Corvette” (EPC), which allows to host several systems and payloads, in order to accomplish, with a modular and flexible approach, a large numberof tasks and missions




Paddywhackery not included.
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[*] posted on 14-11-2019 at 12:24 PM



Image via Norwegian Coastal Administration.

Report blames training and safety issues for Norwegian Frigate sinking

By George Allison - November 13, 20197

The frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad and the tanker Sola TS collided in the Hjeltefjord in the early hours of the 8th of November 2018, eventually resulting in the loss of the frigate.

Officials have now released a report containing the results of the first phase of the Accident Investigation Board Norway’s investigation into the collision involving the Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad and the oil tanker Sola TS outside the Sture terminal in November 2018.



Investigators determined that the incident, that resulted in the loss of the frigate, was the result of safety and training issues within the Norwegian Navy.

According to the report summary:

“HNoMS Helge Ingstad sailed south at a speed of approximately 17–18 knots with the automatic identification system (AIS) in passive mode, i.e. no transmission of AIS-signal. The frigate’s bridge team had notified Fedje Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) of entering the area and followed the reported voyage. Sola TS had been loaded with crude oil at the Sture Terminal, and notified Fedje VTS of departure from the terminal. Sola TS exhibited navigation lights. In addition some of the deck lights were turned on to light up the deck for the crew who were securing equipment etc. for the passage.

In advance of the collision, Fedje VTS had not followed the frigate’s passage south through the Hjeltefjord. The crew and pilot on Sola TS had observed HNoMS Helge Ingstad and tried to warn of the danger and prevent a collision. The crew on HNoMS Helge Ingstad did not realise that they were on collision course until it was too late.

At 04:01:15, HNoMS Helge Ingstad collided with the tanker Sola TS. The first point of impact was Sola TS’ starboard anchor and the area just in front of HNoMS Helge Ingstad’s starboard torpedo magazine.”

The AIBN’s investigation reported that the situation in the Hjeltefjord was made possible by a number of operational, technical, organisational and systemic factors:

- As a consequence of the clearance process, the career ladder for fleet officers in the Navy and the shortage of qualified navigators to man the frigates, officers of the watch had been granted clearance sooner, had a lower level of experience and had less time as officer of the watch than used to be the case. This had also resulted in inexperienced officers of the watch being assigned responsibility for training. Furthermore, several aspects of the bridge service were not adequately described or standardised. The night of the accident, it turned out, among other things, that the bridge team on HNoMS Helge Ingstad did not manage to utilise the team’s human and technical resources to detect, while there was still time, that what they thought was a stationary object giving off the strong lights, in fact was a vessel on collision course. Organisation, leadership and teamwork on the bridge were not expedient during the period leading up to the collision. In combination with the officer of the watch’s limited experience, the training being conducted for two watchstanding functions on the bridge reduced the bridge team’s capacity to address the overall traffic situation. Based on a firmly lodged situational awareness that the ‘object’ was stationary and that the passage was under control, little use was made of the radar and AIS to monitor the fairway.



- When Sola TS set out on its northbound passage with the forward-pointing deck lights turned on, it was difficult for the frigate’s bridge team to see the tanker’s navigation lights and the flashing of the Aldis lamp, and thereby identify the ‘object’ as a vessel. The shipping company Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement SA had not established compensatory safety measures with regards to the reduction of the visibility of the navigation lights due to deck lighting. Furthermore, radar plotting and communication on the bridge did not sufficiently ensure the effect of active teamwork to build a common situational awareness. This could have increased the time window for identification and warning of the frigate.
- The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) had not established human, technical and organisational barriers to ensure adequate traffic monitoring. The functionality of the monitoring system with regards to automatic plotting, warning and alarm functions, was not sufficiently adapted to the execution of the vessel traffic service. Lack of monitoring meant that the VTS operator’s situational awareness and overview of the VTS area were inadequate. Hence, Fedje VTS did not provide the vessels involved with relevant and timely information and did not organise the traffic to ensure the tanker’s safe departure from the Sture Terminal.
- On the southbound voyage, HNoMS Helge Ingstad sailed with AIS in passive mode. This meant that the frigate could not be immediately identified on the screens at Fedje VTS or Sola TS. None of the parties involved made sufficient use of available technical aids. It was a challenge for maritime safety that the Navy could operate without AIS transmission and without compensatory safety measures within a traffic system where the other players largely used AIS as their primary (and to some extent only) source of information.
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[*] posted on 15-11-2019 at 09:10 AM


First Italian PPA starts sea trials

Luca Peruzzi, Genoa - Jane's Navy International

14 November 2019


Under current planning first-of-class Paolo Thaon di Revel (P 430) will be delivered to the Italian Navy in May 2021. (Luca Peruzzi)

The first of the Italian Navy's new multirole offshore patrol ships (Pattugliatore Polivalente d'Altura: PPA), Paolo Thaon di Revel (P 430), started initial sea trials on 12 November.

The trials are being carried out from Fincantieri's Muggiano shipyard, near La Spezia, where the ship was built and launched in June.

Paolo Thaon di Revel is one of seven PPAs being built by Fincantieri shipbuilding group as part of the Italian Navy's fleet renewal plan.

(98 of 170 words)
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[*] posted on 22-11-2019 at 12:07 PM


PPA1 Sails the Waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea

(Source: OCCAR; issued Nov. 12, 2019)


The lead ship of the Italian Navy’s PPA class of ocean-going OPVs has begun her sea trials off Le Spezia. This innovative ship, displacing 4,500 (Light version) to 6,400 tonnes (Heavy) is designed for the full range of naval missions. (Occar photo)

PPA1, named after “Paolo Thaon di Revel”, sailed her first nautical miles in the blue waters of the Gulf of La Spezia on 12th Nov 2019. The First Sea Going (FSG) is a crucial contractual milestone towards the delivery of the ship to the Italian Navy (FOAR), scheduled for May 2021.

“Paolo Thaon di Revel” is the First of Class (FOC) PPA in Light configuration. During the FSG, several platform systems/equipment installed on-board have been set up and successfully tested.

The PPA contract was signed on May 2015; only 4 years and a half have elapsed before the FOC FSG, a worldwide remarkable achievement for OCCAR as contracting authority, given the innovative character of this vessel.

PPA1 is expected to complete the sea trials in March 2021 and to be delivered to the Italian Navy in May 2021.

The first four ships (seven under current contract) are currently in the production stage. The second one, also in Light configuration, will be named after the Venetian Doge “Francesco Morosini”, and will be launched in March 2020.

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[*] posted on 28-11-2019 at 05:42 PM


Poland could buy Swedish submarines to update its Kobben-class fleet

By: Jaroslaw Adamowski   18 hours ago


Submarine ORP "Sep" and Swedish vessel HSWMS Belos take part in the NATO exercises Dynamic Monarch near Gdynia in May 2014. Poland is looking to replace its outdated Kobben-class submarines, possibly with pre-owned Swedish boats. (Janek Skarzynski/AFP via Getty Images)

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s defense ministry is reportedly planning to acquire two second-hand Södermanland-class submarines from Sweden as part of its efforts to replace the Polish navy’s outdated Kobben-class boats.

The planned deal was likely discussed with Stockholm during a recent visit to Sweden by Polish Deputy Defence Minister Pawel Wozny, according to the information obtained by local news site Defence24.pl. The acquisition would be related to plans by the Swedish navy to replace its Södermanland-class subs with new vessels, Blekinge-class subs, developed by Saab Kockums.

Last year, the Polish Defence Ministry received three bids to acquire three new subs under its Orka (Orca) program. France’s Naval Group offered its Scorpene-class subs armed with MBDA’s naval cruise missiles (NCM), Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems bid its 212CD-class vessels, and Saab Kockum’s offered its A26-class subs.

Deliveries of those new subs are scheduled to be completed by 2026. The planned contract is estimated to be worth some 10 billion zloty ($2.6 billion), according to data from the defense ministry.

Meanwhile, to preserve its operational capacities in the Baltic Sea, Warsaw has decided to overhaul its Kobben-class subs.
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[*] posted on 3-12-2019 at 09:53 AM


Agreement with Navantia for the Development of F110 Frigates

(Source: Spanish Government; issued Nov. 29, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

The Council of Ministers has authorized the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism to sign an agreement with the entity Navantia S.A., for the development program of the F110 Frigates. The amount, consisting of zero-interest loans without guarantee requirements, amounts to a maximum of 1,638 million euros over 7 years (from 2019 to 2025).

The F110 frigates project will allow Navantia to be digitized through the Shipyard 4.0 program, and will contribute to place the company as a world leader in the frigate market, giving continuity to Spain's technological and industrial commitment in this segment.

The signature of this agreement guarantees the acquisition of five F110 frigates by the Ministry of Defense from Navantia, a company selected for its capabilities and experience in the construction of high-tech naval ships.

The F110 Frigate program involves a high technological and industrial content from which Navantia benefits as well as its supply chain of Spanish suppliers of materials, telecommunications, defense systems, propulsion, etc.

The program represents a contribution to Spanish GDP of 590 million euros per year and an impact of approximately 7,000 jobs. It will guarantee workload to Navantia for 10 years.

The frigates will incorporate cutting-edge technology in the following areas: hydrodynamic tests of the ship to reduce consumption and reduce detectability, hybrid motorization with electric motor and gas turbine, integrated on-board information system (including ship maintenance), integrated combat system, cybersecurity, integrated mast with VHF systems, radar, electronic warfare, communications, navigation, etc.

The Joint Commission for Monitoring and Control of defense-related industrial technology programs has been designated to monitor the terms of the agreement.

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[*] posted on 7-12-2019 at 02:57 PM


Lockheed Martin continues partnership with Spain for Future Frigates

By George Allison - December 6, 20193



Lockheed Martin recently signed a contract with Navantia to equip five new F-110 multimission frigates and their land-based test site (Centro de Integración de Sistemas en Tierra or CIST) – with Lockheed Martin’s first naval installation of its solid state S-band radar.

The new F-110 frigates will be built by Spain’s national shipbuilder, Navantia.

Recently designated by the U.S. Government as AN/SPY-7(V)1, this technology is derived from current radar programmes and significant Lockheed Martin investment. Variants of the SPY-7 radar will also be utilized on programs with Japan’s Aegis Ashore, the Royal Canadian Navy for the Canadian Surface Combatant Type 26 variant and the U.S. Government.

The F-110 will host the first-ever naval solid state S-band radar for the Spanish Navy. To foster the growth of Spain’s defense and technology industries, Lockheed Martin and Spanish company, Indra, will jointly provide the radar.

It will go to sea as part of the Aegis Weapon System, which will be integrated with the ship’s combat management system SCOMBA, when the first frigate deploys in 2026.

Lockheed say that the Aegis Weapon System is the most deployed combat system in the world, and its flexible system enables it to fulfil a variety of missions.

“Due in part to its unique open architecture design, the Aegis family continues to grow internationally as more nations around the world partner with Lockheed Martin.”
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[*] posted on 7-12-2019 at 09:08 PM


The Navy’s Aircraft Carrier Continues Modernization and Restructuring Work

(Source: Italian Defence Staff; dated Nov. 26, issued Dec. 05, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

The aircraft carrier Cavour has been undergoing modernization and restructuring work since December 2018. She left the Edgardo Ferrati dry dock at the Naval Arsenal in Taranto after completing the careening that began on July 20.

From December 2018 the aircraft carrier of the Italian Navy is continuing the modernization and restructuring works, including the important periodic careening in addition to the metallic reinforcement of the flight deck to withstand the thermodynamic impact of the F-35B aircraft. The work on the hull was carried out by applying a paint coating that is cutting-edge in terms of protecting the marine environment.

The modernization work will end in the spring of 2020 and are carried out by the personnel of the main national industries in the naval field, such as Fincantieri and Leonardo, but also thanks to small-medium enterprises in Taranto, in addition to the arsenal’s own highly competent workforce.

The choice made by the Navy to carry out the transformation works of the Cavour aircraft carrier in the Taranto Arsenal is an expression of the commitment by the Armed Forces to support the city at a time of a relapse of economic difficulties in the region.

Furthermore, thanks to the acquisition of new knowledge, technical, technological and logistic engineering skills, the aim was to enhance the local shipbuilding industry and to prepare for the future needs of the fleet over the coming years, such as the new Frigates and the new Multipurpose Patrol 'Height.

Maneuvering the 27,000-tonne aircraft carrier Cavour in and out of the historical Ferrati drydock is a complex operation, and Cavour is the largest-ever ship to use it.

VIDEO: https://youtu.be/pjbrwj3P594

The Naval Arsenal is thus confirmed as the region’s most important defense production company, strongly integrated into the productive fabric of the ‘city of the two seas’ and a driving force for development and growth prospects for the national and local industry.

At the end of the maintenance activities, the aircraft carrier Cavour will undergo a training period to prepare for her departure for the United States, where she will conduct tests with the F 35B aircraft on board.

The ship and her embarked airborne component are specialized capabilities of the Navy and decisive for the security of the country, such as flexible and remotely projectable tools capable of ensuring the defense of national interests "on the sea and from the sea".

With the entry into service of the new aircraft, the Navy, the US Navy and the British Royal Navy will be the only naval forces in the world with aircraft carriers capable of operating the F 35 aircraft.

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