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[*] posted on 15-5-2020 at 02:37 PM


Turkey’s New Assault Carrier Will Transform Navy (excerpt)

(Source: Forbes; posted May 13, 2020)

By H. I. Sutton


The Turkish Navy's LHD 'Anadolu' is currently being fitted out at the Sedef shipyard in Istanbul. She is expected to be commissioned into the Turkish Navy this year. (Twitter photo)

The Turkish Navy’s first light aircraft carrier, TCG Anadolu, will be the flagship of a more powerful fleet. Her large helicopter and UCAV (uncrewed combat air vehicle) air wing, as well as amphibious capabilities, will provide new capabilities to NATO’s second largest military.

The Turkish Navy will be better equipped to for overseas operations. Turkey is currently involved in the conflict in Libya, as well as Syria. The carrier will join locally built MILGEM frigates, Type-214 AIP (air independent power) submarines and a new class of indigenous attack submarine known as MILDEN. A second assault carrier, TCG Trakya, is also planned.

Anadolu combines the features of an aircraft carrier with those of a landing ship. This is termed an LHD (landing helicopter dock) in defense circles. Beneath her hangar is a 'well deck' which can be flooded so that landing craft can enter. The well deck opens at the stern. This is an increasingly popular combination and is typified by the U.S. Navy’s America Class assault carriers. LHDs can carry short take-off fight jets, and are commonly describes as light aircraft carriers.

She is currently being fitted out at the Sedef Shipyard in Istanbul. New photos show work on her island superstructure, which may have its radars mounted soon. She is expected to be commissioned into the Turkish Navy this year, earlier than originally planned. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Forbes website.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/hisutton/2020/05/13/turkeys-new...

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Rather than a light aircraft carrier, the Anadolu is actually an LHD derived from the Juan Carlos 1 design developed for the Spanish Navy by Navantia, and also acquired by the Royal Australian Navy which acquired two ships, HMAS Adelaide and HMAS Canberra.)

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[*] posted on 19-5-2020 at 10:12 AM


Multi-Purpose Combat Ship 180 Continues to Gain Momentum

(Source: German Ministry of Defence; issued May 15, 2020)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


After German Naval Yards Kiel GmbH withdrew its complaint, the German defense ministry’s decision to award the MKS180 contract to the Dutch Damen Schelde shipyard has been indicated and should lead to contract signature before the end of the year. (GE MoD image)

The award procedure for the multipurpose combat ship 180 is legally effective. The company Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding B.V. company has been officially announced in the bidding competition for the construction of the ship as the winner of the tender.

Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK) expressed her satisfaction at the recent development: “I am very pleased that the award procedure for the Multipurpose Combat Ship 180 (MKS180) can now continue. Before the summer break, I will ask Parliament to approve the budget, and I am very optimistic that we can conclude a contract for the MKS 180 this year.”

German defense minister says MKS180 warship program back on track as public procurement tribunal has completed its review, clearing the way for parliamentary approval in summer and a subsequent contract award later this year.

Procurement Court clears the way

The company German Naval Yards Kiel GmbH (GNYK), a limited liability company, on May 14th, 2020, withdrew the complaint it had filed with the Federal Procurement Court requesting a review of the award decision for the multipurpose combat ship 180. As a result, the tribunal officially ended the review procedure.

The Federal Ministry of Defense very much welcomes the fact that the legal obstacle has been eliminated and that the procurement process can be resumed.

The next step is for the German Bundestag to examine the procurement program and vote to approve the required budget before the summer break. This approval is required in Germany for all defense procurement projects costing over 25 million euros.

Multi-purpose combat ship 180: a wide range of capabilities

The MKS multi-purpose combat ship 180 will in future provide the full range of capabilities required for the entire range of missions and tasks of the German Navy, and also provide additional capabilities.

This new ship will shape the face of the Navy for a long time.

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[*] posted on 5-6-2020 at 04:35 PM


Normandy Admitted to Active Service

(Source: French Navy; issued June 04, 2020)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


The French Navy’s latest frigate, FS Normandie, was admitted to active service on Wednesday. She is seen here (foreground) with a Norwegian frigate during her long-duration cruise, when she took part in Exercise TG20 in Norway. (FR Navy photo)

‘Normandie,’ the sixth European multi-mission frigate (FREMM) of the eight ordered by the French Navy, was admitted to active service by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Christophe Prazuck, on June 3, 2020.

Built in Lorient, the FS Normandie started her sea trials in February 2019. She was handed over to the French Navy on July 16, 2019, a few weeks after sailing to her home port of Brest.

In mid-December, FS Normandie left Brest to begin her long-term deployment (DLD). During this deployment, she participated in numerous exercises with the Allied navies: cross exercises and C2X operational preparation by integrating the Carrier Strike Group 10 (CSG 10) of the US 2nd Fleet and participating in Exercise TG20 in Norway involving the NATO forces of the Standing NATO maritime group one (SNMG1).

She also tested the Link 22, the new secure and ruggedized standard for exchanging tactical information between military units. Concluding her long-term cruise in March 2020, FS Normandie joined the carrier strike group for the “Foch 2020 mission.”

Admitted today to active service, FS Normandie has become part of the naval action force. Her name honors the memory of all those who died in June 1944 on the Normandy beaches, sacrificing their lives for the benefit of freedom. Her pennant brings to life the Viking spirit, that of the people who came by drakkar to conquer the Normandy region, and which encourages sailors to go forward together, as a crew.

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[*] posted on 12-6-2020 at 03:27 PM


The Baden-Württemberg Class: Marathon Runners

(Source: German Navy; issued June 10, 2020)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


While previous German frigates were designed to operate in home waters in a mainly defensive role, the F125 class is larger and has been designed to operate worldwide on long-duration operations, despite having a smaller crew than its predecessors. (GE Navy photo)

With the Baden-Württemberg class frigates, the German Navy will have a total of four of the world's leading technological warships. The first ship in this class, the "Baden-Württemberg", has already entered service.

This frigate class, which has been redesigned from scratch, has emerged from the German operational experience of the past decades, and is designed for the present and future stabilization operations. The range of missions of the F125 class includes, above all, the maritime surveillance in crisis regions worldwide, such as the UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) mission in the Middle East or in the anti-piracy operation Atalanta in the Horn of Africa.

The Baden-Württemberg class meets the requirement of being able to remain in use globally and for long periods of time by means of new technical and organizational concepts: intended for intensive use, it can operate for 5,000 operating hours for up to two years, regardless of its home port.

The interval between inspections for these warships is scheduled to be five years and eight months: this is almost a doubling of the operating time and a quadrupling of the maintenance intervals compared to the Navy’s previous frigates.

The reduced maintenance requirements, combined with automation and digitalization on board the ships, make it possible to reduce the crew size from over 200 on the other frigates to 126 officers and ratings on the Baden-Württemberg class. Several 125 crews then replace each other every four months during a long assignment. In this multi-crew concept, eight crews are planned for the four ships of the "Baden-Württemberg" class.

With the frigates of the "Baden-Württemberg" class (F125), the German Navy can also fly the flag over long periods worldwide.

The ships should remain at sea for two years, with several crew changes during this time. Therefore, eight crews of around 120 sailors each are planned for the four ships. So far, the "Baden-Württemberg", after which the class is named, has been delivered to the Navy.

F125 Class: New technology and new concepts

Here are two examples of the innovations in the F125 class compared to other frigates: The frigates have four large rigid inflatable boats of the Buster model. These boats have a range of around 130 kilometers and can carry a maximum of 15 passengers each at a speed of up to 40 knots. They can transport special forces, improve the protection of a civilian convoy against small, fast attackers or evacuate people in dangerous situations.

The five 12.7-millimeter machine guns for defense in the immediate area around the ship are remotely controlled and have their own optical sensors. Their operator sits in the operations center and is no longer exposed to the risk of enemy fire on the upper deck. There is also video surveillance and anti-diver sonar for a safe radius when a Baden-Württemberg class ship is at anchor or in port.

The ships of the Baden-Württemberg class:
-- F222 "Baden-Württemberg", put into service on June 17, 2019
-- F223 "North Rhine-Westphalia", commissioning on June 10, 2020
-- F224 "Saxony-Anhalt", expected to be commissioned in the 1st quarter of 2021
-- F225 "Rhineland-Palatinate", expected to enter service in the 3rd quarter of 2021

Technical specifications
-- Dimensions:
* 149.5 m in length
* 18.8 m wide
* 5.4 m draft
* 7,200 t displacement

-- Propulsion:
* combined diesel-electric and gas turbine drive (CODLAG))
* 1 x gas turbine
* 4 x diesel engines
* 2 x electric motors
* 1 x bow thruster
* 31,600 kW (43,000 hp) total output
* 2x propellers
* Speed: more than 26 knots

-- Sensors:
* 1 x multifunction radar TRS-4D, range more than 250 km,
* Tracking capacity: more than 1,500
* 1 x EK system KORA 18 (electronic reconnaissance)
* 2 x video and infrared target tracking MSP 600
* 1 x 360-degree infrared monitoring SIMONE
* 1 x diving detection sonar
* 2 x navigation radar

-- Weapons:
* 1 x main gun 127mm Lightweight LCG, range more than 80 km kilometer
* 2 x naval machine cannon 27mm MLG
* 5 x heavy machine gun 12.7mm HITROLE N
* 2 x starter for RGM-84 Harpoon sea missile, range more than 220 km / km
* 2 x RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) short-range anti-aircraft missile
* 4 x MASS decoy throwing system

-- Crew and others:
-- Regular crew: 126 soldiers
-- Additional staff (e.g. for on-board helicopters, boarding teams): max. 70 soldiers
-- 4 x emergency boats model Buster
-- 2 x onboard hubs

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[*] posted on 12-6-2020 at 03:28 PM


Every time I look at new German warships, I think "top heavy".......:no:
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[*] posted on 12-6-2020 at 04:46 PM


The weaponry seems incredibly light given its size and pricetag.



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[*] posted on 14-6-2020 at 06:06 PM


Quote: Originally posted by ARH  
The weaponry seems incredibly light given its size and pricetag.

It seems that the operational doctrine is "sit off the coast of St Elsewheres with a small force of amphibious troops and intimidate the locals into playing nice". Can't help but think a ~16,000ton LPD with a couple of companies of marines and a couple of embarked helicopters would be a far better, more versatile, and cheaper way of achieving that effect.
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[*] posted on 14-6-2020 at 09:09 PM


There have been occasional mentions of the German navy getting an LHD over the years, but it never seems to amount to anything beyond a lone murmor.



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[*] posted on 14-6-2020 at 11:45 PM


Quote: Originally posted by JimWH  
Quote: Originally posted by ARH  
The weaponry seems incredibly light given its size and pricetag.

It seems that the operational doctrine is "sit off the coast of St Elsewheres with a small force of amphibious troops and intimidate the locals into playing nice". Can't help but think a ~16,000ton LPD with a couple of companies of marines and a couple of embarked helicopters would be a far better, more versatile, and cheaper way of achieving that effect.


Yes, but we are talking about the current German defence forces here, who for the obvious historical reasons, cannot bring themselves to maintain, let alone employ such forces...







In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 16-6-2020 at 07:36 PM


Quote: Originally posted by ADMK2  
Quote: Originally posted by JimWH  
Quote: Originally posted by ARH  
The weaponry seems incredibly light given its size and pricetag.

It seems that the operational doctrine is "sit off the coast of St Elsewheres with a small force of amphibious troops and intimidate the locals into playing nice". Can't help but think a ~16,000ton LPD with a couple of companies of marines and a couple of embarked helicopters would be a far better, more versatile, and cheaper way of achieving that effect.


Yes, but we are talking about the current German defence forces here, who for the obvious historical reasons, cannot bring themselves to maintain, let alone employ such forces...


Agreed. It all feels very much like the design is being driven by politics rather than operational requirements
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[*] posted on 16-6-2020 at 09:16 PM


Well, the view is that RAM will take care of CIWS/Short-range SAM requirements, but no ESSM, whether Block 1 or 2, or anything else that is worth a damn, due to no VLS of any kind........and they have problems with stability (still) due to over-kill of all kinds of Detection Gear up top............a 24-32 cell VLS might have helped with stability matters............?
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[*] posted on 17-6-2020 at 03:39 PM


French submarine burns in ‘unbelievably fierce fire’ for 14 hours

By: Christina Mackenzie   9 hours ago


Firefighters spray water on the Perle, right. Some 40 people were evacuated from the vessel with no injuries reported. (Clement Mahoudeau/AFP via Getty Images)

PARIS — One of France’s six Rubis-class nuclear-powered submarines, the Perle, burned for more than 14 hours “in an unbelievably fierce fire” June 12 in dry dock while undergoing major renovations by Naval Group, which were due to end in February 2021.

“There was absolutely no nuclear fuel aboard and not a single weapon. In fact the submarine was stripped bare,” French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly added June 13 during a trip to the French naval base of Toulon on the Mediterranean coast to see the damage.

“This was a fire, it was not a nuclear accident,” she added.

The fire broke out at 10:35 a.m. local time at the front of the sub, which was in basin No. 3 in the Missiessy zone of the port. Workmen first noticed smoke on the lower deck.

Sources quoted by French daily Le Monde say the fire seems to have taken in a similar way to that of the Notre Dame Cathedral, with soldering work undertaken a few days before, which may have set something smoldering. The bits of wood and oil inherent to this type of renovation work could have fed the fire.

“Fighting a fire on a submarine is not at all obvious, particularly in very thick smoke,” Parly said after praising the “remarkable work” of both Navy and civilian firefighters who put the fire out in the early hours of June 13.


Firefighters spray water on the Perle, one of the French Navy's nuclear-powered attack submarines, after a fire broke out during inspections at Toulon naval base on June 12, 2020. (Clement Mahoudeau/AFP via Getty Images)

The French Navy says a fleet of six submarines is necessary so as to have two or three of them permanently at sea to escort the carrier fleet, gather intelligence and deploy personnel. But after this fire, of the six Rubis-class submarines that entered service between 1983 and 1993, only three are available today. The first of class, the Rubis, is also under maintenance, while the Saphir was decommissioned in June 2019. Parts of the Saphir could be made available to repair damage to the Perle.

The Perle has been operational since July 7, 1993, and the ongoing renovations were designed to prolong its life until 2030.

It will take at least a month of investigations to understand whether the steel hull is so damaged as to make the sub unusable, according to Naval Group officials. The steel can withstand the intense heat of a fire for a certain number of hours, but engineers will have to check whether it has maintained the elasticity required to withstand wide variations in pressure when underwater.

The Rubis class will be replaced by six Suffren-class submarines, the first of which was launched July 12, 2019, but is still undergoing tests by the Navy and will not enter service until next year.

The 73.6-meter-long, 2,500-ton Rubis-class subs are the most compact nuclear-powered attack submarines in the world.
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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 09:57 PM


Germany approves the budget to purchase four MKS 180 frigates from Damen

POSTED ON THURSDAY, 18 JUNE 2020 10:27

On June 17, 2020, the German Parliament has approved the budget for the acquisition of four MKS 180 frigates that will be built by the Dutch shipbuilder Damen. This contract will be the largest naval contract for the companies Damen and Thales with an estimated amount of 5.473 billion Euros.


Artist’s Rendering of an MKS 180 frigate being built for the German Navy. (Picture source Damen)

In April 2019, the German’s Ministry of Defense has launched a tender for the acquisition of four MKS 180 frigates. According to Dutch Damen shipbuilder, the ships will be built at Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg and at other shipyard locations of the North German Lürssen Group. Damen intends to build in this way in order to spend around 80% of the total net investment as added value in Germany. The same applies to the electronic application systems that are supplied by Thales Nederland to its own design.

Around 70% of the services will be provided by the German subsidiary of Thales and by other German subcontractors.

According to Naval military experts, the MKS 180 is designed to be used as a multi-purpose combat ship with interchangeable mission-specific modules that can be configured to perform a wide range of naval missions.

The MKS 180 frigate will have a length of 155 meters with a displacement of up to 9,000 tons. With a standard crew of 110 sailors and up to 70 additional crew members, it will be the largest combat ship in service with the Germany Navy.

The MKS 180 frigate will be armed with medium and short air defense missile systems, long-range anti-ship missiles. It will have a 127 mm main gun able to fire extended-range ammunition as well as automatic cannons and machine gun for its self-protection.
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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 09:58 PM


At least this doesn't look top heavy!
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 08:36 PM


With challenges aplenty, Europe’s navies are coming to grips with high-end warfare

By: David B. Larter   1 day ago


Dutch naval shipbuilder Damen has won the selection process for the German Navy's new MKS 180 frigates, shown here in an artist's rendering. (Courtesy of Damen)

WASHINGTON — The former head of the U.S. Navy said in June testimony that as the service grapples with establishing the right type of force, it must account for the degraded capabilities of its allies, hinting at the once substantial Cold War-era European navies.

“In my mind [there’s] been an over-fixation on the total number of ships as opposed to the nuance numbers of specific types of ships that support viable operational plans,” retired Adm. Gary Roughead, former chief of naval operations, said before the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. “There’s also the need to understand just how small our allied navies have become, and in the past we have always looked to our allies to support us, but those navies are extraordinarily small.”

NATO has for years counted on the U.S. Navy as the centerpiece of its maritime forces, with the individual European navies serving as augmenting and supporting forces. And in the post-Cold War era, Europe’s navies have focused on low-end missions like counterterrorism and counter-piracy.

And that has led to a precipitous decline in naval power available to surge in the event of a high-end conflict. In a 2017 study, the Center for a New American Security found that Europe’s combat power at sea was about half of what it was during the height of the Cold War.

“Atlantic-facing members of NATO now possess far fewer frigates — the premier class of surface vessels designated to conduct [anti-submarine warfare] ASW operations — than they did 20 years ago,” the study found.

Where they collectively had about 100 frigates in 1995, that number hovers at 51 today.

“Similarly, these nations had, in 1995, 145 attack submarines — those dedicated to anti-shipping and anti-submarine warfare missions — but that number has plummeted to a present low of 84,” the study found.

But with the U.S. increasingly focused on Asia and amid tension within the alliance, Europe is coming to grips with the need to grow its forces and regain high-end capabilities it once had — a realization that also grew out of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

“Throughout the 1990s, the focus was low-end missions: counter-piracy, counterterrorism, migration, search and rescue,” said Sebastian Bruns, head of the Center for Maritime Strategy and Security in Kiel, Germany. “And they did so with the legacy platforms of the 1980s and 1990s. You know, sending an ASW frigate to fight piracy, well that’s not a lot of bang for your buck.

“But 2014, that’s really the turnaround. I can’t think of any European nation that’s not on board with modernizing and growing their navies. But the long-lead times and having to replace the legacy units, it just takes a damned long time to turn the ship around.”

But an unfortunate side effect of the long-lead times involved in force design — sometimes a decade or more — is that pre-2014 ship designs that are coming into service now are ill-suited for the high-end fight, Bruns said.

The prime example of this mission mismatch is Germany’s 7,200-ton Baden-Württemberg-class frigate. It began entering service in 2019, but is designed for low-end operations.

“They were designed in the 2000s — they even call it a ‘stabilization frigate’ — and they’re coming online at a time where the German Navy needs them for presence, but they don’t have the kind of teeth you’d expect for a 7,000-ton frigate,” Bruns said. “They’re really capable for presence and maritime security operations, but of course that’s not so much the world we live in anymore.”

But new, more advanced frigates are starting to filter into the market. For example, in 2017, France’s Naval Group launched a five-hull intermediate air defense frigate program designed to intercept air threats with the Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles.

And in January, the German Navy announced it had hired Dutch shipbuilder Damen to build at least four new MKS 180 frigates — a 9,000-ton ship designed to operate in waters with ice formations in a nod to the renewed competition in the Arctic.

Payloads over platforms

It’s not just new frigate designs that show Europe gradually upping its game.

Similar to the track the U.S. Navy has taken in fielding the Naval Strike Missile on its littoral combat ships and the Marine Corps’ approach to fielding it as a shore battery, European navies have begun to upgrade their ships’ systems in preparation for a high-end fight, said Jeremy Stöhs, a naval analyst who authored the book “Decline of European Naval Forces.”

“What we see now is since 2014 the focus is much more on sea control, lines of communication, territorial defense,” Stöhs said. “But because of the long-lead times, it is not just the ships they’re building; it’s the sensor suites, midlife upgrades, focusing again on sea-denial capabilities.”

Countries like the Black Sea and Scandinavian states are investing in anti-ship missiles and shore-based missile systems, he added, whereas a lot of those weapons were disbanded in the 1990s.

In 2016, for example, Sweden announced it was fielding coastal batteries with Saab’s RBS-15 anti-ship missile to defend its Baltic coast for the first time since 2000.

The Franco-British Sea Venom anti-ship missile is being designed to launch from a helicopter such as the U.K.’s Wildcat. It recently passed its first firing trial. The missile is currently designed for small, fast-moving vessels up to Corvette-sized warships.

In the Netherlands, the government announced in 2018 that their De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates would be ditching the venerable Harpoon missile for a new, more advanced surface-to-surface missile by 2024.

Evolving threat, evolving politics

Europe’s evolution toward more high-end naval battles in many ways mirrors the United States’ own pivot away from wars in the Middle East and Asia. But it’s also informed by changing politics.

“I’m seeing European navies pivot back to the basics: How do we handle the GIUK [Greenland, Iceland and the United Kingdom] gap? How do we patrol the North Atlantic? Anti-submarine warfare, convoy escort, anti-surface warfare: They are starting to come back to that,” said Jerry Hendrix, an analyst with Telemus Group and a retired Navy captain. “And as you are starting to see the new heavy German designs, they’re coming back to focusing on a maritime challenger.”

But with this evolution has come a realization of Europe’s shortcomings and just how dependent those navies have been on the U.S. for some core capabilities.

“They’re starting to think about a naval force without the US present,” Hendrix said. “[German Chancellor] Angela Merkel has talked about the need for Europe to start thinking about going its own way. And by the way, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I do see the interests on the continent and the U.S. going in different directions.”

But a European naval construct without the U.S. would prove challenging, as many countries based their investments on the idea of a shared responsibility, with the U.S. as the main high-end capability provider, said Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at The Hudson Institute.

“NATO, in theory, still has the NATO strategic concept where different countries were going to specialize in different capabilities, which led to the Finns and Swedes really embracing amphibious capabilities for small-scale, special operations forces insertion. The Brits and Italians focused on ASW. But without the U.S. acting as the strategic centerpiece, the strategic concept starts to fall apart.

“The concept assumes you have someone that has a multimission capability that you can augment, as opposed to: ‘We’re going to pull all this together without the U.S. from a bunch of disparate countries with disparate capabilities.' ”

That situation means any NATO action with just European nations would need a lot of participation, he said.

“Before, if you had just the U.S. and three or four nations participating, you’d have a pretty robust, multimission capability” Clark said. “But without the U.S., you’d need half the alliance to contribute so as to not miss out on key mission areas.”

And without the robust U.S. logistics system, countries would have to replace not just the high-end weapons and sensors, but much of the support infrastructure as well. That could mean even more downward pressure on how much capability Europe can bring to bear.

“If you have to expend weapons or do extensive resupply or refueling, the whole model starts to break down,” Clark added. “The way the European navies are structured, they don’t have this end-to-end capability to deliver on all the support missions as well.

“So if they have to invest in a significant combat logistics force, with budgets for defense being limited, that’s going to mean their navies will potentially become even smaller.”
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[*] posted on 26-6-2020 at 11:15 AM


New Frigate to Scare Off Submarines

(Source: Netherlands Ministry of Defence; issued June 24, 2020)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


Artist’s impression of the future, as yet-unnamed frigate that will replace the M-frigates operated by the Belgian and Dutch navies from 2028, three years later than previously planned. The Dutch are managing the program for both nations. (NL MoD image)

THE HAGUE --- The Dutch Ministry of Defence will replace the current M-frigates. The main task of the yet to be built future frigates is to combat submarines from a distance. This will be done with a new torpedo, launched from the ship or by its NH90 on-board helicopter.

This is the gist of the letter about the future frigate’s investigation phase that the Lower House of Parliament received today from State Secretary of Defence Barbara Visser. The current four M-Frigates of the Belgian and Dutch Navies are at the end of their service life.

In addition to anti-submarine warfare, the new frigate must be able to protect itself and other nearby naval units. It must be deployable worldwide for maritime combat and security operations and assistance. This calls for defenses against threats from the air and from enemy ships.

For that, the frigate will receive ESSM Block 2 anti-aircraft missiles and the successor system to the Goalkeeper rapid-fire gun. These new weapon systems are complemented by remotely-operated heavy and light machine guns to protect against small surface threats. To combat larger surface targets, the Ministry of Defense will purchase the successor to the Harpoon anti-ship missile.

Defense against torpedoes

The main anti-submarine weapon system is the new torpedo purchased with the "Replacement Mk46 Lightweight Torpedo" project. For defense against enemy torpedoes, the frigates will be fitted with a system to deceive enemy torpedoes. Further into the future, a so-called “hard-kill” system, an anti-torpedo torpedo, is yet to be developed.

The frigate will be manned by crew of 110 sailors and ratings. It will be able to accommodate 40 extra people, and various spaces will be available for mission-specific personnel and their equipment.

Investigation phase completed

The investigation phase has now been completed, with a design that meets the requirements of Defense and NATO. The partners Belgium and the Netherlands went through the design process with shipbuilder Damen and Thales, which will supply the ship’s integrated radar and fire control system.

Carefully weighing requirements, budget and planning turned out to be a complex task, and took more time than expected. And that also included the preparation of the Combat Support Ship. The available design capacity had to be divided between both projects, and priority for Defense was the Combat Support Ship.

Smaller and cheaper

Defense also investigated whether an "off-the-shelf" design could provide a suitable and affordable alternative. However, this design did not meet the requirements of Defense and would save little time compared to a new design. Research did help to formulate the requirements critically, for example in terms of mission modularity. The latter means that the frigate must be able to perform various tasks.

However, not all of these tasks will be performed during one and the same mission. By assuming this, the ship turned out to be smaller and cheaper. However, the new frigate is still bigger than the current M-Frigate (5,500 tonnes compared to 3,300 tonnes).

Schedule

It was previously reported that the first new frigate would be operational in about 2025. It is now clear that after the contract is concluded, a detailed design phase of approximately two years will be required before construction can start. This is longer than initially anticipated.

The expectation is therefore that the first ship will now be delivered in 2027. Operational effectiveness and safety will then be tested, so the Dutch Navy is expected to receive the first frigate in 2028 and the second a year later, in 2029. The Belgian frigates will be delivered no later than 2030.

The project is now entering the so-called procurement preparation phase. The result is expected at the end of 2021, when the contract is expected to be signed.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The future Dutch-Belgian frigates will be larger, heavier and more heavily armed than today's M-frigates and will be pre-equipped to fire laser cannons, De Telegraaf reported June 24.
That is the trick with the new design, according to Vice Admiral Arie Jan de Waard, chief of the Dutch Defence Matériel Organisation (DMO): "The ship is scalable for the future and can therefore respond to innovations in the field of weapon systems."
The advantage of laser weapons, which can easily burn a hole in a ship's hull, is that they do not require bullets or missiles. However, sufficient electric energy must be available to provide the powerful pulses required for laser weapons, and that requires the ships to be equipped with diesel generators with high-capacity battery packs.
The ship will be fitted with a hangar for the NH90 Nato Frigate Helicopter, but will also have room to accommodate large, unmanned helicopters and their personnel. These large UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are not yet available, but the navy is getting ahead of them.
The new frigates are prepared for the arrival of laser cannons. "The technology is not yet mature enough, but development is progressing quickly," says De Waard.
De Waard says the two-year delay in the program was caused by insufficient funding. “In the previous cabinet period, there was no money to start this project. With the 1.5 billion that this cabinet added, we were able to get started, and in just years we were able to convert our wish list into a concrete design,” he told De Telegraaf.
The Ministry of Defence has now yet released the program’s cost, which is estimated at between 1 and 2.5 billion euros for two ships.
The House of Representatives will debate defense equipment on Thursday. It also will discuss the replacement of the Dutch Navy’s Walrus-class submarines, a project that is more expensive (about 3.5 billion euros) and more complex than the replacement of the M-frigates, De Telegraaf reported.)


(ends)

Important Next Step for the M-Frigate Project

(Source: Damen; issued June 25, 2020)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

On Wednesday, June 24, the Dutch Ministry of Defence took an important step in replacing the current M-frigates. Damen, Thales and the entire chain of companies involved in their construction are delighted with this step. They are ready to immediately put put their full support behind the follow-up process.

The Director Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, Hein van Ameijden, said “These kinds of launch customer projects are essential for the future of naval construction in the Netherlands. We are pleased that we will also build the successor of the M-frigates. More importantly, the men and women of the Royal Netherlands Navy will again have access to an innovative ship to sail and fight with.”

The main mission of these yet-to-be-built frigates is to combat submarines from a distance. This is done with a new torpedo, deployable from the ship or by the NH90 on-board helicopter. This is stated in the letter that the House of Representatives received from State Secretary for Defense Barbara Visser. The four M-frigates currently in service with the Belgian and Dutch navies are at the end of their service life.

In addition to anti-submarine warfare, the new frigate must be able to protect itself and other units. It must be deployable worldwide for maritime combat and security operations and assistance. This calls for defenses against threats from the air and from enemy ships on and under water.

The frigate has room for a 110-strong crew. 40 extra beds and various rooms are available for mission-specific personnel and their equipment.

The first ship is expected to be completed in 2027. Operational effectiveness and safety are then tested. The Dutch Navy is expected to receive the first frigate in 2028 and the second one a year later. The Belgian frigates will be delivered no later than 2030.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 1-7-2020 at 12:07 PM


German navy warns over continued Sea Tiger helicopter procurement delay

By Dominic Perry

1 July 2020

Delays to the procurement of NH Industries (NHI) NH90 anti-submarine warfare helicopters are threating a “seamless transition” to the type, the head of the German navy has warned.

Berlin in August 2019 signalled its intention to acquire 31 NH90 NFHs under the Sea Tiger programme to replace an aged fleet of 24 Westland Sea Lynx helicopters; deliveries are due to begin 2024 to match the retirement date of the UK-built rotorcraft.


Source: Bundeswehr
Navy has now accepted first Sea Lion helicopters


Naval officials have since last year repeatedly stressed the need for a rapid contract signature to meet the ambitious programme timelines.

But speaking at a 25 June event to mark the Deutsche Marine’s acceptance of its first Sea Lion helicopter – a separate NH90 variant to replace its Sea Kings – Vice Admiral Andreas Krause warned that the Sea Tiger was already lagging.

“Meanwhile, the Sea Tiger casts its shadow as the successor to the Sea Lynx. Unfortunately, we are already behind schedule again here. For the seamless transition we need the Sea Tiger here in 2024.”

The navy says “there is a delay to the procurement process”; negotiations between NHI and NATO helicopter management body NAHEMA are “ongoing”, with the aim of having “a contract ready” at the latest “by the end of the year”; the date of the first delivery “is part of the negotiations”, it adds.

Krause, while welcoming the first of an eventual 18 Sea Lions, notes that a great deal of time has passed since the helicopters were selected in 2013 and there can be no further delays if the Sea Kings are to be retired as planned.


Source: Bundeswehr
NH90 variant will replace aged Sea Kings


Germany’s BAAINBw defence procurement agency received the first Sea Lion last October, but insufficient technical documentation and a lack of ground servicing equipment delayed its transfer to the Deutsche Marine.

Those problems are now resolved, says the navy, with four helicopters in service and another four due by year-end; deliveries will be complete by mid-2022.

Initial operational capability is anticipated in early 2023, with search and rescue activities due to begin by the middle of that year; deployment aboard the navy’s Berlin-class support vessels is due in 2024.

NHI comprises Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo Helicopters and Fokker; the Sea Lions – and later the Sea Tigers – are assembled by Airbus Helicopters Deutschland in Donauworth in southern Germany.
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[*] posted on 8-7-2020 at 11:17 PM


Skeldar V-200 selected for Belgian/Dutch navy programme

By Craig Hoyle

8 July 2020

UMS Skeldar has secured its third deal within two years to equip NATO navies with its Skeldar V-200 unmanned air vehicle (UAV), after being selected for a joint requirement for Belgium and the Netherlands.

From 2023, the company will supply an undisclosed number of UAVs, which will be employed as part of a so-called “toolbox” of unmanned systems performing mine countermeasures duties. Also including surface and underwater vehicles and sensors, the equipment will be used by six vessels operated by each of the nations.


V-200
Source: UMS Skeldar
Unmanned system will support mine countermeasures operations after 2024


The V-200’s selection by unmanned service provider ECA Group was announced on 8 July, and follows earlier deals to supply the type to the Canadian and German navies for maritime applications.

David Willems, UMS Skeldar’s vice-president business development and strategy, attributes the V-200’s selection to factors including its use of “the best heavy-fuel engine in the market today”, which has a time between overhaul of 500h.

With a payload capacity of 45kg (102lb), the V-200 offers a flight endurance of over 5h.

Willems declines to reveal the payload to be carried by the UAV for the Belgian/Dutch requirement, but notes: “the concept of operations and some of the sensor suite are new for Skeldar”.

“We are going to be providing aerial support for surface and underwater drones,” he says. “One of the key missions is to provide situational awareness to the ship, and help with communications.”

Pointing to the company’s previous successes with Canada and Germany, he notes: “We are now in a leading position with the global NATO navies.”

Antony Penn, communication and business development director for ECA Robotics, says the UAV’s “robust and reliable capabilities, and proven track record in the maritime domain” led to its selection.

Penn notes that a range of equipment within the unmanned toolbox framework can be “interchanged, according to the mission and its duration”.

The 12-ship mine countermeasures programme for Belgium and the Netherlands is being delivered by Belgian Naval & Robotics and Naval Group, following a selection in 2019. A preliminary design review is scheduled for December, with vessel deliveries to commence in 2024.
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[*] posted on 21-7-2020 at 09:47 AM


Future Turkish Navy test and training ship TCG Ufuk begins sea trials

20 JULY 2020

The new Test and Training Vessel (TVEG) TCG Ufuk (A-591) of the Turkish Navy recently began sea trials. Ufuk has a similar hull and superstructure design with the Ada-class corvettes however it is equipped with a different type of Main Propulsion System (MPS). The ship features a secondary mast, new electronics but has no hangar and armament.


Future Turkish Navy Test and Training Ship TCG Ufuk begins sea trials. (Picture source: Twitter @thesailor87)

Testing and Training Ship TCG Ufuk's ongoing navigation tests are continuing at the equipment activities for Signal Intelligence (SIGINT & ELINT) capabilities.

A contract was signed with Istanbul Shipyard (Istanbul Shipyard) in 2017 for the production of the ship designed by STM. On May 15, 2017, a contract was signed between STM and İŞBİR for 4 × 750 kVA power generators to be used in the Test and Training Ship (TVEG). The ship's mission systems are supplied by Aselsan.

The assembly of the ship, which was manufactured in 30 blocks by the Istanbul Maritime Shipyard, on the sled, including the upper building and poles, was completed on 24 July 2018. Approximately 920 tons of sheet metal, 12.5 tons of aluminium, 6 thousand 340 meters of pipes were processed and brought together for the ship. The test ship, the first source of which was made on May 2, 2017, officially named A-591 board number and Ufuk, is planned to be delivered on July 31, 2020. A-591 Horizon Corvette will be an important factor in increasing the capacity of the national intelligence system.

The Test and Training Ship will be used as A-591 Horizon Intelligence Ship (SIGINT & ELINT). TCG Ufuk has a length of 99.5 meters, a maximum width of 14.4 meters, 3.6 meters of the draft and 2400 tons of displacement. With a total power of about 8600 kWh, 18+ knots can reach maximum speed. The A-591 Ufuk, which has a 10-ton heliport, has the capacity to travel continuously for 45 days, including international waters, in severe climates and sea conditions.
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[*] posted on 21-7-2020 at 09:48 AM


Calling a ship "UFUK" has to be a come-on, too many Turks speak perfect English!
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[*] posted on 21-7-2020 at 02:59 PM


Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
Calling a ship "UFUK" has to be a come-on, too many Turks speak perfect English!


When I see things like this, I get flashbacks of thinks like:



I suspect everyone involved knew exactly what they were doing...




Repent!

The darkest hour of Humanity is upon us. The world
shall meet it's end and we shall be submerged into a
new dark age. Repent your sins, for the apocalypse,
and the end, is extremely f@#king nigh!
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[*] posted on 23-7-2020 at 11:32 AM


Naviris to Develop Feasibility Study for Mid-Life Upgrade of Horizon Frigates

(Source: Naviris; issued July 22, 2020)


The four Horizon-class anti-air ships jointly developed by France and Italy, each having procured two, steam in formation. Built between 2000 and 2010, they will undergo a mid-life update around the middle of the decade. (French Navy photo)

Today, Naviris, the 50/50 joint venture by Fincantieri and Naval Group, has signed a contract with OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) for a feasibility study on the mid-life upgrade (MLU) of the four Horizon frigates.

Naviris will work in close relationship with its industrial partners Fincantieri, Naval Group, Leonardo, Thales, Eurosam, MBDA and Sigen. Since its launching in January 2020, this contract is the second one Naviris has signed – after a R&T contract signed in June.

Giuseppe Bono and Claude Centofanti, Naviris’ Chairman and CEO respectively, declared: “We are very proud of the contract signature and would like to thank not only Naviris’ client - the OCCAR - but also Segredifesa and the French General Procurement Agency for the close Italo-French collaboration which made it possible to achieve this result in a reasonably short period of time, during an extraordinarily difficult period for organizing exchanges and collective work. The strength of the alliance between Fincantieri and Naval Group was also upholded by the Defense Ministers of the two countries in their recent words of appreciation and we are very satisfied about this”.

The Feasibility Study, to be developed over the next twelve months, will be the first stage of the project and it will be focused mainly on the Anti Air Warfare capability of the four vessels.

The project will be carried out by Naviris with the support of Fincantieri and Naval Group and the major Combat System suppliers (Eurosam, Thales, Leonardo, MBDA and SIGEN). It aims at identifying and analyzing the modifications to be implemented on the French and Italian Horizon-class destroyers to increase their capabilities until the end of their life cycle. The aim of this project is to offer to the Nations configurations able to guarantee an appropriate response to the threat scenarios set out by the clients.

The study will involve high-qualified engineers and technicians from Naviris, Naval Group and Fincantieri, in close collaboration with working teams set up by the Combat System suppliers – all based in Italy and France.

The Horizon frigates were originally built between 2000 and 2010 in a joint program between Fincantieri and Naval Group, providing the Italian and French Navies with two first-class anti-air frigates each. Within this context, the coordinated work, led by Naviris, of the Horizon Frigates seven industrial partners will answer to the need of the rationalization of the frigates’ performance, availability and maintenance. Indeed, the peculiarity of this highly complex study is that it will involve foremost experts from various companies aiming to be completed in one year only.

Naviris, in its role of leader, will be able to guarantee a synergic and focused coordination of the different companies’ skills, with the objective to reach the final result on time and through a very efficient teamwork.

Main characteristics of the four Horizon frigates
-- Length / beam overall: 153 m / 20.3 m
-- Displacement / full load: 6,500 tonnes / 7,300 tonnes
-- Accommodation: 210 (crew of 190 + 20 passengers)
-- Range: 7,000 nm at 18 knots
-- Maximum speed: 29 knots

The vessel is designed for a range of missions, including high-intensity operations, all with reduced crewing. Horizon frigates are front-line fighting ships with one highly specialized mission: anti-air warfare, also known as air defence. The ships’ chief capabilities are thus airspace control over areas of operations, air defence command and control and anti-air cover for carrier groups and convoys.

Horizon frigates provide protection against high-intensity threats and attacks by anti-ship missiles. They also contribute to air/sea control during military operations by providing air defence command and control of allied forces. They can also participate in public service missions.

Naviris is a 50/50 joint venture by Fincantieri and Naval Group, officially launched in January 2020. The two European leaders with complementary offers, supported by a large ecosystem, came together to better serve the world’s navies and mutually increase their competitive edge. Naviris is dedicated to opening the doors to the international markets of tomorrow.

-ends-
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