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    Turkey launches its first Istanbul-class F 515 frigate built for Turkish Navy


    According to a Tweet published on January 23, 2021, Turkey has officially launched the first Istanbul-class F 515 frigate on January 23, 2021. The launching ceremony was attended by the President of Turkey Tayyip Erdoğan and the president of SSB (The Turkish Defense Association) Ismail Demir.

    The official ceremony for the launching of the first Istanbul-class frigate for the Turkish Navy. (Picture source SSB)

    The Istanbul-class also called I-class frigate is a series of four frigates built for the Turkish Navy that were developed under the MILGEM Turkish national warship program. The official cutting steel ceremony first of the first Istanbul-class frigate was held January 19, 2017, at Istanbul Shipyard which is the main contractor for the construction of the ship. It is planned to deliver the first Istanbul-class ship to the Turkish navy in 2023.

    The MILGEM is the most important projects of Turkish armed forces for the development and the construction of a new generation of multipurpose corvettes and frigates that can be deployed to conduct a wide range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, early warning, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare, and amphibious operations.

    The MILGEM project includes the construction of four Ada class anti-submarine warfare corvettes, one ELINT corvette, four Istanbul class multipurpose frigates, TF2000 class anti-air warfare destroyers for the Turkish Navy as well as four Jinnah-class frigates for the Pakistan Navy.

    The Istanbul- class frigate is an enlarged variant of the Ada-class anti-submarine corvettes also developed under the MILGEM project. The ship features a slightly larger hull for improved endurance.

    Citing the Daily Sabah website, the Istanbul-class frigate will be equipped with indigenous infrared search and tracking systems developed by the Turkish defense corporation ASELSAN. It will also be integrated with a Turkish-made electronic assault system, according to officials. The ship will also feature locally made guided missiles and anti-torpedo shields.

    According to the Turkish naval industry, the Istanbul-class frigate has a length of 113.2 m, a beam of 14.40 m, a draft of 4.05m, and a displacement of 3,000 tones. The ship is powered by a combined diesel and gas (CODAG) propulsion system including two MTU 20V 4000 M93L diesel engines, one LM2500 gas turbine, and two shafts. She can reach a top speed of 29 knots (54 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 6,570 nmi (12,170 km) at 14 kn (26 km/h). The ship has a crew of 125 people.

    The Istanbul-class frigate will be armed with one 76 mm (3 inches) Oto Melara Super Rapid naval gun, two 25 mm automatic cannon (0.98 in) Aselsan STOP, one GOKDENIZ close-in weapon system CIWS), 16 Harpoon anti-ship missile or Atmaca anti-ship cruise missiles, 16 HISAR surface-to-air missiles and two 324 mm (13 inches) Double Torpedo launchers. The ship has a flight deck and one hangar able to accommodate one S-70B Seahawk ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) helicopter and one unmanned aerial vehicle.

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Here’s what we know about Turkey’s newly launched homemade frigate

    By: Burak Ege Bekdil   6 hours ago

    A Turkish serviceman stands on the deck of the Turkish Navy vessel TCG Turgutreis in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, on March 15, 2015. (Vadim Ghirda/AP)

    ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey on Jan. 23 launched its first locally built frigate, the I-class TCG Istanbul, advancing a program that involves the production of four corvettes and four frigates.

    Under the MILGEM program, Turkey manufactured and delivered four Ada-class corvettes to the Navy. The Istanbul is the first of the four I-class frigates.

    The Istanbul was built under a 2019 contract awarded by the government procurement agency SSB to STM, a government-controlled defense company. The warship will be used in advanced air defense, naval warfare and patrolling missions, and it will support underwater warfare missions.It will be delivered to the Navy in 2023.

    “The MILGEM program dates back to early 2000s. But it is delivering critical platforms just when needed, i.e., when Turkey needs hard power to support its assertive foreign policy in the eastern Mediterranean,” defense analyst Ozgur Eksi said.

    Turkey and its traditional Aegean rival Greece came close to military conflict several times during 2020 due to their disputes over continental shelf, airspace, territorial waters, demilitarization of Greek islands and islets, air traffic centers, and exclusive economic zones in addition to the broader territorial disputes around Cyprus.

    The I-class frigates will feature weapons systems including a locally made 16-cell MDAS vertical launching system (a total of 64 surface-to-air missiles yet to be specified); four-by-four SSM launch canisters for the Atmaca weapon; an Aselsan-made 76mm Gokdeniz close-in weapon system; two Aselsan-made 25mm machine guns; and a HIZIR torpedo countermeasures system.

    The ship class’ specifications are:
    • Dimensions: Length: 113.2 meters; Beam: 14.4 meters; Draught: 4.05 meters
    • Displacement: 3,000 tons
    • Speed: Max: 29-plus knots; Economic: 14 knots
    • Range with economic speed: About 5,700 nautical miles
    • Main Propulsion: CODAG, two MTU 20V 4000 M93L diesel engines (driving two shafts) and a LM2500 gas turbine (in CODAG configuration)
    • Power generation: Four diesel generators
    • Platforms: Capacity to carry two S70 Seahawk helicopters (one in the hangar and one on the platform); Two rigid hull inflatable boats
    • Endurance: Minimum 15 days of operational capability without replenishments


    • #3
      France and Italy Agree to End Proposed Fincantieri-Chantiers Merger

      Construction of a new cruise ship at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique yard in France

      BY THE MARITIME EXECUTIVE 01-27-2021 08:23:36

      Citing the impact of COVID-19 and the current economic situation, France and Italy announced jointly that they have agreed not to proceed with the merger of two of Europe’s largest shipbuilders, Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Fincantieri. First proposed in February 2018, the completion of the merger of the two state-owned shipbuilding companies had been delayed pending an anti-trust review and approval from the European Commission.

      A joint statement issued by France’s Minister of the Economy and Finances and Italy’s Minister of Economic Development said that following a telephone conversation with Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, France, and Italy had determined “that the current economic context does not allow the continuation of the planned merger.” They announced that the agreement for the transfer of Chantiers de l'Atlantique, signed by the French State, and Fincantieri on February 2, 2018, will end on January 31, 2021, after being extended five times.

      “In order to allow the two companies to focus on their exit strategy from the crisis and on new projects, France and Italy have drawn conclusions from the lack of decision of the European Commission and the economic and health context,” according to the written statement issued by both governments.

      The agreement to merge the operation of the two shipyards had come about after France took control of the then STX France operation after the collapse of the South Korean company. A shipyard with a long history building both passenger ships as well as naval vessels, France considered the yard, which reverted to its original name, as a strategic asset for the country and a major employer. The French yard had in recent years expanded its business as a builder of the world’s largest cruise ships competing with Fincantieri in Italy and Meyer Werft with its operations in Germany and Finland.

      France and Italy had also built cooperation on several naval projects being carried out jointly by the two companies. Speaking about the merits of the cooperation in 2018, Fincantieri CEO Guiseppe Bono described the agreements as the creation of what he has dubbed an "Airbus of the Seas." The two state-owned companies Bono said were top vendors in the defense sector, and by combining their capabilities would be better able to counter competition from China and other competitors on the international market.

      The merger of Chantiers and Fincantieri had, however, faced an uphill battle after the European Commission expressed doubts about the impact of the transaction in terms of competition. At the end of October 2019, the European Commission announced it had decided to open an in-depth investigation into the proposed merger citing specific concerns about competition for the construction of cruise ships.

      Due to expire at the end of 2020 after the previous extensions, the French government had agreed to a one month extension until January 31, 2021. At the time, the Italian and French governments said they planned to write to the EU Competition and Industry Commission urging them to finalize the inquiry into the deal.

      In announcing the decision not to extend the agreement past the end of this week, both countries reaffirm the strength of their ties in terms of economic cooperation, particularly in the industrial sector. French also said that it would continue to support Chantiers de l'Atlantique as its main shareholder for as long as the current crisis will last.


      • #4
        After all of the Hoorahh that was made of this merger in 2019 in particular, how the Naval market was going to be dominated by them, and it's all come to naught..........


        • unicorn11
          unicorn11 commented
          Editing a comment
          I think Italy worked out that under the French plan, all shipbuilding would end up being run, staffed and undertaken by the French.

      • #5
        US and Italian F-35B pilots conduct training for future flight test on Cavour aircraft carrier

        POSTED ON TUESDAY, 09 FEBRUARY 2021 17:11

        According to information published by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service on February 9, 2021, a Test Pilot of the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) and vertical landing (STOVL) training in an F-35B aircraft 23 Salty Dogs, conducts day-into-night training in an F-35B variant aircraft from the F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

        F-35B at Naval Air Station Patuxent River (Picture source: Defense Visual Information Distribution Service)

        These workup testing and training flights are integral to preparing F-35B pilots for the ITF (River Integrated Test) test team’s detachment to the Italian Navy aircraft carrier Cavour scheduled between February and March 2021.

        During carrier-based flight test, also known as sea trials, ITF members with the engineering and test pilot expertise and experience will gather data that will verify compatibility between the 5th generation fighter aircraft and the Italian naval fleet's flagship. This information will contribute to certifying the ship for the Italian Navy’s operation of its own F-35Bs, adding a key weapon system to the carrier and increasing its expeditionary capability.

        The F-35B Short take-off and landing for US Marine Corps is the first aircraft in history to combine stealth with short takeoff/vertical landing capability and supersonic speed. This distinction gives the F-35B the unique ability to operate from small ships, roads and austere bases.

        The Cavour is an aircraft carrier in service with the Italian Navy launched in 2004. The ship was laid down by the Italian company Fincantieri in June 2001 and launched on July 2004. The ship was designed to combine fixed wing V/STOL (Vertical and/or Short Take-Off and Landing) and helicopter air operations, command and control operations and the transport of military or civil personnel and heavy vehicles. In December 2018, the Italian aircraft carrier undergoes a modernization plan including a metallic reinforcement of the flight deck to withstand the thermodynamic impact of the F-35B aircraft.


        • #6
          U.S., U.K. Navies Establish London Tech Bridge


          By Mandy Mayfield

          The United Kingdom’s Royal Navy is teaming with the U.S. Navy in a new international Tech Bridge partnership in London in hopes of accelerating the adoption of innovative ideas and technologies.

          The newly established London Tech Bridge will serve as a command post for innovation for the two navies as they work toward interchangeability in everything from technology development to deployment and operations.

          Military, industry and academia can meet, share ideas and collaborate to produce capabilities that will be beneficial to both the military and civilian sectors.

          “The Tech Bridge facilitates navigation of the innovation pipeline for stakeholders,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Albert Arnold IV, director of the London Tech Bridge. “The offices aim to accelerate delivery of capability to the sailor and Marine by developing strategic partnerships that allow rapid flow through the pipeline.”

          The official partership was announced in December.

          The U.S. Naval Agility Office, or NavalX, has successfully leveraged a number of Tech Bridges across the United States over the past year. The London office is its first overseas location among its 13 outposts.

          The Tech Bridge expansion is the next logical step for NavalX, Arnold said in an email.

          “The U.S. Navy and Royal Navy have long recognized the very special and critical relationship that we have, and its importance to global security,” he said. “As threat vectors continue to evolve, our two navies have realized that just being interoperable isn’t enough to effectively and efficiently stay ahead of those threats.”

          In October, the two navies also signed the Statement of Intent for Future Integrated Warfighting, which outlines a shift in the way the two forces work together, going from interoperable, to interchangeable, Arnold said.

          “To achieve the interchangeability, we need to work at it from all angles, including development of capabilities and technology,” he said. “The Tech Bridge is one tool and one of the first tangible actions following the [statement of intent] that solidifies both countries’ commitment to this new idea.”

          Initial focus areas for the effort include unmanned systems, autonomy, AI, biotechnology, directed energy, lasers and space capabilities, Arnold said.

          The London Tech Bridge will be facilitating a joint U.K.-U.S. test and evaluation symposium in late 2021 to assess new capabilities.


          • #7
            Italian Navy aircraft carrier ITS Cavour arrives at US Naval Station Norfolk to conduct F-35B qualification training

            POSTED ON SUNDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2021 11:01

            According to information published by the U.S. Navy on February 13, 2021, the Italian Navy flagship, the aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550), arrived at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. on February 13, 2021, for a series of operations alongside U.S. military assets to attain the Italian Navy’s “Ready for Operations” certification to safely land and launch F-35B aircraft.

            U.S. Sailors, assigned to the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), greet the Italian Navy flagship, aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550), as it arrives at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, February 13, 2021. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

            While in the Western Atlantic, Cavour will be embarked by an F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) test team to conduct sea trials, a series of tests and functional activities to create a safe flight operating envelope for the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the 5th generation aircraft aboard the recently upgraded ship.

            This carrier-based flight test and other actions with U.S. 2nd Fleet ships and aircraft improve interoperability and strengthen the relationship between the two NATO Allies.

            While crossing the Atlantic from Italy, ITS Cavour was met by the Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) and conducted a three-day interoperability exercise with support from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 and Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 11. Specific events included integrated ship maneuvering, low-slow-flyer detect-to-engage, anti-surface warfare serials with P-8 participation, air defense/air intercept control event with F/A-18 participation, and C5I interoperability events in the Western Atlantic 10-12 February 2021.

            In January 2021, U.S. pilots with the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO THREE (VX-23), have conducted day-into-night training in an F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant aircraft from the F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., Wednesday. These workup testing and training flights were integral to preparing pilots for the ITF test team’s detachment to the Italian Navy aircraft carrier Cavour scheduled between February and March 2021.

            The F-35 Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) team from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. (NAS PAX River) comprises almost 200 people with the engineering and test pilot expertise and experience to conduct F-35B envelope expansion flight test, two specially instrumented developmental flight test aircraft, and support equipment.

            The Cavour is an aircraft carrier in service with the Italian Navy launched in 2004. The ship was laid down by the Italian company Fincantieri in June 2001 and launched on July 2004. The ship was designed to combine fixed wing V/STOL (Vertical and/or Short Take-Off and Landing) and helicopter air operations, command and control operations, and the transport of military or civil personnel and heavy vehicles. In December 2018, the Italian aircraft carrier undergoes a modernization plan including a metallic reinforcement of the flight deck to withstand the thermodynamic impact of the F-35B aircraft. The ship is able to carry ten F-35Bs in the hangar, and six more parked on deck.

            Italy plans to buy a total of 90 f-35 fighter jets. Since June 2020, Italy has currently taken delivery of 15 F-35 aircraft including 12 F-35A’s and three F-35B’s. The F-35B Lightning II is the Take-off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter F-35 and features a vertical lift fan and pivoting engine nozzle to deliver vertical landing and short takeoff capability to expeditionary airfields. The fighter can be used on an aircraft carrier as well as landing helicopter assault (LHA) type amphibious assault ships.


            • #8
              Hensoldt modernises naval radars

              POSTED ON MONDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2021 13:11

              According to a press release published on February 15, 2021, Sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT is modernising the TRS-3D radars of two K130-class corvettes of the German Navy, as well as an associated shore facility. An order for corresponding electronic components was placed by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw). The replacement deliveries will take place in the course of this year.

              Braunschweig (F260) is the lead ship of the Braunschweig-class corvette of the German Navy (Picture source: Hensoldt)

              The TRS-3D is a three-dimensional multimode ship radar for air and sea surveillance, which can correlate the position and movement data of targets with the HENSOLDT identification system MSSR 2000 I and thus improve the automatic identification of ships and aircraft.

              The TRS-3D is the global market leader in its class with more than 60 radars in service with navies and coastguards worldwide. In addition to K130 corvettes, vessels equipped with it include the US Coast Guard's National Security Cutters, a number of US Navy Littoral Combat Ships, as well as ships of the Finnish Navy and the Norwegian Coast Guard.

              The K130 Braunschweig class (sometimes Korvette 130) is Germany's newest class of ocean-going corvettes.

              Originally, the K130 class was supposed to be armed with the naval version of the Polyphem missile, an optical fiber-guided missile with a range of 60 km (37 mi), which at the time was under development. The Polyphem program was cancelled in 2003 and instead the designers chose to equip the class with the RBS-15. While the RBS-15 has a much greater range of 250 km (160 mi), the current version mounted on the ships, Mk3, lacks the ECM-resistant video feedback of the Polyphem. The German Navy has ordered the RBS-15 Mk4 in advance, which will be a future development of the Mk3 with increased range —400 km (250 mi)— and a dual seeker for increased resistance to electronic countermeasures. The RBS-15 Mk3 has the capability to engage land targets.


              • #9

                Turkish Navy picture

                Analysis: The Future Of The Turkish Navy

                The presence and visibility of the Turkish Naval Forces (Türk Deniz Kuvvetleri) have increased considerably within the Blue Homeland doctrine framework for several years. Regional disputes require Turkish naval forces to deploy more at sea. Thus, the Turkish defense industry's national policy has supported the continuously active Turkish Navy (TN), and a force composition is formed with indigenous weapons and systems.

                Tayfun Ozberk 15 Feb 2021

                The Turkish government is aware that an expanded, modernized fleet would add further muscle to the armed forces to protect its regional interests. Although there are so many parameters required to measure a navy’s strength, having substantial and technological assets is the first condition for building a navy’s future. Therefore, Turkey’s “indigenous move” aims to transform TN into one of the most remarkable naval powers worldwide. After the commissioning of Landing Helicopter Dock “Anadolu” TN is likely to form task groups and show presence at the open seas more than before. In addition, the Turkish President’s statement about the aircraft carrier project at the launching ceremony of the first domestic frigate “Istanbul” was a sign that the Turkish navy will be in the oceans in the future.

                Currently, the backbone of the TN is the upgraded Gabya-class (Oliver Hazard Perry) frigates. In addition, the Barbaros-class frigates, which are newer and more technologically advanced, are also considered as critical assets. The TN operates in the surrounding seas with the largest submarine fleet of the Mediterranean, newly built Ada-class corvettes, and FACs.

                As the Navy ages, Turkey plans to renew its fleet with indigenous efforts. After the CAATSA sanctions imposed by the U.S. because of Turkey’s S-400 air defense system purchase from Russia, indigenous solutions have become the most important of the few options. For this reason, the President of the Turkish Defence Industry promulgated last month that almost all of the main systems and weapons (including CIWS and VLS) of the I-class frigates will be developed by local companies. LHD Anadolu, Turkey’s largest warship ever, is scheduled to enter service for the TN this year. Although she will not carry F35B STOVL aircraft due to the sanctions imposed, she will significantly increase TN’s power projection capacity. The Anadolu will be able to transport a force the size of a minimum battalion without needing home base support. LHD Anadolu will meet the TN’s various needs — such as sustaining long-endurance, long-distance military combat, or humanitarian relief operations — while also acting as a command center and flagship for the Turkish Navy.
                Ongoing projects that shape the future of the Turkish Navy

                The Turkish Navy fleet by year-end. Image provided by @miguyan2000

                MILGEM project

                The MILGEM (an abbreviation of “national ship”) project forms the basis for the renewal and strengthening of the Turkish Navy. Within the MILGEM project’s scope, 4 ADA-class corvettes were commissioned so far, and from the 5th ship, I-class frigates have started to be built. The Istanbul frigate is expected to be commissioned in 2023, and the three sister ships will enter service for the TN by 2027. While I-class frigates will replace the Yavuz classes, Barbaros-class frigates will undergo mid-life modernization and will be equipped with indigenous and modern sensors.

                TF-2000 Air Defense Destroyer


                The air defense needs of the TN’s task groups are met by Gabya-class frigates currently. As the replacement of Gabya-class frigates, four anti-air-warfare destroyers are planned to be commissioned within the scope of the TF-2000 project in the next decade. TF-2000 destroyers will be fitted with indigenous multifunctional CAFRAD AESA radar. The TF-2000 destroyers are expected to launch SIPER long-range air defense missiles which are still under-development.

                Other surface combatants

                Future Turkish Navy OPV
                In addition to the frigates and destroyer projects, UFUK, a modern intelligence ship, will enter service this year. The Turkish Navy plans to commission two additional Bayraktar-class LST, and two offshore patrol vessels to protect its interests around EEZ. FAC-55 project will replace aged FACs within the next decade.

                Support vessels


                Along with the combatants, TN plans to renew its logistics assets. Two medium-sized fuel tankers, whose construction has been completed, are expected to enter the fleet this year. Turkey intends to expand its logistics fleet with the large combat support ship DIMDEG by 2023. 16 Tuzla-class patrol boats, two large tugboats, and a submarine rescue ship called MOSHIP, which were completed and put into service, will serve for many years and contribute to the modern face of the TN.


                Reis-class submarine

                The Turkish Navy will meet AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) technology with Type 214TN Reis-class submarines. The class’s lead submarine was launched last year, and six submarines are planned to be commissioned until 2027. It is expected that the Turkish Defense Industry, which cooperates with TKMS (Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems) for this project, will reflect the know-how experience gained from here to the indigenous submarine project called MILDEN. Locally developed torpedo “AKYA” and anti-ship missile “ATMACA” are expected to be launched from these submarines. According to many Turkey experts, MILDENs will be capable of launching indigenous “GEZGIN” cruise missiles, but there is no satisfactory explanation made by the officials yet.

                Maritime Patrol Aircraft

                MELTEM III MPA

                Modernization of the Naval Aviation, a critical unit of the naval forces, continues with the Meltem project. Thales completed the command control systems and sensors modernization of the CN-235 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), and the first ATR-72 (renamed as P-72) MPA was commissioned last year. A total of eight ATR-72 MPAs will enter service for the Turkish Naval Aviation as the last phase of the project.


                In addition to the Meltem project, the Turkish Naval Air Force will be equipped with unmanned systems. The breakthrough made by the Turkish defense industry in unmanned aerial vehicles provides more cost-effective reconnaissance and surveillance activities at sea. In addition to reconnaissance missions, Anka and TB-2 Bayraktar UCAVs can launch locally developed MAM-L laser-guided ammunition, UMTAS, and CİRİT missiles. These weapons can have devastating effects on the surface assets, which have weak air defense capabilities. TN plans to commission more than 20 UCAVs in the coming years.

                MALE UAV

                Aksungur, a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) class UAV System, is considered one of the most critical projects in strengthening the naval aviation force. It can perform day and night Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), and strike missions with EO/IR, SAR, SIGINT payloads, and various air to ground weapons. Aksungur is expected to be used in anti-submarine warfare missions due to its high payload and sonobuoy carrying capacity, it is expected to launch lightweight torpedo in the following years. Turkish Aerospace Industries will start mass production of Aksungur this year.


                Turkey’s first UCSV ULAQ was launched last week. The sea trials and missile test-fires are expected to be completed by half of the year. Later versions of ULAQ will be built according to the task it will perform. The version built for surface warfare will be capable to launch ATMACA anti-ship missiles, while ULAQ for ASW purposes can launch torpedoes.
                Future policy

                The current efforts to renew the fleet indicates that Turkey wants to be stronger in the sea. While establishing an effective A2/AD in the surrounding seas with its development trend in unmanned technology, it wants to be effective in areas far from the mainland with the LHD and aircraft carrier projects. Supporting the counter-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden since 2008 and touring the African continent with a task group formed in 2014 was the first sign that the Turkish Navy wanted to be in the oceans, which was the primary motivation for the ship and missile projects to build future naval forces. Thus, while the TN assets contribute multinational efforts such as CTF-151 in Africa, SNMG2, and UNIFIL in the Mediterranean, they participate in exercises carried out overseas as well.

                In addition to its support for the activities carried out by NATO for decades, the TN wants to take more responsibilities and assume critical roles in NATO. Thus, Turkey initiated efforts to form the Turkish High Readiness Maritime Task Force (TURMARFOR) in July 2018 with the Turkish General Staff’s approval and tested this force’s operational capability in a “Dogu Akdeniz-2019”. TURMARFOR was established in the Aksaz Naval Base; after LHD Anadolu is commissioned, which is declared to NATO for this purpose, she will be the main asset of TURMARFOR. Turkey is the fifth country of NATO assumes a high-readiness task group role.

                With the Turkish Defense Industry’s GENESIS ADVENT combat management system, the network-centric warfare applications at sea have begun. After coupling with other assets of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) via the “Kement” project, TN assets will be capable of conducting operations under the network of TAF. To sum up, the Turkish Naval Forces are taking steps accordingly to have an operational fleet that is effective in the open seas in the future, undertakes important roles in NATO, and fulfills the requirements of modern naval warfare. With the contemporary force composition, TN aims to be among the most effective navies globally and take part in all kinds of projects that will help keep the peace all over the world.


                • #10
                  And Erdogan is going to pay for all this foreign tech with what money?
                  It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
                  It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
                  It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.


                  • #11

                    On 18 February 2021, the LHD Tonnerre and frigate Surcouf set sail from Toulon for the JEANNE D'ARC mission. ©Benoit Emile/Marine Nationale/Défense

                    French Amphibious Ready Group Set Sails For The Indo-Pacific

                    French Navy (Marine Nationale) Mistral-class LHD "Tonnerre" and La Fayette-class frigate "Surcouf" set sails from Toulon naval base this morning to start "MISSION JEANNE D'ARC 2021".

                    Xavier Vavasseur 18 Feb 2021

                    The "MISSION JEANNE D'ARC 2021" will take the LHD and Frigate all the way to Japan. The ARG will transit the South China Sea twice.

                    JEANNE D’ARC is an annual long duration and joint deployment which aim is to provide officer cadets with “at sea” operational training before joining their units as officers. The mission has three main ojectives:
                    • Train the future generations of French Navy officers
                    • Deploying operational capabilities in areas of strategic interest
                    • Interoperability and regional cooperation

                    This year, the Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) will deploy to the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Indian ocean and Pacific ocean. Note that it will transit twice in the South China Sea. It will call in Egypt, Djibouti, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan (twice), Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Egypt again. Both vessels we be back in their home port of Toulon on 14 July 2021 (Bastille Day).

                    Not just a training mission, an operational deployment

                    On 18 February 2021, the LHD Tonnerre and frigate Surcouf set sail from Toulon for the JEANNE D’ARC mission. ©Gwladys David/Marine Nationale/Défense.

                    According to the French Navy, JEANNE D’ARC is not just a training mission but a true operational deployment that is part of France’s defense strategy in the Indo-Pacific. This strategy intends to reaffirm France’s interest in this zone through a strengthened presence and intensified bilateral and regional cooperation activities. The ARG will join the Combine Task Force 150 (CTF150) in the Indian Ocean and will participate in various large-scale exercises with the navies of partner countries present in the Indo-Pacific zone (India, Australia, Japan and the United States). As Naval News reported previously, the group will participate in a combined amphibious exercise with the JMSDF and US Navy in May in on of Japan’ Southern islands.

                    French Army units aboard Tonnerre

                    Several French Army units participate in mission JEANNE D’ARC 2021: 155 soliders from 6e Brigade légère blindée, a command company from 2e Régiment étranger d’infantrie, a section from 13e demi-brigade de Légion étrangère, an armored platoon from 1er Régiment de Saphis, two combat sections from 31e Régiment du Génie, an AAW artillery section from 54e Régiment d’artillerie, a JTAC team from 3e Régiment d’artilllerie de marine. There are also two French Army Gazelle helicopters from 4e brigade d’aérocombat.

                    Other units
                    • 1 Panther helicopter from French Navy 36F airwing
                    • One EDA-R and two CTM (LCM) and 20 sailors from the French amphibious flottila
                    • Loire-Class BSAM Support & Assistance Vessel Loire until Suez canal (another similar vessel from Djibouti to Toulon on the way back)
                    • Floréal-class Frigate Nivôse in the Indian ocean
                    • Other French Navy vessels could provide escort throughout the deployment
                    • A unit from 1er Régiment étranger du Génie
                    • A UAV detachment (with S-100 Camcopter VTOL UAV) may join the Tonnerre later on
                    “This deployment of the Jeanne D’Arc Group, this willingness to deploy in this zone reinforces the partnerships we have with our key partners in the zone, which are Japan, Australia, India and the United States. During our presence in the zone for 3 months, we will work to strengthen these partnerships.
                    Capt Arnaud Tranchant, Commanding Officer, LHD Tonnerre

                    During a phone interview yesterday, Naval News asked Captain Tranchant, the commanding officer of LHD Tonnerre whether he was planning to transit via the Taiwan strait. “We will take the most direct maritime routes […] while obviously respecting international law and the sovereignty of the territories near which we will navigate. But I must admit that we have not yet traced our roads in this area” Captain Tranchant replied.

                    Asked to share some details on the upcoming combined French, Japanese, US exercise, such as its location and participating units on the Americain and Japanese side, Tonnerre‘s commanding officer said the details are still being worked on “at this stage there are still a lot of things to be defined for this exercise”.

                    When asked if this deployment to the Indo-Pacific was a strong message sent by France, the Commander of Tonnerre explained:
                    “I’m going to stay at my tactical level: This deployment of the Jeanne D’Arc Group, this willingness to deploy in this zone reinforces the partnerships we have with our key partners in the zone, which are Japan, Australia, India and the United States. During our presence in the zone for 3 months, we will work to strengthen these partnerships. Of course we will do so while respecting our own line of conduct, which has been defined from the beginning as being present but avoiding tactical escalation or misunderstanding. It will be my “swimming lane” during this mission.”

                    Talking about the Varuna 21 exercise in India, Captain Tranchant said it will mark the first amphibious exercise between the French Navy and the Indian Navy.

                    He also confirmed that the ARG will participate to the implementation of UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea (monitoring of the attempts to evade UNSC sanctions against North Korea). He confirmed that both the Tonnerre and Surcouf will fulfil this role and explained that the LHD is a suited vessel for this mission thanks to the Panther helicopter. He recalled that French Navy units previously deployed for this role alongside the United States and Japan. For example, a Falcon 200 operated from Japan in March 2019 to monitor North Korean illegal maritime activities. In April 2019, the Vendémiaire was deployed to detect and record ship-to-ship transfers carried out off the coast by or for North Korea. In addition, Naval News learned today from the French MoD that theFloréal-class surveillance frigate Prairial is deployed to the area since 9 February for the same role.
                    The Indo-Pacific region: a priority for France

                    France is present in the region via its overseas territories (Mayotte and La Réunion islands, Scattered Islands and French Southern and Antarctic Territories, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, French Polynesia and Clipperton) and 93% of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The region is home to 1.5 million French people, as well as 8,000 armed forces personnel stationed in the region. In addition to the French Navy has vessels based in the region and assets from mainland France do deploy to the region. For example the Rubis-class SSN Emeraude recently patrolled the South China Sea.


                    • #12
                      During a phone interview yesterday, Naval News asked Captain Tranchant, the commanding officer of LHD Tonnerre whether he was planning to transit via the Taiwan strait. “We will take the most direct maritime routes […] while obviously respecting international law and the sovereignty of the territories near which we will navigate. But I must admit that we have not yet traced our roads in this area” Captain Tranchant replied.
                      Interesting, two port calls to former colonial Vietnam. Graphic doesn't show it going through the Taiwan Strait, but would be a nice message if it does, especially for Taiwan itself. Seems the Euros have finally begun to gear-up for Allied global naval deployment. Good to see, for all of Asia's security.


                      • #13
                        French Charles de Gaulle carrier back on mission

                        POSTED ON SATURDAY, 20 FEBRUARY 2021 19:41
                        According to information published by French Ministry for Armed Forces on February 18, 2021, French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle which is based on Toulon is about to set sail on a news mission. The mission will mark the start of the “Clemenceau 21” mission which is involved in the fight against terrorism for several months, in the Mediterranean, in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf. The carrier is part of a group of ships which will be deployed for several months.

                        French Carrier Strike Group (Picture source: French Ministry for Armed Forces)

                        The carrier strike group (CSG) is composed of French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle, Horizon-class frigate "Chevalier Paul", FREMM Class "Provence" frigate and the Fleet Support Ship "Var."

                        Carrier Vessel Nuclear Charles de Gaulle has a displacement of 42,500 tons, a 75-meter deck for catapult launching and landing aircraft weighing 15 to 25 tons and an acceleration from 0 to 260 km/h.

                        Chevalier Paul is a Horizon-class frigate of the French Marine Nationale commissioned in June 2009, the third vessel of the French Navy named after the 17th century admiral Chevalier Paul. The main mission of this type of ship is the escort and protection of a carrier strike group formed around an aircraft carrier, usually the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle or an amphibious operation carried out by amphibious helicopter carriers. The ships specialty is air traffic control in a war zone, but it can be employed in a wide variety of missions, such as intelligence-gathering, special forces operations, or in protecting less well-armed vessels.

                        Auvergne (D654) and Provence (D652) are Aquitaine-class frigate of the French Navy. The Aquitaine class were developed from the FREMM multipurpose frigate program.

                        Var is a Durance-class command and replenishment tanker (BCR) of the French Navy. In addition to its primary duty as a fleet tanker, Var is configured as a flagship and has served as such in the Indian Ocean.

                        One nuclear submarine (SNA) which is playing the role of a scout and provides early warning for the force.

                        The Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aicraft, based on land and integrated into the carrier strike group, perform intelligence missions on the high seas, as well as anti-submarine warfare.

                        The F3-R standard is an evolution of the Rafale F3 standard, with the exceptional versatility being further reinforced. It is part of the ongoing process to continuously improve the aircraft in line with the operational requirements and the feedback from experience of the pilotes.

                        The E-2C is a twin engine, five crewmember, high-wing turboprop aircraft with a 24-foot diameter radar rotodome attached to the upper fuselage. The Hawkeye provides all-weather airborne early warning, airborne battle management and command and control functions for the Carrier Strike Group and Joint Force Commander. Additional missions include surface surveillance coordination, air interdiction, offensive and defensive counter air control, close-air support coordination, time critical strike coordination, search and rescue airborne coordination and communications relay.

                        The Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) AS365 Dauphin (Dolphin), also formerly known as the Aérospatiale SA 365 Dauphin 2, is a medium-weight multipurpose twin-engine helicopter produced by Airbus Helicopters.

                        The NHIndustries NH90 is a medium-sized, twin-engine, multi-role military helicopter. It was developed in response to NATO requirements for a battlefield helicopter which would also be capable of being operated in naval environments. The NH90 was developed and is manufactured by NHIndustries, a collaborative company owned by Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) and Fokker Aerostructures. The first prototype conducted its maiden flight in December 1995; the type first entered operational service in 2007.


                        • #14
                          JUST IN: Austin Calls for More NATO Help in Countering China


                          By Jon Harper

                          Royal Danish navy frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes, right, the underway replenishment oiler USNS Patuxent, center, and the Royal Netherlands navy frigate HNLMS Van Speijk, left, transit the Atlantic Ocean during NATO exercise Cutlass Fury 2019.

                          U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cameron Stoner

                          The United States needs its NATO allies to invest more in their military capabilities and help the Pentagon address the growing threat posed by China, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III said Feb. 19.

                          Austin attended a virtual NATO ministerial meeting with his alliance counterparts earlier this week. Discussion topics included a resurgent Russia, disruptive technologies, climate change, the war in Afghanistan, terrorism and “an increasingly aggressive China,” he told reporters during his first Pentagon press briefing since taking office.

                          “I made it clear that the United States is committed to defending the international rules-based order, which China has consistently undermined for its own interests,” he said, describing the rival nation as the Defense Department’s “primary pacing challenge.”

                          “We believe NATO can help us better think through our operating concepts and investment strategies when it comes to meeting that challenge,” he added.

                          NATO was formed in the early years of the Cold War to help defend Western Europe and North America against the Soviet Union. However, since the end of the Cold War, the alliance has pivoted to combating other threats such as international terrorism. NATO is expected to produce a new “Strategic Concept” as part of a series of reform efforts, which may include a greater focus on addressing China’s growing military capabilities.

                          Austin noted that more and more NATO allies are now meeting their commitments to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense, including 20 percent of that amount on modernization. But, like many previous U.S. defense leaders, he pressed for other NATO countries to do more burden sharing.

                          “We must each of us do our part to procure, prepare and provide ready forces and capabilities,” he said. “Now we're into our seventh year of steady defense spending increases, and naturally we want this trend to continue and we want to see every member of the alliance contribute their fair share.”

                          The Biden administration has identified strengthening alliances and partnerships as a key pillar of its foreign policy.

                          Non-NATO partners including Finland, Sweden and the European Union also participated in the ministerial, and offered their perspectives about China, Austin noted.

                          The Biden administration recently began its own deep dive on these issues. On Feb. 10, just three weeks after President Joe Biden was sworn in, it set up a new China Task Force led by Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner. It includes representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the military services, combatant commands and the intelligence community.

                          “This initiative will provide a baseline assessment of DoD policies, programs and processes on China-related matters and provide the Secretary of Defense recommendations on key priorities and decision points to meet the China challenge,” according to a Pentagon fact sheet.

                          The task force is expected to address: strategy; operational concepts; technology and force structure; force posture and force management; intelligence; U.S. alliances and partnerships; and defense relations with China.

                          Its findings and recommendations are due by mid-June.

                          During the press briefing, Austin was asked if he sees any areas where the United States and China could potentially cooperate or collaborate on international security issues.

                          “There no doubt are some areas where we will see common interests and there may be an opportunity to engage,” Austin said.

                          “Now having said that, from a Department of Defense standpoint … my No. 1 concern and my No. 1 job is to defend this country and protect our interests,” he added. “And so we in this department are going to do everything possible to ensure that we have the right operational concepts, the right plans in place, and that we have resourced those plans with the right capabilities to present a credible deterrent, not only to China [but] any other adversary who would want to take us on.”


                          • #15

                            Belharra frigate in AAW configuration (with 32x VLS) seen here launching two ASTER surface to air missiles. Screen capture from Naval Group video.

                            French Team Submits New Strategic Package Offer For The Hellenic Navy

                            A "French Team" consisting of three major defense companies (Naval Group, Thales, MBDA) recently submitted a new offer to Greece for the Hellenic Navy surface combatants requirement: It consists in FDI Frigates as part of a global strategic package.

                            Xavier Vavasseur 02 Mar 2021

                            Talking to Naval News, an industry source with direct knowledge of the negotiations said that the “Team France” offer is a comprehensive and robust strategic package designed to ensure Greece has the best capabilities in the shortest timeframe with optimized costs. Our source added:
                            This offers addresses all the needs of the Hellenic Navy and enables a fast track acquisition.

                            With this package, France will ensure that the Hellenic Navy capabilities are enhanced to meet immediate needs including:
                            • MEKO modernization program
                            • A stop-gap solution
                            • 4 FDI next generation frigates
                            • For the record, France and Greece were involved in exclusive negotiations for a while, for two FDI type frigates. However, despite the signing of an LOI in October 2019, Greece decided to keep its options open and is now considering several designs. The designs being considered, in addition to the FDI, are:
                            • Lockheed Martin with the MMSC
                            • TKMS with the MEKO A200NG (or MEKO A300)
                            • Damen with an unspecified design
                            • Babcock with the Type 31
                            • The procurement process doesn’t seem to be a “classic open tender” but rather government to government (G to G) discussions with each party.

                            MEKO modernization program

                            Hydra frigate sailing from the Salamis naval base. Hellenic Navy picture.

                            To meet Greece’s requirements, Naval Group have joined forces with Thales (the OEM of the Hydra-class combat management system) to offer “a risk-free solution for the upgrade of the MEKO”.

                            By combining their specific knowledge and expertise, Thales and Naval Group are ideally placed to offer an optimal cost-performance compromise, both for the mid-life upgrade program itself and to guarantee the operational availability of the ships.

                            The “Team France” proposal calls for the MEKO MLU to be carried out in a Greek shipyard, with the participation of Greek industry. In this respect, Thales can count on the presence of Thales Hellas S.A. and on the relations already established between Thales and Naval Group with existing industrial partners.

                            Regarding the level of commonality between the equipment of the FDI in “Hellenic Navy” configuration and the equipment aboard the upgraded MEKO, our source said work on the planned final configuration is still ongoing.

                            Stop-gap solution

                            French Navy frigates Jean Bart (left) and La Fayette (right). French Navy picture.

                            Because of the urgent requirement of the Hellenic Navy, the French offer includes a “stop-gap solution” consisting in second hand frigates to be transferred as soon as possible to Greece, likely after an upgrade and modernization. Details on this stop-gap solution are scarce, if not non-existent: Our industry sources declined to comment. Contacted by Naval News, spokespersons at the DGA and French Navy declined to comment while the spokesman of the French Ministry of Armed Forces did not return calls requesting comment.

                            The number of vessels being offered as stop-gap is not known, nor is their type. However the only available units would be the two non-modernized La Fayette-class frigates and one (soon two) Cassard-class frigates. Because of the age of the Cassard-class, we believe the most viable option would be the transfer of La Fayette-class frigates Surcouf and Guépratte to Greece. In 2017, the DGA awarded the FLF renovation program contract calling for the upgrade of three of the five La Fayette-class stealth frigates (FLF) operated by the French Navy: Naval Group will renovate the Courbet, the Aconit and the Lafayette in Toulon.

                            FDI Hellenic Navy

                            Artist impression of a generic FDI. frigate Naval Group image.

                            “Team France” offers to Greece the FDI “Hellenic Navy”. It is a next generation surface combatant featuring the latest technologies from the European defense industries Thales, MBDA and Naval Group. She has been designed to deal with the latest threats, and her physical and digital infrastructures guarantee an evolutionary potential that will ensure that the Hellenic Navy will be able to deal with emerging and future threats over the life of the ship (UAVs, Cyber, anti-ship ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles, stealth threats underwater or above water, etc.).
                            The FDI Hellenic Navy will be a power and sovereignty asset for Greece. She offers unrivalled capabilities for the permanent control of air and sea space and autonomy of action, in support of the political and military objectives set. As a result, the Hellenic Navy will necessarily be integrated into any planning of inter- allied naval air operations and will have a very high military resilience in combat.

                            According to our information, the “Team France” offers consist in four FDI “Hellenic Navy”. Construction of the first one would take place in France to ensure operation by Greece in the shortest timeframe, and to secure the transfer of technology to allow construction of three frigates in Greece.
                            The proposed industrial cooperation plan will make it possible to build a real Defense Industrial Base for the naval domain in Greece, capable of producing several frigates in the country, and above all to provide business for several dozen Greek companies and several hundred Greek citizens.
                            A defensive asset for air-sea control

                            The key strengths for the FDI for air-sea control are:
                            • Thales Sea Fire radar, the first fully digital radar with four flat antennas based on AESA technology, provides access to a surveillance volume of several hundred kilometers and is capable of detecting stealth threats, from unmanned vehicles to hypersonic missiles. Its extended anti- aircraft capability enables it to provide protection, defense and intervention against the most effective airborne threats.
                            • Integrated missile launch sequence with high reactivity and extreme precision. The FDI missiles, associated with the Sea Fire radar, are specifically designed to respond to all types of missile threats, in particular supersonic. They guarantee exceptional performance in the field of anti-missile defense, in particular thanks to its unique force piloting system. These performances have been confirmed by several firings by the French Navy against supersonic missiles, the only ones carried out by a European navy. The automatic processing provided by TEWA (Threat Evaluation and Weapon Assignment) enhance the performance of this launch sequence.
                            • A multi-source and fully interoperable information system is essential in today’s complex environments. The FDI Hellenic Navy systems are integrated by the SETIS Combat Management System, providing the ship with a real multi-threat processing capacity thanks to the quality and precision of the tactical situation, made possible by the fusion of data from all the sensors on board.
                            • FDI Hellenic Navy’s resilience is highly performant thanks to Naval Group’s know-how and great care in design. Ease of use thanks to ergonomic interfaces allows for reliable and efficient weapon deployment. This reliability benefits from the Navy’s operational feedback from the Horizon frigates for anti-air warfare capabilities and from the FREMM frigates for anti-submarine warfare capabilities. Self- protection is reinforced by the latest-generation electronic warfare system. The cyber threat is considered right from the ship’s design stage by a system that makes the ship highly resilient in this area, covering all the ship’s equipment and functional chains. Finally, the architectural choices make the frigate highly resistant to combat damage. The propulsion system, all the critical services on board, the data centers and the damage control system are totally redundant and the ship is divided into two zones separated by a double watertight bulkhead resistant to missile effects. The two onboard data centers are designed around a cloud-type distributed digital architecture and enable the ship’s systems to be immediately reconfigured in the event of damage in combat.
                            • The Hellenic Navy will also benefit from the highest level of availability of its fleet for a reduced cost of ownership thanks to :
                              1. Innovative technical solutions proposed in terms of maintainability
                              2. The ability of manufacturers to provide proven and high-performance support solutions,
                              3. Basing all Through-Life Support operations in Greece.
                            FDI is not only an excellent naval power asset, it is also a valuable anti-missile system capable of fighting both cruise missile and ballistic missile attacks. The joint use of the Sea Fire radar and her missiles already offers an excellent platform to protect a sensitive site with very little notice and without constraint, for example during an international summit or in the face of a specific threat, such as the Athens conurbation, from saturation attacks using cruise missiles, as well as ballistic missiles with a range of less than 600 km.
                            A defensive asset for air-sea control

                            Cyberattacks armed UAVs, swarms of UAVs, hypersonic missiles, ballistic anti-ship missiles are all new threats with constantly increasing performances that the FDI Hellenic Navy will be able to handle thanks to its outstanding upgradability, both in the physical and digital domain:
                            • Numerous predispositions have been implemented: weigh volume, electrical & refrigeration reservations, hangar door dedicated to UAVs, etc. to allow the subsequent integration of new capabilities.
                            • The frigate’s digital architecture offers a high level of adaptability to extremely rapid developments in ever-changing information technology. The digital infrastructure is derived from technology in the financial sector (banks, insurance, etc.) and enables large quantities of data to be processed, with reliability and security being critical.
                            • The frigate’s distributed architecture is designed to allow rapid, simple and low-cost operational evolution of new systems or software, without profoundly impacting the ship’s availability.
                            • Naval News understand the final configuration of the FDI “Hellenic Navy” variant will depend on the customer’s final choices.
                            Strategic industrial partnership with the Greek Industry

                            The French team is committed to implementing a very ambitious industrial cooperation plan that will benefit Greece, both in the context of the acquisition of FDI Hellenic Navy and, more broadly, in the long-term development of the Greek naval industry.

                            The proposed industrial cooperation plan will contribute to the revival of a profitable naval industry while significantly increasing Greece’s autonomy and sovereignty and will allow international recognition of the excellence of its naval industry.

                            Naval Group has a long history and successful track record of transfer of technology and production for both surface ships and submarines. Looking forward to working with the Greek industry to build and sustain the FDI Hellenic Navy in the country, Naval Group has already started conducting extensive industrial surveys to include Greek companies in its worldwide supply chain.

                            Nine companies are already registered as Naval Group suppliers, and about twenty more candidates have already been identified. In addition, partnerships with three Hellenic universities are established
                            Beyond the FDI program, the know-how that the French team will share with the Greek industry within the framework of a Technology Transfer will enable it to take part in increasingly complex projects with very high added value in order to create and then sustain hundreds of qualified jobs and generate long- term economic spin-offs in Greece.

                            The industrial cooperation plan includes the following components:
                            • Participation in the production of the FDI Hellenic Navy frigates through the training of Greek personnel and the transfer of activities locally,
                            • Technology transfer for the production of additional frigates in Greece
                            • Transfer of technology enabling the localisation in Greece of FDI Hellenic Navy’s operational maintenance activities, activities that can be extended to other programmes.
                            • Participation in the development of training simulators using the most modern technologies, and location of associated capabilities bringing competitiveness, reactivity and flexibility in the development and maintenance of the Greek Navy’s operational capabilities.
                            • Integration of qualified Greek companies into our global supplier panel in order to integrate their supply chain and benefit from direct access to all their markets.
                            • Participation in joint R&D projects
                            • Participation in the development of future naval systems


                            • #16
                              Originally posted by Bug2 View Post

                              MEKO modernization program

                              Hydra frigate sailing from the Salamis naval base. Hellenic Navy picture.
                              No apparent top weight issues there. Presumably the extra LM2500 down low keeps everything shipshape.


                              • #17
                                Originally posted by DEW View Post
                                No apparent top weight issues there. Presumably the extra LM2500 down low keeps everything shipshape.
                                We opted for a full Mk 41 VLS installation and carry twice as many ESSM missiles, plus Nulka decoy launchers, a full AESA radar and AESA fire control radar / illuminator system, plus double the number of Harpoon missiles and the Block II variant compared to the Greek Block IC’s, EO/IR controlled 12.7mm Mini-Typhoon gun systems and full integration of MH-60R Romeo including air weapons magazine for Hellfire missiles and the Mk54 air-launched torpedo...

                                Greece, would be green with envy if the two were ever directly compared...
                                Last edited by ADMk2; 04-03-21, 01:08 PM.


                                • unicorn11
                                  unicorn11 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Exactly, all Meko 200s are not created equal. Just look at the RNZNs farcical Anzac 'upgrade'.

                                • ADMk2
                                  ADMk2 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Yep, and isn’t that turning into a shit show? I see their CDF is openly debating whether the delays in the frigate upgrade and the subsequent unavailability of BOTH frigates, until 2022, might persuade Treasury and Government that NZ doesn’t really require anything grey and pointy looking with an old gun on the front and a handful of short range air defence missiles on the back and virtually nothing else...

                                  It could do it’s missions with a handful of grey painted civilian ferries, a couple of patrol boats (each with their own pop-gun too, IF you don’t mind...) and very little else...

                                  If that day comes, it’s time to take defence out of their name and change it to Peace...

                                  They have already ceded control of their airspace to anyone else who feels like it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do the same with their maritime responsibilities too...

                                • unicorn11
                                  unicorn11 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  I fully expect that the RNZN will look at the RN's 'low end capability' Type 31 frigate, eventually decide it's too 'combat-oriented' for them and end up buying something like the Lurssen 90 meter OPV.

                              • #18

                                An F-35B land aboard Italian aircraft carrier Cavour with another one already on the flightdeck. Italian Navy picture.

                                F-35B Landed Aboard Italian Navy Aircraft Carrier ITS Cavour For The First Time

                                Two F-35B Lighting II jets landed aboard Italian aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550) on March 1st, marking a first for the Italian Navy...

                                Xavier Vavasseur 03 Mar 2021

                                Italian Navy press release

                                Departed on February 28 from the base of the US Navy’s Second Fleet in Norfolk, the Cavour ship has started the “hot” phase of the “Ready for Operations” campaign. The first landing of a US Marine Corps F-35B aircraft on the deck of the Navy aircraft carrier represents a fundamental step in the long and complex certification process for the use of the new aircraft.

                                The completion of the “Sea Trials” phase of sea trials, which will last in the Atlantic Ocean for about four weeks, will allow the flagship of the Naval Team to test the flight deck and verify the impacts with the fifth-generation aircraft in key take-off and landing moments in different trim conditions and in relation to various factors such as winds and the state of the sea, to arrive at the final certification of “Ready for Operations”.

                                Two F-35B aboard Cavour. Italian Navy picture.
                                “It is a remarkable achievement for all of us today to see the US Marine’s fifth generation fighter on our flight deck. This represents, in fact, an exceptional success but, at the same time, a new challenge for the future of the Italian Naval Aviation and the Navy. The whole crew is very proud to work closely with the ITF, the team of testing the F-35 Joint Program Office during these sea trials, and we are very well prepared to do the hard work to equip the Cavour aircraft carrier and the Navy with the fifth generation Joint Strike Fighter weapon system”.
                                Cavour Aircraft Carrier Commander, Captain Giancarlo Ciappina

                                During the stop in Norfolk before the sea trials, the 580 crew members of the aircraft carrier were joined by the Italian personnel trained in the Marine base in Beaufort to operate on the aircraft, as well as the US personnel of the Integrated Test Force (ITF) team, essential in the integration phase.
                                “Our team trained extensively to prepare for this day, and I was honored to land the first jet aboard ship Cavour. The ITF plays a key role in achieving certification. All of our hard planning and training work will ensure the success of the sea trials,” said Leeman. After verifying the compatibility between the F-35B and the Cavour aircraft carrier, it will be declared “Ready for Operations”, to start the activities that will lead to the achievement, by 2024, of the “Initial Operational Capability” (IOC). The process will be complete with the acquisition of the “Final Operational Capability” after the delivery of the last aircraft provided for in the programme.
                                US Marine Corps’ F-35B test pilot. Major Brad Leeman, of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Three (VX-23) at Naval Air Station in Patuxent River and officer in charge of the ITF test team


                                Naval News comments:

                                F-35B aboard Italian aircraft carrier Cavour. Italian Navy picture.
                                Additional reporting by Luca Peruzzi

                                For the record, the aircraft carrier Cavour left the Arsenale Militare Marittimo (Maritime Military Arsenal) of Taranto in May 2020 after completing a 16 months refit and upgrade period to operate F-35B Joint Strike Fighters.

                                Technical interventions carried out on board the aircraft carrier included the overhaul of the flight deck with a new deck coating. This was necessary to limit the thermodynamic impacts when the F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant will take off and land. In addition to the structures, equipment and flight systems of the deck, the ship’s island compartments, hangar, equipment store, aviation fuel storage, data distribution network, sensors and electronics were also modified and upgraded. This was required for the integration and flight operation of the F-35B from ITS Cavour.

                                The Cavour upgrade phase started a month after the second Italian Navy’s F35B – individual registration code 4-02 – took off from the Cameri (Novara) Final Assembly and Check Out plant FACO to make its flight to the United States. The aircraft final destination was MCAS Beaufort, in South Carolina, where the aircraft joined the first F-35B (4-01) in supporting the training of the F-35B Italian pilots and technicians.

                                The Italian Navy ordered a total of 15 F-35B fighter jets. The Italian Air Force has the same amount on order (in addition to about 60 F-35A models).


                                • unicorn11
                                  unicorn11 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  That's if the Italian Air Force actually allows their B models to operate from the carrier, I understand there is some 'resistance' to the idea.

                                • ADMk2
                                  ADMk2 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Damn I love the Italian desire to put as many 76mm guns as will fit on every single platform they have... 😂

                                • JKM Mk2
                                  JKM Mk2 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Yeh plus they mount 32 VLS mounts on the Cavour also -we need a similar fit-out on the Canberras!

                              • #19
                                Greece deploys assault boat to Kastellorizo

                                POSTED ON TUESDAY, 09 MARCH 2021 09:55

                                According to information published by Daily Sabah on March 8, 2021, Greece has deployed an assault boat to the Greek island of Kastellorizo (Megisti-Meis) in addition to continuing to maintaining military vessels on Eastern Aegean islands under a demilitarized status, the Turkish Defense Ministry stated.

                                Turkish research vessel RV MTA Oruç Reis (Picture source: Daily Sabah)

                                Kastellorizo was invaded by Italians in 1912 and formally ceded to Greece in the 1947 Paris Peace treaties following World War II. It lies only 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) from the Turkish mainland yet 600 kilometers from Greece. The island recently made headlines in Turkey when Greek troops were deployed there, which violated its demilitarized status.

                                The Eastern Mediterranean issues and problems in the Aegean had been on top of Ankara and Athens' agendas in 2020. The two countries have been at odds due to several issues. Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims made by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration. It has stressed that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

                                In January, Turkey and Greece launched the first direct exploratory talks in nearly five years to address their disputes related to sovereignty rights in the Eastern Mediterranean. That meeting in Istanbul, the 61st round, lasted only a few hours, but both sides said that they had agreed to meet again in Athens.


                                • #20
                                  23 MARCH 2021

                                  German frigate returns to sea

                                  by Michael Nitz

                                  The German Navy’s Sachsen-class (Type 124) anti-air warfare frigate FGS Sachsen commenced post-refit sea trials in early 2021.

                                  The German Navy’s Sachsen-class (Type 124) anti-air warfare frigate FGS Sachsen (F 219) is pictured during post refit trials in March. (Michael Nitz)

                                  However, while the ship is now back at sea, photos taken in March show that the ship’s Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS), which was irreparably damaged in 2018, has not yet been replaced and the opening is plated over.

                                  The frigate, part of the German Navy Navy’s 2nd frigate squadron, suffered a missile misfire during a live-firing exercise at a range in Norway in June 2018 that saw a Standard Missile 2 (SM-2) surface-to-air missile burn out inside the ship’s Mk 41 VLS. The ship subsequently entered the Naval Arsenal in Wilhelmshaven for repairs.

                                  Responding to questions regarding the absence of a new Mk 41 VLS, Katharina Theobald, spokesperson at the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), said the VLS was severely damaged during the 21 June 2018 misfire and declared a total loss. With a planned maintenance period scheduled from late 2018 already, Sachsen proceeded directly to the arsenal for repairs.

                                  A new 32-cell Mk 41 VLS in its latest version was ordered from Lockheed Martin after the damage assessment was completed, however it was not available in time for the overhaul period.

                                  According to BAAINBw spokesperson Soeren Schmelz, “A Mk 41 VLS is not a commercial off-the-shelf spare part which is stockpiled by the German Navy or the US Navy.”


                                  • magnify
                                    magnify commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    wow ... sooooooo ... how does that happen exactly?

                                    Thank crap the insensitive part worked.

                                  • Bug2
                                    Bug2 commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    Have a look here at this article.............

                                    It appears that the main motor failed to fire and failed to launch properly as a result, and crashed to the deck and blew!

                                • #21
                                  German sub navigation system Russian controlled

                                  By George Allison

                                  March 29, 2021

                                  German media has reported that the Russian controlled ‘Navi-Sailor 4100’ has been installed on at least 100 vessels operated by Germany’s military, including the submarine fleet

                                  Bild reports here that in 2005, under Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, around one hundred vehicles, including aval platforms, were equipped with new navigation systems from Russian company Transas.

                                  “Even later, the government decided in favor of Transas and, according to BILD am SONNTAG information, installed the ‘Navi Sailor 4100’ (navigation device for position, speed, route) in modern German submarines”, said the report.

                                  The report adds that in the summer of 2020, the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution warned that maritime navigation systems would open up “attack vectors for espionage and sabotage by foreign states”.

                                  “Transas was founded in St. Petersburg in 1990 and is active in both the civil and military sectors: Transas equipped the Russian fleet with combat simulators and received an award from the Chief of the Russian General Staff, General Nikolai Makarov.In 2018 the company was bought by the Finnish company Wartsila, but the armaments division remained in Russian hands.

                                  Former Transas engineers are now developing combat drones for the Russian military. Because of its close ties to the Russian security apparatus, this part of Transas is in the focus of Western intelligence services, according to security experts.”

                                  In the event of a cyber attack, navigation data could be tapped and manipulated, “in the worst case up to the complete loss of functionality” of the ship.

                                  You can read more here.


                                  • Bug2
                                    Bug2 commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    Is there anything else they can ferk up??? One really has to wonder............

                                  • magnify
                                    magnify commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    Why not, Angie is an East German.

                                  • Bug2
                                    Bug2 commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    When she became Leader, one of my distant rellies said "verfluchte schwein"............and that was the polite curse he gave her! Not a popular person in my family...........

                                • #22

                                  Here Is Babcock’s Frigate Proposal For The Hellenic Navy

                                  British shipbuilder Babcock is proposing its Arrowhead 140 design for the Hellenic Navy frigate requirement. The vessels, based on the future Type 31 frigate of the Royal Navy, are part of a wider package offer by the shipbuilder which partnered with Thales UK, and is supported by the British government.

                                  Xavier Vavasseur 29 Mar 2021

                                  It recently surfaced that the Hellenic Navy need was not limited to new-built frigates. Their need is so urgent that they require a “stop-gap” solution (consisting in the procurement of second-hand vessels or a lease of existing vessels) as well as an upgrade to the in-service Hydra-class frigates.

                                  Naval News previously reported on the proposals from Lockheed Martin, Naval Group and Damen. This time around, we contacted Babcock to learn more about the British proposal to Greece. Here is what we learned from Jonathan Walton, Vice President of Business Development, Marine, at Babcock.

                                  Naval News – Can you please tell us about the new frigates you are proposing ? how many, built where and how fast ?

                                  Jonathan Walton – Arrowhead 140 is a proven, intelligent and adaptable frigate primed for Greece.

                                  Its design benefits from its proven ‘wet’ hull-form that has been tried and tested in real-world operational environments from NATO and coalition task forces to national regional and deployed operations. Babcock’s offering provides an efficient and highly effective optimal design with the scope to adapt to specific operational and lay-out requirements.

                                  It’s a low cost, high – value platform perfect for in – country build and future ready for modern, global navies.

                                  Our proposal is for the ships to be built in Greece, however we will ensure the build strategy is sufficiently flexible to protect the schedule and to deliver the Hellenic Navy’s requirement. Our goal is to work with Greek industry to support the reinvigoration of a domestic supply chain, investment in infrastructure to modernise and equip domestic facilities, upskill and grow local workforces and to transfer knowledge and technology.

                                  The platform’s heritage and clever design enhancements enable improved warship capability whilst retaining it proven strengths. International customers also benefit from the design being chosen for the next generation of UK Royal Navy Type 31 frigates through non-recurring expenditure and accurate known costs for design and build delivery.

                                  Functional engineering risks are also reduced, informed by integration challenges that have already been experienced and resolved. The frigate’s smart build credentials mean that it is primed for pre-outfitting with open compartments allowing for rapid assembly, supporting time and cost reduction efficiencies for entry into service.

                                  This is a modular build, an approach which Babcock has proved effective through the construction of the UK Royal Navy’s Aircraft Carriers. This approach optimises the buildability of the ships from design, assuring the effective transfer of a UK design to global shipyards for efficient manufacture and assembly and de-risking the build programme while delivering wider national and regional prosperity.

                                  Our experience in platform refit and maintenance means that we have extensive knowledge of the supportability and usability of platforms and understand fully the effects of design in action.

                                  The Arrowhead 140 design, based on the hull form of the Iver-Huitfeldt class currently in service with the Danish Navy, was selected for the UK Type 31 frigate programme in 2019. This programme in currently underway in Babcock’s Rosyth facility in Scotland.

                                  The steelwork frame for a New Assembly Hall in Rosyth is now complete with its cladding being applied. All major and long lead supply chain contracts have been placed to date representing almost a third of all contracts and nearly 80% of the value. Steel will be cut to begin construction of the first Type 31 by end of 2021, providing assurance of a partner which is primed to deliver.

                                  HMS Portland is a Type 23 frigate – also known as the Duke-class, since all ships of the class are named after British dukes. Originally designed as anti-submarine vessels, Type 23 frigates have been used in a variety of other roles, from warfighting to maritime security operations. Babock would not confirm if these frigates are part of the British offer for the interim “stop gap” solution. Royal Navy picture.

                                  Naval News – What is your proposal in terms of the “stop gap” solution ? I guess you are probably proposing former Royal Navy Type 23 frigates ?

                                  Jonathan Walton – These are commercial matters between the UK Government, the Greek Government and Babcock International. However we aware that the UK Government and the UK Royal Navy are currently examining available options.

                                  Naval News What do you porpose for the Hydra-class upgrade ?

                                  Jonathan Walton – For the new ship we are drawing from our close relationships and working with Thales in the UK programme to provide a highly capable and adaptable platform that capitalises upon the Greek experience of operating a Thales CMS.

                                  The Meko upgrade requires a Thales CMS upgrade and we again are working very closely with our Thales colleagues to provide delivery assurance of a highly modern and capable upgrade.

                                  Naval News What would be the configuration of the Arrowhead for the Hellenic Navy ? Any major differences between this configuration and the Royal Navy’s Type 31 frigate ?

                                  Jonathan Walton – The baseline Arrowhead 140 design can be configured to meet the broad range of operational requirements and profiles a global frigate may be called upon to undertake and adopt. In selecting Arrowhead 140, tailored to Greece’s strategic and operational needs and coupled with a high amount of bespoke equipment and systems variants, the Hellenic Navy would be capitalising upon a fully-developed frigate design and build programme while working alongside a world-class, experienced, warship builder in Babcock, primed to support Greece in the delivery of its naval fleet of the future.

                                  Operational roles will change through the life of the ship. And with a displacement of around 6,000te Arrowhead 140 provides ample space, sufficient flexibility and adaptability for a multi-role capability to meet changing operational needs, ranging from task group and high end warfare operations to constabulary and humanitarian duties.

                                  Arrowhead 140 is able to:

                                  › detect and engage surface ships, aircraft and missiles over the horizon

                                  › detect and engage submarines

                                  › defend convoy ships

                                  › employ active and passive electronic warfare systems

                                  › defend against swarming small boat attacks and UAVs

                                  › carry, deploy, operate and recover autonomous vehicles

                                  The Royal Navy will deploy the Type 31 predominantly in a Maritime Security role. The Hellenic Navy will require its frigates to perform a different range of operational tasks. The Arrowhead 140 platform is uniquely adaptable to accommodate a wide range of systems and equipment needed for multiple naval capabilities, including those required by the Hellenic Navy.

                                  The Arrowhead 140 design, based on the hull form of the Iver-Huitfeldt class currently in service with the Danish Navy, was selected for the UK Type 31 frigate programme in 2019. The Iver Huitfeldt class (pictured here) is a three-ship class of frigates that entered service with the Royal Danish Navy in 2011.

                                  Naval News Have you visited shipyards in Greece ? Have you identified local partners already ?

                                  Jonathan Walton – We have had discussions with very capable local partners in Greece and plan to hold additional meetings with a view to identifying more and signing MoU’s shortly.

                                  Babcock will bring a comprehensive programme of technology transfer and focused support options, for Greece to construct the Arrowhead 140 frigate in their facilities by optimising their shipyard capability.

                                  Our value-adding packages span the whole product lifecycle from; readying and modernising national infrastructure, design licensing, initiating and developing shipbuilding strategy & delivery, enabling workforce training & upskilling and offering post-delivery support options.

                                  Depending on the transformation required and budget available we can tailor a scalable design and build solution based on the Greek customised requirements which will deliver; technically proficient naval build infrastructure, an industry 4.0 ready workforce, world-class frigates and an enduring support capability.

                                  We offer a highly capable cost effective and tailored approach that drives quality and performance and enables a competitive edge in international shipbuilding.

                                  Working with our Greek colleagues and supply chain we can realise the future naval vision and deliver the capability that will see Arrowhead 140 frigates built in Greek shipyards, by a Greek workforce and contributing directly to the social and economic value, well-being and prosperity of the Greek shipbuilding community and country as a whole.

                                  Naval News – Is the UK government supporting your bid ?

                                  Jonathan Walton – YesBabcock International, supported by the UK Government, is forging a game-changing approach to global shipbuilding to offer warship design and build options to the Hellenic Navy for its next generation of new frigates.

                                  This exciting proposal enables the rejuvenation of Greek warship building and will deliver to the Hellenic Navy, the Arrowhead 140, a world-leading, highly capable, adaptable and affordable new frigate.

                                  Naval News – Do you have industry partners for this bid ?

                                  Jonathan Walton – We have a number of industry partners included in Babcock Team 31 which we can draw on to use their experience to ensure we meet the requirements of the Hellenic Navy.

                                  In addition to our question & answer, Jonathan Walton shared the following:

                                  THE ARROWHEAD 140 PLATFORM

                                  Propulsion that’s powered to perform.

                                  The platform has the capability to accommodate a variety of propulsion solutions, according to operational requirement and budget. Arrowhead 140’s size allows sufficient fuel for long-range independent global operations and with sustainability in mind, space and systems are configured for compliance with IMO Tier III regulations for ECAs.

                                  Armaments to equip you to engage

                                  As designed the platform has a range of high-end capabilities. This flexibility allows for the housing of related systems for enhanced air defence, maritime interdiction, self-protection and engagement of surface and land targets. It can host and array of weaponry to defend against saturation attacks by optimising the resource required without comprising the primary missile systems.

                                  Mission systems that are flexible and established

                                  The Arrowhead140 design for the UK requirement incorporates Thales’ TACTICOS™ Combat Management System utilising open architecture networks and computing environments to provide a scalable and upgradeable mission / combat management capability suitable for a wide range of mission profiles and scenarios.

                                  With generous provisioning of combat system compartments and cabling routes throughout the ship, the platform’s design flexibility allows for a choice of command systems that takes into account the Greek preference for combat system components, C4I and CMS systems which can be easily incorporated and integrated into the platform.

                                  Operational flexibility no matter the mission

                                  Arrowhead 140 delivers high levels of operability, adaptability and reliability, providing the Hellenic Navy with operational choice and confidence in operational performance. A multi-mission surface combatant, the frigate is capable of providing force protection, conducting surface, anti-air, anti-submarine and electronic warfare operations, and is operationally highly proficient.

                                  Based on a proven NATO frigate design, it offers flexible spaces able to host disaster relief stores or civilians during evacuation operations amongst other roles. A capability already employed within the in-service design.

                                  Large Boat Bays with flexible launch and recovery capability to operate a variety of different offboard assets, such as RHIBs, Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) and Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs); able to deliver a range of roles from interdiction missions to Special Forces operations and littoral manoeuvre exploitation. There is the ability to hold Artic 28 boats measuring 8.7m in length.

                                  Aviation capability choices

                                  The Arrowhead 140 flight deck is designed for a wide range of naval aircraft and air systems, with a hangar that can accommodate an organic medium naval helicopter such as a MH-60 Seahawk combined with unmanned air systems. Dedicated aviation magazine facilities to store and prepare air-launched weapons including ASW torpedoes and Anti-Surface missiles are provided. In addition, a fuelling system to provide HIFR capability from a proven NATO flight deck is incorporated. The large flight deck provides the flexibility to launch and recover non-organic aircraft up to 15t in weight.

                                  Arrowhead 140 can operate with a Ship’s Company of less than 100 personnel. With dedicated accommodation for 180+ personnel and additional temporary accommodation, the platform can carry a significant number of Embarked Military Force, including Special Forces, littoral manoeuvre troops or additional command and control personnel. Its wide beam provides operational flexibility and its space-rich design is efficient to build, and efficient to maintain, with ship stability and crew comfort at its heart. For sailors, Arrowhead 140 will provide a modern place to live, a great place to work and a highly capable multi-role frigate no matter where in the world it operates, making long-term global forward deployment achievable and sustainable.

                                  Expert Support through life

                                  Looking beyond the initial design, build and mobilisation of the frigates, through–life support of the ships is in-built from the beginning. The Babcock through-life support offering assures ship availability and readiness. However the support Babcock provides is not just about technology on its own but importantly includes the integration of people, processes and technology and through novel mobile, remote and connected technology, we can provide the maintainer with an in-depth understanding of the performance, maintenance and material condition of their assets.

                                  This is centred around embedded technology that provides systems and equipment performance monitoring, enabling informed rapid decision making. Arrowhead 140 is designed for performance and through-life support.

                                  For the record, France and Greece were involved in exclusive negotiations for a while, for two FDI type frigates. However, despite the signing of an LOI in October 2019, Greece decided to keep its options open and is now considering several designs. The designs being considered today, in addition to Babcock’s Arrowhead 140, are:
                                  The procurement process doesn’t seem to be a “classic open tender” but rather government to government (G to G) discussions with each party.


                                  • Bug2
                                    Bug2 commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    HMS PORTLAND is mentioned here, but she is just going into Life Extension and CAMM/SeaCeptor Upgrade, take 2-3 years, maybe's less. The two RN Type 23's being disposed of, per the review last week, are HMS Montrose (already Upgraded) and HMS Monmouth (NOT Upgraded), AND "some" think she may be scrapped for some reason, and not Life Extended or Sea Ceptor installed?

                                • #23

                                  French Minister of the Armed Forces announces acceleration in the delivery of the second-and third-of-class FDIs and signs the preliminary design contract of the new generation aircraft carrier


                                  By EDR On-Line Editorial Office

                                  Visiting Lorient to inaugurate the platform where Naval Group, Les Chantiers de l’Atlantique and TechnicAtome will jointly conduct their studies for the new generation aircraft carrier, PA-NG (Porte Avions-Nouvelle Génération), integrating their development teams since the preliminary design phase, Mrs. Florence Parly, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, announced an acceleration in the deliveries of the second-and third of class of the Frégates de Défense et d’Intervention (FDI)

                                  “I am pleased to announce that we are going to speed up the delivery of FDIs 2 and 3, the frigates Amiral Louzeau and Amiral Castex. If we are speeding up their delivery, it is because we are aware of the growing threats at sea. We will therefore have three intervention frigates one year ahead of the original deadline. If we are speeding up their delivery, it is also because I am convinced that it is a frigate that has tremendous growth potential, capable of responding to new threats near our national or European borders,” Mrs. Parly said.

                                  The FDI has a 4,500 tons displacement, her complement is of 125 sailors on board, can carry a helicopter and a drone, and is the first vessel of the Marine Nationale to be designed as digital from scrap.

                                  The two FDIs will thus be delivered to the Marine Nationale in 2025. The Délégation Générale de l’Armement DGA) issued a press release announcing the signature of the contract immediately after the Ministry speech. Click HEREto read it.

                                  Back to the aircraft carrier issue, the French Minister of the Armed Forces underlined the importance of the step made by the two major actors of the future carrier programme, Naval group and Chantiers de l’Atlantique. “The industrial and technological challenges are considerable. To be up to these challenges and to keep the programme schedule, it is absolutely necessary to come together and join all the forces. This is in particular why, today, the two main architects and designers of the new generation aircraft carrier, Naval Group and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, have teamed creating a joint venture to carry out this project. with more integration between the teams since the pre-design phase and therefore with greater efficiency.”

                                  She also underline the decisions that will have to be taken in preparation for the construction of the new vessel in terms of aviation assets, nuclear propulsion and connectivity.

                                  According to plan in 2025 the design of the PA-NG will be completed and construction will start. “You know better than anyone that building an aircraft carrier is a ‘long time’ adventure,” Mr. Parly said, adding that there is still a long way to go until 2038, when the new carriers will be commissioned. After this summary pre-project phase that we have started, will come that of the detailed design, then the launch into production from 2025. The first sea trials will only take place 11 years later, in 2036. And I know that we can count on you. Likewise, you can count on the state. The state will keep its commitments.” Mrs. Parly said.

                                  The DGA announced the signature of the pre-development contract for the PA-NG, which was in fact signed on March 19th. Click HEREto read it.

                                  Images courtesy French Ministry of the Armed Forces/DGA


                                  • #24

                                    SACHSEN-ANHALT is the third of a total of four ships of the Type F125 which tk MS is building. TKMS picture.

                                    Germany’s Third F125 Baden-Württemberg-Class Frigate Delivered By TKMS

                                    Today, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tk MS) handed over the frigate “SACHSEN-ANHALT” to the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in Wilhelmshaven.

                                    Naval News Staff 30 Mar 2021

                                    It is the third of a total of four ships of the Type F125 which tk MS is building in the ARGE F125 consortium together with the Fr. Lürssen Shipyard.

                                    Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems press release

                                    The ship was handed over to the BAAINBw, represented by the Head of the Acceptance Commission, Matthias Rohde and the responsible project manager at the BAAINBw, Marc Steffens, during a ceremony in Wilhelmshaven, which was kept small in view of the pandemic. On behalf of tk MS, Programme Manager Patrick Buggenthin signed the handover papers.

                                    Chief Operating Officer Dr. Alexander Orellano, who was present, commented:
                                    “We have already delivered two ships that have since proven their technical capabilities. We are convinced that the third vessel, the “SACHSEN-ANHALT”, will also be successful. We wish her ‘fair winds and following seas’. Full operational readiness of all ships for the German Navy remains our most important goal. On behalf of all employees, I would like to express my gratitude for the trust placed in us. We look forward to continued good teamwork.”

                                    The last ship of the F125 series, the “RHEINLAND-PFALZ”, is to be handed over this year.

                                    Deutsche Marine Baden-Württemberg F125-class frigate (Credit: Bundeswehr/Carsten Vennemann)

                                    The completely redesigned vessels of the Type F125 have highly complex systems and around 28,000 sensors that enable a very high degree of automation, making it possible to reduce the required number of crew members by about half compared to previous frigate classes. The ships can remain in the operational area for up to two years. Besides the traditional tasks of national and alliance defence, they are designed for conflict prevention and crisis management as well as for intervention and stabilization operations in an international context. In addition to the ability to engage targets both on land and on water, they are equipped with air defence systems and helicopters.

                                    The contract for the construction of the four frigates became effective in June 2007. The concept, design and detailed design phases followed. Around 90 percent of the highly complex systems on board the F125 were developed specifically for this new type of ship.

                                    ARGE F125 comprises thyssenkrupp Marine Systems as the lead company together with the Bremen-based Lürssen shipyard. The pre-fitted bow sections were produced at the shipyards of the Lürssen Group in Bremen and in Wolgast on the Baltic Sea. Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two vessel halves, further fitting-out, commissioning and testing all took place at the Lürssen location Blohm+Voss in Hamburg.

                                    Principal data of the F125:
                                    • Length: 149 m
                                    • Beam: 18 m
                                    • Maximum speed: > 26 kn
                                    • Displacement: approx. 7,200 t
                                    • Complement: max. 190 (of which 126 are regular crew)


                                    • unicorn11
                                      unicorn11 commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Speaking as a model ship builder and lover of naval vessels, they are ugly ships from most viewpoints and angles.

                                    • Bug2
                                      Bug2 commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Yeah, the thought that went through my mind was very similar, the German Navy used to be known for the elegance of its warships..........this Class is like something a Kid's model builder has thrown together............

                                  • #25
                                    Naval Group, Chantiers de l’Atlantique team up for France’s new aircraft carrier

                                    By: Christina Mackenzie   8 hours ago

                                    An artist's rendering of France's next-generation aircraft carrier, published by Naval Group. (Naval Group image)

                                    PARIS – Naval Group and the Chantiers de l’Atlantique have formed the joint venture MO Porte Avions to manage France’s new generation aircraft carrier program.

                                    Pierre-Eric Pommellet told journalists during a videoconference on Tuesday that the joint venture (JV) was held two-thirds by Naval Group and one-third by Chantiers de l’Atlantique. “The program director will be somebody from Naval Group and the technical director somebody from our partner,” the Naval Group CEO said.

                                    Pommellet said the idea was to maximize the synergies and capitalize on the strengths of each company. Naval Group has responsibility for the overall architecture of the ship and the transverse systems. It will integrate the combat system, the navigation and aviation-related systems, the catapults and arrestor gear; it will supply the sub-systems of the nuclear boiler-room and integrate the boilers into the ship.

                                    Chantiers de l’Atlantique, for its part, will be responsible for the design and construction of the platform itself, notably the structure, the electric propulsion, the living quarters, the steering system and overall activities such as the hydrodynamics.

                                    The JV’s relationship with sub-contractor TechnicAtome, responsible for the nuclear-powered engine, is being finalized.

                                    Pommellet added that the JV “will end when the aircraft carrier has been delivered.“ It will first be based in Lorient, Brittany, at the Naval Group shipyard during the design phase and then move to Saint-Nazaire where Chantiers de l’Atlantique have their shipyard and where the ship will be built.

                                    The JV was signed in Lorient on March 29 by Pommellet and Laurent Castaing, the director-general of Chantiers de l’Atlantique in the presence of Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly. She had come not only to announce the notification of the preliminary outline study contract of the aircraft carrier and inaugurate its design office but also to notify Naval Group of the order for two FDI frigates.

                                    The two 4,200 tonne (4,630 tons), 121m (397 ft) long, multi-mission frigates, the second and third in a series of five, will both be delivered in 2025. This is an acceleration of the program as the original plan was to deliver one ship every 18 months with the first FDI scheduled for delivery in 2024.


                                    • magnify
                                      magnify commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Needs a forehead slap emoticon.

                                      They would be better off removing all the delusional low-RCS nonsense and putting the $1 billion saved into defensive systems and better use of the internal spaces.

                                    • Bug2
                                      Bug2 commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      That basic design is very......well.............FRENCH!

                                      We'll see how much relationship it bears to the version built.............

                                  • #26
                                    What delusional low RCS nonsense?


                                    • #27

                                      Navantia's image showing the F110 frigate in Hellenic Navy configuration.

                                      Spain’s Navantia Proposing Two New Frigate Designs To The Hellenic Navy

                                      Spanish shipbuilder Navantia is proposing two new and modern designs for the Hellenic Navy frigate requirement: The F110 Frigates, currently being designed for the Spanish Navy are part of a wider package offer by the shipbuilder with full support of the Spanish government.

                                      Xavier Vavasseur 12 Apr 2021

                                      F110 and Alfa 3000 are two modern frigate designs with capabilities in AAW, ASuW & ASW. Navantia is ready to build all of them in Greece.

                                      It recently surfaced that the Hellenic Navy need was not limited to new-built frigates. Their need is so urgent that they require a “stop-gap” solution (consisting in the procurement of second-hand vessels or a lease of existing vessels) as well as an upgrade to the in-service Hydra-class frigates.

                                      Wepreviously reported on the proposals from several competitors (details and links at the end of this article). This time around, we contacted Navantia to learn more about the Spanish proposal to Greece. Abel Mender, International Commercial Manager at Navantia unveiled the company’s offer to Naval News.

                                      4 F110 frigates, 2 Alfa 3000 light frigates & Hydra-class upgrade

                                      Navantia’s proposal consists in:
                                      • Four new F110 frigates,
                                      • A stop-gap solution of two new Alfa 3000 light frigates to be delivered in just 35 months,
                                      • The modernization of the existing Hellenic Navy’s Hydra-class frigates.
                                      “The construction of four F110 and two Alfa 3000, and the modernization of the Hydra-class frigates (Meko 200) will take place in Greece under Navantia’s Transfer of Technology Program”
                                      Abel Mender, Navantia’s international commercial manager

                                      F110 frigates

                                      F110 frigates are set to replace the Spanish Navy’s Santa Maria-class frigates which have been in service for over 30 years. A contract for the construction of five frigates for the Spanish Navy was signed between the shipbuilder and the Spanish Ministry of Defense in April 2019. F110 frigates will be fitted with the Aegis combat system integrating a new solid-state S-band radar by Indra. Lockheed Martin and Indra have been collaborating since 2009 to develop a state-of-the-art S-band solid state radar.

                                      Known as the Bonifaz-class, these frigates will feature:
                                      Indra leads the development within the F110 Program for several advanced sensors.

                                      Navantia counts with the support of the Spanish Navy, which would be able to share with the Hellenic Navy lessons learned on the operation of the F110 predecessors and the rationale behind the design of this vessel in particular.

                                      Alfa 3000 light frigates

                                      As a “stop gap” solution for the Hellenic Navy, Navantia proposes to deliver two new ALFA 3000 light frigates in 35 months. Those would be built in Greek shipyards. Navantia image.

                                      Unlike some competitors, the interim (so called “stop gap”) solution proposed by Navantia does not consists in second-hand vessels but new ones. The Spanish shipbuilder’s proposal is to provide two brand new 3.000 t light frigates with anti-air, anti-ship and anti-submarine capacity. “Such frigates can be built in Greece with imminent start, as the design is readily available and the supply chain is well defined . Navantia’s Alfa 3000 is a well-proven design based on the Avante class family, four units of which are already in service with the Venezuelan Navy and five units which are currently in construction for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces. Due to the maturity of the design and the fact that we are currently building 5 units at our San Fernando facility in Spain, there are lessons learned and unique on-the-job training opportunities which allow to deliver two new vessels in 35 months.” explained Abel Mender.

                                      According to Navantia, this timeframe of just 35 months is very competitive even when compared to “second-hand” vessel offers because you have to factor in the time for decommissioning, defining an upgrade and overhaul program and implement the changes. Building the two Alfa 3000 ships in Greek shipyard would also serve as training of the local workforce and derisk the build of the more complex F110 frigates.

                                      Hydra-class upgrade

                                      Hellenic Navy picture.

                                      For the Mid-Life Upgrade of the four in-service Hydra-class frigates, Navantia has presented to the Hellenic Navy a proposal that covers all the scope of work and is based on systems and equipment integrated both in the F110 and Alfa 3000 frigates.
                                      “Navantia’s proposal ensures a high level of commonality with the frigates of the Hellenic Navy thereby simplifying the logistics effort and reducing maintenance costs.”
                                      Abel Mender, Navantia’s international commercial manager

                                      Local parternships

                                      Abel Memder confirmed that Navantia teams have already toured some shipyards in Greece: “Yes, Navantia has been working in Greece the last few years and luckily, a team of Navantia was able to visit in 2020 several shipyards before the COVID-19 breakout.”

                                      Aside from military shipbuilding , Navantia is seeking cooperation with Hellenic shipyards and local manufacturers of secondary steel in other sectors, including offshore wind, where Navantia is a leading company. The approach to the Hellenic industry is therefore wide-ranging and in the spirit of establishing long-term ties.

                                      Regarding the frigate program, Navantia would welcome partnering with Hellenic shipyards for contract execution while international suppliers participating in the original F110 program would be involved as well, with Navantia acting as the main contractor.
                                      Navantia’s approach to its clients around the world is focused on two key factors. Firstly, to use our experience and customize our products incorporating new technologies to help our clients find the best (and most cost-effective) solutions to meet their particular requirements. The second one is to become a long-term partner, supporting local in-country capabilities building close relationships at all levels (government, navy, industry, academia, etc) beyond the initial development and manufacturing contract throughout the entire product life cycle. With these two objectives always in mind, Navantia worked to find the best possible solution to meet the Hellenic Navy’s needs and support the Hellenic Republic’s goals.
                                      Abel Mender, Navantia’s international commercial manager

                                      For the record, France and Greece were involved in exclusive negotiations for a while, for two FDI type frigates. However, despite the signing of an LOI in October 2019, Greece decided to keep its options open and is now considering several designs. The designs being considered today, in addition to Navantia’s F110, are:
                                      The procurement process doesn’t seem to be a “classic open tender” but rather government to government (G to G) discussions with each party.


                                      • ADMk2
                                        ADMk2 commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Seems like a decent package. Keep the options open to expand that VLS on the F110 up to 32x strike length cells and throw in 16x SM-2 Block IIIB/C and 64x ESSM Block II and you have a very credible anti-air warfare capability as well, assuming the combat system and operations rooms are up to the job...

                                    • #28

                                      "Alsace", the first of two FREMM DA for the French Navy starting her initial sea trials in the evening twilight on October 5th.

                                      Naval Group Delivers First Air Defense FREMM ‘Alsace’ To The French Navy

                                      Naval Group today handed over the FREMM Frigate "Alsace" to the French Navy (Marine Nationale) during a ceremony at Toulon naval base. "Alsace" is the first of two air-defense frigates known as FREMM DA (Frégate Européenne Multimissions de Défense Aérienne).

                                      Xavier Vavasseur 16 Apr 2021

                                      The FREMM DA Alsace was launched April 18, 2019 at the Naval Group shipyard of Lorient thirteen months after its keel laying. It is the ninth FREMM frigate built by Naval Group and the seventh one for the French Navy.

                                      Alsace was expected to begin sea trials in May 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shipyard stopped production for nearly two months, delaying the program by nearly four months (because of subsequent impact on the overall supply chain) and sea trials started in October. But despite the health crisis, Alsace was still delivered within the contractual deadlines by Naval Group and its industrial partners. Benefiting from the experience acquired on the FREMMs already delivered, it also incorporates several capacity evolutions responding to the rapid change in technologies (communications, cyber defense, etc.)
                                      We are very pleased to be here in Toulon for the delivery , on schedule despite the health crisis, of this first FREMM multimissions frigate with enhanced air defense capability. I would like to express Naval Group’s gratitude to our clients, who have placed their trust in us and are working with us on a daily basis to build these versatile frigates. Alsace has the same exceptional anti-submarine capabilities as the previous units of the FREMM series but with this new version, the French Navy will benefit from strengthened air defense capabilities, in accordance with the commitments of the military programming law.“.
                                      Pierre Eric Pommellet, Naval Group’s chairman and CEO

                                      The FREMM DA program started in 2008. Alsace and Lorraine are replacing the two Cassard-class (Type F70 AA) frigates and their ageing SM-1 surface to air missiles. Cassard was decommissioned on 15 march 2019. Jean Bart is about to be decommissioned and may join the Hellenic Navy.

                                      Alsace‘ sistership, Lorraine, (the final FREMM for the French Navy) was launched in and is set to be delivered in the second half of 2022. Following the delivery of its last FREMM, Naval Group will transition to the FDI, the next generation of frigates for the French Navy.

                                      All six FREMM in their ASW (anti-submarine warfare) variant have been delivered between 2012 and 2019 to the French Navy. Aquitaine in 2012, Provence in 2015, Languedoc in 2016, Auvergne in April 2017, Bretagne in July 2018 and Normandie in July 2019. On the international side, Morocco received the Mohammed VI in 2014 and Egypt the Tahya Misr in 2015.

                                      About FREMM DA

                                      According to Naval Group, the FREMM DA Alsace is a strongly armed surface combatant fitted with the most performant weapon systems and equipment such as: the Herakles multifunction radar, the Aster 15 and 30 surface to air missiles, the Excocet MM 40 anti-ship missiles or the MU 90 torpedo. The performance of its combat system are reinforced with increased radar and communication capacities, a new fire control radar, and a SETIS CMS fitted with specific anti-air defense functions.

                                      While the FREMM DA retains the same anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities as earlier vessels of the Aquitaine-class (with CAPTAS-4 and UMS 4110 CL sonars), its so called “increased capabilities in air defense” consists in a few notable changes:
                                      • The Thales Herakles multi-function radar is more powerful, has more transmitter modules, additional wave-forms and search modes for long range air defense
                                      • A Thales STIR EO MK 2 fire control radar replaces the Najir by Sagem (providing better AAW and ASuW capabilities to the 76mm main gun)
                                      • Reinforced bridge structure to accommodate the extra weight of the above
                                      • 4x Sylver A50 vertical launch systems for a total of 32x MBDA Aster 15 or 30 surface to air missiles
                                      • Additional communication systems and antennas
                                      • 3x additional consoles in the CIC (the global arrangement inside the CIC has been modified accordingly) for a total of 20 aboard the ship
                                      • Modifications to the SETIS combat management system with specific air defense functions
                                      • Additional berthing
                                      According to the French Navy’s FREMM program manager, the FREMM DA main mission will be area air defense of major Marine Nationale units such as the Charles de Gaulle aircraft-carrier and the three Mistral-class LHDs, within a carrier-strike group or as part of an amphibious group.

                                      Alsace, the first of the two FREMM DA for the French Navy, during sea trials off Lorient in October 2020. Naval News picture

                                      Technical characteristics of the FREMM DA
                                      • Overall length: 142 m
                                      • Beam: 20 m
                                      • Displacement: 6,000 tonnes
                                      • Max. speed: 27 knots
                                      • Complement: 119 sailors (+ 14 for the aviation crew)
                                      • Accommodation: 165 men and women
                                      • Range: 6,000 at 15 knots


                                      • unicorn11
                                        unicorn11 commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Lots of quad packing one hopes.

                                      • magnify
                                        magnify commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Aster-15 will quad-pack but Aster-30 won't. The bigger problem is an optronics-cued 76 mm is the only CIWS it appears to have against missiles and bombs. It's not an "air defense" frigate per-sec, it's optimized for anti-sub, but claims to be better at air defense than previous ASW frigates.

                                      • ADMk2
                                        ADMk2 commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Neither Aster 15 or 30 can quad-pack in their current incarnations due to their fin size in the A50 Sylver VLS. CAMM can, but the French haven’t bought it...

                                        I am surprised this has been built without Scalp Naval...

                                    • #29
                                      Naval Group delivers French frigate with bolstered capabilities

                                      By: Christina Mackenzie   6 hours ago

                                      A hand-over ceremony for a new FREMM frigate takes place April 16, 2021. (Naval Group)

                                      PARIS — Naval Group has delivered the FREMM Alsace, the first multimission frigate with enhanced air defense capabilities, to the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation, which received it April 16 in the Mediterranean port of Toulon on behalf of the French Navy.

                                      OCCAR is a European intergovernmental group that manages cooperative defense equipment programs. It is managing the FREMM program for the French and Italian navies.

                                      The on-schedule delivery comes in the framework of the French Navy’s plan to renew its frigate fleet and have 15 front-line frigates by around 2030 to better protects its vast maritime economic exclusion zone, the biggest in the world due to overseas territories and departments it has in every ocean.

                                      Alsace’s role will be to provide anti-aircraft defense around the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle or around the Mistral-class helicopter landing docks as part of a naval air and amphibious group.

                                      The first six FREMMs (Aquitaine, Provence, Languedoc, Auvergne, Bretagne and Normandie) were delivered between 2012 and 2019. They were designed for anti-submarine warfare. Alsace and the eighth frigate, Lorraine, which is scheduled for delivery next year, will have exactly the same anti-submarine warfare tools as the first six, but with the addition of strengthened anti-aircraft capabilities. Both frigates have an enhanced combat system, an optimized mast and a radar with greater range; they can also carry 10 extra crew members.

                                      Like her sister ships, Alsace is armed with the 32 Aster 15 and 30 vertically launched missiles; eight Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles; 19 MU90 torpedoes; one 76mm main naval gun; four 12.7mm machine guns; two Narwhal 20mm remotely operated weapons; and one NH90 Caiman naval warfare helicopter.

                                      Unlike the other FREMMs, however, the vessel has a new radar and an electro-optical fire control system; increased radar and communication capabilities; and Naval Group’s SETIS combat management system equipped with specific air defense functions.

                                      The 6,000-ton FREMM frigate is 142 meters (466 feet) long and 20 meters wide. It can reach a maximum speed of 27 knots and has a range of 6,000 nautical miles at 15 knots.

                                      Florence Parly, the French armed forces minister, presided the handing-over ceremony.


                                      • #30
                                        Netherlands proposes Sigma-class to the Greek Navy

                                        POSTED ON MONDAY, 19 APRIL 2021 10:46

                                        According to a tweet published by the Greek Minister of Defence and a tweet published by Dimitris Mitch on April 16, 2021, the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Greece presented their proposal regarding the new multi-role frigate for the Hellenic Navy.

                                        SIGMA 11515HN Version standard (Picture source: Navaldefence)

                                        The Sigma class is a Dutch-built family of modular naval vessels, of either corvette or frigate size, designed by Damen Group.

                                        At the heart of the Sigma-class design is a modular approach - the vessel can be built to suit the needs of a particular customer and the end-product can cover such types as fast-attack corvette, standard ocean-going corvette, off-shore patrol vessel, or basic frigate fighting forms. Inherent stealth features include an enclosed, low-profile smoke funnel, enclosed/integrated main mast, and slab-sided hull superstructure.

                                        A turreted deck gun is set over the forecastle in the "A" position. Aft of this is a stepped hull superstructure which runs up to the integrated bridge section which hosts the integrated main mast mounting various communications and sensor fits. Beyond this is a collection of Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launchers and, aft of these installations, is the low-profile smoke funnel arrangement over midships. The aft section of the superstructure can accommodate a full-service helicopter hangar to go along with the stern-based helicopter pad (servicing a single navalized helicopter aircraft).

                                        Structural dimensions include a running length of 297,6 feet, a beam of 42,8 feet and a draught of 11.9 feet. Displacement reaches 1,700 tons depending on overall configuration. The ships can serve a crew of up to 80 personnel.

                                        Sonar is mounted in the bow, giving the warship an advantage against enemy submarines. Other installed systems include the Thales Group TACTICOS, MW08 3D surveillance/search radar, Sperry Marine BridgeMasterE ARPA radar, and LIROD Mk.2 tracking fire control radar. An ESM (Thales DR3000), ECM (Racal Scorpion 2L), and decoy (TERMA SKWS, DLT-12T) suite are all part of the ship's makeup.

                                        Armament includes the 76mm OTO-Melara turreted deck gun, 2 x 20mm Denel GI-2 (GIAT M693/F2) autocannons, 2 x MBDA Mistral TETRAL surface-to-air quad missile launchers, 4 x MBDA Exocet MM.40 Block II anti-ship missiles and 2 x Triple torpedo tubes supporting the EuroTorp 3A244S Model II/MU-90 torpedo families.

                                        Installed armament is made up of 2 x SEMT-Pielstick 20PA6B STC engines with 4 x Caterpillar 3406C TA generators driving 2 x Rolls-Royce propellers at the stern. Maximum speed in ideal conditions reaches 28 knots though cruising is generally at 18 knots. Range is out to 5,500 miles.


                                        • Bug2
                                          Bug2 commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          Looking at the image, it's also got VLS Cells..............

                                      • #31
                                        This is the MW08 surveillance-search radar cited, plus its volume search range presumably against non-LO optimized targets.
                                        Power 50 kW (Peak) in G-band

                                        0.1m2 target: 17 km
                                        1m2 target: 27 km
                                        2m2 target: 32 km

                                        Click image for larger version

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                                        • #32
                                          Italian aircraft carrier ITS Cavour completing F-35B certification

                                          POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 21 APRIL 2021 12:55
                                          According to information published by U.S. Navy on April 20, 2021, the Italian Navy flagship, the aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550), departed Naval Station Norfolk after Joint Force operations with U.S. military forces in the Atlantic Ocean. The F-35 Joint Program Office has delivered a flight clearance recommendation to the Italian Navy for the safe operation of fifth generation F-35B fighter aircraft.

                                          A U.S. F-35B Lightning II performs an aft-facing vertical landing aboard the Italian aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550) in the Atlantic Ocean March 15, 2021. (Picture source: U.S. Department of Defense)

                                          An F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) test team embarked on ITS Cavour to conduct sea trials, a series of tests and functional activities to create a safe flight operating envelope for the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the 5th generation aircraft aboard the recently upgraded ship.

                                          The F-35 Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) team from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD comprises almost 200 people with the engineering and test pilot expertise and experience to conduct F-35B envelope expansion flight test, two specially instrumented developmental flight test aircraft, and support equipment.

                                          During the sea trials, two F-35Bs of the ITF were embarked aboard Cavour and carried out more than 50 flight missions in challenging weather conditions sea states, a night session, around 120 vertical landings, 115 short take-offs with the aid of the ski jump, and two vertical takeoffs. These activities were followed by a sufficient amount of data analysis, yielding the information telling the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and the Italian Navy how to safely conduct F-35B flight operations on Cavour.

                                          An F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) test team embarked on ITS Cavour to conduct sea trials, a series of tests and functional activities to create a safe flight operating envelope for the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the 5th generation aircraft aboard the recently upgraded ship. The F-35 Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) team from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD comprises almost 200 people with the engineering and test pilot expertise and experience to conduct F-35B envelope expansion flight test, two specially instrumented developmental flight test aircraft, and support equipment.

                                          In coordination with the Italian Navy, USMC MV-22s conducted shipboard landing qualifications on the deck of the Italian Carrier ITS Cavour. These flights increase interoperability between the Marine Corps and the Italian Navy, and increase the operational reach of Naval forces.”

                                          The V-22 Osprey is a multi-engine, dual-piloted, self-deployable, medium lift, vertical takeoff and landing tilt-rotor aircraft designed for combat, combat support, combat service support, and Special Operations missions worldwide. The platform’s primary function is amphibious assault transport of troops, equipment and supplies from assault ships and land bases.

                                          Also while operating in the western Atlantic, ITS Cavour collaborated with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55). They conducted a three-day interoperability exercise with support from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 and Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 11. ITS Cavour also conducted dual-carrier operations alongside USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), marking the first time a Gerald R. Ford-class and Italian carrier operated jointly.

                                          ITS Cavour departed Norfolk after disembarking the ITF personnel prior to completing the necessary preparation to undertake the last phases of the Ready for Operations campaign before returning to Italy. Cavour was also greeted by a performance by the U.S. Fleet Forces band as an expression of goodwill between the U.S. and Italian navies.

                                          For decades, the bond between Europe and North America has made NATO the strongest alliance in history. Conducting training and exercises alongside allies and partners increases our collective capacity and capabilities as well as increased interoperability with the U.S. forces.

                                          The Cavour is an aircraft carrier in service with the Italian Navy launched in 2004.

                                          The Cavour is powered by a combined gas turbine and gas (COGAG) including four General Electric/Avio LM2500+ gas turbines developing 88,000 kW (118,000 bhp) and six diesel generators Wärtsila CW 12V200 developing 13,200 kW (17,700 bhp). She can reach a top speed of 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph) with a cruising range of 7,000 nmi (13,000 km; 8,100 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph). She has a crew of 1,202 people.

                                          The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an American family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft that is intended to perform both air superiority and strike missions. It is also able to provide electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.


                                          • #33
                                            France takes command of SNMG2 with Durance-class Somme

                                            POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 21 APRIL 2021 17:02
                                            According to information published by the French Minister of Armed Forces on April 21, for the first time, France takes command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) as of April, 23 with Durance-class Somme.

                                            Durance-class Somme during NATO-Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2015 (Picture source: NATO)

                                            SNMG2 will resume its program of activities in the Mediterranean, including participation in Dynamic Manta 2021, a major NATO anti-submarine warfare exercise, support to NATO Operation Sea Guardian as well as continued cooperation with Allied and partner navies.

                                            SNMG2 is one of four standing forces that comprise the maritime component of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), which is part of the NATO Response Force (NRF). To respond to contingency situations, additional forces can be added to these groups, with the NATO command staff on board and the ships of the Group as the nucleus, capable of providing timely support to NATO operations.

                                            The French tanker Somme is a Durance-class command and replenishment tanker ( Bâtiment de commandement et de ravitaillement, BCR) of the French Navy.

                                            In addition to its primary duty as a fleet tanker, Somme is configured as a flagship and has served as such in the Indian Ocean. The vessel was constructed at La Seyne, France beginning in 1985 and entered service in 1990.

                                            Somme has a standard displacement of 7,900 t (7,800 long tons) and 18,800 t (18,500 long tons) at full load.


                                            • unicorn11
                                              unicorn11 commented
                                              Editing a comment
                                              That ship is getting very old and tired, she's as old as Success and has been much harder worked with less care and maintenance than Success, I bet the Marine Nationale can't wait for her replacement to finish building.

                                          • #34
                                            22 APRIL 2021

                                            Report finds that damage control failures led to sinking of RNoN frigate

                                            by Richard Scott

                                            A second report into the circumstances leading to the loss of the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) guided-missile frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad has concluded that the ship could have been saved if the crew had been better trained in damage control procedures and more familiar with the ship’s stability characteristics.

                                            The Norwegian frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad takes on water after colliding with the tanker Sola TS on 8 November 2018 in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen. (MARIT HOMMEDAL/AFP via Getty Images)

                                            A total of 28 safety recommendations have been made by the Norwegian Safety Investigation Authority (NSIA), most directed towards the RNoN and the Norwegian Defence Material Agency. These include measures to address deficiencies in training, organisation, materiel, documentation, process, and assurance.

                                            The fourth of five F310 Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates delivered to the RNoN by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia between 2006 and 2011, Helge Ingstad suffered extensive damage to its starboard side after colliding with the Maltese-flagged tanker Sola TS in the Hjeltefjord on 8 November 2018. The nine-year old frigate was run aground but heeled over and sank in shallow water. Although subsequently salvaged, Helge Ingstad was found to be beyond economical repair and is now being scrapped.

                                            The first report, examining the cause of the incident, was released in November 2019. This follow-on report, published by the NSIA on 21 April, has investigated the sequence of events that occurred in the aftermath of the collision leading to Helge Ingstad’s grounding and subsequent sinking.

                                            According to the NSIA, the collision with Sola TS resulted in severe damage to Helge Ingstad.


                                            • #35
                                              Damen and HSVA contracts for new 126-class frigates tests

                                              POSTED ON MONDAY, 26 APRIL 2021 14:02
                                              According to a press release published by Damen on April 26, 2021, Shipyards Group and the Hamburg Ship Model Basin have concluded a contract for an extensive series of model tests for the hydrodynamic development of the F126 frigates for the German Navy.

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

                                              Damen Naval and the Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA) today signed the contract for comprehensive cooperation relating to hydrodynamic optimisation and the execution of an extensive series of model tests for the new 126-class (F126) frigates. The optimisation work and the tests constitute part of the early development stage during the ship design phase. As part of this process, the properties of the planned ship will be tested under real-life conditions. As such, a true-to-scale model of the F126, measuring several metres long, will be seen for the first time. At the request of the German Navy, together with its partners Blohm+Voss and Thales, Damen will build a total of four frigate class 126 ships after it was named the successful bidder in 2020 as part of a European tender spanning several years. The first ship is expected to be handed over to the German Navy in 2028 in Hamburg. The ships will be constructed in Germany with building taking place in Hamburg, Kiel and Wolgast.

                                              By appointing HSVA, which boasts both a long history and impressive innovative prowess, Damen will be able to draw exclusively on German expertise for testing and trialling the ship’s design. Over the next few months, the model ship will undergo a wide range of tests in various HSVA testing facilities in Hamburg. In addition to tests to evaluate ship resistance, propulsion and manoeuvring in smooth water, the ship’s seakeeping will also be considered, and special attention will be paid to ensuring a high-quality propeller design. This extensive series of tests is the only way to ensure that the high demands that will be placed on the frigates in real-life scenarios will be met.

                                              The upcoming tests will be the most significant milestone so far and an indicator of the success of the ship’s development to date. More than 100 Damen employees have been working extremely hard over the last few months on the development of the design and the ship’s functionality.

                                              Further development work will be carried out and hundreds of sub-systems will be integrated following the test and simulation stage.

                                              126-class frigates (MKS 180 frigate) are the title for a planned frigate class intended to replace the Brandenburg class frigates for the German Navy. The ships are to be the largest surface warships to join the Navy since World War II. The first ship is planned to be commissioned by 2027.


                                              • #36
                                                Italian Navy Cavour aircraft carrier is back in Italy ready for operational deployment with F-35B

                                                POSTED ON SUNDAY, 02 MAY 2021 18:50
                                                According to a statement published by the Italian Navy on April 30, 2021, the Cavour aircraft carrier returned to Taranto at the Mar Grande naval station in Italy after three months of deployment for the Ready for Operations (RFO) Campaign.

                                                Italian Navy Cavour aircraft carrier returned to Taranto at the Mar Grande naval station, Italy. (Picture source Italian Navy)

                                                The Italian Navy flagship, the aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550), departed Naval Station Norfolk April 16, 2021, after Joint Force operations with U.S. military forces in the Atlantic Ocean.

                                                The Italian Navy aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550) has participated in a sequence of operations with U.S. assets and the F-35 Joint Program Office has delivered a flight clearance recommendation to the Italian Navy for the safe operation of fifth-generation F-35B fighter aircraft.

                                                During the sea trials, two F-35Bs of the ITF were embarked aboard Cavour and carried out more than 50 flight missions in challenging weather conditions sea states, a night session, around 120 vertical landings, 115 short take-offs with the aid of the ski jump, and two vertical takeoffs. These activities were followed by a sufficient amount of data analysis, yielding the information telling the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and the Italian Navy how to safely conduct F-35B flight operations on Cavour.

                                                Thanks to the RFO campaign, the Italian Navy Cavour aircraft carrier is now fully qualified to conduct operational deployment with the fifth-generation fighter F-35B, the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 fighter jet.

                                                The modernized Cavour has now a hangar for ten F-35B and six more can be parked on the flight deck. The F-35B is the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35A aircraft. Similar in size to the A variant, the B sacrifices about a third of the A variant's fuel volume to accommodate the SDLF (Shaft Driven Lift Fan). The F-35B will replace the AV-8B vertical or short takeoff and landing fighter aircraft which is in service with the Italian Navy since 1990.

                                                The end of the Ready for Operations (RFO) Campaign will start the process to replace the AV-8B V/STOL fighter jets, now reached the end of their operational life cycle, and which aims to achieve Initial Operational Capability of the Cavour aircraft carrier by 2024.


                                                • #37

                                                  USNS Bob Hope during Defender Europe. The ship is in Albania taking part in a joint logistics over-the-shore exercise.

                                                  Defender Europe 21 Exercises Multinational Interoperability, Readiness, Transparency

                                                  Exercise Defender Europe 21 has started once again. This year's exercise involves 26 nations, including the U.S., and around 28,000 multinational forces all focused on building operational readiness and interoperability between NATO allies and partners.

                                                  Naval News Staff 07 May 2021

                                                  U.S. Department of Defense press release

                                                  “It’s defensive in nature, focused on deterring aggression, while preparing our forces to respond to crisis and conduct large-scale combat operations if necessary,” said Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby, during a briefing today (May 3, 2021) at the Pentagon.

                                                  Another key attribute of Defender Europe 21, Kirby said, is the transparency surrounding what it is all about, who will participate, what is meant to be accomplished.

                                                  “[Defender Europe] is an exercise that’s annual. We’ve been doing it a long, long time … it’s a defensive exercise. And it’s one that helps us build interoperability,” Kirby said. “Here’s the other thing that’s different: we actually come to the podium and tell you about it.”

                                                  Kirby said that openly discussing the Defender Europe 21 exercise and why U.S., NATO partners and other European allies are gathering troops is an important facet of the operation. Other nations have not been so clear or forthright about their own amassing of troops, he said.

                                                  “I’m going to continually talk about what we’re doing — it’s called transparency — it’s a wonderful thing,” he said “And we’re not getting that out of Moscow and we haven’t. So that’s a big difference right there. It’s a defensive exercise and you will be able to hear us talk about it and communicate to you and to the world what we’re doing and why.”

                                                  In past weeks, Russia had amassed more than 100,000 troops on the Russian side of its border with Ukraine — alarming the Ukrainians and allies. In recent days, those troops have started to pull back, but many still remain.

                                                  “There’s still quite a few, I mean there’s still a lot of forces arrayed against, or aligned along the border with Ukraine and in occupied Crimea,” Kirby said. “And it’s still never been completely clear what the intentions were.”

                                                  Defender Europe is an Army-led exercise, though this year it has significant Air Force and Navy participation. Last week, for instance, the USNS Bob Hope arrived off the coast of Albania in advance of its participation in a joint logistics over-the-shore exercise there.

                                                  USNS Bob Hope during Defender Europe. The ship is in Albania taking part in a joint logistics over-the-shore exercise.

                                                  The Defender Europe 21 exercise will also include several smaller “linked” exercises, Kirby said. Those include Swift Response, which involves airborne operations in Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania; Immediate Response, which involves more than 5,000 troops from eight nations conducting live-fire training in 12 different countries; Saber Guardian, which includes more than 13,000 service members doing live-fire training as well as air and missile defense operations; and a command post exercise with 2,000 personnel exercising the ability of a headquarters to command multinational land forces.

                                                  “The Defender Europe exercise is going to conclude in June, but not before demonstrating joint force readiness, lethality and interoperability, reinforcing the U.S. commitment to our allies and partners, and providing an outstanding opportunity to highlight the superb job our men and women are doing every day and in the region — the Balkan and Black Sea regions in particular, and throughout Europe and the Africa area of operations,” Kirby said.


                                                  • #38
                                                    Interview: French Asia Pacific Commander Rear Adm. Jean-Mathieu Rey

                                                    By: Dzirhan Mahadzir

                                                    May 11, 2021 4:27 PM • Updated: May 11, 2021 11:02 PM

                                                    Charles De Gaulle – The carrier FS Charles De Gaulle (R91) docked at Changi Naval Base during its 2019 deployment to the region Photo by Dzirhan Mahadzir

                                                    KUALA LUMPUR – Far from France, Rear Adm. Jean-Mathieu Rey, Joint Commander French Armed Forces in the Asia-Pacific (ALPACI), is responsible for French security interests in the Indo-Pacific – an area of the world that’s growing in complexity as tensions between the U.S. and China continue to build, he told USNI News.

                                                    “We intend to assume our international responsibilities by regularly deploying military units through an association of mainland forces and overseas-based assets,” Rey said in response to written questions from USNI News. “Those deployments are enhanced by a network of support bases and French officers including defense attachés and liaison officers.”

                                                    The U.S. and China are shaping the regional strategic context, he said. Combined with the global armament effort in Asia and the reconfiguration of strategic balances, the competition has led to increased uncertainties and enhanced various existing threats, including the consequences of climate change, environment protection, natural disasters, illegal trafficking, piracy, maritime terrorism and illegal migration, all of which continue to destabilize this vast area. The Pacific, which owns the world’s largest fishing resources, is also threatened by Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, he said.

                                                    Rey said that France is a nation of the Indo-Pacific, with overseas territories like French Polynesia, New Caledonia and La Réunion forming a significant part of the French maritime domain that accounts for millions of square miles in Exclusive Economic Zones. “[B]eyond these sovereign zones, we have more than 1.6 million inhabitants, 7,000 permanent-based defense personnel and 200,000 expatriates in the coastal countries of the Indo-Pacific,” he said.

                                                    RAdm Rey – Rear Admiral Jean-Mathieu Rey, Joint Commander French Armed Forces in the Asia-Pacific (ALPACI)

                                                    French armed forces in the Asia Pacific are organized around two regional commands. One is based in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and is in charge of all joint French Operations conducted throughout the Indian Ocean. The other is based in Papeete with the same responsibilities for most of the Pacific Ocean. In addition to those two main commands, three local commands are based in Djibouti, La Réunion and New Caledonia, with the French commander in New-Caledonia (COMSUP FANC) responsible for South-West Pacific.

                                                    Rey stated that France is the only European Union member to maintain a permanent military presence in both the Indian and Pacific oceans. Military assets include 15 warships and almost 40 aircraft. He added that the French military’s main mission regionally is the protection of the French territories, population and interests. These cover a wide scope, such as sovereignty, protection of EEZ resources, maritime safety and security and repression of illegal fishing activities or drug trafficking around French territory. But the command also contributes to regional security and stability.

                                                    “My first concern is to preserve the French capacity of defending its interests in the area, in order to maintain a safe and peaceful environment for everyone. The French defense strategy in the Indo-Pacific published in 2019 relies on this objective” he said.

                                                    To contribute to stability in the region, Rey said French forces in the region intend to fully support and enforce the international law, especially the freedom of navigation and overflight, as stated in the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

                                                    “France does not conduct ‘FONOPS’ and do not intend to take part in territorial disputes, but aims to preserve the right given to any nation to sail, patrol and operate without constraints in the international air-sea commons,” he said.

                                                    A major issue is maritime domain awareness, which Rey says is mandatory to ensure the best possible knowledge of any kind of legal or illegal activity at sea throughout the area in order to efficiently face the security concerns. He added that this is why France strongly contributes to Information Fusions Centers (IFC) in Singapore, India and Madagascar. French maritime analysis and assessments are eventually shared with shipping companies through a dedicated center called the Maritime Information Cooperation & Awareness (MICA).

                                                    The Asia-Pacific region poses a number of security challenges, he said. The marinization of the world has created vulnerabilities, he said, adding that states want both to secure the resources that belong to them or that they covet. Some want to strategically use the areas to create sanctuaries for military activity.

                                                    “[T]he corollary of this ‘territorialization of the sea’ is usually the show of force and then the arms race. Facing this dangerous context, France urges to respect the international rules-based order and to step up bilateral and multilateral dialogue,” he said.

                                                    Rey also pointed out that the region must face maritime trafficking of people and illicit goods, smuggling, and theft and robbery at sea. Criminal organizations, sometimes linked to terrorist groups like Abu-Sayyaf – a group in the Philippines that is affiliated with ISIS – contribute to the destabilization of states, their economies and their populations and continue to profit from the difficulties of monitoring such a large area, he said. The French Navy is experienced in maritime operations all over the world and could easily support any partner by sharing this experience, building or enforcing capacity and conducting coordinated surveillance patrols to combat maritime terrorism and piracy threats, Rey said.

                                                    French presence in the Indo-Pacific. French Armed Forces Photo

                                                    Other areas that France can contribute to include the issue of environmental security and preventing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. He said overfishing and illegal fishing activities pose a considerable risk to regional stability in the long term. France is considering employing a uniquely French law enforcement construct for maritime law enforcement. Rather than using a traditional coast guard, the French assign a maritime prefect – usually a navy admiral – who coordinates the various agencies under the authority of the Prime Minister in Paris. Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief preparation is also a priority for the French in the Indo-Pacific.

                                                    “We must remember that Indo-Pacific is mostly an oceanic area, which includes many Pacific islands countries, especially vulnerable to an environmental and humanitarian crisis,” he said. France invests strongly in HADR operations with mechanisms like the FRANZ (France, Australia, New Zealand) agreement and participation in the RHCC (Regional HADR Coordination Center) in Singapore.

                                                    Partnerships are at the core of France’s involvement in the region, Rey said.

                                                    “France’s action in the area relies on partnerships, which is fully consistent with the French tradition of international cooperation. The strategic partnerships we have with the United States, India, Australia and Japan are essential in order to preserve regional stability, by developing interoperability and conducting coordinated operations. ALPACI maintains also excellent relationships and trust with regional partners, such as Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam,” he said.

                                                    The admiral cited the operation conducted off North Korea in supporting of the United Nations Security Council resolutions as an example of operational cooperation. France is part of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and ALPACI is deeply involved in the implementation of those resolutions through the national surveillance operation called AETO. This operation is conducted in close coordination with partners, who are also implied in such operations. He also stated that ALPACI participates in many regional exercises such as RIMPAC in Hawaii, but France also organized some important multilateral exercises such as the recently concluded La Pérouse exercise, which took place in the Bay of Bengal alongside the United States, Australia, Japan and India.

                                                    LHD FS Tonnerre (L9014) and frigate FS Surcouf (F711) being replenished in the South China Sea in April this year by the Royal Australian Navy replenishment ship HMAS Sirius (O266). Royal Australian Navy Photo

                                                    Conducting operations in the Indo-Pacific does pose logistical challenges for France due to both the huge dimensions of the region and the fact that French territories are far away from South-East Asia, Rey said. As a result, France must rely on partners to support its deployments.

                                                    “In that view, the COVID crisis has been an opportunity to test the strength of these partnerships. Fortunately, France has reliable partners in the area, which allow our ship[s] and aircraft to operate safely,” he said.

                                                    One such example has been the current “Jeanne d’Arc” mission, a regular combined cadet training and operational deployment to the region. This year, LHD Tonnerre (L9014) and frigate FS Surcouf (F711) are conducting the mission and have been refueled during the deployment by the Royal Australian Navy replenishment ship HMAS Sirius (O266). The two French Navy ships will also take part in the upcoming ARC 21 exercise held from May 11-17 in Japan with U.S and Japanese forces.

                                                    Rey said France will continue to provide a regular and sustained presence in the region, with assets permanently based in the Pacific being regularly reinforced by deployments of French mainland resources – as exemplified by the 2019 Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group deployment, the seven-month-long 2020-2021 “Marianne” mission that featured the nuclear attack submarine Émeraude (S604) and the Offshore Support & Assistance Vessel FS Seine, and this year’s “Jeanne d’Arc” mission.

                                                    “Of course, such a long and distant deployment remains a challenge, especially in the current sanitarian context. I think it has demonstrated without ambiguity the French capacity in such a complex undertaking and its commitment to the region,” Rey said.

                                                    About Dzirhan Mahadzir

                                                    Dzirhan Mahadzir is a freelance defense journalist and analyst based in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Among the publications he has written for and currently writes for since 1998 includes Defence Review Asia, Jane’s Defence Weekly, Navy International, International Defence Review, Asian Defence Journal, Defence Helicopter, Asian Military Review and the Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter.


                                                    • magnify
                                                      magnify commented
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                                                  • #39
                                                    Not quite sure how Australia's EEZ is a French 'Permanent Area of Responsibility"
                                                    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
                                                    It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
                                                    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.


                                                    • Bug2
                                                      Bug2 commented
                                                      Editing a comment

                                                    • magnify
                                                      magnify commented
                                                      Editing a comment
                                                      Nor PNG, Fiji, Solomon Is, East Timor or NZ.

                                                  • #40
                                                    British vessel delivers US equipment to Croatia

                                                    By George Allison

                                                    May 12, 2021

                                                    American vehicles and equipment were delivered to Croatia by a British sealift vessel in support of Exercise ‘DEFENDER Europe 21’, a large-scale US Army-led exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between US, NATO allies and partner militaries.

                                                    MV Hurst Point was handled by 9 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps whilst at Zadar, Croatia on May the 6th, 2021.

                                                    This year more than 28,000 multinational forces from 26 nations will conduct nearly simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas in more than a dozen countries from the Baltics to the strategically important Balkans and Black Sea Region.

                                                    Croatian Maj. Zeljko Vuk, lead exercise planner for the Croatian Army, left, U.S. Col. Joshua Hirsch, commander of the 598th Transportation Brigade, center, and British Maj. Dan Cornwell, officer commanding of the 66 Fuel and General Transport Squad, 9th Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps, right, stand in front of the British cargo ship Hurst Point and U.S. Naval Ship Yuma after speaking with members of the media at the Zadar port. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea)
                                                    The Point class sealift ships, while operated by a private company, are designed for the strategic transport of military cargo and vehicles and are available for use as naval auxiliaries to the British armed forces when required.

                                                    The vessels have 2,650 linear metres of space for vehicles which is able to house 130 armoured vehicles and 60 trucks and ammunition or 8,000 tonnes of vehicles.

                                                    Four ships were built by the German company Flensburger Schiffbau Gesellschaft and two built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast.

                                                    They replaced the RFA Sea Centurion and Sea Crusader in service.

                                                    Picture shows Merchant Vessel Hartland Point carrying military equipment in support of Cougar 12 in the Mediterranean Sea.

                                                    The full six-ship service was only to be required for major operations and exercises, which prompted the MoD to pursue a contract for their long term service under a Private Finance Initiative. Under the contract the provider can make ships available for commercial service with other companies at times when they are not needed by MoD, two of the ships however have been let go from this arrangement leaving the MoD with only four should they be required.

                                                    One of the two released has been procured by the US Special Forces, and converted into a mobile base and support vessel...............

                                                    The four remaining are MV Hurst Point, MV Hartland Point, MV Eddystone and MV Anvil Point.

                                                    The vessels have 2,650 linear metres of space for vehicles which is able to house 130 armoured vehicles and 60 trucks and ammunition or 8,000 tonnes of vehicles.


                                                    • #41
                                                      German Navy commissions Baden-Württemberg-class frigate Sachsen-Anhalt

                                                      POSTED ON TUESDAY, 18 MAY 2021 17:24
                                                      According to a tweet published by the Deutsche Marine (German Navy) on May 17, 2021, the Navy commissioned the Baden-Württemberg-class frigate Sachsen-Anhalt during a ceremony in Wilhelmshaven, Lower Saxony.

                                                      Baden-Württemberg-class frigates Sachsen-Anhalt F224 in Wilhelmshaven (Picture source: Twitter account of the German Navy)

                                                      Sachsen-Anhalt (F224) is the third ship of the Baden-Württemberg-class frigates of the German Navy.

                                                      Sachsen-Anhalt was laid down on 4 June 2014 and launched on 4 March 2016 in Hamburg, Germany. After considerable delay following her launch to repair defects identified during construction she was delivered to the Navy in March 2021.

                                                      The F125-class frigates are built by ARGE F125 consortium, lead by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and supplemented by Blohm + Voss, Nordsweerke and Lurssen Werft. A total of four vessels will be built for the German Navy.

                                                      Although the F125-class ships are frigates their displacement is much larger, closer to that of a destroyer, as it reaches 7,200 tonnes. They are built to replace the eight Bremen-class frigates, which entered service in the ‘80s, and carry out a wide range of missions, both combat and humanitarian.

                                                      Their crew is comprised on average of 150 sailors, although that can change depending on the mission. The vessels’ main weapons are the Oto Melara 127/64 LW gun, 2 x remote-controlled 27 mm Rheinmetall MLG27 cannons, 5 x HITROLE naval turrets with 12.7 mm heavy machine guns, 8 x Boeing RGM-84 Harpoon missiles, 2 x Raytheon RIM-116 RAM CIWS systems and a series of non-lethal weapons.


                                                      • Bug2
                                                        Bug2 commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        I have never understood why the German Navy thinks RAM CIWS are acceptable as the only anti-air missile system? Bloody weird, and worthless at anything beyond 10 kms................

                                                    • #42

                                                      Representation of the Sea Fire Radar on the mast of a frigate © Thales

                                                      Thales Delivers First Sea Fire Next Gen Radar For France’s New Frigates

                                                      On April 27th 2021, Thales delivered the first digital Sea Fire radar for integration on the French Navy’s FDI Frigate in Lorient.

                                                      Xavier Vavasseur 19 May 2021

                                                      The milestone follows a seven-year development and is in-line with the French defence procurement agency’s initial schedule.

                                                      Thales press release

                                                      Launched in 2014, the first of the five Sea Fire AESA digital radars for French Navy’s future Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention (FDI) arrived at the Lorient shipyard on April 27th 2021 for integration on the first vessel.

                                                      Today’s naval forces face faster, more manoeuvrable and increasingly complex threats. Vessels need protection from conventional ballistic or air threats, surface and asymmetric threats, but also from high-velocity and saturation attacks. At the same time, they have to take into account reduced crewing requirements, the need for improved maintenance and the imperatives of cybersecurity.

                                                      Sea Fire is the solution of choice for commanders responsible for ensuring vessel survivability in the face of a rapidly expanding array of threats. With its fully solid-state four-panel AESA antenna, Sea Fire can search for air and surface targets simultaneously, scanning an area of several hundred square kilometres with 360° coverage in azimuth, 90° in elevation and an unmatched refresh rate.

                                                      The first SeaFire radar array at the Thales facility in Limours in 2019.

                                                      This digital radar is at the forefront of technological innovation and benefits from all Thales’s Big Data and cybersecurity expertise. Subsequent software developments will further improve the product’s performance and operational availability throughout its lifecycle. The huge volumes of data generated by each panel — in the order of one terabit per second — can be processed using advanced algorithms to optimize the radar’s performance in its specific operating environment. This new AESA fixed-array radar offers twice the operational availability of earlier-generation radar systems with mechanically scanned antennas.

                                                      Manufactured in Limours, south of Paris, with the involvement of a French network of small medium- sized companies, the Sea Fire started production in May 2018 and successfully passed initial qualification tests late 2020. Despite difficulties caused by the Covid-19 crisis, Thales aligned with the initial schedule planned, delivering the first of five Sea Fire radars on time to the Lorient shipyard for integration.
                                                      “Drawing on more than 70 years of Thales experience in the field of surface radars, the Sea Fire is designed to help navies to counter all types of threats, from slow-moving targets to supersonic missiles. Thales is proud to be on board the future FDI frigates with a digital radar that brings modern frigates the same power and performance as a destroyer and ensures that commanders can fulfil their mission with optimum safety.”
                                                      Rémi Mongabure, Bids Director for multifunction radars at Thales


                                                      Naval News comments:

                                                      Artist impression of the future FDI / Amiral Ronarc’h-class Frigate of the French Navy (seen here in its final configuration). DGA picture.

                                                      The SEA FIRE is a multi function radar consisting in four non-rotating arrays (similar to the Lockheed Martin SPY-1 family of radars) and benefiting from the latest gallium nitride (GaN) high-power amplifier technology (similar to Raytheon SPY-6 family).

                                                      The SEA FIRE provides early warning of potential attacks from conventional and emerging air and surface threats using long-range 3D surveillance, horizon search, and surface surveillance. Its 360-degree coverage can track 800 objects simultaneously without saturation at a range of up to 500 kilometers in the air and 80 kilometers on the surface.

                                                      Besides the FDI frigates (including those proposed to the Hellenic Navy), Thales is already pitching its new radar for export (likely for the Republic of Singapore Navy’s MRCV program). A variant of the radar will also be fitted aboard the future aircraft carrier of the French Navy, the PANG.


                                                      • ADMk2
                                                        ADMk2 commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        A 76mm gun, 8x Exocets and 16x Aster 15/30, plus torpedoes and a pair of 20mm guns? Seems a tad light on…

                                                        The radar might be designed to engage supersonic ASM’s, but it won’t be engaging very many of them…

                                                      • Bug2
                                                        Bug2 commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        Agreed, but if you look at the clear deck area in front of the VLS there may be room enough to treble that loadout.

                                                    • #43
                                                      US offer to Greek Navy for the new frigates

                                                      POSTED ON THURSDAY, 20 MAY 2021 14:44

                                                      According to information published by Seapower Magazine on May 18, 2021, the Greek government and the United States are discussing now the future acquisition of four frigates by the Greek Navy amid the current tensions with his neighbor, Turkey. The US offer will be based on the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC).

                                                      Artist rendering of the MMSC (Picture source: Lockheed Martin)

                                                      The Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) is a lethal and highly maneuverable multi-mission surface combatant capable of littoral and open-ocean operation. It was designed from the keel-up to confront modern maritime and economic security threats.

                                                      The MMSC takes the proven capabilities of the U.S. Littoral Combat Ship and the inherent flexibility of the Freedom-variant hull to meet the unique maritime requirements of international navies. The Multi-Mission Surface Combatant has a range of 5,000 nautical miles and can reach speeds in excess of 30 knots. It will be based on the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship’s 118-meter hull and it will utilize the same combined diesel and gas propulsion system.

                                                      With proven combat management system lineage, Lockheed Martin’s MMSC has the interoperability necessary for today’s joint and allied naval force maneuvers. Paired with the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter, the MH-60R SEAHAWK®, the MMSC will have a robust anti-submarine mission capability that is fully interoperable with the U.S. Navy and its coalition partners.

                                                      The MMSC utilizes the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Combat System Software library. The MMSC integrated combat system solution leverages the domestic LCS integration of the 57mm Mk110 deck gun and SeaRAM, and expands multi-mission capability through integration of Over-The-Horizon surface-to-surface missiles, port and starboard 20 mm remote guns, a new fire control radar and a forward centerline 8 cell MK 41 Vertical Launch System equipped with RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles. The MMSC is also equipped with the AN/SLQ-25 Torpedo Defense system.

                                                      Operational and deployed today with the U.S. Navy as the primary anti-submarine warfare anti-surface weapon system for open ocean and littoral zones, the MH-60R SEAHAWK helicopter is an advanced maritime helicopter. It is a naval helicopter available today designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.

                                                      The Freedom-class is one of two classes of the littoral combat ship program, built for the United States Navy.

                                                      The design of Freedom-class is based on a semi-planing steel monohull with an aluminum superstructure. She has a length of 377 ft (115 m), and displaces 3,500 metric tons (3,400 long tons). The design also incorporates a large, reconfigurable sea frame to allow rapidly interchangeable mission modules, a flight deck with an integrated helicopter launch, recovery, and handling system, and the capability to launch and recover boats (manned and unmanned) from both the stern and side.

                                                      The Freedom-class is powered by two Rolls-Royce MT30 36MW gas turbines and two Colt-Pielstick 16PA6B 6.8 MW (9,100 hp) diesel engines and 4 Rolls-Royce waterjets. She can reach a top speed of 47 knots (87 km/h; 54 mph) with a maximum cruising range 3,500 nmi (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph).

                                                      The Mark 41 Vertical Launching System (Mk 41 VLS) is a shipborne missile canister launching system that provides a rapid-fire launch capability against hostile threats. The Vertical Launch System (VLS) concept was derived from work on the Aegis Combat System.


                                                      • unicorn11
                                                        unicorn11 commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        Yes, and the US Navy urgently wanting to start paying off the LCS it's based on won't have any negative effects on your bid...LOL

                                                      • ADMk2
                                                        ADMk2 commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        It’d be a pass from me…

                                                        For the same money you can buy a real frigate, just as the USN is doing now, though they are still fixated on that 57mm gun, which I happen to like, but not for a supposed frigate sized vessel…

                                                      • magnify
                                                        magnify commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        They may want replacements but they will also want something that can make the Turks take care. I don't think this does that.

                                                    • #44

                                                      Video Interview: The French Navy In The Indo-Pacific

                                                      Interview with the Chief of Staff of the French Navy, Admiral Pierre Vandier, about the role of the Marine Nationale in the Indo-Pacific.

                                                      Xavier Vavasseur 24 May 2021

                                                      Admiral Vandier discussed with Naval News French Navy missions in the Indo-Pacific, recent exercises and missions in the area such as ARC 21 with Japan, USA and Australia, Anti-Access Area Denial (A2AD) challenges in the South China Sea, modernisation plans for the French Pacific fleet (POM, AVSIMAR and Surveillance Frigates replacement programs)…

                                                      The interview was recorded on 12 May, 2021 at Hexagon Ballard, the head quarters of the French armed forces (you may call it the “French pentagon”). Here is the transcript of the interview:

                                                      Naval News: There has been an unprecedented French Navy presence in the IndoPacific zone in the past six months. Can you first remind us the exercises and missions in which the French Navy took part recently ?

                                                      Admiral Vandier: The Navy’s presence in the Indian and Pacific oceans did not dramatically increase because it has been present for years. It conducts missions on a regular basis with the aircraft carrier, rather in the western part of the Indian Ocean and this year an effort has been made on the central pacific area.

                                                      Several missions allowed us to carry out training with partners. So the aircraft carrier carried out an exercise called Varuna with the Indians, the Mission Jeanne D’Arc carried out several exercises: She conducted an exercise called La Pérouse which was carried out with the Indians, the Americans, the Australians in the Gulf of Bengal and the same mission Jeanne d’Arc after having sailed in the South China Sea is now off the coast of Japan to carry out an amphibious exercise called ARC 21 with the presence of Americans and Australians.

                                                      And then otherwise the usual missions could be carried out, those carried out from our sovereign vessels. Finally, it was extensively covered, the mission of submarine Emeraude which completed a loop that went through Guam and which has now returned to Toulon

                                                      Naval News: Admiral, how do you explain such a presence in the Indo-Pacific ?

                                                      Admiral Vandier: So there are several things that justify this level of activity. First there is the fact that we have interests in the area. France is a riparian country of the Indo-Pacific with half of its maritime resources located in this area and which has two million of its nationals who are physically present in the Indo-Pacific zone. It’s good to go and visit them, to show that we are present for the safety of the French people, for the defense of the interests of the country, for the surveillance of our exclusive economic zone.

                                                      And then many partners ask us to be at their side whether it is the Indians whether it is the Australians whether it is the Japanese or the Americans, who, in a period of increasing tensions, are happy to have partners who bring security to the area.

                                                      Naval News: There is currently a challenge to the rules-based order in the East and South China Seas. Japan and the United States are trying to counter this challenge with a common vision of a “Free and Open IndoPacific”. Does France share a similar vision and what is the role of the French Navy in this context ?

                                                      Admiral Vandier: The President of the Republic and the Minister of the Armed Forces have developed an Indo-Pacific strategy which in fact presents the contribution of France as an important player since it is a local of the zone because we have territorial rights there, as a security contributor and with the ambition, in particular with regard to china, to work with it both as a competitor and as a partner.

                                                      So China plays an important role in the global trade. It is present in France, China brings the commercial flow, we trade with China.

                                                      And on the other hand China shows behaviors, in particular close to its borders in the South China Sea, to which France does not adhere. Therefore France participates in the effort of Western countries, countries in the region, to demonstrate the importance of respecting the rules of free navigation, which are the harmless transit, the passage, free use of the high seas, and therefore to fight against the territorialization of international maritime areas.

                                                      JGSDF Chinook aboard Tonnerre LHD during ARC 21

                                                      French Foreign Legion soldiers exiting a JGSDF Chinook during ARC 21French Navy ALPACI pictures

                                                      Naval News: Regarding the ARC21 exercise, which begins today by the way with the JMSDF, the US Navy and the Royal Australian Navy, what is the goal of this exercise ?

                                                      Admiral Vandier: The goal is both a demonstration, the fact that we are able to delpoy a ship,
                                                      some troops, here we are talking about French Foreign Legion troops, and to carry out an exercise which involves some planning, some communication, a command system to be able to carry out an operation which is of medium intensity.

                                                      Disembarking people on an island is not extremely complicated, in a weakly contested environment. So it is this demonstration to connect the command staffs and to produce a concrete effect in the field. It is the elementary corner stone which then makes it possible to consider more structured collaborations at the top of the spectrum.

                                                      Naval News: What is your assessment of the emergence and possible proliferation of new interdiction means in the region. To use the acronym in English: The A2/AD anti-access area denial which consists in setting up naval bases or anti-ship missiles on islands in the zone. What is the French Navy’s posture in this context ?

                                                      Admiral Vandier: So as I previously told you, we have possesions, we have territories, we have ports, infrastructures, airfields. This constitutes something that today is absolutely not threatened.

                                                      On the other hand we are witnessing the proliferation of weapon systems, especially Chinese ones, whose ambition, the range of the threat, makes that today they are able to exert a potential constraint on activities carried out on the high seas. Here it is and so today all the work that is carried out in particular with our allies is to develop an understanding of China’s intentions, and then to be able to implement activities that are capable of working in this environment despite a threat that is supposed and whose goal is effectively to force a form of deterrence on the activities of the allies.

                                                      Typically, still in the context of your question, the mission of a submarine in the area is significant, since the ability to interdict the presence of a submarine requires a much higher level of threat development.

                                                      So the signal that was sent with a submarine it is indeed the fact to participate with our allies, in particular the Americans, in a posture of strengthened mobility under the constraint of these global defense systems.

                                                      ALBATROS maritime surveillance aircraft
                                                      © Dassault Aviation
                                                      The POMs will be based in New Caledonia (Noumea), Reunion (Port-des-Galets) and French Polynesia (Papeete) © Socarenam

                                                      Naval News: Do you plan on modernizing the assets permanently based in the region in response to these growing challenges ?

                                                      Admiral Vandier: So this modernization is foreseen by the military planning law. Currently in progress we have the renewal of overseas patrollers . So a program that will deliver 6 new patrollers which will be based in Reunion Island in Noumea and in Papeete. These will be very modern boats obviously with low-spectrum offensive means, but which will allow to patrol in very very large areas and the renewal of these assets will be completed in 2025.

                                                      We also launched the AVSIMAR program for the renewal of surveillance aircraft. The so called ALBATROS program which based on Falcon 2000 will renew the old Falcon 200 fleet.

                                                      And then looking ahead, at the end of the decade we have the renewal of the surveillance frigates. We currently have 6 surveillance frigates which will be replaced by ships that will probably be more armed, more rugged from a military stand point.

                                                      Scale model of the Attack-class submarine on Naval Group stand at PACIFIC 2019.

                                                      Naval News: Finally Admiral, you mentioned some of France’s allies in the area. Can we expect the collaboration and cooperation with these partners to be strengthened ?

                                                      Admiral Vandier: You know that France is very present alongside Australia in the so-called future submarine program. Therefore we obviously have as part of the support of this technical program where naval group will build submarines for Australia a great deal of cooperation activities with the Australian Navy, staff exchanges, common exercises.

                                                      When Emeraude patrolled the Indian Ocean, the submarine conducted a high level exercise with the Australian Navy off Perth. And then according to the stopovers, we have a bi-annual exercise called Croix du Sud.

                                                      We are also thinking about fulcrum issues, to be able to put logistic points in favorable places to strengthen our presence in the area.


                                                      • unicorn11
                                                        unicorn11 commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        I think the furthest east Charles De Gaulle has ever operated has been berthing in Singapore, so not really much 'Pacific' in the Asia Pacific.
                                                        Last edited by unicorn11; 28-05-21, 04:43 AM.

                                                    • #45

                                                      PHILIPPINE SEA (May 19, 2021) - The U.S. Navy's fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AOE 6), left, conducts an underway replenishment with the French Navy's amphibious assault ship FS Tonnerre (L 9014), while the French frigate FS Surcouf (F711) follows. (Photo courtesy of the French Navy)

                                                      French, Japanese And U.S. Navies Build Logistics Network In Indo-Pacific

                                                      PHILIPPINE SEA – Combined logistics planning by the French Navy, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and the U.S. Navy culminated in ships from each country exercising its ability to sustain each other at sea.

                                                      Naval News Staff 24 May 2021

                                                      Courtesy Story from Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific Public Affairs Office

                                                      Throughout May, the French Navy’s Jeanne d’Arc amphibious task group conducted replenishments-at-sea with the U.S. Navy and JMSDF in separate events that the three countries planned together.

                                                      The continued importance of interchangeable logistics for all three nations and the support of multinational planners coordinating replenishments are increasing the reach, speed and reliability of each of these partners’ sustainability.

                                                      On May 19, the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AOE 6) conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the French Navy amphibious assault ship FS Tonnerre (L 9014) in the Philippine Sea. Earlier this month, on May 4, the JMSDF Replenishment Ship JS Masyuu (AOE 425) conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the French Navy frigate FS Surcouf (F 711) also in the Philippine Sea.
                                                      “Replenishment at sea (RAS) is a maneuver of special interest for our Navy assets operating in the Indo-Pacific. First, it highlights the excellent level of tactical interoperability between partners, as RAS is a complex maritime operation, requiring perfect seamanship training and technical coordination. Then, it allows our respective naval forces to operate durably at sea, without the constraint of replenishment port visits. Today, in the specific context of the current pandemic, whereas access to some harbor is denied to our Navy ship, this capacity is of first importance.”
                                                      French Navy Rear Adm. Jean-Mathieu Rey, Joint Commander French Armed Forces, in Asia-Pacific.

                                                      U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, commander of Logistics Group Western Pacific (COMLOG WESTPAC) / Task Force (CTF) 73, who oversees the Navy’s regional logistic and maintenance missions, believes working together with friends, partners, and allies is an important investment in these relationships.
                                                      “In a time of need, we can surge the material, the ships, the aircraft. But what we can’t surge – is trust.”
                                                      U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, commander of Logistics Group Western Pacific (COMLOG WESTPAC) / Task Force (CTF) 73

                                                      Tactical interoperability built on trust is strengthened through allied representatives who work closely with Tynch’s logistics staff.

                                                      French Navy Cmdr. Jérémy Bachelier and JMSDF Lt. Cmdr. Yoko Ukegawa, played a critical role ensuring the interchangeability of sustainment operations between the French Navy, JMSDF and U.S. Navy ships.

                                                      Ukegawa, the JMSDF liaison officer at COMLOG WESTPAC / CTF 73, works side-by-side with the U.S. combat logistics officers, making the seamless scheduling of underway replenishments a more efficient process. The combined coordination also improves the common understanding of tactics and procedures, and effective communication during operations.
                                                      “I coordinated on the planning of RAS by closely working together with the representatives from partner navies. Although the items to be coordinated were very wide-ranging and complex, but thanks to my like-minded partners, the mission was accomplished successfully.”
                                                      JMSDF Lt. Cmdr. Yoko Ukegawa, liaison officer at COMLOG WESTPAC / CTF 73

                                                      Replenishment operations involve refueling at sea and the delivery of provisions via connected or vertical replenishments.

                                                      “As we continue to work together for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Tynch. “One of the most effective deterrents against aggression is the seamless coordination between friends, partners, and allies.”

                                                      COMLOG WESTPAC is the U.S. 7th Fleet’s provider of combat-ready logistics, operating government-owned and contracted ships to keep units throughout 7th Fleet armed, fueled and fed.

                                                      As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet employs 50-70 ships and submarines across the Western Pacific and Indian oceans. U.S. 7th Fleet routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific Region.


                                                      • #46
                                                        27 MAY 2021

                                                        Poland establishes consortium for coastal defence vessel programme

                                                        by Jakub Link-Lenczowski

                                                        Poland has established a consortium consisting of the Polish Armaments Group and PGZ Naval Shipyard in its bid to procure three frigate-sized coastal defence vessels for the navy under its Miecznik (Swordfish) programme.

                                                        The new coastal defence vessels are intended to replace the Polish Navy's two Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, ORP General Kazimierz Pułaski and ORP General Tadeusz Kościuszko (pictured), by 2033. (NATO/PO ESP-N Sánchez Oller)

                                                        The PGZ-Miecznik consortium will have the mandate to negotiate with the Miecznik programme's contracting authority, the Inspectorate of Armament of the Polish of the Ministry of National Defence (MND).

                                                        Launching the consortium is a milestone in the process of building frigates for the Polish Navy, said Sebastian Chwałek, PGZ Naval Shipyard's president, in an official statement on 14 May.

                                                        Plans to acquire a new class of coastal defence vessels for the Polish Navy have been repeatedly pushed back since they were first announced in 2012. However, in March the MND announced the launch of a new tender for the Miecznik programme, and defence minister Mariusz Błaszczak tweeted on 15 March that a contract signing was planned by the middle of the year.

                                                        The first company invited to participate in the programme was Polish Remontowa Shipbuilding, with subsequent invitations sent out to naval companies across Europe. The consortium has received six proposals from five potential bidders to date, each with technology transfer arrangements to local shipyards. However, further details on these remain confidential.

                                                        The vessels are expected to be built in the ‘1+2' formula, with the first-of-class being being assessed for potential improvements that can be incorporated on subsequent hulls. The first vessel may also be modified for future security requirements.


                                                        • #47
                                                          French Naval Group makes a new offer for the Hellenic Navy

                                                          POSTED ON FRIDAY, 28 MAY 2021 16:35

                                                          Naval Group submitted as part of the French Team with MBDA and Thales a new offer for the modernization of the surface fleet of the Hellenic Navy. The French Team’s offer includes 4 FDI HN (3 built-in Greece and the 1st in service by 2025 along with a Gap filler solution of 2 frigates available in early 2022), the modernization of the MEKO frigates in Greece, and a Hellenic Industry Participation (HIP).

                                                          Artist rendering of the future French Frigates for Defence and Intervention FDI (Picture source: Naval Group)

                                                          Fitted with up to 32 ASTER missiles or with a combination of ASTER and MICA NG missiles, 21 RAM, 8 Exocet MM 40 B 3, MU 90 lightweight torpedoes and 76 mm gun, she offers capabilities for the permanent control of air and sea space and autonomy of action, in support of the political and military objectives set. The FDI HN will be fully interoperable with NATO and EU Navies’ fleets. She will be capable of assuming all multimission roles within any kind of allied fleet and within the HN fleet.

                                                          The Aster missiles onboard can be engaged very quickly in all directions and ensure an unmatched hit-to-kill capability, making it possible to defeat saturating attacks.

                                                          The FDI frigate has been designed to be equipped as growth potential with Naval Cruise Missiles, a Deep Strike capability and able to deal with the latest threats. The physical and digital infrastructures of the FDI guarantee an evolutionary potential that will ensure that the Hellenic Navy will be able to deal with emerging and future threats over the life of the ship (UAVs, Cyber, anti-ship ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles, stealth threats underwater or above water, etc.).

                                                          The first FDI HN (Belharra) will be delivered in 2025 meaning that the needs of the HN will be addressed very quickly and Naval Group offers a risk-free solution for the construction of the 3 other FDI HN in Greece, by Greek shipyards, on time, and with the same quality and performances as the first of class.

                                                          In addition, the French offer includes a Gap filler solution, also available in the shortest timeframe since the 2 Anti-air warfare (AAW) and Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) frigates will be delivered to Greece in 2022 within the frame of the proposal.

                                                          Naval Group, Thales and MBDA have formed a partnership that offers a solution for the upgrade of the MEKO.

                                                          The MEKO mid-life refit program is planned to be carried out in Greece. In this respect, Thales can count on the presence of Thales Hellas S.A. and on the relations already established between Thales and Naval Group with existing industrial partners.

                                                          Naval Group’s experts have been working in coordination with the two main defense industry associations, SEKPY and HASDIG, but also with the maritime industry association HEMEXPO.

                                                          More than 70 companies based in Athens and Thessaloniki areas have been identified among which 10 companies are already pre-qualified and 40 have been met and/or visited for a preliminary evaluation of their industrial capabilities.

                                                          Naval Group is already working on cybersecurity applied to the naval and maritime domains with Greek partners in the frame of different European programs such as CYBERMAR as well as the PESCO Pandora and H2020 projects.

                                                          The Belharra frigate will have a length of 122 m, a beam of 17.7 m, and a displacement of 4,460 tons. The ship will have a crew of 110 people as well as an aircrew detachment of approximately 15 people. She will also have a flight deck and one hangar to accommodate one unmanned VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft or one NH-90 naval helicopter.

                                                          The frigate will be powered by a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system. She will have the capability to reach a top speed of 27 knots (50.0 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 5,000 nmi (9,300 km) at 15 knots (27.8 km/h).


                                                          • #48

                                                            Royal Netherlands Navy’s HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën Frigate

                                                            Royal Netherlands Navy’s HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën Frigate Tracks Ballistic Missile

                                                            The Royal Netherlands Navy announced that the SMART-L Multi Mission/Naval radar aboard HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën was used to eliminate a ballistic missile, marking a first in Europe. This was carried out during exercise Formidable Shield 2021.

                                                            Xavier Vavasseur 31 May 2021

                                                            The LCF Frigate achieved a first in Europe thanks to its SMART-L MM/N Radar

                                                            According to the RNLN, the new SMART-L Multi Mission/Naval radar can detects ballistic missiles up to 2,000 kilometers away. The ship can then can pass on the tracking and detection data to other sea-based or land-defense BMD assets, including U.S. Navy’s warships, that can deal with a ballistic missile threat.
                                                            In addition to remote detection, the new SMART-L simultaneously ‘sees’ threats in the airspace. The Zeven Provinciën is able to protect a maritime squadron against anti-ship missiles fired from a distance. For defense against projectiles outside the atmosphere, the Navy needs the Americans. They successfully destroyed a ballistic missile flying 14,000 kilometers per hour through space. This was done with an interceptor missile, fired from the USS Paul Ignatius, but based on the information provided by the SMART-L. The Netherlands itself has no such missiles, which is why a partner took out the ‘enemy’ projectile.
                                                            RNLN statement

                                                            The Netherlands has been a leader in the field of radar for years. In 2006, the trajectory of a threatening projectile in space was calculated for the first time. At the time, this was done by Holland Signaal, currently Thales. Then, too, there was collaboration with the Americans to destroy the missile. The tests were near Hawaii.

                                                            About De Zeven Provinciën-class / LCF Frigates

                                                            The Royal Netherlands Navy Air Defense and Command Frigate (ADCF) HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën (F802) engages a subsonic target with two Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM), May 19, 2021. Courtesy photo: Royal Danish Navy

                                                            The Royal Netherlands Navy has 4 air defense and command frigates (LCF) of the De Zeven Provinciën-class. The ships can protect a complete fleet from enemy threats from the sea and from the air (aircraft and missiles). Specialized in anti-aircraft warfare (AAW) vessel, LCF vessels are fitted with 40x Mk41 Vertical Launch Systems which are used to house and launch Evolved Sea Sparrow (ESSM) and SM-2 Block IIIA missiles.

                                                            In addition, the ships are equipped to allow the deployable and operational command staff of the Royal Netherlands Navy, the Netherlands Maritime Force (NLMARFOR), to control large-scale (maritime) operations.

                                                            The first-in-class ship received her SMART-L Multi Mission radar upgrade from Thales in March 2019. All four ships of the class will be upgraded with the new radar (and other systems) as part of a modernization programme. This new radar is capable of BMD mission (surveillance and tracking of ballistic missiles) up to 2000 km while simultaneous maintaining the air defence capability. The Dutch Defence Material Organisation (DMO) announced in April 2020 that it has selected Italian company Leonardo to supply new 127mm naval gun systems.

                                                            LCF Specifications

                                                            displacement: 6,050 tons
                                                            length: 144 meters
                                                            width: 17 meters
                                                            draft: 7 meters
                                                            speed: 30 knots

                                                            About SMART-L MM

                                                            In addition to remote detection, the new SMART-L simultaneously “sees” threats in the airspace.

                                                            According to Thales, the SMART-L MM is a next generation Long Range Multi Mission Radar for Air and Space Surveillance and Ballistic Missile Detection. The fully digitally controlled Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) type of radar, applying GaN transmitter and Dual Axis Multibeam receiver technology, is capable of detecting a very wide variety of air and space objects including stealth, short up to long range ballistic missiles and space objects. The SMART-L MM is capable of surveillance and tracking of Ballistic Missiles up to 2000 km while simultaneous maintaining the Air Defence capability. Aboard the LCF vessels, the MM variant replaces the existing SMART-L radars.


                                                            • ADMk2
                                                              ADMk2 commented
                                                              Editing a comment
                                                              Would be a great candidate for SM-3. Would provide the only genuine BMD capability in all of Europe…

                                                            • unicorn11
                                                              unicorn11 commented
                                                              Editing a comment
                                                              I note it says "Then, too, there was collaboration with the Americans to destroy the missile."
                                                              Basically they were providing search, tracking and cueing for a Burke to kill it with a SM-3.
                                                              The Dutch are almost there, they just have to bite the bullet and reach for the credit card.

                                                          • #49
                                                            JUNE 4, 2021

                                                            Babcock offers the Arrowhead-140 frigate design to Greek Navy

                                                            Babcock has announced it had held talks with officials in Greece proposing the Arrowhead-140 design (the basis for the Royal Navy’s Type 31) as a candidate for the Hellenic Navy’s new frigate modernisation programme.

                                                            Working jointly with the UK Government, Babcock says that it can provide the Hellenic Navy assistance with upgrades to the existing Hydra Class frigates, an interim frigate capability and four Babcock Arrowhead 140 frigates.

                                                            The new frigates would be built in Greece, helping the domestic supply chain, and include upgrading infrastructure and a transfer of skills and technology. Babcock has been engaging with Greece-based companies interested in being part of the supply chain and recently held a live online event in Athens, under the auspices of the Hellenic MoD Armaments Directorate.

                                                            Thales will provide the Combat Management System and is already involved in the upgrade of the MEKO 200 Hydra Class frigates upgrades, delivering commonality of systems from the current frigate fleet to the new fleet of Arrowhead 140s.

                                                            Details of how the Greek frigates could be equipped are unclear but would seem be more heavily armed than the Type 31. The accompanying image appears to show a 32 cell-VLS and 8 canister-launched Anti-ship missiles amidships. The aft Bofors 40mm gun is retained but the forward mount is replaced by a RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launcher which is already in service with the Hellenic Navy. The new Leonardo Sovraponte 76/62 gun replaces the 57mm of Type 31. The sensor fit would appear to be similar to Type 31, but with the addition of dedicated gunfire control radars.

                                                            Babcock faces stiff competition from experienced international competitors. French shipbuilder, Naval Group have submitted a proposal to Greece for 4 Frégate de défense et d’intervention (FDI) vessels, based on the design of 5 ships for the Marine Nationale that will shortly begin construction. The first ship would be built in France and the remaining 3 vessels in Greece. They would also provide 4 ex-French navy frigates as an interim solution. Navantia has proposed 4 ships based on F110-class multi-mission frigate being built for the Spanish Navy. Dutch shipbuilder Damen is proposing the brand-new SIGMA 11515 frigate design for Greece, an evolution of the SIGMA 10514 already in service with several navies.


                                                            • #50

                                                              Greece Short-Lists At Least 6 Offers For Hellenic Navy Frigate Program

                                                              On June 5, a meeting chaired by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the procedures for evaluating proposals for the acquisition of new frigates revealed that the Spanish shipbuilder Navantia and its offer had not been selected.

                                                              Martin Manaranche 09 Jun 2021

                                                              Spain's F110 Frigate is not among them...

                                                              According to the Greek Ministry of Defense, during the meeting, a proposal to further examine the evaluation capabilities for the acquisition of frigates from the following countries was accepted: France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

                                                              Through this declaration, it is possible to notice that Spain is absent from the selected offers. No announcements were made to explain the refusal of Navantia’s bid.

                                                              As Naval News reported previously, the Hellenic Navy requested a procurement of four new frigates, but the need was not limited to new-built frigates. Their need is so urgent that they require a “stop-gap” solution (consisting in the procurement of second-hand vessels or a lease of existing vessels) as well as an upgrade to the in-service Hydra-class frigates.

                                                              The Navantia proposal consisted of:
                                                              • Four new F110 frigates,
                                                              • An interim solution consisting of delivering two new Alfa 3000 light frigates in only 35 months,
                                                              • the modernization of the Greek Navy’s Hydra class frigates.
                                                              Unlike some of its competitors, Navantia’s stop gap solution did not consist of second-hand ships but of new ships. The Spanish shipbuilder’s proposal was to provide two brand new 3,000-tonne light frigates with anti-aircraft, anti-ship and anti-submarine capabilities.

                                                              It is understood that the designs still being considered today, are:There may be an additional American offer under consideration: A “mini Burke” design being pitched by local naval architect Gibbs & Cox.