Friday, September 30, 2011

Russian Navy News September 30, 2011

Japan Welcomes PF Ships 09.29.2011Japan Welcomes PF Ships
Japan Welcomes PF Ships

First Sortie of INS Vikramaditya Postponed For May 201209.29.2011First Sortie of INS Vikramaditya Postponed For May 2012
First Sortie of INS Vikramaditya Postponed For May 2012

Russia To Dismantle World's Biggest Subs09.29.2011Russia To Dismantle World's Biggest Subs
Russia To Dismantle World's Biggest Subs

Russian-Ukrainian Yacht To Fly St. Andrew's Flag Worldwide09.28.2011Russian-Ukrainian Yacht To Fly St. Andrew's Flag Worldwide
Russian-Ukrainian Yacht To Fly St. Andrew's Flag Worldwide

US Navy's Warship Visits Vladivostok Again09.28.2011US Navy's Warship Visits Vladivostok Again
US Navy's Warship Visits Vladivostok Again

PF Task Unit Starts Patrolling the Gulf of Aden 09.28.2011PF Task Unit Starts Patrolling the Gulf of Aden
PF Task Unit Starts Patrolling the Gulf of Aden

Baltic Fleet Marines To Visit Swedish Naval Base09.28.2011Baltic Fleet Marines To Visit Swedish Naval Base
Baltic Fleet Marines To Visit Swedish Naval Base

Caspian Flotilla Ships Return From Center-2011 Exercise09.28.2011Caspian Flotilla Ships Return From Center-2011 Exercise
Caspian Flotilla Ships Return From Center-2011 Exercise

ASW Ship Severomorsk Called At Tartus, Syria09.28.2011ASW Ship Severomorsk Called At Tartus, Syria
ASW Ship Severomorsk Called At Tartus, Syria

Norwegian Delegation Visited Northern Fleet09.28.2011Norwegian Delegation Visited Northern Fleet
Norwegian Delegation Visited Northern Fleet

Royal Yacht Monument To Appear In Sevastopol09.27.2011Royal Yacht Monument To Appear In Sevastopol
Royal Yacht Monument To Appear In Sevastopol

Opinion: Discipline and Culture of BSF Officers Degrades 09.27.2011Opinion: Discipline and Culture of BSF Officers Degrades
Opinion: Discipline and Culture of BSF Officers Degrades

Baltic Fleet Held Landing Assault Drill09.27.2011Baltic Fleet Held Landing Assault Drill
Baltic Fleet Held Landing Assault Drill

Zvezdochka to Build Second Same-Named Ship09.26.2011Zvezdochka to Build Second Same-Named Ship
Zvezdochka to Build Second Same-Named Ship

Putin: Russian Armed Forces Must Be Completely Rearmed in 5-10 Years 09.26.2011Putin: Russian Armed Forces Must Be Completely Rearmed in 5-10 Years
Putin: Russian Armed Forces Must Be Completely Rearmed in 5-10 Years

Northern Fleet Frogmen Held Drill09.26.2011Northern Fleet Frogmen Held Drill
Northern Fleet Frogmen Held Drill

Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard Built Missile Boat for Turkmenistan09.26.2011Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard Built Missile Boat for Turkmenistan
Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard Built Missile Boat for Turkmenistan

NF Marines and Pilots Show Skills to Norwegian Delegation09.26.2011NF Marines and Pilots Show Skills to Norwegian Delegation
NF Marines and Pilots Show Skills to Norwegian Delegation

Black Sea Fleet Adopted New Russian-Made Submersible09.26.2011Black Sea Fleet Adopted New Russian-Made Submersible
Black Sea Fleet Adopted New Russian-Made Submersible


U.S. 2nd Fleet to Disestablish Sept. 30

Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet will hold a disestablishment ceremony here, Sept. 30, marking the end of 65 years of the organization's service to the fleet. 
The ceremony is scheduled to be held outside of 2nd Fleet's maritime headquarters at Naval Station Norfolk, at 10:00 a.m., as the commander's flag is lowered for a final time.
U.S. 2nd Fleet's focus has been on safe fleet operations to achieve its mission in the C2F area of responsibility, providing trained and certified maritime forces for global assignment and teaming with allied and partner navies to execute the nation's maritime strategy.
The disestablishment of U.S. 2nd Fleet was announced Jan. 6, and is aligned with Department of Defense efforts to reduce overhead expenditures to protect force structure and invest in modernization. As U.S. 2nd Fleet disestablishes and merges with U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF), USFF will continue to provide the same level of performance and forces ready for tasking to combatant commanders.
U.S. 2nd Fleet traces its origin to the reorganization of the Navy following World War II and the creation of U.S. 8th Fleet headquartered in Norfolk, Va. Officially established March 1, 1946, the command was renamed 2nd Task Fleet in January 1947, and re-designated U.S. 2nd Fleet in February 1950. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Veteran hospital ship arrives for scrap

 USS Sanctuary Photo Wikipedia 1973

1 September 2011, USA: The former hospital ship USS Sanctuary (AH-17) arrived at Brownsville in Texas for scrapping on 1 September. She was the last of six Haven class vessels to remain in service.
Originally named SS Marine Owl, she was launched as a cargo ship on 15 August 1944 by Sun Ship Building & Dry Dock Company, Chester, Pennsylvania. She was acquired by the US Navy one month later and converted to a hospital ship by Todd Shipyards at Hoboken, New Jersey.
She commissioned on 20 June 1945 and set sail for the Pacific. She arrived at Pearl Harbor four days after the Japanese surrender. She was used to treat and repatriate Allied prisoners of war that had been held in Japan. She continued in this role until February 1946 when she was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet. She decommissioned in August 1946 to join the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
She recommissioned from Reserve in November 1966 to serve in Vietnam and at one time (in March 1970) was the only hospital ship stationed there. She left Vietnam in April 1971.
She was then converted to a dependent’s support ship and recommissioned on 18 November 1972. She became the first US Navy ship to have a mixed-sex crew (although previously female nurses had been assigned to hospital ships and transports) when she sailed on a goodwill cruise to South America, setting a precedent to later hospital ships in providing medical treatment for persons from impoverished nations.
She decommissioned finally on 28 March 1975 to be laid up in Maritime Administration Reserve in Philadelphia.
She was stricken on 16 February 1989 when she was sold to the Life International Group for $10. She was towed to Baltimore for conversion to a rehabilitation and training facility for drug addicts. However legal and regulation difficulties prevented the vessel fulfilling that purpose and the vessel was left idle for several years. During a storm in February 2007, the vessel sprung her mooring lines and proceeded on an unmanned tour of Baltimore harbor. Project Life (the successor to Life International) was sued by the Maryland Port Authority for towing and berthing fees which Project Life could not pay. The Sanctuary was subsequently seized by the Maryland Port Authority and auctioned off, to cover the claimed costs, and sold to Potomac Navigation for $50,000 who intended to convert her to a floating hotel and tow her to Greece. However objections to this were raised due to concerns over the presence of PCBs and the vessel never left her mooring at Locust Point, Baltimore.
The vessel displaced 15,400 tons full load and before conversion to a dependent’s support ship had a maximum capacity of 760 beds.

HNLMS Zuiderkruis arrives off Somalia

A832 Zuiderkruis Photo Wikipedia Undated

5 September 2011, EUNAVFOR / Netherlands: HNLMS Zuiderkruis, a fast combat support ship, in service with the Royal Netherlands Navy since 1975, joined Operation ATALANTA on 5 September 2011.
Commanded by Commander Herman de Groot with a crew of 190 and an embarked Lynx helicopter, she will operate off the Horn of Africa until the end of November in support of World Food Programme and AMISOM escort ships and counter-piracy in the region.
Displacing 16,900 tons, HMNLS Zuiderkruis is a logistic supply ship with an underway replenishment capability for diesel oil, aviation fuel and provisions which enhances the ability of EU NAVFOR and other warships to remain at sea on task.
EUNAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort ships carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Programme (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), deter and disrupt piracy and protect other vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. In addition, EUNAVFOR monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

SPS Santa Maria returns home

F81 Santa Maria Photo Ralph Edwards 2007-03-30

5 September 2011, EUNAVFOR / Spain: On 5 September, the Spanish frigate SPS Santa Maria ended her participation in Operation ATALANTA after 131 days as a part of the EU NAVFOR Task Force. SPS Santa Maria is the lead ship of a class of six vessels built in Spain to the American Oliver Hazard Perry class design and first commissioned in 1986. SPS Santa Maria is based at Rota in southern Spain.
During the deployment, SPS Santa Maria served under the command of two Force Commanders and two Operational Commanders and had the opportunity to perform most tasks within the Operation ATALANTA mandate; escort of World Food Programme humanitarian food-aid and AMISOM ships and counter-piracy off the Horn of Africa.
On the occasion of her departure, EU NAVFOR Force Commander, Rear Admiral Thomas Jugel, expressed his deep satisfaction and thanks to the warship and her crew. He highlighted the significant contribution SPS Santa Maria had made to the EU NAVFOR mission and for the valuable work of the crew and their accomplishments. The Commanding Officer, Commander Gonzalo Parente, summarized the past months: “My crew thinks that working on this real-life scenario has been a unique experience they will never forget. Serving in the European Union’s first ever naval operation has been an honor and a pleasure. It’s true that working together there is nothing we can’t do.”
EUNAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort ships carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Programme (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), deter and disrupt piracy and protect other vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. In addition, EUNAVFOR monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

HMS Edinburgh visits Simons Town

D97 Edinburgh Photo Ralph Edwards 2009-02-27

7 September 2011, UK / South Africa: With a flash of fire from her saluting gun, HMS Edinburgh, a Royal Navy Type 42 destroyer, made her ceremonial entry into Simons Town naval base, the home of the South African Navy on 7 September.
The veteran warship has completed the first half of her six-month South Atlantic deployment, which means that HMS Edinburgh herself needs a spot of maintenance and her ship’s company need a little down time. So the facilities at Simons Town, two dozen miles from Cape Town, are being used for the next fortnight as engineers and technicians ensure the destroyer is in prime material condition for the exertions in the second half of her tour of duty. That second half will see her make the 4,000-mile passage back to the Falklands and ultimately on into the Pacific for an exercise with the Chilean Navy.
For now, however, there’s the chance to enjoy the delights of the Cape. This is her second visit this deployment, the ship having paid a short visit earlier in the year on her way south.
The more protracted spell has allowed many of the 240 sailors on board to fly friends and family out for a well-deserved reunion, while ties with the South African Armed Forces forged on HMS Edinburgh’s first visit have been reaffirmed, largely in the sporting arena. Indeed, the host nation has proved to be extremely accommodating so far, according to the destroyer’s Commanding Officer Commander Paul Russell.
“The support given to HMS Edinburgh by the local community at all levels, from the use of sporting facilities and clubhouses to logistical and infrastructure assistance is a true example of the long-lasting ties that exist between the UK and South Africa.
“It is great to be back in South Africa and in the familiar surroundings of a former Royal Naval dockyard. This location is ideal for our maintenance needs and hopefully we will be able to make good our recent losses on the rugby pitch as well!”
His ship has been away since May and after several visits to West Africa, HMS Edinburgh has spent the bulk of her time around the British South Atlantic territories – the Falklands and South Georgia. She’s due back in her homeport of Portsmouth in December.

Russian warships visit Cambodia

548 Admiral Panteleyev  Photo Ralph Edwards 2009-10-10

8 September 2011, Russia / Cambodia: Three Russian Pacific Fleet warships headed by the Udaloy class destroyer RS Admiral Panteleyev arrived at the Sihanoukville port today for a week-long goodwill visit to mark the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Cambodia and Russia.
The ships were welcomed by Admiral Ouk Seyha, Ream Naval Base Commander, and Spoang Sarath, Governor of Preah Sihanouk province. "The visit aims at strengthening military cooperation between the Russian and Cambodian Navy," said a press release from the Russian embassy."This historical visit will mark a new chapter in military interaction between the two countries."

Turkey to escort aid vessels to Gaza

9 September 2011, Turkey: Turkish warships will escort the country's aid vessels bound for the Gaza Strip, protecting them from Israeli ships, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on 9 September.
"Turkish warships will be tasked with protecting the Turkish boats bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip," Mr. Erdogan told al-Jazeera television, according to an Arab-language translation of his comments in Turkish. "From now on, we will no longer allow these boats to be the targets of attacks by Israel, like the one on the Freedom flotilla, because then Israel will have to deal with an appropriate response," he warned.
Mr. Erdogan was referring to the clash on 31 May last year when Israeli commandos boarded a six-boat flotilla in international waters in a bid to stop it from breaching Israel's blockade on Gaza. Israeli troops killed nine Turkish nationals on the ship Mavi Marmara in the ensuing confrontation, sparking a diplomatic row between the two countries that has strained relations to breaking point.
"Turkey will be firm on its right to control the territorial waters in the east of the Mediterranean," Mr. Erdogan added. Ankara had also "undertaken measures to prevent Israel unilaterally exploiting" the region's natural resources, he warned. The United Nations published a report the previous week condemning last year's Israeli intervention - but saying the blockade itself was legal.
Ankara expelled the Israeli ambassador and suspended all military ties, including defense-related trade contracts, in retaliation for Israel's refusal to apologize for the raid.

Change of command of US 7th Fleet

7 September 2011, USA: The US 7th Fleet held a change of command ceremony on board the command flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) on 7 September. Vice Admiral Scott R. Van Buskirk was relieved by Vice Admiral Scott H. Swift at the ceremony.
"It has been the thrill of my career to briefly command in the best job of our Navy and watch this fleet in action. My heartfelt appreciation for the wonderful dedicated service, friendship, and support you all have provided," said Van Buskirk. "There is no better leader to guide 7th Fleet than Vice Admiral Scott Swift. His operational experience is unmatched, and his most recent job as the Pacific Command Operations Officer means that he is already attuned to all of the complex issues in this region."
Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, Commander US Pacific Fleet, praised Van Buskirk for his outstanding leadership of the US 7th Fleet during the past year.
Van Buskirk oversaw US naval operations in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility, encompassing more than 48 million square miles from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south, and from the International Date Line to the Indian Ocean. The area includes 35 maritime countries and the world's five largest foreign armed forces - China, Russia, India, North Korea and Republic of Korea (ROK). Five of the seven US Mutual Defense Treaties are with countries in the area - Republic of the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, ROK, Japan and Thailand.
During his tenure, Van Buskirk led US 7th Fleet forces in the largest humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation in history, Operation Tomodachi. At its peak the Navy had 22 ships, 132 aircraft and more than 15,000 personnel dedicated to assisting Japan's Self Defense Forces in the search and recovery efforts.
Walsh presented Van Buskirk with the Distinguished Service Medal for his service.
"When I stood on this deck almost a year ago, my guidance to the Fleet was simple - maintain course and speed and execute the three persistent priorities that had served the Fleet so well: maximizing warfighting readiness, maritime partnerships, and force posture," said Van Buskirk. "I can say with complete confidence that our forces are ready, our forces are present throughout the theater, and our partnerships are stronger than they have ever been."
Swift, a native of San Diego, California, assumed command of 7th Fleet, following a tour as Director of Operations, US Pacific Command.
"I assume command today full of confidence, born in the knowledge of how well 7th Fleet has been led by Admiral Walsh and Vice Admiral Van Buskirk," said Swift. "We are a global force for good. That truth is borne out by Vice Admiral Van Buskirk as he has left the 7th Fleet area of responsibility a better place than what he found. I am confident we will do the same."
Van Buskirk's next assignment will be as deputy chief of Naval Operations for manpower, personnel, training and education in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Chief of Naval Personnel, in Arlington, Virginia.
There are 60-70 ships, 200-300 aircraft and more than 40,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel assigned to the 7th Fleet. This includes forces operating from bases in Japan and Guam and rotationally-deployed forces based in the United States. Commander, US 7th Fleet, is embarked aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. The flagship commands and controls the fleet and fosters military-to-military relationships through scheduled port visits and military exercises.

Russia to build two Mistral class assault ships

7 September 2011, Russia / France: Russia will sign a contract with France for the third and fourth Mistral class amphibious assault ships before the end of this year, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on 7 September. "I believe we should complete the negotiating process and have these contracts signed before the end of the year," he said. The two new warships will be built in Russia, he added. Russia is also buying related technology and has two crews being trained in France, the minister said.
Russia and France signed a 1.2 billion Euro contract in June for two French-built Mistral class amphibious assault ships for the Russian Navy, which includes the transfer of sensitive technologies. The helicopter carriers are due to enter service with the Northern and the Pacific fleets in 2014 and 2015.
A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.

USS New York makes 9/11 visit

6 September 2011, USA: Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced on 6 September that the San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) will participate in numerous events throughout the city honoring the victims and responders from the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Additionally, 170 members of the 9/11 Families Association, which includes families of victims and first responders, embarked USS New York for the transit from Norfolk, Virginia, to New York Harbor.
"I am grateful to the mayor and his office for their tremendous support this past month as we worked together to ensure the USS New York and her crew were able to represent the Navy in New York. Every member of the crew has a tremendous sense of mission and appreciation of the unique role their ship plays for the citizens of New York. She is an emblem of the strength and renewed spirit of a city that was damaged but never defeated. She and her crew belong with the family members of the victims and the first responders in New York City on the tenth anniversary of 9-11," said Mabus.
"With the steel from the World Trade Center in her bow, the USS New York represents a powerful symbol of the deeply personal connection that New Yorkers have with our military and is a symbol of the courage and resilience of our nation," said Bloomberg. "She helps protect the freedoms that make this the world's most diverse and tolerant city and we are honored to welcome the men and women of the USS New York back to our city."
The ship is scheduled to be pier-side in Manhattan 8 - 9 September and will anchor in the Hudson River 10 - 12 September. On 11 September, USS New York will move from its anchorage in the Hudson River to a location within sight of the World Trade Center. Members of all branches of the military, including Navy and Marine Corps service members from USS New York, will participate in the honor guard during the city's commemoration ceremony.
USS New York is the sixth US Navy ship to be named to honor the state of New York. Her bow stem includes seven and a half tons of steel recovered and re-forged from the World Trade Center's twin towers. The ship features many design elements and furnishings throughout her interior that serve as tributes to the events of 9/11. The ship's motto is "Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget."

MSC Panama released by pirates

6 September 2011, EUNAVFOR / Liberia: On September 6 the motor vessel MSC Panama was released from pirate control after 270 days in captivity and is now underway to a safe port.
The MSC Panama is a Liberian flagged container ship with a crew of 23, all from Myanmar. She was pirated on 10 December 2010, en route from Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) to Beira (Mozambique) approximately 80 nautical miles east of the Tanzanian/Mozambique border.
EU NAVFOR Somalia is a counter-piracy taskforce operating in the area of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, responsible for deterring, preventing and repressing acts of piracy, for the safe escort of ships carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Programme and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and to protect other vulnerable vessels. Additionally, EU NAVFOR monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

Colombian Navy drug bust

 5 September 2011, Colombia: The Colombian Navy has seized 1.1 tons of cocaine on a small boat captured in the Pacific Ocean close to international waters, according to a navy spokesman.
Hernando Wills, commander of Colombia's Pacific Naval Force, said the operation was conducted in an area known as Bocas de Charambira in waters off the central province of Choco and three people were detained. The drugs were all seized aboard a boat named "Lacoste," where the cocaine bound for Central America was found hidden among 57 bags of cargo placed on the deck of the boat, said Wills.
"The illegal substance seized was subject to a preliminary screening test approved by the judicial police, who determined it was cocaine of high purity," he said, adding the drugs were worth of 30 million US dollars on the black market. The three people, together with the drugs, were turned over to prosecutors. Since the beginning of the year, the Colombian Navy has seized more than 20 tons of cocaine. 

Indian Navy major construction project delays

5 September 2011, India: Indian Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has released the following information regarding progress of major Indian Navy construction projects.
(The Indian) Government constantly reviews the security environment and decides about induction of appropriate defense equipment/platforms, including various kinds of ships/submarines for the Navy. This is a continuous process undertaken as per the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) from various indigenous as well as foreign sources for the modernization of armed forces to keep them in a state of readiness to meet any eventuality.
Proposals for induction of naval ships are based on the Maritime Capability Perspective Plan (MCPP)/Five Year Plan/Annual Plan which stipulates the number and type of vessels required as well as timelines for such inductions. Divulging further details would not be in the national interest.
Major warship construction projects of the Navy running behind schedule include Project-15A (P-15A) and Project-17 (P17). The cost escalation in these two projects has been about 225% and 260% respectively. The major cost escalation & delay has been due to uncertainties associated with the complex warship building process. Reasons for delay and cost escalations in respect of P-15A and P-17 are as follows:
-- P-15A (Bangalore class destroyers):
The main reasons contributing towards cost escalations are - delay in supply of warship building quality steel by Russia, escalation due to increase in expenditure towards services of Russian specialists on account of inflation during the build period, impact of Wage revision due from October 2003 and finalization of cost of weapons and sensors.
-- P-17 (Shivalik class frigates):
The main reasons contributing towards cost escalations are - delay in supply of warship building quality steel by Russia, delay in acquisition of weapon equipment from Russia, and delay in finalization of propulsion equipment in view of complex combined diesel and gas arrangement introduced for the first time in Indian Navy frigate.
A contract was signed with Rosoboronexport, Russia in 2006 for acquisition of three Talwar-class follow-on ships and the delivery schedule for these three ships was April 2011, October 2011 and April 2012. Rosoboronexport has intimated that the delivery of the ships would be delayed as follows: 1st Ship - 12 months, 2nd Ship - 11 months and 3rd Ship - 14 months. The contract for acquisition of these three ships is a fixed price contract.
A program for construction of six Scorpene submarines is currently underway at M/s. Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) under Project- 75. As per the contract, the 1st submarine was scheduled to be delivered in December 2012 and thereafter, one each every year till December 2017. There has been delay in this project due to initial teething problems, absorption of complex technology, augmenting of MDL infrastructure and procurement of MDL Purchased Material (MPM). The 1st submarine is now scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2015.
Acceptance of Necessity for acquisition of Six Submarines under Project-75 (India) has been accorded by the Defence Acquisition Council. The proposal is being progressed. A modernization program has been initiated for the existing submarine fleet and a number of platforms have already been modernized. The program has been worked out by the Navy catering to the obsolescence/non- supportability of system/equipment and to include contemporary technology.
During the last five years, construction of three ships under P-17, three ships under P-15A and four ships under P-15B has been assigned to MDL. The 1st ship and the 2nd ship under P-17 have been commissioned in April 2010 and August 2011 respectively and the 3rd ship is expected to be commissioned in early 2012.
The three ships under P-15A are scheduled to be delivered by March 2012, March 2013 and March 2014 respectively. Contract for four P-15B ships has been signed in January 2011, with delivery schedule as July 2018, July 2020, July 2022 and July 2024 respectively.
There is no proposal at present for creation of MDL facilities at Mangalore

Australia develops new multi-target missile defense system

3 September 2011, Australia: A new anti-ship missile defense system developed in Australia by CEA Technologies has been approved for operational use following highly successful trials carried out on the ANZAC class frigate HMAS Perth.
Currently Royal Australian Navy (RAN) radars are only capable of tracking one target for destruction at a time. The new system can identify, track and guide missiles to multiple targets at the same time thus greatly improving the effectiveness of a vessel’s defense. Trials of the multi-phased radar system were conducted on the United States Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii and off Western Australia.
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs said “The tests proved that the new system can defend the ship from modern cruise missile attack. This is a significant enhancement for the Anzac-class frigates.”
Jason Clare, the Australian Minister for Defence Materiel, observed the radar at work on board HMAS Perth during training exercises off Western Australia. He said “This is the latest weapon in Navy’s arsenal. It means our Anzac frigates will be a lot more capable.”
HMAS Perth is the only vessel to be fitted with the new system. A decision from the Australian Government on whether the remaining seven ANZAC class vessels in the RAN will also be fitted with the new radar system is expected soon. No doubt the Royal New Zealand Navy, who operates two vessels of the same class, will be monitoring developments.

Amphibious Task Force returns to Norfolk

2 September 2011, USA: Norfolk-based sailors returned home on 2 September after preparing to provide humanitarian assistance in areas that were devastated by the effects of Hurricane Irene.
Once Navy commanders saw Irene's potential path, they immediately set plans to provide direct support to civil authorities (DSCA) if requested. "We were put on alert on Monday, told to prepare to sortie on Tuesday, and were underway with our full DSCA package on Thursday," said Captain Brenda Holdener, commanding officer of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1).
The ships and sailors of Amphibious Task Force (ATF) 26, which consists of the Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 command staff, Wasp, and amphibious transport ships USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and USS New York (LPD 21), departed Norfolk on 25 August and transited 608 nautical miles due east to steer clear of the storm. Once Irene no longer impeded safe navigation, ATF 26 immediately began heading back toward the East Coast to be prepared to assist several states impacted by the storm.
The storm hit North Carolina on 27 August and left widespread power outages. The storm also caused massive flooding in the Northeast. By 29 August, the task force was stationed 45 nautical miles off the New Jersey coast prepared to provide assistance.
In order to maintain readiness, continuous drills and training were conducted aboard the ships to prepare sailors for a variety of potential scenarios. A civilian contingency support at sea drill allowed sailors to simulate procedures for hosting displaced civilians aboard a Navy ship, while mass casualty drills prepared the medical staff to respond to large numbers of severe injuries. Seabees from Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 2 trained on chainsaw techniques and an adaptive medical team practiced boarding personnel with emergency medical gear onto a helicopter to minimize potential delays in the event of an actual mission. "We conducted training every day and were ready to execute if called," said Lieutenant Commander Ronald Williams, USS Wasp’s training officer. "Our aviation and medical facilities bring vital capabilities," said USS Wasp’s Operations Officer Commander Stewart Wennersten. "And we embarked a diverse package of personnel and equipment specifically tailored to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations." The DCSA elements embarked with ATF 26 included Maritime Expeditionary Security Group 2, ACB 2, Fleet Surgical Team 4, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadrons (HSC) 26 and 28, and Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14.
"This surely will not be the last natural disaster to hit our country," said Rear Admiral Kevin Scott, ESG 2 commander. "But our sailors remain ready to respond to any crisis."
With Irene no longer active in the US and federal and civilian disaster response teams currently working to contain the extensive damage, ATF 26 began the transit back to the Hampton-Roads area on 31 August and prepared to return home to their families and neighborhoods. 

US Naval aircraft completes biofuel flight

24 August 2011, USA: The US Navy's alternative energy program moved a stage further forward on 24 August when a T-45 training aircraft completed a successful biofuel flight at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland.
The "Salty Dogs" of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 flew the high-performance jet trainer on a biofuel mixture of petroleum-based JP-5 jet fuel and plant-based camelina. The high oil content of the camelina seed makes it a valuable source of renewable and sustainable energy. The T-45 "Goshawk" is a tandem-seat aircraft used by the Navy and Marine Corps to train pilots on carrier and tactical mission operations.
"This successful test flight brings us a step closer to meeting the Navy's energy security goals," said Vice Admiral David Architzel, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command. "My congratulations to the Navy fuels team here at NAVAIR for playing an instrumental role in proving the viability of biofuels to power naval aircraft."
This is the fifth aircraft successfully tested using biofuel at NAS Patuxent River and showcases the Navy's commitment to achieve energy independence by reducing the need for foreign oil. Previous aircraft tested include the F/18 E/F, MH-60S, F/A-18 D, and most recently, the MV-22. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus' goal is to cut the Navy's oil usage in half by 2025.
"This test of the T-45 with a 50/50 blend of biofuel represents another significant milestone in the long list of detailed flight test and demonstrations of the F-18 Super Hornet, the MH-60S, and the V-22," said Rear Admiral Phil Cullom, Director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division. "Our commitment to the aggressive test schedule for drop-in replacement fuels for JP-5 and F-76 keep us on pace for the 2012 demonstration and 2016 deployment of the Great Green Fleet." Three additional Navy aircraft are scheduled for biofuel test flights before the end of the year.
This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps which will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve Secretary Ray Mabus' energy goals to improve energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase energy independence, and help lead the United States toward a clean energy economy.

Russia declares delay in Indian Navy contracts

24 August 2011, India / Russia: It has been announced that completion of two major defense contracts between India and Russia are now subject to delays.
A contract was signed with Rosoboronexport, Russia in 2006 for acquisition of three Talwar class follow-on ships and the delivery schedule for these three ships was April 2011, October 2011 and April 2012. Rosoboronexport has intimated that the delivery of the ships would be delayed as follows: 1st Ship - 12 months, 2nd Ship - 11 months and 3rd Ship - 14 months. The Russian side has said that the delays in the Talwar Class follow-on ships are primarily on account of non-availability of adequate skilled manpower at the shipyard to undertake concurrent construction of these vessels, and the delays in delivery of Russian origin equipment to the shipyard.
Another major shipbuilding project with Rosoboronexport, namely, the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov has also been delayed. The induction of the Admiral Gorshkov / Vikramaditya was re-scheduled due to the necessity to carry out additional works such as renewal of almost all equipment/systems, hull structures, cabling, and application of long-life paint to afford greater protection to the ship's steel plating and formulation of a detailed scope of harbor/sea trials/aircrafts trials. The delivery date of the ship has been revised to December 2012.

South Korea adds Mistral missiles to patrol boats

23 August 2011, South Korea The South Korean Navy is planning to load man-portable Surface to Air Missiles (SAM), so-called Mistral, to all patrol boats in operation in due order to use them in anti-aircraft and anti-ship defense purpose.
“The Navy will load Mistrals onto patrol boats that are deployed in the Yellow Sea [near the Northern Limit Line] starting the end of this month,” said an official under the Naval Operations Command. “Eventually, all patrol boats will be equipped with such weapon and we expect strong defense capabilities in the waters [near the inter-Korean maritime border] and firepower of warships.”
The Naval Operations Command came up with an idea of loading Mistrals on patrol boats while seeking for ways to reinforce firepower of patrol boats. In regards to performance of Mistrals, the missiles showed outstanding performance during a live-fire drill in July in dealing with not only aircraft but also short-distance floating objects or warships.
Developed by French-based company MATRA, Mistral is a man-portable Surface to Air Missile - guided with a hand-operated infrared rays tracking method, has an effective range of 5.3 kilometers (3.2 miles) and can fly at a maximum speed of Mach 2.4.

Severodvinsk on Sea Trials

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12 September 2011, Russia: Russia's first Graney class nuclear-powered attack submarine sailed for scheduled sea trials on 12 September from the Sevmash shipyard.
The Severodvinsk has been under construction at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia since 1993 and was launched in June 2010 after numerous delays due to financing problems. The submarine is expected to enter service with the Russian Navy by the end of this year.
Graney class nuclear submarines are designed to launch a variety of long-range cruise missiles (up to 3,100 miles or 5,000 km), with conventional or nuclear warheads, and effectively engage submarines, surface warships and land-based targets. The submarine's armament includes 24 cruise missiles and eight torpedo launchers, as well as mines and anti-ship missiles.
The second vessel of the Graney class, the Kazan, is being built at Sevmash while the construction of the third submarine will begin this year. The Russian Navy plans to receive up to 10 Graney class subs by 2020.

Koln Joins Operation ATALANTA


12 September 2011, EUNAVFOR / Germany: On 12 September, EU NAVFOR welcomed the German frigate FGS Koln to Operation ATALANTA.
Commanded by Commander Christopher Karow, the ship and her 219 crew members will operate in the area of operations off the Horn of Africa for the next three months; the ship previously deployed to the mission during the autumn of 2010. Her tasking will be to assist in the counter-piracy patrols in the region, to escort World Food Programme (WFP) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) vessels, and to contribute to the monitoring of fishing activities off the coast of Somalia.
The Bremen class (Type 122A) class frigate has been in service with the German Navy since 1984, displaces 3,700 tons and is equipped with two Sea-Lynx helicopters.

Zumwalt Class #2 & #3 Ordered

15 September 2011, USA: General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, is being awarded a $1,825,665,914 fixed-price-incentive contract for the construction of Zumwalt-class destroyers DDG 1001 and DDG 1002. These multi-mission surface combatants are the second and third ships of the Zumwalt-class program. DDG 1001 is scheduled to be delivered in December 2015 and DDG 1002 is scheduled to be delivered in February 2018.
The mission of the DDG 1000 destroyer is to provide credible independent forward presence and deterrence. DDG 1000 will provide advanced land attack capability in support of the ground campaign and contribute naval, joint, or combined battle-space dominance in littoral operations.
This contract includes options, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $2,002,000,000. Work is expected to be completed by February 2018.
Jeff Geiger, President of Bath Iron Works said "This contract enables us to maintain a strong base of quality shipbuilding jobs in Maine and continue our contributions to sustaining the U.S. Navy fleet. It provides Bath Iron Works with a healthy backlog of work and reflects the Navy's continued commitment to the DDG-1000 program, as well as their confidence in our ability to build and deliver all three ships of this class."
The first ship in the class, DDG-1000, is over 50% complete and is scheduled to be delivered in 2014. The DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer is the U.S. Navy's next-generation, guided-missile naval destroyer, leading the way for a new generation of advanced multi-mission surface combat ships. The ships will feature a low radar profile, an integrated power system and a total ship computing environment infrastructure. Armed with an array of weapons, the Zumwalt-class destroyers will provide offensive, distributed and precision fires in support of forces ashore.
Work is already underway at the Bath, Maine, shipyard on DDG 1001 and DDG 1002. Congress previously approved funding for advanced procurement and initial construction of these ships. Bath Iron Works is the lead designer and builder for the program which employs approximately 5,400 people.

HMCS Protecteur Heads for SOCAL

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16 September 2011, Canada: The supply ship HMCS Protecteur will leave Esquimalt naval base in British Columbia on 19 September and head south to link up with the U.S. Navy.
HMCS Protecteur will rendezvous with the destroyer HMCS Algonquin and frigate HMCS Ottawa to take part in an annual task group exercise. HMCS Protecteur will join the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group, and HMCS Algonquin and HMCS Ottawa will join the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group for the training mission off southern California. The ships will undertake tasks involving a number of maritime warfare scenarios and humanitarian assistance missions.
HMCS Algonquin is now on its way to the area after sailing with a multinational contingent near Central and South America since early August.
HMCS Ottawa is nearing the end of a three-month operational training and goodwill tour to such ports as Australia.

EU NAVFOR warship FGS KÖLN destroys suspect whaler

On September 29 the EU NAVFOR warship FGS KÖLN located and destroyed a suspicious whaler close to a beach off Somalia, 100 nautical miles SW of Mogadishu.
A helicopter was dispatched to inspect and found the whaler loaded with equipment usually related to piracy on board.
No crew was seen on board. Consequently, the whaler was destroyed to prevent any potential future use for piracy.
This action continues EU NAVFOR’s robust stance against piracy and the intention to interdict and disrupt pirate activity.

SAIC and Others to Pay U.S. More Than $22.6 Million to Resolve False Claims Allegations

Case Involved The National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage at Mississippi’s Stennis Space Center
WASHINGTON –  Science Applications International Inc. (SAIC); its subcontractor, Applied Enterprise Solutions LLC (AES); AES CEO Dale Galloway; and former government employees Stephen Adamec and Robert Knesel will pay the United States $22,676,000 to resolve allegations of false claims in a whistleblower suit, the Justice Department announced today.  SAIC will pay $20,400,000 and AES and Dale Galloway will pay $2,166,000.   Adamec and Knesel are paying $110,000.
The False Claims Act (FCA) suit, filed in June 2009 in the Southern District of Mississippi, alleges that the defendants knowingly violated the FCA when they submitted or caused the submission of false claims and conspired to submit such claims under a contract with the General Services Administration (GSA) in support of the Naval Oceanographic Major Shared Resource Center (NAVO MSRC).   That contract was to provide support services for the National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage (NCCIPS) at the NAVO MSRC.   GSA awarded the NCCIPS task order in April 2004 to SAIC, which teamed with Lockheed Martin and AES to perform under the task order.   SAIC was paid a total of $116 million under the contract.
The qui tam, or whistleblower, suit alleges that prior to the issuance, and once the NCCIPS solicitation had been publicized, Adamec and Knesel, then government employees, conspired with SAIC, AES, Galloway and Lockheed Martin to ensure that SAIC and its teaming partners were awarded the task order by sharing non-public, advance procurement information with the SAIC team that was not provided to other potential bidders; sharing information about the solicitation with the SAIC team before providing that information to other bidders; and  choosing a type of contract and putting language in the solicitation in order to bias the selection process to favor the SAIC team.
“We expect those who contract for the privilege of doing the public’s business to act fairly and abide by the rules, not game the system to get undeserved taxpayer dollars for themselves and their friends," said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “We will pursue stiff penalties for contractors and federal employees whose illegal conduct defrauds the public and makes it harder for companies that play by the rules to compete.”
The qui tam suit, United States ex rel. Magee v. Lockheed Martin, et al., 1:09cv324 HSO (JMR) (S.D. MS.), was filed by David Magee, a former employee at the NAVO MSRC.   The United States intervened in Magee’s action as to all defendants except for Lockheed Martin. The United States previously settled with Lockheed Martin for $2 million.                   
The investigation was conducted by the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the GSA Office of Inspector General.
The Justice Department’s total recoveries in False Claims Act cases since January 2009 exceed $7.8 billion.

More Humor From Iran

Note: the vaunted Jamaran 1 is a knockoff of a 1960s design from the UK.

Iranian Navy plans aircraft carriers construction

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Iranian Navy plans to start designing and building heavy vessels such asaircraft carriers, a senior Iranian Navy commander announced.
"The Iranian Army's Navy has done a good job in designing and building various types of vessels, and now after acquiring the know-how and experience the Navy is after designing and building chopper and aircraft carriers," Deputy Commander of the Iranian Navy for Research and Self-sufficiency Jihad Capitan Mansour Maqsoudlou said, Fars News Agency reported.
The Captain further named Jamaran 2 Destroyer as the most noteworthy vessel under production at present, and said it is among the several vessels in the final stages of production.
Iran's first home-made destroyer, Jamaran 1, was launched in late February 2010. The Mowdge Class vessel has a displacement of around 14,000 tons and is equipped with modern radars and electronic warfare capabilities and is armed with a variety of anti-ship, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles.
The remarks by Maqsoudlou came as Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced that the country plans to build up a naval presence "near the maritime borders of the United States".

Fleet Week brings high-flying action, practical lessons to San Francisco

HMCS Ottawa from Canada also attending

When Adm. Chester W. Nimitz ordered the formation of a flight demonstration team by World War II’s end, no one really knew if the ploy to uphold civilian interest in naval aeronautics would stick.
But nearly 65 years after the inception of the Blue Angels Squadron, the blue and gold Navy fleet remains the heavyweight attraction at this year’s Fleet Week, San Francisco’s premier air show and display of military might. Though much has changed for Nimitz’s band of birds, his message remains the same.
Scroll down to see the maneuvers the Blue Angels will be performing and download the entire Fleet Week special section to take with you to the events.
“I would say the thing that has changed the most would be the actual aircraft that we fly,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ben Walborn, lead solo pilot of Blue Angel No. 5. “We have utilized eight different aircraft, ranging from propeller-driven fights from WWII to the highly sophisticated F/A-18 Hornet Strike Fighter.”
The six-member squadron has been a regular to both the early October festivities on the ground and in the sky during Fleet Week. Walborn and the rest of the squadron will perform numerous daring maneuvers scheduled throughout the weekend starting Oct. 7.
“For me, since I love flying, I could equate it to the ‘big game’ for anyone in their respective professions,” Walborn said. “I feel very fortunate to do this as my career and to be able to represent over 540,000 sailors and Marines deployed around the globe.”
But while large crowds will surely flock to San Francisco’s waterfront as this year marks the 30th anniversary of Fleet Week and 100 years of Naval Aviation, the event’s organizers hope to hammer home the importance of disaster-response preparations in case of a future emergency such as an earthquake.
Fleet Week Association Chairman and retired U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Mike Myatt is spearheading the humanitarian assistance efforts with Marina Green displays such as a field hospital and a chance “to take a drink of the pure water produced by the Marines using their special equipment.”
Aside from the various humanitarian displays, Myatt will host a Senior Leader Seminar aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard on Oct. 6. The meeting between appointed and elected local government officials and senior Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps officers is to “discuss how the U.S. Naval services will help us out should a catastrophic earthquake hit San Francisco again,” Myatt said.
One such military mind that will be at the seminar is Maj. Gen. Mark A. Brilakis, the commanding
general for 3rd Marine Division and commander of Operation Tomodachi, the Japanese relief effort in the wake of the havoc-wreaking earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.
“From our perspective down here, we saw this as a tremendous opportunity for us,” USMC Maj. Gen. Melvin Spiese said, adding that a San Francisco natural disaster could likely involve military assistance. “We do have a pretty reasonable record of supporting disaster relief situations throughout the world. For us this is a chance to work on a mission that can very well be given to us.”
Spiese also noted the natural geographic landscape and bridges of San Francisco make for a “perfect storm” when it comes to first responders providing relief.
“I don’t think this is a far-fetched scenario,” Spiese said. “This isn’t Wichita, Kan. This is a place that is going to be isolated very quickly.”

Snowbirds return from Canada for Fleet Week after two-year hiatus

After a two-year hiatus from San Francisco’s Fleet Week, the red and white Snowbirds are back from the frozen north.
The arrival of the 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, Canada’s leading aerobatic flying fleet, comes in the midst Fleet Week celebrating its 30th anniversary.
“It just shows how significant this event is and how much it means for us as Canadians to stand by our neighbors to the south and wave the flag alongside them,” said Capt. Marc Velasco, Snowbirds public information officer. “It’s really symbolic of how much the Canadian Navy and U.S. Navy work together.”
That military aviation pact began during World War II when the 431 acted as bomber squadron under the Royal Air Force Bomber Command. Through the Korean, Vietnam and Cold wars, “Canadians have stood shoulder to shoulder with their American brethren,” said the 28-year-old Velasco.
Despite the bomber squadron being disbanded in 1945, the 431 squadron was reformed in the 1950s, flying the F-86 Sabre. Today, Canadian forces employ the iconic CT-114 Tutor Jet, a plane they’ve used since 1971.
Despite the upgrade in flying equipment since the 1940s, that alliance dating back to WWII remains intact today, as U.S. and Canadian forces are currently deployed in Afghanistan and Libya.
Velasco, who joined the Canadian military shortly after 9/11, said the terrorist attack that took place in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., had a profound effect in Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan.
“It’s something that really affected the world,” he said, noting that Canadian civilians were also killed in the attacks. “It’s something we take very personally as well. We also believe on the war on terror and we wanted to act as a result of that.”
The pilots and technicians of the Royal Canadian Air Force will make their two-day stint in San Francisco before winding down their 41st air show season since 1971, Velasco said.
The Blue Angel maneuvers:

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: