Wednesday, December 30, 2015

BAE Systems to Provide Assault Amphibious Vehicles to Brazilian Marine Corps

BAE Systems will modernize and deliver 23 upgraded Assault Amphibious Vehicles for the Brazilian Marine Corps. (Photo: BAE Systems)
BAE Systems will modernize and deliver 23 upgraded Assault Amphibious Vehicles for the Brazilian Marine Corps. (Photo: BAE Systems)

Sterling Heights MI December 21, 2015 - BAE Systems has been awarded an $82 million contract to modernize and deliver 23 upgraded Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAV7A1) for the Brazilian Marine Corps. The vehicles, which will be the Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability/Rebuild to Standard (RAM/RS) variant, will significantly enhance the current capabilities of the Brazilian Marine Corps.
“BAE Systems has served the Brazilian military for more than 15 years and is also working on other vehicle enhancement programs here, such as the Brazilian Army’s upgrade of its M113B vehicles to the M113A2 Mk1 configuration”
“These new vehicles will have major capability enhancements, which will give the Brazilian military an amphibious vehicle with improved speed and reliability beyond the current configuration,” said Deepak Bazaz, director of new and amphibious vehicles at BAE Systems. “We have a strong track record of supporting the Brazilian military and will continue that close working relationship throughout this program.”
Under the terms of the contract, BAE Systems will provide 23 AAV7A1 RAM/RS vehicles and supply all tools and test equipment to support vehicle maintenance. The company will also provide an initial sustainment capability to the Brazilian Marine Corps to include spare parts and field service support, as well as training for the vehicle users.
The AAV7A1 RAM/RS variant provides a more powerful engine and drive train, as well as an upgraded suspension system, allowing the vehicles to meet or exceed original AAV7A1 performance requirements. The RAM/RS variant also provides improved mobility and repair capabilities while transporting troops and cargo from ships.
Work on the contract will take place at BAE Systems’ York, Pennsylvania facility. Production is anticipated to start in June with vehicle deliveries beginning in February 2017. Final delivery to Brazil is expected to take place by the end of 2017, when the training and support for these vehicles will begin.
“BAE Systems has served the Brazilian military for more than 15 years and is also working on other vehicle enhancement programs here, such as the Brazilian Army’s upgrade of its M113B vehicles to the M113A2 Mk1 configuration,” said Marco Caffe, the company’s general manager for Brazil. “In the fall of 2015, we completed our 150th M113 upgrade.”

360Heros' 360Abyss v4 Adds Electronic Controls, Automates Underwater Virtual Reality 360 Video

360Heros
Olean NY December 30, 2015 - 360Heros announces the 360Abyss v4, an electronic, automated underwater dive housing for creating virtual reality 360 video and 360 photos. Already a premier solution for content creators and divers, the upgraded camera housing introduces electronics for simultaneous camera control and new features for improving 360 video workflow.
The most significant upgrade to the 360Abyss is the 360Heros Bullet360 control board system enabling users to simultaneously operate the rig's six GoPro™ cameras by plugging them into an internal wired interface. The system is triggered magnetically and features controls for turning cameras on and off and firing the camera shutter buttons for both video and photos underwater.
The magnetic control also triggers an on-board buzzer set to go off three seconds into recording to provide an automated audio sync signal to help align multiple video frames in post-production.
This low power communication board system is compatible with GoPro™ HERO3+ Black, HERO4 Black and HERO4 Silver cameras.
The 360Abyss v4 dive housing is rated to 1,000 meters and certified to 500 meters with neutral buoyancy in salt water. The rig features six individual pressurized camera compartments to keep components separate and secure.
"These upgrades are going to revolutionize underwater virtual reality filming," Michael Kintner, CEO and founder of 360Heros, said. "The 360Abyss v4 solves many of the challenges VR content creators face when working with multiple cameras underwater such as conserving battery supply and triggering cameras simultaneously for video and audio sync."
"We've discovered in our tests while filming at 120 frames per second that we're seeing a better, more consistent frame sync than what can be achieved syncing cameras with a WiFi remote."
The 360Heros Bullet360 control board system includes dedicated input and output ports for multi camera installations that can control up to 50 or more cameras simultaneously. This technology will also be incorporated into future products for filming 3D 360 video underwater which will be introduced in the second quarter of 2016.
The 360Abyss v4 has an anodized 6061-T5 aluminum core to act as a heat sync to help prevent overheating in a small pressurized chamber. The ability to turn the cameras on and off underwater also combats battery consumption.
The 360Abyss' 3/8" threaded corner mounting points have also been upgraded to aluminum for improved durability and strength. Additionally, the 1-inch ball joint allows universal connection with film accessories such as lighting and mounting. The unique remote triggering system allows the 360Abyss v4 to be operated above water, below water, from the inside of a submarine, on ROVs, research vessels and many other remote dive triggering solutions.
The 360Abyss v4 system will debut at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, January 6th-9th at 360Heros booth 26417.
360Abyss v4 Key Features
-Houses 6 GoPro™ cameras in individual compartments for capturing 360 video/ 360 photos
-360Heros Bullet360 electronic boards for simultaneous camera control
-Magnetic trigger for turning cameras on/off underwater and firing camera shutters
-Automated audio sync buzzer to aid in frame sync in post-production
-Rated to 1,000 meters and certified to 500 meters with neutral buoyancy in salt water (slightly negative in fresh water)
-Output up to 8K (8,000 x 4,000 pixels) resolution 360 video
-Anodized 6061-T5 aluminum core housing for durability and to help prevent camera overheating
-8 anodized aluminum threaded 3/8" mounting points
-Aircraft grade poly carbonate domes offer a 360-degree crystal clear field of view underwater
-45-degree mount attachment for submarine and ROV compatibility
-Unique remote triggering system offers ease of use for submarines, ROVs and many other industrial remotely controlled solutions

Future security challenges in the Baltic Sea region

Click on image to read report
London December 22, 2015 - ‘Future security challenges in the Baltic Sea region’ takes the context identified in Global Strategic Trends 5 and the Future operational environment 35 publications and applies it to the Baltic Sea region (BSR).
The study observes that; being one of the world’s busiest shipping and energy transport areas, with overlapping alliances, EU, NATO and the Russian Federation and uncertain geopolitical tides following Russian intervention in Ukraine and Crimea, the Baltic Sea region is of enduring strategic importance.

New state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility laid down at Severnaya Verf in Saint-Petersburg

Severnaya Verf 
December 22, 2015 (Google Translation) - The foundation stone ceremony has been held today, on December 22, at Severnaya Verf shipyard (Saint-Petersburg, United Shipbuilding Corporation) to launch the construction of a state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility, IAA PortNews journalist reports.
The ceremony was attended by Aleksei Rakhmanov, President of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC).
The event marks the beginning of an ambitious investment project on reconstruction and modernization of current Severnaya Verf facilities in order to create up-to-date shipbuilding complex.
The project implies the construction of a dry dock and new production workshops, reconstruction of engineering and transport infrastructure. The most advanced metal cutting equipment, robotic welding stations and painting chambers will appear at Severnaya Verf.
All the project solutions will meet up-to-date environment and safety requirements. The project is aimed at building up the shipyard output, improvement of labour productivity, reduction of ship construction terms.

Severnaya Verf 

No personnel reduction is foreseen.
The project to be financed through the Federal Targeted Programme will be implemented in four phases.
The first phase (2016 - 2017) provides for reconstruction of the western embankment and construction of new utilities. Investments into this phase are estimated at some RUB 2 bln.
The second phase (2016 - 2019) implies the construction of the dry dock’s phase 1 with a dock area, covered slip, new painting chambers and installation of Goliath-type crane of 1,200 t in capacity and two cranes of 350 t in capacity. Investments – about RUB 14 bln. State expert approval of this phase is scheduled for spring 2016.
The third phase (2019 – 2021) will include the construction of a new hull plating shop, metal storage facility and a logistics complex. Investments will total some RUB 15 bln.
The fourth phase (2022 – 2024) is foreseen for extension of the dry dock, construction of a new two-way slip and reconstruction of the outfitting quay. Investments will be estimated upon completion of the project documents.
By today, design and estimate documentation has been completed for the first phase. Designing and engineering survey that are underway for the second phase will be completed in the middle of 2016.
The new complex will let build a wide range of warships and civil ships (including large capacity ships) and will ensure flexible approach for prompt responding to market situation.
Besides, new facilities will provide for assembling ships from large-size blocks with the use of high-capacity cranes while most of operations will be performed in covered shops thus allowing to comply with global shipbuilding efficiency standards.
OJSC "Severnaya Verf" Shipyard (corporate member of United Shipbuilding Corporation) is a leading shipbuilding company in Russia, building more than 75% of the Russian military surface warships. The company was founded on November 14, 1912, as "Putilovskaya Shipyard."
The company is dedicated to construction, repair and retrofitting of surface warships, including destroyers, frigates, corvettes under the state defense contracts for the Russian Navy. The company also executes contracts for foreign Navies under military and technical cooperation. Severnaya Verft also specializes in commercial shipbuilding for the domestic and foreign markets, manufacturing PSVs of various types, icebreakers, tankers and 12,000 dwt dry cargo carriers.
United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC OJSC) is the largest shipbuilding company in Russia. It was set up in 2007 with 100% federal ownership. The holding comprises 60 companies and organizations (major shipbuilding and shiprepairing companies as well as leading design bureaus). Currently, USC consolidates about 80% of the domestic shipbuilding complex. The Russian market is the main focus of the state corporation though it also exports its products to 20 countries worldwide.

Bergen Group Services AS Awarded KNM KNM Hinnøy Survey Contract

BergenGroup_Damsgårdsveien_12.jpg
Bergen Group

December 23, 2015 - Bergen Group Services AS has been awarded an inspection and survey project for the minesweeper KNM Hinnøy. The project will mainly generate activity throughout Q1 2016.
The awarded project on the minesweeper is part of a framework agreement which the Norwegian Defense Logistics Organisation (FLO) has signed with Bergen Group Services AS and another two companies relating to ship maintenance and repair of some categories of military vessels.
“Bergen Group Services has over many to build up extensive expertise related to inspection- and maintenance of advanced high-speed craft for both civil and military customers. In the last months, our competiveness has been confirmed in a time when the competition is hard and the focus on both cost and quality is very demanding”, says Frode Johansson. He refers to the fact that Bergen Group Services AS this fall has been awarded two new framework agreements with established players in the maritime sector. Both the agreement with Volvo Penta to be included in their regional service network and the agreement with Marine Jet Power AB to sell and service the company's waterjet systems in Norway, have already benefited with increased activity at Bergen Group Services AS.

Global Ocean Commission Welcomes UN General Assembly Decision To Hold UN Conference On Oceans And Seas

The Global Ocean Commission welcomed today’s decision by the UN General Assembly to convene in June 2017 the high-level UN Conference on Oceans and Seas, to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and Sustainably Use the Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources for Sustainable Development. The conference will be held in Fiji from 5 to 9 June, 2017.
Fiji, venue of the UN Ocean Conference in June 2017
Fiji, venue of the UN Ocean Conference in June 2017
Originally proposed by the governments of Fiji and Sweden, and co-sponsored by 95 countries, the resolution adopted today underlines that the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals will depend upon a revitalized and enhanced global partnership for sustainable development, bringing together Governments, civil society, the private sector, the United Nations system and other actors.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in September 2015 as part of the UN 2030 Agenda. SDG 14, the Ocean Sustainable Development Goal, is made up of seven targets including the creation of marine protected areas, the elimination of harmful fisheries subsidies, the reduction of marine pollution including plastic litter, along with action to increase the resilience of the ocean to acidification caused by CO2 emissions.
In welcoming the resolution’s adoption today, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Peter Thomson,  said the 2014 report of the Global Ocean Commission had clearly demonstrated that Ocean’s health was caught in a cycle of decline and that international ocean governance was fragmented. He said today’s resolution would ensure a coming together of the international community to drive the implementation of SDG14 and reverse the cycle of decline.
The prime movers of the motion, Fiji and Sweden, had originally proposed that the UN Conference be convened every three years between 2017 and 2029. Ambassador Thomson said that depending on the success and outcome of the Fiji summit in 2017, this triennial process would drive SDG’s implementation over the 15 years of the 2030 Agenda.
The Global Ocean Commission in its 2014 report From Decline to Recovery: A Rescue Package for the Global Ocean, proposed a Global Ocean Accountability Board be created in order to measure progress on ocean recovery. The convening of the UN Conference on Oceans and Seas can be a first step in securing everyone is accountable.
José María Figueres, Co-Chair of the Global Ocean Commission, welcomed today’s action by the UNGA, saying: “The high level UN Conference on Oceans and Seas – Fiji 2017 – can provide the first accountability moment all ocean lovers and conservationists have been waiting for; to assess what we are really doing to and for the ocean.”

Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defence and Space win French government contract to supply Comsat NG military satellite communications system

Thales

Cannes December 23, 2015 - French defense procurement agency DGA (Direction générale de l’armement), part of the Defense Ministry, has selected the consortium formed by Thales Alenia Space (65%) and Airbus Defence and Space (35%) to build and deliver the military satellite communications system, Comsat NG. As lead contractor, Thales Alenia Space will be in charge of relations with the Ministry of Defense.
The Comsat NG contract covers the construction and launch of two military communications satellites for the French armed forces, to replace the Syracuse 3A and Syracuse 3B satellites, launched in 2005 and 2006, respectively. These new satellites will enter in service in 2021 and will give France a higher performance system featuring new services.
Offering a design life of 15 years, the two satellites will have identical X and Ka-band payloads, built by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor. One will use the full electric Spacebus Neo platform, while the other will be built on the Eurostar 3000 platform. The Comsat NG satellites will feature unrivaled resistance to even the most extreme jamming methods, thanks to state-of-the-art equipment, including an active anti-jamming antenna and a digital onboard processor.
The contract also includes an extensive ground segment, including construction of the ground control and mission facilities, mainly calling on Thales Alenia Space’s Space Ops solutions. It will also include the refurbishment of ground stations in France and operating and maintenance support for a period of 17 years.
“I would like to thank the French Ministry of Defense for choosing us for this strategic contract, reflecting their renewed confidence in Thales Alenia Space,” said Jean Loïc Galle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space
The Comsat NG satellites will extend and enhance the mission carried out by the Syracuse satellites in terms of exchanging information between mainland France and theaters of operation, and between different theaters, no matter how far apart they may be. They will also address growing data capacity requirements, driven in large part by the increased use of video transmissions. 

RN Parliamentary Questions Answered

HL4730 – Aircraft Carriers: Military Aircraft (Answered)
UK First F35-B Joint Combat Aircraft flight BK-1 01
MOD

Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 16 December (HL4512 and HL4513), what “when necessary to deliver the carrier strike program” means precisely.

Earl Howe

Our aim is to ensure that embarked, jointly manned F-35B air squadrons operate to the same harmony guidelines. The overall principle is that we will manage all embarked air squadrons – which will include Fixed and Rotary Wing forces and personnel from all three Services – to ensure that the different harmony guidelines which all three Services routinely apply, do not adversely affect the way in which the operational output of the aircraft carriers will be delivered, and that they do not undermine joint unit or joint force cohesion. This principle will be given practical application as we continue our work to develop the routine carrier, combat air and helicopter operating cycles from 2020.


20108 – HMS Victory (Answered)

HMS Victory
MOD

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assistance his Department is providing to the National Museum of the Royal Navy in making urgent repairs to HMS Victory.
Mr Philip Dunne
In March 2012 the custodianship of HMS Victory transferred to the HMS Victory Preservation Company, a charitable trust established as part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) to ensure the preservation of the ship for future generations.
Part of this arrangement was a £25 million grant from the Ministry of Defence matched by a similar grant from the Gosling Foundation. The Heritage Lottery Fund contributed an addition £5 million from its Catalyst Fund. These funds form an endowment for the maintenance of the vessel. The NMRN continues to receive Grant in Aid from the Royal Navy, but the maintenance and repair of the ship is the responsibility of the Museum and the Trust.

19776 – Maritime Patrol Aircraft (Answered)


To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Boeing P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft he expects to enter service in 2019-20.
Mr Philip Dunne
The Ministry of Defence is currently engaged in detailed negotiations on the Boeing P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft. As the Prime Minister announced to the House on 23 November 2015 (Official Report, column 1059), we intend for at least three of the aircraft to be in place by the end of the Parliament.


Fincantieri to collaborate with the Indian shipyards MDL and GRSE for the Navy’s frigates

MDL

December 21, 2015 - Fincantieri has signed a contract with Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), one of the most important Indian shipyards, controlled by the Ministry of Defence and specialized in the building of naval and offshore units, to provide technical advice within the Project 17A. This project envisages the construction of 7 stealth frigates ordered this year in February by the Indian Navy to the two shipyards MDL and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE).
This important agreement allows the group to establish a long-term cooperation with the two shipyards and to consolidate its commercial presence in the country.
The supply will affect part of the functional project of specific elements and the development of detailed engineering aimed at integrated building in the two yards; design optimization processes and modular construction; training and ongoing technical assistance for every stage of design till delivery.
The Project 17A is the follow-up of Project 17 – that is 3 multirole Shivalik class stealth frigates built at Mazagon between 2000 and 2010 - for the Indian Navy. It regards the construction of a total of 7 frigates of 149 meters in length with a displacement of 6,400 tons. With a basic and functional design developed by the Indian Navy, the ships will be built at MDL and GRSE, which will be modernized and enhanced thanks to Fincantieri’s advice in order to use the modular construction technique as well as the one known as "integrated construction". This experience will also bring about a significant return of technology and know-how for Fincantieri, with the creation of system advisors, useful for other programs in which the group is involved too.

Saab to Upgrade Royal Swedish Navy Torpedoes

Saab

December 22, 2015 - Defence and security company Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) for the upgrade and enhancement of the heavyweight torpedo system, Torpedo 62. The deliveries will take place during the period 2016-2017.
The order comes under the terms of the Letter of Intent (LoI), signed between Saab and FMV on June 9 2014, regarding support for the Swedish Armed Force's underwater capabilities. With this order the Torpedo 62 system will be upgraded with new and enhanced functionalities. The contract also includes an option for additional orders.
“Saab develops the systems together with its customers in order to meet the challenges that they face. We have a very strong relationship with FMV and through this order, we will deliver a modern and powerful torpedo system”, says Agneta Kammeby, head of business unit Underwater Systems within Saab business area Dynamics.
The Torpedo 62 is an advanced heavy weight torpedo for combating surface targets. The Torpedo 62 is equipped with an advanced propulsion system capable of high speed and long endurance together with a state of the art homing system.
Saab has established a unique expertise to developed underwater systems for shallow waters and for the specific environment found in the Baltic Sea, including customised propulsion systems, communication systems and target seekers. Some of these are world leading systems within its segment. Saab has a longstanding partnership with FMV and has provided underwater solutions for weapon systems, sensors, autonomous underwater vehicles and mine hunting.

US Navy Selects Northrop Grumman to Design and Produce Shipboard Laser Weapon System Demonstrator

Northrop Grumman will assist the Navy in testing a 150 kW-class Laser Weapon System Demonstrator aboard the service's Self Defense Test Ship, the former USS Paul F. Foster (DD-964).

Redondo Beach CA December 22, 2015 - The U.S. Navy will get a peek at a future where high energy laser weapons could defend its ships against attack under a contract awarded Oct. 22 to Northrop Grumman Corporation by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
Under the three-phase Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) contract, the company will design, produce, integrate, and support the shipboard testing of a 150-kilowatt-class solid state (electric) laser weapon system.
The initial award of $53 million will support work planned for the next 12 months. The contract could grow to a total value of $91 million over 34 months if ONR exercises all of its contract options.
"Northrop Grumman is integrating the latest in high energy lasers with more than 40 years of experience as a laser weapon system integrator to protect sailors against last-minute, high impact threats," said Guy Renard, director and program manager, directed energy, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "For about the price of a gallon of diesel fuel per shot, we're offering the Navy a high-precision defensive approach that will protect not only its sailors, but also its wallet."
During Phase 1 of the LWSD contract, Northrop Grumman will develop a detailed design for the new system. Phase 2 will include assembly and ground test of the system, while Phase 3 will comprise at-sea testing of the system aboard the Navy's Self Defense Test Ship (SDTS). The Navy will lead this testing with Northrop Grumman providing technical support. The SDTS is the former USS Paul F. Foster (DD-964).
According to Renard, Northrop Grumman's LWSD is well suited to support the Navy's planned initial testing on the SDTS. The company has designed its system to be installed, however, with minimal modification or additional costs, for demonstration on the Navy's DDG-51 FLT II class destroyers.
Future Navy laser weapon systems could eventually protect a wide array of naval platforms from advanced surface and air threats. 



Congress Locks Pentagon into Commercial Item Ripoffs

By Scott H. Amey, J.D.
General Counsel, POGO
Quietly and without fanfare, The Department of Defense (DoD) has terminated a proposed rule that would have prevented the waste of billions of taxpayer dollars on so-called “commercial” items. These are items that are supposedly sold in the consumer marketplace. The rule was proposed in August, but was fiercely opposed by defense contractors, their lawyers, and some members of Congress.
Screenshot of the cover of Report number DODIG-2014-088
To understand the issue, it’s important to note that the government often buys “commercial” goods and services that are not actually sold in the commercial market. Even worse, these purchases are often made without competition and without any government review of the cost information that supports the final price the contractors are proposing. Audits by the DoD Inspector General have uncovered innumerable instances of misspending by DoD such as millions of dollars wasted on spare parts and improper efforts by the Air Force to purchase refueling tankers and C-130J cargo planes(and their parts too) as “commercial” items.
Even the Air Force admitted that, once Senator John McCain (R-AZ) forced it to restructure the C-130J contract so that it was no longer a commercial item, the government saved $168 million.
DoD’s efforts to redefine what is a commercial item isn’t new. In 2012, DoD asked for a commercial item definition change, but Congress didn’t go for it. Giving credit where it’s due, the Pentagon did the right thing and issued the proposed rule earlier this year. The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) submitted a public comment supporting the proposal.
That rule would have standardized commercial-item buying and enabled the DoD to obtain cost or pricing data that would ensure taxpayers don’t get ripped off. POGO supported the inclusion of the term “market-based pricing” and requiring contracting officers to “obtain adequate commercial marketplace sales data.” That reform would have especially protected the government in cases of non-competitive awards in which the contractor refuses to turn over any cost or pricing data.
Also, the rule would have defined a commercial market as one in which 50 percent or more of the sales by volume are nongovernmental. This would have helped avoid buying items that are designated as commercial, but for which there are no genuine commercial market prices.
Despite these efforts, there is great pressure to protect the DoD industrial base, and contractors seem to have convinced senior officials that the world will end if commercial really means commercial. Congress bought into that hype and placed pro-industry provisions into the FY 2016 Defense Authorization Bill (Sect. 851-857) that will continue to expand the buying of military-only items, limit DoD’s access to contractor pricing information, restrict conversions when an item no longer has a commercial market, and essentially lock the government into previous commercial determinations and prices. Simply stated, Congress just forced DoD into a worse buying position than the one that it is in.
This is a recipe for disaster. Just ask yourself: Are you willing to buy items at potentially outdated prices (like, say, a 40-inch HD TV for $2,000 or an 8 GB iPhone for $299) because that’s what others paid in the past? That doesn’t sound like market-based pricing and DoD and taxpayers will be at risk for a long time to come if a government official recently paid too much for an item.  
Certainly, Congress isn’t helping the situation, and that leaves DoD in a difficult spot. If “commercial” buying goes down this path, taxpayers will just have to accept more bad deals with defense contractors—deals for military-use only items that have excessive costs because there is no competition and no valid cost or pricing information for which to make a valid price determination.
scott ameyScott Amey is General Counsel for the Project On Government Oversight. Some of Scott's investigations center on contract oversight, human trafficking, the revolving door, and ethics issues.

Saab Signs Annual Overhaul And Modification Contract For Corvettes

December 18, 2015 - Defence and security company Saab has signed a contract with the Swedish Defence Material Administration for the regular, yearly overhaul and modification of the Swedish Navy’s two Stockholm-class corvettes. The order covers the period 2016-2017. Work on the corvettes will be undertaken in Karlskrona.
Saab will conduct the annual overhaul and modification program for the Royal Swedish Navy vessels HMS Stockholm and HMS Malmö. After modification, the ships will be classified as warships intended primarily for maritime surveillance. Both ships were built at the Karlskrona shipyard in the early 1980s and entered service in 1985. In 2002 the vessels went through a midlife upgrade.
“HMS Stockholm and HMS Malmö are fine examples of how a good basic design combines with planned maintenance and modifications to deliver low lifecycle costs and longer operational deployment,” says Gunnar Wieslander head of Saab’s business unit Saab Kockums.
The contract provides for the technical detail design and execution of the annual overhaul and modification programme.

Terma Unveils Solid State Naval Radar for Small Boat Market

Based on a light weight design, up-mast configuration, and open network architecture, the SCANTER 2600 is ideal for small boat applications that require small target surface detection in extreme weather conditions, and easily integrates with existing third-party systems.

Arlington December 22, 2015 - Terma will introduce their latest naval surveillance radar product, the SCANTER 2600, at the Surface Navy Association’s (SNA) National Symposium in Arlington, VA on 12-14 January 2016.
While small target detectability increases with antenna size, International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements can be met with a Terma 7’ Compact Antenna providing medium-range surface surveillance capability.
Terma has over 30 years of experience delivering command and control systems and radar surveillance technology for use in extreme conditions and environments around the world.
Please join us in Booth # 108 at the SNA National Symposium to learn more about the most advanced, Solid State radar systems in the world.

Admiralty Shipyards to deliver to Russian and foreign customers 7 subs and an icebreaker in 2018

December 30, 2015 - St. Petersburg, Russia based Admiralty Shipyards scheduled for delivery in 2018 to customers in Russia and abroad seven submarines and one icebreakers, the shipbuilding company said.
General Director of Admiralty Shipyards Alexander Buzakov said that the three submarines and the icebreaker will be built for the Russian Navy and four submarines will be delivered to foreign navy under the military cooperation agreements. He added that the shipbuilding company has secured backlog of orders for the next two years.
Admiralty Shipyards JSC (Admiralteysky Verfy) is the oldest Russian shipbuilder. The company is part of Western Center of Shipbuilding owned by United Shipbuilding Corporation. Admiralty Shipyards specializes in the design, construction and refitting / conversion of civil vessels and warships for the Russian Navy. To date, the Company has built more than 300 submarines (including 41 nuclear-powered ships), 68 deep and underwater vessels. Currently four series of submarines for foreign Navy and Russia's Ministry of Defense are under construction and a salvage ship Igor Belousov is undergoing sea trials. Admiralty Shipyards workforce is 6,500 people. On November 5, 2015 the Company celebrated its 311 yrs anniversary.

Kongsberg Maritime strengthens its simulator capacity by acquiring SMSC

December 22, 2015 - Kongsberg Maritime has signed a contract to buy the Trondheim-based ship simulation and consultancy company, Ship Modelling & Simulation Centre AS (SMSC). The acquisition, which is expected to be completed January 2016, will contribute to strengthening Kongsberg Maritime's position as a world leader in maritime simulation.
Kongsberg Maritime delivers solutions that provide high quality simulator training for merchant marine, navy and offshore personnel.
“More sophisticated vessel operations have contributed to an increasing focus on training to enhance safety and efficiency,” says CEO of Kongsberg Maritime, Geir Håøy. “SMSC fits perfectly into our business and will complement our existing product and service portfolio well. In addition to supplying simulators, training and certification, the competence of SMSC also supports us to offer our shipyard and offshore customers new and innovative simulation services, ranging from ship modelling and engineering projects to pre-simulation and operational consulting.”
“At a time of strong focus on cost savings, it is important to look into the optimisation of procedures and crew training for more competent and effective implementation of operations. With the acquisition of SMSC, we will have the ability to assist our customers to improve their margins," adds Håøy. 
“SMSC has a strong research community, which by becoming a part of Kongsberg Maritime’s international simulator enterprise, will have the opportunity to develop its potential further,” says resining chairman of SMSC, Kaare Gisvold. 
For Kongsberg Maritime's existing simulator customers, the acquisition of SMSC will contribute to increasing capacity, for instance for the development of new and accurate models to use in simulation exercises.
“The acquisition of SMSC will in all aspects strengthen our market position. SMSC will be integrated as part of Kongsberg Maritime and continue its activities in Trondheim. We already have substantial operations in the city and close involvement with innovative technology environments there, including NTNU, Marintek and Ocean Space Centre,” concludes Håøy.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Trends of Chinese naval vessels

December 26, 2015 (Google Translation) - December 23 (water) around 15:30, Maritime Self-Defense Force fourth air group affiliation of the P-3C is, check the China Navy Dondiao class spy ship one ship to the north eastward the waters outside of the Boso Peninsula, southeast of connecting waters I did.
Through around at the 26th (Sat) 11, the spy ship is in the same waters, it was back and forth in the northeast and southwest of direction to make sure that was sailing.
After that, the vessels is, between Miyakejima and Hachijojima I made sure that was sailing towards the southwest.
Dondiao class spy ship Beixing (851)
Performance particulars, etc. (Reference) Dondiao class spy ship (851) 
(Source: JANE'S FIGHTING SHIPS '14 ~ '15)
Ship speciesDondiao class spy ship
Drainage volume6,096 tons (full load)
Full-length, full width, draft130.0 × 16.4 × 6.5m
The main armament37㎜ cannon × 1,14.5㎜ cannon × 2
organDiesel main engine × 2
speed20 knots
The number of deployment2 vessels

Keels of the first two of 18 Project 22800 OPV laid 24 December at Pella Shipyard in St Petersburg



(Google Translation) The first ships of the project 22800 "Hurricane" and "Typhoon" will be part of the Russian fleet in the 2017th and 2018, according to the Russian newspaper, citing Deputy Navy Commander for Armaments Victor Bursuc.
"Small missile ships of the new project will be laid on December 24 the St. Petersburg shipyard" Pella "", - said the vice-admiral. According to him, "in the near future in various enterprises will be built more than a dozen ships a new project developed in St. Petersburg Central Marine Design Bureau" Almaz."
Bursuc explained that "the small ocean-class corvettes have a displacement of 800 tons,
can reach speeds of about 30 knots and autonomously perform combat missions at a distance of three thousand miles from the base."
"Among the advantages of these ships - high maneuverability, improved navigability and architecture of superstructures and body made of" stealth "technology", - he said. The ships will be equipped with domestic engines, their arms make cruise missiles "Caliber-NK" and modern artillery. As previously reported by Navy Commander Viktor Chirkov, only "planned to build at least 18 small missile ships of the project 22800".

Bollinger Delivers USCGC Winslow Griesser

USCG photo.

Lockport LA December 23, 2015 - Bollinger Shipyards has delivered the WINSLOW GRIESSER, the 16th Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to the United States Coast Guard.
The announcement was made by Bollinger’s President & C.E.O., Ben Bordelon. "We are very pleased to announce the delivery of the latest FRC built by Bollinger Shipyards, the WINSLOW GRIESSER, to the 7th Coast Guard District in Puerto Rico. We are looking forward to honoring and celebrating the heroic acts of Winslow Griesser at the vessel’s commissioning.”
The 154 foot patrol craft WINSLOW GRIESSER is the 16th vessel in the Coast Guard's Sentinel-class FRC program. To build the FRC, Bollinger used a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. It has a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art command, control, communications and computer technology, and a stern launch system for the vessel’s 26 foot cutter boat. The FRC has been described as an operational "game changer,” by senior Coast Guard officials.
The Coast Guard took delivery on December 23, 2015 in Key West, Florida, and is scheduled to commission the vessel in Puerto Rico during March, 2016.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty. This vessel is named after Coast Guard Hero Winslow Griesser. Winslow W. Griesser, Keeper of the Buffalo Life-Saving Station in New York, was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal on February 23, 1901 for his heroic actions during a dramatic rescue on November 21, 1900.

Ingalls Shipbuilding Awarded Life-Cycle Engineering Contract on U.S. Navy’s LPD 17 Program

Pascagoula December 16, 2015 - Huntington Ingalls Industries announced today that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded a $34.8 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for life-cycle engineering and support services on the U.S. Navy’s USS San Antonio (LPD 17) class of amphibious transport docks. The contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to $242 million.
“The men and women of Ingalls are passionate about building and supporting LPD 17-class ships when they enter the fleet,” said George Nungesser, Ingalls’ program manager for the project. “This contract builds on our strong legacy of our partnership with the Navy in the construction and post-delivery of Navy ships. We look forward to providing on-site support at U.S. Navy homeports to upgrade these ships with the latest technology.”
Services provided in the contract include post-delivery planning and engineering, systems integration and engineering support, research engineering, material support, fleet modernization program planning, supply chain management, maintenance, and training for certain San Antonio-class shipboard systems.
The San Antonio class is a key component to the Navy’s 21st century amphibious assault force. The 684-foot-long, 105-foot-wide ships are used to embark and land Marines, their equipment and supplies ashore via air cushion or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey. The ships support a Marine Air Ground Task Force across the spectrum of operations, conducting amphibious and expeditionary missions of sea control and power projection to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions throughout the first half of the 21st century.

Airbus Helicopters completes delivery of final two H135s to Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

Airbus Helicopters completes delivery of final two H135s to Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Airbus

Tokyo December 15, 2015 – Airbus Helicopters has successfully handed over the 14th and 15th H135 training helicopters to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). This marks the delivery completion of 15 H135s over the last six years. Designated as TH-135 by JMSDF, the 13 units delivered prior have been in operation since 2011.
The TH-135 is a variant of Airbus Helicopters’ light twin-engine H135, specially customized for JMSDF’s specific requirements for advanced training missions. The H135 was selected as the replacement for its single-engine training helicopter fleet, thanks to its unrivalled performance and easy maintenance which translates to high availability rate.
“We are delighted to be able to deliver all fifteen TH-135s on time,” said Stephane Ginoux, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters Japan. “We are committed to upkeep the highest quality of safety and efficiency of their training missions by providing prompt parts procurement, maintenance and technical support services.”
The H135 is one of Airbus Helicopter’s most successful light twin-engine helicopters in the 3-ton class, with a seating capacity of seven to eight passengers (five for TH-135). It provides higher payload over longer distances than other rotorcraft in its category, and delivers supreme performance envelope along with low fuel consumption. Other features include the use of a bearingless main rotor and Airbus Helicopters’ signature Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor. The results are enhanced cost effectiveness, noise reduction and ground safety.
In Japan, there are currently 80 H135s operating for emergency medical services, police work, electronic news gathering, VIP transport and business aviation.

L-3 to Provide Integrated Platform Management System for UK Type 26 Global Combat Ship


UK Type 26 Global Combat Ship
Bristol December 15, 2015 – L-3 Marine Systems UK announced today that it has been awarded a design development agreement from BAE Systems for the initial design and development activities to support ship integration of its Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) for the UK Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship.
Using core technology developed by Montreal, Canada-based affiliate L-3 MAPPS, the company will perform the initial design and development activities to support ship integration at its facilities in Bristol, Burgess Hill and Barrow-in-Furness. The Type 26 Global Combat Ships are being designed by BAE Systems for the UK Ministry of Defence to replace the Type 23 Frigates currently in service with the Royal Navy.
“Our advanced IPMS will enable these next-generation ships to achieve high levels of operational effectiveness under the most adverse conditions,” said Roger Baker, general manager of L-3 Marine Systems UK. “We are very pleased to be a key supplier to BAE Systems on the Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme.”
The L-3 IPMS is based on proven and survivable control systems technology that has been delivered by L-3 MAPPS to over 160 ships and submarines in 18 navies worldwide. The IPMS on the Type 26 Global Combat Ship will provide automated monitoring and control of the propulsion, electrical, auxiliary and damage control systems together with an embedded onboard team trainer. The system will provide the flexibility to enable watch-keeping and damage control teams to operate safely under all operational conditions while meeting the stringent reduced manning requirements of the project.
L-3 has a longstanding relationship with the Royal Navy, supplying and supporting land-based trainers and platform management systems for major platforms such as the Royal Navy’s Landing Platform Docks (HMS Albion & Bulwark), the Astute Class submarines (HMS Astute, Ambush & Artful), and the new aircraft carriers (HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales). L-3 is also joint prime contractor for the 30-year Astute Class Training Service private finance initiative through its special-purpose vehicle, FAST Training Services Ltd., providing a complete scope of crew training for the nuclear-powered Astute Class submarines.

Pella Shipyard completes mooring and sea trials of MB-97

Pella

St Petersburg December 18, 2015 - On December 17, Pella shipyard (Leningrad Region) completed mooring and manufacturer’s trials of tugboat MB-97 of Project 02790 (Hull No 508), the shipyard says.
In the nearest time the vessel will be delivered to the basing site in Lomonosov (Leningrad Region) and the tug will join the Baltic Sea Fleet of RF Navy. 
In the nearest time state commission will commence the acceptance procedure.
Tugboats are intended for towing ships, floating facilities offshore and in port waters. The multipurpose tugs can escort vessels at a speed of up to 10 knots, participate in search and salvage operations, assist in fire fighting at floating and onshore facilities and breaking 0.6-m-thick ice at a speed of up to 6-8 knots. 
Vessel’s characteristics: displacement - 945 tonnes, LOA – 34.4 m, beam - about 12.1 m, draught – 4.4 m, speed – 13.5 knots, class notation - KM   Arc4 R1 Аut1 FF3WS Tug by Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.
Deck equipment: bow double-drum anchor-towing-mooring electro-hydraulic winch М 140-180-2Т-2В-1С-FEH RED Fluidmecanica providing escort services, 20 t of bollard pull and 1860 kN of brake holding force; aft electro-hydraulic towing winch CHR-20-180-1Т-1С-ЕА RED Fluidmecanica, providing 20 t of bollard pull and 1800 kN of brake holding force; towing hook providing 650 kN of bollard pull with quick release device; cargo crane Fluidmecanica HLRM 45/5 S with lifting capacity of 19.5 kN at the boom of 13.5m.
In order to fulfill fire-fighting operations the tugboat is equipped with external fire fighting system made by FFS (capacity is 1500 m3/h, 2 water monitors, water curtains system).
The tug was launched on January 28, 2015.

Pella shipyard completes mooring and manufacturer’s trials of rescue tug SB-121

Pella photo.

St Petersburg December 18, 2015 - On December 14, Pella shipyard (Leningrad Region) completed mooring and manufacturer’s trials of rescue tugboat SB-121 (Project 02980), the shipyard says.
In the nearest time state commission will commence the acceptance procedure.
The serial tug is designed to perform ranged services: towing of seagoing vessels, floating units and structures in the ice and clean waters, supplying offshore facilities with equipment and materials, fast supply of personnel and goods, assisting construction at offshore facilities in the sea, participation in salvage operations, providing assistance to stricken ships, conduct SAR operations and evacuation of people, providing them with medical care, rescue operation in areas of shipping, offshore oil and gas fields, extinguish fires on floating and shore-based facilities, extinguish burning oil on the sea surface, and response to oil spills. 
Also the tug can assist in cargo transshipments at ports, operate on shallow waters and coastal shelf, support diving works. The ice class tug is able break the 1-meter-thick ice at a speed of 2÷5 knots and escort ships at speed of 10 knots. 
Major characteristics: LOA - 48 m, BOA - 13 m, draught – 5.4 m, speed – 14.5 knots, pulling power - 80 t, displacement - 1216 t, power - 2х2666 kW.
Leningrad Shipyard Pella was founded in 1950 and privatized in 1992. The holding incorporates a head company and a number of subsidiaries. The shipyard specializes in construction of tug boats for Russian customers.

Pella Shipyard completes mooring and sea trials of Latest Project 03160

Notice remote gun systm on wheelhouse roof, likely for suppression fire. Pella photo.

St Petersburg December 18, 2015 - On December 17, Pella Shipyard (Leningrad Region) completed mooring and sea trials of patrol boat Raptor, Project 03160 (Hull No 708), the shipyard’s press center says. 
In the nearest future, he boat will pass the state trials and then will be delivered to the customer.
The boat is intended to perform the following operations at day-time and at night: the transportation of group of at least 20 persons providing the highest possible embarkation and debarkation; duties in assigned areas; intercept and arrest of small targets; rescue of people in areas of duty. 
Navigation area – coastal areas, straits, estuaries standing off a place of shelter within 100 miles.
Main dimensions: length max. – about 17 m, width max. – about 4.0 m, fixed height - about 3.5 m, draught – about 0.9 m, crew – 3, special staff - 20, speed – about 50 knots, total power – 2,000 h.p.
Armored protection - Armored panels of "5" and "5а" classes of bullet proof capacity Windows having 39 mm bullet proof glass
Military equipment - Remote-operated complex with gyrostabilizer optical-electronic module: caliber – 14.5 m; range of target detection – 3,000 m; rifle range - 2,000 m, 2 off machine rifle of model 6P41 “Pecheneg” having 7.62 mm caliber on bracket mount. 
Pella Shipyard based in Russia’s Leningrad region was founded in 1950. In 1992 Pella was privatized as Pella Holding Co. comprising the head office and several subsidiaries. The shipbuilding firm specializes in building tractor tugs with rated power of 1,000hp to 5,000hp, push boats, escort tugs, pilot boats and SAR boats for Russian customers and for foreign customers.

K2 Energy Solutions, Inc. has been awarded a Navy Phase I SBIR for the development of a high-power LFP prismatic cell with enhanced thermal management

Henderson NV December 10, 2015 - K2 Energy Solutions, Inc., (K2) today announced it has been awarded a US Navy Phase I SBIR for the development of a Lithium Iron Phosphate prismatic cell capable of supporting a number of anticipated Navy high power applications. The new cell will incorporate K2's advanced LFP electrode designs, resulting in a light weight, high capacity battery capable of operating in challenging thermal environments while maintaining the intrinsic safety of K2's LFP technology.
The Navy contract will allow K2 Energy to adapt and optimize its Lithium-Ion battery technology for use in large, versatile prismatic cells that will feature the high power and high capacity of K2's next generation systems. These cells are intended for the Navy's use in a variety of shipboard applications. Large prismatic cells are increasingly being used in commercial and industrial applications because of their thin profile, reduced weight, and efficient use of space compared to traditional cylindrical cells. However, the large prismatic cell designs commonly used commercially are incapable of producing the high power levels required by many anticipated Navy shipboard applications without severely compromising the cells' service life or operational safety. K2 manufactures high power cylindrical cells that are currently used in the Navy's electromagnetic railgun program, as well as many other applications. The goal of K2's Navy SBIR contract is to adapt K2's high power cell technology to a prismatic design better suited to the construction of large batteries.  This research and development program will minimize temperature surges during heavy use and maximize battery life without compromising safety.
"K2 is currently providing batteries for a number of military applications, including the Navy electromagnetic railgun program and the Marines GREENS system," says Dr. Jim Hodge, K2's Chief Technical Officer. "Our work on this Navy SBIR project will help to ensure that we can continue to supply cutting edge energy storage systems for the increasingly demanding military applications of the future."
The SBIR program was established under the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-219) with the purpose of strengthening the role of innovative small business concerns in Federally-funded research and development projects.

Final Section of Prince of Wales Arrives in Roysth

UB14 departs Glasgow
BAE Systems

Glasgow December 10, 2015 - The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier program achieved a major milestone today as the final section began its delivery voyage from Glasgow to Rosyth, ten weeks ahead of schedule.
HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales will be the Royal Navy’s largest and most advanced ever warships and were constructed in blocks in different shipyards throughout the UK. The final section being delivered, known as the Aft Island, weighs 750 tonnes and will control aircraft operations aboard the second aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales. 
Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Philip Dunne MP said: “Our aircraft carriers, the largest ships ever built in Scotland for the Royal Navy, will help to secure the UK’s interests both at home and abroad.
“Our new F-35 Lightning II aircraft will fly from the decks of HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2018. This is all made possible by our growing Equipment budget, which has increased to £178 billion, ensuring we are providing our men and women with the best equipment possible.”
Iain Stevenson, QE Class Project Director at BAE Systems, said: “This is a proud day for our employees throughout the UK, as well as our partners in the Aircraft Carrier Alliance. To see the final section delivered to Rosyth, ahead of schedule and to an incredible standard of engineering is testament to the dedication, skill and ingenuity of all those working on the program. 
“There’s more hard work to be done, but there’s also an incredible momentum behind the program as mission systems are tested on HMS Queen Elizabeth and assembly continues for HMS Prince of Wales. HMS Queen Elizabeth is now very much alive and we’re fast approaching the day that she’ll make her first triumphant entry into her Portsmouth home.”
144 wheels, 16 axles and a single remote control were used to drive the Aft Island from the Ship Build Hall in Glasgow onto a seagoing barge for its 1335 mile journey around the south coast of England. The public can follow the delivery by tracking the tug boat Esvagt Connector on marinetraffic.com.
The Queen Elizabeth Class are the first aircraft carriers in the world to use an innovative twin-island design. The Forward Island contains the bridge and is primarily responsible for the command of the ship. The Aft Island is responsible for the ship’s mission systems and act as an aircraft control tower. While each island has a primary role, both are able to incorporate the other’s role in an emergency, increasing the survivability of the ship.
The Queen Elizabeth Class will be the centrepiece of Britain’s maritime capability. Each 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier will provide the armed forces with a four acre military operating base, which can be deployed worldwide. The vessels will be versatile enough to be used for operations ranging from supporting war efforts to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
The aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnering relationship between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the Ministry of Defence. A national endeavour, at its peak the program directly employed 10,000 people across six build yards. While manufacturing and commissioning is now solely focussed in Rosyth, the skilled and diverse workforce is sourced from across the country, including many from BAE Systems in Glasgow and Frimley. 

RN Parliamentary Questions Answered

19049 – HMS Ocean (Answered)

MOD


Dr Julian Lewis

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which individual ships will fulfil the roles currently carried out by HMS Ocean when she is withdrawn from service; and what numbers of (a) amphibious forces and (b) helicopters are carried by (i) HMS Ocean and (ii) the substitute ships.

Mr Philip Dunne

As stated in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (Cm9161), we will enhance a Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carrier to support our amphibious capability. Together with existing amphibious ships of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, this will provide the capacity and capability to deploy our amphibious forces.

HMS OCEAN can carry up to 690 Embarked Military Forces (EMF) – Royal Marines and Aviation Group personnel – in addition to her ship’s company. She can deploy a variety of helicopter types in multiple combinations as required by her mission and role.

The QEC aircraft carriers can embark up to 900 EMF, in addition to their ship’s company, in support of their missions and tasks and a flexible mix of helicopters subject to the operational tasking.

19430 – Maritime Patrol Aircraft (Answered)

MOD


Mrs Madeleine Moon

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether (a) stormshadow and (b) stingray will be utilised on the P8 MPA; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Philip Dunne

The Department intends to bring the P-8A into service without significant modification to ensure the delivery of operational capability as soon as is practicable. There are no current plans to integrate Stormshadow and Stingray onto the aircraft, though it is possible that future capability enhancements once the aircraft is in service with the RAF may include UK weapons.

19417 – HMS Brocklesby (Answered)

Mrs Madeleine Moon

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether (a) HMS Brocklesby M33 mine sweeper will be refitted at Portsmouth naval dockyards and (b) that refitting will include new propulsion capability; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Philip Dunne

As part of the Royal Navy’s continual examination of its resources and operational priorities, HMS Brocklesby’s docking period and refitting of her propulsion capability has been deferred.