International

NEW LANDING CRAFT FOR ADF

The Australian government will invest up to AUS$800 million (US$620 million) to acquire new fleets of Australian-built amphibious vehicles and landing craft that will be able to transport land forces with enhanced speed and protection. Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the Army Littoral Manoeuvre – Light project, LAND 8710 Phase 1 will strengthen the ADF’s amphibious capabilities. “Today’s announcement delivers on this Government’s objectives, set out in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, to enhance the ADF’s amphibious capabilities, especially in Australia’s territorial waters and the near region,” Minister Reynolds said. “These new vessels, introduced from 2026, will be larger, faster, and better protected to support ADF operations. “They will allow Defence to qui...

Wartime recollection: Fateful day still vivid in 95-year-old’s memory

Deciding not to wait in a long queue as his crewmates went single file down to their living quarters, George Billing went to go to an office to finish a letter instead. It was a decision that saved his life because within minutes a torpedo slammed into his ship close to where his bunk was. Read more from the Kapiti News here

Royal Navy’s new patrol ship declared ‘fighting fit’ as she flexes muscles with Royal Marines

Portsmouth-based HMS Tamar received the thumbs up from naval top brass as she served as a springboard for Commandos to board, subdue and search suspect vessels in the Channel Mike Company from 42 Commando in Bickleigh, near Plymouth, and specialist boat drivers from 47 Commando in Devonport Naval Base, plus a Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron joined Tamar, while survey ship HMS Echo served as her foil. The Marines carried out training raids on a Brittany Ferry passenger vessel off the south coast. Read the full story here

NEW PATROL BOAT FOR TONGA

The Australian Government’s Pacific Maritime Security Program has reached a new milestone as the Kingdom of Tonga received their second Australian-built Guardian-class Patrol Boat at a ceremony in Henderson, Western Australia. This is the eighth Guardian-class vessel to be delivered under the Program. The High Commissioner to Australia HRH Princess Angelika Lātūfuipeka Tuku’aho and His Majesty’s Armed Forces’ Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Siu Fifita accepted the VOEA Ngahau Siliva on behalf of Tonga. Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said she was pleased to attend the ceremony and see how Australia’s defence industry and Austal Ships are playing a key role in the Pacific Maritime Security Program. “Australia is proud to play a part in the next generation of Pacific maritime capabilit...

NEW ICEBREAKER FOR AUSTRALIA

New Antarctic icebreaker RSV Nuyina will shortly be ready for sea trials, with progress on the internal fit-out and systems testing of the ship almost complete, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The ship was moved in August from Damen’s Romanian shipyard to its current location in Vlissingen in the Netherlands, to enable equipment manufacturers to check and test the installation of its complex systems. After a month long journey of nearly 7000 kilometres, RSV Nuyina arrived in the Netherlands in late August for the final stages of its testing and commissioning. The ship will be ready for sea trials in a few weeks, followed by sea ice trials in the Arctic in late January. RSV Nuyina is expected to arrive in Hobart mid-2021. For this season the Australian Antarctic Division has chartered MPV Ev...

The British Royal Navy is testing out jetpack assault teams

For decades, science fiction has been telling us that jet packs are right around the corner. But, while it seems there’ll still be some time before any of us are using them to get to work, the UK and US have been experimenting with jet suits for a number of applications, including defense. Of course, this isn’t the first time Gravity Industries’ jet packs have been spotted flying around Royal Navy ships. That’s fitting, seeing as Gravity Industries’ founder Richard Browning served in the British Royal Marines prior to beginning his new life as a jet pack mogul. Last year, he had the opportunity to fly his 5-engine jet pack suit around the pride of the Royal Navy, the HMS Queen Elizabeth. Read the full story from Task and Purpose here

CONTE DI CAVOUR – Italian Navy Aircraft Carrier

The Conte di Cavour (550) is one of two actively serving Italian Navy aircraft carriers. The newer Cavour was commissioned in 2008 and was completed with a straight deck design featuring a ski jump ramp offset to portside for supporting its air wing of Harrier IIs and AgustaWestland EH101 Merlin helicopters – approximately 20 total aircraft.

US Navy to develop three new ship-based laser weapons to counter new aerial threats

The U.S. Navy in recent years has leveraged both significant advancements in industrial SSLs and decades of research and development work on military lasers done by other parts of DOD to make substantial progress toward deploying high-energy SSLs on Navy surface ships.11 Navy surface ships would use high-energy SSLs initially for jamming or confusing (i.e., “dazzling”) intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors, for countering small boats and UAVs, and potentially in the future for countering enemy missiles as well. High-energy SSLs on Navy ships would generally be short-range defensive weapons—they would generally counter targets at ranges of about one mile to perhaps eventually a few miles. Between 2009 and 2012, the US. Navy successfully tested a prototype SSL called t...

Euronaval Online 2020: BAE Systems has developed the world’s most advanced lightweight torpedo Sting Ray Mod 1

BAE Systems has developed the world’s most advanced lightweight torpedo called Sting Ray Mod 1, able to counter all submarine threats in both Open Ocean and littoral engagements. In-service with the British Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, it has been also selected by the Norwegian Armed Forces and is capable of integration into surface and air platform mission systems. The Sting Ray Mod 1 is an air-launched Anti Submarine Warfare lightweight torpedo launched from frigates, helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft against submarine targets of all types. It has a sophisticated acoustic homing system and a highly accurate navigation system. The torpedo can detect, classify and attack targets autonomously. Read more of the story from Naval Recognition here

CHANGE IN BALANCE OF NAVAL POWER

A major reversal of fortunes at sea has gone largely unnoticed. Over the past decade, the Chinese Navy sped past the Japanese maritime service across key measures of material prowess. The trend lines suggest that China will soon permanently displace Japan as the leading regional naval power in Asia. This historic power transition will have repercussions across the Indo-Pacific in the years to come. It behoves policymakers to pay attention to this overlooked but consequential shift in the naval balance between two great seafaring nations. The growing power gap between the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) is stark and will widen at an accelerated pace. China already boasts the largest navy in the world with more than 300 ships and submari...

FIRE ABOARD USS BONHOMME RICHARD

Most of the sailors injured in a massive fire aboard the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard Sunday suffered from smoke inhalation, Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, told reporters Sunday evening in San Diego, where the ship had been burning for nearly 12 hours. The sailors were in stable condition, he said. “Most of them are attributed to smoke inhalation,” Sobeck said. “I don’t have the facts of all of them.” Seventeen sailors and four civilians were injured in the blaze. While the precise cause remained unknown Sunday night, Sobeck said there was “nothing toxic” in the ship, and that the black smoke billowing from the amphibian all day was caused by office and berthing items burning. The fire is believed to have started below those spaces, in the l...

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