NEW PATROL BOAT FOR PNG

Austal Australia has delivered the 13th Guardian-class Patrol Boat (GCPB) to the Australian Department of Defence, according to the company's release. The vessel, NUSHIP Francis Agwi, was then gifted by the Australian Government to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force at a certificate signing ceremony held at Austal’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.

 

Twelve Pacific Island nations including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Timor-Leste will receive the vessels through to 2023. The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project supports more than 200 direct jobs at Austal Australia and more than 200 indirect jobs nationally through Australian businesses contracted by Austal. Austal Australia’s expanded service centre in Cairns, incorporating a 1,200 tonne (80 metre LOA) slipway and a 1,120-tonne mobile boat hoist, continues to provide in-service support to the growing Guardian-class Patrol Boat fleet; with more than 100 people now employed in a variety of engineering and sustainment roles in the Far North Queensland city. The 39.5 metre steel monohull patrol boat – designed, constructed and sustained by Austal Australia – is based on a proven design platform that has included the 38 metre Bay-class, 56 metre Armidale-class and 58 metre Cape class patrol boats that are in service with the Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy.


SHOULD WE BE WORRIED?

Russian and Chinese warships conducted the first ever joint patrol in the western part of the Pacific Ocean on October 17- 23, Russia’s Defence Ministry said. “The joint patrolling demonstrated the state flags of Russia and China, maintained peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and protected facilities of both countries’ maritime economic activity. During the patrol, the group of warships sailed Tsugaru Strait for the first time,” The Russian Navy was represented in the joint naval taskforce of ten warships by the Pacific Fleet forces that included the Marshal Krylov measuring ship, ADMIRAL TRIBUTS and the ADMIRTAL PANTELEYEV large antisubmarine warfare ships, and the ALDAR TSYDENZHAPOV and the GROMKY corvettes of project 20380. The Chinese Navy was represented by the Kunming and the Nanchang destroyers, the QINZHOU and the LUZHOU corvettes, and the DONGPINGHU supply ship. The Russian and Chinese sailors practiced joint tactical manoeuvring and held a series of drills. The warships had covered a total distance of over 1,700 nautical miles in their joint patrol. As reported earlier, the Russian and Chinese Navies held the Joint Sea 2021 three-day naval manoeuvres in the Sea of Japan.

Source: Naval News

China’s turn to the outside world and its growing dependence on maritime commerce coincided with the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the start of a period in which the United States enjoyed unchallenged command of the seas. The confluence of these developments created a vulnerability of which Chinese naval strategists and political leaders were painfully aware, but about which—at first—they could do very little. U.S. power, especially naval power, also stood in the way of Beijing achieving its regional goals of absorbing Taiwan and asserting its maritime claims in the East and South China Seas. Despite these dangers, in keeping with its overall strategy, the Communist Party regime chose, in Deng Xiaoping’s words, to “hide its capabilities and bide its time,” relying on the prospect of mutual economic gain to check the aggressive impulses of the United States and its allies while taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the West’s engagement to build up all the elements of its own comprehensive national power.

Since the early 1990s, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) planners have sought to develop weapons and operational concepts with which to counter any future U.S. effort to project power into the western Pacific. Beijing has put in place an extensive ant access/area-denial complex: a combination of reconnaissance systems and conventional precision-strike weapons capable of targeting fixed bases and mobile platforms at ever-increasing ranges from China’s coasts. These are backed by, among other things, anti-satellite and cyber capabilities designed to disrupt U.S. and allied command and control, an integrated air-defence system to protect the Chinese mainland, and a modernizing, mobile nuclear force meant to deter potential attackers while broadening the array of options available to China’s leaders. Beijing also has used unconventional means creatively, building islands and deploying a sizable seaborne militia to strengthen its position and assert its maritime claims. All this activity is clearly intended to deter U.S. intervention in a possible future conflict off China’s coasts and to delay and defeat it should deterrence fail. In the long run, Beijing evidently hopes to “win without fighting,” undermining the credibility of U.S. security guarantees, weakening its alliances, and clearing the way for China to resume its rightful place as the preponderant power in eastern Eurasia. China’s leaders obviously would prefer to achieve their objectives in the Indo-Pacific through the incremental accumulation of positional advantages and without the costs and risks of a direct clash of arms. But they also are acquiring the forces and developing the doctrine they believe will give them the best chance of winning, should war become necessary. Unfortunately, Beijing’s preparations are pushing it toward a posture in which the chances of success would depend heavily on pre-emption.

In the western Pacific, China is building the capabilities necessary to carry out massed conventional precision strikes on the bases, forces, and reconnaissance and communication systems of the United States and its regional allies. The PLA’s theory of victory appears to envision a first strike that would effectively knock the United States out of the theatre in the opening stages, accompanied by the seizure of key maritime terrain and establishment of a defensive perimeter along the first island chain, after which Beijing would presumably depend on economic suasion and threats of escalation to bring U.S. allies to terms and to discourage Washington from continuing the war.

 

Source: US Naval Institute


HMS PRINCE OF WALES

The UK now has two aircraft carriers ready for duties as HMS Prince of Wales has been declared fully operational. The fortnight-long Exercise Joint Warrior wrapped up two years of intensive training for the Portsmouth-based warship and her 700-plus crew, as well as the Royal Navy and RAF squadrons who will operate aircraft from her flight deck – including the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning stealth fighter. HMS Prince of Wales will now be able to join her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth on operations. The Royal Navy flagship is currently on the second half of her maiden deployment leading the Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) in the Pacific


NZ Navy-led operation seizes hash valued at $2.6 million

The Royal New Zealand Navy-led counter narcotics operation has seized hash valued at nearly $2.6 million in its second major drug seizure outside the Arabian Gulf in a week.

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FINAL FLIGHT FOR NZ4203

After 55-years with the Royal New Zealand Air Force, NZ4203 flew its final flight from Base Auckland to Base Woodbourne on 24 September 2021.  The P-3K2 Orion arrived in New Zealand in January 1967 and has undertaken more than 27,000 flying hours, circumnavigating the globe in support of RNZAF deployments and exercises.  This aircraft is the first of the fleet of six to retire before we welcome the new P-8A Poseidon fleet.


Navy chief: Dena soon to go on naval missions

Rear Admiral Khanzadi made the announcement while visiting the third naval region of the Iranian Navy. 
Pointing to the importance of developing a maritime civilization in the shadow of sustainable security, Khanzadi said the construction of fully indigenous vessels is a sign of self-sufficiency of Iranian specialists. 

“The Army in international waters, while waving the holy flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran and ensuring the security of sea lines in order to protect Iran's interests, shows a manifestation of the country's authority and pride,” the commander added. Read more here


Navy, Marine Corps aim to refine, test modern warfighting concepts in Large Scale Exercise 2021

The Navy and the Marine Corps are testing out modern warfighting concepts on a scale never seen before as part of Large Scale Exercise 2021, paving the way for even larger naval exercises in the future, according to Navy leaders.  Labeled the “biggest exercise we’ve done in a generation” by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, the exercise from Aug. 3 to 16 pulls together multiple elements inspired by other training events — including strike group certification exercises like Composite Unit Training, integrated live exercises like Bold Alligator, and virtual exercises like Fleet Synthetic Training — and completes them in concert as part of a single, globally integrated exercise.  Read more here


THE CANADIANS ARE IN TOWN

 

Canadian frigate HMCS Calgary tied up alongside Princes Wharf last week after two months at sea taking part in Operation Talisman Sabre, a military exercise involving Australia, the United States, South Korea and Japan.

The ship is flying the maritime quarantine flag and the crew will not be able to disembark until New Zealand health officials are satisfied that all requirements of the Maritime Border Order have been met, including the return of negative Covid-19 tests by all the crew, and that all crew members have been symptom-free for 14 days. The ship has Covid-19 testing facilities aboard.

Almost all of the 250 personnel on board Calgary are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and have been at sea for 17 days – longer than the 14-day quarantine period currently mandated.

The ship is in port for resupply and refuelling and the crew will engage in shore-based activities, sporting and cultural programmes with the RNZN. Calgary's speciality is anti-submarine warfare and was involved in 13 exercises during Talisman Sabre. The vessel also practised aircraft tracking, warning and engagement with the Royal Australia Air Force.

"Ship visits like this are a practical representation of the strong working relationship the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has with the Canadian armed forces," said Rear Admiral David Proctor, chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy. "This is a chance to return some of the excellent support and comradeship the Royal Canadian Navy provided the hundreds of RNZN sailors who have been in Canada over the past three years during the Anzac Frigate Upgrade," he said


The US Navy has filed charges against a sailor over a massive blaze aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard in 2020 that destroyed the amphibious warship

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NEW RCN ARCTIC PATROL SHIP

Margaret Brooke (AOPV 431) Is The Second Harry DeWolf-Class Offshore Patrol Vessel For The Royal Canadian Navy. The Class Was Derived From The Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship Project As Part Of The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy And Is Primarily Designed For The Patrol And Support Of Canada's Arctic Regions. Named After Sub-Lieutenant Margaret Brooke, A Royal Canadian Navy Nursing Sister And Who Tried To Save Another Person During The Sinking Of The Ferry SS Caribou During World War II. The Future HMCS Margaret Brooke Was Ordered In 2011, Laid Down In 2016 And Launched In 2019. The Vessel Began Contractor Sea Trials In May 2021, And It Was Delivered To The Royal Canadian Navy For Post-Acceptance Sea Trials On 15 July 2021.

 

The Harry DeWolf-class offshore patrol vessels are designed for use in the Arctic regions of Canada for patrol and support within Canada's exclusive economic zone. The vessel is 103.6 m (339 ft 11 in) long overall with a beam of 19.0 m (62 ft 4 in). The ship has a displacement of 6,615 metric tons.


 


HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH HAS COVID 19

An outbreak of Covid-19 has been confirmed on the Royal Navy's flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth. The BBC has been told there have been around 100 cases on the aircraft carrier, which is part way through a world tour. Several other warships in the fleet accompanying it are also affected. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said all crew on the deployment had received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and the outbreak was being managed. HMS Queen Elizabeth is about a quarter of the way through a 28-week deployment leading the Carrier Strike Group (CSG). It has now entered the Indian Ocean, and the Royal Navy says it is due to continue on its voyage to Japan later this year.