Photo above: The first two Visby class corvettes are now operational with eth Swedish Royal Navy. In the picture above, HMS Helsingborg and HMS Härnösand are seen. (Photo: Kockums)

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HMS Ark Royal Set on its Last Voyage before Decommissioning

Ark RoyalAfter celebrating 25 years in the  fleet commission at a special ceremony attended by HM The Queen in Portsmouth on November 5, the British Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal is sailing into the Clyde on her final voyage. (Read More...)

Japan Completes Upgrading Four of its Destroyers for Ballistic Missile Defense Role

DestroyersJapan has completed testing of its upgraded AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system with the 4th Kongō class destroyer, JS Kirishima, equipped with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system, successfully intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile target above the atmosphere during an international test event. (Read More...)

U.S. Navy Awards Austal Two Additional High Speed Landing Support Vessels

The U.S. Navy has exercised production options for two additional Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV), awarding Austal USA, from Mobile, Alabama $204 million contract modification. JHSV will provide high speed, shallow draft transportation capability to support the intra-theater maneuver of personnel, supplies and equipment for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Army. Austal will construct the new vessels until December 2013.

Iran's Hornets Nest at Bandar Abbas

Bavar 2 Iran is preparing a massive force of small but highly capable combat elements capable of disrupting oil transportation through the Persian Gulf and the Straight of Hurmoz choke point. The Iranians have developed unique operational concepts employing coordinated swarm attacks that could effectively defeat large, well protected surface combatants such as those operated by the allied naval forces present at the Gulf. (Read More...

Backing Off from Mistral Deal, Russia to Open an International Tender for Helicopter Carriers

The Russian Defense Ministry will hold a tender on the purchase of helicopter carriers, having backed out of negotiations to buy the Mistral-class helicopter carrier from France without a tender. Russia has been negotiating with the French shipbuilder DCNS about the procurement of two vessels, with options for two additional ships to be built by local shipyards. The estimated cost of the program could exceed US$2 billion – making this program one of the largest Russian shipbuilding programs in recent decades. (Read More...)

Extensible Launcher Could Transform Weaponization Flexibility of Surface Combatants

Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] has conducted the first vertical launch test of a new Nulka offboard countermeasure, fired form an Extensible Launching System (ExLS) for the first time. The test took place at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The launcher used for the test was a fully tactical configuration. ExLS has been under development and integration for the past three years. (Read More...)

Air Cushion, CATamaran Contribute to an Innovative British Hybrid Landing Craft Design

Air Cushion An innovative high speed landing craft soon to be tested by the British MOD will enable the Navy to explore the feasibility of operating a hybrid vessel combining air cushion and CATamaran hull offering landing crafts higher speed, heavier loads and better seakeeping. Known as 'Partial Air Cushion Supported CATamaran (PACSCAT), the new vessel was developed by QinetiQ as an Innovative Solution Demonstrator Craft (ISDC). (Read More...)

Iranian War Games at the Straits of Hormoz

Iran War Games Iran began today (April 22, 2010) a large scale exercise held in the Persian Gulf, south of the Hurmoz Straits. Public demonstrations held today simulated a naval assault on enemy landing craft. The assault began with a direct attack by a swarm of fast boats, attacking the target with anti-ship missiles and, by RPGs from very close range. This phase was followed by assault teams boarding the vessel, from the sea and by helicopters. This phase was concluded with a torpedo attack sinking the target ship. (read more...)

Visby Becomes Operational with the Swedish Navy

Two of the Visby corvettes, HMS Helsingborg and HMS Härnösand, are now operational with the Royal Swedish Navy, as part of the Third Naval Warfare Flotilla, based in Karlskrona. The ships are built for service with Sweden’s rapid reaction force, designed primarily to operate in the Baltic, although also on international missions in the littoral zone. (Read More...)

Third Mistral Amphibious Assault Ship Under Construction

Construction of the third Mistral-class Projection Command Ship (Bâtiment de Projection et de Commandement - BPC) is underway at Saint Nazaire, western France. The vessel, to be named Dixmude will be delivered to the French Navy by 2011. The construction is undertaken by STX France as prime contractor for the hull and for equipment installation, and DCNS, the co-contractor, responsible for the combat system. Following its commissioning in 2012 Dixmude  will replace the French Navy Landing Craft Transport Foudre.

Kockums Embarks on a Stealth Sub for the Swedish Navy

The Swedish Government has approved initiation of the design phase for the A26, a new generation submarines slated to replace the Gotland class submarines currently in service with the Royal Swedish Navy. The Swedish shipbuilder Kockums, that have specialized in maritime stealth designs, will be responsible for the new design, that will also have stealth capabilities. (Read more...)

Fincantieri Wins UAE Order for Two Missile Boats

The United Arab Emirates Navy has assigned the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build two Falaj 2 stealth patrol boats. The contract includes options for two additional to be built in Italy. Additional vessels could be constructed by a local shipyard upon technology transfer from the company and further orders from the Navy. The first two ships will be built in Italy and delivered by the second half of 2012. The 55 meter long vessels will have a speed of 20 knots and will be operated by a crew of 28 crewmen. The vessels will perform patrol and surveillance operations and will be equipped with means for land and naval attack and self-defense capabilities. Fincantieri is also building a larger corvette for the UAE – the lead ship of the 88 mete, 1,650 ton 'Abu Dhabi class'. This class is based on the four 'Comandanti' class corvettes the shipyard has built for the Italian Navy. The first vessel will be delivered in 2011 and the contract includes an option for the UAE has to order another vessel of the same type. These corvettes will be employed primarily in anti-submarine, ant-aircraft and surface warfare.

Israel Turns to Germany for New Naval Vessels

Israel is interested in acquiring two corvette size ships to extend its naval operational capabilities. After analyzing the U.S. Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Israel decided these vessels would be too costly. While each LCS would have cost $480, Israel was prepared to spend up to $300 per ship, which roughly corresponds with what the Malaysian Navy spent on a similar design (Meko A-100 Kedah class). Israel already deploys three medium size Saar V Eilat class corvettes, slated for an upgrade by 2011. (Read more...)

U.S. Navy Commissions the Second Littoral Combat Ship

The U.S. Navy has commissioned the second littoral combat ship (LCS-2) USS Independence - the first military vessel to employ the low resistance trimaran hull form. Independence will conduct further testing and evaluation before eventually heading toward its homeport in San Diego. The first littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS-1) is currently readying for her maiden deployment, accelerated approximately two years. The Navy expects to learn key operational lessons about Freedom in a deployment setting, and to integrate those lessons into the larger LCS fleet, projected to eventually reach 55 ships. Construction is already underway on Austal’s second US Navy LCS, “Coronado” which is expected to be delivered in 2012. During the current fiscal year 2010, the US Navy intends to award a contract for up to ten LCS, with two ships in fiscal 2010 and options through fiscal 2014. (Read more...)

Value of Queen Elizabeth Carriers Subcontracts Top £1.1 billion

Reassuring the British MOD commitment to the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers program, the British by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) has awarded contracts worth £333 to suppliers and subcontractors across the United Kingdom. Bringing the total value of sub-contracts awarded so far on the program to almost £1.1 billion. The contract to build the two new aircraft carriers was signed on 3 July 2008. Funding for these new equipment contracts forms part of the existing financial commitment by the MOD announced under this original contract. According to Program Director at ACA, Geoff Searle, construction of the HMS Queen Elizabeth in taking place at four UK shipyards. When these sections are completed they will be shipped to the huge Number One Dock in Rosyth where the ships will finally be assembled.

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