International Naval News & Discussion

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby tushar_m » 02 Oct 2014 10:03

Fighters on board deck of Admiral Kuznetsov in the Russian Northern Fleet ... CLseg2TkWA

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Shrinivasan » 02 Oct 2014 10:58

tushar_m wrote:Fighters on board deck of Admiral Kuznetsov in the Russian Northern Fleet
inspite of its age, Admiral Kuznetsov is a sight to watch. ditto for the SU-33s... even though the Mig-29K are more contemporary... just in terms of raw power and beauty... SU-33s win hands down.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Aditya_V » 02 Oct 2014 11:07

Shrinivasan wrote:
tushar_m wrote:Fighters on board deck of Admiral Kuznetsov in the Russian Northern Fleet
inspite of its age, Admiral Kuznetsov is a sight to watch. ditto for the SU-33s... even though the Mig-29K are more contemporary... just in terms of raw power and beauty... SU-33s win hands down.

Since the Russians are discontinuing Su-33 which have life left in them and are inducting Mig-29K's, is thier any chance these are transported, repainted and called as J-15's

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby pankajs » 05 Oct 2014 15:00 ... ats-602124

US Navy to Deploy Armed, Robotic Patrol Boats - AFP via NDTV
Washington: The US Navy says it will soon use armed, robotic patrol boats with no sailors on board to escort and defend warships moving through sensitive sea lanes.

The technology, adapted from NASA's rovers on Mars, will transform how the American navy operates and is sure to raise fresh questions and concerns about the widening role of robots in warfare.

The Office of Naval Research on Sunday released the results of what it called an unprecedented demonstration in August involving 13 robotic patrol craft escorting a ship along the James River in Virginia.

In a simulated scenario, five of the robotic patrol boats guarded a larger ship, while eight others were ordered to investigate a suspicious vessel.

The unmanned patrol boats then encircled and swarmed the "target," enabling the mother ship to move safely through the area.

The demonstration, conducted over two weeks, was designed to "replicate a transit through a strait," naval research chief Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder told reporters in a recent briefing.

"It could be the straits of Malacca, it could be the straits of Hormuz."

The demonstration was a "breakthrough" that goes far beyond any previous experiment, he said, adding that similar robotic patrol craft likely will be escorting US naval ships within a year.

The patrol craft, 11-meter (yard) long vessels known in the military as rigid hulled inflatable boats, are usually operated by three or four sailors. But outfitted with the robotic system, a single sailor could oversee up to 20 of the vessels.

- Humans in the loop -

There were no shots fired in the demonstration but Klunder said the robotic craft can be outfitted with non-lethal equipment, such as lights and blaring sound, as well as 50-caliber machine guns.

And the vessels could fire on an enemy ship if ordered to do so by a sailor.

"We have every intention to use those unmanned systems to engage a threat," the admiral said.

"There is always a human in the loop of that designation of the target and if so, the destruction of the target."

For the demonstration, researchers had fail-safe systems in place to avoid any mishaps.

If communications with the patrol craft broke off, the vessels would go "dead in the water," said program manager Robert Brizzolara.

And if the boats malfunctioned in some way, there were two separate communications links that could be used to halt the vessel.

Unlike drone aircraft, such as the famed Predator and Reaper planes, the robotic boats are more autonomous and can carry out directions without having to be operated by a human at every step.

"The excitement about this technology is it is autonomous," Klunder said.

"So we're not talking about people having to drive with toggle switches."

The boats move in sync with other unmanned vessels, selecting the best route while sensing obstacles.

The US military sees the innovation as saving sailors' lives and strengthening the navy's edge.

But skeptics have warned of the dangers from the spread of armed robots -- without sufficient rules and debate about their use.

The technology, which the navy has dubbed CARACaS, or Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing, is "very low-cost" and can be installed easily on the patrol boats or other ships, Klunder said.

"We're talking thousands (of dollars). We're not talking millions to adapt what we already have -- existing craft in our fleet," he added.

"So we're not going out and buying new patrol craft."

- Echoes of USS Cole attack -

Evoking images from science fiction with fleets of robots waging war, Klunder said the system could eventually be installed on larger naval ships.

And the robotic patrol craft could be used to transport teams of special operation forces, which already use the manned version of the boats.

Other government agencies and private firms are also taking a keen look at the unmanned boats.

"We're putting it out there to save sailors and marines' lives, to protect ships, to protect harbors and ports," Klunder said.

The military unveiled the technology around the 14th anniversary of the attack on the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen.

The October 2000 attack, in which a small boat with explosives detonated near the US destroyer, killed 17 sailors and wounded 39 others.

"If we had this capability on that day, I'm sure we would have saved that ship," Klunder said.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Kartik » 06 Oct 2014 14:58

and DCNS will unveil a new SSK design based on the French Navy's nuclear Barracuda with AIP technology..

article link

DCNS will introduce a new submarine concept at Euronaval 2014 which be held from October 27th to 31st at Paris Le Bourget in France. The SMX OCEAN is based on a Barracuda hull, the next generation SSN of the French Navy, fitted with a conventional propulsion system (SSK) with AIP technology.

The focus of DCNS engineers in developing this concept was put on endurance and high sustained speed. We learned that the 4,700 tons SSK was designed for an endurance of 14,000 nautical miles (3 months autonomy) and a continuous transit speed of 14 knots for 1 week thanks to its Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system fitted with two fuel cells. The original nuclear propulsion system of the Barracuda design was also replaced with six diesel engines and three sets of Li Ion batteries.

Two thruster pods are deployable at the bottom of the hull to allow the submarine to maneuver while the main screw is not in action (full stop). The X rudder design is the same as on the Barracuda and allows increased maneuverability.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby member_26622 » 06 Oct 2014 21:46

Came across this and think it's a good way to monitor shoreline over fast boats .... ... doesnt-own ... s-dot-navy

Following stands out in particular

1. Development budget of 15 $ million is really next to nothing compared to typical US projects. I mean this is competitive to even DRDO
2. Unit cost of 10 $ million, and US made ?
3. Endurance of 30 days for its size and lifts off the ocean to make a stable platform. Anyone who has taken rides in fast boats in choppy waters will really appreciate this.
4. Super cavitation using forward propellors > another idea for desi super cavitating torpedoes?

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Suraj » 10 Oct 2014 03:59

Not sure if posted earlier: this article in a business rag has some great images of a Victor class SSN being dismantled.
Victor class SSN being dismantled in Vladivostok

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 10 Oct 2014 18:24

New RN Astute SSN attack sub completes its first op. oatrol. ... deployment?
First in New Class of British Attack Boat Completes Maiden Deployment
By: Sam LaGrone
Published: October 9, 2014
HMS Astute (S-94) returning to U.K. Royal Navy submarine base HM Naval Base Clyde on Oct. 7, 2014. Royal Navy Photo

HMS Astute (S-94) — the first in class of the U.K. Royal Navy’s nuclear attack boats (SSNs) — has returned to Scotland after its first operational deployment, the Royal Navy announced on Thursday.

Astute departed its homeport, HM Naval Base Clyde, earlier this year for its inaugural eight-month operational deployment, traveling as far as the Indian Ocean, according to the Thursday statement from the Royal Navy.

“This deployment has been a huge success for HMS Astute. The submarine has travelled more than 27,000 miles and operated with our regional partners in the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea,” Cmdr. Gareth Jenkins, Astute’s commander, said in the statement.

The ship left U.K. waters in March and transited the Suez Canal in July and continued operations in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, according to the statement.

The six planned Astute SSNs are designed to replace the five existing late 1970s vintage Trafalgar-class attack boats in the Royal Navy’s sub force.

The new boats displace about 7,400-tons submerged — about 300 tons less than the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class attack boats — and field Block IV Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM).

The third ship in the class — Artful — successfully completed its first dive at shipbuilder BAE Systems facility at Barrow-in-Furness earlier this week.

At their return to Clyde, the crew was greeted by Astute’s so-called “Lady Sponsor,” Camilla Parker-Bowles, The Duchess of Cornwall

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 14 Oct 2014 03:33

Will we one day see the two Mistrals sail out to Mother Russia just as we saw the Israeli gunboats exit Cherboug decades ago?
Will "cheese eating surrender monkey" and ladies man M.Hollande surrender to the charms of Pres.Putin? Watch this space! ... -sanctions
France-Russia warship deal in choppy waters amid sanctions against Putin
Francois Hollande reluctant to renege on controversial €1.2bn contract signed with French shipyard before conflict in Ukraine

Ariane Chemin
Guardian Weekly, Friday 10 October 2014
Vladivostok warship The Vladivostok warship in St Nazaire, western France. Photograph: Frank Perry/AFP

At the shipyard in Saint Nazaire the superstructure sticks out like a sore thumb, a great tower surrounded by cranes and lifting devices that signal to the town that the helicopter carrier is moored here, in the oily waters of the naval dockyard. Peering through the barbed wire, you can pick out its name, Vladivostok, in Cyrillic script on its hull. A Russian Orthodox priest came to baptise this 200-metre monster. Further along, in a dry dock, its younger sister, Sebastopol, has also been promised to the Kremlin. Two “grey” ships, as they call naval vessels at the yard; two stumbling blocks for European diplomacy as it attempts to toughen sanctions against Vladimir Putin, just as the Vladivostok starts its sea trials.

These two vessels are technically Mistral class or bâtiment de projection et de commandement, projection and command ships. For the average person, they are assault ships, capable of transporting and landing troops, armoured vehicles and tanks. Carrying helicopters, they can serve as a base for airborne commando units. In the French navy they represent the largest tonnage after the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. If the Russian Black Sea Fleet had possessed a Mistral-class warship in 2008, it could have finished its war on Georgia in “40 minutes instead of 26 hours”, the head of the Russian navy, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, once boasted.

The contract to built the ships was signed by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2011, long before Putin showed any signs of attacking Ukraine, annexing Crimea or encouraging secession by the predominantly Russian-speaking self-styled republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, well before a ground-to-air missile brought down a Malaysia Airlines plane in July. But Hollande has no wish to go back on a contract worth €1.2bn ($1.5bn). At the beginning of September, on the eve of the Nato summit in Wales, Hollande announced France could not go ahead with the Vladivostok’s delivery to Russia, citing Moscow’s actions in eastern Ukraine. However the partial ceasefire in mid-September meant the French permitted the ship to begin its sea trials.

At the Nato headquarters in Brussels, member states are flabbergasted that France should be selling warships to a country that is threatening their security. In Washington Barack Obama is furious too.

Only in Saint Nazaire, Brittany, do they seem happy about the presence of the “Sebass” and “Vladi”, nicknames that reflect the locals’ attachment to their cumbersome guests. Russian sailors arrived at the end of June. They boarded the Smolny, their training ship, at Kronstadt, and it remains moored near the lock gates. Prefabricated huts on the quayside serve as classrooms for the cadets. Nets have been strung along the port side of the Smolny, to stop divers coming too close to the old ship, built in Szczecin, Poland, in 1976. “That thing wouldn’t be seaworthy in a gale,” says a naval veteran on the port.
Protester St Nazaire A demonstrator at the STX dockyards in St Nazaire against the delivery of the controversial French-built helicopter gunship Vladivostok ordered by Russia. Placard reads: ‘No testing at sea for Putin’s killers.’ Photograph: Jean-Sebastien Evrard/Getty

In some odd way the whole line-up is a reminder of revolutionary history. In 1921 sailors at the Baltic port of Kronstadt mutinied, only to be put down by the newly established Bolshevik regime. Szczecin, with its shipyards, was a Solidarnosc stronghold in the struggle against Soviet domination. Smolny, as the trade union faithful on the port at Saint Nazaire still recall, was “Lenin’s headquarters, from which he directed the attack on the Winter Palace”, according to an old militant.

The 400 Russian sailors have been ordered to say nothing. And few people in Saint Nazaire seem inclined to discuss the matter. Laurent Castaing, the CEO of the shipyards, in which the South Korean firm STX now holds a majority share, “will not communicate on the topic”. “This story no longer concerns our town,” says David Samzun, the recently elected socialist mayor. A reception was held on 26 August for the officers of the Smolny, in compliance with protocol, and a list of sporting facilities was provided, but the sailors have not been seen there. Apparently early risers have spotted them boxing and body-building on board.

“They have been asked to keep a low profile and they spend most of their time below decks,” says a Russian nationalist from the Donbas, who now lives just outside Saint Nazaire. Traditionally Russia celebrates Navy Day on 27 July, but there was little sign of any festivities, just a lot of bunting. Some of the sailors danced with officers’ wives visiting for the occasion, but no one went beyond the quayside. Normal life resumed the next day, with walks through the town and swimming in the Loire estuary.

In town, the cadets stand out on account of their extreme youth, blond hair and unbranded T-shirts. They buy cigarettes, have a couple of beers in a bar, pick up a six-pack at the supermarket near the shipyard, but avoid anything stronger. “Vodka here is an outrageous price,” says Mykola, a Ukrainian boilermaker building a cruise liner. At Le Skipper, the nearest brasserie, the sailors go online and Skype their girlfriends back home. Krystof, the Polish proprietor, speaks Russian. He acts friendly but there is “never any mention of the boats”. Even over a drink the Sebass and the Vladi are no-go areas when talk in Saint Nazaire turns to politics. The priority is jobs. “Without the shipyard, Saint Nazaire would just be a dilapidated suburb of [nearby seaside resort] La Baule,” says Jean Rolin, a local writer.

One Sunday in September, a small crowd of about 50 demonstrators gathered on the quay at the stern of the Vladivostok, waving Ukrainian flags and sporting badges marked “#No Mistral for Putin”. They were led by Bernard Grua, a businessman from Nantes, who has been campaigning, almost single-handed, against the sale of the assault ships to Moscow. His supporters know the capabilities of the vessel off by heart. A Mistral can carry 750 soldiers, 16 helicopters, Leclerc tanks, amphibious assault and landing craft, they recite. With Google maps they explore, one by one, Ukraine’s strategic ports. “The Germans flattened your town,” says Grua, for the benefit of the people of Saint Nazaire. “But when the Mistrals attack Mariupol, with Made in France written all over them, the people who didn’t protest will count as collaborators.”

Meanwhile, at the bow of the Vladivostok, at the instigation of the Mistral Gagnons [winning with Mistral] campaign, another group met. The speaker was Jean-Claude Blanchard, a former welder and onetime member of the Trotskyite Workers’ Struggle party and the General Confederation of Labour union. He now heads the far-right Front National faction on Saint Nazaire council. His career is symptomatic of the Front National’s takeover of the docks. He is seconded by Christian Bouchet, the party leader in Nantes. He recently published a French translation of a book by Aleksandr Dugin, an ultranationalist Russian thinker who is purportedly a source of inspiration for Putin.

Among the Mistral Gagnons crowd we spotted a woman wearing the cross of Saint George, symbol of the defenders of Mother Russia. At the other end of the ship there were Lithuanian, Polish and red-and-black Ukrainian nationalist flags. But there were also black-and-white Breton flags fluttering over both crowds. The scene seemed emblematic of the contradictory regional identities that are increasingly evident at a local level but largely ignored at the political centre.

But what can the mayor of Saint Nazaire do, other than take his cue from Hollande’s vacillations and sail as close to the wind as he dares? Everyone here knows that if the Vladivostok is not delivered by 31 October, France will be liable for heavy penalties. Even the local branch of the conservative opposition party dropped plans to demonstrate when someone remembered that it was Alain Juppé, a likely contender in the future presidential race, who inked the Mistral contract. Only one key public figure in Brittany, the owner of the local daily, Ouest France, has voiced his hostility to the deal. “What will happen, if the Vladivostok, which is already fully armed, turns up in the Black Sea, in just a few weeks’ time?” François-Régis Hutin asks. “And what if it one day turns against us?”

This article appeared in Guardian Weekly, which incorporates material from Le Monde

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 15 Oct 2014 19:30

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby member_20292 » 15 Oct 2014 22:40

brar_w wrote:


available at walmart? should get the navy a few for diwali.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby srai » 16 Oct 2014 04:53

Death Is Elsewhere

Director / Producer: Richard Mosse
Cinematographer / Editor / Post: Trevor Tweeten
Sound recordist / Composer / Sound design: Ben Frost
X-47B drone shot on USS Theodore Roosevelt, Aug 17, 2014.
brar_w wrote:Death Is Elsewhere

The cinematography makes mundane look awesome.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 16 Oct 2014 18:26

Taiwan nears big step in developing its own submarine: official ... 1016000131

ThyssenKrupp Says It Is Still in Running for Australia Submarine Contract
Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Believes Australia Will Hold Formal Competitive Tender Process on Submarine Contract ... 96282.html

PS:There is a tilt by the current Oz govt. towards the Japanese Soryu class,as the wizards of Oz (who couldn't handle the Collins class itself!) want the largest conventional AIP subs in the world (my pr*ck is bigger than yours),for bragging rights in the Asia-Pacific region.The wizards of Oz also have a thick inferiority complex with India,who possess N-subs,that too an SSBN with more in the dockyards to come.hence the desire to lord it over the non-nuclear nations with the largest Soryu class.Oz mercenaries also love to fight in foreign lands like Iraq,etc.,who strictly speaking have "no beef" with it whatsoever! Oz has never suffered a terrorist attack,other than some of its nationals being victims in the Bali bombings ("our Bali" said the people of Oz).The wizards would also want to be one up on the Indonesians who are negotiating seriously with SoKo who are building German U-boats in large number to set up the same facilities at home. There is a huge debate going on in Oz reg. the Soryu buy,for and against ,with PM Abbot warning against sub-standard quality for Oz built subs! Talk about giving confidence to your own countrymen and local industry.Perhaps he has had the privilege of being entertained in lavish traditional style in a Japanese "tea house"! You geisha my point?!

Tony Abbott warns of 'substandard' submarines if Australian-made prioritised
Date October 16, 2014
Read more: ... z3GJbBJvRH

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby wig » 20 Oct 2014 08:41

deleted- double post
Last edited by wig on 20 Oct 2014 08:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby wig » 20 Oct 2014 08:44

Sweden hunts for suspected Russian submarine in Cold War-style drama

Over 200 people from Sweden's navy, army and air force are searching for a suspected Russian submarine off the coast of Stockholm

The Swedish navy showed a grainy photograph of the mysterious "foreign vessel" at a press conference late on Sunday, saying it was the third such sighting since Friday.

"This is not ours, it's a foreign vessel," Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad told reporters, referring to the picture taken by a "credible source".

"He saw something that was on the surface and after he took the picture it disappeared again."

Mr Grenstad rejected speculation that the armed forces were "submarine hunting" and stressed that the mobilisation - one of the biggest, barring purely training exercises, since the Cold War - was an intelligence operation.

"This is not a submarine hunt, using weapons to combat an opponent," said Grenstad, adding that an area east of the Swedish capital appeared "to be of interest to a foreign power."

"Later there can be a situation where it becomes a submarine hunt. We're not there now."

Moscow denied that its vessels were involved in any military operations. Stockholm is just across the Baltic Sea from a major Russian naval base in Kaliningrad – a port in the Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania.

"Russian Navy ships and submarines are fulfilling their duties in the world ocean waters in accordance with the plan," said a spokesman for the Russian defence ministry. "There has been and there are no extraordinary, let alone emergency, situations involving Russian warships."

But their denial did not convince Swedish and Russian observers, who said all signs pointed to a submarine becoming stranded underwater.

One analyst, author of the Russian Naval Blog, said on Twitter: "Type 636 SSK Novorossiysk was supposed to go to Northern Fleet for two weeks of dive trials in Sep ... Did she get lost?"

Others thought it more likely that there was a small submarine which had got into difficulty, and that a larger "mother ship" was being sent to its aid.

The NS Concord, a Liberian-flagged oil tanker, had arrived in the area on October 4 but in recent days was charted as zigzagging across the seas, as if searching for something. The ship belongs to the Russian shipping company Novo Ship, based in Novorossiysk on the Black Sea. The company is in turn part of the state-owned Sovcomflot, one of the world's largest oil transport companies, whose CEO, Sergei Frank, is a close confident of President Vladimir Putin.

And last night the Professor Logachev, a research vessel, was tracked heading towards Sweden from St Petersburg – with three Dutch warships following it. The Russian vessel turned off its transponder late on Sunday.

The route taken from St Petersburg by Russian ship the Professor Logachev, which then criscrossed waters off Sweden

"It's possible that a small submarine has run aground," said Bruce Jones, from IHS-Jane's. "They might have been wanting to look under the highly-advanced ships which the Swedes are operating, to steal their technology.

"Or they could have been on a specific military mission – although the Cold War days of dropping people off from submarines are gone."

Mr Jones said the submarine was likely to be short range and very small, hence the need for a mother ship. It would be "very quiet, very stealthy and with a very low detection signature," he said.

"The type of sub would only be known at the highest echelons of naval intelligence."

Joakim von Braun, an intelligence analyst, said he thought it possible that elite soldiers from the submarine could have swum ashore onto an island, and then hidden in the woods while waiting to be picked up.

If the submarine was abandoned, he said, it is equipped with explosives so that a it can be timed to detonate 24 hours later.

Russia has been criticised in recent months for ramping-up its military peacocking. Last month two Russian aircraft entered Swedish airspace, and the Swedish government complained to Moscow, calling the incursion a "serious violation." ... drama.html

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby member_26622 » 20 Oct 2014 11:43

What's happening in Sweden will be good learning about submarine hunting and countermeasures.

BTW - Check the sonar package on Vishby class - Hull mounted, depth and towed arrays combo in under 1000 ton vessel. It lacks good offensive package though - anti submarine rockets and so on. It will be good to take a few learnings for building our anti submarine strategy - instead of the ineffective way of matching Chinese+Paki subs numerically.

What is needed is 50+ numbers of under 1000 ton boats with very good sonar package and anti submarine+mine gear, supported by larger ships like LPD (for helicopter support). Aluminium hulls and trimaran design for stability+endurance in high seas are premium. Our shipyards know how to build ships and lets further build upon our strength.

We can sanitize large parts of Indian ocean region and make Paki+chinese Submarines ineffective. The hunter will become the prey.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby TSJones » 20 Oct 2014 14:29

China is also having problems with its A/C carrier.

She no go: ... dae6cd9fdf

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 20 Oct 2014 20:36

nik wrote:What's happening in Sweden will be good learning about submarine hunting and countermeasures.

Baltic and Russian media and forums are abuzz with rumors whether actually the Russian flagship Akula (NATO:Typhoon )- Dmitri Donskoi (TK-208) actually sank off the Swedish coast.

Estonian media link

Daily Mail Report

Live Leak Screen GrabImage

P.S. Here's the Russian version on the story as a joke-

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby TSJones » 21 Oct 2014 01:52

Doubtful at best. We all know (except for some posters on this forum) that Russian gear is unreliable kludge. However that does not mean that they sank and died or dying. Just FUBARed as usual.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 21 Oct 2014 13:26

Seems to have been a false alarm and the incident involved a Dutch submarine.

RussianSource clarification

RIA Novosti

My takeaway is how the news spread. Russian dissident+ Ukranian website--> Picked up in Baltic media; Spreads to English language mediaalmost immediately.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 21 Oct 2014 14:16

what the russians call Akula class, NATO calls the Typhoon class of which the donskoi is one- all are scrapped few yrs back and none are in operational service to be sailing around.

if anything is in trouble, perhaps its a small spy sub or SSK. it has happened off sweden in the past.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 21 Oct 2014 15:41

Singha wrote:what the russians call Akula class, NATO calls the Typhoon class of which the donskoi is one- all are scrapped few yrs back and none are in operational service

Singha, that was the first thing I had checked, but I remember having a chat in 2010 with a Russian forumer in Archangel sometime before that DD was still in use, more as a proof of concept, to trial new systems, sonars etc. Linky
"Although neither SSBN Arkhangelsk nor SSBN Severstal will be upgraded in the context of the recent decision, SSBN Dmitry Donskoy will continue to be a test platform for weapon systems and sonars until 2019, reports Jane’s Defence Weekly."

Just my 2 n.p.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Viv S » 21 Oct 2014 16:03

Mukesh.Kumar wrote:Seems to have been a false alarm and the incident involved a Dutch submarine.

No false alarm. There is a large scale search effort ongoing in full public view. I suggest you take a look at a few Swedish newspapers.

No Dutch submarine involved either (sub in question is currently in Estonia). Sweden and Netherlands are both members of the EU. Swedes hunting a Dutch sub is an absurd notion. Also given Sweden's warm ties with the NATO, if there were a stricken Dutch sub in the area, a rescue effort would almost certainly involve the NATO.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 21 Oct 2014 16:45

the shallow waters and islands of the baltic sea would be a peculiar place for a gigantic vessel like the typhoon class which were used in the artic region near norway and in the east coast of siberia.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 21 Oct 2014 17:29

Singha wrote:he shallow waters and islands of the baltic sea would be a peculiar place for a gigantic vessel like the typhoon class

Russian forums are discussing these specific characteristics. And the new chatter seems that it could be a new small sub. Now the Dutch are also denying it could have been their sub.

What is important is that the Swedes are still imposing no overflights and civilian shipping is being asked to avoid the area.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 21 Oct 2014 18:29

the shallow waters and islands of the baltic sea would be a peculiar place for a gigantic vessel like the typhoon class which were used in the artic region near norway and in the east coast of siberia.

Some chatter about a mini-sub!!!!

No matter what their tech do not seem to be good enough to detect anything!!!! Claim to have three contacts. I would like my detection techs to be far better than that. That too in my waters.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 21 Oct 2014 18:35

maybe the mini-sub is already dead or has ruffled some feathers and gone on its way to send a message.
either way it could be a fruitless search now unless they bring in more specialized kit that can locate a inert passive wreck beneath the sea.

the russians bringing in their own ships to search the area indicates a loss of sub to me.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 21 Oct 2014 19:13

No matter what the situation is (mini/Typhoon/some-other-sub), how is it that Sweden with all these Vispi's etc, are unable to prevent a foreign asset from sneaking in as close as 30 miles from their capital? I would have thought they have the entire sea out there rigged with sensors by now - heck this is 2014!!!

I understand that Russians (USSR) are great, and if in reality they managed to sneak this close, kudos to them. The mouse (or is it the cat?) did a great job.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 21 Oct 2014 23:09

And the merry go round continues- Rossiya Gazetta now claims that DD never left port and her crew have been calling home from the ship. Truly smoke and mirrors for me.

Can some guru's put up a hypothesis of what's going on?

OT Alert: On a related topic was having a chat with a friend. Seems that the Russians are a little worried about depressed oil prices and today's Total CEO incident.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby wig » 22 Oct 2014 10:02

it has been 5 days with all hands looking for this missing ____ whatever now. and the swedes want to use force
- this is from a Swedish newspaper
Sweden ready to use force to surface sub
Sweden's military has announced that if it finds a suspect foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago, it is prepared to force it to the surface "with weapons if necessary".

Battleships, minesweepers, helicopters and more than 200 troops are scouring an area about 30 to 60 kilometres from the Swedish capital after a "man-made" and foreign object was spotted in the waters.

"The most important value of the operation - regardless of whether we find something -- is to send a very clear signal that Sweden and its armed forces are acting and are ready to act when we think this kind of activity is violating our borders," Supreme Commander General Sverker Göranson said.

"Our aim now is to force whatever it is up to the surface... with armed force, if necessary," he added.

He added that submarines are "extremely difficult" to find, and that Sweden has never succeeded in the past when it came to tracking them down.

"And no one else has either," he added.

During more than a decade of hunting Russian U-boats in the 1980s and early nineties, Sweden never succeeded in capturing one, except in 1981 when the U137 ran aground several miles from one of Sweden's largest naval bases, triggering an embarrassing diplomatic stand-off for Russia.

Early Tuesday afternoon, at least five naval ships were stationed for more than two hours in an area east of Ingarö, the closest reported point to the Swedish mainland since the operation began. DN reported that one of the ships had "made contact" with something, but General Göranson denied the claim.

Göranson's comments to the Swedish media came after a nearly two-hour long meeting with Sweden's defence committee behind closed doors.

They also followed reports in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper that there had been more than 100 reported sightings of a suspect vessel from members of the public in the past day or so.

"We're still getting more reports, and I want to underline the fact that we're happy about this," Göranson added.

"You mustn't forget that there's a great deal of work to be done with such a flood of reports. We have to analyze and confirm them all."

The military is five days into its search.
Sweden's military has now been out on the hunt for five days, with the operation moving "across the archipelago" on Tuesday.

Jesper Tengroth, press officer for the Swedish military, told The Local that the focus had switched from just the southern islands on Monday.

Swedish military vessels are now also patrolling open seas in the Danziger Gatt strait, news agency TT said.

But Tengroth would not give any further details about where Swedish ships and military units were stationed for "operational reasons".

After three civilian sightings of suspicious activity in the Stockholm archipelago, Sweden's Armed Forces have launched a full-scale investigation.

and here is a timeline of the search for the submarine

On Friday 200 troops were deployed on the water and on the nearby coasts, making the investigation the biggest domestic operation for Sweden since the Cold War.

The Svenska Dagbladet newspaper revealed that Swedish intelligence had intercepted a distress call sent out from the archipelago to a base in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. This led experts to suggest that a damaged Russian submarine may be in the area.

The search has continued at "full strength", said a spokesperson for the Swedish military.

Out in the Stockholm archipelago, The Local met Bosse Linden, a 54-year-old water taxi driver from Vaxholm who also served in the Swedish navy for 25 years.

"Things like this have happened before but I am not so scared. I think there is something out there, but the archipelago is really big," he said.

He believes that Russia could be "playing a game of hide and seek" or simply making use of the broad stretch of "special water" which he describes as a dream location for people who want to learn how to drive boats or navigate submarines.

"If you learn how to navigate a submarine here then you will be the best," he told The Local.

"I don’t think it is a war mission. I don't think someone is going to take over. But some people are scared," he added.

Sweden's former Foreign Minister Carl Bildt took to Twitter with an observation about the Russian embassy in Sweden. ... s-day-five

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 22 Oct 2014 17:43

The Baltic Sea would be imposs. for a gigantic SSBN to hide in. During the CWar ,the USSR had a midget sub class Piranha,I think which was used for intel purposes.Crew 9,6 operatives. Endurance a few days.Could be llaunched from a mother ship.They may still operable.Caterpillar tracks were found after intense Sweidsn hunta for alleged subs operating in Swedish waters.There is some spec. that an agent was inserted/extricated ,peculiar theory as there are supposedly two daily flights from stockholm to Russia,easier for an agemt to take! As usual speculation is rife with various theories being trotted out. The answer is what is special about that part of the Swedish coastline? If there is something secret then it might be a sub.Otherise as some have said,a Swedish scare for more funds for their navy,or a boob-boo with the Dutch sub the villain.Sweden bathes in echoes of cold war drama as submarine hunt continues

Commander ‘ready’ to use force in chase for ‘probable’ Russian vessel, while media seize on scraps amid furtive excitement
David Crouch in Nynäshamn ... l-military
The Guardian, Tuesday 21 October 2014

The Swedish military use stealth technology in the hunt for a suspected foreign submarine off the Stockholm archipelago. Photograph: IBL/Rex Features

Peering out at the narrow stretch of gunmetal grey sea separating the small harbour from an island at the southern tip of the vast Stockholm archipelago, Johannes gave a shrug.

“I am 99% sure there is something out there,” he said. “But I’m 100% sure they won’t find it. One tiny submarine has got the entire Swedish navy tied up, all 200 sailors, with neither the resources nor the weapons to deal with it.”

The 58-year-old Swedish naval commander, who asked not to be named, was having a day off on Tuesday, strolling along the sea wall in Nynäshamn, 25 miles (40km) south of Stockholm, while the fleet continued its search for a suspected Russian submarine.

Thirty years ago Johannes commanded a sonar-equipped craft that regularly responded to alleged Russian submarine incursions for more than a decade – a period when Sweden was routinely gripped with cold war panic.

“We knew they were there because we could see the traces they left on the sea floor,” he said.

But apart from a Soviet craft that ran aground near Karlskrona in 1981, they never found a single submarine.

Battleships, minesweepers, helicopters and more than 200 troops have scoured an area about 30km to 60km from the Swedish capital since Friday after reports of a “manmade object” in the water. Supreme Commander General Sverker Göranson told reporters on Tuesdaythere was “probable underwater activity” and that he was ready to use “armed force” to bring the vessel to the surface.

Sweden’s armed forces did not respond to requests to comment on media headlines that the navy had “made contact” and was “ready to bomb the object”.

Frantic efforts to locate the culprit have seen the navy crisscross the area in response to possible sightings. After the focus of the search shifted once again on Tuesday, a drenched Finnish camera crew returned to shore in Nynäshamn after their boat was swamped by the wake of a navy ship heading north.

Fishermen rubbed their hands at the chance to hire out their craft to the Scandinavian press pack for 1,200 kronor (£100) an hour. “It’s good business,” said Mats Nilsson, 47. “The local people pay no attention – the Russians have always been here, they never went away. That sub probably showed itself just to attract attention while the real operation takes place elsewhere.”

Despite the submarine hunt – and the media circus – locals seemed determined that life should go on as normal.

“We remember how they used to come here and drop depth charges on the mink and the herring, they never found anything,” says Lennard Lundqvist, 67, referring to research suggesting that early Soviet submarine scares were no more than bubbles and squeaks emitted by Baltic wildlife.

“The navy are more trouble than the Russians – they stop me setting my nets,” said Lundqvist, who has fished here for 40 years. Last year he strayed too close to the nearby Muskö naval base and was fined 2,600 kronor (£223).

Memories of the cold war are still fresh in this part of Sweden, and the period’s physical embodiment is on the island of Muskö, 30 minutes’ drive away. In the 1950s a cavernous underground naval base capable of withstanding a nuclear attack was created there. With 12 miles of subterranean roads, the complex – top-secret for decades – resembles a set from a James Bond movie.

The cloak-and-dagger excitement of the current submarine chase has seen Sweden’s media seize on scraps of information from the armed forces and public. Newspapers have hired helicopters to follow the search from the air. More than 100 sightings of “suspicious objects” have been reported.

The hype receded briefly after a “mysterious man in black”, allegedly sought by the secret services as a possible Russian special forces agent, turned out to be a pensioner called Ove who was doing a spot of angling. A photo of a submarine turned out to be of a Swedish one. A popular freesheet led its front page on Tuesday with remarks by a former commander-in-chief of the armed forces that there was no chance of finding a submarine: “We looked for 10 years and didn’t find one,” he told the paper.

Conspiracy theories are rife, given that the new minority government of Social Democrats and Greens presents its first budget . Already the new finance minister has pledged more money for Sweden’s military, apparently in response to the submarine panic, even though the Green party campaigned on defence cuts.

“It has been blown out of all proportion,” said Simon, 22, a telephone salesman from Gotland, the large Baltic island often seen as a possible point of entry for Russian forces into Sweden. “I can’t see what there is for the Russians there,” he said as he stepped off the ferry at Nynäshamn.

“No one is worried or even paying [the scare] any attention.” Emily, 34, a trainee nurse living on the island of Nämdö, had not even heard about it until she came to the mainland on Tuesday.

Olle Jatko, the officer in charge in Nynäshamn police station, was beaming. “We’ve seen it all before, it’s all calm in the town,” he said. “But Sweden must join Nato,” he added. “We need more money for the military

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 22 Oct 2014 17:49

wig wrote:it has been 5 days with all hands looking for this missing ____ whatever now. and the swedes want to use force
- this is from a Swedish newspaper

Apparently the bottom of the sea around Sweden has a lot of rocks and thus it is very difficult to locate anything.

I would not be surprised if the Russians had a very, very healthy sub send out a distress signal and then scooted out of that area. The rest is just a drama. All this only to see how these nations react.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby kmkraoind » 22 Oct 2014 18:15

Sweden could use force against suspected foreign sub - BBC

eal Admiral Anders Grenstad said if a submarine were discovered, weapons could be used to make it surface.

But the military operation is focused on gathering intelligence, he added.

Russia has denied suggestions that one of its submarines got into trouble near Stockholm last week after distress signals were reportedly intercepted.

There have been several reported sightings of a mysterious vessel off the Swedish coast, prompting the search operation.

Rear Admiral Grenstad, who is deputy chief of joint operations in the search, said he had "no clue" which country owned it.

"Everybody is speculating - that's what you get when you're hunting submarines," he added.


The topography is very interesting.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 22 Oct 2014 18:50

I suppose if a 50,000t ship like the tirpitz could hide out in these fjords anything is possible.
per my recollection, even the US CVNs have practised going some way into these fjords(of norway) and operating as 'mobile airbases' from there.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 22 Oct 2014 20:31

Right on cue! The Swedish PM grants more for defence as many have suspected that the entire sub hunt is a farce stge-managed by the Swedes. But then 5t may be true too,but most conveniently used with indecent haste to rpess for more funds for defence. ... 09266.html
Swedish PM ups defence spending as the search for ‘Russian submarine’ continues

Stefan Lofven says that the military needs to ‘improve its capacity’ which was reduced after the fall of the Iron Curtain
Pavan Amara
Tuesday 21 October 2014

The Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, has said that the country will increase its spending on defence, following reports that a suspected Russian submarine had been spotted of its coastline.

Sweden – which is not a Nato member – launched a large search operation reminiscent of the Cold War after the military reported “foreign underwater activity” on Friday.

However, Mr Lofven conceded that the Swedish military, “needs to improve its capacity”. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the Nordic country scrapped some of the resources it had been using to hunt Russian submarines, including helicopters equipped with sonar and anti-submarine weapons.

The Swedish military have confirmed none of the helicopters used in the current search have that equipment.

Mr Lofven also spoke of Russia’s increasing military presence in the region but added that “we do not regard that as an immediate threat to Sweden”.

The Swedish minesweeper HMS Kullen, left, and a guard boat in Namdo Bay, Sweden, search for a suspected Russian submarine The Swedish minesweeper HMS Kullen, left, and a guard boat in Namdo Bay, Sweden, search for a suspected Russian submarine (AP)
There has been rising speculation that the submarine is Russian, but the Russian government have denied any involvement, arguing instead that the vessel is Dutch.

The Swedish navy’s Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad told reporters: “It’s extremely serious that we’re searching for something or someone who had violated Sweden’s territorial integrity.”

On Sunday, a photographer captured an image of it in the water and the military say they have received five reports of sightings. The hunt for the submarine has intensified, with civilian vessels being ordered six miles away from a Swedish warship carrying out the search.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 23 Oct 2014 17:30 ... in-sweden/

October 22, 2014
A Swedish Defense Farce
What Submarine in Sweden?

Lund, Sweden.

You have heard that Sweden is hunting a ”submarine” and that it is ”presumed to be Russian”. Here is an example Financial Times of October 21 - which incidentally also announces that the Swedish Prime Minister vows to increase defence spending.

Not the slightest evidence
There are only three problems with this:

1) There is not the slightest evidence of there being anything military, neither that it is a submarine nor that, whatever the object might be, it is Russian.

2) Even with CNN, BBC and AlJazeera this is nothing but speculative low-grade yellow press journalism.

This is possible in the field of defence, security and peace because much less is required of journalists when they write about these matters than when they write about, say, domestic politics, economics, sports, books or food and wine. In these fields you are expected to have some knowledge and media consumers are able to check.

3) It serves other purposes than bringing you information: either to increase further the negative image of Russia, push Sweden into full NATO membership – see the remarkable offer by NATOs former Allied Supreme Commander, Stavridis about NATO to come and help Sweden – or to scare the Swedes into feeling that it is necessary to pay even more to the Swedish military (a mechanism also called fearology).

Virtually every aspect of the media hype is based on prejudices instead of interest-based analysis and on partial and paid expertise that follows the ‘party line’. Russia has ‘denied’ it is there; Holland has ‘dismissed’ that its submarine should be there.

With one or two exceptions, all Swedish and international media have avoided asking: Could it be something else but a sub and somebody else but the Russians – or nothing at all?

The alleged-ness of it all is good enough to pass for objective reporting in the – alleged – free media.

Swedish Defense Farce

Worse, the Swedish military has already made a fool of itself – not to be expected given the fairly large resources it has at its disposal.

It has sold off helicopters it now dearly needs.

It’s been – at least officially – relying on tips from ordinary citizens and one wonders where the intelligence (in more than one sense of that word) is.

A suspicion that a (Russian) special forces man had gone on land turned out to be an Swedish pensioner out fishing.

It has published a blurred photo of a wave-covered ‘object’ to be seen far out through some trees and indicated wrongly where that photo was taken.

One indeed wonders whether this farcical performance is made to show that it is so helpless that it must have large resources?

The more relevant consideration would be: How on earth can such amateurism be so easily accepted by the government, media and the people – and even used as an argument for what the PM has just announced?

Or to put it crudely: What do the Swedes get for their tax money?

Sweden is Not a Helpless Pawn in the Game

Sweden with a population of roughly 9 million is # 33 on the world list of military expenditures, spending US $ 6,2 billion per year. That is US $ 657 per capita, # 17 in the world.

Russia spends US$ 403 per capita and its overall military expenditures is 8% of NATO’s.

Sweden, thus, is not a helpless pawn in some game. If its military isn’t able to do better when it is really needed, some should be made responsible.

Is it Russian?

If there is something out there, is it likely to be Russian? Not very likely.

Moscow knows very well that if a Russian submarine was found and brought up to the surface, it would mean a huge boost for those in Sweden and elsewhere who would like to see Sweden as a full NATO member. That is not in Russia’s interest.

But of course, the Russians could play a high-risk game in these waters with some NATO subs, or be plain foolish. It can’t be excluded – but it isn’t very likely that the object is Russian.

If it Russian, Sweden itself may anyhow have an interest in not officially finding anything – to keep the Russians in the dark about how much it knows (how good it is at this) and whether or not there already is a NATO assistance in this case.

In both cases we are likely to never be told what it was all about.

Could it be from NATO?

Could it be from a NATO country? If so, we’ll also never know that.

The Swedish Chief of Staff has said that if something is found it would be shot at to come up to the surface. But it’s unthinkable that Sweden, if it knew an object to be from a NATO country – would a) shoot at it and b) tell the world that it knew.

After all, most violations of the Swedish air space has been known since the 1980s to be done by NATO fighters but it’s basically only when Russian fighters come near or violate that the Swedish defence establishment leaks it or the media are interested in it.

Sweden isn’t a neutral country today, if it ever were.

Could NATO have an interest in these waters? In the wake of the Ukraine crisis we are back to a kind of Cold War situation and NATO has moved its military positions forward in various ways and held a steady focus on the Baltic States.

So, yes, NATO could be in Swedish waters with or without the knowledge or consent of the Swedes; it could be roaming around to check on the Russians simply because tension has built up.

It could be placing sonars or whatever devices for future emergencies – while not wanting Sweden to know that it considers Sweden so close to NATO that it can just as well be used.

And if so, Sweden would rather not be told. Clear is that Sweden could not officially endorse a NATO submarine presence on its territory as part of Anti-Submarine Warfare or planning for future war with Russia. Both parties know that.


My concluding prediction is therefore rather simple: for the above reasons the Swedish military will soon call off the whole thing and the affair will have served its purpose – precisely by not stating what it was, who it was or why it was. Or if it was.

What the purpose of the event may be remains to be revealed at some point in the future. Or perhaps never – if the purpose was fearology for increased militarisation.

Somebody somewhere knows what’s going on. And they put citizens’ security at risk for purposes they would never tell you.

Jan Oberg is director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 23 Oct 2014 18:34 ... us-forces/
Southeast Asia's Emerging Amphibious Forces
ASEAN navies are rapidly acquiring amphibious capabilities. Their intentions, however, remain unclear.

By Koh Swee Lean Collin
October 17, 2014

As a natural consequence of the maritime geography and complex array of security challenges within, naval modernization programs in Southeast Asia have always been characterized by the quest for a balanced set of capabilities. They not only reflect unique national requirements but also differing economic circumstances, which dictate the need for prioritization. In this equation, amphibious forces – often regarded as the less “glamorous” branch of navies – have long taken a backseat to other high-end assets such as missile-armed surface ships and submarines.

Over the last decade, this has begun to change.

Six of the nine member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – now possess varying-sized, specialized amphibious ground forces equivalent to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) or Russian Naval Infantry. This is no coincidence given that, because these formations are distinct from the army ground forces, maintaining them can be expensive. Moreover, the ships designed to give these forces mobility – large amphibious landing vessels – are also costly even though they feature comparatively less complex combat systems than those installed on warfighting assets.

Regional Interest Tampered by Funding Constraints

In the early 1990s, Indonesia bought 12 former East German Frosch class landing ships at bargain prices. This prompted Malaysia to purchase the KD Sri Inderapura, an 8,450-ton ex-U.S. Navy Newport class landing platform dock (LPD), which is a large amphibious landing ship designed with a well-dock for smaller craft and fighting vehicles, as well as deck facilities for two or more medium-sized helicopters. As Indonesia and Malaysia acquired these amphibious vessels, Singapore replaced her vintage landing ships with four 8,500-ton locally-built Endurance class LPDs in the late 1990s. Since Southeast Asian amphibious fleets mainly comprise WWII or Soviet-era vessels of dubious operational status, these were significant acquisitions.

Still, shortfalls in amphibious capabilities left many ASEAN countries woefully unequipped to engage in disaster relief operations following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. It was only in the immediate years after that Indonesia and Thailand in particular went about procuring new LPDs. For its part, Indonesia purchased five 11,400-ton Makassar class LPDs (one of which was specially outfitted as a hospital ship) based on a South Korean design. Thailand introduced HTMS Ang Thong, a modified variant of the Singapore-designed Endurance class, which had performed well in the tsunami relief operations off Indonesia’s Banda Aceh.

Still, regional interest in new amphibious capabilities quickly stalled as lack of funding forced ASEAN navies to prioritize more immediate maritime security concerns. For example, despite the need to replace KD Sri Inderapura following a 2009 fire, budgetary reasons forced Malaysia to defer the Multi-Role Support Ship (MRSS) program from the Ninth Malaysia Plan (2006-2010) to the Tenth Malaysia Plan (2011-2015). Instead, Malaysia acquired sea control (corvettes and offshore patrol vessels) and sea denial platforms (submarines) in order to combat rising piracy in the Malacca Strait and, more recently, South China Sea tensions.

‘Amphibious Forces Creep’ in Southeast Asia: Only for HADR?

However, over the past couple of years there are signs of a renewed regional commitment to modernizing amphibious forces. In July of this year, Myanmar reportedly began negotiations with Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL for the purchase of an unknown number of LPDs based on the Makassar class. If this deal does go through, it will mark a major milestone for the Myanmar amphibious forces, which currently consist of only a modest fleet of small landing craft and a Naval Infantry battalion. The Philippines also finally made progress on its long-discussed Strategic Support Vessel (SSV) program when it inked a contract with PT PAL for a pair of modified Makassar class LPDs. Prior to that, the locally built 570-ton landing craft utility BRP Tagbanua – which was commissioned in 2011 – had been the only notable addition to the Philippines’ mostly WWII-vintage fleet of landing ships.

Most commentators may attribute this “amphibious forces creep” to recent natural disasters like the Super Typhoon Haiyan that ravaged the region and, especially, the Philippine islands of Leyte. This conjecture may be reinforced by plans mooted in June this year by Singapore to purchase what some called a mini-aircraft carrier, dubbed the Joint Multi-Mission Ship. The vessel is envisaged to be larger than the Endurance class and with greater helicopter capacity. The announcement seemed closely linked to island state’s offer to host a Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Coordination Center a couple of months before as a remedy to the lackluster coordination and questionable response capacity observed amongst ASEAN governments in the aftermath of Haiyan.

While this “creep” could be seen as a collective effort to enhance HADR capacity in Southeast Asia, there are other factors that should not be overlooked. This “creep” is actually more far-reaching than the mere acquisitions of new sealift assets. It involves, at least for some countries, the modernization and mechanization of existing amphibious ground forces, as well as doctrinal shifts – certainly steps that go beyond HADR needs. For example, even though the MRSS could potentially be deferred again, following last year’s clashes with Sulu militants in Lahad Datu, eastern Sabah, Malaysian Defense Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin told local press in October 2013 that efforts are underway to improve amphibious defenses. During a working visit to Hawaii in January of this year, he also sought American help in developing a dedicated amphibious ground force based on the USMC model. The just-concluded Malaysia-U.S. Amphibious Exercise (MALUS AMPHEX) conducted in Lahad Datu possibly heralded the first step in this regard.

Similarly, Indonesia is revitalizing its sealift capabilities, having just launched its latest indigenous landing ship, the KRI Teluk Bintuni, and plans to acquire at least another six of these vessels. The Indonesian Marine Corps (Korps Marinir or KORMAR) is also in the process of modernization and deeper mechanization. In July 2013, Jakarta reportedly sought to establish a tenth KORMAR battalion as part of the Navy force expansion and restructuring program. A second batch of Russian-built BMP-3F Series-2 infantry combat vehicles – a variant optimized for amphibious assault – was delivered in late January 2014, bringing the total to 54 in KORMAR service. There have also been reports that Jakarta completed work on a draft contract to purchase BTR-4 amphibious troop carriers from Ukraine.

Likely Extra-Regional Influences?

Looking beyond the HADR motivation, the “amphibious creep” in Southeast Asia may be partially influenced by the ambitious amphibious forces programs of extra-regional powers. For instance, Australia is currently inducting its new pair of 26,000-ton Canberra class landing helicopter docks based on the Spanish Juan Carlos I class, and has plans for an Amphibious Ready Group by 2016. South Korea similarly outlined plans in 2013 for an amphibious landing ship larger than the existing 19,000-ton Dokdo, possibly based on the Juan Carlos I class as well. In addition, Seoul launched the first of its new indigenously-built 4,500-ton LST-II landing ships in September 2013, and plans to acquire three additional ones by 2018.

Japan is establishing dedicated amphibious forces to suit the needs of a dynamic defense posture, ostensibly aimed at security concerns in the remote southern isles including the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. This includes creating a USMC-like formation by FY2015 that will be equipped with amphibious fighting vehicles and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transports, as well as a large amphibious landing ship – most likely bigger and more capable than the 14,000-ton Osumi class LPDs – slated for a decision timeline by March 2019. The Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force has already begun acquiring relevant specialized know-how in amphibious assault operations through joint training and exchanges with the USMC.

Most notably perhaps, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been bolstering its amphibious forces in recent years. The PLA Marine Corps is modernizing with new infantry equipment and amphibious fighting vehicles, supported by a burgeoning fleet of larger, more capable sealift assets. In August of last year, Beijing reportedly began constructing the first Type-081 landing helicopter dock possibly inspired by the French Mistral class. Perhaps more ominously, the PLA has recently demonstrated its amphibious might in the South China Sea. Specifically, 17,600-ton Type-071 Yuzhao class LPDs were frequently sighted together with PLA Marine Corps detachments, ship borne helicopters and landing assault craft in the disputed waters.

China and the South China Sea Factor?

China’s growing amphibious forces seen in the context of persistent tensions over the South China Sea disputes could be a significant driving factor behind the “creep” observed in Southeast Asia. This is especially the case for the Philippines and Vietnam, and to a lesser extent Indonesia and Malaysia. Just late last month, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang announced the reorientation of the Philippine Marine Corps in line with the overall transition from an internal security to an external defense force, with its focus on the South China Sea. The SSVs, when they are delivered in 2016-17, would support their deployments to those far-flung outposts in the disputed Spratly Archipelago.

Vietnam’s primary opponent in the South China Sea disputes is almost certainly China, but Hanoi’s strategy has traditionally been predicated on sea denial in reflection of the vast naval force asymmetry between it and Beijing. However, there is an evident shift in such thinking towards building some limited forms of offensive sea control capacity, especially for the purpose of undertaking counter-offensive operations in the event of a hostile takeover of Vietnamese-occupied Spratly features. Still, the priority remains with warfighting assets, and thus only small inroads have been made into amphibious sealift. Instead of large landing ships such as LPDs, Vietnam is steadily inducting locally built roll-on/roll-off vessels with small payloads optimized for Spratly missions. Nonetheless, the Vietnam Naval Infantry is in a serious if modest process of modernization, and has been seen sporting new camouflaged uniforms, personal protective gear, and Israeli-made weapons even though it is still operating Soviet-era amphibious fighting vehicles.

Malaysia has a way smaller extent of claims in the Spratlys than Vietnam. Thus it wasn’t completely surprising when, to avoid damaging relations with China – its biggest trading partner – it remained somewhat ambiguous about two reported instances of PLA Navy ships, including amphibious forces, “showing the Chinese flag” at the disputed James Shoal. Still, Kuala Lumpur could not have been oblivious to the potential Chinese military challenge to its Spratlys claims. While the plan to establish an amphibious force modeled on the USMC may be attributed to the Lahad Datu experience, one cannot dismiss the possibility that such measures are also motivated by concerns over the South China Sea. Seen in this light, MALUS AMPHEX is akin to killing two birds with one stone – to prepare Malaysia for future contingencies in both eastern Sabah and the Spratlys.

Jakarta’s “amphibious forces creep” can be seen as part of contingency measures against potential crises in the South China Sea. In March of this year, the chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces, General Moeldoko, announced plans to strengthen defenses around the Natuna Islands in the southern end of the South China Sea, where Chinese fishing vessels were known to frequently intrude. He called for the need to “carefully watch the South China Sea,” and said that every event in the South China Sea could be dangerous for the country. Moeldoko also warned that “if something happens there, it could also spread to Indonesia.”

Even though Indonesia has repeatedly said it is not a claimant in the South China Sea dispute, tensions in the area have not gone unnoticed Jakarta. Besides the South China Sea issue, Indonesia’s buildup appears directed at potentially resurgent maritime disputes with Malaysia. Malaysia allegedly violated Indonesian territory by installing a light beacon off the coast of Tanjung Datu along the West Kalimantan-Sarawak border in May 2014. Shortly after this incident, KORMAR was involved in an Indonesian joint air-land-sea operation codenamed Garda Wibawa 14, ostensibly aimed at enhancing its response to future Malaysian transgressions in the disputed Ambalat hydrocarbon block, located in the Celebes Sea.

The Need for More Caution, More Cooperation

Amphibious landing ships epitomize the classic difficulty in distinguishing between armaments used for offense and defense. By their very nature, such assets are dual functional. They can be deployed for peaceful purposes such as HADR, or for aggressive reasons like annexing maritime territories. As the region grapples with the foreseeable rise in incidences of natural calamities, acquiring such platforms benefits collective security. In this sense, amphibious landing ships have become indispensable to ASEAN.

However, it is precisely because of their dual-functional nature that one ought to exercise caution over the potential geopolitical ramifications of such acquisitions, especially when combined with the use of marine or naval infantry maneuver forces. This is particularly the case in ongoing regional territorial dispute, where the offensive utility of amphibious forces becomes relevant and could potentially inflame tensions. To ameliorate this problem, regional amphibious forces ought to be encouraged to participate in future multinational exercises, not just for building regional resilience against natural calamities but also to build confidence and trust.

Koh Swee Lean Collin is associate research fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies based in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby sivab » 24 Oct 2014 08:33 ... 07506.html

China's Aircraft Carrier Trouble: Spewing Steam and Losing Power
'Liaoning' shut down during recent sea trials

There’s no more of a conspicuous and potent symbol of China’s growing naval power than the aircraft carrier Liaoning.

But the 53,000-ton, 999-foot-long carrier could be dangerous to her crew and prone to engine failures. If so, that makes the vessel as much of a liability as an asset to Beijing.

The ex-Soviet carrier once went by the name Varyag until a cash-strapped Ukraine sold the ship to Beijing in 1998. The Chinese navy has since invested considerable resources into modernizing the warship and testing her at sea.

But on at least one occasion during recent sea trials, Liaoning appeared to suffer a steam explosion which temporarily knocked out the carrier’s electrical power system. The failure, reported by Chinese media site, resulting from a leak in “the machine oven compartment to the water pipes.”

We’re only able to glimpse at the carrier’s engine problems, as we know very little about what’s inside the ship. This includes even what kind of engines Liaoning has.

The Chinese government also doesn’t like to admit to problems with its military hardware. When it does—and that’s never guaranteed—the admissions often come months or years after problems come up.

During the accident, hot water and steam began “spewing” out of the engine’s oven compartment, reported. One cabin became “instantly submerged in water vapor,” the report added.

The crew immediately evacuated the cabin, with one officer apparently pulling a sailor out by his collar to save him from the extremely hot steam. The carrier then lost power, but the crew “eventually restored power to ensure the smooth operation of the ship.”

Fortunately, this doesn’t appear to have been a catastrophic boiler failure of the kind that would unleash almost instantaneously lethal, high-pressure steam. It’s possible Liaoning instead suffered a low-pressure steam release involving a faulty heat exchanger. Vessels commonly use heat exchangers to control water temperature necessary for regulating internal power and heating.

The Chinese navy began modernizing the ex-Varyag in 2005—essentially rebuilding the carrier from the inside. New electronics, self-defense anti-aircraft guns and new engines were just some of the upgrades. The warship in her unimproved condition was a “basket case,” an unnamed officer told the Website.

Engine failures are not an unknown phenomenon aboard ex-Soviet carriers. The 40,000-ton displacement Indian carrier Vikramaditya—first a Soviet Kiev-class carrier commissioned in 1987 and sold in 2004—temporarily shut down at sea after a boiler overheated two years ago.

The 50,000-ton Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov also goes nowhere without a tug escort in case her engines break down while underway.

The Chinese navy isn’t going to get rid of Liaoning any time soon. She’s Beijing’s first serviceable carrier and the ship is a valuable resource for naval flight operations. Even if China never sends her into battle, she’s useful for training and learning how carriers work.

But powerplant problems can also make it so China can do little else. Failures can add costly repairs, shorten the vessel’s lifespan and force her to crawl along the water at slow speeds. Beijing also lacks large overseas naval bases—a necessity if trouble arises while Liaoning sails far from China’s shores.

If she ever does. Liaoning is more alike to its ex-Soviet cousins than different—confined to home ports and restricted from challenging rivals like India.

“Since China began to send navy convoys on anti-piracy missions to the Gulf of Aden and the Somali coast in 2008,” military analyst Liu Zhongmin wrote in Global Times in 2010. “The lack of overseas bases has emerged as a major impediment to the Chinese navy’s cruising efficiency.”

Now add the possibility of engine problems.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 24 Oct 2014 21:31

Navy Starting Work on New SSN(X) Nuclear Attack Submarine

The U.S. Navy is starting early preparation work to design a new nuclear attack submarine to replace the Virginia-class boats (SSN-774) in the 2030s. The new attack boat would become operational in 2044 after the last Block VII Virginias are built.

“The long range shipbuilding plan is for a new SSN authorized in 2034 in lieu of the eighth block of Virginia-class,” Rear Adm. Dave Johnson, Naval Sea Systems Command’s program executive officer for submarines told the Naval Submarine League Symposium in Falls Church, Va., on Thursday
“2034 may seem far off, but the design research community needs to take action now.”
There will likely be an analysis of alternative for the new submarine—which has tentatively dubbed SSN(X) — in about 10 years or 2024.

That, Johnson said, leaves nine years to identify, design and demonstrate the new technologies the new attack boat will need.

Johnson said that he has formed a small team to work on a five-year plan to begin to do some of that work. The team will consult with industry and will identify the threat environment and technologies the submarine will need to operate against in the 2050 plus timeframe, Johnson said.

One of the areas Johnson has already indentified as critical for SSN(X) is integration with off-board systems. Vice Adm. Mike Connor, Commander of Submarine Force, Atlantic (COMSUBLANT), said that future submarine weapons for both the Virginia and the future SSN(X) would be networked extremely long-ranged weapons.

Some of the concepts include a new prototype torpedo propulsion system from Pennsylvania State University — a torpedo could hit targets that could hit targets more than 200 nautical miles away.

“I’m not sure I’m mentally prepared to employ a 200-mile torpedo, but I’m going to put some thought into that,” Connor said.

Connor said that while an attack boat like the Virginia or SSN(X) might launch a torpedo, the targeting data might come from another platform.

Those other platforms could include an aircraft like an unmanned aerial vehicle launched from the submarine or something like a Boeing P-8 Poseidon. In fact, in the submarine might not even guide the weapon to its target in the terminal phase of the engagement, Connor said.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 26 Oct 2014 01:55

More on the Swedish sub hunt.Like looking for the Loch Ness Monster what?! ... talking/#_
Home / 2014 / October / (W)Archives: Is That a Submarine or Just the Whiskey Talking?
Mark Stout

October 24, 2014 · in (W)ARCHIVES
Last weekend, news broke that the Swedish navy was conducting a search for a Russian submarine inside Swedish waters. Unnamed sources told Swedish newspapers that the search was launched after the interception—presumably by the Swedish signals intelligence service, the FRA—of a Russian language distress call and apparent responses from Kaliningrad, Russia, home to a Russian naval base. The Swedish government also released a photograph that showed something in the water, but it was not clear what. As of this writing, the search continues and word has come out that this is not the first such incident in recent years. Meanwhile, of course, the Russian Defense Ministry flatly denied it all saying “There has been no irregular situation, let alone emergency situation, involving Russian navy vessels.”

Perhaps it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. After all, Russia has recently shown little consideration for international borders, swallowing significant pieces of Ukraine, kidnapping an Estonian intelligence officer, and violating Finnish, Estonian, and Swedish airspace. In 2013, the Russian Air Force even simulated bombing attacks on targets in the Stockholm area.

In addition, Sweden has a track record of claiming clandestine violations of its waters by the Soviet and Russian navies. The Soviets were caught with their fingers in the cookie jar once. On October 27 1981 in the famous “Whiskey on the Rocks” incident, a Soviet Whiskey-class submarine ran aground deep inside Swedish waters right in the open air where any Swedish news outlet could film it for the price of a chartered airplane. It stayed there for an embarrassing week and a half. However, during the 1980s and well into the 1990s, the Swedes investigated innumerable other reports of submarines, frogmen, and underwater vehicles in their waters. Hard proof, however, was always frustratingly elusive. The first commission to investigate the question, appointed by then Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, reported in April 1983 that the alleged incursions had really taken place and that the Soviet Union was to blame. These findings were controversial, to say the least, and over the years, skepticism grew.

In 2001, with the Cold War safely over (everyone thought), the Swedish government commissioned another study of the question, this time led by the eminent Swedish diplomat Rolf Ekeus. Thanks to the Parallel History Project, the English language executive summary of the Ekeus Commission’s report is available in full-text. (The Swedish full-text is here.) The Commission concluded that many of the claimed incursions were genuine but left open the question of what state had been behind them, raising the possibility that NATO nations may have been to blame. It also criticized the Swedish government over its years for mishandling of evidence and a flawed analytic process. Then in 2004, a Swedish scholar (published a book in English with a major and respectable national security publishing house blaming the United States and Britain. (In later years the scholar was active in the 9/11 truther world and insinuated that Israel was behind the Breivik shootings in Norway.) Not surprisingly, critics (and behind pay wall here and here) argued out that the scholar based his findings on questionable documents, unreliable oral testimony, and flawed methodologies. To this day, the mystery remains unsolved and the debate has been irrevocably poisoned by wild claims similar to those that fly with regard to Ukraine today.

These are murky waters, to say the least. We may never know what really happened off the Swedish coast during the 1980s and 1990s and if history is any guide, we may never who what really happened in the current incident. One thing is clear, however: Russia has more than adequate plausible deniability for doing whatever it wants in Swedish waters as long as it avoids another “Whiskey on the Rocks” incident.

Mark Stout is a Senior Editor at War on the Rocks. He is the Director of the MA Program in Global Security Studies and the Graduate Certificate Program in Intelligence at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Arts and Sciences in Washington, D.C.

And more on the Russian and Chinese sub tech pursuit.Original article from ... 14-10?IR=T
Russia And China Are Sprinting To Catch Up With The US's Advanced Submarine Fleet
Kris Osborn,
Oct. 24, 2014, 11:20 AM
US national security officials are concerned about the pace and intensity of Russian submarine development, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert said Thursday.

"There are competitors that are pursuing us. We know about China. That is very well spelled out, but not as many people know what the Russians are up to. I can't go into detail, obviously, but they spend a lot of money. The Russians have been working on a sea-based strategic deterrence — and an SSN (attack submarine)," Greenert said at the Naval Submarine League's annual symposium in Falls Church, VA.

Senior Navy leaders spelled out how Russian and Chinese are increasing defense spending year-to-year when compared with the US. The US spends more overall than both Russian and China, but the gap is shrinking, something that is a concerning trend for US Navy leaders.

Russia reportedly plans to sell a variant of its new Amur 1650 attack submarine to the Chinese. The Amur 1650 is a modern version of the Kilo-class Russian submarine with improved acoustic stealth, new combat systems, and air-independent propulsion, according to a report in the Inquisitr.

The website also reported that the Russian military successfully tested a Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, launched from a Russian nuclear submarine, the Vladimir Monomakh. The US Navy believes that the newest of China's nuclear submarines, the Jin SSBN, would mark China's first credible at-sea-second-strike nuclear capability, according to the report.

Greenert said the US Navy is taking its own strides to advance its submarine fleet as the Ohio Replacement Program, or ORP, is in the early stages of development. The US Navy plans to begin construction of a new class of 12 next-generation, quiet and stealthy nuclear-armed submarines able to provide what's called strategic nuclear deterrence.

Undersea strategic nuclear deterrence means that in the unlikely event of a catastrophic first-strike against the US using nuclear weapons, the presence of nuclear-armed submarines in the ocean could guarantee a defensive response.

Greenert called the ORP a top priority. Construction work on the first Ohio Replacement submarines, slated for completion by 2021, is already underway at an Electric Boat facility in Rhode Island.

Funding requirements for the development and construction of the Ohio Replacement program will put tremendous pressure upon the Navy's annual shipbuilding budget, Greenert said.

Greenert referred to the reality that current funding levels will not allow for the Ohio Replacement program to co-exist alongside other shipbuilding programs such as destroyers, carriers, amphibious and cruiser upgrades.

In fact, the Navy's recently released 30-year shipbuilding plan specifies that there is not enough money in the current budget to fund the Ohio Replacement program while maintaining other shipbuilding priorities.

The plan, called the "Report to Congress on the Annual Long-Range Plan for Construction of Naval Vessels for FY2015," breaks down required funding for future ships into three ten-year blocks and specifies that the Navy will need $19.7 billion per year for shipbuilding from 2025 through 2034 due to the expected production of the Ohio Replacement Program.

"The average cost of this plan during the period which the [Department of the Navy] is procuring OR SSBN (Ohio Replacement) cannot be accommodated by the Navy from existing resources," the plan states.

Production for the lead ship in a planned fleet of 12 ORPs is expected to cost $12.4 billion - $4.8 billion in non-recurring engineering or development costs and $7.6 billion in ship construction, the plan states. Detailed design for the first ORP is slated for 2017 and some development and early construction is already underway. The Ohio Replacement Program is scheduled to serve out through the 2080s.

"If the DON [Department of the Navy] is unable to sustain the average annual shipbuilding budgets of $19.7 billion over the course of the mid-term planning period, which is unlikely to be the case, the battle force will fall short of meeting requirements," the plan states.
Overall, the Navy needs to make more progress if it hopes to meet its goal of producing the Ohio Replacement Submarines for $4.9 billion each in 2010 dollars.

Working with ORP-builder Electric Boat, a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corp., the Navy has finished the ship specifications for the boat and made progress with a few cost-cutting initiatives.

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