International Naval News & Discussion

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 02 Feb 2016 12:23

What's happened to the RN these days? Britannia once "ruled the waves",but these days the RN's subs develop problems and as for their newest DDG,take a dekko.They,like the USN's LCS warships keep on breaking down


Royal Navy's £1bn new warships need major engine refit after power failures
Ministry of Defence confirms that six Type 45 destroyers are to undergo refits as they keep breaking down

HMS Dauntless was the second of the Type 45 destroyers to join the Royal Navy's fleet (in November 2010) Photo: PA
By Ben Farmer, Defence Correspondent, and Victoria Ward
29 Jan 2016

The Royal Navy’s most modern warships are to have major engine refits because they keep breaking down.

Six Type-45 destroyers need work expected to run to tens of millions of pounds after a string of power failures and concerns they could have shutdowns while on operations.

The decision to overhaul the £1bn-a-piece air defence warships comes only seven years after the first vessel was commissioned.

"What I would hope is there is already in place a 'get well' programme and we must move very quickly to rectify these problems."

Admiral Lord West
The Ministry of Defence’s admission they now need major work comes after years of trying to hush up engine failures, or attempts to dismiss them as “teething trouble”.
A former First Sea Lord said the disclosure was "extremely worrying".

Lord West of Spithead said: “Clearly there is a major fault here. Initially people were saying these are teething problems and you always have teething problems with new ships. It is quite clear it is more than teething problems now."

HMS Duncan, the British Navy's sixth Type 45 Destroyer Photo: MoD/PA

"It is bad enough fighting your ship when people are dropping bombs on it and blowing bits of equipment out and you keep it going - that's what we're trained to do. You don't expect suddenly to lose all power when you are steaming along normally," he said.

• Royal Navy destroyer put to sea without missiles a 'disgrace'

The refits will include cutting holes in the sides of the ships to fit them with new generators.

The 8,000-ton air defence destroyers have a crew of 190 and are designed to shield the rest of the fleet from air or missile attack. They will play a vital role in defending Britain’s new aircraft carriers when they are completed.

But their innovative power and propulsion system, which sees the ships’ shafts and the rest of its systems powered by the same gas turbines, has struggled with blackouts.

In 2014 HMS Dauntless cut short an exercise by two days and had to return to port after losing power.

Her sister ship, HMS Daring, needed emergency repairs in Bahrain in 2012 while deployed to the Gulf. Reports said the ship encountered propulsion problems while on patrol off the coast of Kuwait.

In 2009, HMS Daring also lost power in the Atlantic after a visit to New York and had to go to Halifax shipyard in Canada to be fixed.

HMS Defender travels past the Titan Crane as she makes her way up the River Clyde back to Glasgow in 2013

Richard Scott, naval consultant at IHS Jane's, said: “Initially there was the view that it was teething trouble and they would get it right. What’s happened latterly very much acknowledges that after a period of six or seven years, the power system is still very fragile.”

The staggered refit, which will begin in 2019, will putted added pressure on the fleet, which many Naval commanders say is already overstretched.

• Boost to Portsmouth as BAE wins contract to restore Navy destroyers
• What kit do Britain's Armed Forces have, what do they want, and what are they getting?

He said: “The fleet is already stretched. They are going to have to make sure that during the maintenance periods where they do the upgrades, the downtime is as short as possible.”

Type 45s have worked alongside the US Navy in the Gulf for the past year, protecting their aircraft carriers while they launch air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil).

Mr Scott said the Navy was worried about its warships breaking down in front of its closest ally.

He said: “The concern is that we have some kind of mechanical breakdown, which would be very embarrassing operationally and also in terms of the Navy’s standing with its closest ally.”

A spokesman said: "The Type 45 destroyers are hugely capable ships and have consistently made a difference to our safety and security.

"In our defence review last year we committed to improving the Type 45's power and propulsion system through a series of machinery upgrades during planned maintenance, which will ensure increased availability and resilience over the life of the ships."

HMS Daring fires a Sea Viper air defence missile

A spokeswoman for BAE Systems, which builds the ships, said: "The Type 45 Destroyers are among the world's most capable air defence Destroyers, able to carry out a wide range of operations for the Royal Navy.

"We are working collaboratively with the MoD and industry partners to deliver improvements to the power generation capability of the Type 45 Destroyers."

Rolls-Royce, which makes the WR-21 gas turbines, said: "We are committed to supporting the WR-21 in service and have recently opened a new overhaul and test facility in Bristol.

"We continue to work with the MoD on upgrading the performance of the propulsion system."

Moral of the story.Buy Ru or UKR engines instead.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 02 Feb 2016 21:26

Any one access to Janes can post the full article

Russian submarine activity topping Cold War levels

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 03 Feb 2016 10:58

This has been Vlad-the-Bad Putin's top priority,expanding the numbers and capability of the RuN's N-sub fleet.It is something that the IN should emulate too,as possessing a large capable fleet of both N-subs and AIP subs is the best way to counter the PLAN in the Indo-China Sea and Asia-Pacific region.

Aditya G
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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Aditya G » 13 Feb 2016 13:09

a short feature on British Sea Skua missile.

It is a light weight 15-20 Km range anti ship missile. Lynx can carry four of them.

We need a cheap surface warfare solution other than the heavy, expensive and gold plated Brahmos. The latter cannot be mounted on smaller craft due to weight considerations and expense precludes it from fitment in mass.

Chinese C-704 is also a small missile, and is seen on Bangladesh Navy's patrol craft.



Iranian Nasr-1:


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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby John » 14 Feb 2016 05:53

Wasn't there plan to develop a light weight AshM for helo launch what happened to that??

Aditya G
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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Aditya G » 14 Feb 2016 14:51

Helina? One wonders if it has any anti ship applications... perhaps it can be useful against small PNS Azmat like ships. Fly outside their Cwiz & cannon envelope and take it out with the missile.

ISIS did take out an egyptian vessel last year with a ATGM.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 14 Feb 2016 14:53

Aditya G wrote:Helina? One wonders if it has any anti ship applications... perhaps it can be useful against small PNS Azmat like ships. Fly outside their Cwiz & cannon envelope and take it out with the missile.

The range is short for helina and its subsonic too , We need a 15-20 km missile with supersonic speed ,active/passive Radar homing for all weather capability , doable with solid fuel if DRDO takes the project

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 15 Feb 2016 10:25 ... st/5507364

Israel’s Nuclear-Armed Submarine Fleet in Mediterranean, Threatens Middle East and Europe

By Anthony Bellchambers
Global Research, February 12, 2016

Technical data on the five, German-built, Dolphin-class submersible nuclear-armed warships [pictured left] of the IDF’s Naval Warfare Arm:

The Dolphin class fleet actually comprises two related sub-classes of diesel-electric submarine developed and constructed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW), Germany for the Israeli Navy. The first boats of the class were based on the export-only German 209-class submarines, but modified and enlarged. The Dolphin 1 sub-class is slightly larger than the German Navy Type 212 in length and displacement. The three newer air-independent propulsion (AIP) equipped boats are similar to the Type 212 vessels in underwater endurance, are 12 metres (39 ft) longer, nearly 500 tonnes heavier in submerged displacement and have a larger crew than either the Type 212 or the Type 214.

The Dolphin 2-class are the largest submarines to have been built in Germany since World War II. The Dolphin class boats are the most expensive single vehicles in the Israel Defense Forces. The Dolphin-class replaced the aging Gal-class submarines, which had served in the Israeli navy since the late 1970s. Each Dolphin-class submarine is capable of carrying a combined total of up to 16 torpedoes and SLCMs.

The cruise missiles have a range of at least 1,500 km (930 mi) and are widely believed to be equipped with a 200-kilogram (440 lb) nuclear warhead containing up to 6 kilograms (13 lb) of plutonium. The latter, if true, would provide Israel with an offshore nuclear second strike capability and mean that virtually all the countries of Europe and North Africa would be within range of its nuclear warheads, if fired from an Israeli submarine in the central Mediterranean. This would include:


Each submarine is fitted with 6 × 533 mm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes, and 4 × 650 mm (26 in) torpedo tubes. The very large 650 mm tubes can be used for laying mines, larger submarine-launched cruise missiles, or swimmer delivery vehicles, and with liners the tubes could be used for standard torpedoes and submarine-launched missiles. According to the German Defense Ministry the 650 mm tubes are to have a liner installed for firing 533 mm UGM-84 Harpoon missiles although the Dolphin class already has six tubes of the 533 mm size. The boats were first armed with Atlas Elektronik DM2A3 torpedoes using wire-guided active homing to deliver a 260 kg (570 lb) warhead at a maximum speed of 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph) to a target over 13 km (8.1 mi) away, in passive homing mode a speed of 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph) and a range up to 28 km (17 mi) is possible. Israel has also has procured the DM2A4 torpedo, successor to their DM2A3s, which are electrically propelled, equipped with fiber optic communications and has countermeasure resistant signals processing and mission logic. A wet and dry compartment is installed for deploying underwater special operations teams. According to Defense Industry Daily the IDAS torpedo tube launched anti-helicopter missile, designed to defend against airborne threats while submerged in shallow water found in the Mediterranean where escape to depth is often not possible, is under development for the Dolphin and 212 classes.

Jane’s Defence Weekly reports that the Dolphin-class submarines are believed to be nuclear armed, offering Israel a sea based second strike capability. In adherence to Missile Technology Control Regime rules] the US Clinton administration refused an Israeli request in 2000 to purchase Tomahawk long range SLCMs. The U.S. Navy has deployed nuclear armed and conventional Tomahawk missiles for its submarine fleet which are launched from standard heavy 533 mm torpedo tubes. The Federation of American Scientists and report that the four larger torpedo tubes are capable of launching Israeli built nuclear-armed Popeye Turbo cruise missiles (a variant of the Popeye standoff missile), and the U.S. Navy recorded an Israeli submarine-launched cruise missile test in the Indian Ocean ranging 1,500 km (930 mi).

The Dolphin class uses the ISUS 90-1 TCS weapon control system supplied by STN Atlas Elektronik, for automatic sensor management, fire control, navigation, and operations. The installed radar warning receiver is a 4CH(V)2 Timnex electronic support measures system, scanning from 2 GHz to 18 GHz frequency bands and able to pinpoint radar sites with accuracy between 1.4 to 5 degrees of angle (depending on frequency). It is developed by Elbit in Haifa. Active surface search radar is an Elta unit operating on I band. The sonar suite includes the Atlas Elektronik CSU 90 hull-mounted passive and active search and attack sonar. The PRS-3 passive ranging sonar is also supplied by Atlas Elektronik, the flank array is a FAS-3 passive search sonar. The submarines have two Kollmorgen periscopes.

The Dolphins are equipped with three V-16 396 SE 84 diesel engines built by MTU Friedrichshafen (now Tognum), developing 3.12 MW (4,180 hp) sustained power. The submarines are equipped with three Siemens 750 kW alternators, and a Siemens 2.85 MW sustained-power motor driving a single shaft. The propulsion system provides a speed of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) submerged and a snorkeling speed of 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph). The hull is rated for dives up to 350 m (1,150 ft). The maximum unrefuelled range is 8,000 nautical miles (15,000 km; 9,200 mi) traveling on the surface at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) and over 400 nautical miles (740 km; 460 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) submerged; they are designed to remain unsupplied for up to 30 days on station.

Operations and deployment

According to news reports the submarines are normally based in the Mediterranean.[51] One Dolphin was sent to the Red Sea for exercises, briefly docking in the naval base in Eilat in June 2009, which Israeli media interpreted as a warning to Iran.[52] In 2009 the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, quoting an Israeli defense official, reported that the small Eilat naval station is unsuited strategically to base the Dolphin-class boats, specifically noting the tight entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba at the Straits of Tiran as one held by potential adversaries including Saudi Arabia on the east and the demilitarized Egyptian Sinai to the west. Eilat is a 10 km (6.2 mi) strip of coast between Egypt and Jordan, the only two Arab states that currently have peace treaties with Israel. According to The London Sunday Times, the Israeli Navy decided in May 2010 to keep at least one submarine equipped with nuclear missiles there permanently as a deterrent in response to rumored ballistic missiles moved from Syria to Lebanon.[16]

If the boats are based at the larger Haifa naval base, access to the Persian Gulf area either requires openly sailing on the surface through the Egyptian controlled Suez Canal as permitted in the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty or a long voyage sailing around Africa. According to the Convention of Constantinople signed by the ruling great powers of the time including the UK, France, and the Ottoman Empire in March 2, 1888; “The Suez Maritime Canal shall always be free and open, in time of war as in time of peace, to every vessel of commerce or of war, without distinction of flag.” Denied crossing at the Suez Canal and blockade of the Straits of Tiran occurred in both in 1956 and 1967 leading to Israel twice seizing the Sinai to break the blockade.[54] The Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty allows for the free passage of Israeli vessels through the Suez Canal, and recognizes the Strait of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba as international waterways. Even if a Red Sea or Indian Ocean base is unavailable other nations have used submarine tenders, ships that resupply, rearm, and refuel submarines at sea, when nearby friendly bases are unavailable.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 15 Feb 2016 10:47 ... rriers.htm
Darpa Is Building Drones That Will Turn Small Ships Into Aircraft Carriers

By Christian de Looper, Tech Times | December 29, 8:07 PM

Darpa has announced plans to build a new series of drones that can be used and operated on small ships, enabling the defense force to bring them to areas that they haven't been able to before.
(Photo : DARPA)

Drones are everywhere, and their popularity will only grow from now on. Darpa has announced a new project that will see small ships being used as aircraft carriers for drones.

Darpa has long wanted to send small ships with drones that can fly around and send data back to those ships, gathering valuable information.

The new project is called Tern, and it is a collaboration between Darpa and the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research. Funding has been awarded by Darpa to a new team that is led by Northrop Grumman, a company known for its aircraft-related projects.

One of the main design issues with the project is that, traditionally, it has been difficult for drones to land on ships rocking back and forth because of the water. However, the engineers behind the new project hope to address that and make a drone that can take off and land in cramped and bumpy quarters, and that can fly for extended periods of time.

"The design we have in mind for the Tern demonstrator could greatly increase the effectiveness of any host ship by augmenting awareness, reach and connectivity," said Darpa's program manager, Dan Patt, in a statement. "We continue to make progress toward our goal to develop breakthrough technologies that would enable persistent ISR and strike capabilities almost anywhere in the world at a fraction of current deployment costs, time and effort."

The drones being built for the project will use two propellers and be able to go up and down like a helicopter, as well as forward and horizontally like a plane. The two propellers would be nose-mounted and would be able to lift the drone before re-orienting it for horizontal flight and propelling it.

Source: Darpa

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 18 Feb 2016 02:55

India should donate a few speed boats:

Palau vs. the Poachers

Late on a January 2015 evening in Shepherdstown, W.Va., a data analyst named Bjorn Bergman, surrounded by whiteboards scribbled with computer code, was orchestrating a high-stakes marine police chase halfway around the world. Staring at his laptop in a cramped ground-floor office, he drank from his sixth cup of coffee and typed another in a long series of emails: ‘‘Try and cut them off rather than making for the last known position.’’ Nearly 9,000 miles away, the Remeliik, a police patrol ship from the tiny island nation Palau, was pursuing a 10-man Taiwanese pirate ship, the Shin Jyi Chyuu 33, through Palauan waters. Bergman, working for a nonprofit research organization called SkyTruth, had mastered the use of satellite data to chart a ship’s most likely course. Instead of pointing the police to where the pirate ship was, he would tell them where it was about to be. He took another sip of coffee, studied his screen, then typed again: ‘‘It may be advisable for the Remeliik to turn southeast.’’

Caught fishing in a marine sanctuary, the Shin Jyi Chyuu 33 was fleeing to Indonesian waters, beyond Palau’s jurisdiction. Once across the boundary, the crew could easily unload its catch at a local wharf and disappear among the thousands of small Filipino or Indonesian islands of the western Pacific. Determined not to let that happen, the Remeliik’s skipper, running on Bergman’s coordinates, was pushing 15 knots — a pace that worried its engineer. But the police were desperate to keep up. In the previous six months, they had spotted but failed to capture nearly a dozen other pirate fishing ships. If the Remeliik’s officers miscalculated their heading by even a small fraction of a degree, they would miss their target.

Bergman had been tracking the Shin Jyi Chyuu 33 for weeks, and emailed an alert about possible illegal fishing two days earlier. Before moving to West Virginia to work for SkyTruth, he spent three years working as a marine ob­server on Alaskan fishing boats, logging the details of the daily catch, as required by federal and state fishery authorities. At SkyTruth, Bergman did his surveillance work from a far greater remove, monitoring ships by satellite. For months, he had been studying a satellite feed from above Palau. He knew its squiggles and slashes by memory. A passenger boat out of Pitcairn Island appeared every few weeks; a United States Navy ship from Diego Garcia conducted regular maneuvers; a Chinese research vessel was doing a survey of some sort in a grid pattern; a Taiwanese ship that never seemed to fish made repeated trips out to meet other long-line fishing vessels. The Shin Jyi Chyuu 33 stood out, however. Switching among registries of fishing permits, regional tuna licenses and blacklisted vessels, he could tell it had no license to fish in Palau’s waters, even though its zigzag trajectory indicated it was doing just that.

In response to Bergman’s alert, an international team gathered into the cramped, second-floor police command center on Koror, Palau’s most populous island. There were three local police officers, an adviser from the Pew Charitable Trusts and two Australian Navy officers, on loan to Palau to advise on everything from running the Remeliik (which the Australians had also donated) to using satellite-data analysis software. Working through the night and the following day, the team radioed the information they received from West Virginia to Allison Baiei, a Palauan marine police officer, aboard the Remeliik.

Police efforts like these, coordinated and international in scope, are a rarity when it comes to enforcing the law at sea, but the alternative is usually no enforcement at all. More than two-thirds of the planet is covered by water, and much of that liquid expanse is ungoverned and potentially ungovernable. Criminal enterprise has flourished in the breach. The global black market for seafood is worth more than $20 billion, and one in every five fish on American plates is caught illegally.

After a 51-hour push, much of it through heavy seas, the Remeliik’s unrelenting pace finally paid off: It caught up with the Taiwanese ship just a few miles before the boundary with Indonesian waters. The officers escorted the ship back to port in Palau, and when they inspected the hold, Baiei told me, they found an especially grim haul. Inside, among the stacks of tuna, were hundreds of severed shark fins. The officers piled the contraband onto the Shin Jyi Chyuu 33’s deck and, when they ran out of room there, piled the rest into a bloody heap on the dock. They counted, measured and photographed the fins to use for the eventual prosecution, then dumped them into the sea. ‘‘Disgusting,’’ was all Baiei would say about the scene.

Few places on the planet are as isolated as Palau, or as sprawling. Its 21,000 residents are scattered across a handful of its 250 islands, which take up just 177 square miles combined. Relatively poor, and with no military of its own, Palau employs a marine police division with just 18 members and one patrol ship. Yet it has authority over roughly 230,000 square miles of ocean. Under international law, a country’s ‘‘exclusive economic zone,’’ the waters where it maintains fishing and mineral rights, extends 200 nautical miles from its coasts. That means that a country roughly the size of Philadelphia is responsible for patrolling a swath of ocean about the size of France, in a region teeming with supertrawlers, state-subsidized poacher fleets, mile-long drift nets and the floating fish attracters known as FADs.

In the face of this challenge, Palau has mounted an aggressive response. In 2006, it was among the first nations to ban bottom trawling — a practice not unlike strip mining in which fishing boats drag large weighted nets across the ocean floor to catch the fish in the waters just above, killing virtually everything else in their path. In 2009, it prohibited commercial shark fishing in its waters, creating the world’s first shark sanctuary. In 2015, it announced plans to require observers aboard all its tuna longliners. (Elsewhere in the region, observers are aboard just one in 50 tuna longliners.) Palau has also teamed up with Greenpeace, which helped patrol its territorial waters, and it started a campaign on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform, raising more than $50,000 to support its conservation work. Palau’s most radical move, though, was creating a ‘‘no take’’ reserve in 2015. Within this zone, which encompasses 193,000 square miles, all export fishing (along with any drilling or mining) will be strictly prohibited.

From one perspective, Palau’s work suggests a hopeful future. It offers a model for successful ad hoc collaboration among countries, companies and nongovernmental organizations. Palau has also emerged as a testing ground for some of the technology — including drones, satellite monitoring and military-grade radar — that might finally empower countries to spot and arrest the pirates, poachers, polluters, traffickers and other scofflaws who prowl the seas with impunity.

But Palau’s conservation efforts are really motivated by a more immediate sense of self-preservation. In September, I sat down with Palau’s president, Tommy Remengesau Jr., in his cluttered, wood-paneled office in Koror. A sturdy man with an intense stare, Remengesau explained to me that more than half of Palau’s gross domestic product comes from tourism, mostly people visiting to dive on Palau’s reefs, which house more fish, coral and other invertebrates per square mile than virtually anywhere else on Earth. Remengesau boiled the problem down to simple economics, noting that sharks were an especially big draw for undersea sightseers. Alive, an individual shark is worth more than $170,000 annually in tourism dollars, he said, or nearly $2 million over its lifetime. Dead, each can go for a hundred dollars — and usually, he added, that money winds up in the pockets of a foreign poacher.

The poachers calculate differently, of course. More than a dozen countries, including Palau and Taiwan, have banned shark-finning. But demand for the fins, especially in Asia, remains high. Shark-fin soup, which can cost more than $100 a bowl, has for centuries signified wealth and status, and it became especially popular in the late 1980s as a status item for China’s rapidly expanding middle and upper classes. Ship captains often allow their crew members to supplement their income by keeping the fins for themselves to sell at port. Shark carcasses take up valuable hold space in smaller ships, and as they decompose, they produce ammonia that contaminates the other catch. Deckhands usually cut off the fins, which can sell for 100 times the cost of the rest of the meat. They then throw the rest of the shark back into the water. It’s a slow death: The sharks sink to the sea floor, where they starve, drown or are eaten by other fish.

In a given year, Palau faces 50 to 100 incursions by pirate vessels. Fish ignore borders — and, it turns out, so do many of the people pursuing them. While port inspections, wheel-room cameras, locational transponders and onboard observers are essential to better monitoring the oceans, policing is the only thing that will make Palau’s new reserve, and others like it elsewhere in the world, more than just lines drawn on the water.

Poachers are by no means Palau’s only threat. Ocean acidi­fication, warming marine temperatures, mega-cyclones and a Texas-size gyre of floating trash imperil the region’s marine life. The islands themselves are threatened as well: As global warming raises sea levels, Palau’s land, and the territory it protects, will diminish. One atoll on Palau’s southernmost tip is sinking fast, and when it finally submerges completely, it will take roughly 54,000 square miles of territorial authority with it.

The oceans belong to everyone and no one, and the general perception is that they are too big to need protection. We also tend to think of fish as an ever-regenerating crop, there forever for our taking. But roughly 90 percent of the world’s ocean stocks are depleted or overexploited; one study predicts that by 2050, the sea could contain more plastic waste than fish. Though most governments have neither the inclination nor the resources to patrol the oceans, Palau is trying a different approach, and whether it succeeds or fails may have consequences for the entire planet.

Early one calm morning shortly after I arrived in Palau, I met Baiei and several other police officers at their headquarters in Koror, where they had invited me to join them for some routine patrols. Though Koror is the nation’s commercial center, it feels more like a remote resort — everywhere lushly green, its roads narrow and winding. The headquarters and dock sit in a more ramshackle part of town, tucked alongside a sewage-treatment plant and down the road from a brewery. Like a Humvee parked in front of a thatched hut, the 103-foot Remeliik stands out. Tall and steel-hulled, it is young in ship years, built in 1996.

The plan was to patrol the waters near Kayangel, an atoll in the country’s far north, an area popular for sea-cucumber and coral-fish poachers. A tiny, rugged fleck of land, roughly half a square mile, Kayangel has perhaps 60 year-round residents; there is no airstrip, and power and cell service are erratic. Local fishermen had spotted poachers near the atoll, and our patrol was meant to show a police presence in the area.

For any given patrol, the chief of the marine police weighs a list of variables — credible threat, distance to target, available crew, sufficient fuel, weather — and decides if it’s worth dispatching the Remeliik. Today, we would head out instead on one of the department’s two much smaller fiberglass boats, which they use in shallow waters closer to shore. When we pulled out of port, the sea was glass-flat, but as the land behind us fell beneath the horizon, we began rolling in 10-foot swells — it was clear why this smaller boat was ill-suited to chasing poachers into deeper water.

Policing the area around Kayangel has become more difficult as its population has dwindled. In December 2012, Typhoon Bopha leveled Kayangel, ravaging its nearby coral reefs. Eleven months later, Typhoon Haiyan did it again. With winds of more than 170 miles an hour, these were among the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded on Earth. Many scientists agree that climate change is the reason for these increasingly intense storms. A 2014 study, which modeled the economic consequences of climate change on fisheries in the territorial waters of 62 countries, predicted that Palau would be hit harder than any other nation. ‘‘I guess we can’t arrest the climate,’’ Baiei later told me. ‘‘We can just arrest people who come here to take our fish.’’ After a long silence, another officer muttered a retort — something in Palauan, which was later translated for me as ‘‘easier said than done.’’

Baiei said the turning point for Palau, the moment when the nation realized that it needed help, was March 29, 2012. The other officers shook their heads at the mere mention of the date. The agonizing story began earlier that month, when two Chinese poacher boats were spotted near the atoll for several days in a row. They kept escaping: Each was equipped with three 60-horsepower outboard motors, while the local wildlife rangers had only a Zodiac with one outboard motor.

Around 7 a.m. on March 29, the Palauan rangers saw one of the Chinese boats again. This time they got close enough to try to shoot out its engines, Baiei said. They hit an engine, but they also hit a Chinese deckhand, Lu Yong. (Palauan rangers say they were not aiming for him; the bullets ricocheted off the engines.) The rangers called for help to rush Lu, 35, to a nearby island where a nurse lived, but he bled to death before they got there. He had a 9-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter in mainland China. But the day would only get more tragic from there.

Boarding the Chinese boat and interrogating the rest of the crew, the Palauan rangers soon learned that there was a larger ‘‘mother ship’’ farther at sea, orchestrating the poaching raids. This was too far for the small Zodiac to travel, so two Palauan policemen, Willie Mays Towai and Earlee Decherong, along with an American pilot, Frank Ohlinger, were dispatched in a rented single-engine Cessna to find the ship and call in its coordinates.

As night fell, the pilot got lost, and the plane vanished. Meanwhile, about 35 miles from shore, another team, aboard the Remeliik, finally discovered the 80-foot mother ship, which immediately bolted, ignoring several warning shots fired across its bow. After several hours of running, though, the mother ship drifted to a halt. It was soon engulfed in flames, most likely from an intentional fire set to hide any evidence of poaching. The pirate crew scrambled into a lifeboat just before the ship sank, and they were arrested shortly thereafter.

The Cessna pilot and the two policemen were still lost, wandering somewhere above the Pacific. The authorities on land came up with an idea: If they could illuminate the islands brightly enough, the pilot might see them and find his way back home. The public safety director ordered all emergency vehicles to drive to the highest points in Koror and turn on their flashing lights. ‘‘Aim spotlights upward,’’ yachters were instructed. The stadium lights at Palau’s Asahi baseball field were switched on. Residents were asked to turn on all household lights. Some stood in the streets waving flashlights. Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, who happened to be vacationing in Palau, provided the two helicopters on his 414-foot mega-yacht, the Octopus, for search and rescue. Allen’s crew was instructed to fire 49 flares, one per minute, into the air. An official in Angaur, an island on the nation’s southern tip, suggested setting some of the outer-atoll wooded areas on fire — a plan that was quickly dismissed.

Back at the command center on Koror, several police officers were trying in vain to contact the plane. Its radio was malfunctioning. They could hear Ohlinger, but he could not hear them. For nearly five hours, culminating in a mayday call at 8:16 p.m., they listened to his growing panic, his rage at the plane’s broken GPS unit and compass and, ultimately, his request that someone alert his next of kin. ‘‘On a good glide slope, heading north,’’ Ohlinger said, as he explained that he and his two passengers planned to crash-land into the sea. ‘‘We are at 6,000 feet, doing 65 knots, out of fuel,’’ were his last words. The wreckage was never found.

The debacle was the subject of newspaper headlines internationally for weeks. The Chinese government sent a diplomatic envoy to Palau to discuss the shooting. Palau’s president and attorney general opened an investigation. ‘‘Palauans are a very proud people,’’ Baiei said. ‘‘The whole thing was a tragedy and a really embarrassing one.’’ A little over a year later, Palau began working with SkyTruth and Pew to monitor its waters.

In the span of one human lifetime, humankind has become brutally adept at plundering the seas. In the late 1940s, the annual global catch was roughly 16.5 million tons; now, after decades of innovation, this number is about 94 million tons. ‘‘That’s equivalent in weight of the entire human population at the turn of the 20th century, removed from the sea each and every year,’’ Paul Greenberg, an author of books about fish and seafood, told me.

The major innovation, the one that in the 1930s helped transform fishing from hunting to something more akin to industrial mining, was the giant-scale purse seiner — a ship that surrounds an entire school of fish with a curtain of netting, sometimes nearly a mile around, then cinches it like a laundry bag. But more innovations followed. World War II gave incentive to the creation of lighter, faster, more durable ships that could travel farther on less fuel. Submarine combat drove improvements in sonar, which turned the ocean top into a glass table, making visible the unseen fathoms below. Subzero onboard freezers freed fishermen from their race against melting refrigerator ice. Innovations in plastics and monofilaments lengthened fishing lines from feet to miles. Lightweight polymer-based nets enabled supertrawlers to rake the ocean even more brutally.

But, as the Palauans and their allies are discovering, technology can also be deployed for conservation. Just as authorities can use tracking devices and satellite data to monitor the activities of people on land, they are increasingly able to do so at sea. Since the 1990s, ships have deployed the Automatic Identification System, or A.I.S., a once-voluntary collision-avoidance system whereby onboard VHF transmitters convey their position, identity and speed continuously to other ships and to satellites. In 2002, the United Nations’ maritime organization mandated A.I.S. for nearly all passenger ships regardless of size, and commercial ships, fishing vessels included, with a gross tonnage of more than 300 (typically, that’s a 130-foot long vessel) in international waters.

A.I.S. has its shortcomings. Captains are allowed to turn the transponders off when they perceive a credible danger of being tracked by pirates — a gaping loophole for poachers. The system can be hacked to give false locations. Many of the ships involved in the worst crimes, like the Shin Jyi Chyuu 33, are smaller than 300 tons and thus exempt from the system entirely. Partly as a response to the deficiencies of A.I.S., many countries now also require fishing vessels to carry an additional device called a vessel-monitoring system, or V.M.S. Typically, this takes the form of a cone-shaped antenna on the roof of the wheelhouse, wired to a locked transceiver and the ship’s control panel, that transmits their location and other data to local fishery authorities at all times.

More sea-traffic data may become available soon as countries consider deploying devices in the water — sonar and camera buoys, as well as low-cost floating hydrophones — to catch ships approaching restricted areas. Even storm clouds, which long concealed many crimes at sea, no longer pose as much of an obstacle. Satellites armed with syn­thetic-aperture radar can detect a vessel’s position regardless of weather conditions. All this data becomes especially useful when coupled with sophisticated software whose algorithms can trigger alerts — if, for instance, a vessel goes ‘‘dark’’ by turning off its transponder, if it zigzags in certain formations that indicate that it’s fishing or if it enters a forbidden area. Now, instead of blindly patrolling broad swaths of ocean, the police can target their efforts.

Still, the most reliable form of ocean law enforcement continues to be real-time direct surveillance, which is neither easy nor cheap. Generating close-in imagery from the sky depends predominantly on military-grade drones. Ordering up high-resolution photographs from space is still extremely costly, sometimes more than $3,500 per picture, and the company or government that operates the satellite often requires the request for the image to be made days in advance, so operators can aim the lens at the right location on its next trip hurtling around the Earth. Palau experimented with smaller, commercially available drones in 2013, in a project funded by an Australian mining magnate, Andrew Forrest. But the drones proved to be too expensive and hard to fly, and the cameras mounted on the drones gave too tightly circumscribed a view of the waters below.

The eventual dream is to create systems that pull all the antipoaching intelligence together in real time, giving the police and their helpers a God’s-eye view of their adversaries. In 2014, SkyTruth joined with Google and the nonprofit group Oceana to build Global Fishing Watch, a website that will allow an army of would-be Bjorn Bergmans to track A.I.S. data on roughly 80,000 vessels worldwide. Last year, Pew teamed up with a British company called Satellite Applications Catapult to create a virtual ‘‘watch room’’ program that, drawing on live satellite tracking data, displays a map of the world traversed by lighted dots, each one a fishing vessel. Even as the vastness of the oceans makes it easy for poachers to escape, technology is also making it harder for them to hide.

For all the attention paid to hidden illegal fishing, the bigger problem is legal overfishing, which takes place in plain sight. Most of the fish that are consumed around the world — about four of every five served in the United States — is caught in full compliance with the law. In the Western Pacific Ocean, near Palau, much of that fishing occurs with help from specially designed buoys called fish aggregating devices, or FADs. In Palau, local fishermen can still use simple FADs. Often the devices consist of little more than plastic and bamboo flotsam strung together with old nets. But elsewhere they can also be impressively sophisticated.

Many valuable fish species — including tuna, blue marlin and mahi-mahi — huddle near floating objects for protection and mating. FADs take advantage of this instinct, attracting fish in spectacularly dense schools that fishermen quickly scoop up. ‘‘Drifting’’ FADs are unanchored: Fishermen track them by following the currents. ‘‘Moored’’ FADs are tethered to the ocean floor, typically with concrete blocks. Increasingly, fishing companies are deploying ‘‘smart’’ FADs equipped with sonar and GPS, enabling operators to sit back and wait for an alert when it’s time to retrieve their haul.

The global popularity of FADs is, at least in part, an unintended consequence of the movement to save dolphins. Commercial fishing fleets once found tuna by looking for dolphins, which follow tuna schools and swim near the surface above them. In the 1980s and 1990s, the push for ‘‘dolphin free’’ tuna drove many of these fishermen from the Eastern Tropical Pacific, near Baja, to the Central and Western Pacific Ocean, near Palau, where the dolphins typically don’t follow tuna. In making this move, many of these ships turned to FADs as their new tactic — even though the devices are widely criticized for further industrializing the harvest of fast-disappearing species like sharks, sea turtles and tuna.

On one patrol with Baiei, we stopped at a FAD so that I could dive in for a closer look. Bathwater-warm, the ocean was translucent turquoise, the current as strong as a river. The FAD was low-tech and anchored, just a plastic buoy attached to a thick, mollusk-coated rope tethered to the ocean floor more than 500 feet below. Large bamboo leaves ran down the first 50 feet of the rope, flapping like fuzzy moth wings. Hundreds of tiny silver fish darted under the shade of the leaves. Not one fish was more than a foot long.

We visited three more FADs during the patrol that day, traversing more than 100 miles. All were barren. The fish, Baiei explained, were all being taken before they could even come to the reserve. Tuna, like many large ocean fish, are migratory. Even if their natural path might take them to the safety of Palau’s asylum, they can be picked off beforehand in any number of ways — including by being netted at one of the more than 50,000 floating FADs in the Western and Central Pacific, most of which are perfectly legal.

In recent years, a handful of countries have tried to slow the ocean plunder. They have limited trawling, put caps on FAD numbers and imposed rules to limit ‘‘bycatch,’’ the unwanted species caught in the hunt for prized fish. Perhaps the most promising tactic has been to create more no-take reserves like Palau’s. In 2014, the Obama administration added 400,000 square miles of similarly protected territory to United States waters. In 2015, the British government announced its intent to establish the world’s largest continuous marine reserve (322,000 square miles) around the Pitcairn Islands. But these reserves work only if they are well policed. Otherwise, they become magnets for poachers who see them as robust and competition-free zones. And, as we saw at our own little FAD, even a well-policed reserve is not enough to protect the fish who freely swim outside their safe zones. Presently such reserves cover around 2 percent of the world’s seas, but many oceanographers say we need to cover at least 10 percent to make a substantial difference.

As the sun set, one marine officer said he wanted to check a final FAD near an islet called Orak, this time in hopes of landing a few fish for dinner. After dragging their longline in circles around it for an hour, they gave up, empty-handed. Docking instead at a nearby island, the officers bought some chicken stew from the local market.

On another patrol, this time aboard the Remeliik, about 80 miles from shore, we spotted a weather-beaten fishing ship, the Sheng Chi Huei 12. A tuna longliner from Taiwan, rusty and stacked with tackle, it could have been just passing through — or it could have been poaching. After radioing its captain, the Palauan police pulled up alongside for an inspection. Several officers boarded and quickly corralled the six-man Indonesian crew into the front of the ship.

I wanted a better view, but as I started to climb onto an upper deck, one of the Indonesian crewmen lunged forward and grabbed my wrist. My hand was inches away from touching an electrified steel cable that the fishermen use to stun catch that flop wildly when first pulled on deck. The crewman pointed to a six-inch black burn mark on a shipmate’s arm, warning me of what the cable could do.

I watched the Palauan officers struggle to get basic answers, relying on one of the Indonesian crew who spoke a tiny bit of Chinese and English to translate: How old are the men in your crew? Spell their names. (The captain was illiterate.) Tell me the date when you entered our waters. The paperwork checked out, and the officers could find no illegal fish.

As the officers questioned the ship’s captain, I wandered to the back of the ship. A ladder down a hatch led to a four-foot high tunnel, where crawling on hands and knees was the only option. Running the length of the vessel, the tunnel was lined with a dozen six-foot-long cubbies, each with wadded-up clothing at one end serving as pillows. The trip from Taiwan to these waters (about 1,400 miles) takes a little over a week. In high seas and heavy weather, staying on deck is out of the question. The farther I crawled, the darker and muggier it got and the heavier the flow of fumes, heat and noise. A rat scurried ahead. A rancid-smelling liquid dripped from above. The captain later told me that this was runoff from the upper-deck cutting tables.

At the deepest end of the tunnel, I came to the ship’s huge diesel engine, churning furiously. I sat in that tight space for a couple of minutes to take in the scene. It dawned on me that the passageway I had just descended was not just the men’s sleeping quarters. It was also the engine’s main exhaust pipe.

Back on the Remeliik, I passed the time reading a confidential investigation report about the 2012 Cessna incident, which had been leaked to me by a Palauan official. It in­­cluded transcripts of interviews with the 25 fishermen from the illegal Chinese boats, who had been arrested and held in the Koror jail for 17 days. Most of the men had never been to sea before, nor did they know the name of their ship, the fishing company or even their captain. Most had handed their identity cards over to the fishing company, which had hired them only several months earlier. Many claimed that they fled that day because they thought the Palauans, who were not in uniform, were planning to rob them. ‘‘He claims that he does not know about any fishing permits,’’ a police investigator said of one deckhand. ‘‘They only follow what the captain tells them.’’

The crew members pleaded guilty and were fined $1,000 each. Their small fast boat was destroyed, their gear confiscated. They were then flown home, with their slain colleague, Yong Lu, in a coffin, on a charter flight sent by the Chinese government. One line in the investigation report struck me. It said that in several days of poaching, the Chinese crew caught fewer than a dozen fish, primarily lapu lapu, and several large clams, most of which they later threw overboard as they fled the authorities. It seemed a tragically small yield.

In the wheel room of the Remeliik that night, the officers did a post mortem about the day’s boarding, and the discussion turned to the crews that work on these poacher ships. ‘‘Aren’t they the enemy?’’ I asked. Several officers shook their heads to say no. Once the authorities take the foreign crews to shore, there is no guarantee that Palau will have the translators to communicate with them, jail space to hold them or even the laws to effectively prosecute them. Many of the poachers they arrest are from family-owned businesses and are unable to pay the $500,000 fine Palau has the option to levy. The government can seize the ship, but the cost to feed, house and repatriate the crew is often more than its resale value.

Near the end of our patrol, Baiei asked me if I had ever seen a diver with the bends. I said I hadn’t. He explained that many of the poachers they chase are Vietnamese, young divers who target sea cucumbers, which live on the ocean floor and look like giant, leather-skinned slugs. The Vietnamese crewmen hold rubber hoses in their mouths attached to an onboard air compressor, strap lead weights around their waists, then dive, often deeper than a hundred feet. During an arrest last year, Baiei said, one of these divers shot to the surface too quickly, causing excruciating bubbles to form in his joints and elsewhere. They took him to a hospital to recover. ‘‘He just kept moaning for days,’’ Baiei said.

One of the other officers, who had been listening to the conversation quietly, looked up from his inspection logs. ‘‘They’re the real bycatch,’’ he said. For Palau’s police, the catch — the far more elusive target — was the fishing companies who send these desperate men to sea to flout the law. But in a sense, even those bosses are bycatch, too, in a worldwide fishing economy where sanctioned corporations, far more than poachers, are stripping the oceans of life. To save Palau’s fish, and the world’s, the law and its enforcers need to bring an entire industrial system to heel: a mission that requires a level of international cooperation and political will that has yet to materialize

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 18 Feb 2016 18:17

The PRC/PLAN worried about OZ's quest for 12 large AIP subs,with the Japanese strongly backed by the US in the race,are whingeing, whining and wailing! They're warning OZ not to buy Japanese given Japan's WW2 record and the feelings of other Asian states! :rotfl: The PRC are simply unbelievable. They are the greatest warmongers in Asia today,grabbing shoals and reefs all over the Indo-China Sea, building up the largest navy in the world after the USN,and forcing smaller nations to spend billions in trying to defend themselves from the Chinese dragon. The Chinese should be told in no uncertain terms that it is their hostile actions in the ICS that are forcing other nations to buy weaponry to defend themselves and they can F-off as it is no business of theirs where their threatened neighbours buy their weaponry from. In fact with such a close mil relationship with the US, I wonder why OZ has not allowed the US a naval/sub base on its northern shores adjoining the Phillipine/Indonesian waters,from where they can strike hard and fast into the ICS and Hainan.OZ by itself even with 12 new AIP subs from wherever will be hard-pressed to defend itself alone against China.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 18 Feb 2016 19:19

Very interesting:

Big Fish – Saab Bids On High-End Antisubmarine Warfare

Saab wants to re-energize its attempt to join the small club of companies that produce antisubmarine warfare aircraft.

For some years, the Swedish company has been offering the Swordfish ASW aircraft, based on the long-out-of-production Saab 2000 regional airliner. Today, however, it announces a new Swordfish project, with a choice of Bombardier platforms: the Global 6000 business jet and the Q400 turboprop airliner.

The project competes with a similar pair of ASW systems offered by Israel Aerospace Industries, on the Q400 and Global 5000, and to some extent with Airbus Defense’s CN235 and C295.

The market for high-end ASW is going to expand, Saab believes, as the number of submarines grows: Asia is a prime market because the company expects that there will be more than 100 submarines in the region by 2020, an increasing number of them being the dangerous and super-sneaky breed of air-independent propulsion (AIP) boats.

Saab presents two qualifications for the ASW market. The first is its expertise at integrating complex airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems, such as the new GlobalEye. Second, since its 2014 acquisition of the Kockums shipyard, in Malmö, Saab itself builds some of the most dangerous and sneaky AIP submarines out there. (More than a few embarrassed surface-warship skippers, their ships photographed through periscopes that they had no idea were there, can attest to this). “That puts us in a unique position to provide solutions,” says Joakim Mevius, head of Saab’s airborne ISR unit.

Market reaction to the Saab 2000-based Swordfish, however, pushed the company to the new platforms. The Q400 has somewhat better performance and is being offered to customers who are “focused on operations nearer the home base,” Mevius says. But some customers are looking for regional-strategic capability, with long endurance at extended range and the speed to get there quickly. The Global 6000 can patrol for eight hours at 1,000 nm in ASW trim, Mevius says.

Processing and display hardware, and some data-fusion software, will be common to the GlobalEye air and surface surveillance system, the aim being “a very high-end capability with fewer operators.” Saab is working with partners on sensors, including Selex for the radar and General Dynamics Canada on the acoustic system, which supports state-of-the-art multistatic active coherent (MAC) processing – “the same kind of system as they have on the P-8A,” Mevius says. MAC tends to require a lot of sonobuoys and the Swordfish system is designed to carry “a significant load.”

Saab’s philosophy is that the ASW mission involves low-altitude work, and the company believes that the Bombardier platforms will work well in that environment. However, the Swordfish system does not require a magnetic anomaly detector, a long-standard low-level sensor, although it is available if an operator requires it.

Neither Swordfish version has an internal weapon bay. Many modern lightweight torpedoes are electrically powered and can be carried externally; internal carriage was needed for Otto-fuel torpedoes because of the propellant’s freezing point

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 22 Feb 2016 21:54

Report: U.S. aircraft carriers ‘unchallenged primacy may be coming to a close’

The United States’ aircraft carriers have always been an almost untouchable deterrent, steel behemoths capable of projecting the full weight of the U.S. military wherever they deploy. Yet while many militaries could never hope to match the U.S. carrier fleet in size and strength, countries such as China, Iran and Russia have spent recent years adjusting their forces and fielding equipment designed to counter one of the United States’ greatest military strengths.

A report published Monday by the Center for a New American Security, a D.C.-based think tank that focuses on national security, claims that the Navy’s carrier operations are at an inflection point. Faced with growing threats abroad, the United States can either “operate its carriers at ever-increasing ranges … or assume high levels of risk in both blood and treasure.”

The report, titled “Red Alert: The Growing Threat to U.S. Aircraft Carriers,” centers around China’s burgeoning military posture in the Pacific and on a term that is starting to appear with an ever-increasing urgency in defense circles: anti-access/area denial, or A2/AD. The term A2/AD centers around a concept that has long existed in warfare: denying the enemy an ability to move around the battlefield. Currently A2/AD strategy is as similar as it was when moats were dug around castles, except today’s moats are an integrated system of surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles, submarines, surface ships and aircraft all designed to push enemy forces as far away as possible from strategically important areas.

The report focuses on China’s capabilities because of its “emphasis on long-range anti-ship missile procurement.” This, coupled with its growing tech base, qualifies China as the “pacing threat” to the U.S. military. China, however, is not the sole architect of an A2/AD strategy designed to deter U.S. operations. In the Baltic, Russia’s naval base in Kaliningrad is known to house a sophisticated air defense network and anti-ship missiles. NATO commanders also have warned of Russian A2/AD buildup around Syria, as Russia has moved advanced surface-to-air missiles into its airbase there as well as a flotilla of ships with robust anti-air capabilities.

As other countries focus on creating sophisticated A2/AD bubbles by using new technology such as drones, advanced missiles and newer aircraft, the United States — by operating as it always has — is putting itself more at risk. According to the report, this is particularly relevant as carrier groups have reduced their long-range strike ability in lieu of being able to fly more air missions but at shorter ranges.

“Operating the carrier in the face of increasingly lethal and precise munitions will thus require the United States to expose a multi-billion dollar asset to high levels of risk in the event of a conflict,” the report says. “An adversary with A2/AD capabilities would likely launch a saturation attack against the carrier from a variety of platforms and directions. Such an attack would be difficult – if not impossible – to defend against.”

Last week, China’s A2/AD strategy made international news after satellite imagery showed the deployment of HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island, a disputed atoll in the South China Sea. Though small, the island is claimed by both Taiwan and Vietnam. The CNAS report classifies the HQ-9 as a short-range A2/AD threat but indicates that the movement of such systems into disputed territory in the South China Sea, if properly reinforced, is a potentially long-term problem for U.S. naval operations. Medium and long-range threats discussed in the report include land-based Chinese bombers and anti-ship ballistic missiles such as the DF-21D and DF-26. The two missiles “represent a significant threat to the carrier,” with an estimated range of 810 and 1,620 nautical miles, respectively. According to the report, if the DF-26 is as operational and as accurate as the Chinese say it is, the missile would be able to hit the U.S. territory of Guam.

While the report discusses possible countermeasures for a sophisticated A2/AD network, including the Navy’s future railgun project, the United States probably would employ a variety of systems and strategies, including hacking, to defeat the enemy threat. However, long-term strategies suggested in the report include putting U.S. combat power into systems such as submarines and long-range carrier-based drones. Submarines could evade A2/AD by remaining undetected, while carrier based drones — with their increased range — would give carriers much-needed standoff from potential A2/AD threats.

The United States “must re-examine the relevance of the carrier and its air wing and explore innovative options for future operations and force structure,” the report concludes. “If the United States is to maintain its military superiority well into the future, it cannot afford to do otherwise.”

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 22 Feb 2016 21:56

Here is the original report in pdf:

RED ALERT: The Growing Threat to U.S. Aircraft Carriers

Did a cursory search for "fifth gen" planes and did not find a mention of either the F-22/F-35, with the following exception:

Indeed, the most recent estimate of the F-35C’s combat radius is 610 nm, while the combat radius for the U.S. Navy’s existing fleet of F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets is less than 500 nm. These limitations would likely pull the carrier well inside the threat envelope

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 23 Feb 2016 12:08

The audacity of the Dragon. Hawaii's sovereignty is not in dispute,at least since WW2! The Spratlys and islands in the Indo-China Sea however ARE in dispute with several littoral nations of Asia disputing the absurd Chinese acts of piracy.The USN should simply up the ante in the ICS and provoke the PRC into making a fatal mistake. The best way for the US to kick the PRC in the backside is to impose sanctions/heavy duties on selected Chinese goods and read the riot act to the Chinese FM when he visits Washington.(India too should do the same with our $50B trade deficit) and hurt the Chinese where it hurts most,their pocket.

Beijing defends deployments in South China Sea as no different to US defence of Hawaii ... -china-sea
As foreign minister prepares to visit the United States, China says Washington must not ‘make a fuss’ over missile deployments to disputed islands

Woody island in the disputed Paracel chain, which China now considers part of Hainan province. China has deployed surface-to-air missiles on the disputed island in the South China Sea.

Staff and agencies
Tuesday 23 February 2016

China’s South China Sea military deployments are no different from US deployments on Hawaii, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has said, striking a combative tone ahead of a visit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the United States this week.

The US last week accused China of raising tensions in the South China Sea by its apparent deployment of surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island, a move China has neither confirmed nor denied.

Asked whether the South China Sea, and the missiles, would come up when Wang is in the United States to meet Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Washington should not use the issue of military facilities on the islands as a “pretext to make a fuss”.

“The US is not involved in the South China Sea dispute, and this is not and should not become a problem between China and the United States,” Hua told a daily news briefing.

What’s happening in the South China Sea?

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the United States would “press China to deescalate and stop its militarisation” in the South China Sea.

Toner said China’s “militarisation activity” only escalated tensions, and added: “There needs to be a diplomatic mechanism in place that allows these territorial claims to be settled in a peaceful way.”

Wang is due to meet Kerry on Tuesday. Their talks will also include the international response to North Korea’s recent nuclear test and rocket launch, cyber security and climate change, Toner told a regular news briefing.

China hopes the US abides by its promises not to take sides in the dispute and stop “hyping up” the issue and tensions, especially over China’s “limited” military positions there, she said.

“China’s deploying necessary, limited defensive facilities on its own territory is not substantively different from the United States defending Hawaii,” Hua added.

US ships and aircraft carrying out frequent, close-in patrols and surveillance in recent years is what has increased regional tensions, she said.

“It’s this that is the biggest cause of the militarisation of the South China Sea. We hope that the United States does not confuse right and wrong on this issue or practice double standards.”

On Monday a US think-tank said China had added to its build-up by installing what looked like a high-frequency radar system in the Spratly Islands.

The Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative at Washington’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies said the images showed construction of facilities at Cuarteron reef appeared nearly complete and the artificial island covered an area of about 20 hectares (50 acres).

“Two probable radar towers have been built on the northern portion of the feature, and a number of 65ft (20-metre) poles have been erected across a large section of the southern portion,” the report said.

“These poles could be a high-frequency radar installation, which would significantly bolster China’s ability to monitor surface and air traffic across the southern portion of the South China Sea.”

China’s foreign and defence ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The report, which based its analysis on satellite images from January and February, said China already had significant radar coverage of the northern part of the South China Sea given its mainland installations and in the Paracel Islands to the north-west of the Spratlys.

On Monday a senior US naval officer was reported as saying Australia and other countries should follow the US lead and conduct “freedom-of-navigation” naval operations within 12 nautical miles (18 km) of contested islands in the South China Sea.

China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5tn in global trade passes every year. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims.

Beijing has rattled nerves with construction and reclamation activities on the islands it occupies, though it says these moves are mostly for civilian purposes.

The state-owned China Southern Power Grid Company will set up a power grid management station in what China calls Sansha City, located on Woody Island in the Paracels, which will be able to access microgrids in 16 other islands, according to China’s top regulator of state-owned assets.

In the long term, the station will be able to remotely manage power for many islands there, the statement added, without specifying which islands it was referring to.

Wang is scheduled to be in the United States from Tuesday until Thursday.

Hua said the minister is also expected to discuss North Korea, and she repeated China’s opposition to the possible US deployment of an advanced US missile defence system following North Korea’s recent rocket launch.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 27 Feb 2016 10:06

French Submariners retain a high level of training
In the article «Un sous-marin nucléaire d'attaque français s'est (encore) illustré au cours d'un exercice», located on the French web portal «», Laurent Lagneau writes that the reputation of the French submariners still on high. In 2015, the crew of the French nuclear multipurpose submarine S 602 Saphir (type Rubis) the distinction of being able to conduct a successful conventional academic attack on the US aircraft carrier CVN 71 Theodore Roosevelt during the exercise, which took place in the Atlantic. This event is even reflected in the short message on the website of the French Navy, which soon disappeared mysteriously.

Then, the crew of a nuclear submarine of the same type S 606 Perle, who played on the side of the "red", was praised and even enthusiastic assessments from the British Admiralty for a high level maneuvering, shown during the exercise "Dynamic Manta" and "Joint Warrior". The last of them a French nuclear submarine "has fulfilled all the tasks", which, however, were not announced.

But other submarines had not dally. At least one submarine, which was a part of carrier battle group led by the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, as has been reported rarely. This boat has been mentioned in connection with the recent teachings of the "Gaswex 16.1" (Gulf Anti Submarine Warfare Exercise), held in the Omani waters. Their idea was to protect the aircraft carrier from the "real and concrete" threats, as well as the improvement of cooperation in the field of detection and destruction of submarines between the fleets of France, the USA and the UK. During the exercises, role playing American tanker USS John Lenthall, which is guarded by an American destroyer DDG 107 Graveley type Arleigh Burke, the British frigate St Albans Project 23, and two French frigates type FREMM Aquitaine and Provence. Each of the ships based ASW helicopter.

During the first phase of the exercise French nuclear submarine successfully shoot - according to the French General Staff, she struck the first blows on frigates in the simplest evolutions using a favorable situation. Some factors (salinity, currents, depth), have contributed to a more secretive than others.
The second phase of the exercise was, apparently, more balanced, PLO agent applied surface ships, some of which are modern, forced the crew of the French nuclear submarine "sweat".

But she showed all that is capable of, in the course of the last stage, when she was able to get inside the order, consisting of frigates in the protection of valuable ship, and "again showed his fighting spirit and skill


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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 27 Feb 2016 18:31

is there any nato sub left out there who has NOT bagged a CVN in exercises ? :)

mind boggling scale here:

The Allies made counter-kamikaze preparations, known as the Big Blue Blanket. This involved adding more fighter squadrons to the carriers in place of torpedo and dive bombers, and converting B-17s into airborne radar pickets in a manner similar to the modern-day AWACS . Nimitz came up with a plan for a pre-invasion feint, sending a fleet to the invasion beaches a couple of weeks before the real invasion, to lure out the Japanese on their one-way flights, who would then find ships loaded with anti-aircraft guns from bow to stern instead of the valuable, vulnerable transports.[citation needed]

The main defense against Japanese air attacks would have come from the massive fighter forces that were being assembled in the Ryukyu Islands. The US Army Fifth and Seventh Air Forces and US Marine air units had moved into the islands immediately after the invasion, and air strength had been increasing in preparation for the all-out assault on Japan. In preparation for the invasion, an air campaign against Japanese airfields and transportation arteries had commenced before the Japanese surrende

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 01 Mar 2016 11:31

Saab’s philosophy is that the ASW mission involves low-altitude work, and the company believes that the Bombardier platforms will work well in that environment. However, the Swordfish system does not require a magnetic anomaly detector, a long-standard low-level sensor, although it is available if an operator requires it.

This is the key to ASW warfare."Low and slow" prosecution of enemy subs.P-8Is operate at higher alts. requiring spl wingkits for ASW torpedoes. Why we still operate our venerable upgraded IL-38s and TU-142s. The IN's requirement for more med. sized ASW aircraft is a long-standing one and there seems to be little movement on this front.

Here's a new US dev project,a high speed vessel. During the CW,the Soviets developed the unique WIG aircraft which could carry troops as well as LR supersonic SSMs.atop the fuselage. ... el-4823450
NPS researchers working to develop ultra-high-speed navy vessel
29 February 2016

Researchers at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), a fully accredited masters-level university operated by the US Navy, are working on the development of a joint ultra-high-speed navy vessel (JUHSV).

Currently in the very early stages, the futuristic vessel is anticipated to cruise at a speed of more than 100k, with a capacity to carry nearly 25 sailors.

NPS researchers are developing intricate models and simulations that would help in the potential development of a JUHSV. These mathematical models will be utilised in the early design phase of the vessel.

"Mathematical models are essential for developing a vessel of this type because we simply don't know how a vessel of this type will behave."

NPS Department of Operations research associate professor Dr Johannes Royset said: "Mathematical models are essential for developing a vessel of this type because we simply don't know how a vessel of this type will behave.

"This is so much beyond existing navy architectural technology that we really need to simulate all different aspects of this ship, not only to simulate, but to make sure our simulations are correct."

The project is being backed by a $2m grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Brown University.

NPS student, US Army captain John Sabol is assisting with the modelling and simulation for his NPS degree thesis.

Sabol said: "The Marines and the Navy, Army included, have foreseen a need to operate at high speeds in littoral waters

"It's an interesting application of the research direction that Professor Royset and I are going.

"We're hoping that the results of our work can be extended well beyond the joint ultra high-speed vessel although this is a very interesting and relevant application of the work. If we can prove these methodologies are relevant and useful to the joint high-speed vessel, it would be great to show how they could be relevant to other projects in the future as well."

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 01 Mar 2016 11:34

100kt is not possible in heavy seas. the impact forces will tear apart the ship except in mirror flat water.

the fastest warship ever has been the french Le terrible @ 45 knots

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 01 Mar 2016 13:10

In the race for the OZ sub deal,all gloves are off and apparently everything is on the table,from this report.France had also (in another report) said that it would not provide India with what it would provide OZ.Here is what it is offering. As the deal hots up with the winner to be announced this year,it's worth taking ahard look at the contest and the competitors.

France Lures Australia with Submarine Stealth Technology
By Reuters 2015-07-15

France will offer Australia its stealth technology for submarines, never before shared abroad, if it wins a lucrative deal to build Australia's fleet of next-generation submarines, state-controlled French naval contractor DCNS said on Wednesday.

Germany's ThyssenKrupp and DCNS separately are competing with a Japanese government-led consortium for the A$50 billion ($37.38 billion) contract to replace aging Collins-class subs, the biggest contract in Australian defense history.

A spokesman for DCNS said that, while the company had privately informed the Australian government of its willingness to share the stealth technology, it hoped a public acknowledgment would generate good will with the Australian public.

"These technologies are the “crown jewels” of French submarine design knowhow and have never been offered to any other country," DCNS spokeswoman Jessica Thomas added in an email exchange.

"By the very nature of these stealth technologies and the decision to release them to the Australian government, this is a significant demonstration of the strategic nature of this program for the French authorities."

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is eager to deepen security ties with Japan, reflecting a U.S. desire for its two allies to take a bigger security role in Asia as China's military might grows.

The United States, hoping to promote Australia-Japan cooperation, is backing the Japanese-built submarine, which is also packed with American surveillance, radar and weapons equipment, sources familiar with Washington's thinking have told Reuters.

A contract to supply a variant of Japan's Soryu-class submarine would give Tokyo its first major overseas arms deal after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last year eased curbs on military exports, which had isolated defense contractors for seven decades.

But Abbott, facing intense political pressure to secure the thousands of manufacturing jobs that the build would bring, decided to open up bidding to Germany and France.

Last month, influential Australian independent Senator Nick Xenophon blasted Japanese defense officials over comments that Australia was incapable of building a version of a high-tech Japanese-designed submarine at home.

A panel comprised of former U.S. Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter, former Australian judge Julie Anne Dodds-Streeton, lawyer Ron Finlay and former BAE Systems executive Jim McDowell is overseeing the 10 month bidding process. ... technology

Japan is offering secret technology to win submarine contract
October 17, 2015
Fighting hard ... Japan will provide even its most secret submarine technologies for Australia's future submarines.
Picture: Supplied
Ian McPhedran,News Corp Australia Network

JAPAN was a late starter in the battle for the hearts and minds of Australian taxpayers and suppliers with its bold plan to build Australia’s future submarine but it is moving fast to catch up.

A high powered 12-man government and industry delegation travelled to Australia earlier this month in a bid to convince the nation of the merits of Japan’s bid for the navy’s $20 billion future submarine build contract.

Japan begins hard sell for sub ... Japanese submarine delegation members Rear Admiral Naoto Sato, Masaki Ishikawa from the Japanese government acquisition agency and Izumi Ishii from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Picture: Supplied

It included Rear Admiral Naoto Sato from the Maritime Staff Office, senior executives from submarine builder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and it was led by senior government official Masaki Ishikawa.

Japan has lagged behind both Germany and France in the public relations battle for the biggest defence contract in Australia’s history.

From the start of the public blitz Mr Ishikawa dealt openly with all contentious issues including sovereign risk, the fact that Japan had never exported military technology and the cultural and language concerns that have framed the discussions about Australia buying a new version of Japan’s Soryu Class submarine. A full-scale mock-up of the proposed boat was to be named ‘Zero’ but that was withdrawn when the WW2 fighter plane sensitivities were pointed out to the delegation.

Type 216 submarine ... An artists impression of the German sub which TKMS hopes to build for the Royal Australian Navy. Picture: Supplied

These issues have overshadowed the fact that the 4000-tonne Soryu is the world’s biggest and most technically advanced conventional submarine and, unlike its rivals the Endeavour from German builder Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and the Shortfin Barracuda from French government firm DCNS, is actually operating at sea.

This should be a major advantage in a competition against two ‘paper boats’ but Japan has been unable to capitalise under the Competitive Evaluation Process (CEP) that ends in late November.

From there either one or two builders will be chosen to proceed with the job or to a detailed two-horse contest under a formal tender process.

While Germany and France have promised to do just about anything to win the work including creating submarine schools and dual design and sustainment centres in Adelaide and have offered up their most intimate secret technologies, Japan, until now, has been largely mute.

France’s vision ... The 4000-tonne DCNS Shortfin Barracuda being offered by the French Government owned company as Australia's future submarine project. Picture: Courtesy of DCNS

All that changed in Sydney on the eve of the Pacific 2015 Maritime Convention when Mr Ishikawa told News Corp Australia that his country was willing to release ‘100 per cent’ of its submarine technology to Australia.

“Our objective is to have everything available to transfer,” Mr Ishikawa said.

Rear Admiral Sato from the Maritime Staff Office backed his colleague and said that all technologies would be released to enable Australia to build the submarine. However he said some intellectual property would need to be ‘controlled and protected’ by Australia.

The technologies on the table include advanced welding techniques, top-secret stealth capabilities, combat system integration, state-of-the-art high capacity lithium ion batteries and a unique all-weather snorkel system that can gather oxygen for the diesels even during a typhoon.

The plan also includes an option that would allow hundreds of Australian engineers and tradesmen to be sent to Japan for ‘on the job’ training and to work on the mock-up to avoid pitfalls with a first of type.

Mr Ishikawa said Japan was prepared to build all the boats in Australia or the first one at the Kobe shipyard in Japan under Australian supervision.

Japan has built more than 50 submarines since World War 2 and two of its biggest companies Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries have cooperated to deliver six Soryu Class boats on time and on budget with four more to come.

According to the delegation and to the few Australians inside the Japanese tent the vessels have achieved very high levels of reliability and availability unlike the world’s second biggest conventional sub — the Collins Class.

Three build options have been investigated under the CEP, but a fully Australian build is now favoured by all three bidders.

The competitors have engaged closely with local industry to maximise Australian involvement and the Japanese delegation will tour five states by November to spruik its ‘Australia First’ supplier concept and to meet with up to 100 local firms from Cairns to Brisbane and Sydney to Perth.

“There are many opportunities for Australian companies. We have to create a new supply chain for this new submarine,” he said.

Germany and France have conducted similar roadshows and the new links could open doors to other global supply chains with whoever wins the job.

During his briefings in Sydney Mr Ishikawa was at pains to emphasise Japan’s close engagement with global companies such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Thales. This includes work on the world’s most advanced stealth fighter jet the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Such relationships will be vital in ensuring that the combat management system or the brain, eyes and ears of the submarine is properly integrated into the platform.

All the big players were at the Pacific 2015 Expo and according to Lockheed Martin combat system expert Mike Oliver his company would be happy to work with any of the Sea-1000 platform competitors.

Lockheed will compete with another US giant Raytheon to supply and integrate the future submarine’s combat system and for about $4 billion worth of work.

The Commonwealth has said that it favours the US Navy’s BYG-1 combat management system for the submarines regardless of whether the vessels are German, Japanese or French and built in Australia.

Lockheed supports 98 submarines around the world including 72 US Navy boats.

Integrating the complex electronic systems is a huge task and it was the major technical challenges in the early days of the Collins Class project when another US firm, Rockwell Collins, was sacked after it failed to achieve a workable solution leaving the boats dangerously exposed.

According to Mr Oliver the combat system is a collection of components where the sum of the whole is greater than its parts.

Challenges ... The Collins Class Submarine HMAS Farncomb arrives in Hobart, Tasmania. Picture: Supplied.

“We have to be careful not to be over ambitious,” he said.
That means identifying risk and ensuring that the system is delivered in tandem with the platform.

To this end the firm will open a laboratory in Adelaide to identify problems and find solutions even before the steel is cut for the first submarine.

“No single company has all the answers and we need to draw on expertise across the board,” Mr Oliver said.
“The key is starting early in the design phase ….to avoid expensive modifications down the track.”

With a long history of strategic engagement with the US and its combat system and weapons makers, the Japanese option is a leading contender for Sea-1000.

Japan, which has had a ban on exporting defense technology since World War Two, had been seen as the front runner for the contract, but political pressures in Australia for domestic production have given fresh momentum to the European bidders.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 01 Mar 2016 13:14

Latest analysis.
PacNet #11A - Australia’s submarine decision: a matter of grand strategy
By Sam Bateman
Feb 23, 2016

Australia’s future submarine program is the largest and most complex defense procurement in the nation’s history. The decision as to which submarine to choose has become one of grand strategy with far-reaching economic, political, and strategic consequences. While technical issues to establish the “best” submarine remain important, strategic, political and economic factors are also key determinants of the decision. It could have significant impact on Australia’s regional relations and the ability of Australia to act independently within the region.

The three contenders in the current evaluation process are: France’s state-controlled naval contractor DCNS offering a conventional-powered version of the nuclear-powered Barracuda-class submarine; ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) of Germany with a Type 216 Class submarine, an up-sized version of the popular Type 214 submarine; and the government of Japan with a proposal based on the existing Soryu class. None of these options is ideal for Australia’s requirements.

Bitter contest between Japan, Germany, and France

The Australian government has frequently used A$50 billion as the projected cost of the future submarine project, but this includes sustainment cost through the 30-year life of the fleet. These usually equate to about two-thirds of the cost of construction. Recent reports suggest that competition among the bidders has led to the acquisition cost being at least A$5 billion less than expected. The winning bidder should be announced by mid-2016.

The contest between Japan, Germany, and France has become increasingly bitter with sniping between the rivals. Canberra is under huge lobbying pressure from the parties concerned. Japan has been accused of putting out false media reports that the Germans had been ruled out due to concerns about their ability to build larger submarines. These reports were subsequently denied by the Australian government and the Australian representatives of TKMS.

The Japanese ambassador to Australia recently entered the argument by publicly claiming that the technical risks of the European options were higher than those of the Japanese one. The Japanese claim it is difficult to convert a nuclear submarine to conventional power as the French are planning to do, or double the size of a smaller submarine as the Germans are proposing. On the other hand, the Europeans are quick to point out that the Japanese have no experience in building submarines overseas in conjunction with foreign builders.

Economic factors

An Australian government could not afford to choose any proposal that did not offer significant economic benefits for Australia. Each bidder has been asked to provide three estimates: one for construction overseas, one for partial assembly in Australia, and one for full build in an Australian shipyard. After some hesitancy by the Japanese interests, all three bidders now say they will undertake most construction work in Australia. So far the European firms have been more successful than the Japanese in promoting the economic benefits of their proposals.

However, Japan has boosted its credibility in this regard through negotiations with the British companies, Babcock and BAE Systems, which are well established in Australia. Babcock does maintenance work on Australia’s Collins-class submarines, including torpedo tubes and other parts of the weapons system, while BAE Systems, which builds the UK’s nuclear submarines, employs 4,500 people in Australia, including on current naval shipbuilding projects.

Political factors

Political factors are central to the submarine decision – both domestically and internationally. Domestically, the decision is the subject of much political interest due to the perceived economic and employment benefits of the project, particularly for South Australia, the state most likely to build the submarines. The South Australian economy is stagnating and support for the coalition government in Canberra has dropped with several coalition members of Parliament under threat of losing their seats.

Internationally, selection of the Japanese option would not be well received in China. It would be seen in Beijing as Australian participation in the US-Japan effort to contain China. There is no doubting China’s importance to Australia. China is by far Australia’s biggest trading partner accounting for about 26 percent of total foreign trade in 2014-5 as compared with Japan’s 12 percent. Australia’s trade with China has also continued to grow strongly over recent years while trade with Japan has stagnated with relatively little growth.

Strategic factors

Grand strategy really comes into play with the strategic implications of the submarine decision. Effectively the decision is a choice between Australia locking itself into an alliance with Japan for the next four decades or having some strategic independence within the region.

International submarine experts point out that a country operating a small fleet of submarines (12 boats or less) becomes locked into technical and logistic support from the country of origin of the submarines. A decision in favor of Japan would also be a solid affirmation of defense cooperation between Australia, Japan, and the US. This cooperation is actively promoted by both Tokyo and Washington as part of balancing a rising China.

The US is also a powerful player in the decision because the US systems preferred for the new submarines may be releasable to Japan but may not be available with the European options. European builders build for the global submarine market and the Americans could assess that selection of a European option could involve unacceptable risk of leakage of highly classified data. This could ultimately prove the deciding factor.

Although the European options would provide longer-term strategic flexibility, it seems likely that the final decision will go the way of the Japanese. This will mean Australia’s submarines, as the most powerful component of its naval forces, will be difficult to sustain if Australia is not acting in concert with Japan. It is a matter of grand strategy to determine whether that is acceptable.

Sam Bateman is an adviser to the Maritime Security Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is a former Australian naval commodore who has worked in force development areas of the Department of Defence in Canberra. This originally appeared as RSIS Commentary 38/2016 on Feb. 19, 2016. ... d-strategy

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 01 Mar 2016 17:25

Will it be "Banzai!" or "Vive la France!"? The Japanese media seems to think that they are well ahead,as the decision will tilt more towards geo-political relationships (a triad with the US and Japan),than the merits of the competing subs. ... tWPcMtuljp
Experts say Japan's Soryu-class submarine appears to have emerged as the front-runner in the race to build Australia's next-generation vessels. | DEFENSE MINISTRY / MARITIME SELF-DEFENSE FORCE
Australia increasingly likely to pick Japan for huge submarine order, experts say

by Jesse Johnson
Staff Writer
Mar 1, 2016

With Australia’s release of its defense white paper last week, the race to build the country’s next generation of submarines enters the home stretch — and some experts say the Japanese bid appears to hold an insurmountable lead.

“The DWP (Defense White Paper) strongly stresses the importance of further strengthening U.S.-Japanese defense relations and is also quite vocal about China’s challenge to the rules-based order in maritime Asia,” Ben Schreer, a professor at Macquarie University in Sydney, said.

“In my view, it’s highly likely that the Turnbull government will choose the Japanese design for strategic and technological reasons, and the DWP has added weight to this,” he said, referring to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The white paper says the country’s submarine force will be increased from six to 12 “regionally superior submarines with a high degree of interoperability with the United States.”

Requirements include the submarines having “a range and endurance similar” to the Collins class of vessels that the Royal Australian Navy currently operates, as well as “sensor performance and stealth characteristics superior” to its current subs.

Experts note that Japan’s diesel and electric-powered Soryu subs either meet or could be specially designed to meet most of these requirements. A decision is expected sometime this year.

“First and foremost, we’ve made a big strategic commitment to Japan based on this view of where the region is heading,” said Nick Bisley, a professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. “There is bipartisan support … both sides think this is a really good idea. … That plus the operational side — the Japanese submarine is most similar to ours — will tilt the balance very heavily in their favor.

“And the Japanese are also saying they are now open to the construction process in Australia, so that the government will be able to present a package that says ‘we’ve got jobs, we’ve got something we want, and we’ve got this friend in Japan.’ Together, I think that makes it overwhelmingly the choice that will be made.”

Japan has said it is willing to build at least some of the submarines in Australia, a key economic factor that until recently Tokyo had been apparently unwilling to commit to. Tokyo has also reassured Canberra that if it wins the sub bid Japan will also share with Australia its naval crown jewels — its most secret stealth technology.

While France and Germany are also participating in the so-called Competitive Evaluation Process to build the subs, Japan has long been thought of as the front-runner. Prior to the implementation of a more transparent bidding process, the Japanese bid was widely expected to be a lock under the administration of Tony Abbott, the former Australian leader who had close ties to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

But more than the technical aspects, Canberra’s strategic goals could prove key as Japan seeks to outflank the French and German bids for Australia’s largest-ever defense procurement offer, worth an estimated 50 billion Australian dollars ($36 billion).

Australia’s new defense paper lauds Japan as “a major power in North Asia” and “an important contributor to regional and global security.” It goes on to say that Canberra “welcomes the prospect of Japan playing a larger role in international security and will continue to deepen and broaden” its growing security cooperation with Tokyo.

During a visit to Tokyo last month, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said her country’s relationship with Japan is at an “all-time high,” and acknowledged that the Japanese side has “emphasized the strategic importance” of the submarine bid.

The push to cement closer defense ties began in 2007, during Abe’s first administration, with the signing of the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation. This was upgraded in 2014, under Abe’s current administration, to a “special strategic” partnership. That same year, Abe’s Cabinet approved new rules on the export of arms, ending a nearly five-decade-long self-imposed ban.

Now, much of the strategic debate in Australia is focused on China and how such a deal will build on Canberra’s “quasi-alliance” with Tokyo. A winning bid by Japan will likely see the two nations working hand in hand over at least the next 30 years, as the subs are built and maintained.

Sam Bateman, a former Australian naval commodore and adviser at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said a deal with Japan “would not be well received in China.”

“It would be seen in Beijing as Australian participation in the U.S.-Japan effort to contain China,” Bateman said, adding that such “cooperation is actively promoted by both Tokyo and Washington as part of balancing an ascendent China.”

But with any Japan sub deal, China would likely be less worried about the submarines themselves and more concerned about the precedent set by such an agreement.

“China, ultimately, doesn’t really care about the submarines — their number and function is of little concern,” said Bisley. “What it doesn’t like is the political connection between Japan and Australia and of course the U.S., which they perceive to be intended to constrain China.”

A European deal, on the other hand, would be a transaction less encumbered by geopolitical considerations, as well as one that offers Canberra more strategic independence, analysts say.

“Although the European options would provide longer-term strategic flexibility, it seems likely that the final decision will go the way of the Japanese,” Bateman said, adding that Australia will face difficulties sustaining the subs if not acting in concert with Japan.

“It is a matter of grand strategy to determine whether that is acceptable,” Bateman added.

Macquarie University’s Schreer said that picking Japan for the deal would signal that Australia has an interest in East Asian stability and that it would be more likely to side with Tokyo in the event of a conflict.

“And it would signal that Australia is an independent nation which makes choices on its vital defense technologies based on its national interests and not based on Chinese interference,” he added.

The Competitive Evaluation Process itself is unlikely to factor in strategic aspects in its recommendation. It is instead expected to focus on technical merits and value.

“If the strategic relationship angle is to play a role, that will most likely happen at the government level, when they weigh the results communicated by the Defense Ministry,” said Andrew Davies, director of research at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in the capital, Canberra.

“There is a precedent for that — the government of (former Prime Minister John) Howard chose to override the department’s recommendation for the Collins combat system in order to select an American one, on the basis of greater alliance value.”

Critics of the Japanese bid say picking the Soryu class could see Australia pulled into an unwanted fight, most likely in the disputed waters of the East or South China Seas.

The East China Sea is home to the uninhabited, Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands, which are also claimed by China. Australia, the U.S. and Japan have all condemned China’s November 2013 declaration of an air defense identification zone over those waters, and for now the conflict there has somewhat died down.

The South China Sea, where several nations — Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Malaysia among others — have overlapping territorial claims, is a different case altogether.

In those waters, most of which are claimed by Beijing, there has been a marked ramping up of tensions in the wake of China’s massive dredging program to create artificial islands. Some of those man-made islands are now home to military-grade airfields as well as powerful weapons and radar systems.

These moves, too, have been roundly condemned by Canberra, Tokyo and Washington, which has conducted what it calls freedom of navigation operations near the disputed islands. Fears of an accidental clash between China and other claimants in the South China Sea have proliferated as tensions have grown fraught.

Bisley, however, said the argument that by picking a Japanese sub, Canberra could be dragged into a battle it may not want to fight, is a nonstarter. He said Australia’s strategy in the region has long been to maintain the status quo, which has seen the United States as the dominant military power.

“Those who argue that the J-option will tie Australia into a quasi-alliance with Japan are wrong” Bisley said. “In this case, the technological link will follow a strategic choice that has long been made.

“The submarine decision will flow from Australia having committed itself to an extremely close long-term strategic relationship with Japan — not the other way around.”

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 03 Mar 2016 11:24

OZ will have to wait for around 6-years to get its hands on new Japanese subs (most likely) and will have to make do with its venerable Collins class-the most expensive conventional subs ever! This requires even more costly upgrades to keep the subs active,something that OZ has struggled to do all along. meanwhile the PLAN keeps on acquiring new subs... ... ed/7212532
Collins Class submarine life to be extended as Defence delays roll-out of new vessels
By defence reporter Andrew Greene

Posted Tue
Aerial view of HMAS Sheean ploughing throw the waves.
Photo: Australia's Collins Class submarines, including HMAS Sheean, are set to patrol the nation's waters for at least another 14 years. (ABPH Joanne Edwards)
Related Story: Minister tight-lipped on submarine contracts but acknowledges SA's 'expertise'
Related Story: Submarine industry given boost with new vessels pledge
Related Story: Australia joins Asian arms race with surge in ADF spending

Australia's entire Collins Class submarine fleet will be upgraded and its service life extended, with the Defence Force pushing back the roll-out of their replacements.

Key points:

Australia's Collins Class submarine fleet to be operational until at least 2030
The six vessels, commissioned between 1996 and 2003, will be upgraded
Replacement submarines set to cost $50 billion :mrgreen:

Defence Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin said it was likely the first of the future submarines would be introduced into service between 2030 to 2033, meaning existing submarines will need to be in the water longer than planned.

Air Chief Marshal Binskin said the original plan was to retire the Collins fleet about 2026, however while developing the Future Submarine Project that timeframe had been changed.

Head of Navy Capability Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead said while one or two of the current Collins Class submarines were expected to have substantial reworking, all six in the fleet would need to receive some form of upgrading.

"[It is] to do with communications and sonars. [We are] aiming to get that submarine through — not just from a whole perspective, but a capabilities perspective — through into the 2030s," he said.

Work on the Collins Class submarines began in the 1980s, as the Navy sought to replace its Oberon fleet.
The first vessel, HMAS Collins, was delivered in 1996 and it took a further seven years for the sixth boat to be delivered.

The Defence Chief and his senior colleagues have given an extended briefing about Australia's future military capabilities, following the release of last week's white paper.

The document confirmed the Government plans to acquire 12 new submarines to replace the Collins Class, but who will build them and where that will happen is still subject to a competitive evaluation process.

The exact cost of building the future submarines also remains unknown, but Neil Orme, the leader of the Force Structure Review, said the $50 billion figure in the defence white paper was spread over 35 years.

"The reason we've said greater than $50 billion is that we would be kidding ourselves if we were to tell you now that we know the cost down to even the closest half a billion dollars,"
Mr Orme said. :rotfl:

The Australian Defence Force is also considering whether Australia's future air defences can be unmanned.

Air Marshal Binskin argued it was crucial to consider Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles (UCAVs) instead of only fighter jets, because military technology was rapidly evolving.

"I think we need to be open-minded and look at the capabilities. That's why you see the battlefield-support aircraft in as a reaper-like UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System)," he said.

"And so, we shouldn't just lock in and go. That's the way it's going to be for 50 or 100 years."

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 03 Mar 2016 11:33

there will be no sub deal. the new destroyers and frigates are far more useful for the kind of showing the flag and bush-war missions that is australias role in the game.

they do not need soryu subs to fight the indonesian navy which in any case they have bribed to catch all people smugglers and keep in that hellhole called christmas island camp.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 04 Mar 2016 11:17

A far right US opinion.

I frankly do not think that there is any "gloating" in the RuN over the supposed "decline" in the capability of the USN. The Russians would perhaps be happy that the decline in their navy has been arrested under Pres.Putin,and that it has made rapid progress in revitalising the fleet and its planned future growth is "steaming well" with very noteworthy progress sin new N-subs and BMs.

On the other hand,any nation ,like the US,that possesses 14 Virginia class SSNs,should be immeasurably happy.In fact the new tech which the USN is on the cusp of, like rail guns,laser weaponry,UCAV carrier ops,JSF induction,EMALS,etc.,shows that it will still carry its tech advantage into the better part of the 21st century. Others no doubt are catching up and only the RuN can challenge the USN,but it still possesses (apart from the many N-subs) the largest super-carrier fleet in the world,a capability unmatched by any other navy or nation.

In some instances,the USN has fallen short,like the insipid LCS surface combatants,underarmed,over-expensive and comes with glitches .The delay in JSF dev. and induction is another worry,but the current apparent decline is at a time when the USN is moving from one past generation of naval tech into another ,where in the unmanned sphere,the sky literally is the limit. ... r-weakens/
Russia Gloats as US Naval Power Weakens
Toby Westerman

The Russian press is gloating over the decline of US naval power and growing strength of Russian naval forces in the Pacific.

In an article on the Russian news site RIA Novosti, an official organ of the Russian government, Pacific Fleet Admiral Gary Harris is quoted as expressing “worry” regarding the “rapid pace” of modernization of Russian naval bases and the construction of nuclear submarines.

RIA Novosti based its article on an article on the Foreign Policy website which reported recent remarks of Admiral Harris to the House Armed Services Committee.

While Foreign Policy related Admiral Harris’ concerns about both Russian and Chinese naval expansion, including the attempted annexation of most of the South China Sea, RIA Novosti emphasized Russia’s growing naval rivalry with the United States, citing the decline of U.S. naval capabilities and the growth of the Russian submarine forces. RIA Novosti referred to the observation by Admiral Harris that “Russia’s submarine fleet is second only to the American navy.”

RIA Novosti’s reporting reveals not only a pride in the growth of Russian navy, but also gives an indication of Moscow’s ongoing effort to build enthusiasm for its armed forces after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The not so subtle message is that Russia again is able to challenge the United States.

Russian military might is a popular theme in Russia.

In a recent poll conducted by Russia’s leading (and state-run) polling agency, the Russian Public Opinion Center (VTsIOM), the support for the Russian military is rapidly growing, as is the fear of a threat from “foreign nations.”

The poll stated that 69% of Russians see a foreign threat to Russia, up from 52% in 2014 and 37% in 2009. A “strong army” is favored by 88%. In a separate report on the same poll, the percent of Russians believing that there is a threat of war against Russia from “other nations” has risen from 56% in 2014 to 65% in the current polling.

While not formally calling the United States an “enemy,” the Russian government identifies America as a “threat.”

In discussing Russia’s most recent defense strategy, published in January of this year, the chairwoman of the security committee in Russia’s lower legislative chamber (Duma), stated that Russia “objectively assess American political policies …[as]… dangerous for Europe, Russia, and the enter world.”

In other words, the Russian political establishment resents American interference (as limited as it is) in Ukraine and the Baltic nations.

At the same time, Russia is supplying nuclear technology to the Islamic Republic of Iran (along with the missile systems to protect Iran’s nuclear installations), Russian troops are present in Ukraine supporting separatist rebels (who appear to be pro-Stalinist), and Russian armed forces threaten the smaller nations of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

While American “interference” is condemned, Russian bombers fly into Cuba and Nicaragua, and Moscow projects that it will develop naval stations at various locations in Latin America.

Russia has also redeveloped old Soviet bases in the Arctic and further expanded upon the former Soviet presence at the top of the world. The Peoples Republic of China has joined Russia in the Arctic, just as Russia is supporting China in its aggressive claims in the western Pacific.

The Russian people are being groomed to support a militaristic state with a growing Communist in ideology.

Moscow is attempting to connect seamlessly the Soviet past with present day Russia. One recent example is recounted in a RIA Novosti article on the opening of the “Partisan Village” located near Moscow.

While a chapel is to be built on the premises, the emphasis of the “historical and memorial complex” is centered on Soviet paramilitary forces which fought against invading Nazi armies, often behind the lines. The Russian Defense Minister, General Sergei Shoigu, stated at the opening of “Patriot Village” that the visitors can “immerse themselves in the life of the Soviet underground of the Great Patriotic War.”

The “Patriotic Village” fits neatly into Moscow’s rehabilitation of Stalin, who lead the Soviet Union during World War II (although Stalin was an ally of German dictator Adolf Hitler until the surprise Nazi assault on June 22, 1941) . Stalin is portrayed as the hero who saved the Soviet Union, his mass murder of some 20 million is discounted by present Russian leaders as a mistake or an excess. All things Soviet are in the process of being rehabilitated, and Russian politicians now speculate as to “why” the Soviet Union collapsed, while the USSR’s crimes against humanity are forgotten.

The process of bringing some form of a new Soviet state into existence is ongoing and has been in progress since the collapse of the USSR. Vladimir Putin and company are aligned with the Peoples Republic of China, other Communist states, and Islamic terrorism as it fits their purpose. Whoever is the next U.S. President, that individual will face the daunting task of confronting this very dangerous political and military reality. The first step will be to bring U.S. defenses to the point where they can adequately deal with an increasingly militaristic and Communist Russia along with the aggressive Peoples Republic of China.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Mar 2016 04:12

The U.S. just sent a carrier strike group to confront China

The carrier John C. Stennis, two destroyers, two cruisers and the 7th Fleet flagship have sailed into the disputed waters in recent days, according to military officials. The carrier strike group is the latest show of force in the tense region, with the U.S. asserting that China is militarizing the region to guard its excessive territorial claims.

Stennis is joined in the region by the cruisers Antietam and Mobile Bay, and the destroyers Chung-Hoon and Stockdale. The command ship Blue Ridge, the floating headquarters of the Japan-based 7th Fleet, is also in the area, en route to a port visit in the Philippines. Stennis deployed from Washington state on Jan. 15.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Prem » 12 Mar 2016 02:55

U.S. says North Korean submarine missing ... topstories

Washington (CNN)The North Korean regime lost contact with one of its submarines earlier this week, three U.S. officials familiar with the latest information told CNN.The U.S. military had been observing the submarine operate off North Korea's east coast when the vessel stopped, and U.S. spy satellites, aircraft and ships have been secretly watching for days as the North Korean navy searched for the missing sub.The U.S. is unsure if the missing vessel is adrift under the sea or whether it has sunk, the officials said, but believes it suffered some type of failure during an exercise.Tensions have heightened on the Korean peninsula following a fourth North Korean nuclear test and joint U.S.-South Korean military drills.On Thursday, the South Korean military said North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles. They were fired from North Hwanghae province, south of Pyongyang, toward the sea east of the Korean Peninsula, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The South tracked the projectiles and is monitoring the situation, it said."

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 13 Mar 2016 20:18

The future is already here!
The RMA in the maritime sphere has begun with laser weaponry,rail guns and unmanned vehicles,both UCAVs and UUAVs,with us.

The MOD should allow unrestricted development of UAVs and UUVs with the private sector to accelerate their induction into the Indian armed forces asap.It should also hold open competitions only for the pvt. sector for the same. ... -submarine
Boeing rolls out new autonomous submarine
By DANIEL DEMAY, SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF Saturday, March 12th 2016
The 51-foot Echo Voyager requires no on-board crew, and can operate autonomously for months at a time, thanks to a hybrid rechargeable power system. Photo courtesy Boeing.
tweet now!

SEATTLE -- On Thursday, Boeing unveiled its latest submarine: a crew-less undersea vehicle capable of operating all on its own for months at a time.

The 51-foot Echo Voyager uses a hybrid rechargeable system to run for months autonomously, and can also be launched and recovered without the kind of support ships usually necessary for unmanned, undersea vehicles, or UUVs, Boeing said in a news release.

"Echo Voyager is a new approach to how UUVs will operate and be used in the future," said Darryl Davis, president, Boeing Phantom Works, in the release. "Our investments in innovative technologies such as autonomous systems are helping our customers affordably meet mission requirements now and in the years to come."

The new UUV has the ability to collect data, rise to the surface and transmit that data back to researchers "in a near real-time environment,"
said Lance Towers, Sea and Land, Boeing Phantom Works, in the release. Cutting out the need for ships and crews to operate the sub will lower the operating costs, he added.

Echo Voyager joins the 32-foot Echo Seeker and the 18-foot Echo Ranger in Boeing's UUV family, and will begin sea trials this summer off the California coast, the company said. Boeing has designed and operated both manned and unmanned submarine systems since the 1960s, according to the release.

SeattlePI reported last year when Boeing sought a patent for a drone that would operate in both air and water, with the idea that it would fly and then dive into water, possibly with some parts coming off at impact.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 13 Mar 2016 21:10

Directed energy and Railguns were RMA's paid for by R&D in the early part of this decade, and much earlier. The seeds of stuff that follows will be part of the 3rd offset is largely centered on miniaturizing electronics, information, big-data, and being ahead of that in the OODA sense. Plus you will have rapidly re-configurable systems as in being able to transform weapons systems in a matter of months to single digit years as opposed to protracted development cycles and follow on development. Hypersonics is another area to watch as is robotics that can potentially bring cost-parity when it comes to manufacturing cost for high volume things such as PGM's. Directed Energy was born out of the MASER research during and following Vietnam so one could predict that it would become operational in the 2010's even 10-15 years ago. For the US Navy, the revolution in military affairs is making platforms adaptable and re-configurable as well as maintaining the lead in the under-sea domain both in terms of submarines, but also anti-submarine warfare capability. Electronic Warfare, cyber will also play a leading role. The Pacific unlike the narrowly focused European battlefield, is vast and the side that has the ability to generate and protect SA, as well as deny the opponent the ability to do the same will be in a much stronger position.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 15 Mar 2016 11:02 ... C9?sp=true

Vietnam protesters denounce China on anniversary of navy battle
Mon Mar 14, 2016
Anti-China protesters hold placards which read "The country will not forget - Johnson South Reef - 14th March, 1988" during a gathering to mark the 28th anniversary of the Spratly Islands clashes between Vietnam and China at a public park in Hanoi March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Kham

HANOI (Reuters) - Demonstrators marched in Vietnam's capital on Monday to mark the 28th anniversary of a bloody naval battle with China and to denounce Beijing's growing assertiveness in the hotly contested waters of the South China Sea.

About 150 people wearing headbands and carrying large banners circled the busy streets around Hanoi's Hoan Kiem lake chanting "down with invasive China". They laid wreaths for 64 Vietnamese sailors who died in a 1988 clash with Chinese forces in the Spratly islands.

The protest was small, but significant given Vietnam's history of preventing or breaking up demonstrations. While anti-China sentiment is strong among the public, it is a sensitive issue for the ruling Communist Party.

Police made no attempt to stop the 90-minute protest, which was larger than those last year, including one on the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Hanoi in November.

The rally comes amid tension, brinkmanship and a torrent of megaphone diplomacy in response to anything from Chinese flights and deployment of a missile system to U.S. "freedom of navigation" patrols and Japanese defense agreements with the Philippines.

Vietnam's Foreign Ministry last month accused China of taking actions that threaten peace and "accelerate militarization".

Monday's demonstration was over a battle in the Johnson Reef in the Spratly islands. Accounts of it differ greatly and Vietnam does not commemorate the incident officially.

"That was the first step in China's plan to militarize the South China Sea," said activist Nguyen Van Phuong, 29, referring to the 1988 hostilities.

Though Vietnam opposes China's occupation of the Paracel Islands and parts of the Spratly archipelago, its responses to Beijing's activities in disputed areas are usually measured and often come days after those of other countries.

China is Vietnam's biggest trade partner and the communist parties that run both countries have historically been close, although some Vietnamese leaders have said trust has been impacted of late.

(Reporting by Martin Petty; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 15 Mar 2016 11:21

OZ sub contest news. ... 392241.cms
French business heavyweights in Australia in hopes of sealing submarine deal
By Reuters | Mar 14, 2016,

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 20 Mar 2016 18:56

U.S. agrees deal on rotational presence at five bases in Philippines

The United States and the Philippines announced a deal on Friday allowing for a rotating U.S. military presence at five Philippine bases under a security agreement inked amid rising tensions with China in the South China Sea.

A joint statement after an annual U.S.-Philippines Strategic Dialogue listed the sites as Antonio Bautista Air Base, close to the contested Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, Basa Air Base north of Manila, Fort Magsaysay in Palayan, Lumbia Air Base in Mindanao and Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Amy Searight said the deal was reached under a 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that grants Washington increased military presence in its former colony through rotation of ships and aircraft for humanitarian and maritime security operations.

Searight told the meeting Manila was a "critical U.S. ally" and ties had never been stronger. She said U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter would visit the Philippines in April to discuss implementation of the agreement.

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg told reporters movements of supplies and personnel to the base locations would take place "very soon."

He described the agreement, valid for an initial 10 years, as "a pretty big deal," that would allow for a greater U.S. presence as part of the U.S. rebalance to Asia and enhance the alliance with the Philippines.

However, he stressed that it did not allow for permanent U.S. bases that existed for 94 years until 1991, when the Philippine Senate voted to evict them.

"This isn't a return to that era. These are different reasons and for 21st century issues, including maritime security," he said, adding that all U.S. deployments would require Philippine approval.

The United States is keen to boost the military capabilities of East Asian countries and its own regional presence in the face of China's assertive pursuit of territorial claims in the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest trade routes.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel said Friday's agreement came at an important time ahead of a ruling in a case the Philippines has brought against China over its South China Sea claims in the International Court of Arbitration in the Hague.

On Thursday, the U.S. Navy said it had seen activity around a reef China seized from the Philippines nearly four years ago that could be a precursor to more Chinese land reclamation in the South China Sea.

In an interview with Reuters, Navy chief Admiral John Richardson also expressed concern that the Hague ruling, which is expected in late May, could prompt Beijing to declare a South China Sea exclusion zone.

Searight said the Pentagon had told the U.S. Congress of its intention to provide $50 million to help build regional maritime security. She said the Philippines would get "the lion’s share" of the funds, which are expected to go toward improving radar and other South China Sea monitoring capabilities.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 22 Mar 2016 05:25

U.S. Navy Readies Requirements for Unmanned MQ-25 Stingray

The U.S. Navy’s original plan to build an unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike (UClass) aircraft has morphed into an unmanned aerial refueling platform that is being called the MQ-25 Stingray. The service expects to issue a request for proposals (RFP) this year for an aircraft that would enter service in the mid-2020s.

The Navy issued a request for information under the UClass program in 2010, then awarded study contracts, preliminary design review contracts and draft RFPs to Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and General Atomics in the ensuing years. Following a Department of Defense “strategic portfolio review” in 2015, the service restructured the program to specify an aerial refueling tanker. Initially called the Carrier-Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS), the aircraft was earlier designated RAQ-25, then MQ-XX, before acquiring its current designation. (The Navy said the official designation remains MQ-XX until the formal number is approved.)

The UClass effort foundered over whether the aircraft should be primarily a penetrating strike or a long-endurance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform. The designation of the new aircraft evolved from RAQ (for reconnaissance and attack), the original UClass designation, to MQ (multi-mission) “to better encompass what we anticipate being the scope of the platform,” the Navy said in response to an AIN inquiry.

A Pentagon Joint Capabilities Board will meet in early April to define the MQ-25 program requirements before an RFP is issued. “The actual acquisition strategy is scheduled to be announced in the summer,” the Navy said. The service has requested $89 million in research and development funding for the program in its Fiscal Year 2017 budget request. It has budgeted $2.16 billion for the program through FY2021.

Unveiling the Navy’s budget request in February, Rear Adm. William Lescher, deputy assistant secretary for budget, described the UClass platform as “a much more aggressive increment of capability” than what the service envisions for Stingray. The new aircraft—then being called CBARS—will have “limited strike” as well as ISR and refueling capability. “The real value of this restructure is that it incrementally gets at the manned/unmanned interface and operation on the carrier deck in the air wing by the mid-20s,” Lescher said. “It’s a smart acquisition approach to incrementally burn down that risk and then we'll continue to look at developing additional capability.”

Testifying before the House Appropriations Committee defense subcommittee on March 1, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the MQ-25 will replace Boeing F/A-18E/Fs Super Hornets in the aerial tanker role, freeing the multi-role fighter to perform its strike mission. The Stingray “will also have the range and payload capacity associated with high-endurance unmanned aircraft to provide critically-needed, around-the-clock, sea-based ISR support to the Carrier Strike Group and the Joint Forces Commander,” Mabus stated. “The Navy envisions that the open standards to be employed in the Stingray design will enable future capabilities to be introduced to the aircraft after it has been fully integrated into the carrier air wing.”

The original UClass competitors are expected to return with proposals for the Stingray acquisition. Lockheed Martin earlier revealed a flying-wing concept drawing from its work on the unmanned RQ-170 Sentinel and F-35C Lightning II. Northrop Grumman and Boeing proposed advancements of their own flying wings, respectively the X-47B and Phantom Ray. General Atomics proposed the Sea Avenger, a carrier-based derivative of its jet-powered Predator C Avenger.

At Lockheed Martin’s annual media day on March 15, AIN asked Rob Weiss, general manager of the Skunk Works advanced development unit, if the manufacturer was forced to “go back to the drawing board” as a result of the UClass program restructuring. “We haven’t gone back to the drawing board,” he replied. “What we have told some leadership of the Navy about that is we believe we can begin with a planform design that will address the Navy’s near-term desires for a low-cost primarily air refueling, limited strike/surveillance type capability. We’re suggesting that same planform can grow over time to be a penetrating strike and ISR asset. In our view, there’s no reason to start with a traditional wing-body-tail planform that will not provide the opportunity to grow it to operate in a contested airspace.”

Weiss added: “As long as you start with the right planform, you can solve the near-term problem that the Navy has identified and have the path forward with the same basic design. But it’s critical to start with the right planform.”

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 24 Mar 2016 16:24

Australia's new submarines will need the range and endurance to patrol far out into the Pacific or Indian Oceans or up into the South China Sea.For that, a nuclear boat would be ideal.Nuclear subs - nukes - can travel fast and stay submerged almost indefinitely, without the need to come to periscope depth every few days to run a diesel engine to charge batteries.Submariners refer to this periodic need to come to the surface as the 'indiscretion rate'. It's when a submarine is most vulnerable to detection.Successive Australian governments have ruled out the nuclear option for the 12 next-generation subs which will replace the Navy's six Collins boats.But a future government could head down the nuclear path, perhaps around mid-century, and Australia would be part of the way there should it choose French shipbuilder DCNS' Shortfin Barracuda as our new sub.That's because this design is a derivative of the company's new Barracuda nuclear attack submarine, fitted with diesel-electric propulsion instead of a nuclear reactor.As part of its sales pitch, DCNS is touting a nuclear growth path.'If, in 2050, Australia wants a nuclear submarine, they can design a nuclear submarine,' DCNS chief executive Herve Guillou told AAP this week in Cherbourg.The DCNS bid offers Australia the eventual capability to come up with our own submarine whether nuclear or conventionally powered.Deputy chief executive Marie-Pierre De Bailliencourt says the Shortfin Barracuda was conceived from a vessel designed to nuclear standards, especially safety.That's all way down the track.In the meantime DCNS has to convince the Australian competitive evaluation process panel its proposal is better than those of Germany or Japan.German firm TKMS is proposing its 4000-tonne Type 216, a new design based on its widely exported Type 214.The Japanese government is offering its 4200-tonne Soryu-class boat, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation.Of the three designs, only the Soryu actually exists and is in service with Japanese navy. However, it would still need substantial modifications to meet Australian requirements for range and endurance.Whichever design is chosen, it will certainly be built wholly or mostly in Australia at the ASC yard in Adelaide, with the first entering service in the early 2030s.This will be Australia's biggest-ever defence procurement by a large distance, costing as much as $50 billion for acquisition and perhaps $150 billion through their life.DCNS has emerged as a strong contender.De Bailliencourt believes the Australian government and defence force only accepted their's was a serious bid after former defence minister Kevin Andrews and defence chiefs visited the DCNS yard at Cherbourg where the first of the new Barracuda-class is under construction for the French navy. It will be launched next year.DCNS is the only shipbuilder in the world constructing both nuclear and diesel-electric subs. Its Scorpene conventional design has been exported to India, Malaysia, Chile and Brazil.The 4500-tonne Australian version will be 2.5 metres shorter and 200 tonnes lighter than the nuclear Barracuda.'De-nuking' the design is no trivial technical challenge.The reactor, a unit about the size of a Smart car, and its shielding, steam turbine and back-up diesels will make way for six large diesels.There will be a large bank of conventional lead-acid batteries. A major design change will involve creation of a large tank around the rear hull for diesel fuel.Shortfin Barracuda will retain Barracuda's innovative and secret pump-jet propulsion. Gone will be the traditional periscope, replaced by mast-mounted TV and infrared cameras. Some technology will be familiar - the all-important Thales sonars are similar to what's used on the six Collins subs.DCNS isn't offering air-independent propulsion (takes up too much space) but may eventually offer lithium-ion batteries, a promising technology but one not yet proven as sufficiently safe for use in submarines.The company is scathing of Japan's proposal to power its Soryu boats with lithium-ion batteries from the outset.'We know that the technology is the same one used in cars and in cars they explode,' De Bailliencourt said.It's also scathing of Japan's proposal for technology transfer - the country has never exported any defence equipment, let alone something as complex as a submarine. Guillou likens this to learning rock-climbing by starting with Mount Everest.Many security analysts have pointed to the strategic benefits of Australia buying Japanese subs, especially as the US focuses more on the Asia-Pacific.But DCNS says Australia will remain a close strategic partner of Japan whether we buy the Soryu or not, simply because of geography.Buying French brings its own strategic benefits. France has military forces in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and is an active partner in the fight against Islamic State in the Middle East, which neither Japan nor Germany can claim.'Japan is a given. Why don't you given yourself Europe on top of it,' De Bailliencourt said.Defence correspondent Max Blenkin travelled to France as a guest of DCNS. - See more at: ... RLQE9.dpuf

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 25 Mar 2016 07:21

Russian Project 971 submarines to be armed with Kalibr missiles
Nikolai Novichkov, Moscow and Peter Felstead, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly ... r-missiles

The upgrade of Russia's Project 971 Bars ('Akula')-class nuclear-powered attack submarines will arm them with Kalibr 3M-54 (SS-N-27A 'Sizzler') anti-ship missiles, Viktor Kochemazov, chief of the Russian Navy Training Department, told the RSN radio channel on 21 March. "Now, the upgrade of the Project 971 submarines provides for equipping them with the Kalibr system," he said.

The weapon "proved itself" during trials, according to Kochemazov. "Its use by the Rostov-on-Don diesel-electric submarine showed that the system is facing bright vistas in terms of further development," he said.

He is likely to have been referring to the 8 December 2015 strikes on Syria conducted by the Project 636.3 Improved 'Kilo'-class diesel-electric submarine Rostov-on-Don . According to the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) at the time, this boat conducted Russia's first-ever submarine-launched cruise missile strikes on 8 December when it fired four 3M-14 land attack variants of the Kalibr missile from the Mediterranean into Syria.

At present, the Russian Navy operates a fleet of 11 Project 971 submarines, although most of these are in various stages of repair and only three boats, in service with the Northern Fleet, are operational.

Four 'Akulas' belonging to the Pacific Fleet (K-322 Kashalot , K-391 Bratsk , K-331 Magadan , K-295 Samara ) are at shipyards for repairs, with Kashalot expected to be leased to India. Bratsk and Samara have been at the Zvyozdochka Shipyard since summer 2014, Kashalot at the Amur Shipyard, and Magadan at the Zvezda Shipyard. K-419 Kuzbass has recently been released back to the Pacific Fleet, while the repair of Magadan is nearing completion.

The Northern Fleet has six submarines of the class, of which three - K-154 Tigr , K-335 Gepard , and K-317 Pantera - are operational, while K-461 Volk , K-328 Leopard , and K-157 Vepr are in various stages of repair.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 26 Mar 2016 05:25

United Kingdom – P-8A Aircraft and Associated Support

WASHINGTON, Mar. 25, 2016 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Kingdom for P-8A Aircraft and associated equipment, training, and support. The estimated cost is $3.2 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on March 24, 2016.

The Government of the United Kingdom (UK) has requested notification for the possible procurement of up to nine (9) P-8A Patrol Aircraft, associated major defense equipment, associated training, and support. The estimated cost is $3.2 billion.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 26 Mar 2016 07:56

didnt the RN retire a fleet of relatively ok Nimrods to save budget saying the GIUK ASW mission was over ?

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 26 Mar 2016 17:13

Well in the mid 2000's they probably thought so and a short term view of the budget probably clinched a deal. However, they have over the last 2 years felt the pinch particularly with Russian navy stepping up patrols. By the time their P-8's get fully operational they'd probably be close to a decade since nimrod retirement..Even the P-8 decision was on the edge. They have been training on the aircraft for the last few years in the US, and they even have all British crews training and flying P8's but there was a lot of uncertainty whether they could afford to acquire the capability. Apparently they rejected possibly lower cost acquisition offers from Airbus, Lockheed and even Boeing. Given that they have kept up their AsW training at the back of P8's anything else would have been a hard sell. For the British and the Aussies that would routinely fight alongside the USN the incremental block improvements planned for the P-8 over the next 10-20 years would be greatly beneficial since the cost would be subsidized by the larger US order allowing these nations to hop on and selectively choose increments that they want..Thats probably what killed Lockheed's much cheaper modifed C-130 that the UK were open to a few years ago.
Last edited by brar_w on 27 Mar 2016 02:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby sudeepj » 26 Mar 2016 22:48

The gradual decline of UK naval power.. is somehow.. a bit soothing. If it werent for American khairat, UK would be a middling naval power.

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Re: International Naval News and Discussion

Postby TSJones » 26 Mar 2016 23:00

don't be soothed too much. with their nuke subs, sea tomahawks, f-35b's, carriers, prospective purchase of p-8's, etc., they'll still have a very powerful navy....the only thing they are short of are space based assets which have been covered by treaty with the US for decades going back prior to the falkland war with argentina.

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