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France : La Marine nationale veut quatre B2M | Mer et Marine

France : La Marine nationale veut quatre B2M | Mer et Marine | Newsletter navale |

Pour l’heure, le programme des nouveaux bâtiments multi-missions de la marine française, notifié fin 2013 à Piriou et DCNS, compte trois unités. Mais le contrat comporte aussi une option pour un quatrième, que l’état-major de la flotte française espère bien voir commandé. Prévus pour entrer en service en 2016, les trois premiers B2M seront basés à Nouméa (Nouvelle-Calédonie), à Papeete (Polynésie Française) et Fort-de-France (Martinique). Ils permettront notamment de remplacer les bâtiments de transport léger (Batral) qui y sont ou y étaient positionnés.

Une succession qui n’est pas encore assurée à La Réunion, où le Batral La Grandière doit tirer sa révérence en 2017. C’est pourquoi l’état-major de la Marine pousse pour que le quatrième B2M soit construit afin de l’affecter au sud de l’océan Indien. Une zone où les moyens navals français se sont réduits et qui est pourtant stratégique, non seulement en raison de la présence de la zone économique exclusive des Terres Australes et Antarctiques françaises dans le grand sud, mais aussi de la ZEE des îles Eparses et de Mayotte. Une région qui devrait voir son intérêt militaire et économique augmenter dans les prochaines années. 

- Voir notre article détaillé sur le programme B2M

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Le 1er patrouilleur hauturier type P18N construit en Chine pour le Nigéria est arrivé à son port-base de Lagos

Le 1er patrouilleur hauturier type P18N construit en Chine pour le Nigéria est arrivé à son port-base de Lagos | Newsletter navale |

The first of two Chinese-built P18N offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) ordered by Nigeria arrived in Lagos on 6 Feb, automatic identification system (AIS) data shows.

NNS Centenary (F 91) was built by China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company (CSOC) at its Wuchang Shipyard in Wuhan, and sailed for Nigeria in December.

The 95 m, 1,800 tonne P18N OPV has an endurance of 20 days and a range of 3,000 n miles (5,556 km) at 14 kts, according to CSOC officials.

On 9 February the Nigerian media quoted Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, the commander of the Nigerian Navy, as saying the second P18N, NNS Unity (F 92), would arrive in the country later in 2015.

While the initial plan was for the second vessel to be completed at a refurbished naval yard in Nigeria's Port Harcourt, Unity has been photographed being outfitted in Wuchang.

Nevertheless, Vice Adm Jibrin said a substantial part of the finishing and fittings for the second vessel would be done in Nigeria in order to enhance the country's indigenous shipbuilding capacity and create jobs for unemployed youths.

Patrick H. 's insight:

Un contrat avait été signé avec la Chine en 2012 pour 2 OPV P-18N de 95m. Le 1er est construit en Chine, tandis que le second sera construit en grande partie au Nigéria sur le chantier NNS que la Chine est en train de moderniser :

Historique de cette construction :

Mise à l'eau en janvier 2014 :

Livraison en novembre 2014 :

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Mise en chantier de la future frégate LCS-13 USS Wichita au chantier naval Marinette Marine (Wisconsin)

Marinette February 9, 2015 - The Lockheed Martin-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy's thirteenth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Wichita, in a ceremony held at Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wisconsin, today.
Ship sponsor Mrs. Kate Staples Lehrer completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel of Wichita (LCS 13). Mrs. Lehrer had her initials welded into a sheet of the ship's steel, which will ultimately be mounted in the ship throughout its entire service.
"This is an honor and a pleasure for me to be a sponsor of the USS Wichita," said Lehrer. "My right hand will remain forever in a salute to those men and women who are building and to those who will serve on this special ship."
Wichita is a flexible Freedom-variant LCS that will be designed and outfitted with mission systems to conduct a variety of missions including anti-surface warfare, mine countermeasures and submarine warfare. The industry team building Wichita has delivered two ships with six others in various stages of construction and testing. The nation's first LCS, USS Freedom, completed a U.S. Navy deployment in 2013, and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) is currently deployed for 16 months to Southeast Asia. These two deployments demonstrate how the ship class is addressing the U.S. Navy's need for an affordable, highly-networked and modular ship unlike any other in the world.

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team includes ship builder Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, as well as nearly 900 suppliers in 43 states.

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IAI présente au salon Aero India un nouvel avion de patrouille maritime basé sur le jet d'affaires Bombardier Global 5000

IAI présente au salon Aero India un nouvel avion de patrouille maritime basé sur le jet d'affaires Bombardier Global 5000 | Newsletter navale |

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) introduces the new generation ELI-3360 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) based on a modified Bombardier Global 5000 business-jetplatform. Designed by IAI's ELTA Group to provide maritime domain situational awareness and maritime superiority, the new MPA provides the most sophisticated surveillance, reconnaissance and armament systems to be installed on a business-jet to date.

The system incorporates the advanced ELTA ELM-2022 Maritime Patrol Radar, an electro-optical sensor, the ELL-8385 ESM/ELINT system, and a comprehensive communications suite comprising radios, broadband SATCOM and data-links as well as advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) and self-protection Suite.
The integrated multi-mission Command & Control Suite includes multi-purpose operator workstations and a weapon and stores management system which controls the under-wing weapons that may include torpedoes and anti-ship missiles for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW) as well as dispensable Search & Rescue (SAR) stores.

The new generation ELI-3360 joins IAI's series of Special Mission Aircraft (SMA), and is based on IAI's 30 years of experiencein supplying advanced maritime domain sensors and integrated systems to leading customers worldwide. IAI's line of business-jet SMA includes the operationally proven Gulfstream G550 Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW), and the G-V Signal Intelligence Aircraft (SEMA) - the world's first business-jet based mission aircraft.
Since IAI's pioneering conception of business-jet SMA, the SMA market has moved steadily over the past decade towards cost-effective business jets. High endurance, speed, range and multi-mission versatility of such SMAs is unmatched by large commercial transport aircraft or turbo-props.

Patrick H. 's insight:

Lire aussi :

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L'industriel indien Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) va construire 2 sous-marins de poche

L'industriel indien Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) va construire 2 sous-marins de poche | Newsletter navale |
Underwater capability of Indian Navy will get a shot in the arm with the in-principle decision of Ministry of Defence to place construction of two Strategic Operating Vessels (SOVs) on Hindustan Shipyard Limited.

The Request for Proposal (RoP) will be notified in a couple of months. Building two SOVs, also known as midget submarines each costing an estimated amount of Rs.3,000 crore will be a prestigious project.

“We are expecting to ground work on the project by completing all the procedures by the year-end and deliver it in three years,” HSL Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral N.K. Mishra told The Hindu on Sunday, declining to elaborate further.
Patrick H. 's insight:

S'agit-il du même modèle développé par Larsen & Toubro apparu début 2014 au salon DefExpo ?

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La Grande-Bretagne sur le point de choisir le futur système AEW pour son groupe aéronaval entre Thales UK et Lockheed Martin

La Grande-Bretagne sur le point de choisir le futur système AEW pour son groupe aéronaval entre Thales UK et Lockheed Martin | Newsletter navale |

The British MOD is set to select soon the future Airborne Early Warning (AEW) system to be deployed on the future Royal Navy (RN) Queen Elizabeth II aircraft carriers. The Crowsnest airborne surveillance and control (ASaC) program set to become operational in 2019, will providing the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers an organic air surveillance and battlespace management for the carrier strike force from 2020.

Thales UK and Lockheed Martin submitted final offers for the Crowsnest solutions last month, competing for the £500 million ($761 million) contract. Although the two radar systems proposed by the companies are designed for the Royal Navy AgustaWestland EH101 Merlin Mk 2 ASaC helicopters, they are profoundly different in their mission approach, future capabilities and cost. As part of the U.K. defense ministry’s assessment of the two options, both have been flight tested on a MerlinMk. 2.

As the Sea King family helicopters is due to retire in 2016, MOD is extending the service of a number of the Sea King helicopters operated by 849 Naval Air Squadron through 2018, to prevent a capability gap between the withdrawal of the Sea King ASaC.7 and the introduction of Merlin ASaC.2. 10 of the Merlin helicopters are to be modified to accept the Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC) system, configured as ‘roll on/roll off’ kit.

Leading a £750 million ($1.15 billion) upgrade to 30 of the Royal Navy’s legacy Merlin HM1 helicopters, Lockheed Martin UK has been awarded a £24 million contract to run a competition to design, develop and demonstrate Crowsnest. As the company is also one of the competitors for the tender, the Merlin team has to be ‘firewalled’ to prevent leaking commercially sensitive information to Lockheed Martin UK.

The solution proposed by Thales UK recapitalizes existing the Searchwater 2000 radars currently providing the AEW mission for the Royal Navy on board HMS Ocean. These helicopters carry the mechanically rotating radar in a retractable drum-shaped dome lowered into position below the helicopter after takeoff. Positioned below the fuselage, the rotating radar gains unobstructed view of the hemisphere below, thus covering effectively 360 degrees. Thales plans to utilize this system for the new platform, using a modernized and updated radar along with its associated Cerberus mission system – both are currently used on the Sea King ASaC7.

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L'US Navy teste avec succès un missile de croisière Tomahawk amélioré à guidage satellite contre des cibles mobiles

L'US Navy teste avec succès un missile de croisière Tomahawk amélioré à guidage satellite contre des cibles mobiles | Newsletter navale |

The US Navy has tested a ‘synthetically guided’ Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile last month, demonstrating the capability of existing Tomahawk missiles as netted weapons. The latest variant of the Tomahawk includes a two-way satellite data-link that enables the missile to be retargeted in flight to any one of 15 alternate targets pre-programmed in its memory before launch. “This capability extends the Tomahawk’s reach beyond fixed and re-locatable points, to moving targets.” Tomahawk Weapons System (PMA-280) program manager Capt. Joe Mauser explained.

Raytheon, the missile’s developer is also developing a new seeker designed to hit moving targets at sea or on land, in darkness and under all weather conditions. Other enhancements planned for the Tomahawk Block IV weapon include the integration of upgraded communications and a more powerful multi-effects warhead. Other enhancements implemented in the Block IV include a ‘sea-skim’ mode – low-altitude flight over water at high subsonic speeds. The Block IV missile is capable of loitering over a target area in order to respond to emerging targets or, with its on-board camera, provide battle damage information to warfighting commanders. “We are modernizing Tomahawk to stay ahead of the threat,” said Jeff Meyer, a Tomahawk business development manager at Raytheon. “The tests are designed to prove Tomahawk can hit a moving target and targets at sea, and that the missile isn’t affected by smoke or other obscurants such as bad weather.”

The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) team leveraged existing Tomahawk strike communications frameworks to develop this cost-saving solution. “This is a significant accomplishment,” Capt. Mauser continued. “It demonstrates the viability of long-range communications for position updates of moving targets. The synthetically guided Tomahawk successfully hit its first moving maritime target Jan. 27 after being launched from the USS Kidd (DDG-100) near San Nicolas Island in California. The flight test demonstrated guidance capability when the missile in flight altered its course toward the moving target after receiving position updates from surveillance aircraft.

The Tomahawk weapons system is the U.S. Navy’s precision strike standoff weapon for long and medium range attack of tactical targets. The Navy is currently fielding Tomahawk Block IV weapons on surface and subsurface platforms across the globe. In 2013, Raytheon delivered the 3,000th Tomahawk Block IV missile to the U.S. Navy.

Raytheon has produced thousands of GPS guided BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles. Over 2,000 were used in combat. The Block IV design was initiated as both a cost savings and a capability improvement effort. The new enhancements are considered as part of ‘mid life modernization’ package Raytheon is hoping to launch in 2018-2019, enabling the Navy to maintain its cruise missiles ahead of the threat well into the 2020s.

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La Marine taïwanaise interrompt les essais de sa corvette furtive Tuo Jiang en raison de sérieux défauts de conception

La Marine taïwanaise interrompt les essais de sa corvette furtive Tuo Jiang en raison de sérieux défauts de conception | Newsletter navale |

The Republic of China (ROC) Navy has put a stop to trial runs of the new missile-carrying Tuo Jiang-class 618 stealth corvette due to serious design flaws that have undermined the vessel’s operations, senior navy commander Lu Li-shih (呂禮詩) told the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) on Wednesday.

Lu said that several fundamentals flaws in the corvette’s design, along with it being packed with extra weapons and equipment systems, resulted in the vessel having insufficient buoyancy, which affected its maneuverability and stability.

Lu is a former captain of a Jin Jiang-class patrol vessel, which are similar to the 618.

“The core design concept was to build a stealth fast-attack corvette with high maneuverability,” Lu said. “However, later on the design was altered in a bid to make the Tuo Jiang-class ‘invincible warships,’ loading it with anti-aircraft and anti-ship weaponry, along with submarine-hunting and other combat functions.”

“It was like changing the design for a dress while a lady was already wearing it,” he said.

In addition to 16 Hsiung Feng-class missiles and two torpedo launchers onboard, the navy reportedly also has plans for the 618 to carry Sky Sword 2 guided missiles.

However, even without being fully loaded with fuel, equipment and weapons systems, the vessel had already reached its maximum displacement in calm water conditions in the harbor, Lu said.

“It is vital to have a patrol warship that can carry out missions in strong winds and high seas that can arise around Taiwan,” the commander said. “We must ensure the safety of all officers and sailors aboard the ship; that is the most serious challenge.”

Meanwhile, the Navy Command Headquarters said in a statement that the 618 is the first of its class and as a “prototype,” it was being tested to determine its capabilities and limitations.

“The Tuo Jiang class is a different design from traditional warships,” the statement said. “It is designed to be able to counter various threats using modular weapons systems, therefore its payload can vary depending on the situation.”

“Therefore the views are due to a misunderstanding regarding the vessel’s design concept and its operational objectives,” it said.

As the 618 is a prototype, handed over to the navy in December last year, the purpose of testing is to check the corvette’s performance and its limitations, while testing operational variables and deviations from its original design, the statement said.

Any issues that arise can then be corrected and plans reconfigured for subsequent production of more Tuo Jiang-class vessels, it added.

Patrick H. 's insight:

Cette corvette avait démarré ses essais à la mer fin octobre 2014 :

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L'Egypte cherche un prêt bancaire pour les Rafale et la FREMM

L'Egypte cherche un prêt bancaire pour les Rafale et la FREMM | Newsletter navale |

PARIS — Egypt is seeking a bank loan to partially finance a prospective order for the Rafale fighter jet, a multimission frigate and missiles, an unusual financing deal likely to require high-level political support, two analysts said.

A deal with Egypt would enable a speedy export order seen as needed to relieve severe budgetary pressure on France, which is in a pressing search for foreign clients for Dassault and DCNS.

Egyptian officials have been in "discussions with banks" to find commercial lending that would allow paying France a 15 percent down payment for the military equipment, a market analyst said.

The talks have been held with French banks as Cairo seeks to raise the down payment required, a second analyst said. That client said down payment is one of the golden rules, answering the call to "show me the money," the analyst said.

Bank lending for arms purchases is not new, but the Egyptian search for funds is remarkable for the size and the speed in which the loan is sought.

Egypt wants to close the deal in time for a frigate and three Rafales to be present when a new stretch of waterway by the Suez Canal is opened in August, newsletter TTU has reported.

Coface, the French export credit guarantee department, has asked the commercial lenders to carry part of the funding on their own books rather than rely on the global credit insurer to provide insurance for the full amount, the first analyst said.

Coface would sign up on an Egyptian contract if the Treasury Department, which reports to the Economy Ministry, agreed to the deal. But there is reluctance in the Economy Ministry as Egypt is seen as a fragile economy, the first analyst said.

If Egypt fell behind on payment, the insurance from Coface would repay from the public purse the makers of the Rafale, frigate and missiles, which are Dassault Aviation, DCNS and MBDA, respectively.

A DCNS executive confirmed talks were being held with Egypt. Dassault, MBDA, Treasury and the Egyptian embassy declined comment.

Egypt's talks with the bankers slowed due to the accession of King Salman in Saudi Arabia after the death of his brother King Abdullah last month.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates will deposit $10 billion in Egypt before the latter nation holds an investment conference next month, according to news website Al-Youm Al-Sabea, Reuters reported Feb. 5.

That financial support from the Arabian Gulf powers is fueled by a political determination to resist the Islamic fundamentalist movement threatening Egypt and those partner countries.

The bank talks on the Egyptian deal also include whether there is a "global contract" or specific contracts tied to the fighter jet, frigate and missiles, the first analyst said.

The Economy Ministry may be against the deal because of the financial risk, but defense officials would be in favor, as an export order would help maintain the domestic industrial base, said Jean-Pierre Maulny, deputy director at think tank Institut des Relations Internationales et Stratégiques.

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L'US Navy étudie la possibilité d'intégrer le nouveau canon électromagnétique sur le 3ème DDG-1000 classe Zumwalt

L'US Navy étudie la possibilité d'intégrer le nouveau canon électromagnétique sur le 3ème DDG-1000 classe Zumwalt | Newsletter navale |

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Engineering studies to include an electromagnetic railgun on a Zumwalt-class destroyer (DDG-1000) have started at Naval Sea Systems Command, NAVSEA’s head said Thursday.

The work will do the math to determine if the Zumwalt-class will have the space, power and cooling to field a railgun – likely replacing one of the two 155mm BAE Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) ahead of the ship’s deck house, Vice Adm. William Hilarides told USNI News following remarks at the Office of Naval Research Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo.

“We have begun real studies – as opposed to just a bunch of guys sitting around – real engineering studies are being done to make sure it’s possible,” Vice Adm. William Hilarides said following remarks at

The likely candidate for the weapon would be the third planned Zumwalt, Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) currently under construction at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) with an expected delivery date of 2018.

He said the first two ships – Zumwalt (DDG-1000) and Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) – would be less likely to field the capability initially due to the schedule of testing with the new class.

“The team is working diligently now but it would not happen until after delivery of the ships – probably the third ship is where we’d have it,” Hilarides said.
“That would certainly be my recommendation.”

The Navy is in early stages of testing and fielding a railgun – which forgoes the gunpowder in the shells of conventional naval guns and instead uses high powered electromagnetic pulses along a set of rails to shoot a projectile at super sonic speeds.

The Navy plans to test a BAE Systems prototype railgun onboard the Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV- 3) next year.

Last year, then Navy director of surface warfare now commander of U.S. Surface Forces Command, Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden told USNI News the Zumwalts would be likely used as test beds for emerging technologies like railguns and directed energy weapons the Navy wants for its next large surface combatant due to the ship’s size an ability to generate power.

The integrated power system (IPS) on the 16,000-ton ships– powered by two massive Rolls Royce MT-30 gas turbines and two smaller Rolls-Royce RR450– allow the ships to route and generate 80 mega-watt power – much more electrical power than the current crop of U.S. destroyers and cruisers.

On Wednesday, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said a Zumwalt would likely be the first ship to get the capability.

The inclusion of the railgun does mean a capabilities trade for the ship.

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Une commission de la Direction du matériel de la Marine brésilienne préconise l'acquisition du TCD Siroco

Une commission de la Direction du matériel de la Marine brésilienne préconise l'acquisition du TCD Siroco | Newsletter navale |

sA Brazilian Navy (MB) evaluation commission from the General Directorate of Naval Material recommended procurement of the French Navy Siroco (L 9012) Foudre-class landing platform dock (LPD) in late January, according to local reports.

The Brazilian commission surveyed the 12,000-ton Siroco at its homeport of Toulon in mid-December 2014. Siroco 's latest operational deployment, in November 2014, included transporting troops and supplies to support deployment of French Air Force Mirage 2000s to Jordan as part of operations against the Islamic State.

Siroco was commissioned in December 1998 and is the second of the Foudre-class LPDs, the first of which was sold in 2011 to the Chilean Navy. Chilean officials had announced interest in Siroco since 2013; however, Chile's new government announced in late 2014 that it would no longer seek a second LPD.

At 1,536 m 2 , Siroco has a slightly larger helicopter deck than sister ship Foudre .

Siroco is scheduled for decommission from the French Navy in June 2015, following its last operational deployment, which will be to the Gulf of Guinea. The ship will decommission without replacement, as the fourth Mistral-class landing helicopter deck originally planned was cancelled in France's 2013 defence White Paper.

Brazilian reports indicate that the ship will be procured for EUR80 million (USD91 million), plus maintenance and reconditioning services to be provided by France's DCNS.


Given the relatively poor expectations for Brazil's economy in 2015 and the uncertainty from the low oil prices, an opportunity buy of Siroco is likely, especially because the ship would be a much needed replacement for ageing ex-US Thomaston-class LPDs.

The navy's Programa de Obtenção de Navios Anfíbios (PRONAnf) requires two 12,500-ton ships with a large helicopter hangar and the ability to transport up to 490 troops. Siroco 's four-helicopter capacity and 450-troop capacity closely matches these requirements and would be available by the end of 2015 or early 2016.

While PRONAnf specifies that the preferred choice would be for local construction of a foreign design already in service with an international navy; it does not discard secondhand procurement.

The MB's medium- and long-term requirements outlined in the National Defence Strategy (END) and translated into the navy's re-equipment programme (PRM) are vast and need to be matched by adequate budgets. The END specifically favours strengthening the local shipbuilding industry, but the MB in the past has resorted to more pragmatic opportunity buys, especially for large ships. For example, in 2008 the navy bought Garcia D'Avila (ex-Sir Galahad) and Almirante Saboia (ex-Sir Bedivere) landing ship tanks from the UK's Royal Fleet Auxiliary for a combined USD47 million.

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Plus de détails sur le choix par l'Argentine de corvettes chinoises P18 (version export des Type 056)

Plus de détails sur le choix par l'Argentine de corvettes chinoises P18 (version export des Type 056) | Newsletter navale |

Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is expected to sign agreements with China to increase military co-operation, including construction of new warships for the Argentine Navy, during a visit to Beijing on 3-5 February, according to media reports.

The expanded level of Argentine-Chinese military co-operation, which has been about a year in preparation, follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 29 October 2014 by an Argentine-Chinese Joint Committee on Co-operation in the Field of Defence Technology and Industry. The actual joint development programmes were finalised during a visit by a Chinese defence trade delegation to Buenos Aires in late January.

Argentine reports indicate the agreement to be signed in Beijing could cover co-production in Argentina of the Norinco VN1 wheeled armoured personnel carrier (APC) and co-operation in building a new ice-breaker, naval tugboats, mobile hospitals, and new warships for the Argentine Navy.

In late 2014 the Argentine government reportedly accepted a Chinese offer to meet its long-standing requirement for a new class of offshore patrol vessel. Over the last decade Argentina has considered purchasing designs from Brazil, Germany, and Spain, but China has reportedly succeeded in selling a more capable warship: a version of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation's (CSIC) P18 export corvette.

Somewhat controversially, this vessel will be known as the Malvinas class, after the Argentine name for the Falkland Islands: a UK sovereign territory that Argentine forces invaded in April 1982 before being defeated by a British task force in a conflict that claimed 907 lives.

Two P18N corvettes were sold to Nigeria in 2012 for USD42 million each.

According to Brazilian web magazine Naval Power , an initial Argentine contract may include two ships built in China and three co-produced in Argentina. An Argentine source noted the price for the ships could be USD50 million each.

The P18 corvette displaces 1,800 tonnes, is 95 m long, 12 m wide, and is powered by two German-designed MTU 20V 4000M diesel engines to achieve a speed of 25 kt. It can be armed with a 76 mm main gun, two 30 mm cannons, up to eight anti-ship missiles, two triple torpedo launchers, and can carry one medium-sized helicopter.

Naval Power reported that Argentina has requested a larger flight deck to handle its 10-tonne Sea King helicopters and a towed sonar to increase its anti-submarine capability.

Delivery of the Argentine P18s could start in 2017.

Reports from mid-2014 indicate the Argentine Army evaluated the Norinco VN1 8x8 amphibious APC, considering its 21-tonne infantry fighting vehicle variant along with 105 mm gun- and 120 mm mortar-armed versions. Argentina could acquire up to 110 VN1s, according to Naval Power .

Venezuela's marines took delivery of the region's first VN1s at the end of December 2014.


If concluded, this defence agreement could mark a major step in Argentina's long-standing effort to revive its military capabilities and would constitute a major success for China's 15-year endeavour to expand its military influence and market share in Latin America.

Since the 1982 Falklands War, China has expressed its support for Argentina's continued claims over the islands, which Beijing compares to its claim over Taiwan. However, China's willingness to accept commodity payments to finance initial loans that fund military sales has been key to its military sales success in Argentina.

In 2011 the Fábrica Argentina de Aviones (Argentine Aircraft Factory: FAdeA) reached an agreement to start co-producing China's Changhe Z-11 light helicopter. Then, in June 2013, FAdeA sources told IHS Jane's that talks over co-production of the Chengdu FC-1 lightweight jet fighter had occurred over the previous two years. This option appears to have been lost as Argentina has tried and failed to purchase retired Dassault Mirage F1 fighters from Spain, then refurbished Israeli Aircraft Industry Kfir fighters and, in late 2014, Saab Gripen fighters co-produced in Brazil.

However, the new Argentine-Chinese defence agreement could revive prospects for combat aircraft co-operation. In addition to the FC-1 fighter, China could offer low-cost combat-capable supersonic lead-in trainers like the Guizhou JL-9G/FTC-2000G or the Hongdu L-15.

Patrick H. 's insight:

Pour rappel, l'information publiée hier ici-même :

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La Russie accélère le développement de nouvelles infrastructures pour la base de sous-marins nucléaires de Gadzhiyevo

La Russie accélère le développement de nouvelles infrastructures pour la base de sous-marins nucléaires de Gadzhiyevo | Newsletter navale |

Russia is speeding up infrastructure development in Gadzhiyevo, the Northern Fleet’s main base for nuclear-powered submarines.

Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu has ordered that all infrastructure for new submarines in Gadzhiyevo, as well as Zaozyorsk and Novorossiysk, should be ready by the end of 2015, TASS reports.

Gadzhiyevo is home base for the Northern Fleet’s new Borey class submarines, while Novorossiysk is a base in the Black Sea Fleet, where vessels of the new Varshavyanka-class diesel-electric submarines will be based. The first two of these subs are currently undergoing deep-water tests in the Arctic.

Zaozyorsk may probably be Russia’s northern base for the new Yasen-class  multi-purpose submarines. At least has the first vessel of the class, the K-329 Severodvinsk, has been based in Zaozyorsk, only 60 kilometers from the Norwegian border, as BarentsObserver reported. Russia plans to build five Yasen-Class subs.

Commander of the Russian Navy Admiral Vitor Chirokv visited the Northern Fleet last weekend to see how development of the infrastructure is going, the Ministry of Defense’s web site reads.

New flats and social infrastructure
It is not only the new submarines that have got new homes in Gadzhiyevo, but also the people that will be serving onboard them. The Ministry of Defense has started building new blocks with a total of 492 flats for the submariners. Last year two new apartment buildings were raised in the town, this year another five new apartment buildings will be constructed.

In October last year, 36 sailors, most of them serving onboard the «Yury Dolgoruky», were the first to receive flats in the first apartment building to be built in Gadzhiyevo in 20 years, TV21 reported.

Construction of a leisure center with ice rank, swimming pool, and cinema with 300 seats will also start in 2015, SeverPost writes. Six old apartment buildings will be demolished to make space for the new center.

Fatal accidents
The rapid development of Gadzhiyevo has not been without casualties.  In the end of January, one worker died and two other were injured when part of an apartment building collapsed during construction. Only four days earlier, another worker died in an accident during construction of a new kinder garden in the town, SeverPost reports. Investigations have started in both cases, the web site reads.

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Le centre de recherche Krylov commencerait le développement d'un grand porte-avions pour la Marine russe

Le centre de recherche Krylov commencerait le développement d'un grand porte-avions pour la Marine russe | Newsletter navale |

Russia's government-owned Krylov State Research Center is on its way towards developing Russia's latest aircraft carrier, according to Russian media. 

The aircraft carrier is in a very rudimentary stage of its development. It's still under conceptual testing in Krylov's laboratory.

But if the tests prove successful and the carrier's design is deemed plausible, the research center will follow through with a 1:1 scale metal mock-up of the carrier (China may have just constructed its own mock-up of a new carrier). 

According to Russia's TV Vezda, the carrier would be able to stow 100 aircraft onboard. The body of the carrier is also being designed to minimize drag by 20% compared to past Russian carriers. If built, the vessel would be Russia's first carrier to debut since the Admiral Kuznetsov, which launched in 1985. The Kuznetsov is Russia's only functioning carrier.

TV Vezda also stated that the ship would feature catapults on the ship's top to launch aircraft during storms. However, this claim is countered by the fact that the carrier's models feature a ski-ramp style aircraft in the front aircraft takeoff like older Soviet models, which did not have catapults.

The Russian carrier, if constructed, would be slightly larger than the US's current Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, which can carry around 90 aircraft. 

However, any indication of Russian plans should be taken with skepticism. The carrier is still in a conceptual phase and only a scaled mockup has been built so far. Any plans for Russia's construction of the carrier could also be seriously hampered as Moscow is expected to enter a recession due to current economic sanctions and the falling value of the Russian ruble. It might not have the money for this ambitious of a military project, especially with so many other needs.

Russia's drive to modernize its navy comes as its force is deteriorating rapidly. The vast majority of Russia's Navy is a holdover from the country's Soviet fleet. These ships are older than Moscow would like and suffer from frequent mechanical failures.   

Of Russia's 270 strong navy, only about 125  vessels are functional. Only approximately 45 of those 125 ships and submarines are functional and deployable, according to War Is Boring. 

Russia was meant to have received two Mistral-class assault ships from France in 2014 as part of its fleet modernization, but the deal was put on hold over the crisis in Ukraine. 

In Oct. 2014, China's Xinhua reported that Russia would seek to acquire an advanced aircraft carrier by the 2030s. The vessel would be capable of operating in diverse environments and could accommodate both manned and unmanned systems. 

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Les Etats-Unis étudient la possibilité de stationner de façon régulière des bâtiments de combat US Navy en Australie

Les Etats-Unis étudient la possibilité de stationner de façon régulière des bâtiments de combat US Navy en Australie | Newsletter navale |

The United States is mulling a plan to regularly dock warships in Australia, the navy’s top commander said yesterday according to The Wall Street Journal.

During a visit to Australia to inspect port facilities, U.S. Chief of Navy Operations Jonathan Greenert said that basing U.S. ships there was one of several measures being considered by Washington as part of a broader look into how to expand maritime cooperation between the two allies.

“We’re doing a study…to see what might be feasible for naval cooperation in and around Australia, which might include basing ships,” The Journal quoted Greenert as saying at a university lecture.

According to The Journal, Greenert revealed that the United States had been looking at various bases and ports and has identified warships to form an Amphibious Ready Group to support a Marine Air Ground Task Force, including a large amphibious assault carrier and two smaller helicopter carriers. Their regular presence could require the expansion of existing port facilities.

Greenert was careful to point out that such plans were very much “in the early stages” and that any measure would consider how it fits “into the two nations’ strategic desires.” A spokesman for Greenert also later clarified that any such enhanced naval presence would be rotational rather than permanent, which The Journal included in an updated version of its initial report.

In a speech in Hawaii before heading to Australia, Greenert had said he was going to examine the country’s ports “to see what that’s like” as the navy expects to deploy amphibious ships by the end of the decade. The growing U.S. presence would come amid ongoing efforts to eventually station 2,500 marines in Darwin, which were initially announced by U.S. President Barack Obama in November 2011 as part of his administration’s ‘rebalance’ to the Asia-Pacific.

According to The Journal, Greenert also said that he supported the expansion of the annual Malabar exercises involving the United States and India to include Japan and Australia. Washington and New Delhi had both reiterated their commitment to “upgrading” the exercises during Obama’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month, but China has previously balked at past attempts to expand them.

“Multilateral works best,” Greenert said. “It’s an amazing deterrent. If somebody figures they are going to take on one of you, there is some likelihood they may be taking on all four of you. That tends to hold folks back,” he added.

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Lürssen démarre la construction de patrouilleurs pour l’Arabie saoudite

Lürssen démarre la construction de patrouilleurs pour l’Arabie saoudite | Newsletter navale |

Le groupe allemand Lürssen a annoncé le lundi 26 janvier le démarrage de  la fabrication de patrouilleurs destinés à l’Arabie saoudite. Le contrat porte sur une centaine de navires destinés au ministère de l’Intérieur saoudien. Son montant est estimé à 1,4 milliard d’euros.

L’annonce du groupe Lürssen est la première confirmation officielle de l’entrée en vigueur de ce contrat. En février 2014, la presse allemande avait rapporté que le gouvernement allemand apportait sa garantie à la vente. Mais rien n’avait filtré depuis.

Selon Lürssen, la préfabrication des patrouilleurs a commencé en début d’année chez  Peene Werft, à Wolgast. Lürssen a racheté en mai 2013 ce chantier situé sur la Baltique, non loin de la frontière avec la Pologne, à la suite des difficultés financières de son ancien propriétaire P+S.

Ce n’est sans doute pas complètement un hasard. L’annonce de Lürssen est intervenue au lendemain d’informations parues dans le Bild am Sonntag faisant état d’un arrêt des livraisons d’armes allemandes à l’Arabie saoudite. Une décision qui aurait été prise par le Conseil fédéral de sécurité en raison « de l’instabilité de la région ».

Le groupe familial basé à Brême, spécialiste des petits navires militaires et des yachts de luxe, affirme qu’il n’a reçu aucun contrordre du gouvernement fédéral lui demandant de suspendre l’exécution du contrat.

« Nous nous en tenons à notre planning et nous nous réjouissons, avec la commande de ces patrouilleurs pour la garde-côte saoudienne, d’apporter une importante charge de travail à nos chantiers d’Allemagne du nord », a déclaré Oliver Grün, porte-parole de Lürssen, à l’agence de presse DPA.

Le chantier français Couach a indiqué au marin courant janvier qu’il gardait espoir de produire en sous-traitance les 79 intercepteurs de 15 mètres inclus dans le marché confié à Lürssen. Mais celui-ci aurait une préférence pour le chantier italien Fabio Buzzi Design.

Ce contrat est distinct de celui que la France négocie actuellement avec le ministère de la Défense saoudien. La coentreprise formée par DCNS et Piriou a été choisie pour livrer entre 25 et 30 patrouilleurs de 30 mètres. Soit un contrat estimé à 500 millions d'euros.

Patrick H. 's insight:

On se souvient que Lürrssen a récemment livré une série de patrouilleurs hauturiers au Brunei :

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Selon Sputnik International, la Marine russe aurait testé avec succès son système d'armes ASM léger Paket-NK avec la corvette Soobrazitelny

Selon Sputnik International, la Marine russe aurait testé avec succès son système d'armes ASM léger Paket-NK avec la corvette Soobrazitelny | Newsletter navale |

Russia’s stealth corvette Soobrazitelny has successfully tested the country’s newest Paket-NK small-sized anti-submarine system with anti-torpedo capabilities during the military exercises in the Baltic Sea.

The Kilo class diesel-electric torpedo submarine “Varshavyanka” (Project 877) served as a target and was fired at with actual torpedoes (which hadn't been equipped with warheads).

The corvette is set to engage in more practice firing and conduct a number of other military exercises.

The Paket-NK system is designed to engage (destroy) submarines in a ship's close-in zone, when carrying out submarine warfare tasks, and to destroy torpedoes, attacking the ship while carrying out anti-torpedo defense tasks.

The Paket-NK system can operate independently or be integrated into ship's antisubmarine/anti-torpedo defense system, solving a number of tasks in fully automatic or automated modes.

The tasks may include the generation of target designation data for smaller heat-seeking torpedoes, based on data provided by ship's sonar systems and posts.

Detection and classification of attacking torpedoes, determination of their movement parameters, and generation of target designation data for anti-torpedoes

Pre-launch preparation of combat modules, generation and transfer of firing data to them, launching of anti-torpedoes and/or miniature heat-seeking torpedoes

Launching units control

The Paket-NK system is a radically new weapon system, allowing surface ships to complete ASW/anti-torpedo defense tasks with high effectiveness, and to substantially increase their survivability.

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Marine chinoise : une 4ème Flotte pour l'Océan Indien n'est pas envisageable dans un avenir proche

Marine chinoise : une 4ème Flotte pour l'Océan Indien n'est pas envisageable dans un avenir proche | Newsletter navale |

Today, Defense News ran a very interesting piece attacking the often repeated assertion that China will soon be adding one additional fleet to the three existing ones (the North Sea, East Sea, and South Sea Fleets) it currently operates. This new fleet will allegedly be headquartered in Sanya on Hainan Island and project Chinese naval power into the Indian Ocean. One expert noted in 2014: “There have been reports that China is already creating a fourth fleet that would eventually consist of two Carrier Battle Groups based at Hainan Island. This fleet might be placed directly under the Central Military Commission, the highest military decision-making body, making it a powerful instrument of geopolitical signaling.”

Yet, Defense News quotes a Ching Chang, former Taiwan naval officer who now is a fellow at Taiwan’s ROC Society for Strategic Studies, in saying that such reports are “overstated speculation” and not credible. “Without any diplomatically credible, militarily reliable, and logistically functional forward base in the Indian Ocean area, it is impossible for the [Chinese Navy] to establish any long-lasting military organization there, though certain ad hoc arrangements such as dispatch forces, task forces and exercise maneuvering units may appear in the Indian Ocean from time to time,” Chang emphasizes.

He also pointed out that the alleged home port of the new fourth fleet, Hainan Island, is part of the Guangzhou Military Region, which already has the South Sea Fleet as its naval arm, making an additional fleet redundant. “Neither the actual practices of the present military organization may have any space to accommodate such an organization of the fourth fleet. Please remember that all three existing fleets are named by the territorial seas. This is a basic rule hardly to be changed in near term,” Chang says. He concludes: “[M]any commentaries [that] appeared in the overseas Chinese electronic medias might only reflect some aspirations of the military fans in China or overseas Chinese community.”

The Defense News article also quotes long-time The Diplomat contributor, James Holmes. Holmes points out that:

“From a geographical standpoint, establishing such a fleet would concentrate even more attention on the chokepoints where shipping accesses the Indian Ocean from East Asia. If Beijing bases a fleet on Hainan and doesn’t forward deploy it, the fleet’s ships could be cut off and stranded in South Asia by some access-denier operating in the vicinity of the Strait of Malacca or the Lombok or Sunda straits. The crucial issue is the number of naval platforms. Once China produces these — after the three fleets are fully equipped — we could possibly see the fourth fleet.”

Holmes furthermore notes that China’s PLAN could just create the shell organization of a new fleet, which “would resemble the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet, which has only a command ship and shore facilities. Ships ‘chop’ to 6th Fleet temporarily, meaning they put themselves under tactical control of the fleet commander. China may be thinking about a similar arrangement for now, and perhaps permanently. Navies exist to give commanders and political leaders options. This may fall into that category.”

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La Corée du Nord aurait testé un nouveau missile de croisière anti-navires inspiré du KH-35 russe

La Corée du Nord aurait testé un nouveau missile de croisière anti-navires inspiré du KH-35 russe | Newsletter navale |

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Saturday that it has test-fired a new anti-ship cruise missile, a move experts in Seoul viewed as an attempt to raise tensions ahead of joint military drills between the United States and South Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was on-site to observe the successful testing of the “ultra-precision” rocket conducted by the country’s East Sea fleet, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said. The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper published front-page photos of Kim watching a missile being fired off a naval vessel, although the state media outlets did not mention the time or location of the exercise.
Yang Uk, a Seoul-based security expert and an adviser to South Korea’s navy, said the North Korean missile looked similar to Russia’s KH-35 anti-ship missile, which has a range of about 130-140 kilometers (81-87 miles) and is capable of traveling at high speeds while staying close to the sea’s surface.
North Korea began importing KH-35 missiles in the mid-2000s and the test-firing suggests that the country has succeeded in producing missiles of similar design domestically, Yang said.
Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said North Korea was demonstrating its military capabilities ahead of next month’s annual U.S.-South Korean drills, which Pyongyang says are a rehearsal for an invasion. The U.S. and South Korea have repeatedly said that the war games are defensive in nature, and that they have no intentions of attacking the North.
North Korea told the United States last month that it was willing to impose a temporary moratorium on its nuclear tests if Washington scraps the military drills with South Korea this year, but the allies have refused to cancel the exercises.

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De nouveaux essais de la torpille lourde indienne Varunastra devraient avoir lieu en avril 2015 : acceptation prévue en fin d'année

De nouveaux essais de la torpille lourde indienne Varunastra devraient avoir lieu en avril 2015 : acceptation prévue en fin d'année | Newsletter navale |

February 2, 2015: The DRDO's user evaluation trials of the Varunastra heavy weight torpedo (UET-09, UET-10 & UET-11) that were conducted in Nov 2014 went off successfully, but an intended second round of immediate tests was stalled by an unusual development -- the loss of one of the development torpedoes at sea. During one of the successful trials, it was found that the test torpedo had plunged down into the sea bed approximately 35 km from the coast of Visakhpatnam. The Indian Navy and DRDO enlisted the services of survey vessel to provide imagery of the sea bed in the area where the torpedo was believed to have gone down. After several days of scouting for the weapon system, the team had nearly given up hope, though the idea of abandoning the lost Varunastra was not considered given that the unit would contain crucial and indispensable performance data that would facilitate the next round of trials. Finally on December 23 last year, more than a month after the torpedo was lost, it was located and then fished out from the sea bed using a wire mesh mechanism that was extremely difficult to carry out. Sources say summer trials of the Varunastra are slated for April 2015, before final confirmatory trials towards the end of the year, before deployment in service and configuration for surface platforms.

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La Marine israélienne installe des systèmes de détection sous-marine de nageurs AquaShield de DSIT sur ses côtes

La Marine israélienne installe des systèmes de détection sous-marine de nageurs AquaShield de DSIT sur ses côtes | Newsletter navale |

( During Operation Protective Edge last summer, a small force of Hamas naval commandos managed to approach the Israeli coast from the sea, undetected by military surveillance until the group reached the shore. That event, which was thwarted due to the alertness of an Israeli Navy spotter, is not expected to repeat itself because the Israeli Navy has installed the AquaShield Diver Detection Sonar system, which makes it possible to identify individual divers underwater from a far greater distance off the coast.

The navy has already installed the system—manufactured by DSIT Solutions—along the sea border with the Gaza Strip, and is in the process of installing it along Israel’s northern sea border, Israel Hayom reported. A senior navy officer said, “The chances of a diver infiltrating the system are zero. The system is proven and constitutes a sea barrier for Israel.”

AquaShield is built to detect divers and provide protection for vital infrastructure located at sea and on the coast, such as gas rigs and ports. During the Gaza war, the Israel Defense Forces was forced, for the first time, to contend with the threat posed by Hamas’s unit of underwater divers. One group managed to infiltrate Israel near Kibbutz Zikim, and was spotted and killed. Had the AquaShield system been deployed prior to Operation Protective Edge, the terrorists would likely have never reached the beach.

Patrick H. 's insight:

Le contrat d'acquisition de ces systèmes à DSIT avait été finalisé en septembre 2014 :

En savoir plus sur ce système :

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Navantia livre le 2ème groupe d'engins de débarquement des LHD classe Canberra à l'Australie

Navantia livre le 2ème groupe d'engins de débarquement des LHD classe Canberra à l'Australie | Newsletter navale |

The second group of four LLC (LHD Landing Crafts) for the Royal Australian Navy has arrived Sydney on 5th. February. The landing crafts departed from Navantia Bay of Cádiz last 27th. December and have arrived to the HMAS Waterhen base, where will be commissioned to DMO (Defence Materiel Organization).

Navantia delivered the first four units in May 2014. These landing crafts and the last four units, to be delivered in mid 2015, will operate with the ALHD ‘Canberra’ and the ALHD ‘Adelaide’.

The main characteristics of the ships are:
-- Length overall: 23.30 m.
-- Floatation length: 21.27 m.
-- Width: 6.40 m.
-- Depth: 2.80 m.
-- Propulsion: two 809 kW diesel engines, two waterjets propellers
-- Speed: more than 20 knots
-- Autonomy: 190 miles at full load
-- Loading capacity flexibility: Abrams vehicle, several Army vehicles, fusiliers’ company or 20 feet container truck.

The contract for the construction of the series of 12 LLC was signed in September 2011. The landing crafts are destined to operate with the ALHD “Canberra” and ALHD “Adelaide”, strategic projection ships, similar to LHD ”Juan Carlos I”, also built by Navantia in cooperation with BAE Systems.

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La Marine grecque va planifier la refonte à mi-vie des frégates MEKO 200HN sous forte contrainte budgétaire

La Marine grecque va planifier la refonte à mi-vie des frégates MEKO 200HN sous forte contrainte budgétaire | Newsletter navale |
  • EUR400 million cap has been set on planned Hydra-class frigate modernisation
  • Upgrade work will address key sustainability and capability priorities

The Hellenic Navy is progressing plans to move forward with the mid-life upgrade of its four MEKO 200HN Hydra-class frigates, but has acknowledged the scope of work will be constrained by a EUR400 million (USD457 million) budget cap on the programme.

Speaking at the IQPC Surface Warships 2015 conference in Genoa on 28 January, Commodore Nikolaos Kafetsis, head of the armaments directorate in the Hellenic Navy General Staff, said the navy was planning a mid-life modernisation (MLM) to extend the life of its Hydra-class vessels out to at least 2035.

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Le consortium Autoprotection de Sagem lance BlueDome, un nouveau système non léthal anti-pirates à Euromaritime 2015

Le consortium Autoprotection de Sagem lance BlueDome, un nouveau système non léthal anti-pirates à Euromaritime 2015 | Newsletter navale |

The Autoprotection consortium, led by Sagem (Safran), unveiled BlueDome at the Euromaritime trade show and exhibition from February 3-5, 2015 in Paris. BlueDome is a complete, fully integrated system designed to protect commercial ships against piracy.

Autoprotection is a French consortium coordinated by Sagem and including major multinationals and specialized smaller businesses, all specialized in defense and security, and public entities: Amefo, Bureau Veritas, Eca Group, Ecole Nationale Supérieure Maritime, Lacroix, Sofresud, SeaOwl and Thales.
A graduated, non-lethal solution, BlueDome offers several successive barriers to protect ships during all attack phases. It includes the long-range detection of small craft, analysis of their behavior, identification using a day/night optronic turret, implementation of remote deterrents (light projectors, acoustic devices) and anti-boarding measures (water cannons, smoke grenades), as well as the ballistic protection of vulnerable areas and location of crew members.

BlueDome automatically analyzes the situation and manages all systems and devices. Using an intuitive, user-friendly interface, it allows the crew to monitor the situation and approve recommended actions from a tablet. BlueDome also supports the remote operation of sensors and effectors from a secure area on the bridge (citadel), or anywhere else on the ship.
The development of BlueDome was co-funded by ADEME (the French environment and energy management agency), within the scope of France’s Investment in the Future initiative. It is supported by the French Maritime Cluster and incorporates recommendations from France’s top maritime piracy experts.

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La Roumanie s'apprête à lancer la phase 2 longtemps retardée de la modernisation de ses 2 frégates Type 22 Batch 2

La Roumanie s'apprête à lancer la phase 2 longtemps retardée de la modernisation de ses 2 frégates Type 22 Batch 2 | Newsletter navale |

ORomania is set to rekindle long-delayed plans for the Phase 2 modernisation of its two Type 22 Batch 2 frigates, the head of the Romanian Navy has revealed.

Addressing the IQPC Surface Warships 2015 conference in Genoa on 28 January, Rear Admiral (UH) Alexandru Mirsu, chief of the Romanian Naval Forces Staff, told delegates that the Romanian Navy was now looking to revive the Phase 2 upgrade during the course of 2015. "Our current thinking is to fit a modern combat management system, introduce a 3-D [surveillance] radar," he said, "and then to put some 'kinetic' equipment on board in terms of anti-surface and anti-air missiles, and a close-in weapon system."

Rea Adm Mirsu added that there had been an intensive debate on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities. "The water conditions in the Black Sea are very unusual," he said, "but we will also use the Type 22s for international operations so we must think about what type of towed array ASW sonar we need."

Acquired from the United Kingdom in 2003, and commissioned into the Romanian Navy in September 2004 and April 2005 respectively, the frigates Regele Ferdinand (ex-HMS Coventry ) and Regina Maria (ex-HMS London ) form the Frigate Flotilla together with the indigenously-built frigate Marasesti . Entering service in 1985, Marasesti was conceived on the basis of Soviet doctrine and equipment.

Regele Ferdinand and Regina Maria received a basic Phase 1 modernisation as part of their regeneration in the UK prior to transfer. This included the addition of a 76/62 Super Rapid gun; a new gun fire control system - as an adjunct to the legacy CACS-1 command system - based on NAUTIS 3 processing and a System 2500 electro-optical director; and the installation of DL-12T decoy launchers. The ships are now also able to embark an IAR-330 Puma helicopter in the ASW role.

Romania had planned to commence a Phase 2 modernisation - adding enhanced command facilities, improved self-defences and an offensive anti-surface warfare capability - during the late 2000s but this plan was put on hold owing to funding shortfalls.

Other additional capabilities being sought in the scope of the Phase 2 programme include an improved electronic warfare suite, and small-calibre guns for force protection.

No firm timetable was disclosed by Rear Adm Mirsu, although he did state that the Romanian Navy expects the Phase 2 modernisation to keep the two Type 22s viable for between 10 and 20 years additional service. "We will keep Marasesti in its current configuration through to the completion of the Type 22 modernisation," he added. "After that we have to decide on a Marasesti replacement...either a 'light frigate' or a 'heavy corvette'."


Although the two Type 22 Batch 2 frigates are NATO Level 2 certified, the limitations of their installed command, sensor and weapon fit, particularly with regard to situational awareness and self-defence, necessarily restricts their current utility. The planned Phase 2 upgrade would enable the ships to be deployed in support of higher intensity NATO tasks.

Patrick H. 's insight:

On peut se souvenir de la participation remarquée de la frégate Regele Ferdinand à l'opération européenne Atalante en 2012 :

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