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La Marine sénégalaise va prendre livraison de son patrouilleur hauturier Kedougou achevé par Raidco

La Marine sénégalaise va prendre livraison de son patrouilleur hauturier Kedougou achevé par Raidco | Newsletter navale |

Le Sénégal doit prendre livraison, en fin de semaine prochaine, de son nouveau patrouilleur hauturier. Vendu par Raidco Marine et réalisé par le chantier STX France de Lanester, près de Lorient, le Kedougou a achevé avec succès ses essais en mer et a été recetté par la marine sénégalaise. Son équipage, soit 22 personnes, est en formation à Lorient depuis le début du mois et prendra en main son bâtiment pour le transit vers Dakar. 

Du type OPV 45, un tout modèle développé par Raidco Marine, le Kedougou mesure 45.9 mètres de long pour 8.4 mètres de large. Doté d'une coque en acier et de superstructures en aluminium, il est propulsé par deux moteurs diesels Cummins KTA 50 M2 de 1900 cv chacun, soit un par ligne d’arbres, avec une vitesse supérieure à 20 nœuds. On notera à ce propos que différentes motorisations sont proposées par Raidco sur l’OPV45 qui, en fonction des demandes des clients et du type de propulsion retenu, peut atteindre la vitesse de 30 nœuds.

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BRUNEI : le 4ème patrouilleur océanique classe Darussalam (PV80) fait son voyage inaugural depuis l'Allemagne

BRUNEI : le 4ème patrouilleur océanique classe Darussalam (PV80) fait son voyage inaugural depuis l'Allemagne | Newsletter navale |

The Royal Brunei Navy's (RBN's) fourth Darussalam (PV 80)-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV), KDB Daruttaqwa , began its maiden voyage on 15 July, sailing from Lemwerder in Germany towards Brunei.

The 80 m vessel will join three other ships in class, KDB Darussalam , KDBDarulehsan , and KDB Darulaman at the RBN's Muara Naval Base, where it is expected to assume patrolling duties of the Brunei's coastal areas and offshore resource facilities. The Darussalam class is replacing the RBN's Waspada-class fast attack craft (FACs), which have been in service for more than 30 years.

Daruttaqwa has been described by the Brunei Ministry of Defence (MoD) as differing from its sister ships, carrying a 27 mm gun in place of the 20 mm gun found on earlier vessels in the class. The OPV will be able to carry one helicopter, one 10 m rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) in a stern ramp, and a 6 m RHIB deployed via a davit. The vessel has a top speed of 22 kt and is equipped with launchers for four Exocet MM 40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles.

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BAE Systems va construire 3 nouveaux patrouilleurs océaniques pour la Royal Navy (classe River modifiée)

BAE Systems va construire 3 nouveaux patrouilleurs océaniques pour la Royal Navy (classe River modifiée) | Newsletter navale |

Details of a deal which will see three new Royal Navy offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) built on the Clyde have been confirmed by the Ministry of Defence.

Plans for the vessels to be built at BAE Systems' Govan and Scotstoun yards were announced last year.

The MoD has now said the deal is worth £348m and will help safeguard more than 800 jobs.

The Scottish government said independence offered the best future for the shipbuilding industry.

The new patrol vessels will be used to support counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations in UK waters.

Announcing the contract, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "UK warships are only built in UK shipyards. This multi-million pound contract shows our commitment to investing in new ships for the Royal Navy and maintaining in the UK the expertise needed to build the warships of the future.

"It will benefit the dedicated workers of the Clyde, their families and the local economy in Glasgow.

"This sort of investment by the UK Government is vital for the sustainment of shipbuilding in the city and the hundreds of specialist manufacturing and engineering roles that play an important role in providing war fighting capability for the Royal Navy."

'Value for money'

The OPVs will feature a redesigned flight deck to operate the latest Merlin helicopters, as well as increased storage and accommodation facilities.

Plans to build them on the Clyde were announced last November when BAE Systems confirmed it was ending shipbuilding altogether in Portsmouth and cutting more than 800 jobs at its yards in Govan, Scotstoun, Rosyth in Fife and at the firm's Filton office, near Bristol.

A spokesman for the Scottish government said: "All work for the Clyde shipyards is very welcome, but this Westminster re-announcement just weeks before the referendum doesn't change the fact that independence offers the best future for the industry.

"With the proposed closure of the naval shipbuilding yard at Portsmouth, Scottish yards will soon be the only place on these shores where work on vessels like the Type 26 can realistically be done.

"If Westminster is willing to work with Australia on design work for the Type 26 ships - and to place an order worth almost half a billion pounds to South Korea for military tankers - it is even more straightforward to build naval vessels in the Clyde yards, which offers the best quality and value for money."

The first OPV is expected to be handed over to the Royal Navy in 2017.

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Une analyse des missions possibles des OPV (Offshore Patrol Vessel) en temps de guerre

Une analyse des missions possibles des OPV (Offshore Patrol Vessel) en temps de guerre | Newsletter navale |

The Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) is a contemporary ship category not easily understood; it is mostly lost in the larger debate to distinguish similar vessel types such as frigates and corvettes. For our purposes, the OPV is a ship leaning towards enforcement or constabulary duties as opposed to being a dedicated combatant vessel, with a minimal weapons fit necessary to fulfill it’s function.

What then to make of it’s functions in wartime operations? What kind of value can nations gain from OPVs in a conventional, non-nuclear shooting war? OPVs can deliver good value in such a crisis, even though they are not dedicated surface combatants. Much like any other application of platforms, the vessel’s capabilities must be matched up to the assigned mission.

These applications are more suitable for larger navies, where OPVs exist as a distinct ship type usually assigned to coast guard function, either as combatants or as law-enforcement/search-and-rescue assets. For smaller navies, the OPV might be considered a major combatant type equivalent to a guided missile destroyer or other capital fleet unit, thus relegating these missions to even smaller and lighter vessels such as patrol craft.

In general, use of OPVs frees up a navy’s dedicated surface combatants to conduct the tactical operations necessary to fulfill whatever strategic goals needing to be met. In addition, OPVs can supplement some of those combatant roles if properly equipped to do so.

Constabulary Duties and Coastal Patrol – under wartime conditions, the requirement to provide security for stretches of coastlines or critical areas is more valid than ever. Hostile Special Forces, Non-State Actors and a host of other threats can benefit from an unsecured shoreline. And as history points out, life doesn’t stop because of war. There will still be commercial and private traffic (albeit at reduced levels) requiring monitoring and law-enforcement/safety-at-sea activities. OPVs will excel at this function with their long endurance, excellent fuel-economy (thanks to the ubiquitous use of diesels) and if confronted by significant enemy forces, can call upon air support and shore batteries thanks to coastline proximity.

Search-and-Rescue (SAR) – as part of a conventional war, there will inevitably be fleet casualties. While immediate SAR upon conclusion of an engagement is both efficient and humanitarian, surviving fleet units may need to egress immediately in response to a current threat, or to transit elsewhere for another mission. OPVs with their excellent seakeeping, and equipped with small boats and rescue helicopters are perfectly suited to follow-up SAR missions.

Supplementary Naval Forces – some maritime nations have experimented with up-arming their coastal guard forces with front-line equivalent equipment – notably the US Coast Guard’s baseline of the Hamilton-class cutters during the Cold War to have Harpoon missiles, close-in defenses and the ability to operate anti-sub helicopters. While modern OPVs have less deck and internal volume margin to become a true multi-role combatant; it’s not a far stretch to equip them with basic Anti-Surface Missiles, defensive Anti-Air mounts, and potentially towed array sonar. Their speed-of-advance would not make them suitable assets for front-line strikes, but OPVs could supplement fleet units by taking on secondary but vital missions that could free up a guided missile frigate or corvette – for example, providing close escort for a secondary supply line convoy or troop transports. Other creative ways would be to use OPVs as pickets – with a decent sonar suite, the ships could “trawl” across likely areas of enemy sub activity, passing back contact information to Command-and-Control for possible investigation. Conversely, many OPVs have a helicopter pad and some ability to carry “mission packages” such as relief equipment. Instead of humanitarian supplies, place an ELINT module aboard and load up on aerial drones to gather ISR and expand a fleet’s MDA.

It is important to keep in mind that such investments, including any necessary upgrades to bring OPVs to fleet-unit status, is extremely capital-intensive. However, in a wartime setting, it is assumed that cost is secondary to achieving whatever military and political goals required to end the conflict on favorable terms. Using OPVs in such roles will also require some proof-of-concept during peacetime, where there is opportunity to experiment and discover what does work in the field.

Fleet commanders should remain aware of the limitations of this concept. For starters, OPVs are not fast enough, nor are they capable of sufficient self-defense such that they can be committed to a heavily contested battlespace. Skills such as anti-sub warfare are extremely perishable. Specialist detachments will need to be embarked to supplement regular crews depending upon mission and equipment assigned. Integrating OPV forces into annual fleet training exercises is a good step to ensure operational readiness. Where possible, OPVs will do best in missions that are in close proximity to friendly forces. Despite all these limitations, the value proposition to utilize OPVs in conventional war is compelling, and should be considered seriously should force structure and budget allow.


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