RFA Tidespring, the lead ship of the new Tide-class tankers built for Great Britain by the South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, arrived in the UK on April 2. The tanker was expected to reach UK waters in 2016 for further outfitting but was delayed by electrical design changes and wiring issues.Despite the delays on the first vessel, the UK still expects to have all four tankers delivered by 2018.
The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced the construction start of a second Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship. The keel-laying ceremony was held at Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. in Busan, according to DAPA. The first Dokdo-class ship, ROKS Dokdo, was commissioned in 2007. Named ROKS Marado, the second vessel is expected to be commissioned in 2020.
US Navy released its new FSA (Force Structure Assessment) last December affirming that years of increased operations, lengthened deployments, strained readiness, and rapid developments around the globe point to the need for a larger fleet. That document lays out the requirement of growing the fleet from the 308 ships outlined in previous report (2014), to 355 reflecting these factors.
The Malaysian Coast Guard has started firing trials of the Aselsan SMASH 30mm remote weapon station on the first NGPC (New Generation Patrol Boat), KM Bagan Datuk. The ship fired in single and burst modes at a seaborne target that the ship’s crew had prepared and set adrift for the trials.
Australian Navy denies reports of improper LHD maintenance. The Navy said HMA Ships Canberra and Adelaide were maintained and operated in accordance with the builders specifications, including the oils and lubricants used in their operation. Australia’s minister for defense industry Christopher Pyne said the repairs could take up to six month to complete.
France signed a contract for a program to build five intermediate frigates (FTI) for the French Navy. The contract was awarded to Naval Group and Thales (for the radar related activities). A budget of €3.8 billion (U.S. $4.1 billion) has been set aside for the FTI program. Naval Group announced the Belharra name for its export version of the FTI project.
A lot of questions about Trump politics on national security…Trump administration needs a bigger and badder Coast Guard and it is obvious that so many countries may build up whole new navies with these additional costs…