2013: this year’s biggest navy stories

9 January 2014 (Last Updated January 9th, 2014 11:40)

This year INS Sindhurakshak (S63) has submerged off the naval dockyard in Mumbai, India, while Babcock has integrated the key Forward Island, Upper Block 07, for the UK Royal Navy.

2013: this year’s biggest navy stories

South Korea Navy orders eight AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat helicopters

Wildcat helicopters

The Republic of Korea Navy has awarded a contract to AgustaWestland for its AW159 Wildcat helicopter, marking the first export order for the aircraft.

Selected to fulfil its maritime operational helicopter requirements, the navy has requested eight AW159 helicopters, including aircrew and maintainer training, initial spares and support services.

AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini said the Korea Navy already operates a large fleet of Super Lynx helicopters and the AW159 selection would represent a combination of capability and value for money when compared with larger helicopters.

US Navy deploys new ground-based flight simulators from Boeing

Boeing simulators

The US Navy has put four Boeing-built ground-based flight simulators into operational use to train naval flight officers (NFO) at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, US, to enhance safety and reduce costs.

The new trainers with advanced capabilities will help the navy move certain training to ground, while freeing up its McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk trainer aircraft fleet to offer live flight instruction.

Boeing Training Systems and Government Services vice president Mark McGraw said the simulators would train almost 150 students on an annual basis.

Babcock installs Forward Island section on HMS Queen Elizabeth

Babcock has successfully integrated the key Forward Island, Upper Block 07, for the UK Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth-class (QE) aircraft carrier at its Rosyth shipyard in Scotland, marking a key milestone in the carrier's assembly programme.

The BAE Systems-built Upper Block 07 is a crucial component of the carrier and includes the main bridge and approximately 100 vital mission systems compartments.

The 22m-high 13m-wide and 27m-long vessel will now be fitted with the long-range radar (LLR) on top, followed by welding the island to the superstructure and installation of mechanical and electrical systems.

Series of errors led to HMS Astute grounding, says report

HMS Astute

The grounding of the UK Royal Navy's nuclear-powered submarine, HMS Astute (S119) off the west coast of Scotland two years ago, was due to a catalogue of errors, an official report has claimed.

The submarine was stranded for 10 hours during a boat-to-boat personnel transfer as part its first set of sea trials off the Isle of Skye on 22 October 2010.

The Royal Navy investigation revealed that the catalogue of errors were found due to "no dedicated plan or briefing" for the transfer and the Navy has accepted the results of the board of inquiry.

BAE completes operational sea trial of SEAS energy-saving technology

SEAS technology

BAE Systems has completed an operational sea trial of its ship energy assessment system (SEAS), to demonstrate the technology's energy saving abilities.

Executed successfully on Type-45 Destroyer HMS Dragon in the Mediterranean waters, the live trial has revealed that a Destroyer can achieve up to 28% fuel cost savings by using SEAS.

The technology, which integrates SEAS dynamic ship energy and fuel performance model, is claimed to help the ship's navigator and engineering crew plan the most efficient engine and cruise speed configuration.

Israeli Navy installs Barak 8 missile onto Sa'ar 5-class vessels

Barak 8 missile

The Israel Navy has begun installation of Barak 8 medium-range surface-to-air missiles onto the Sa'ar 5-class corvettes, in an effort to protect the nation from the Syria's Yakhont Russian anti-ship missiles.

The Barak 8 missile, jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), will allow the ships to defend against an array of threats such as anti-ship missiles, manned aircraft, drones and supersonic cruise missiles, the Yisrael Hayom daily reports.

Soon to be fully operational, the 4.5m-long missile features MF-STAR multifunction surveillance track and guidance radar to provide mid-course guidance updates for the missile.

Indian Navy's Sindhurakshak sinks, killing onboard sailors

Sindhurakshak

The Indian Navy's Sindughosh-class submarine, INS Sindhurakshak (S63), has submerged off the naval dockyard in Mumbai, following an explosion shortly after midnight on 14 August 2013.

The submarine, which recently completed a $80m (£52m) modernisation programme in Russia, was reportedly carrying a crew of 18 onboard at the time of incident.

Even though an investigation is under way to establish the cause, unidentified sources attribute the explosion to a defective battery, which resulted in similar submarine accident in Visakhapatnam in 2010.

US Senate Committee approves military strike against Syria

The Obama administration has been authorised by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee to carry out military strike on Syria, in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack last month.

The committee, which reached ten majority votes in favour and seven against, permitted US President Barak Obama to launch the limited military strike on the Syrian regime, provided that it would not exceed 90 days and would not involve the deployment of US troops on the ground for combat missions.

The vote follows objections to an earlier draft, which were raised by the proponent of US military action in Syria and US Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.).

BAE to close Portsmouth shipbuilding by 2015

BAE closing

BAE Systems has announced its plan to shutdown Portsmouth shipyard in the UK as part of the government's naval restructuring programme.

The historic shipyard will be closed by the end of 2015.

This move will affect almost 1,800 jobs, including 940 jobs in Portsmouth. A further 835 jobs, mostly in Glasgow, but also in Rosyth, near Dunfermline and Filton, near Bristol, will be axed.

Australian Navy's NUSHIP Canberra completes harbour acceptance trial

harbour trial

The Royal Australian Navy's first Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship, NUSHIP Canberra (LHD 02) has successfully completed its vehicle load trial in Australia.

During the trial, conducted by the Defence Material Organisation (DMO) on schedule, the Army vehicles have driven onto the NUSHIP Canberra ship and manoeuvred within the vehicle decks of the ship.

The Australian Army had provided several vehicles including a tank, armoured personnel carrier and light vehicles for use on the LHDs.

Spanish Navy deploys Skeldar V-200 unmanned aerial vehicle

The Spanish Navy has successfully deployed the Saab-built Skeldar V-200 Maritime unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) aboard the Buques de Acción Marítima (BAM)-class patrol vessel Meteoro (P-41).

Skeldar will provide surveillance capabilities for the Spanish Navy during the EU Atalanta operation off the Gulf of Aden.

Earlier this year, Saab received a contract to provide services for the Skeldar V-200 system aboard a Spanish Navy offshore patrol vessel in operation Atalanta.

Philippine Navy receives three AgustaWestland AW109 Power helicopters

helicopters

The Philippine Navy has received three of five AgustaWestland AW109 Power helicopters from Italy at Villamor Airbase, Pasay City in the Philippines.

The Philippine Star cited Philippine Fleet spokesman lieutenant junior grade Rommel Rodriguez as saying that three AW-109 Power helicopters will undergo testing in Cavite.

Earlier this year, Philippine Navy pilots and air crewmen underwent six-month training at Cesto Calende in Italy and are on their way to Sangley.


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