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FEBRuary 2018 news

Naval Forces, Defense Industry, Navy Technology, Maritime Security

The world’s vast oceans and seas offer seemingly endless spaces in which adversaries of the United States can maneuver undetected. The U.S. military deploys networks of manned and unmanned platforms and sensors to monitor adversary activity, but the scale of the task is daunting and hardware alone cannot meet every need in the dynamic marine environment. Sea life, however, offers a potential new advantage. Marine organisms are highly attuned to their surroundings—their survival depends on it—and a new program out of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office aims to tap into their natural sensing capabilities to detect and signal when activities of interest occur in strategic waters such as straits and littoral regions.

On January 26, 2018, the French Navy (Marine Nationale) Horizon-class Air Defense Frigate Chevalier Paul ended three weeks of participation in Operation Chammal within the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group (CSG), deployed in the Arabian/Persian Gulf. During this period, the Carrier Strike Group 9 (CSG 9) carried out air support missions on the Iraqi-Syrian theater, as part of the operation Inherent Resolve against Daesh.

The launching ceremony of the “Antonio Marceglia” frigate, the eighth of a series of 10 FREMM vessels - Multi Mission European Frigates, took place Ferbuary 3rd 2018 at the integrated shipyard of Riva Trigoso (Genoa) in the presence of the Italian Minister of Defence, Roberta Pinotti and, on behalf of the Chief of Defence, General Claudio Graziano, the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Valter Girardelli. The 10 FREMM vessels have been commissioned to Fincantieri by the Italian Navy within the framework of an Italo-French cooperation program under the coordination of OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement, the international organization for cooperation on arms).

The U.S. Navy’s next generation destroyer, the future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), successfully completed acceptance trials on Feb. 1. The U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey reviewed the ship and its crew during a series of demonstrations both pier side and underway, evaluating the ship’s construction and compliance with Navy specifications.

The merger between Naval Group and Fincantieri, two major naval shipbuilding gourps, appear to be well on track following a high level ministerial meeting held in Rome on February 1st 2018. The first concrete symbol from this merger is likely to be the procurement by France of Vulcano class LSS Logistic Support Ships originally designed for the Italian Navy.

On 1 February 2018, Naval Group floated the FREMM multi-mission frigate Normandie, just 12 months after the start of hull assembly in the building dock on the Lorient site. The completion of this milestone represents an important step, demonstrating the industrial and technological mastery of Naval Group, ensuring compliance with a very tight schedule to be able to deliver, as foreseen, six of the FREMMs ordered by OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation) on behalf of the DGA (French Defence Procurement Agency - Direction Générale de l’Armement) to the French Navy (Marine Nationale) before the end of 2019.

Ship spotters from China released several pictures of what appears to be an electromagnetic (EM) railgun. The pictures released on January 31st show the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN or Chinese Navy) Type 072 III landing ship Haiyangshan (hull number 936) fitted with the suspected railgun at its bow and several ISO containers amidship.

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