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January 2019 news

Naval Forces, Defense Industry, Navy Technology, Maritime Security

China has strengthened its ballistic capabilities, by increasing its Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) forces with the development of an anti-ship variant of the Dong Feng 26 (DF-26), to deny access to its maritime zones to the US forces. It is part of a Chinese stategy that includes the expansion of the maritime zones secured by China.

On January 30, the Indian Ministry of Defense has concluded a contract with state-owned Goa Shipyard Limited to build 2 Russian advanded Talwar-class frigates (Project 1135.6) and to provide those to the Indian Navy. These 2 frigates will be constructed with a partial transfer of technology from Russia.

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a $US 55 million contract, for modification to a previously awarded contract, for the providing of 5 MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned air systems (helicopters) and 2 lightweight fuel cells. Work is scheduled to be done by 2021.

The end of 2018 saw a number of important milestones identified in the Programme Management Plan achieved by the FSAF-PAAMS Programme of the OCCAR. The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (French: Organisation conjointe de coopération en matière d'armement; OCCAR) is a European intergovernmental organisation that facilitates and manages collaborative armament programmes through their lifecycle between the nations of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

The launching ceremony of the “Spartaco Schergat” frigate, the ninth of a series of 10 FREMM vessels – Multi Mission European Frigates, took place on January 28 at the integrated shipyard of Riva Trigoso (Genoa). 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).

According to Boeing, the U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing a $US 2.4 billion production contract for the next 19 P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The contract includes 10 aircraft to add to the current inventory of P-8As in the U.S. Navy fleet, all five jets currently under contract for Norway and the four aircraft remaining for the existing United Kingdom contract, bringing the total United Kingdom acquisition to nine aircraft.

Naval & Robotics (consortium between Naval Group and ECA-Robotics), SeaNavalSolutions (consortium between STX France, Socarenam, Thales Belgium and Engine Deck Repair) and Dutch Damen Schelde (associated with IMTECH België) are competing for a Mine Countermeasures (MCM) contract, which will be awarded by Belgium and the Netherlands in the beginning of 2019.

The German government has recently given the go-ahead for another batch of three Dolphins more for Israel. These new submarines should be ready just as the three first-generation boats are aging out, ensuring that Israel has a fleet of six submarines available for the foreseeable future. These 3 additional submarines will cost 2 billion euros to the Israeli government.

The U.S. Navy, through its Mine Countermeasures Mission Package (MCM MP), successfully completed shipboard integration of two unmanned systems on its Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs). These two unmanned systems are the Knifefish Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) and the Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS).

The Defense Ministry is increasing the potential of the Black Sea fleet. It will get two new guided missile Buyan-M-class corvettes of project 21631 - the Graivoron and the Ingushetia. They are both armed with Kalibr cruise and Onix supersonic antiship missiles. Experts believe the reinforcement is due to the aggravation of the situation in the Sea of Azov and a potential growth of NATO presence in the Black Sea, the Izvestia daily writes.

Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Vladimir Korolev listened to the reports of Navy headquarters at a meeting in the Admiralty about the construction of hydrographic vessels with modern sea and oceanic research equipment, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

India’s Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) project has been launched in 2013 and the first Indian home-made aircraft carrier is scheduled to be operational by 2021. Nowadays, the Indian Navy is determined to pursue this programme by ordering a second indigenous aircraft carrier. Yet, this project may stay at its embryonic stage for a while.

Marine units will accompany all Russian warships in each sortie from 2019. The strength of the counterterrorist teams will depend on the warship class. The frigate will have twenty marines armed with automatic rifles, machineguns, sniper rifles and grenade launchers. Marines will permanently protect the warships from terrorists and subversion teams, board and inspect suspicious vessels. They may also protect the warships in ports, the Izvestia daily writes.

The Krasnodar diesel-electric submarine of project 636.3 of the Black Sea Fleet is getting ready for a sortie. Apart preparing the submarine for the sea voyage its crew is training to load the sub’s ammunition and organize protection and defense of the sub at berth, the press service of the Southern Military District said.

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