Reprinted with permission from AMI HOT NEWS; an Internet publication of AMI international, PO Box 40, Bremerton, Washington, 98337.
From the October Issue
UNITED KINGDOM -The Future of the Royal Navy
In mid-October 2010, the United Kingdom published two documents that will provide basis for the direction of the British Armed Forces and the Royal Navy (RN) for the next decade and beyond. These two documents, the National Security Strategy (NSS) A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty and the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty, can be viewed in their entirety on AMl’s website or as downloadable documents.
The SDSR will reduce the overall defense budget to £33.88 (US$53.3B) -a cut of 8% from the previous fiscal year. The defense budget is expected to remain at about that level over the following three fiscal years:
• 2012-2013: £34.48 (US$54.2B)
• 2013-2014: £34.1 B (US$53. 78)
• 2014-2015: £33.58 (US$52.5B)
Reductions in forces and accompanying personnel costs will help fill some of the gaps in procurement funding needed to provide for the remaining Astute class submarines, Trident submarine replacement and Type 26 surface combatants. The real problem will be containing the pattern of cost growth and schedule delays that have troubled most RN procurement programs in recent history. The available budget will leave little room for cost growth or schedule slips over the next 4 years and beyond.
The SDSRs specific impact on the active forces of the RN:
- 5 ,000 personnel to be reduced through 2015
- Carrier HMS ARK ROY AL (R 07) will be decommissioned immediately
- Decommissioning of either the carrier HMS ILLUSTRIOUS (R 06) or the helicopter carrier HMS OCEAN (L 12). The decision as to which will be taken out of service will be made following a short study for cost effectiveness.
- All Harrier aircraft will also be retired. The carrier/helicopter carrier/Harrier decision will leave the RN without an active attack carrier for 10 years
- Decommissioning of one Albion class landing platform dock (LPD)
- Decommissioning of four frigates (probably the four remaining Broadsword class (Type 22 Batch 3 ).
- Decommissioning of one of four Bay class dock landing ships (LSD)
- Rationalize the RN base infrastructure ashore.
- Surface combatant force level to be set at 19 ships
6 Daring (Type 45) class destroyers
13 Duke (Type 23) class frigates (commissioned from 1991 through 2002, replacement beginning around 2023)
- Submarine Force level of seven attack submarines, transitioning from a force of six Trafalgar and one Swiftsure to seven new-construction Astute class by 2020
- Maintain a nuclear deterrence reducing launch tubes per submarine from 12 to eight and total warheads from a force of 48 to 40
- All 14 Hunt and Sandown MCMVs will be maintained and replaced by multi-purpose hulls beginning around 2020
- Maintain the resupply and refueling fleet with a re-placement program
- Maintain the six strategic transport vessels (Hurst RO/RO ships)
Significant naval construction programs that are being framed around the NSS and SDSR are:
- Continue developing the Future Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) to replace the four Vanguard class. Main Gate approval is now scheduled for 2016. At least three submarines will probably be built to maintain a continuous deterrent, although the total warhead requirement has dropped to 40 from 48. Launch tubes will also be reduced from the current 12 per unit to only eight in the replacement units.
- Completion of the six Type 45 class destroyers (program underway)
- Continue development of the Type 26 surface combatant to replace the Duke (Type 23) class frigates as well as offering the new design to international customers
- Build seven Astute class submarines to replace the single Swiftsure and six Trafalgar class (program underway)
- Continue with the construction of both Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. The first unit (HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH) will enter service in 2016 and then put in an extended readiness status when the second unit enters service in 2019. The first unit will operate helicopters only for the three years it is in active service and will essentially fulfill an amphibious role if reactivated. The second unit, HMS PRINCE OF WALES, will be fitted with a catapult to fly the Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter
- Replace 12 MCMVs with a new multi-purpose vessel that will also be capable of offshore patrol, hydrographic re-search etc.
- Procurement of a future replenishment ship scaled to meet the new fleet requirements (replacement for MARS)
Looking at the future of the RN post SDSR, there appears to be a strong government commitment to a multi-purpose navy with a continued strategic role. Investments in the Future SSBN, Astute class submarines, Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, Type 26 surface combatants, multi-purpose offshore patrol vessel (OPV) and support ships (formerly MARS) highlight the balanced portfolio of future British naval programs.
However, many of the planned future programs will likely be scaled back even further in response to continuing fiscal pressures. For example, the SSBN program realistically will not contain more than three units, one aircraft carrier will essentially be transformed into an amphibious ship and the number of Type 26 surface combatants, OPVs and support ships funded and built are expected to be less than currently planned.
Further, significant reductions in general purpose surface combatants and expeditionary ships also signal a future Royal Navy less able to respond to a variety of global contingency missions than in the past, particularly if those requirements arise simultaneously in different geographic areas.
The future Royal Navy will also be severely constrained in its ability to execute naval operations at the naval task group or force level. Nor will the RN have a viable fixed wing aviation force at sea for much of the next 10 years.
Finally, the future general purpose force structure appears to confirm that the Royal Navy will continue to meet its global commitments with singleton or small task unit force structures in all but the most exceptional circumstances.
PAKISTAN -Supply Line Shift, Navy Looks Toward China
As of October 2010, AMI continues to receive information concerning future procurement for the Pakistani Navy (PN). With the sea service close to completing its Sword class frigate (four units) and Agosta 90B submarine (three units) programs, the PN is ready to move forward with its next step in its modernization effort.
Pakistan continues to express its interest in the acquisition of four new large ASW surface combatants as well as a new class of submarines from China. Indications are that Pakistan is beginning to rely on Beijing more and more for its naval and air force requirements due to affordability, finance initiatives and fewer political hurdles. The failure to close a new submarine deal with European suppliers is apparently pushing the Pakistanis to seriously consider Chinese-built submarines as well as new frigates to follow the Sword class.
In public circles, the Pakistani Naval Chief (Admiral Norman Bashir) has expressed interest in Chinese systems due to the lower price, flexible payment options and most importantly, lack of political conditions on naval equipment sales. Admiral Bashir has stated publicly that China is much more flexible in its arms deals when compared to other suppliers.
Although Pakistan continues to receive used equipment from the US such as P-3 aircraft and Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates, the country is clearly beginning to move toward another strategy of new platform buys from China.
This not surprisingly follows on the success of the Sword class frigate program, which Pakistani naval officers and crew have publically stated are “great ships”.
Pakistan admits that Chinese designs are inferior to their western counterparts in some respects but as China has demonstrated the willingness to custom build ships to Pakistan’s requirements, this makes them an attractive supplier compared to other shipbuilders who have not proved so flexible.
Pakistan is considering four ASW frigates (possibly the type 054 class Jiangkai I) and up to eight Yuan class submarines or the newer Chinese design launched in October.
In addition to new frigates and submarines, Pakistan is also considering the procurement of the Chinese HQ-16 (Russian SA-N-12/Grizzly) surface-to-air missile (SAM) to replace the FM-90s currently on the new Sword class frigates and the L Y-60 SAMs on the ex-British Type 21 frigates still remaining in service.
With the commissioning of the third Sword class frigate and the completion of the Agosta 908 in 2008, Pakistan could complete negotiations with China at any time in regards to the frigates, submarines or both.
Shipyard, Submarines and Frigates
In July 2020, AMI reported information regarding the potential sale of Hellenic Shipyards (HSY) as well as details of Greek naval programs that are scheduled to take place over the next several years.
The original terms of the sale of HSY from March 2010 included:
- Hellenic Navy (HN) accepts the first type 214 class submarine that was initially refused. Although the HN would accept the submarine, AMls source indicates that it would likely then be sold (asking price €300M/US$388.8M) to a client known to the owner of CMN. The French yard CMN is a 30% stakeholder in Abu Dhabi Mar (ADM).
- The Greek Government waives the penalty for the de-lay in delivery of the type 2 I 4s, amounting to €1 OOM (US$129.6M)
- The Greek Government negotiates with the European Union (EU) to cancel the fine it levied on HSY for what was called illegal competition.
- Greek Government to provide €2B (US$2.59B) in new orders for HSY for the new construction cor-vettes
- Possible shift of construction of an optional Commandante class corvette (a current UAE Navy program) to HSY from Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding (ADSB) in order to increase the order book of the Greek shipyard.
On 28 September 2010, the Greek Parliament voted to accept the transfer of HSY from ThyssenKrupp Marine systems (TKMS) to ADM, including the procurement of two additional Type 214 class submarines (HM corvettes not yet firm).
As noted above, the two additional type 214s were one of the main items of the proposed sale of the shipyard. These two new build submarines will replace two type 209 units in the HN inventory that will not receive their mid-life upgrade (MLU). OKEANOS was the first 209 to receive the MLU, including an air independent propulsion (AIP) system. That sub completed MLU under a 2001 €800M (US$1. 11 B) contract whose original scope was for three units. With the construction and procurement agreement for the two additional Type 214s (signed on 30 September for a total contract amount of€1B (US$l.39B), upgrades for the two remaining 209 MLUs in the original sub modernization contract have been cancelled.
In addition to the contract for the 214s, the Greek Government agreed in the September contract to pay approximately €300M (US$4 l 7M) for old obligations that include:
- €117M (US$162.6M) for the remaining material al-ready procured for the MLU of the remaining two 209s
- Delete penalties from the delays of the both the Type 209 MLU and the Type 214 procurement
- Delete obligations and penalties from the above con-tracts for Greek Added Value Tax and offsets
The agreed upon payment schedule for both the Type 214 procurement and repayment of the old obligations is as follows:
With the negotiations complete for the sale of HSY, contract discussions for the FREMM frigates continue to progress. On 24 September 2010, the Greek Government and MBDA came to an agreement on the missile and launcher load out for the FREMM that is expected to see a final contract in 2012. AMI still estimates a total program build of 6 Greek FREMMS.
Launchers for the FREMMs will include three, Sylver A-50 launchers for Aster 30 missiles, a total of 24 cells and one Sylver A-70 launcher (8 cells) for Aster 30 missiles on the bow. As well as Aster 30s in the A-70, future deployment of the Naval Scalp land attack missile could occur should they be purchased in the future. On the stem of the ship, six, four-cell Sylver A-35 launchers will house the vertical launched (VL) Mica short range missiles.
While the FREMM program was an element of the July negotiations, it now appears that the construction of the six FREMM frigates is not part of the final HSY purchase agreement. The FREMM program may still be a bargaining chip for further development of a national shipbuilding strategy centered on HSY. AMl’s sources indicate that there are preliminary discussions within Greece to do just that, following a strategy very similar to that adopted in Canada. Should this new strategy include a future merger of Elefsis and HSY or even a sale of Elefsis, the FREMM program could certainly sweeten the deal.
New Submarine Class Launched
On 03 October 2010, AMI International received information that Wuhan Shipyard launched a new class of submarine on 12 September 2010 for use by the People’s Liberation Army – Navy (PLAN).
While the new submarine was originally believed to be yet another unit of the Yuan (Type 04 l) class, photographs show that the vessel is unlike the Yuan in many aspects; including the location of the dive planes, length and shape of the sail, hull form and tail plane configuration. In fact, this new unit looks more like a Chinese rendition of a Kilo class, albeit with minor differences.
Reporting on the subject suggests that the Chinese have once again copied a foreign (Russian) design of a weapon system; however, there are enough differences between the Russian and Chinese submarines that AMI believes this is just a logical progression of Chinese submarine design.
Additionally, it is likely that this new design will be a separate construction line at Wuhan, running in parallel with the Yuan class. Although, facing some delays, the Yuan seems to be on track to deliver the next two units in 2011 as planned while the new class goes through testing and then eventually into full-rate production.
From photos of the new submarine, it appears to be a standard length submarine that likely does not have any air independent propulsion (AIP) system, indicating that it will likely be used for local patrols, similar to the Kilo class currently in inventory.
AMI anticipates that this new design will likely become a class of around eight units, augmenting the eight Kilos in inventory and allowing for increased patrols in territorial waters.
From the November 2010 issue
United States-Shift in Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Acquisition Plan?
As of late November 2010, AMI continues to receive information that the US Navy (USN) is recommending to Congress a new acquisition plan for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. Various sources and press releases indicate that the USN is now seeking congressional approval for the procurement of up to 20 new LCSs under a split procurement program rather than continuing forward with the current plan to down-select to one design by the end of 2010.
On 04 November, the USN began discussions with Defense Committee members (SASC and HASC), their staffs and the industry teams involved in the LCS procurement (Marinette Marine and Austal) into the possibility of gaining US Congressional authorization to award two I 0-ship blocks as an option to the current acquisition plan of authorizing only I 0 units to a single contractor. The new acquisition plan would require Congressional approval. This proposal is in the planning stages only and has not been approved by the US congress. The original acquisition plan to select a winning design by the end of 2010 for a ten unit build is still the official strategy in accordance with the tenns of the current solicitation.
The new plan would authorize 20 units, ten each for the Lock-heed Martin/Marinette Marine design and ten units of the Austal design to be built through 2015.
AMI believes there are several reasons that the new strategy is being considered at this time. The USN Senior Acquisition Executive (Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition) Mr. Sean Stackley, has confirmed that bids for Austal Ships and Lockheed Martin have come in at costs below the US$480M Congressional cap.
When considering the projected costs of the 17 units (US$10.8B -or US$635.2M per unit) included in the FY 201 I Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP), there are sufficient funds to build all 20 units. The actual number of vessels procured will only increase from 17 to 20 under the two-block procurement plan in the same five-year period.
Also under the FY2011-2015 FYDP is the procurement of 16 mission modules for US$ I. I B. The rate of procurement for the mission modules will have to increase slightly in order to meet the faster procurement schedule of the hulls. However, when considering the cost of procuring 20 LCSs in the next five years under the two-block buy in addition to the costs of the mission modules (under a separate funding line); it is likely that the USN will be able to procure the next 20 LCSs and the additional mission modules within the current budget.
This is a win-win-win for the USN, Lockheed Martin/Marinette Marine and Austal AMI’s 2006 assessment of surface combatant ship costs projected the LCS program as considerably cheaper than other comparable surface combatant programs throughout the European market. It appears that it still holds true today.
The USN is also considering the likely operational tempo of the current and future fleet and the declining number of general purpose combatants-specifically frigates-available to meet those commitments. This is another factor prompting USN support for procuring more LCS hulls earlier. An LCS contract that enables building of the first of 20 new ships immediately will provide more hulls sooner to meet future operational commitments.
The other part of the equation is the state of the US shipbuilding industry. With consolidation of naval shipbuilding infrastructure driving reductions in skilled shipbuilders, a bulk order for LCS will stabilize the workforce at Tier II shipyards such as Austal Ships and Marinette Marine against further job cuts. This could be expanded further when the thirty additional units are ordered under the next FYDP, as AMI anticipates that the competition will be opened further.
Austal Buys Australia Technology /Information (ATI)
On 08 November 2010, Austal announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Australian Technology Information (ATI) Pty Ltd of Canberra.
Established in 1990, A Tl is an independent, Australian owned systems engineering company with a business development office in the USA delivering products and services supporting command and control systems; Global Positioning Systems (GPS); tactical data links and self replicating digital communications; primary and secondary radars; forward looking infrared (FLIR); general electronics and 3D visualization and systems integration.
For in country support, A Tl partners with Raytheon, Kelvin Hughes and Telephonies Corporation. Supporting Raytheon, ATI provides maintenance and repair of electronic systems supporting the Australian Defense Force (ADF). A Tl also supports Kelvin Hughes at their Naval Marketing and Maintenance Repair Facility for naval-related equipment, repair, operator and maintainer training. A TI and Telephonies partner to provide defense communications, radar and electronic equipment technologies to domestic and international customers.
With the acquisition of A TI, Austal will now be able to expand its product and services offerings with A Tl’s state-of-the-art systems engineering capabilities and further develop its support to the ADF and international defense customers.
DID YOU KNOW?
UNITED KINGDOM -On 01 November 2010, BAE Systems announced that it would launch the second Royal Navy (RN) Astute class submarine, HMS AMBUSH (S 21) on 16 December 2010.
GREECE -on 02 November 2010, the Hellenic Navy (HN) commissioned its first Type 214, HNS PAPANIOLIS (S 120) at Germany’s HOW shipyard.
ALGERIA -On 02 November 2010, the second of two Kilo II (636) class submarines for the Algerian National Navy (ANN) was turned over to the Algerian sea service at Russia’s Admiralty Shipyard.
From the December 2010 Issue
SAUDI ARABIA -Naval Requirements List Continues to Grow
In late November 2010, AMI received information concerning additional programs for the Royal Saudi Naval force (RSNF). AMI sources indicate that the RSNF is currently discussing three major programs including:
- A modernization program that will include the three Al Riyadh class frigates, four Medina class frigates, four Badr class corvettes and nine Al Saddi class corvettes. The RSN expects these classes to remain in service until 2020.
- A program to procure mini and mid-sized submarines.
- A program to buy a helicopter carrier.
- One MR-760MA Fregat-MA Top Plate-B 3-D air-search radar.
- One 4-panel Type 348 Sea Lion multi-function radar.
- Four 20-round multiple launch rocket systems for decoys.
- Four Type 730 close-in weapon systems.
- One 100 gun.
- Two Type 730 close-in weapon systems.
- Four multiple launch rocket systems of both decoys and land attack munitions.
- Eight surface to surface missiles.
- One 4-panel Type 348 Sea Lion multi-function radar.
- One MR-760MA Fregat-MA Top Plate-B 3-D air-search radar.
- One Type 517 Knife Rest A-band radar.
- One Band Stand missile data link.
- Two Light Bulb data links.
- One Type 344 Rice Lamp for gun direction.
- A bow mounted sonar
- One 3000-ton class built by Jiangnan shipyard.
- One 1500-ton class built by Wuchang shipyard.
- Three 1000-ton Type I class (two by Wuchang and one by Huangpu).
- Three 5,000 ton.
- Three 4,500 ton.
- Four 3,000 ton.
- Six 2,000 ton.
- Sixteen 1,500 ton.
- Fourteen, 1,000 ton.
Although no suppliers were mentioned in connection with the modernization programs, AMI believes that at least one or several of the major systems houses involved in the original procurement programs will likely be selected to oversee the modernization effort each individual class indicating that Thales, Atlas elektronik (Cassidian -fonnerly EADS), and Boeing could be leading candidates to refurbish these four ship classes (with a corresponding shipyard). The RSNF has indicated it wishes to keep these vessels service until 2020. Some of these vessels will be replaced by the new frigates that are currently being considered.
In regards to the submarine procurement, sources indicate that the RSNF has already consulted with Saudi Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz and will meet with a US delegation in the near term regarding the requirements for the four mid-sized submarines and undetermined number of mini-submarines. Although the US has not built conventional submarines in over four decades, it could join with a major builder such as DCNS or Thyssenkrupp Marine to fulfill this requirement. General Dynamics, DCNS, Fincantieri, BAE Systems and many other smaller submarine builders such as James Fischer could become competitors in the mini-submarine program.
Sources also indicated that the Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation (MoDA) has seen some activity between BAE Systems of the UK and the Saudis. It appears that a BAE solution could be preferred by high ranking RSNF offices for the helicopter carrier. France is also attempting to fulfill the helicopter carrier require-ment. BAE Systems and DSNS must be considered the two top contenders for the helicopter carrier program.
Although no timelines were mentioned in these latest three programs, one thing is certain, it appears that the MoDA and the RSNF have their plates full as the sea service is currently evaluating a major procurement of 150 patrol boats (mostly for the Coast Guard), six medium landing craft (LCMs) and three helicopters in addition to the procurement of up to four new frigates.
Of all the programs being considered at this time, AMI be-lieves that the frigate is much further along as a design has been under consideration since 2005. It will probably be followed by the 150 patrol vessels. AMI believes that the helicopter carrier and submarine programs are several years down the road, if they in fact ever come to fruition.
CHINA -Update on New Construction Programs
Since the last complete rewrite of AMl’s China country report in December 2009, significant changes have taken place in that country that warrant this update on the state of the People’s Liberation Army-Navy programs that are currently in progress.
Aircraft Carrier Programs: In September 2010, AMI reported that the People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) had begun construction on their new aircraft carrier in a Navy 011/y shipyard located on an island facility built specifically for the program.
Analysis of these sources suggests that the new China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) Jiangnan facility, located on Chang zing Island near Shanghai, is the location of the new carrier’s construction.
The new PLAN aircraft carrier will likely be in the 60,000-ton range and powered by eight Ukrainian DA-80 gas turbine engines driving four controllable pitch propellers for a maximum speed of 30 knots. Photos of the ex-VARY AG taken in November 20 I 0 reveal a weapon load-out that will likely be incorporated on the new carrier as well.
Information received regarding the ex-VARY AG from multiple sources as well as from recent photographs indicates that the carrier is just months from beginning sea-trials and that engine testing has already taken place as evidenced by exhaust from the smoke stacks. Sources state that the power plant consists of six Ukrainian DA-80 gas turbines as well as eight diesel generator sets.
New equipment noted on the carrier includes the following:
It is anticipated that the carrier will be available for local area operations and training by the end of 2012 and will be used primarily for training the air wings that will eventually be embarked on the new production carriers.
Destroyer Programs: In November 2010, AMI received additional information regarding the construction of the new Type 0520 class destroyers at Jiangnan. Information and photos received show this program is approximately three years ahead of the originally anticipated schedule with the 20 November 2010 launching of the first of class.
Based on photos, the new destroyer displaces around 8,000 tons, smaller than originally anticipated, and seems to be a cross between the proposed Types 0520 and 051 D destroyers, possibly allowing for faster construction of more units.
General specifications of the Type 052D include:
Regarding surface to air missiles, there are no cells visible on the bow of the vessel, nor does there seem to be room for any. All missiles would be housed in the after portion of the ship and will likely be a vertical launched variant of the SA-N-7 Gadfly housed in a 32-cell launcher. As final fitting out continues, AMI will report any updates to the design as well as more detailed missile load-out information.
AMI’s source also has indicated that three additional units of the class are scheduled to be built at the rate of one every 18 months. Unit two is already under construction and should be launched in late 2011.
Mine Countermeasure Vessels: In early November 2010, another unit of the Wozang class mine countermeasure vessel (MCMV) was launched. Although there are some slight differences to the first of class unit, the hull and armament appear to be the same. Only the superstructure shows some slight modification with the lengthening of the bridge.
The Wozang class is made of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) and is around 60m ( 196.Sft) in length with a beam of tom (32.8ft) and is likely powered by podded propulsors based on the stem hull fonn. Forward of the bridge is a deck-house that likely contains a variable depth sonar and combat information center. On the forecastle is one 37mm twin gun mount. A full array of mine-sweeping and neutralization equipment will be employed, including remotely operated vehicles (ROY) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV).
Since no additional units were built for over two years, unit one was believed to be a test vessel. It now appears that any bugs have been worked out in the design and the Wozang class will move forward. AMI believes that the class wilt enter the production stage with around ten units ultimately being built at the rate of one every 18 months.
Amphibious Vessels: On 18 November 2010, the second unit of the Type 071 landing platform dock (LPD) was launched at Hudong shipyard, about 3 months ahead of schedule
The hull as launched appears to be virtually identical to the first of class, KUNLUNSHAN, including sensors and armament. The only minor changes are to the superstructure near the bridge and appear to allow for more internal room in the pilot-house.
The LPD is approximately 160m (524.9ft) in length with a capacity of carrying up to three of their newly designed 33-meter LCACs, in addition to having a roll-on-roll-off (RORO) deck capable of transporting 20 tanks or 75 armored personnel carriers. The LPD also has a flight deck and hangar for two large transport helicopters, accommodations for up to 1,000 troops and staff personnel, command and control communications equipment, one medium caliber gun, a short range SAM system and four AK-630 CIWS.
With regards to the LCACs, the pilot house is on the port side of the craft with no navigation house as in the United States’ (US) LCAC. Along each side, as in the US version, are the two engine compartments housing the gas turbine engines as well as the lift fans and air-screws. The deck of the Chinese LCAC is 28.8m (94.5ft) long, 50% longer than American counterpart and can carry 2 light armored combat vehicles.
The Chinese LCAC is 33m (I08.2ft) in length with a beam of 26.8m (87.9ft). The cargo deck is 28.8m (94.5ft) in length and 7.2m (23.6ft) in width. The bow ramp is 7.5m (24.6ft) wide and the stem ramp is 4. 9m ( 16.1 ft). Payload is reported to be 60 tons and the craft has a displacement of 170 tons when fully loaded.
It is powered by 2 QC-70 engines (7000 kW each) providing a maximum speed in excess of 40 knots and has a range of approximately 200nm. It is however reportedly less maneuverable than its American counterpart, due to the fact it does not possess reversible pitch air-screws or vectoring nozzles.
AMI anticipates that the PLAN will continue its plans to procure up to thirty-seven of the new LCACs to equip the projected fleet of Type 071 class LPDs.
Maritime Safety Administration (MSA): Although not covered in AMl’s Worldwide Naval Projections Report (WNPR), the expansion of the MSA is certainly noteworthy in that China seems to not only be focusing on their naval aspirations, but is also realizing the need for new and more capable vessels to patrol its EEZ.
This expansion of the MSA was drafted into the 10th 5-year plan in 2000. The first phase of the buildup occurred in 2004 and 2005 that included the following;
Currently there are numerous cutters being built at multiple naval shipyards for the MSA. In the Huangpu shipyard two cutters, HAIJIAN-23 and HAIJIAN-75 were launched in September 2010. They are two of the four 1000 ton Type-II class cutters that are on order for Huangpu and are 75.8m (248.7ft) in length long with a beam of 10.2m (33.5ft).
In the Wuchang shipyard, HAIJIAN-15 and HAIJIAN-84 are currently receiving final outfitting and should commission by early 2011. Each cutter is 88m (288. 7ft) in length with a beam of l 2m (39.4ft), a 5.6m (18.4ft) draft and displaces 1,740 tons. They were launched earlier this year and will likely deliver in early 2011.
Also in Wuchang, a 3000-ton class cutter began construction in April 2010 and is scheduled to commission into the MSA in May 2011. Additionally, Wuchang is also contracted to build numerous 600-ton cutters the MSA and on 12 November 2010 received a contract for the construction of the largest MSA vessel to date, the HAIXUN 01, which is 128.6m (422ft) in length displacing 5,420 tons.
As part of the continuing buildup, projections for the MSA indicate the following vessels are to be procured in the 2011-2015 timeframe:
While the PLAN continues to expand their scope of operation to more of a blue water/global Navy, the MSA will be required to take on many of the roles that have been traditionally conducted by the PLAN. As such, an expansion of the MSA as well as adding much larger vessels to the inventory will certainly be required.
UNITED KINGDOM -Vangaurd Class Nuclear-Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) HMS VENGEANCE: On 02 December 2010, Babcock International announced that it had been awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defense (Mod) to commence the planning phase for the refit of the Ballistic Missiles Submarine HMS VENGEANCE. The planning phase for the Long Overhaul Period and Refuel (LOPR) will last for 18 months, at which time the submarine will enter Devonport’s Royal Dockyard for three and a half years.
The overhaul will include the replacement of the reactor core in addition to upgrades to strategic and tactical weapon systems and hull maintenance. The planning phase is being conducted by Babcock, the MoD and Rolls Royce. The LOPR will commence in 2012 following the departure of HSM VIGILANT, which will be concluding its LOPR.
INTERNATIONAL -Unmanned Systems Developments Europeans Launch Unmanned Systems Programs
Europeans Launch Unmanned Maritime Systems Program: Ten European Defence Agency (EDA) member states (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden) and Norway have agreed to launch a US$70M unmanned maritime systems (UMS) program. The agreement, signed on 09 December 20 I 0, aims to improve mine counter measures, harbor protection, and antisubmarine warfare. A systems-integration group, established to coordinate the program, will also study future UMS launch and recovery techniques, torpedo defense, and energy supply for UUV s.
In a press release issued by the EDA, the UMS initiative is intended to encourage collaboration, reduce administrative burdens, and eventually shorten the concept-to-contract period associated with research and development. A wide-ranging network including navies, universities, national laboratories, and various industries are scheduled to participate.
DID YOU KNOW?
RUSSIA: On 14 December 2010, the Russian Navy launched its second Borey class nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), RS ALEXANDER NEVSKY, from the Severodvinsk shipyard.
INDIA -On 06 December 2010, the Indian Navy (IN) launched its fourth Saryu class (I OS-meter) offshore patrol vessel (OPV), INS SUMITRA, from the Goa shipyard.