April 2019 news

Naval Forces, Defense Industry, Navy Technology, Maritime Security

The frigate “Alsace” was launched on April 18 off the Naval Group's shipyard of Lorient. It is the ninth of a series of 10 vessels of the FREMM program – Multi-Mission European Frigates – commissioned to Naval Group as part of the international Italian-French program, coordinated by OCCAR (the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation).

Since 2007, SOCARENAM and MAURIC are involved in the design and construction of vessels ordered by the French Customs: 2 units of 44 m Offshore Patrol Vessel (Jacques Oudart Fourmentin and Kermorvan – MAURIC OPV 440), 1 unit of 53,5 m Offshore Patrol Vessel (Jean-François Deniau – MAURIC OPV 535) 2 units of 32 m VSG (Vedettes de Surveillance Générale – MAURIC Patrol Boat 320), and 4 units of 28 m VGC (Vedettes Garde-Côte - MAURIC Patrol Boat 280). Initially, the contract was for two units + 2 units in option, but with the successful delivery of the two first units, the French Customs chose to trust us again.

On April 11, the US DoD finalised the order of 24 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and awarded Northrop Grumman a $US 3.4 billion contract for the procurement of these aircraft. All aircraft are scheduled to be delivered between 2021 and 2026. Through this contract, Northrop Grumman is also expected to upgrade the 40 vehicles already delivered by that time.

The exercise Varuna is scheduled to start on May 1, off Goa and Karwar. This maritime exercise will be held jointly by the Indian Navy and the French Navy (Marine Nationale in French). As part of the event will be present the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle and the Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.

Two heavy nuclear cruisers of project 1144 - the Admiral Ushakov and the Admiral Lazarev, and four nuclear submarines - the Daniil Moskovsky K-448, the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky K-221, the Svyatoy Georgy Pobedonosets K-433, and the Podolsk K-232 will be scrapped by the end of 2021, the Izvestia daily writes.

U.S. State Department officials approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Japan of up to 56 Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB missiles for an estimated cost of US$ 1.15 billion, Mariana Iriarte reports on Military Embedded Systems. Also included in the FMS are missile canisters, U.S. Government and contractor representatives' technical assistance, engineering and logistical support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

Indonesia's Ministry of Defence recently awarded an IDR 360 billion (US$ 25 million) contract to supply the Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia, or TNI) with two more landing ship tanks (LSTs). Those two vessels are to be built by Indonesian shipbuilder PT Bandar Abadi.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) took another step toward returning to the fleet as a fully ready, combat-capable ship. The ship achieved a milestone in its complex repair and restoration as it successfully launched and moored pier-side at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) - Ingalls Shipbuilding shipyard, April 16.

The frigate “Antonio Marceglia” was delivered on April 16 to the Italian Navy at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia). It is the eighth of a series of 10 vessels of the FREMM program – Multi-Mission European Frigates – commissioned to Fincantieri as part of the international Italian-French program, coordinated by OCCAR (the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation).

China, Russia, and NATO allies recently understood the need for increasing their presence in the Arctic region. This comes as global warming, making the ice melting faster and faster, may open new maritime routes in the Arctic, which could be really useful for faster shipping goods.

According to Seoul's state arms procurement agency, on April 12, South Korea signed a contract worth US$ 1 billion to sell three submarines to Indonesia. The deal between the South Korean defence firm Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and the Indonesian government set the building and procurement of three Type 209/1400 Nagapasa-class diesel-electric submarines.

During the Balikatan 2019 naval drills that were jointly held by the U.S. and Philippine Marines, US and Filipino forces trained for a potential island invasion scenario. The 35th edition of the annual event took place from April 1 to April 12 on and off the Thitu Island, the only Philippine-controlled Island in the South China Sea.

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