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March 2020 news

Naval Forces, Defense Industry, Navy Technology, Maritime Security


On March 5, 2020, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned its 11th Soryu-class diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK) in Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture. JS Ōryū (SS-511) joins the JMSDF’s Submarine Flotilla 1, based in Kure. It is the first-in-class boat to feature lithium-ion batteries.

Exercise Defender Europe 20 is a US Army-led joint, multinational training exercise that includes approximately 2600 UK service personnel, who will deploy from the UK and participate in the series of linked activities that comprise Defender Europe 20. Activities are planned to occur from February through to July 2020.

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS (KONGSBERG) has signed a contract with Raytheon Missile Systems for Naval Strike Missiles (NSM) to the US Navy Over-The-Horizon Weapon System (OTH WS) program worth 203 MNOK. Raytheon is a prime contractor to the US Navy.

Members of Congress have been informally notified of the Defense Department's plans to provide $125 million in new military assistance to Ukraine, including armed patrol boats, according to a congressional aide and US official. This is the first half of the $250 million in Ukraine Security Assistance that has been appropriated by Congress.

Commander, Submarine Forces (COMSUBFOR) officially commenced Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2020 in the Arctic Ocean with the construction of a temporary ice camp, Camp Seadragon, and the arrival of two U.S. Navy fast-attack submarines March 4.

In Norway, the British Royal Navy has conducted ‘Groundbreaking’ trials of unmanned naval equipment in an operational setting for the first time, in a number of milestones for the naval service’s autonomous future. British Royal Marines small boat specialists 47 Commando have been in Norway working alongside HMS Albion, the Royal Navy’s autonomous accelerator NavyX and the Office for the Chief Technology Officer to see how the kit could work during operations.

Austal Limited is pleased to announce the delivery of the sixth Guardian-class Patrol Boat (GCPB) to the Australian Department of Defence. In the latest milestone for the Pacific Maritime Security Program, Australia has handed over the newest Guardian-class Patrol Boat to Fiji at a ceremony on March 6, 2020, at Austal Shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.

The U.S. Navy has commissioned its newest Expeditionary Sea Base, USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), during a 10 a.m. EST ceremony Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Norfolk, Virginia. The USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams (T-ESB-4) is an expeditionary mobile base sub-variant of the Montford Point-class expeditionary transfer dock (ESD) currently in service with the United States Navy (USN).

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