Navy Currents2014: JAN
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January 2013 Issue
Austal Delivers Its First JHSV to US Navy As Part of 10-Ship Contract
The first joint high-speed vessel (JHSV), USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1), built by Austal (Henderson, Australia) was delivered to the U.S. Navy in December. The vessel successfully completed acceptance trials in September and was scheduled to sail later in 2012.
Austal is under contract with the Navy to build nine 103-meter JHSVs under a 10-ship, $1.6 billion contract and five 127-meter Independence-variant littoral combat ships, four of which are part of a 10-ship, $3.5 billion contract.
These two contracts will require Austal to increase its Mobile, Alabama, workforce to approximately 4,000 employees to fulfill the contract requirements.
USS Enterprise Inactivated After 50-Year History Serving in World’s Major Conflicts
The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65), the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, has completed its 25th and final deployment before returning to its homeport of Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia, for a scheduled inactivation in December, held prior to the ship’s terminal offload program and subsequent decommissioning.
The inactivated vessel was commissioned on November 25, 1961, and has conducted operations in every region of the world. The Enterprise has served in nearly every major conflict to take place during its history, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Gulf Wars and 9/11.
The name “Enterprise” will be passed on to CVN-80, the ninth ship in the U.S. Navy to bear the name.
DMS Maritime Caps 11-Vessel Order With RGS For Royal Australian Navy
Damen Shipyards (Gorinchem, Netherlands) and DMS Maritime Pty Ltd. (Sydney, Australia) signed in November a contract for the Rescue Gear Ship (RGS) 9316, which will be used to support the Royal Australian Navy’s submarine fleet. The vessel will be built at a Damen yard in Vietnam and is due to be delivered in 2016.
This is part of an 11-vessel order for DMS Maritime. Since 2011, the company has ordered five tugboats (four azimuth tugs—a Damen ASD Tug 2310, an ASD Tug 2009 and two ASD 2411s), as well as a Stan Tug 1606 for Rockingham, Darwin and Sydney and four water fuel lighters (due for delivery in 2013/14). Four of the five tugs have been delivered. The ASD Tug 2009 will be delivered mid-2013.
In addition, a contract for an Escape Gear Ship 8316 submarine rescue vessel was signed in August and will be delivered in 2015.
Damen is responsible for delivering all 11 vessels to Australia and carrying out the initial training and introduction into service.
Divex and Tetis Pro to Partner on Deep Saturation Diving System for Russian Navy
Divex (Aberdeen, Scotland) is to design, manufacture and supply a 450-meter-rated deep saturation diving system for its Russian partner Tetis Pro (Moscow, Russia). The £10 million system is to be installed by both companies on the rescue ship Igor Belousov, which is to be commissioned into the Russian Navy in 2014.
The system accommodates 12 divers in saturation, allowing three-man bell excursions to depths of 450 meters to gain access to a stricken submarine. It also accommodates up to 60 rescued submariners in the chamber complex if they require decompression following rescue.
UK ASW Exercise in Mediterranean Proves Helicopter-Sonar Platform Potency
The HMS Northumberland has conducted anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training with a friendly submarine as part of the U.K.’s Response Force Task Group on the Cougar 12 Mediterranean three-month training deployment this fall. The exercise involved the ASW surface ships trying to sink the submarines, while trying to avoid being sunk.
Northumberland is one of eight Type 23 ships fitted with Thales (Neuilly-sur-Seine, France) Sonar 2087, a towed array system that enables frigates to hunt submarines and locate them beyond the range from which they can launch an attack. Type 23 frigates also carry the Merlin helicopter fitted with the Thales FLASH dipping sonar.
The exercise “reinforced the view that a Type 23 frigate such as Northumberland, fitted with Sonar 2087 and a Merlin helicopter, remains the most potent anti-submarine warfare platform of any navy at sea today,” Northumberland’s Commanding Officer Cmdr. Paddy Dowsett said.
The eighth and final Type 23 to be fitted with the system, HMS Portland, has been undergoing an extensive refit at Rosyth dockyard in Rosyth, Scotland.
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