Browsing: Foreign navies

Scoop Deck has seen many titles on business cards — commander, director, secretary, chairman … but never one as good as the one we received today: Scoop Deck spent an awesome morning with retired Capt. (Dr.) Don Walsh, pilot of the bathyscaphe Trieste, which recorded (by far) the deepest dive any man has made. More to come on that … Also present was Sagalevich, Walsh’s  Russian counterpart who later took Walsh to view the sunken remains of Bismark and Titanic. In fact, Walsh gives a very couteous nod to his good friend, calling him the “true leader in submersible science.” Sagalevich,…

It seems ours is not the only Navy that must contend with shipbuilding delays. New Zealand today took possession of its offshore patrol vessel Otago – two years late. A range of issues delayed delivery, most notably the failure of both engines as the ship was about to leave on its maiden voyage. The ship limped back into port on one engine after that debacle. No doubt everyone was holding their breath (no pun intended) when the ship sailed from Melbourne earlier this week for the four-day voyage across the Tasman Sea. It’s no wonder that the New Zealand Navy…

March was a busy month for the Global Force for Good. You’ve likely heard about the commissionings, the pummeling of pirates and all the other good tidbits. Here are a few highlights that may have slipped under your radar: The carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower launched nearly 620 combat sorties and flew more than 3,600 cumulative hours from the North Arabian Sea supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Nearly three dozen nuggets gave a collective sigh as the carrier John C. Stennis began the journey home to Bremerton, Wash., after 21 days at sea in support of fleet replacement squadron carrier qualifications. Stennis…

The good people of Morgan City, La., will be hearing a lot of “Who Dat?” in the coming weeks, as dozens of Iraqi naval sailors arrive later this month to learn to operate their new patrol boats. They’ll miss Mardi Gras, but son of a gun, they’ll have big fun on the bayou! The first Iraqi Swift Boat PB 301 made its first machinery runs last week. Manufactured by Swiftships Shipbuilders LLC, the 35-foot Swift Boat achieved an average speed in excess of 34 knots (39 mph) at 84 percent installed power.   The boats also have six 30mm gun weapons systems, machine gun…

The U.S. Navy is not the only one requiring carrier upgrades. Once on the verge of being sold for scrap, the Admiral Kuznetsov — the flagship of the Russian Navy — will be given new life and numerous upgrades in a five-year dry dock starting in 2012. The replacement of a defective propulsion unit tops the overhaul list. The steam turbines will give way to a gas-turbine,or perhaps even a nuclear propulsion unit. The distinctive ski-jump will remain, but the carrier also will receive catapults. The hangar area will be expanded to accommodate more fixed-wing aircraft. In addition, anti-ship cruise-missile…

Tell Congress to rest easy – there may be a new way to cover shipbuilding costs. The Pakistan Navy in late February sealed the deal to buy the 30-year-old frigate McInerney for $78 million. This is a real bargain for Pakistan, which is getting one versatile ship. The second ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry class, Mac has twice received the “Hook ‘Em” Award for excellence in Anti-Submarine Warfare, was awarded the Battle “E” during the first Gulf War, has served above the Arctic Circle and as part of SouthCom’s counter-drug operations. Most notably, the ship on Sept. 13, 2008,…

Top Photo:  A helicopter of the Chinese naval fleet patrols above the Gulf of Aden on Feb. 25 to ensure ships’ safety from pirates. Bottom Photo:  About 50 suspected pirate vessels approach a ship escorted by the Chinese naval fleet in the Gulf of Aden. The vessels harassed the 31 Chinese and foreign ships that the naval fleet was escorting. They were driven out soon after the fleet dispatched vessels and helicopters. These photos were sent to Navy Times and accompanied by a blunt question: “Will historians look back at this as the first signs of declining U.S. influence worldwide…

If it seems like U.S. ship builders are spitting out subs at breakneck speed, it is with good reason. They are. Lawmakers put the Navy on a 60-month construction span by the end of the Block II contract, which calls for two $2 billion submarines each year starting in 2011. Basically, they want subs better and cheaper … and delivered yesterday. India seems to be taking a slightly different approach. The country is planning a 10-year lease of a Russian nuke, the Nerpa. Not sure if that lease has an option to buy. For the crew’s sake, I hope not.…

There is some pretty clever technology coming down the pike along with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Another reporter and I were wondering the other day about whether the U.S. is actually going to sell all of those bells and whistles to all of the eight foreign militaries that are also buying the F-35. So I posed the question to Cheryl Limrick, the spokeswoman over at the JSF office. Will all of the F-35 international customers really have the same, peer capabilities? Or will the U.S. keep any of the technology for itself? She said: “All JSF participants (US and…

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