16 Jul 13. Marchwood Port: Sale Confirmed. The Defence Equipment Minister confirmed (16 Jul 13) that the MoD is committed to selling the Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre and that the site is being prepared for sale. The Armed Force’ Minister added that the maximum economic use of Marchwood is to be explored, “while ensuring that the military requirement for sea mounting can continue to be met”.
Comment: Ministerial determination to sell Marchwood continues to lack a satisfactory explanation. As has been previously noted, retaining the Port under military control (the excellent 17 Port & Maritime Regiment)
would ensure that it stays open whatever action may be taken by dockers elsewhere in the UK. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/30, 29 Jul 13)
22 Jul 13. The innovation campus in Ottobrunn/Taufkirchen near Munich, which until now was known under the working title of Bavarian International Campus Aerospace & Security (BICAS), on Monday received funding approval from the Bavarian Ministry of Economics to the tune of almost €11m for its first three research projects. For one of the projects EADS is planning to build a special facility, the algae technical centre, together with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in order to produce biokerosene from algae. The project is being supported by the Bavarian Ministry of Sciences, Research and the Arts. Furthermore, BICAS has been renamed the Ludwig Boelkow Campus.
26 Jul 13. Type 22 Frigates: Final Farewell. Warship World (26 Jul 13) confirmed that the last four Type 22 frigates have been sold for scrap.
HMS CORNWALL has been sold to Swansea Drydocks while the other three (HMS CUMBERLAND, CAMPBELTOWN & CHATHAM) have been bought by Leyal of Turkey. The MoD expects to receive some £3m from the sales. The vessels are moored in Portsmouth Harbour and will be sold from there later in 2013.
Comment: In the notification of sale (17 Dec 12) it was stated that at least one of the four frigates would pass to a UK ship recycler: “in part to secure detailed knowledge of the UK.s capacity to recycle vessels”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/30, 29 Jul 13)
15 Jul 13. Lithuania: Naval Support. Thales UK announced (15 Jul 13) that the Lithuanian Navy has formally accepted and commissioned two former RN minehunters into its fleet. The former HMS COTTESMORE, re-named LNS SKALVIS, and the former HMS DULVERTON, re-named LNS KURSIS, are now fitted with a modern minehunting capability from Thales.
Comment: A €55m Government-to-Government agreement between the MoD and Lithuania’s Ministry of National Defence for the transfer, refit and upgrade of the two Hunt Class vessels was signed on 27 Nov 08.
The ships were declared surplus to RN requirements and put on the MoD’s disposal list in 2004. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/30, 29 Jul 13)
23 Jul 13. Data from a Chinese poster display has offered surprising insights into the country’s latest conventional missile submarine (SSB), which was first seen at the Wuhan Shipyard in September 2010. The mystery submarine was notable for a large sail and under-hull extension that were believed to be designed to enable China to test new submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). The recent image appears to confirm the submarine is a replacement for the long-serving Type 031, a former Soviet Project 629 ‘Golf’-class conventional missile submarine (SSB) built in China in the mid-1960s. The boat is believed to be designated ‘Type 032’, with data indicating that development began in January 2005 and construction started in January 2008. (Source: Jane’s)
25 Jul 13. DCNS completes CVN Charles de Gaulle refit. The French Navy’s Fleet Support Service (SSF) signed off on the completion of the intermediate refit of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle after six months’ work by DCNS. From hull to combat system, without forgetting compliance tests to the latest environ