29 Aug 13. Taiwan plans to spend more than $100m to build a dock big enough for warships in the disputed Spratly islands, a legislator said Thursday, as other claimants strengthen their regional military presence. The plan submitted to parliament Thursday by the coast guard would cost Tw $3.4bn (US $112.4m). Sources said the spending is expected to be approved. The dock will be an upgrade on the existing pier at the Taiwan-controlled island of Taiping, the biggest island in the Spratlys. It is scheduled to become operational in 2016.
“National security authorities have decided to expedite the project as the other countries in the region have been increasing their naval and air force deployment in the past few years, further complicating the issue,” legislator Lin Yu-fang said in a statement.
Once it is completed, large supply ships and even naval frigates will be able to berth, said Lin, a legislator from the ruling Kuomintang party who sits on parliament’s defense committee. The current pier caters only to small patrol boats. Once the dock work is completed, the runway on Taiping will be extended, Lin said. (Source: Defense News)
29 Aug 13. DigitalGlobe announced its intention to relocate its global headquarters from Longmont, Colorado to the North Park development in Broomfield, Colorado in mid-2015. In order to consolidate four office locations in Colorado into a single site, DigitalGlobe signed a letter of intent and plans to enter into a lease agreement for a new campus at the North Park development being constructed by Opus Development Company, LLC, designed by RNL Design, with real estate and project management services by Cresa Denver. The new campus is expected to be ready for occupancy in the summer of 2015. This move will enable the company to realize the synergies, increase operational efficiencies, enhance collaboration and enable better access to talent in the greater Denver metropolitan region to better serve its customers and support its long term growth plan. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)
28 Aug 13. USS Coronado (LCS 4) completes US Navy acceptance trials. The US Navy’s second Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Coronado (LCS 4), has successfully completed acceptance trials, marking a milestone prior to the delivery of the ship to the US Navy this year. The four-day trial was conducted following completion of a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations for the navy’s board of inspection and survey (INSURV), to validate the performance of the ship’s propulsion plant, ship handling and auxiliary systems. During the tests, the ship used both the 7m and 11m rigid hull inflatable boats to conduct launch and recovery operations as well as performing a four-hour full power run, surface and air self defence detect-to-engage exercises. The navy also demonstrated the ship’s manoeuvrability, performing tight turns and reaching speeds in excess of 40k. INSURV president Rear Admiral Robert Wray said: “[This was] the most complete and rigorous trial on the Independence variant to date.” The littoral combat ships have been designed to thwart threats in coastal waters where increasingly capable submarines, mines and swarming small craft operate. Milwaukee (LCS 5), Detroit (LCS 7), Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11) are currently being constructed at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, US. Meanwhile, Austal USA is constructing Jackson (LCS 6), Montgomery (LCS 8), Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and Omaha (LCS 12) at its shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, US. Currently in the pre-production phase, Wichita (LCS 13) and Billings (LCS 15) are under contract with Marinette Marine, while Manchester (LCS 14) and Tulsa (LCS 16) are under contract with Austal. The US Navy is planning to procure 52 LCS class ships in the future.(Source: naval-technology.com)
29 Aug 13. The Royal Thai Navy has become the latest navy to take delivery of an offshore patrol