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18 Feb 14. Royal Navy to get new UK training facility. Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines are to receive a new facility for more realistic board-and-search training at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint, UK. The ‘ship in a box’ comprises 21 ISO containers similar to those used on cargo ships, stacked to create a three-storey superstructure crowned by a bridge. Royal Navy and Royal Marines board-and-search teams will use the realistic mock-up ship to strengthen their skills, ranging from the fast roping out of helicopters to searching hidden compartments and using artificial ammunition to neutralise foes. The £1m facility features secret compartments and hiding places used by smugglers, drug runners and terrorists in the real world. It is scheduled to be launched in spring. Currently, sailors and marines are using the Cossack building for compliant boarding training prior to moving on to practising with merchant vessels off Plymouth. Royal Marines lieutenant Chris Carter said that the marines will still use Cossack, which mirrors part of a ship, for training. Construction of the site is underway near Trevol Jetty at the south-eastern tip of Raleigh and is scheduled to be completed in March 2014. (Source: naval-technology.com)

21 Feb 14. BMT Isis Ltd announced the opening of its new office in Plymouth. The new office in Plymouth’s city centre which was officially opened by Oliver Colvile, MP for Plymouth, Sutton & Devonport, will allow BMT Isis to expand its existing business of providing Safety, Environment and Security consultancy to the Defence and Transport industries. It will also help support the organisation’s new Weapons, Ordnance, Munitions and Explosives capability which aims to address the growing need within industry and the MOD for highly qualified explosives safety personnel.

MARITIME

17 Feb 14. The French defence ministry has confirmed its acceptance of the first advanced ECUME RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) manufactured by Zodiac Milpro and has placed an order for 9 boats. The purchase is the first part of an investment option that will ultimately result in the delivery of another 10 of the advanced new boats by Zodiac Milpro. The initial contract follows a detailed and challenging period of testing by the Direction Génerale de l’Armement during which the versatile new RIB was required to prove its suitability as a multi-purpose commando craft.

19 Feb 14. The Lockheed Martin-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy’s eleventh Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Sioux City, in a ceremony held at Marinette Marine Corporation.
The industry team is building Freedom-class LCSs for the U.S. Navy, and has delivered two ships with five others under construction and one soon to begin construction. The nation’s first LCS, USS Freedom, completed her deployment to Southeast Asia, during which she participated in multiple international maritime exercises, conducted patrols in the South China Sea and provided disaster relief for Operation Damayan. As USS Freedom proved, the ship class is addressing the Navy’s need for an affordable, highly-networked and modular ship unlike any other in the world. The platform is designed and outfitted with mission systems to conduct a variety of missions including anti-surface, mine and submarine warfare. The next LCS to deploy will be the Freedom-class USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) in 2014.

18 Feb 14. The first Brazilian nuclear-powered submarine should be ready in 2023, to Admiral Gilberto Max Roffé Hirschfeld, general coordinator of the Submarine Development Program (Prosub, created in 2008, from an agreement for cooperation and technology transfer between Brazil and France. Hirschfeld gave the information during a public hearing on Thursday Feb 13 by the Brazilian Senate’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Defense (CRE). The hearing was called and coordinated by the president of the college, Senator Ricardo Ferraço (PMDB-ES). Besides

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