06 Mar 14. Indian Navy ready to commission third Saryu-class warship. The Indian Navy’s third Saryu-class naval offshore patrol vessel (NOPV), INS Sumedha, will be commissioned on 7 March 2014 at Goa shipyard (GSL). Built by Goa Shipyard, the 105m-long offshore patrol vessel was delivered to the Indian Navy in January 2014 during a ceremony held in Goa. GSL chairman and managing director Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital said that the ship is the result of many years of in-house design development and ship build techniques. Designed for monitoring sea lines of communication, defence of offshore oil installations and other critical offshore national assets, the vessel can be deployed for escorting high value ships and fleet support operations. Capable of conducting ocean surveillance and surface warfare operations to prevent infiltration and transgression of maritime sovereignty, the 2,300t Saryu-class vessel can cruise at speeds in excess of 25km using two KOEL/Pielstick Diesel engines and have a range of 6,000nm. The warship can also conduct ocean surveillance and surface warfare operations to prevent infiltration and transgression of maritime sovereignty while helping to meet the increasing requirement of the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy has taken delivery of the first two Saryu-class vessels INS Saryu and Sunayna from GSL on 21 December 2012 and 02 September 2013 respectively. Meanwhile, the GSL-built Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF), designed for landing trials of the MIG 29K & LCA at INS Hansa is also ready for commissioning. (Source: naval-technology.com)
10 Mar 14. HMS Vanguard’s nuclear reactor to be refuelled. The UK Royal Navy will refuel the nuclear reactor of the first Vanguard-class nuclear-powered submarine, HMS Vanguard, the UK defence secretary Philip Hammond has announced. Philip Hammond said that the HMS Vanguard nuclear reactor will be refuelled during its planned deep maintenance period, which begins in late 2015 and will last for around three-and-a-half years; therefore it is expected that there will be no impact on deterrent operations. The decision follows the detection of low levels of radioactivity in a prototype core that has been running since 2002 at the Naval Reactor Test Establishment at Dounreay in Scotland.
“The safety of the UK’s naval nuclear reactor at the test establishment at Dounreay and on our submarines is of critical importance to us, as is the maintenance of continuous at-sea deterrence,” said Hammond. “That is why I have taken the decision to apply the precautionary principle, even though there is no evidence at this stage that the problem detected with the test reactor is likely to present in the operational reactors.”
Designed to help assess how the reactor cores within submarines will perform over time, the prototype has been run for significantly longer periods and at higher intensity to enable the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to detect potential age- or use-related issues that may arise later among the operational reactor cores. Nuclear reactor refuelling will allow the submarine to operate effectively and safely until the planned fleet of Successor submarines enter service from 2028. (Source: naval-technology.com)
08 Mar 14. While the Pentagon rethinks and restructures its Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the U.S. has agreed to help Japan develop its own coastal warship with similar attributes. Recent Pentagon guidance directs the U.S. Navy to halt negotiations for any more LCS contracts less than halfway through the service’s proposed 52-ship buy, as the Defense Department reviews other options to make the vessels more lethal and survivable. The headquarters for U.S. Forces in Japan confirms that the two countries will collaborate on a littoral warship. The initiative was first revealed in a statement from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The statement says Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Ambassador Caroline Kennedy “exchanged a docum