05 Oct 14. Korean-donated corvette arrives in Colombia. ARC Nariño (CM 55), a 1,200-ton Donghae-class corvette, on 4 October arrived at Colombia’s Bahia Malaga naval base where it will form part of the Pacific Naval Force. The former ROKS Anyang (PCC 755) was donated to Colombia – after retiring from Republic of Korea Navy service in September 2011 – as part of a bi-national co-operation agreement to augment the Colombian Navy’s maritime power projection capabilities. The corvette went through a USD2.5m refit at South Korean shipyards before being handed over to the Colombian Navy. Its Oto Melara 76 mm main armament has been removed and the boat is now fitted with two Bofors 40/L56 40mm guns, two twin Emerson Electric Emerlec 30mm guns, two Mk 32 triple torpedo launchers, and 12 anti-submarine depth charges. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Oct 14. Spain completes S 80 submarine re-design work. Navantia has resolved balance problems with the design of the Spanish Navy’s new S 80-class submarines that halted the four-boat programme more than a year ago. The announcement was made by Alberto Garre, president of the Murcia region (where the submarines are in build at state-owned Navantia’s Cartagena yard), during a visit to the yard with Navantia’s own president, José Manuel Revuelta. Navantia declined to comment, but industry sources confirmed the remarks to IHS Jane’s on 25 September.
Garre also said in his announcement that Navantia is now awaiting approval from the Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) to commence building with the required design alterations. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
07 Oct 14. Artful, the third Astute class submarine being built by BAE Systems for the Royal Navy, has successfully completed her first ever dive – a landmark milestone in preparation for sea trials next year. This operation, known as the ‘trim and incline test’, took place over two days, to prove the submarine’s safety and stability in the water. The maiden dive was undertaken in the dock on BAE Systems’ site in Barrow-in-Furness and involved a team of 80 highly-skilled personnel, including naval architects, engineers and Royal Navy crew members. The 7,400 tonne, 97 metre long state-of-the-art attack submarine, which was launched in May this year, was submerged to a depth of 15 metres to allow naval architects to calculate its precise weight and centre of gravity – calculations that are essential for the boat to safely dive and resurface when deployed. The dive also gave the crew the opportunity to test for the first time in the water the submarine’s sonar, navigation and optical systems – Artful’s ‘eyes and ears’. Tony Johns, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines said: “Successfully completing the trim and incline test is a significant milestone for Artful and a result of years’ of work by skilled engineers, naval architects and our operations team. “Our focus is now on completing final test and commissioning activities before she leaves Barrow for sea trials next year.” The first two submarines in the Astute class – HMS Astute and HMS Ambush – have now been handed over to the Royal Navy, while the remaining four – Audacious, Anson, Agamemnon and the yet to be named seventh – are in various stages of construction. The Astute class is the most advanced attack submarine ever to have entered service with the Royal Navy. Armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, they can strike at targets up to 1,200 miles from the coast with pinpoint accuracy, while its sophisticated sonar system – Sonar 2076 – has the processing power of 2,000 laptops, equipping it with the ‘most powerful eyes and ears’ of any submarine in service today.
05 Oct 14. Malaysia targeting 2019 in-service date for littoral combat ship. The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is targeting an operational entry date of 2019 for the first-of-class Second Generation Patrol Vessel – Littoral Combat Ship (SGPV-LCS), according to its chief, Admiral Aziz Jaafar. Adm Aziz told IHS