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09 Dec 15. South Africa re-establishes Durban navy base. The South African Navy (SAN) has redesignated Naval Station Durban as a naval base and begun initial work on refurbishing its facilities, it was announced on 8 December. Once all the work has been completed, Durban will serve as the home base for the three Warrior-class patrol boats that remain in service with the SAN and provide support for other naval vessels operating on the east coast of South Africa and northwards into the Mozambique Channel. It will later be the base for the offshore and inshore patrol vessels (OPVs and IPVs) the SAN will acquire in the coming years. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
09 Dec 15. BAE Systems has awarded a £90m contract to Morgan Sindall plc for the development of one of the UK’s largest industrial facilities at the Company’s submarine building site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. The new building will sit at the heart of a £300m transformation project underway to prepare for the construction of a successor to the Vanguard class submarine. The new Central Yard Complex will offer a cutting-edge facility to fit out each section of the new submarines before they are transported to the Company’s Devonshire Dock Hall where the build process will be completed.
Allan Day, Facilities Programme Director, BAE Systems Submarines said, “The Central Yard Complex is the largest single building in our site redevelopment programme. When complete it will be one of the most advanced submarine manufacturing facilities in the world. This uniquely designed site will enable us to support the Government’s needs for the Vanguard replacement programme which was recently reaffirmed in the Strategic Defence and Security Review.”
Groundwork started on the Central Yard Complex project this September and the building work is scheduled to be completed in the Summer of 2017. In total, the project will employ 850 people throughout the course of the development and at its peak there will be 300 people working on the site.
When complete, the Central Yard Complex will offer office space, an employee canteen and fabrication and workshop facilities. Approximately 600 employees will be based in the building.
04 Dec 15. Foreign Minister: China to Build Navy Base in Djibouti. China is to build its first naval base in Djibouti, the Djiboutian foreign minister said Friday, in the latest sign of China’s growing international security presence.
Djibouti is seen as a key strategic location in the Horn of Africa, with United States, France and Japan already having facilities in the country.
“The negotiations have come to an end and the naval base will be built in Djibouti,” Mahamoud Ali Youssouf told AFP on the sidelines of a summit of African leaders in Johannesburg.
“The goal of the base is to fight against pirates… and most of all to secure the Chinese ships using this very important strait that is important to all the countries in the world.”
“For Djibouti, it’s an additional strategic ally.”
A former French colony, Djibouti guards the entrance to the Red Sea and, ultimately, the Suez Canal, and has been used by international navies as a hub in the fight against piracy from neighbouring Somalia.
“For a few years with the instability in Somalia, this region has become a refuge for pirates and the terrorist movements,” Youssouf said.
In May, Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh told AFP that talks over the military base were underway. Guelleh met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the summit in Johannesburg, where China announced $60bn of assistance and loans for Africa. (Source: Defense News)
09 Dec 15. French Navy’s first FRE