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08 Mar 17. DCNS, world leader in naval defence, opened its new Representative Office in Bogota, Colombia, on Wednesday, March 8th, in the presence of His Excellency Ambassador of France in Colombia, Jean-Marc Laforêt. DCNS is highly involved in the future Colombian naval programs, offering, with the support of the French State, attractive solutions to Colombia. This inauguration will be followed by DCNS participation in Colombiamar, the Colombian Naval Defence Exhibition which will be held in Cartagena from 15th to 17th March.
09 Mar 17. First River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel named in Glasgow. HMS FORTH, the first of the five new River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), was officially named today during a ceremony at BAE Systems’ site at Scotstoun in Glasgow in this important year for the Royal Navy.
Guests watched as Mrs Johnstone-Burt, HMS FORTH’s sponsor and wife of Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, the Master of the Household to the Sovereign and former Chief of Staff to NATO’s Supreme Allied Command Transformation, named the 1,800 tonne, 90-metre-long vessel. In keeping with tradition, Mrs Johnstone-Burt smashed a bottle of locally-distilled whisky from the Deanston Distillery near Stirling, the city affiliated with HMS Forth, against the ship’s hull.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin, said: “As part of a sustained programme delivering world-class ships and submarines, HMS Forth’s naming is a vitally important part of the Government’s ten-year £178bn plan to provide our Armed Forces with the equipment they need. From counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean, to securing the UK’s borders on patrols closer to home, the Royal Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels will help protect our interests around the world.”
Iain Stevenson, Managing Director of BAE Systems Naval Ships, added: “Today’s naming ceremony is an immensely proud occasion for each and every person involved in the design and manufacture of HMS FORTH for the Royal Navy. It’s easy to forget that the she started life as a flat plate of steel in the winter of 2014, yet just over two years later she is afloat at Scotstoun, with the latest technologies and combat management systems, ready to depart for sea trials later this year.”
HMS FORTH will embark shortly for sea trials where she will be put through her paces in the open waters off the coasts of Scotland. With a crew of 58 HMS FORTH is expected to enter service with the Royal Navy in 2018.
09 Mar 17. Royal Navy’s HMS Iron Duke returns to sea after extensive maintenance. The British Royal Navy’s HMS Iron Duke Type 23 Duke-class frigate has returned to sea after undergoing an extensive maintenance at the navy’s facility in Portsmouth.
The frigate was put through a series of trials off the South Coast exercise areas following the sustained period of maintenance.
HMS Iron Duke’s guns, including the 4.5in gun, the automated 30mm cannon and the manual mini-guns, fired tracer and live rounds into the English Channel near the South Coast.
The ship’s command system combines all the data and information from sensors, and was also tested against simulated threats.
An Artisan 3D radar system is mounted on top of the frigate’s main mast, which alone has the capability to track more than 800 potential targets at any one time.
The frigate also conducted helicopter training with a Wildcat aircraft from the 815 Naval Air Squadron at Yeovilton. Iron Duke commanding officer commander Steve Banfield said: “The ship’s company are buzzing about being back at sea, conducting our usual business and building our operational capability.
“This series of trials mar