Tag: Arctic

Canadian subsidiary of French defence giant gets $5.2 billion contract

Canada’s new class of Arctic Patrol Ship

OTTAWA — The Canadian subsidiary of French defence industry giant Thales has been awarded a multibillion-dollar contract to service Canada’s new fleet of Arctic offshore patrol ships and joint support vessels.

The federal government said Thursday Thales Canada, in a joint venture with the company’s Australian arm, will provide in-service support for the vessels under a contract that could total $5.2 billion over 35 years.

Acting Procurement Minister Jim Carr announced the awarding of the contract along with parliamentary secretary Steven MacKinnon at news conferences in Halifax and Ottawa.

The contract starts with an eight-year, $800-million service period.

Carr said it will provide “men and women in our military with the equipment they need to conduct their operations effectively while creating good middle-class jobs for Canadians.”

But the Union of National Defence Employees said the government is relying too much on the private sector when it should be doing the ship service work in house.

Rear Admiral John Newton said Thursday the Royal Canadian Navy maintains a “fine balance” between in-house capabilities and industry support.

“We are constantly migrating our in-house capability very slowly to keep a balance between what industry can provide, readiness of ships when we demand it, international deployments, and what we (the Royal Canadian Navy) can provide with specialized teams and specialized operational equipment, weapons and sensors,” said Newton, commander of Canada’s East Coast navy.

Harry De Wolf-class Arctic Patrol ship

“We’ll have a navy that’s ready for operations globally and it’s a good navy that thrives on this kind of relationship.”

MacKinnon said the announcement is part of building the capacity for Canadians to do the work in the future.

He said Canada has suffered by allowing its shipbuilding capability to deteriorate, and the government is in the process of rebuilding from the floor up.

“We are literally, under the shipbuilding strategy, rebuilding an industry,” MacKinnon said in Ottawa. “This contract . . . does bring new capability to Canada. It brings new efficiencies to Canada, it brings experience from across the world.

“But at the same time, it’s Canadians doing work on Canadian vessels that were paid for by Canadian tax dollars,” he said. “We’ll be building capabilities benefiting from the experience of our partners from around the world and using that right at home, using Canadians.”

Carr said the federal government received four strong bids. Winning bidder Thales Canada will retrofit, maintain and repair the ships, and will also provide training.

Officials say Thales will be required to hire subcontractors to complete the work in regions across the country to ensure economic benefits.

Work is to be completed in Canada, except when the ships need work overseas.

Thales Canada president and CEO Mark Halinaty said the company isn’t yet sure which shipyards will be used to do the maintenance and repair work.

“That’s all part of the competitive process that we plan to undertake,” he said.

The previous Conservative government originally launched the national shipbuilding strategy in 2010, budgeting $35 billion to rebuild the navy and coast guard fleets while also creating a sustainable

shipbuilding industry on both the east and west coasts.

Six Arctic patrol vessels are being built by Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax, with the first expected next year.

Under the contract, Thales is required to subcontract work for ships delivered in the east to companies in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario, whereas work on ships delivered in the west must be completed in the western provinces and territories.

Centre block of Harry De-Wolf-class Arctic Patrol Ship under constuction

John MacLennan, national president of the Union of National Defence Employees, said privatizing repair work puts public sector jobs at risk.

He also expressed concerns related to national security and the quality of the workmanship that will be done by subcontractors on the ships.

“The quality of work is very important. There is a pride and professionalism in the public service,” MacLennan said.

Carr said there will be no job losses because of the contract, estimating it will create or maintain 2,000 jobs over 35 years.

He added that everybody involved in the work will have a top security clearance.

“We’re fully confident that all the safeguards are in place,” Carr said. “This contract will conform to the highest standards of security for Canada.”



Arctic Fighter Meet 2017

The Swedish air force is hosting the 2017 Arctic Fighter Meet at the Flygvapnet air-base at Luleå, in the North of Sweden.

The meet is scheduled to take place from 21 to 25 August.

Swedish air Force Gripen fighters and F-16 fighters of the Norwegian air force will be joined by six F/A-18 Hornets and three Hawk-Jet training aircraft of the Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force). Cross Border Training (CBT) between Finland and Norway will take place during the exercise, to hone the skills of the pilots and test the air defence systems of the participating nations.

The aim of the exercise is to fly in accordance with the training programmes of the Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish Air Forces, increase reaction times through airspace incursion drills, as well as to educate newly qualified pilots in Joint-training missions and mission interoperability.

Similar exercises have been held since 2003. The aim is to strengthen defence cooperation in the Nordic countries (NORDEFCO) and to develop the international interoperability. The exercise promotes cooperation between the Nordic nations of NORDEFCO and NATO and is designed to integrate the training programmes of the participating countries and increase operational effectiveness.

For more information, contact the Chief of staff of the Lapland flight detachment Juri Kurttila, p. 0299 800 (vaihde).



U.S. Coast Guard Arctic Diving to Resume

ALAMEDA, Calif. — U.S. Coast Guardsmen and U.S. Navy Sailors conducted shipboard dive operations from a Coast Guard cutter in the Arctic July 29 for the first time since two Coast Guard divers perished in a subsurface accident almost 11 years ago, the Coast Guard said in a Aug. 10 release.

Shipboard Arctic dive operations increase the Coast Guard’s ability to assure year-round access for national security, sovereign presence and increased maritime domain awareness in the region. The shipboard dive operations also highlighted the interoperability between joint Coast Guard and Navy dive teams.

The Coast Guard conducted a comprehensive dive program review following a incident on Aug. 17, 2006, that killed Lt. Jessica Hill and Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Duque during an ice dive in the Arctic Ocean aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy. In the years following the accident, the Coast Guard improved diving proficiency and retention by making diving a primary duty and created the first three regional dive lockers to centralize control, training and operations.

The joint dive operation from Healy July 29 marked the culmination of this increased oversight, training and proficiency. The crew of Healy and joint dive team held a memorial to honor the fallen divers during the cutter’s current Arctic patrol.

“There is no prospect more sobering than the death of a crew member,” said Capt. Greg Tlapa, commanding officer of Healy. “We honor the memory of our shipmates, Lt. Hill and Petty Officer 2nd Class Duque, and will never forget their sacrifices. It gives our crew great pride to re-establish dive capabilities to Healy and meet the subsurface needs and challenges our service will face in the coming years in the Arctic.”

USCG Cutter Healy

The joint dive team included personnel from Coast Guard Regional Dive Lockers San Diego and Honolulu and U.S. Navy Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Wash. Navy divers supported cold water and ice dives by providing an independent duty corpsman/dive medical technician and by conducting joint training using the Navy’s recompression chamber currently deployed aboard Healy.

“I’m humbled to be a part of such a historic operation, honoring our shipmates by reintroducing Coast Guard shipboard dive operations to the Arctic,” said Chief Petty Officer Chuck Ashmore from Coast Guard’s Joint Regional Dive Locker West in San Diego.

Divers are the Coast Guard’s primary resource for the service’s subsurface capabilities and perform a full spectrum of Coast Guard missions, including maintenance and repair to aids to navigation, underwater inspections and maintenance on icebreakers and other cutters, surveying critically endangered species habitats, assistance to marine casualty investigations and supporting search and rescue operations.

Healy, homeported in Seattle, is a 420-foot long medium icebreaker with extensive scientific capabilities and is the nation’s premier high-latitude research vessel. Healy’s missions include scientific support, search and rescue, ship escort, environmental protection and the enforcement of laws and treaties in the Polar regions.



Upgrade of Russian strategic bombers tops Defense Ministry’s priority list

The work to extend the service life of Tupolev Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers and raise their combat efficiency is on the Russian Defense Ministry’s priority list, Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

“We’ll continue discussing today how tasks are being solved to develop the fleet of Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers. These planes are an important component of the country’s nuclear potential,” the defense minister said at the ministry’s conference call.

These planes carry out regular flights under the nuclear containment plan over the Arctic Ocean and the Black Sea and also in eastern areas, the defense minister said.

“That is why, extending the service life of the missile carriers and raising their combat efficiency are among our priority tasks. Now the public joint-stock company Tupolev is carrying out modernization of the planes jointly with other industrial enterprises and also repairing aviation engines, onboard equipment and reproducing new units and assemblies. Considering the high significance of works being carried out, we’ll discuss what has been done over this month,” the defense minister said.

The Tu-160 is the Soviet strategic missile carrier armed with cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. Along with the Tu-95MS missile carrier, the Tu-160 makes part of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces along with the ground-based missile systems and submarines.



Nato should beware Russia’s Arctic surge

Unchallenged, Moscow is forging ahead with its northern ambitions, which leave the West vulnerable.

The world is not short of hotspots: Syria; North Korea; Libya; Ukraine… But one of the hottest is also one of the coldest – the Arctic, which is rapidly becoming the front line in a new Russian game of expansion. On Franz Josef Land, an ice-covered, desolate archipelago well into the Arctic circle, Russia has just opened a new military base. If Nato is to respond, which it must, then Britain, positioned at the gateway to the Arctic Ocean, will be at the heart of the showdown.

This little-known geo-political battle began almost 20 years ago, when Vladimir Putin came to power. The following year, 2001, Russia submitted an application to the United Nations asserting that a vast unclaimed area of the Arctic Ocean, including the North Pole, should be subject to Moscow’s oversight. Initially rejected, the bid was resubmitted two years ago; if successful, it would see Russia’s boundaries enlarged by 463,000 square miles.

The Russian flag was even planted on the central Arctic seabed 10 years ago, with the Kremlin aiming to exploit the area’s unique ambiguity of governance. For in contrast to the Antarctic, which is largely land beneath the ice, the Arctic is mostly just frozen seawater and thus subject to maritime jurisdictions, which are often less than clear.

Arctic territorial claims by Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States

Russian efforts in the frozen north are only partly territorial, however. Crucial resources are also at stake. A study released by the United States Geological Survey in 2008 estimated that 13 per cent of the world’s remaining oil and 30 per cent of its natural gas reserves are in the Arctic. Russia wants to harvest these; its official Arctic policy, adopted in 2008, makes clear that Moscow’s ambition is to turn the Arctic into the country’s “strategic resource base”.

To this end, it has spent the past decade militarising the region – far outstripping Western efforts. In 2007, it resumed the Cold War-era practice of long-range air patrols over the Arctic. A year later, the formidable Northern Fleet resumed surface patrols of its waters. Meanwhile, Russian submarine activity in the North Atlantic is reportedly reaching levels not seen since the Cold War.

As part of an intense programme of military modernisation, Russia has established an Arctic Joint Strategic Command to coordinate all of these activities, made considerable investments in a number of new Arctic brigades, and re-opened Soviet-era military bases as well as building new facilities. The polar region is now a major site for its war games.

As a result, the West is vulnerable. The US has only one icebreaker capable of operating in Arctic waters, and this vessel is 10 years past retirement. Russia, however, has 40, and is developing an additional 11 as part of its efforts to control the Northern Sea Route for shipping.

The 40-year-old Polar Star, the Coast Guard’s only operational heavy icebreaker capable of conducting Antarctic ice operations, carves a channel in ice near Ross Island on Jan. 16, 2017. Chief Petty Officer David Mosley/Coast Guard

In response to Moscow’s actions, Nato is believed to be considering the revival of the Atlantic Command, dissolved after the Cold War. But what else can be done? During the Cold War, the so-called Greenlandiceland-uk Gap, the principal choke point between Russia’s Northern Fleet in the Arctic and its strategic interests in the North Atlantic, was probably the most minutely observed stretch of ocean on the planet – with the Royal Navy playing a principal role.

The “GIUK Gap” receded in importance after the Soviet Union collapsed. But now, as Russia becomes more assertive, the UK – together with Nato allies – is scrabbling to recover its capabilities there. In July 2016, the Ministry of Defence announced it would spend £3bn to buy nine P-8 Poseidon aircraft, in order to monitor activity across the North Atlantic.

Nato has long ignored the Arctic. This must change. It needs to ensure that there is a common understanding of the region’s security challenges as well as a comprehensive policy to address them. Artur Chilingarov, Russia’s special envoy to the Arctic, said on Wednesday that he expects the UN to approve the extension of Russia’s Arctic boundaries. Suppose the opposite were to happen, however, and Russia were to use force to secure its interests, just as in Ukraine and Syria. How would Nato react?


GAO: Affordability of Cutters, Icebreakers a Concern

USCG Icebreaker Polar Star (WAGB-10)

The Coast Guard’s plans for modernizing its cutter fleet remain a concern to congressional auditors, who say that the service has yet to articulate how it will afford both its future Offshore Patrol Cutters and new Polar Icebreakers.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), in a July 25 report “Coast Guard Acquisitions: Limited Strategic Planning Efforts Pose Risk for Future Acquisitions,” noted, “Coast Guard officials stated that they are developing a 20-year Capital Investment Plan (CIP), but the timeframe for completion is unknown.”

The report notes that the Coast Guard is procuring its new Offshore Patrol Cutter “which is estimated to cost $12.1 billion through 2032.”

The report also said the service estimates a cost of approximately $75 million for a limited service life extension of its only operational polar icebreaker, Polar Star, and that the it intends to take delivery of the first new heavy icebreaker in 2023.

“This delivery schedule poses potential risk as the required acquisition documents may not be completed in time to award the contract in 2019, as currently scheduled,” the report said. “Further, in order to meet this accelerated schedule, the first polar icebreaker would need to be fully funded in fiscal year 2019 with a preliminary cost estimate of $1.15 billion, alongside the Offshore Patrol Cutter acquisition.

“The Coast Guard has not articulated how it will prioritize its acquisition needs given its Offshore Patrol Cutter is expected to absorb half to two-thirds of its annual acquisition funding requests — based on recent funding history — starting in 2018,” the report said.

The Coast Guard selected Eastern Shipbuilding Group of Panama City, Fla., in September to build the Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), with an award of $110.3 million to complete the ship’s detailed design. Options for the construction of nine OPCs are available in the contract. Construction of the first OPC is scheduled to being next year. Delivery of the lead ship is planned for 2021. The Coast Guard plans to procure 25 OPCs.


Russia to launch new nuclear-powered icebreaker in September

Sibir’s 586 foot sister-ship, Artika.

Russia’s newest nuclear-powered icebreaker Sibir will be launched in September.

The vessel, a Project 22220 icebreaker, is 173 metres long and 34 metres wide. Work on Sibir began in 2015. The first Project 22220 icebreaker, the Artika, was launched in June 2016.

The vessels were designed in 2009. Sibir will operate mainly in the western Arctic.

REPORT: Russia to Dominate Arctic Ocean with World’s Largest Icebreaker

Source: Ottawa Citizen.

Russia’s advanced military hardware premiers at MAKS-2017 international airshow

Marina Lystseva/TASS

The 13th International Aerospace Show (MAKS-2017) will be held at the Ramenskoye aerodrome in the town of Zhukovsky outside Moscow on July 18-23. The MAKS airshows were previously held in August but this year the event has been rescheduled for July. As Russian Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Oleg Bocharov said, this has been done for the convenience of small and medium European companies, for which August is a period of vacations.

The Zhukovsky airport (opened at the Ramenskoye aerodrome in 2016) will continue receiving regular flights during the days of the airshow but the schedule of arrivals and departures will be adjusted.

According to MAKS-2017 CEO Alexander Levin, the airshow’s program will involve 200 aircraft, 84 of which will take part in the event’s flight program and the other 116 will be showcased on the ground. Russia’s Aerospace Force will show a separate exposition.

Overall, 770 companies are expected to participate in MAKS-2017, including 140 businesses from foreign countries. Separate national pavilions will be opened by Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, China, India, Iran, Canada and Belarus. Eight aerobatic groups will show their skills as part of the airshow’s flight program, including Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights), Strizhi (Swifts), Krylya Tavridy (Wings of Tavrida), Sokoly Rossii (Falcons of Russia), and also the air group Al Fursan (the Knights) of the UAE Air Force, which will fly Aermacchi MB-339 trainer jets.

Military hardware premiers

Russia’s MiG Aircraft Company will publicly demonstrate the most advanced MiG-35 multirole fighter jet currently undergoing flight tests (it won’t participate in the airshow’s flight program).

MiG-35 Fulcrum F

Russian Helicopters rotocraft manufacturer will for the first time demonstrate the Mil Mi-171Sh-VN upgraded military and transport helicopter designed to provide support for Special Forces in the war on terror. The copter’s technical design is based on the experience of the combat use of helicopters in Syria. Russian Helicopters Group will also feature the Mi-8AMTSh Arctic operation helicopter, which has already entered service with the Russian Armed Forces.

Almaz-Antey defense manufacturer will showcase over 150 items of military, civil and dual-purpose hardware. Specifically, Almaz-Antey will demonstrate the combat vehicle of the newest Arctic Tor-M2DT surface-to-air missile complex, the launcher of the S-400 Triumf long-range air defense missile system, the self-propelled firing unit of the Buk-M2E antiaircraft missile system with a container-type training simulator, missiles for the S-400 Triumf, Tor-M2E and other air defense systems.

Tor-M2E Air Defense System.

The Kizlyar Electromechanical Enterprise will feature at the MAKS-2017 airshow its MAI 411 four-seat lightweight multipurpose plane. Kronshtadt Group will showcase the Orion-E new air reconnaissance platform with drones. The State Advanced Research Fund will demonstrate the exhibition model of an early detection system for damage to critical elements in the design of advanced aircraft – the so-called ‘nerve system’ of future planes, which is being developed under the Khrustal project.

The Airbus A350-900 wide-body passenger plane will also be demonstrated at the MAKS-2017 airshow. Airliners of this type will start arriving for Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot in late 2018.

Russia’s new MC-21 narrow-body airliner, which performed its debut flight in May 2017, will be demonstrated in the form of a mockup model at the airshow. The factory trials of this medium-haul airliner will be completed in October this year.

Space exposition

Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos will showcase the products of its subsidiaries, including the family of rocket engines produced by Energomash – the RD-180 (for US Atlas rockets), the RD-181 (for US Antares carriers), the RD-191 (for Russian Angara carrier rockets) and the RD-171 (it was previously made for Zenit carrier rockets and is planned to be mounted on the new Soyuz-5 launcher). The Samara-based Progress Rocket and Space Center will demonstrate the mockups of its carrier rockets Soyuz-FG, Soyuz-2.1v, Soyuz-ST, its satellites Resurs-P No.3, Obzor-R, Bion-M and Aist-2D. VNIIEM Corporation will show the mockups of the satellites Kanopus-V, Meteor-M No.3 and Lomonosov.

The stand of Russian Space Systems Company will display a receiver station of space information from Earth’s remote sensing Russian and foreign satellites and a mockup of the Avrova small-size satellite for the private company Galaktika. The Company Gonets will showcase the mockups of the satellites Gonets-M and Luch-5A and the Luch ground-based satellite communication station.

The Energiya Space Corporation will demonstrate the model of the International Space Station on a scale of 1 to 50 and the mockup of the Earth’s first artificial satellite. The Lavochkin Research and Production Association will show a replica of the Moon’s surface and the mockups of the satellites Spektr-R, Spektr-RG, Spektr-UF, Elektro-L and Arktika, and also the mockups of the automated inter-planetary stations Luna-24 (the last Soviet lunar station, 1976) and Luna-25 (earlier called Luna-Glob, a promising project under the Russian lunar program; its launch is scheduled for 2019).

Large deals

It emerged in April 2017 that the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) plans to sign an agreement with Aeroflot at the MAKS-2017 airshow on the delivery of 20 Sukhoi Superjet-100 short-haul passenger planes to the airline. As UAC President Yuri Slyusar said, the contract’s estimated cost will be $600 million. Aeroflot already has 30 Superjet-100’s in its fleet.

The MAKS-2017 airshow will be officially opened on July 18. Planned business events will be held on July 18-20 and the exhibition will be open for the public on July 21-23. On July 21, the MAKS-2017 airshow will admit students free of charge, for which they need to register in advance on the exhibition’s website. Buses will be available for the airshow’s guests for free from the railway platform Otdykh and the parking space at the Bykovo aerodrome. A total of 3,000 policemen will be providing security at the airshow.

The airshow’s website is accessible at: http://www.aviasalon.com

Source: TASS Russian News Agency.







Irving to move major sections of first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship

Irving Shipbuilding will move the first two of three major sections of the first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) from the indoor construction facility in Halifax to an outside area. The sections will ultimately form the future HMCS Harry DeWolf.

The mega-blocks will move to land level on heavy lift transporters. At land level the two mega-blocks will be joined together for further outfitting. These two mega-blocks combined will form more than 70% of the ships length, according to Irving.

The blocks will be moved Friday and Saturday. They are the stern and centre mega-blocks of the ship.
The bow mega-block is currently under construction and will be moved to land level to be joined with the centre mega-block in the fall, according to Irving. The future HMCS Harry DeWolf is scheduled to be launched in 2018.

Source: Ottawa Citizen.

Community flocks to Halifax Shipyard for first peek at new naval ship

People look up at the huge future stern of the HMCS Harry DeWolf. (Emma Davie/CBC

About 4,500 people made their way to the Halifax Shipyard on Saturday for a first glimpse at the future Canadian naval ship HMCS Harry DeWolf.

Irving Shipbuilding’s open house coincided with crews moving outside two large sections of what will eventually form the Arctic offshore patrol ship.

“Today, everybody gets to see the fruits of the labour over the last six years to really re-establish Canada as a world-class shipbuilding centre for naval ships right here in Nova Scotia. We wanted to have a big party,” said Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding.

‘We work very, very hard’

The federal government is paying the company for $2.3 billion to build six new Arctic patrol ships by 2022. The armed vessels will allow the navy to better carry out surveillance and enforce Canadian sovereignty.

Saturday’s open house was filled with tours, speeches and lots of activities for kids, such as face-painting, ice cream and balloon animals.

Dave Pedersen, a naval architect technologist with Irving Shipbuilding, and his son, Caden, were among the 4,500 people at Saturday’s open house. (Emma Davie/CBC)

“It’s been phenomenal. My family has had such a great time today, checking everything out, playing,” said Dave Pedersen, a naval architect technologist with Irving Shipbuilding.

His five-year-old son, Caden Pedersen, was over the moon about a red balloon tiger made for him.

“I’m just amazed with everything that’s been put on today. And it’s well worth it, because we work very, very hard on these ships,” Pedersen said.

Ship made of 3 mega-blocks

The HMCS Harry DeWolf will be made up of three mega-blocks welded together. (Emma Davie/CBC)

The 103-metre ship will assembled from three mega-blocks, made up of 21 smaller blocks each.

The centre and stern of the ship were moved outside this week for further outfitting.

James D. Irving, co-CEO of J.D. Irving Ltd., speaks to the crowd at Saturday’s open house. (Emma Davie/CBC)

Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, the commander of the navy, said the ship will first have trials in the water with the Irving team before eventually being turned over to the navy.

“The Canadian Navy is definitely in need of new ships, which is why we’re very happy to see the commitment to the new 15 surface combatants, to the Arctic and offshore patrol vessels and the Queenston-class [joint support ships],” he said.

Launch expected in 2018

HMCS Harry DeWolf is expected to launch in 2018.

Cmdr. Corey Gleason will be the first person to captain the ship and its crew of 65 personnel.

“It’s a huge historical moment in time for me and my family and the Royal Canadian Navy,” Gleason said, adding he was thrilled to see so many people at Saturday’s open house.

“To open up the doors, to bring the general public in, I think that’s really important for everybody. Because everybody’s asking the question: Because everybody’s asking the question: ‘What’s going on inside there?’.

Source: CBC News.

NATO research vessel ‘Alliance’ starts Arctic campaign High North 17

Italian Navy photo of NATO research vessel RV Alliance.

The Italian Navy-operated NATO research vessel ‘Alliance’ started a 20-day Arctic Ocean campaign during which scientists will carry out geophysics, marine geology and oceanography research.

Dubbed High North 17, the campaign will be joined by scientists from Italian and international organizations including the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation.

RV Alliance departed Reykjavik, Iceland, on July 11 embarking on a 1250 nautical mile journey to the coasts of the Norwegian island of Svalbard where the research will be conducted.

Once the campaign concludes, RV Alliance is scheduled to pull into the Norwegian port of Tromsø on July 27.

The 93 meters long RV Alliance is used for underwater research and experiments in all oceans, including the polar margins of the North Atlantic. Fitted with 400 square meters of laboratory space, Alliance features extensive and sophisticated navigation, communications and computer equipment.

According to NATO, the vessel has been designed for eight different noise states, the quietest one operating on batteries. An auxiliary gas turbine generator provides the lowest noise propulsion option, leading up to the full complement of diesel electric generators allowing the vessel to tow twenty tonnes at twelve knots.

Original article: NAVALTODAY.

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