Tag: Maritime

US Navy christens USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4)

USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams on christening day. Photo: GD NASSCO

The US Navy christened its second expeditionary Expeditionary Sea Base, the USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), in a ceremony in San Diego, California, on October 21.

The ship’s namesake, Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, spoke at the ceremony, and his two daughters, Travie Ross and Tracie Ross, officially named and christened the ship with the traditional break of a champagne bottle alongside the ship.

Williams, a retired US Marine, received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. He is the last surviving recipient of the Medal of Honor from that battle.

USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams is the navy’s second ESB ship. The 784-foot-long ship will serve as a flexible platform to support a variety of missions, including air mine countermeasures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security and humanitarian missions. The ship will provide for accommodations for up to 250 personnel, a 52,000-square-foot flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, and will also support MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters with an option to support MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft. Currently nearing the end of construction, the ship will be delivered to the US Navy in February 2018.

Boeing MV-22 Osprey Tiltrotor,

General Dynamics NASSCO has delivered three ships in the class to the Navy: USNS Montford Point (ESD 1), USNS John Glenn (ESD 2) and USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3).

USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) is the fourth ship to be constructed by NASSCO shipbuilders under the program. A fifth ship is currently under construction, with a planned delivery of March 2019, and funding for a sixth ship has passed several Congressional committees.

NASSCO president Kevin Graney remarked, “Every day we as shipbuilders and repairers come together to be a part of something much larger than ourselves. The ships we design, construct and maintain serve a mission that is vital to our nation and the defense of freedom. Like every Marine, this ship is adaptable. Like its namesake, this ship is a force multiplier. We could not be more honored and more proud to design, build and soon deliver the USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams.”

 

The Finnish Utti Jaeger Regiment completed cross-agency training on Wednesday

On Wednesday 18 October 2017, the Finnish Defence Forces trained with the Police and the Finnish Border Guard off the coast of Helsinki in maritime conditions.

The Finnish Defence Forces, the Police and the Finnish Border Guard trained as part of inter-authority cooperation and executive assistance, onboard an Eckerö Line vessel. The vessel ran on its fixed commercial schedule and the shipping company informed it’s passengers of the exercise event.

Apart from the participating personnel, this exercise involved both the vessel and an NH-90 helicopter.

Finnish security authorities engage in training cooperation on a regular basis. Similar exercises have been organized with other shipping companies in the past.

 

Indian ships to arrive in Russia for Indra-2017 exercises on October 19

Yuri Smityuk/TASS

A detachment of Indian Navy warships will arrive in Vladivostok, the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet, for the Indra-2017 Russian-Indian drills, Pacific Fleet Spokesman Nikolay Voskresensky told reporters on Monday.

“The solemn ceremony of meeting a detachment of Indian Navy ships will take place at the 33rd berth of Vladivostok’s Korabelnaya Embankment. Taking part in it will be representatives of the Russian Navy command, the crews of the vessels taking part in the exercises, an honor guard company and the orchestra of the Pacific Fleet Staff,” he said.

According to Voskresensky, the solemn opening ceremony of the Indra-2017 exercises will take place on October 20.

Earlier reports said that the Satpura frigate and the Cadmatt corvette would be dispatched to take part in the exercises. A total of 900 Indian military servicemen will take part in them.

This year, instead of the Indra Navy-2016, the Avia Indra-2016 and the Indra-2016 exercises held last year, the two countries will hold maneuvers that will involve three armed forces branches – the Pacific Fleet, aviation units and the ground forces of the Eastern Military District.

 

 

 

Allies defend against subsonic anti-ship cruise missiles during Formidable Shield 2017

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joshua D. Sheppard/Released)

In a live-fire integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) scenario organized as part of exercise Formidable Shield 2017 off the coast of Scotland, ally ships worked together to defend against three subsonic anti-ship cruise missiles on October 7.

During the collective self-defense scenario, Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal (FFH 336) fired Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) fired Standard Missiles-2 at the incoming Mirach and Firejet anti-ship cruise missiles as part of a no-notice launch of anti-ship cruise missiles in the IAMD exercise scenario.

The Mirach and Firejet missiles were launched from the U.K. Ministry of Defense’s Hebrides Range located on the Western Isles of Scotland.

Simultaneously, ships from France, Italy, Spain, and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) tracked a short-range ballistic-missile target that was also fired from the Hebrides Range during a simulated engagement, conducting all steps of a routine engagement.

More than 14 ships, 10 aircraft, and approximately 3,300 personnel from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S., are participating in FS17.

Formidable Shield 2017 began Sept. 24, and is scheduled to conclude Oct. 18, 2017. This exercise is planned to be a recurring, biennial event, and is designed to assure allies, deter adversaries, and demonstrate our commitment to collective defense of the NATO alliance. Formidable Shield and exercise Joint Warrior 17-2, a U.K.-led, multinational exercise in a maritime training environment for allies to improve interoperability and prepare forces for combined operations, are occurring concurrently.

“This exercise provides the opportunity to use portions of NATO BMD architecture and develop potential tactics, techniques and procedures in the NATO operations. STRIKFORNATO is, since 2016, the organization responsible for control of NATO Maritime Ballistic Missile Defense forces; Formidable Shield is the ideal opportunity to exercise those capabilities at sea, for the first time, with a NATO IAMD task group.

This exercise is a prime example of NATO strength and demonstrates the commitment of NATO allies to the security of Europe,” said Rear Adm. Francesco Covella, Italian Navy, STRIKFORNATO Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations.

 

Romanian frigate joins NATO operation Sea Guardian

Romanian Navy file photo of RS Regele Ferdinand

The Romanian Navy has deployed its flagship frigate RS Regele Ferdinand to NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 for a month of joint operations and exercises.

The former Royal Navy Type 22 departed Constanta, Romania, on October 6 and will integrate into the NATO task group for operation Sea Guardian.

With its embarked Puma naval helicopter and a crew of 240 sailors, the frigate will contribute to a broader maritime security operation in the Mediterranean.

Operation Sea Guardian is a maritime security operation carried in cooperation with Mediterranean navies to maintain maritime situational awareness, deter terrorism and enhance capacity building.

The majority of SNMG2 ships are currently near the coast of France taking part in the NATO Response Force drill Brilliant Mariner which kicked off September 29.

Among SNMG2 ships still in the Mediterranean Sea are Albanian Navy patrol ship ALS Oriku and German frigate FGS Lübeck.

RS Regele Ferdinand will likely join the two for its third integration into SNMG2 this year. The ship is expected to return to Romania in early November.

 

NATO’s underwater communication tool debuts at submarine rescue drill

Illustration. Photo: NATO

Taking part in the submarine escape and rescue exercise Dynamic Monarch for the first time, NATO’s Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) supported the exercise using a new digital underwater acoustic communications capability providing more effective command and control to escape and rescue operations.

After 10 years of development by CMRE and partners, with support from the NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT), the first ever standard for digital underwater communications was established in March 2014.

It’s called Janus and is known in formal terms as STANAG4748. Adopted globally, Janus can make military and civilian, NATO and non-NATO devices interoperable, providing them all with a common language with which to communicate and arrange to cooperate.

The prospect of employing Janus for submarine rescue operations is very attractive. Currently, communications during rescue operations are performed solely with the analogue underwater telephones and the usage of the phonetic codes alpha to zulu.

Turkish diver in an Atmospheric Diving Suit ready to be dropped into the sea during Dynamic Monarch 17

This has the clear problem of needing an operator (that may be required for other equally critical tasks) to handle the communications on the submarine side.

Stress and language phonetic biases may also play a role in the success of the data exchange. By employing Janus for rescue communications, the operator requirement can be removed with automated systems transmitting critical data, and human factors may be removed altogether.

Such operator-dependent factors play an important role in the ability to properly decode analogue underwater telephone communications.

Throughout the exercise CMRE worked closely with Spanish Navy submarine ESPS Tramontana, the NATO Submarine Rescue System, ITS Anteo (Italian Navy) and TCG Inebolu and Alemdar (Turkish Navy).

See also: NATO wraps up naval exercise Dynamic Monarch in Eastern Mediterranean

Northern Coasts 2017: Over 50 vessels underway off Sweden

Norwegian Navy SNMG1 flagship HNoMS Otto Sverdrup (F312)

Over 50 vessels and 20 aircraft were at sea off the coast of Sweden taking part in the international exercise Northern Coasts which started on September 8.

NOCO 2017 is an exercise that focuses on increasing the navies’ ability to operate together during war and crisis management situations.

The exercise runs through September 21 and is based on a fictitious high-intensity conflict scenario, within the framework of an international force with UN mandate.

Countries taking part in the drill include Belgium, Denmark (with command and support ship HDMS Absalon and frigate HDMS Niels Juel, Germany (with frigate FGS Bayern, mine countermeasure ships Pegnitz, Siegburg and Sulzbach-Rosenberg, and tender Elbe, Estonia, Finland (with minelayer Uusimaa), France, Canada, Croatia, Latvia (with minelayer Virsaitis), Lithuania, the Netherlands (with frigates Tromp and Evertsen), Norway (with SNMG1 flagship HNoMS Otto Sverdrup, two Skjold-class corvettes and minesweeper Hinnøy) Poland (with frigate Generał Kazimierz Pułaski and corvette Kaszub), Portugal, Sweden (with patrol ship Carlskrona, stealth-corvettes Karlstad und Härnösund), Spain and the USA.

Polish Navy frigate ORP Generał Kazimierz Pułaski

“The Baltic Sea Region is of major strategic importance for NATO. The region includes six Allied nations and two important NATO partners in addition to Russia,” said Flag Commander Petter Kammerhuber, who leads the NATO Force SNMG1 this fall.

In addition to providing an opportunity for all participants to hone their interoperability, Northern Coasts will test the initial operational capability (IOC) of the Swedish-Finnish Naval Task Group. The two countries spent the past couple years preparing to achieve IOC in 2017.

Now in its tenth edition, the German-organized exercise Northern Coasts has a different host country every year. The previous two editions of the exercise were hosted by Germany in 2015 and Denmark in 2016.

 

Second stage of Russian-Chinese naval exercise to involve 11 ships, 2 submarines

Chinese Navy (PLAN) Shijiazhuang destroyer

VLADIVOSTOK, September 17. /TASS/.

Russia and China will deploy 11 ships and two submarines to take part in the second stage of their joint naval exercise, Maritime Cooperation-2017, a Pacific Fleet spokesman said on Sunday.

The second stage of the exercise will begin on Monday in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan.

“The second stage of the international Russian-Chinese Maritime Cooperation-2017 exercise will involve 11 surface ships, two submarines, two deep-submergence rescue vehicles, four anti-suibmarine warfare aircraft and four shipborne helicopters,” spokesman Vladimir Matveyev said.

Russia will send the Admiral Tributs Udaloy-class destroyer, the Sovershenny corvette and the Igor Belousov rescue ship, carrying the AS-40 deep-submergence rescue vehicle and the R-11 missile corvette. In addition, the Pacific Fleet will also be represented by the Sovetskaya Gavan Grisha-class corvette, the Viktor Faleyev hydrographic survey vessel, the MB-93 sea tug and two diesel-electric submarines that were not named.

Russian Pacific Fleet sovershenny Corvette
The four-vessel Chinese task force will be led by the Shijiazhuang destroyer.

“In addition, the naval phase of the exercise will involve the training of ship-aircraft coordination. This element will involve two Il-38 planes, two Tu-142M3 planes, a Ka-27PS and a Ka-27 helicopters of the Pacific Fleet’s naval aviation. The aviation of the Chinese Navy will be represented by Z-9C and Z-9D shipborne helicopters,” Matveyev said.

Harbin Z-9EC ASW “Haitun”, Chinese: 海豚, Chinese Naval Air Arm

The second stage of the Russian-Chinese Maritime Cooperation-2017 exercise will take place between September 18 and 26 and will consist of the coastal and the naval phases. The coastal phase will be held in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok on September 18-21. The naval part is scheduled for September 22-26 in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan.

The first stage of the Russian-Chinese naval exercises ‘Maritime Cooperation-2017’ was held from July 21 to July 28 in Baltiysk, the coastal city in Russia’s westernmost Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad. Russia’s new generation Project 20380 corvettes – the Steregushchy and the Boiky – as well as a rescue tug, the Ka-27 multi-purpose shipborne helicopters, the Su-24 tactical bomber and the An-26 military transport aircraft took part in the drills.China sent the Hefei destroyer, the Yuncheng frigate and the Luoma Lake supply ship to the drills.

 

 

 

Baltic Fleet’s ships go to sea to participate in Zapad-2017 exercise

BALTIISK, September 16. /TASS/.

About 20 ships and support vessels of Russia’s Baltic Fleet went to sea to perform tactical tasks of the Zapad-2017 strategic exercise, head of the Western Military District’s press service on the Baltic Fleet Captain 1st rank Roman Martov said on Saturday.

“Corvettes, small missile and anti-submarine ships, minesweepers and missile boats, and various vessels of the auxiliary fleet have formed a few tactical groupings,” he said. “They are ready to fulfil task as assigned – in anti-submarine and air defense, to carry out test artillery firing on different types of targets, simulating sea and air targets.”

Zapad-2017 exercise

A large-scale exercise Zapad-2017 began in Russia and Belarus on Thursday at three proving grounds in Russia and six in Belarus with 12,700 troops (7,200 Belarussian and 5,500 Russian ones taking part). Also involved in the exercise are about 70 planes and helicopters, 680 ground vehicles, including about 250 tanks, 200 artillery pieces, multiple rocket launchers and mortars and ten ships.

The Stoikiy (545) – (Steregushchy-class corvette) with her Kamov Ka-27 helicopter

The main purpose of the exercise is to improve the compatibility of command and control centers, test new documentation and let commanders of all levels practice planning and control of operations on the basis of experience gained in the latest military conflicts.

The exercise will last till September 20.

 

 

China, Russia set for second round of naval drills

Chinese and Russian Navy ships are scheduled to start the second round of bilateral drills as part of the “Naval Interaction 2017” set of engagements between the two countries.

Taking place near Russian Pacific Fleet base in Vladivostok, the exercises are planned to last from September 18 to 26.

According to Vladimir Matveev, spokesman for the ministry’s Eastern Military District, the exercise will consist of a shore phase in Vladivostok and an at-sea phase which will unfold in the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk.

Chinese ships taking part in the second phase of Naval Interaction 2017 will be different from the ones that participated in the first portion in July this year.

This time, the Chinese task group will be made up of Type 051C destroyer Shijiazhuang, Type 054A frigate Daqing and Type 926 submarine rescue ship Changdao.

It was not specified which Russian Navy ships will be taking part in the drill. Exercises conducted in July involved over 20 ships overall.

 

Pyotr Veliky and Admiral Ushakov warships enter Barents Sea for drill

The Pyotr Veliky heavy nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser. Lev Fedoseyev/TASS

MOSCOW, September 14. /TASS/.

The Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great) heavy nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser and the Admiral Ushakov destroyer, followed by nuclear submarines, have headed a strike group during the Northern Fleet’s drill, head of the fleet’s press service, Captain 1st rank Vadim Serga, told reporters.

“An all-arms strike group has been deployed to the Barents Sea as part of the exercise of the Northern Fleet’s united strategic command. The group is led by a warship strike group which comprises the Pyotr Veliky heavy nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser and the Admiral Ushakov destroyer,” he said.

The group also includes the Rassvet (Dawn) and Aisberg (Iceberg) fast attack guided missile craft and the Snezhnogorsk, Brest and Yunga corvette anti-submarine craft. The all-arms strike group was reinforced with two nuclear-powered guided-missile cruisers, and it is protected from underwater by a few submarines of other types.

The controlling staff is on board the Pyotr Veliky. The Bal coastal missile system is being prepared on the Rybachi Peninsula, and the Bastion on Teribesky Cape for the artillery missile brigade of the Kola Peninsula of the Northern Fleet’s all-arms forces.

“In the near future, the Northern Fleet’s all-arms forces will work out cooperation, check readiness of crews for emergency actions and start direct preparation for military exercises with weapon employment,” Serga noted.

The drill for the Northern Fleet’s all-arms forces is being carried out under command of the Northern Fleet’s commander Vice Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov. More than 20 warships, up to 10 nuclear and diesel submarines, about 20 support vessels and 30 aircraft will take part at different stages of the maneuvers. The drill’s events will involve more than 5,000 servicemen and over 300 equipment and weapons units.