All of Germany’s six submarines are currently out of action.
The Kieler Nachrichten newspaper reports that four U-boats are being serviced in boatyards while two others are waiting for a berth, according to the Associated Press.
The paper noted that the country’s only operational sub had an accident off the coast of Norway on the weekend and was moved into the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ shipyard in Kiel. In that incident, the U-35 had a rudder blade damaged during a diving maneuver.
A lack of spare parts is being blamed for the situation. It is unclear when any of the boats will be back on operations.
Collaborating under an Integrated Program Office (IPO), the US Navy and Coast Guard released a draft request for proposal (RFP) for the detail design and construction of a Heavy Polar Icebreaker (HPIB).
Released on October 19, the draft RFP is for one HPIB, with options for two additional HPIBs.
The USCG requires new heavy icebreakers to ensure continued access to both polar regions and support the country’s economic, commercial, maritime and national security needs.
The draft RFP is for comments, questions, and planning purposes and is provided as an advance notice to ease proposal lead time and assist teaming arrangements, if applicable.
Responses to the draft RFP are due Dec. 11 and will support release of the final RFP early next year.
The Coast Guard plans to award a single contract for design and construction of the lead heavy polar icebreaker in fiscal year 2019.
Release of the draft RFP represents the IPO’s latest effort to refine requirements and reduce acquisition costs for the HPIB procurement. Earlier this year the USCG awarded five firm-fixed price contracts for early design studies and analysis and conducted model testing with the National Research Council of Canada and the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division.
The contracting agency is the Naval Sea Systems Command.
The German Navy’s fifth Type 212A submarine ‘U35’ has damaged one of the blades on her X-shaped rudder during deepwater tests off the coast of Norway.
The U35 is now at the TyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) shipyard in Kiel where it is being assessed for damages.
According to the German Navy, the accident happened on October 15 while the U35 was conducting tests in the challenging waters off the coast of Kristiansand.
With the U35 out of the water for assessments, the German Navy now has no fully operational submarines at its disposal. Four out of six submarines in the fleet are at the Kiel shipyard for various repairs and overhauls.
The German Navy expects to have three to four operational submarines from mid-2018.
The limited availability of submarines was caused by a lack of spare parts due to budget constraints, the navy said.
The U35 was commissioned into the navy on March 23, 2015, as the first improved Type 212A submarine specifically optimized for deployments around the world. The boat has a bigger reservoir, improved air-conditioning and a new combat system.
Russia bans sailing around Novaya Zemlya for a period of ten days in the Barents Sea.
The Port Administration for Northwestern Russia has issued several navigation warnings for larger parts of the eastern Barents Sea and Kara Sea. All warnings read: ‘Missiles shooting’ and are posted on the portal of the agency.
The warnings are for different dates within the period from Tuesday October 17th and last until October 30th.
The warning regarding the costal waters just northeast of the Kildin Island north of Murmansk, followed by a warning for the same dates further north in the Barents Sea is typical for a submarine launched intercontinental ballistic missile (SLBM). Such test-launchings are normally done submerged, either from a Delta-IV class or a Borei class submarine.
Both the Northern Fleet’s six Delta-IV submarine and the Borei submarine Yury Dologuky are based in Gadzhiyevo on the coast of the Kola Peninsula, a few hours sailing from the area east of Kildin marked on the map.
The larger sealed off area in the northern part of the Barents Sea is where the first stage of the missile is separated and fells to the sea before the rest of the missile enters orbit on its way to the target on a shooting range on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Far East.
Similarly, when sailing restrictions are announced for the waters in the Chosha Bay, east of the Kanin Peninsula, another SLBM is likely on its way in the opposite direction. Launched from one of the Pacific fleet’s Delta-III or Borei class submarines towards the Chizha range on Cape Kanin. Such trans-Arctic criss-cross ballistic missile tests are carried out several times in recent years when Russia is exercising its strategic nuclear rocket forces.
Both warnings indicating ballistic missile testings are valid for the 10 days period October 20th to 30th.
The warning issued for the waters around Novaya Zemlya is dated from October 17th to 22nd. Normally when waters around Novaya Zemlya are sealed off, it indicates testing of one or several cruise missiles, either submarine launched or from a larger surface warship.
This time, however, the sealed off area is much larger than normal, including both the Barents Sea side of Novaya Zemlya and the southwestern part of the Kara Sea.
The only information attached to the agency’s civilian warning is, as stated: ‘Missiles shooting’.
U.S. with similar warnings
Similar warnings like the ones issued by Russia’s civilian port administration, are also to be found on the public portal of the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Here, the two warnings regarding the Barents Sea for the period October 20th to October 30th are listed and marked with: ‘Hazardous operations’ and ‘Missile operations’. The coordinates are similar to the ones published in Russia.
China’s authorities plan to actively modernize the army and boost the potential of forces, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the opening of the 19th Communist Party’s Congress on Wednesday.
“We will do our utmost to enhance defensive capacity and modernization of China’s Armed Forces,” the Chinese leader said.
The government will honor the army traditions and improve the methods of combat and professional training of soldiers and officers. “China’s reforms in national defense allowed achieving a historic breakthrough…The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is steadily moving towards ‘socialism with Chinese specifics,’” he stressed.
“The authorities will make all efforts to ensure that by 2035 China will have a modern army with defensive power,” he said. “Finally, by the middle of this century this country will have the most advanced forces in the world.”
Some 2,280 delegates are attending the forum, which will last until October 24. The Congress will consider the result of the party’s work over the past five years and discuss economic and political situation in China and other countries, and outline a strategic line of development in the republic for the coming years. After the forum, the party is expected to unveil the new members of its top bodies – the Politburo, its Standing Committee and the Central Committee.
Davie Shipbuilding announced on Monday that Asterix, the new supply ship being leased to the Royal Canadian Navy, has now been launched.
Commissioning of all onboard systems on the Resolve-class naval support ship began in early September and on Nov. 16, the ship will perform its sea-trials prior to achieving full operational capability, the firm noted.
During the sea-trials – overseen by Lloyd’s Register – the ship’s safety, quality, systems and functionality will be tested against the military standards and specifications which it has been built to, Davie added.
The Russian Navy’s aviation arm plans to receive 10 modernized Kamov Ka-27M antisubmarine warfare helicopters a year, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Monday.
“This year, the number of Ka-27 helicopters arriving for naval aviation will make up another ten rotocraft. In compliance with the state armament program, the naval aviation is planned to be receiving 10 upgraded Ka-27M helicopters a year until the entire pool of these choppers is modernized,” the Defense Ministry said.
The first eight Ka-27M helicopters arrived for the Navy’s aviation in 2016. The helicopters are being modernized at the Kumertau Aircraft Production Enterprise.
“The helicopters have received upgraded onboard radio-electronic equipment and a search system that allows using new systems of searching for and destroying submarines, and also radio-acoustic equipment that helps considerably improve the fulfilment of designated missions by this type of helicopters,” the Defense Ministry said.
The helicopter incorporates modern methods of information transmission to ground-based and shipborne command posts while its system of communication with other helicopters has been modernized. The crews of Ka-27M helicopters are undergoing training at the naval aviation flight personnel training center in Yeisk.
Ka-27 multi-purpose helicopters of various modifications are the mainstay of the naval aviation’s helicopter pool. They provide antisubmarine defense of naval groups, search for, detect and destroy submarines and are capable of searching for and rescuing the crews of aircraft, ships and vessels in distress at sea.
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.
The US Navy has christened its 17th Virginia-class attack submarine, the future USS South Dakota (SSN 790).
The christening ceremony took place at General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut on Saturday, October 14.
South Dakota, a Virginia-class submarine designated SSN 790, is the third ship to bear the state’s name. The second ship was a battleship that stood as the lead ship of her class and earned 13 battle stars during her extensive service in the Pacific theater during World War II.
The ship began construction in 2013 and is contracted to deliver in August 2018. South Dakota will provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century.
“Today’s christening of South Dakota brings this submarine one step closer to joining our strong fleet,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “For decades to come, this boat and the Sailors who will serve on it will stand as a tribute to the patriotic people of South Dakota and a testament to the value of the partnership between the Department of the Navy and our industry teammates.”
Last week, on October 8, the US Navy commissioned Huntington Ingalls Industries-built USS Washington, the 14th boat in the class.
The Norwegian government announced it has selected Vard to continue talks for the construction of three new vessels for the Norwegian Coast Guard.
After the government announced their intent to acquire the three vessels in September 2016, three shipbuilders submitted their proposals.
The government has now chosen Vard over shipbuilders Kleven and Westcon Yards to continue negotiations. Should negotiations with Vard be unsuccessful, however, the government said it would continue talks with either Kleven or Westcon Yards.
If the negotiations are successful, according to the government’s timetable, the project should be tabled for approval by the Norwegian Parliament in 2018. Delivery of the first vessel would be in 2022.
The three new vessels to be built will replace the service’s aging Nordkapp-class offshore patrol vessels built in the 1980s.
Earlier this year, Vard received a four-year contract the maintenance of five Norwegian Coast Guard Nornen-class vessels.
The Japanese Navy’s training group comprising a guided missile destroyer and a training ship is set to arrive in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok from the US port of Anchorage in Alaska on Saturday, a spokesman for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Staff Office, Atsushi Umehara, said.
“Earlier, the group was scheduled to arrive in Vladivostok on October 15, but now this will happen a day earlier,” he said. The destroyer Harusame and the training ship Kashima will take part in the voyage. “They will form a training group, which crews will mainly include cadets and young sailors, who will be candidates for command positions in future,” Umehara said.
Nearly 190 people will take part in the voyage. Earlier, the group visited many ports in the countries of Latin America, the United States and Canada.
Upon the ships’ arrival in Vladivostok, a welcoming ceremony and a briefing will take place. The ships will stay there until October 18. The Japanese vessels will be open for the general public.
Last autumn, the Japanese Navy resumed contacts with Russian colleagues, after a pause due to Tokyo’s joining the anti-Russian sanctions amid the Ukrainian crisis.
In October 2016, the Japanese destroyer Hamagiri and Russian Pacific Fleet ships held a joint exercise in the Peter the Great Gulf near Vladivostok. The ships’ crews practiced cohesion during search and rescue operations and improved their skills in fighting pirate activities.
Exercises of the type have taken place since 1998 alternately in Russia and Japan.