Friday, March 30, 2012

Worldwide Carrier news roundup

This news is important. While the world focuses on Russia and China the rest of the World is very active. While the news from India and Brazil is to be expected, Japan is clearly preparing for some kind of war. Most definitely is Australia, and the Canberra being completed so quick shows Australia is planning some kind of offensive war, either on Iran or somewhere in the Pacific. Notice the news from Turkey as well, though this comes after Iran’s announcement about developing the ability to build a Carrier, Turkey is scrapping the ex-hms invincible, and may be studying it’s design.

Indian Navy to Buy 4 Landing Ships
Text: World Arms Trade Analytic Center
Photo: Juan Carlos I type landing ship.
Indian Navy issued a tender for 4 landing helicopter-carrying dock ships.

According to Indian defense Ministry A.K. Antony, national defense procurement council has already approved acquirement of four large-size landing ships.

As for the ministry, these ships will improve Indian Navy's landing capabilities and make possible to conduct rescue operations in regions suffered from natural disasters and emergencies.

According to Mer et Marine, Indian Navy command had consulted with domestic shipbuilders, but they could not offer an adequate project. For this reason, the navy sent requests to foreign companies.

As is expected, the tender will be attended by French, Italian, Spanish, and South Korean companies.

Most probably, French DCNS would offer Mistral-class assault landing ship operated by French Navy and purchased by Russia, Spanish Navantia – Juan Carlos I type (Project BPE - Buque de Proyeccion Estrategica), Italian Fincantieri – Multifunction Ship (MS), and South Korean Hanjin Heavy Industries – Dokdo class landing helicopter carrier.

DCNS and Fincantieri have a kind of advantage because they have already signed naval-related contracts with Indian Navy. DCNS builds Scorpene-class submarines and Fincantieri – Deepak-type fuel replenishment tankers. Besides, the Italian company takes part in construction of the first Indian aircraft carrier.

In Sept 2011 Indian Navy and state-led company Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (Calcutta) signed a contract for construction of 8 landing boats LCU to protect islands better and strengthen amphibious fleet. The boats are expected to join Indian Navy in 2013-2015.

Japan To Build Another Carrier
Illustration: Project 22DDH helicopter carrier. WW Aircraft Carriers
Japan plans to build another helicopter-carrying ship in reply to China's acquirement of its first home-made flattop, reports Korean information agency Cho Sun.

The information that China had started construction of its first aircraft carrier was circulated by Chinese media on Wednesday. Reportedly, the first Chinese-built carrier would be 320-meter long accomodating 50 deck-based aircrafts.

As a reaction, Japan intends to build a helicopter carrier of new type – Project 22DDH – with displacement of 19,500 tons. Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force currently operates two new heli-carriers Hyuga and Ise commissioned in March 2009 and March 2011 respectively. However, a Project 22DDH carrier planned to be put in service in 2015 will be significantly larger with length of 248 meters and 14 helicopters on board. The ship's construction is evaluated as $1.04 bln.

Carriers of the previous type have length of 197 meters, displacement of 13,500 tons, and 11 helicopters on board. Despite smaller size comparing to the Chinese aircraft carrier, the Japanese ship will be equipped with the most up-to-date US-made arms including new onboard air/missile defense system designed by Raytheon.

During WW2 Japanese Navy did operate aircraft carriers, but having lost the war, it renounced the concept of such ships shifting to helicopter carriers which were more effective against basic threat of the post-war period, i.e. Chinese and Soviet submarines. Helicopters based on new ships are mostly ASW-oriented as well. In its turn, China is aware of Japan's possible acquirement of American aircrafts F-35B which easily transform any ASW helicopter-carrying ship into attack aircraft carrier.

Japan seems strongly about to modify Project 22DDH into a full-fledged aircraft carrier. However, analysts regard such possibility with skepticism, since having an aircraft carrier is inexpedient for the country with overall Navy's manpower of 45,000 and being in tight economic situation.

In addition, Japan implements several large military projects; JPY 39 bln have been spent for national 5-gen fighter which is expected to take off in 2014, and JPY 15 bln – for unmanned vehicles and various robots.

Australian Defense Ministry: Construction of Heli-Carriers Goes Ahead of Schedule
Photo: Landing ship HMAS Canberra. Australian Defense Ministry
Construction of the lead Canberra-class helicopter carrier at Spanish shipyard Navantia is on schedule, the second ship HMAS Adelaide is built ahead of schedule, said Australian defense minister Stephen Smith and minister for defence material Jason Clare on Dec 13 at commissioning ceremony of landing ship HMAS Choules, reports Australian Navy's website.

Recall that Australian Navy tied a $3-bln contract for two prospective helicopter carriers with Navantia in 2007. The hulls are built by Navantia, bridges – by BAE Systems at Williamstown Shipyard in Melbourne; ship assembling will be also carried out by BAE Systems.

At the moment, Navantia has constructed all 105 sections of Canberra's hull, launched her, and conducts finishing works including assemblage of medical compartment, living accommodations, and store rooms. The hull is expected to leave Spain on heavy transport ship in July 2012 and arrive in Melbourne in Aug 2012.

Four bridges and 3 mast elements of HMAS Canberra have been built at Williamstown Shipyard since June 2011. The hull-to-island attachment is scheduled in the end of 2012.

Kiel for HMAS Adelaide was laid down in Feb 2011. By now, 60 out of 105 sections have been mounted on the slipway, 27 are under construction, and 18 are being painted before putting on the slipway. The ship is expected to be launched in third quarter of 2012.

Over 400,000 working hours were spent on the ships' construction in Australia.

Canberra-class landing ships will be the largest warships ever operated by Australian Navy. Displacement is 27,851 tons; length is 230.8 meters; beam is 32 meters; draft is 7.18 meters; speed is 20.5 knots; crew is 243 men (max 279 men), troop capacity is 978 men (max 1,124 men); deck capacity is 3,290 sq meters (up to 100 armored vehicles), helicopter hangar capacity is 990 square meters; air wing is 12-24 helicopters; armament is 4 x 25-mm deck-based stabilized gun mounts.

Brazil would possibly buy two Mistrals
Text: Military Parity
Photo: Mistral class assault landing ship.
Brazilian Navy nourishes an idea to purchase at least two assault landing ships. Those ships should have a "double football ground" deck and be capable to perform wide range of missions – transport infantry, tanks, helicopters, landing craft, missiles, have onboard hospital, and carry out functions of a "sophisticated analytic center", i.e. command ship.

Each of those vessels costs today $600-850 mln. Procurement plan of such ships is considered to be "ambitious". According to Brazilian Navy Commander ADM Julio Moura Neto, acquirement of those ships depends on budgetary funds available; the ship's type has not been chosen so far".

The most competitive suppliers are the US and France. Reportedly, France has developed advanced variant of Mistral class assault landing ship. Russia is about to purchase four such ships.

Assault landing ships must be capable to transport 900-1,400 men of landing party, 280 self-propelled vehicles, and 30 helicopters at the range of up to 5,000 km; operate 10 days autonomously 100 miles away from landing zone. Such ship should have early warning helicopters to support fighters covering the ship. In high seas the ship should be protected by escort ships.

An assault landing ship is virtually autonomous. Apart from helicopters, tanks, armored transport vehicles, and hundreds of marines on board, such ship has a hospital capable to conduct any surgical operations. Sophisticated electronics interfaced with encrypted communication satellite systems is located in command post at the level of 15th floor.

There are some political reasons in favor of these big ships. As is known, Brazil strives for being a member of UN Security Council, and such ships would raise prestige of the country; old aircraft carrier San Paulo plays no part any more. Brazilian Navy plans to purchase 61 ships within 20 years. When having assault landing ships in inventory, Brazil will be able to attend various multinational transcontinental operations, which is a requirement to the world-leading countries.

Turkey is capable to build a carrier – national defense industry
Text: World Arms Trade Analytic Center
Turkish shipbuilding industry has sufficient capabilities to build an aircraft carrier, said director of Turkey's defense industry department Murad Bayar.

According to him, to create carrier strike group, Turkey should have two new destroyers, one submarine, four missile boats, 40 deck-based fighters, and multipurpose/antisubmarine/antisurface helicopters. The crew of a carrier (depending on dimensions) may number 1,000-5,000 men.

At present, Turkish defense industry covers requirements of national armed forces on 52.1%. Its total turnover has reached $2.7 bln, export – $ 853 mln, annual expenditure on research and development is evaluated as $600 mln.


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