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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dutch submarine visits base

The submarine HNLMS Dolfijn was snapped by photographer Bryan Moffat as it passed close to the former HMS Dolphin site in Gosport yesterday morning.

HNLMS Dolfijn passes by HMS Dolphin in front of the submarine escape tower

Mr Moffat of Elphinstone Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, said: 'The leaden sky added to the impact of the boat's arrival.

'It was also fitting that you can see the submarine escape tower on the Gosport skyline.'
TRAINING for the Royal Australian Navy's elite force of submariners will continue despite the virtual crippling of the $6 billion fleet of Collins-Class boats because of chronic onboard mechanical and electrical failures.

Fifty crew from HMAS Farncomb, recalled to port last week after suffering generator failure, will continue their training on a sister ship, HMAS Collins.

HMAS Waller is the only boat in the fleet of six still operational.

Defence sources confirmed to The Australian yesterday that the repair bill for the Farncomb alone is likely to run into the millions of dollars, depending on whether the submarine's inner hull has to be cut open.

The inner hull is constructed of thick high-strength steel designed to withstand extreme outside pressure, while maintaining normal pressure inside the vessel's compartments.

On Monday, Chief of Navy Russ Crane said no lives had been placed at risk as a result of the electrical failure on the Farncomb.

"I am very disappointed by this development," Vice-Admiral Crane said. "Navy will continue to work with the Defence Materiel Organisation, industry and ASC (Australian Submarine Corporation) to determine the extent of the issue and rectify this problem.

"We are working hard to ensure this fault is rectified as soon as possible."

Inspections are now being carried out on the serviceability of the generators onboard the five other boats.

The latest breakdown follows a stream of maintenance problems with the submarine fleet, Australia's frontline defence asset.

NSW plan threatens SA's defence title

A NEW South Wales plan to establish a maritime facility hub is putting the state on a collision course with South Australia.

A Collins-class submarine. Picture: Department of Defence

In what has been interpreted in political circles as a declaration of war, NSW Premier Kristina Keneally has made an aggressive bid to secure a sizeable slice of an estimated $250 billion in defence spending over the next two decades.

The SA Government has claimed the title of Australia's "defence state" after winning billions of dollars of defence contracts over the past six years.

Only last week when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd opened the ASC shipyard, which will build the $8 billion Air Warfare Destroyer project, Premier Mike Rann boasted of SA already securing $44 billion of defence contracts.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cooperative Threat Reduction Program to Expand Mission

Recent legislation could help the U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction program more easily exploit opportunities to eliminate WMD materials while increasing its work outside the former Soviet Union, U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) announced yesterday.

Language in the fiscal 2010 defense authorization law enables the Nunn-Lugar program to take financial support from foreign governments and other international entities In addition, the legislation permits the Defense Department to spend as much as one-tenth of the program's budget on unanticipated nonproliferation operations. 

U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) displays a chemical munition inside a briefcase during a 2000 visit to the chemical weapons depository at Shchuchye, Russia. The U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction program funded a chemical weapons disposal plant at Shchuchye that began operations last year (U.S. Senator Richard Lugar photo).

“Malefactors in the world want to use weapons of mass destruction to terrorize American citizens, harm our soldiers deployed around the world and attack our partner countries. Proliferation of WMD remains the No. 1 national security threat facing the United States and the international community,” Lugar said in a statement.

“In 2009, the Nunn-Lugar program continued to make us safer by achieving meaningful progress in the destruction and dismantlement of massive Soviet weapons systems and the facilities that developed them. There is much more work to do in combating biological, nuclear, and chemical threats through Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction and the global expansion of the Nunn-Lugar program,” he said in the release.

Last year, the CTR program deactivated 15 strategic nuclear warheads and destroyed 24 ICBMs, two ICBM silos, five mobile ICBM launchers, 18 submarine-launched ballistic missiles and one ballistic missile-capable submarine.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Combet defends submarine plans

With the Collins submarines in strife again, junior defence minister Greg Combet has defended plans to build the next generation of subs in Australia.

Mr Combet said the 2009 Defence White Paper plan for the acquisition of a new submarine fleet to replace the Collins class vessels from 2025 had sparked heated debate.

Opening the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) symposium at the Pacific 2010 maritime conference in Sydney on Wednesday, he said the acquisition strategy for the new submarines had not yet been finalised.

"On the back of the Collins project, which experienced cost and schedule over-runs, as well as some well-publicised technical difficulties, we have been criticised for undertaking another potentially developmental project," he said.

ASC designed and built the Royal Australian Navy’s current fleet of Collins class submarines between 1987 and 2003

The Collins submarine project, launched in 1987, was regarded as extremely ambitious because Australia had never before constructed a submarine.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fire on BAE Systems Barrow submarine

A FIRE broke out on board a £1bn submarine in Barrow last night.

Five fire engines raced to the Devonshire Dock Hall after the fire started in cabling and ducting inside the Astute class submarine Ambush.


A Cumbria Fire and Rescue service spokesman said the fire was eventually put out by two firefighters with a hosereel, and BAE staff also deployed a fine water spray system.

Peres blames Iran for no Palestinian state

Israeli President Shimon Peres declares Tehran as the main obstacle to the creation of a viable Palestinian State. 

Peres is on a official four-day visit to Germany and will address the Bundestag lower house of Parliament.
"The big problem today is Iran," He said in an interview with German television channel, ARD.

The 86-year-old politician who arrived in the German capital of Berlin on an official visit to mark the so-called 'International Holocaust Remembrance Day,' was especially critical of Iran's support for the Islamic resistance movements in the region, namely Hamas and Hezbollah.

Iran's connections with the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas, he claimed, has until now prevented the creation of a Palestinian state.

Observers in the region, however, insists that Israel's preconditions on the creation of a Palestinian state render a viable, independent and sovereign Palestinian state impossible.

Tel Aviv says a future Palestinian state would have to be demilitarized, cede control of its airspace to Israel and recognize the territory occupied and run by the regime in Tel Aviv as the 'Jewish homeland.'

French submarine test-fires M51 missile for first time

The French Navy successfully carried out its first test-firing of an M51 ballistic missile launched from a submarine, a defense ministry statement said on Wednesday.

The test, conducted earlier in the day, came after three flight tests from land-based launch facilities done between 2006 and 2008.

M51 ballistic missile

Australia’s Submarine Program In the Dock

The failure of a generator aboard HMAS Farncomb is just the latest problem faced by its fleet of 6 Collins Class diesel-electric submarines – which are now reduced to just 1 operational vessel. That readiness issue presents an immediate financial headache for Australia’s government, and adds a longer-term challenge to the centerpiece of Australia’s future naval force.

HMAS Farncomb photo defenseindustrydaily
With just 6 submarines in its fleet, Australia’s current deployment set-up leaves little room for error. Even a normal setup of 2 in maintenance, 2 for training but available if needed, and 2 on operations makes for a thin line, given Australia’s long coastline and sea lanes. Instead, Australia currently has 3 submarines in “deep maintenance” and completely unavailable (HMAS Deschaineux, HMAS Sheean, and HMAS Rankin), 1 submarine back in port and facing indeterminate maintenance (HMAS Farncomb), 1 “limited availability” submarine fit for training (HMAS Collins), and 1 operational boat (HMAS Waller) that was in port for major battery repairs as recently as May 2009.

When crewing problems are added to the mechanical issues, Australia’s 2009 White Paper plan to build 12 diesel-electric fast attack submarines as the centerpiece of the 2030 Australian Navy is attracting questions.

The current issue with HMAS Farncomb involves failures in 1 of the submarine’s 3 French Jeumont-Schneider, 1,400 kW/ 440-volt DC generators. As the Australian Department of Defence puts it:
“The problem stems from the way some of the generators were manufactured. At no time was the crew at risk but investigations are continuing in order to determine the impact this deficiency might have on the remainder of the submarine fleet.”

Monday, January 25, 2010

Collins submarine's generator fails

The Collins class submarine HMAS Farncomb is undergoing repairs after one of its three main generators failed last week.

The setback is only the latest to hit the Collins fleet, which was beset by a series of breakdowns last year which left just one boat available for sea operations and training.

Inside Collin Sub

Navy chief Vice Admiral Russell Crane said he was very disappointed by Farncomb being put out of action.

"Navy will continue to work with the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), industry and ASC Pty Ltd (formerly the Australian Submarine Corporation) to determine the extent of the issue and rectify this problem," he said in a statement.

"We are working hard to ensure this fault is rectified as soon as possible. The Australian public, the defence organisation and our navy family expect nothing less."

Admiral Crane said Australia's maritime defences remained strong.

"We continue to have a credible submarine capability available," he said.

Indian Navy's Foxtrot submarines to be history soon

They have been of valuable service to the Indian Navy for more than 35 years. The Soviet-built Foxtrot submarines, with which the navy's submarine arm came into existence, will be history soon with the two remaining submarines of this class being retired by 2011 - bringing an era to an end.

"One of the Foxtrot submarines, INS Vela will be de-commissioned this year. The last one INS Vagli would retire in 2011," a senior Indian Navy official, wishing anonymity, told IANS.

The Foxtrot class was the NATO's reporting name of a class of diesel-electric patrol submarines that were built in the Soviet Union. The first of the submarines was laid down in 1957 and commissioned in 1958. By the time the last submarine was completed in 1983, the Foxtrot class had become obsolete.

"The Indian Navy's submarine arm had begun with the acquisition of four Foxtrot submarines from the Soviet Union. The first four were called Kalvari class submarines. The problems experienced with them were fed back to the design bureaus in Russia.

"Improvements were gradually introduced and we contracted for another four submarines in 1971. These Vela class submarines arrived between 1973 and 1975," said the official.

According to senior navy officials, out of these eight submarines acquired only two are operational now. The condition of the first four submarines deteriorated fast due to delay in the six-yearly refits.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Irregularities in submarine deal

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has refuted the US$2.81 million claim of the AGOSTA-90 submarine negotiator who, via a plea bargain in 2002, facilitated the recovery of kickbacks worth US$7.5 million from former naval chief Mansurul Haq.

The NAB statement has been filed in the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) petition of Ahmed Jamil Ansari, a consultant for the French government defence supplier, SOFMA, who negotiated in 1994 with the Pakistan Navy for purchase of three AGOSTA-90 submarines, as well as SM-39 missiles and mine hunkerships.

The petitioner, who claimed to have received a 25 per cent commission in the submarines and naval equipment purchase deal, sought the recovery of US$2.81 million from NAB — money that was obtained by him during former prime minster Nawaz Sharif and president Pervez Musharaf’s regime.

He submitted that US$2.468 million were obtained from him in 1998 under duress by then-Ehtesab Bureau chief, Saifur Rehman, while the NAB also obtained US$800,000 from him while dealing with an asset matter in the Isle of Jersey, UK. He submitted that NAB authorities assured him that his amount will be returned to him but the promise was not honoured despite several assurances.

Ansari, who also facilitated NAB for the recovery of kickbacks and commissions from former naval chief Mansur Haq, denied that any kickback was received in the submarine and naval equipment deal and contended that he had earned a commission from the French company from his fair negotiating deal. The former naval chief had returned US$7.5 million to the government by entering a plea bargain with NAB in connection with submarine corruption reference before the Accountability Court. The petitioner, however, claimed the recovery of his commission as per the Supreme Court judgment in the Amir Lodhi case.

Diesel submarines Oyashio

Key TTX DPL type Oyashio

Length: 82 m
Width: 8,9 m
Draft: 7,9 m
Displacement: 2,700 above-water, underwater 3000 m
EC: single-shaft, diesel-electric, 2 diesel generators, 2 x 2380 hp
Speed: surfaced 12 submerged 20 knots
Armament: 6 533 mm torpedo - 20 torpedoes, ammunition Type 89, Type 80 and anti-ship missiles "Harpoon", mines
CEO: CEO ZQQ-5B, towed passive CEO ZQR-1
Crew: 69 people (10 officers)
SS590 "Oyashio" (1998) SS590 "Oyashio" (1998)
SS591 "Michishio" (1999) SS591 "Michishio" (1999)
SS592 "Uzushio" (2000) SS592 "Uzushio" (2000)
SS593 "Makishio" (2001) SS593 "Makishio" (2001)
SS594 "Isoshio" (2004) SS594 "Isoshio" (2004)
SS595 "Narushio" (2005) SS595 "Narushio" (2005)
SS596 construction, scheduled for commissioning in 2005
SS597 construction, scheduled for commissioning in 2005
SS598 construction, scheduled for commissioning in 2006
SS599 construction, scheduled for commissioning in 2007

Oyashio. Since 1998, the completion of the new Japanese Navy submarines at the expense of commissioning Submarine Oyashio.

These boats surpass all operated by the Japanese navy boat on a number of critical parameters, particularly on reserve, diving depth, the ability of weapons systems and radio equipment.

Home Submarine SS590 Oyashio in a series of 10 units was laid on the shipyard company Kawasaki 26 January 1994, putting it into operation took place on March 16, 1998 The building of all the other ships scheduled to be held at the same shipyard.