Category Archives: Navy

Cooperstown

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin September 20.

USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)
Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)

The ship is the 12th Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) designed and delivered by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team. Delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the U.S. Navy. Following delivery, the ship will sail away for a commissioning ceremony in New York City before transiting to its homeport in Mayport, Florida.

«Today marks a significant shipbuilding milestone in the life of the future USS Cooperstown, ‘America’s Away Team,’ an exceptional ship and the latest inductee into the U.S. Navy’s arsenal conducting operations around the globe», said Captain Andy Gold, PMS-501 (Littoral Combat Ships) program manager.

USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) is the second Freedom-variant ship outfitted with the combining gear correction that will allow unrestricted operations. The correction addresses a class-wide flaw that was identified as the Fleet deployed these ships in greater numbers.

The future USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) will be the first naval ship to honor the Village of Cooperstown in Otsego County, New York. The village is located at the southern end of the historic Otsego Lake in the central region of the state. Cooperstown, New York, is the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, which is the source of the ship’s motto, «America’s Away Team».

Several more Freedom variant ships are under construction at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin. The future USS Marinette (LCS-25) is scheduled for delivery in early 2023. Additional ships in various stages of construction include the future ships USS Nantucket (LCS-27), USS Beloit (LCS-29) and USS Cleveland (LCS-31). LCS-31 will be the final Freedom-variant LCS.

The LCS class is now the second-largest surface ship class in production. The future USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) is the fourth LCS delivered in Fiscal Year 2022, following the deliveries of the Freedom-variant USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21), Independence-variant USS Canberra (LCS-30), and Independence-variant USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32).

The LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore and open ocean environments, capable of winning against 21st-century coastal threats such as mines and swarming small craft. The ships are capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.

«I look forward to seeing Cooperstown step up to the plate with her sister ships in Mayport to bring her slugging capabilities to the Fleet», Gold said.

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016 11-17-2018 Mayport, Florida
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016 01-12-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017 08-03-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018 10-26-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018 08-08-2020 Mayport, Florida
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018 06-15-2019 05-21-2022 Mayport, Florida
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018 01-19-2020 Mayport, Florida
USS Marinette (LCS-25) 03-27-2019 10-31-2020
USS Nantucket (LCS-27) 10-09-2019 08-07-2021
USS Beloit (LCS-29) 07-22-2020 05-07-2022
USS Cleveland (LCS-31) 06-20-2021

 

French Navy

The French Navy has taken delivery of the first of six H160s that will perform search and rescue (SAR) missions. The aircraft is part of the interim fleet that will be delivered by the partnership formed between Airbus Helicopters, Babcock, and Safran Helicopter Engines.

H160
French Navy takes delivery of first H160 for search and rescue missions

«The delivery of the first H160 to a military customer is a major milestone for the H160 programme», said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. «This is the first public service version of the H160 to be delivered worldwide. Furthermore, the delivery takes place soon after two H160s entered into service this summer, in Brazil for the private and business aviation segment and in Japan for news gathering missions», he added. «With this H160 we will strengthen our partnership with the French Navy, delivering the right helicopter for its critical search and rescue missions. Together with our partners, we will also ensure that the H160 is ready when needed».

In 2020 the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) signed a contract with Airbus Helicopters, Babcock, and Safran for the delivery of four H160s in a Search And Rescue (SAR) configuration. In 2021, the DGA confirmed an option for two more H160s. The first H160 for the French Navy was delivered to Babcock by Airbus Helicopters in May 2022. It has since then been modified into a light military configuration by Babcock. The modular cabin was also adapted for SAR operations and a Safran Euroflir 410 electro optical system was integrated.

The H160 will gradually start operating from the Lanveoc-Poulmic naval air station (Brittany), Cherbourg airport (Normandy), and the naval air station in Hyères (Provence). The interim fleet of H160s will ensure critical search and rescue missions while awaiting the delivery of the H160M Guépard. In the frame of the French Joint Light Helicopter (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger: HIL) programme, 169 H160M Guépards are foreseen to replace five types of helicopters in service with the French armed forces. The French Navy’s operational feedback with these H160s will benefit the design of the military version of the aircraft and its associated support system.

Babcock, in partnership with Airbus Helicopters and Safran Helicopters Engines, will ensure the highest level of availability for the French Navy and the continuity of SAR operations on the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coasts. Built by Airbus Helicopters, the H160 is certified for the use of night vision goggles, which are necessary for winching operations at night.

The H160, as a next generation medium twin-engine aircraft, powered by Arrano engines, is modular by design in order to address missions ranging from offshore transportation, private and business aviation, emergency medical services, and public services.

Australian Navy

The U.S. Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a firm-fixed price contract to produce an additional 12 Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Procured via the U.S. Government’s Foreign Military Sales agreement, the new aircraft will add a third ‘Romeo’ squadron of unparalleled capability to the RAN’s Fleet Air Arm. Sikorsky is a Lockheed Martin company.

MH-60R Seahawk
The Royal Australian Navy has placed a second order for U.S. Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopters (Photo courtesy RAN)

«The ‘Romeo’ Seahawk helicopter instills confidence in navies worldwide for its high operational availability in the harsh maritime environment, and for the fully integrated mission systems and sensors that quickly generate a complete picture of the surface and subsurface domains», said Hamid Salim, vice president, Sikorsky Maritime & Mission Systems. «We thank the RAN for showing confidence in the broad mission flexibility of this proven multi-role helicopter. Ongoing and planned upgrades to the MH-60R Seahawk through partnership with the U.S. Navy, RAN, other international partners and industry will ensure the aircraft’s reliability and mission effectiveness against emerging threats for decades to come».

As part of the Australian Government’s Project SEA 9100 Phase 1 (Improved Embarked Logistics Support Helicopter Capability), the 12 new MH-60R Seahawk aircraft will create a common fleet of maritime helicopters supporting all of the RAN’s air capable platforms.

«Built upon a decade of partnership with the United States Navy and Lockheed Martin, the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ multi-mission helicopter provides the Royal Australian Navy with an unparalleled maritime aviation platform», said Rear Admiral Peter Quinn, Head Navy Capability for the Royal Australian Navy. «The versatility of the MH-60R Seahawk to conduct a wide range of missions combined with the world-class support provided by our partners, was a significant factor in the decision by the RAN to make an additional investment in MH-60R Seahawk under the SEA 9100 Phase 1 program».

Lockheed Martin plans to deliver all 12 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters between mid-2025 and mid-2026. Sikorsky Aircraft Australia Limited in Nowra, New South Wales, currently provides depot level maintenance, supply support and logistics support for Australia’s MH-60R Seahawk helicopter fleet.

«The additional 12 MH-60R Seahawk aircraft is a testament to the Royal Australian Navy’s commitment to providing their service men and women the right aircraft for their mission needs», said Captain Todd Evans, U.S. Navy H-60 multi-mission helicopters program manager. «This effort continues the long-standing partnership between the United States Navy and the Royal Australian Navy».

The RAN was the first international navy to select the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter, acquiring 24 aircraft from 2013 to 2016. The Fleet Air Arm’s 725 and 816 squadrons based at Nowra have accumulated more than 30,000 flight hours embarked on frigates, destroyers and supply ships.

Acceptance Trials

The future USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13), the U.S. Navy’s 13th Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport successfully completed Acceptance Trials and Unmanned Logistics Prototype Trials.

USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13)
The future USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) Achieves Milestones with Acceptance Trials and Completion of Unmanned Logistics Prototype Trials

Acceptance Trials consists of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the U.S. Navy and the shipbuilder, Austal USA, to assess the ship’s systems and readiness prior to delivery to the Navy.

«The completion of this milestone is another win for our Navy and industry partners and a testament to the hard work of our shipbuilding team», said Tim Roberts, program manager, Strategic & Theater Sealift, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) will enhance the operational flexibility needed by our Sailors».

USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) also completed Unmanned Logistics Prototype trials assessing autonomous capabilities integrated into the shipboard configuration, demonstrating that a large ship can become a self-driving platform.

In transit from Mobile, Alabama, to Miami, Florida, Apalachicola’s autonomous system completed a stress test in high-traffic coastal areas by taking appropriate ship handling actions while operating around other ships, boats, sailboats, and craft. Overall, the ship was in autonomous mode for approximately 85 percent of the multiple day at-sea period.

The unprecedented development of autonomous capability on Apalachicola is the culmination of collaborative efforts with the Navy’s shipbuilding and industry partners, Austal USA, L3 Harris and General Dynamics.

«The ability to expand unmanned concepts into the existing fleet was validated by these trials», said Roberts. «The capabilities integrated onto EPF 13 set the groundwork for future autonomous operations».

EPFs are shallow draft, commercial-based, catamaran designed for rapid, intra-theater transport of personnel and equipment. The EPF’s high speed, shallow draft, and ability to load/unload in austere ports enables maneuver force agility in achieving positional advantage over intermediate distances without reliance on shore-based infrastructure.

USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy later this year.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.

Finnish Navy

Patria delivered the fourth and last modernized Hamina-Class missile boat Pori (83) to the Finnish Navy in Upinniemi. In the Mid-Life-Upgrade (MLU) project Patria has been acting as the prime contractor, designer, and the lead system integrator. The fourth modernized Hamina-Class missile boat, called Pori (83), started its sea acceptance tests related to the commissioning of the boat already in the spring, which continued over the summer. Four missile boats in total were modernized between 2018-2022 as a part of MLU project, providing new capabilities to the Finnish Navy.

Pori (83)
Patria delivered the fourth and last modernized Hamina-Class missile boat Pori (83) to the Finnish Navy

The large-scale overhaul ensures the capability to countering maritime threats, repelling attacks at sea, protecting sea lines, and monitoring and securing territorial integrity. With the new torpedo and surface-to-surface missile system, as well as upgrades to the surface-to-air missile system, the ships are capable of impact in the air, surface and underwater. The planned life cycle of the Hamina class extends until the 2030s with the life cycle update.

«The modernization and Mid-Life-Upgrade of the Hamina-Class illustrates well Patria’s advanced system integration capability. In addition to the overhaul and life cycle extension, one of the main goals in the Hamina-Class modernization has been the development of anti-submarine warfare performance. As part of the new capabilities, Patria supplied the Hamina-Class ships with the new innovative training target system it has developed, which enables anti-submarine warfare training in a flexible and the most cost-effective way», comments Veli-Pekka Heinonen, the Navy Business Area Leader of Patria Finland Division.

Project 17A frigate

According to Naval News, India’s shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) launched the fifth Nilgiri-class (Project 17A) frigate for the Indian Navy, at its shipyard in Mumbai.

INS Taragiri
INS Taragiri which was launched on 11 September, 2022 is the 3rd frigate built by MDL and fifth ship in the class overall (Indian MoD picture)

Following the Government of India declaring a state-mourning on 11 September, 2022 (in relation to the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II), the event was limited to a technical launch (launching of vessels at the MDL shipyard is tide dependent, any change in the schedule was not possible).

Seven P17A Frigates are under various stages of construction at MDL and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE). INS Taragiri which was launched on 11 September, 2022 is the 5th frigate built by GRSE. It is named after the mountain range in the state of Uttarakhand. The 4th ship-in-class was launched by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) in Kolkata in July this year. Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) laid the keel of the 7th and final ship in late June 2022.

The Nilgiri-class frigate or Project 17A is a follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy. The frigates are built with extensive use of low-observability technologies, including new radar-absorbing coatings, composite materials and «faceted» shape superstructures.

The ship will be fitted with a 76-mm main gun, two 30-mm AK-630M anti-aircraft artillery systems, two torpedo tubes, launchers for eight BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and 32 Barak-8 surface to air missiles. Its main radar will be the MF-STAR by IAI.

Start of Fabrication

The start of fabrication of the future USS Pittsburgh (LPD-31) began at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), Ingalls Shipbuilding division, September 7.

USS Pittsburgh (LPD-31)
Start of Fabrication Begins for Future USS Pittsburgh (LPD-31)

This milestone signifies the first 100 tons of steel for the ship having been cut.

USS Pittsburgh (LPD-31) will be the 15th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship and the second ship built in the LPD Flight II configuration. Continuity of LPD Flight II production configuration is intended to fulfill Navy and Marine Corps requirements to lift troops, aircraft, landing craft, vehicles, and cargo.

«We are proud to have the future USS Pittsburgh under construction, the fifth ship to bear the name», said Captain Cedric McNeal, program manager, Amphibious Warfare Program Office, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «With this ship, we will continue to honor the legacy of the great city of Pittsburgh and the state of Pennsylvania».

The first USS Pittsburgh was an ironclad gunboat that served during the American Civil War, and the second USS Pittsburgh (CA-4) was an armored cruiser that served during WWI. The third USS Pittsburgh (CA-72) was a Baltimore-class cruiser that served during WWII, supporting the landing at Iwo Jima. The fourth USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720) was a Los Angeles-class submarine that served the Navy from December 1984 to August 2019.

At a 2021 reception celebrating LPD-31, Pittsburgh city officials also designated November 15 as Navy Day. Rear Admiral Thomas J. Anderson, Program Executive Office Ships was in attendance and recognized Pittsburgh as, «A tough, hard-working and patriotic town with a legacy of resilience and selfless sacrifice».

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, sealift ships, support ships, boats and craft.

 

Ship Facts and Characteristics

Propulsion Four sequentially turbocharged marine Colt-Pielstick Diesels, two shafts, 41,600 shaft horsepower/31,021 kW
Length 684 feet/208.5 m
Beam 105 feet/32 m
Displacement Approximately 24,900 long tons/25,300 metric tons full load
Draft 23 feet/7 m
Speed In excess of 22 knots/24.2 mph/38.7 km/h
Crew Ship’s Company: 380 Sailors (29 officers, 351 enlisted) and 3 Marines. Embarked Landing Force: 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge capacity to 800
Armament Two Mk-46 30-mm close in Guns, fore and aft; two Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers, fore and aft: ten .50 caliber/12.7-mm machine guns
Aircraft Launch or land two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters or two MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft or up to four AH-1 Cobra or UH-1Y Venom helicopters
Landing/Attack Craft Two Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs) or one Landing Craft Utility (LCU); and 14 Amphibious Assault Vehicles

 

San Antonio-class

 

Flight I

Ship Builder Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS San Antonio (LPD-17) Avondale 07-12-2003 01-14-2006 Norfolk, Virginia
USS New Orleans (LPD-18) Avondale 12-11-2004 03-10-2007 San Diego, California
USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) Ingalls 11-19-2004 12-15-2007 Norfolk, Virginia
USS Green Bay (LPD-20) Avondale 08-11-2006 01-24-2009 San Diego, California
USS New York (LPD-21) Avondale 12-19-2007 11-07-2009 Norfolk, Virginia
USS San Diego (LPD-22) Ingalls 05-07-2010 05-19-2012 San Diego, California
USS Anchorage (LPD-23) Avondale 02-12-2011 05-04-2013 San Diego, California
USS Arlington (LPD-24) Ingalls 11-23-2010 02-08-2013 Norfolk, Virginia
USS Somerset (LPD-25) Avondale 04-14-2012 05-01-2014 San Diego, California
USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) Ingalls 11-02-2014 10-08-2016 San Diego, California
USS Portland (LPD-27) Ingalls 02-13-2016 12-14-2017 San Diego, California
USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) Ingalls 03-28-2020 07-30-2022 Norfolk, Virginia
USS Richard M. McCool (LPD-29) Ingalls 01-05-2022

 

Flight II

Ship Builder Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Harrisburg (LPD-30) Ingalls
USS Pittsburgh (LPD-31) Ingalls

 

Offshore Patrol Ship

September 2, 2022, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada celebrated another milestone in renewing the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) fleet with the delivery of the third Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Max Bernays (AOPV-432).

HMCS Max Bernays (AOPV-432)
HMCS Max Bernays (AOPV-432) returning to port after completing sea trials in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Built by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. of Halifax, Nova Scotia, this is the third of six new AOPS being delivered to the RCN through the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), an initiative that supports Canadian industry and jobs. Designed with a thick and robust hull, the AOPS significantly enhance the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) capabilities and presence in the Arctic, better enabling the RCN to assert and uphold Arctic sovereignty. With their considerable space to transport cargo and the capacity to embark a Cyclone helicopter, small vehicles, and deployable boats, the AOPS have the versatility to support a full range of CAF operations at home and contribute to global peace and security in coordination with our allies and partners.

HMCS Max Bernays (AOPV-432) will remain at the Her Majesty’s Canadian Dockyard Halifax while post-acceptance work and final ship preparation work are completed. In 2023, the ship will be transferred to the West Coast, with Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt as its designated homeport. Construction of the sixth AOPS began with steel cutting on August 15, 2022.

In support of Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government of Canada continues to deliver the modern, functional, and effective ships that the RCN needs to support operations, while also rebuilding Canada’s marine industry with the creation of hundreds of new jobs under Canada’s NSS.

First indigenous aircraft

Showcasing the country’s growing prowess of indigenous manufacturing and a major milestone in the path towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi commissioned the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) on September 02, 2022. During the event, the Prime Minister also unveiled the new Naval Ensign (Nishaan), doing away with the colonial past and befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage. He dedicated the new ensign to Chhatrapati Shivaji.

INS Vikrant
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi commissions India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in Kochi

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said, here on the coast of Kerala, every Indian is witnessing the sunrise of a new future. This event being held on the INS Vikrant is a tribute to the rising spirits of India on the world horizon. He said that today we are seeing a manifestation of the dream of the freedom fighters where they envisioned a capable and strong India. The Prime Minister exclaimed «Vikrant is huge, massive, and vast. Vikrant is distinguished, Vikrant is also special. Vikrant is not just a warship. This is a testament to the hard work, talent, influence and commitment of India in the 21st century. If the goals are distant, the journeys are long, the ocean and the challenges are endless – then India’s answer is Vikrant. The incomparable Amrit of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is Vikrant. Vikrant is a unique reflection of India becoming self-reliant».

Commenting on the new mood of the nation, the Prime Minister said, no challenge is too difficult for today’s India. He said «today, India has joined those countries in the world, which manufacture such a huge aircraft carrier with indigenous technology. Today INS Vikrant has filled the country with a new confidence, and has created a new confidence in the country». The Prime Minister acknowledged and praised the contribution of the Navy, engineers of Cochin Shipyard, scientists and specially the workers who worked on the project. He also noted the happy and auspicious occasion of Onam that is adding even more happiness to the occasion.

Every part of INS Vikrant has its own merits, a strength, a development journey of its own. It is a symbol of indigenous potential, indigenous resources and indigenous skills. The steel installed in its airbase is also indigenous, developed by DRDO scientists and produced by Indian companies, he said. Explaining the massive proportions of the Carrier, the Prime Minister said it is like a floating city. It produces electricity that is sufficient to power 5000 households and the wiring used will reach Kashi from Kochi, he said. He said that INS Vikrant is a living embodiment of the Spirit of the Panch Prans that he proclaimed from the ramparts of Red Fort.

The Prime Minister talked about the Indian Maritime tradition and naval capabilities. Chhatrapati Veer Shivaji Maharaj, he said, built such a navy on the strength of this sea power, which kept the enemies on their toes. When the British came to India, they used to be intimidated by the power of Indian ships and trade through them. So, they decided to break the back of India’s maritime power. History is witness to how strict restrictions were imposed on Indian ships and merchants by enacting a law in the British Parliament at that time, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister noted that today on the historic date of September 2, 2022, India has taken off a trace of slavery, a burden of slavery. The Indian Navy has got a new flag from today. Till now the identity of slavery remained on the flag of Indian Navy. But from today onwards, inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji, the new Navy flag will fly in the sea and in the sky.

The Prime Minister remarked that when Vikrant descends to protect our maritime zone, many women soldiers of the Navy will also be stationed there. With the immense power of the ocean, boundless female power, it is becoming the lofty identity of the new India. Now the Indian Navy has decided to open all its branches for women. The restrictions that were there are now being removed. Just as there are no boundaries for the capable waves, there will be no boundaries or restrictions for the daughters of India.

The Prime Minister said drop by drop water becomes like a vast ocean. He also mentioned the salute by indigenous canon on this Independence Day. Similarly, if every citizen of India starts living the mantra of ‘Vocal for Local’, then it will not take long for the country to become self-reliant.

Commenting on the changing geo-strategic situation, he said in the past, security concerns in the Indo-Pacific region and the Indian Ocean have long been ignored. But today this area is a major defence priority of the country for us. That is why we are working in every direction, from increasing the budget for the Navy to increasing its capability, he said. The Prime Minister said that a strong India will pave the way for a peaceful and safe world.

In his address, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh termed the commissioning of INS Vikrant at the onset of ‘Amritkal’ as a testament to the Government’s strong resolve to ensure the safety and security of the nation in the next 25 years. «INS Vikrant is a glowing symbol of an aspirational and self-reliant ‘New India’. It is an icon of pride, power and resolve of the Nation. Its commissioning is an unprecedented achievement in the path of building indigenous warships. Indian Navy’s tradition is ‘old ships never die’. This new avatar of Vikrant, which played a stellar role in the 1971 war, is a humble tribute to our freedom fighters and brave soldiers», he said.

Shri Rajnath Singh also asserted that it is a key responsibility of the Indian Navy to secure the country’s maritime interests for uninterrupted maritime trade, amid the constantly-changing global situation. He commended the Navy for always being the ‘First Responder’ in times of any national or international crisis and exuded confidence that the commissioning of INS Vikrant will further enhance the force’s capability. He added that this is an assurance to the friendly foreign countries that India is fully capable of meeting the collective security needs of the region. «We believe in a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. Our efforts in this regard are guided by ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) as envisioned by the Prime Minister», he said.

The Raksha Mantri also described the commissioning of INS Vikrant as a confirmation that the Government’s unwavering commitment to achieve ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ is not an isolated policy. It is an important part of the huge transformative change taking place in India under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, he said.

Shri Rajnath Singh commended the Prime Minister for his visionary leadership in realising the dream of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, stating that the government has made path breaking changes in all sectors such as defence, health, education, agriculture, trade, transport and communication. He listed out a series of steps taken by Ministry of Defence to achieve the objective. These include setting up of defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; issuance of three positive indigenisation lists; earmarking of 68% of capital procurement budget for domestic industry; Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 and increase in FDI limit. He said, the aim is ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ and exports of more than $400 billion in the last year is a proof of this vision.

«As India is moving rapidly towards a $5 trillion economy, our share in global trade will increase in the coming times. If the share will increase, a large part of it will inevitably be through maritime routes. In such a situation, INS Vikrant will prove to be crucial to safeguard our security and economic interests», the Raksha Mantri said.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar voiced the Navy’s resolve for India@100 to become completely self-reliant until 2047, consisting of ‘Made in India’ ships, submarines, aircraft, unmanned vessels and systems and remain a ‘Combat Ready, Credible, Cohesive and Future-Proof Force’. He added that the Navy is determined to move forward on the path of five pledges – developed India, removing any sign of servility, pride in heritage, unity and fulfilling the duties – as envisioned by the Prime Minister.

The Chief of the Naval Staff exhorted the Commanding Officer and crew of INS Vikrant to take forward the proud legacy of erstwhile Vikrant which served the country for 36 glorious years and played a significant role in the 1971 war.

 

About INS Vikrant

The commissioning of INS Vikrant is a proud moment for the Nation as it showcased the ‘Aatmanirbhar’ credentials during ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and a true testament to the country’s zeal and fervour in pursuing capability build up towards enhanced maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region. With the commissioning, India has entered into a select band of Nations having niche capability to indigenously design and build an Aircraft Carrier and real testimony to the Nation’s resolve for self-reliance and ‘Make in India’.

INS Vikrant is designed by Indian Navy’s in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Vikrant has been built with state-of-the-art automation features and is the largest ship ever built-in maritime history of India.

The 262.5 m/861 feet long and 61.6 m/202 feet wide Vikrant displaces approximately 43,000 T, having a maximum designed speed of 28 Knots with endurance of 7,500 Nautical Miles/8,631 miles/13,890 km. The ship has around 2,200 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1,600 including women officers and sailors. The carrier is designed with a very high degree of automation for machinery operations, ship navigation and survivability. The carrier is equipped with the latest state of the art equipment and systems.

The ship is capable of operating air wing consisting of 30 aircraft comprising of MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy). Using a novel aircraft-operation mode known as Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR), INS Vikrant is equipped with a ski-jump for launching aircraft, and a set of ‘arrester wires’ for their recovery onboard.

With 76% indigenous content, construction of INS Vikrant has resulted in direct employment generation for over 2,000 employees of CSL. In addition, it has resulted in indirect employment generation for approximately 12,500 employees for over 550 OEMs, sub-contractors, ancillary industries and over 100 MSMEs as well, thereby bolstering plough back effect on economy.

 

New Ensign of Navy

Resonant to the ongoing national endeavour to move away from colonial past, need was felt to transition to a new design that drew inspiration from our history. The White Ensign identified nation-wide with the Navy, now comprises of two main constituents – the National Flag in the upper left canton, and a Navy Blue – Gold octagon at the centre of the fly side (away from the staff). The Octagon is with twin golden octagonal borders encompassing the golden National Emblem (Lion Capital of Ashoka – underscribed with ‘Satyamev Jayate’ in blue Devnagri script) resting atop an anchor; and superimposed on a shield. Below the shield, within the octagon, in a golden bordered ribbon, on a Navy Blue background, is inscribed the motto of the Indian Navy ‘Sam No Varunah’ in golden Devnagriscript. The design encompassed within the octagon has been taken from the Indian Naval crest, wherein the fouled anchor, which is also associated with colonial legacy, has been replaced with a clear anchor underscoring the steadfastness of the Indian Navy.

Kerala Governor Shri Arif Mohammed Khan, Kerala Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, National Security Advisor Shri Ajit Doval, Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt and senior civil & military officials of Ministry of Defence and CSL were among those present on the occasion.

Brazilian Scorpène

On Thursday September 1st, the first of the four Scorpène submarines of the ProSub program was commissioned by the Brazilian Navy. The Riachuelo (S40) has been built entirely in Brazil by Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) thanks to a Transfer of Technology programme from Naval Group. The ceremony took place at the Itaguaí Naval base.

Riachuelo (S40)
Delivery and commissioning of the Riachuelo, the first Brazilian Scorpène submarine entirely made in Brazil

Launched in December 2018, the Riachuelo successfully completed her sea trials and has now been delivered and entered into service within the Brazilian Navy.

Pierre Éric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group said: «The commissioning of the Riachuelo is a major milestone for the Brazilian Navy, ICN, Naval Group and all our partners. She will bring new capabilities to the Brazilian Navy for decades to come. The successful delivery of the Riachuelo, the first Scorpene submarine entirely built in Brazil is proof of the success of Naval Group’s transfer of technology. We are proud to be part of the ProSub program and remain fully committed to deliver the three other units of the series».

In Brazil, Naval Group went further than ever before in terms of transfer of technology. The Scorpène submarines are manufactured and assembled in the shipyard built in Itaguaí by Itaguaí Construções Navais, the group’s joint venture with Novonor. Humaitá (S41), the second submarine of the series launched in December 2020, will start her trials in September 2022.

ICN employs more than 1,700 Brazilian employees. Naval Group has selected and qualified many local suppliers who have joined its supply chain for the ProSub contract but also for other business opportunities. In this way, the company’s partners can have access to new markets by putting forward the know-how and experience acquired through the program. Naval Group thus contributes to the development of a robust Brazilian naval industrial ecosystem. Hundreds of Naval Group employees are also working in the back office on all French sites.

 

Naval Group, a long-term partner of Brazil

In 2009, within the framework of the French-Brazilian strategic defence cooperation agreement, the Brazilian Navy chose Naval Group for its Programa de desenvolvimento de Submarinos, the ProSub program. Brazil decided to reinforce its submarine force with four new conventional submarines (SSK) and the development of an indigenous nuclear-powered submarine (SSN).

Through an unprecedented transfer of technology, Naval Group is working with Brazil to build and operate four conventional Riachuelo-class submarines (Scorpène type) in a new shipyard and operational naval base built in Itaguaí for this purpose.

 

Scorpène, a modern, high-performant, and stealthy submarine

The Scorpène is a 2000-tons conventional submarine designed by Naval Group for all types of missions, such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, long-range strikes, special operations or intelligence gathering. Extremely stealthy and fast, it has a level of operating automation that allows a limited number of crew, which reduces its operating costs significantly. Its combat edge is highlighted by the fact that it has 6 weapon launching tubes, 18 weapons (torpedoes, missiles).

With 14 submarines sold worldwide, the Scorpène is a key reference of conventional attack submarines (SSK) for navies around the world. It can be easily adapted to specific requirements of customers and the continuous improvement of the Scorpene ensures the seamless integration of the latest technology onboard.