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January 8, 2010

The guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) patrols the Gulf of Aden in support of counter-piracy operations.

US Navy

US Navy Concerned About Terror Threat to US Ships.

General Dynamics LCS ship gets ready for US Navy.

Navy to set bid terms soon for new warship. (LCS)

U.S. Navy Juggles Ships To Fill BMD Demands.

Opinion: Carrier at Mayport: Right makes might. More.

2010 look ahead: What’s coming for sailors.

Navy: Check corrosion, electrical systems on frigates.

Concerns continue about Navy shipbuilding plans.

Major Upgrades for USN Sub Sonars.

The Irreplaceable Arleigh Burkes.

Coast Guard Eyes New Cutter.

U.S. Coast Guard’s Big Chill Demands New Tactics, Equipment. 

Navy of 2030 could bring sci-fi to reality.

USS Bainbridge Crew-Broadside person of the year.


Warships of the World

Ark Royal suffers third fire scare in her engine room.

Royal Navy facing struggle for survival.

Chinese admiral floats idea of overseas naval bases.

Iran subs get boost from North Korea.


New Wars at Sea

Plymouth-based HMS Chatham to fight piracy.

Maersk Hires Armed Vessel to Fight Pirates. More.

Somali pirates seize British super-freighter.

Navies too stretched on piracy in Indian Ocean: UK.

Canada to help defend Yemen from al-Qaida reinforcements.


From the Navy Vaults

Pre-WWI Cruiser Development Part I. Pt 2, Pt 3, Pt 4. (Air, Land, and Sea)

Group Captain Hugh Disney-WW 2 Coastal Command. (The Telegraph)

Historian claims to have finally identified wartime ‘Man Who Never Was’. (The Telegraph)

Maritime trade in the Ancient Mediterranean. (Cog and Galley)

26 Comments leave one →
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  5. D. E. Reddick permalink
    January 12, 2010 4:19 pm

    This is sweet! We have in custody a teenaged pirate captain. The Somali pirate Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse taken into custody during the kidnapping of Maersk Alabama’s captain Richard Phillips seems to have been involved in two other hijackings. I wonder if USS Bainbridge will receive some extra recognition for this? And then there’s those Maersk Alabama crew who initially wounded and captured this particular pirate – shouldn’t they receive extra recognition for what has been achieved?

    Maersk Alabama suspect charged in two other piracy incidents

    New York (CNN) — A Somali suspect in the hijacking of the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama in the Indian Ocean last April has been charged with involvement in two additional hijackings, authorities said Tuesday.

    One of the hijacked vessels is still being held hostage, federal prosecutors said in announcing a 10-count indictment filed against Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse. The vessels are identified in court documents as “Ship-1” and “Ship-2.”

  6. D. E. Reddick permalink
    January 12, 2010 1:33 pm

    HSV-2 Swift was shown at the Port of Djibouti, recently. Now she has arrived in the Port of Mombasa, Kenya. Just follow the provided link and scroll down to posting # 11. Two pictures show Swift entering the Port of Mombasa.

    Swift used to have a 25 mm chain gun in her bow with two .50 cal. M2 machine-guns just abaft the bow (one in each hull opening, port and starboard). She has been down-gunned for her current deployment. Now she has just a single .50 cal. machine-gun in the bow. Seems kind of an odd thing to do with a vessel that’s on a mission involving the traversing of a maritime environment infested with Somali pirates.

  7. Mike Burleson permalink*
    January 12, 2010 6:12 am

    Of course the Taiwanese deny everything:

  8. Mike Burleson permalink*
    January 12, 2010 5:43 am

    I noticed over at Galrahn’s place he was close to mocking the idea of an Aegis Perry. Recalling how they updated those old Gearings to the most powerful standard any Navy including the USN, I wouldn’t be so flippant at what a little ingenuity can do, especially when your country’s survival depends on thinking out the box. My question would be, is the US going to sell them Aegis technology? They have the Kidd’s which would be a better fit.

  9. Scott B. permalink
    January 12, 2010 4:29 am

    D.E. Reddick said : “I did write that this “seems rather a bit hard to believe.””

    And you were entirely right to do so !

    What’s really interesting in this Taiwan affair is that, from a USN POV, it reveals a desire to get rid irremediably of the OHPs in order to make room for LCS.

    That’s not that different from what happened with the Sprucans, which had to be disposed of so as to make room for DD(X). We all know the rest of the story…

  10. D. E. Reddick permalink
    January 11, 2010 6:52 pm


    I did write that this “seems rather a bit hard to believe.”

    Still, Taiwan does possess a world-class computer industry. They might be able to lessen the size/volume/power consumption of the computer processors needed for a low-end AEGIS system along with reducing the power needed for its other elements. Then, too – maybe they are thinking of a hull stretch (inserting a new section) and adding some additional power plant components to make the FFG-7 design capable of supporting something as power-hungry as the AEGIS solid-state phased-array antennas.

    Who knows? “Complete utter journalistic nonsense” or else a clever means of coming up with some super-cheap AEGIS-equipped warships. Or, perhaps – it might just be a case of misdirection…

  11. Scott B. permalink
    January 11, 2010 6:08 pm

    “The island hopes to arm them with a version of the advanced Aegis Combat System, which uses computers and radar to take out multiple targets, as well as sophisticated missile launch technology, the Taipei-based China Times said.”

    Complete utter journalistic nonsense…

  12. Mike Burleson permalink*
    January 11, 2010 3:57 pm

    The Brits are almost there! Soon they’ll see the importance of these small squadrons besides the carrier strikes groups in keeping the peace.

  13. D. E. Reddick permalink
    January 11, 2010 3:17 pm

    These new images of RN and allied warships just appeared over at Sure does look a bit like an Influence Squadron built around RFA Lyme Bay as the mothership. Just use the provided link to the thread and then go down to posting # 14.!-Monday-January-11th-2010

  14. D. E. Reddick permalink
    January 11, 2010 1:27 pm

    AEGIS-equipped OHP FFGs!?!?!?

    Reportedly, Taiwan plans to acquire eight more used FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates and refit them with the AEGIS combat system. This seems rather a bit hard to believe.

    Taiwan plans to buy US frigates despite China thaw

    TAIPEI — Taiwan plans to buy eight second-hand Perry-class frigates from the United States despite improved ties with once-bitter foe China, a local newspaper reported Monday.

    The island hopes to arm them with a version of the advanced Aegis Combat System, which uses computers and radar to take out multiple targets, as well as sophisticated missile launch technology, the Taipei-based China Times said.

  15. Joe permalink
    January 10, 2010 11:46 am

    I think Solomon is driving home a valid point. Pirates launch from land bases – those bases should be fair game (just as the pirates themselves are when on the open seas) if you’re going to have warships on site defending against what comes from those bases.

    I don’t know that it’s possible to win a “war against piracy” any more than it is a “war on terror”. I’m just thinking of the most effective ways to fight it, and I don’t see effectiveness being enhanced by {militarily and politically} deciding that the fight should only begin once the pirates are in the shipping lanes.

  16. Mike Burleson permalink*
    January 9, 2010 7:11 pm

    Thanks D.E.! Just because New Wars no longer reports on the war, doesn’t mean the jihadists have gone away.

  17. D. E. Reddick permalink
    January 9, 2010 3:33 pm

    Here at New Wars the discussion is mostly oriented towards naval concerns. Still, there are those boots on the ground in faraway places. The following is an excellent read and a useful reminder to us about why we are presently engaged in war.

    The Distant Executioner

    Crane had spotted another fighter in the distance. He was holding a radio, as if directing the attack, but before Crane could kill him, he ducked behind a large rock. Crane used a laser range finder—a device that he had brought from home—and measured the distance as 806 meters. That is the distance from Crane’s stone house to the road in Texas, and then half again as much, plus some. Crane had been issued the army’s standard sniper rifle—a 7.62-mm. bolt-action Remington M24, shooting a medium-weight, 175-grain match bullet and equipped with a fixed 10-power scope. He dialed an elevation into the scope to correct the aim for the ballistic arc at 800 meters, then braced the rifle on the hood of the Humvee, sighted it at the rock, and waited. Soon enough the gunfire ebbed and became sporadic. At that point, stupidly, the man behind the rock stood up to look around. Crane saw him clearly through the scope: he was a Pashtun, and in Crane’s view a typical Hajji with a scraggly beard and a man-dress on. Centering the crosshairs near the man’s groin to compensate for the tendency of rounds to go high when fired upslope, Crane squeezed off a single shot. The bullet flew for about a second and hit the man squarely in the chest, raising a little cloud of dust as it punched through the fabric of his clothes. He must have been surprised at being killed from so far away. He felt the blow and likely died before hearing the shot, the sound of which arrived three seconds later. He fell straight back like a firing-range silhouette, and did not rise again. At 806 meters it was Crane’s longest kill in combat. He pocketed the spent cartridge, the “kill brass” that had done the job. No Americans had been hit. A few Afghans in the convoy had been wounded, but none had been killed.

  18. Mike Burleson permalink*
    January 8, 2010 4:27 pm

    Solomon I agree in part what you said concerning the need for political will, but also there must be military will present. In other words, unless the politicians and the military are on the same page nothing will get done. I refer to the oft repeated mantra by the admirals that “piracy can only be won on land”. To me this sounds more like an attempt to influence political strategy and not sound doctrine. When I hear a sailor repeating this all I hear is “I really don’t want to be out here. My heart is just not in this mission”. If you send the fleet to the Gulf expecting them to defend the Population of the Sea, the merchant commerce, then you would expect them to do so with the utmost confidence and ability. This is not what I hear being passed on in the media by the admirals, and I can’t help but think if this was a land battle, the general saying things like, “we can’t beat the enemy but the Navy can” would be quickly sacked.

    Also, the right type of ships would also matter, as we say sometimes when the only tool you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. This as a true statement can be seen with the 2003 Iraq Invasion, where we had overwhelming military victory, yet it was followed by years of grueling insurgency warfare. The pattern is too common for this to be just a coincidence, as we see virtually the same outcome in Kosovo, and earlier in the 1991 Gulf War, that bombing and the best weapons on earth wasn’t enough.

    Conventional military power, overwhelming firepower, might be enough if your enemy is armed in a like manner but not when he refuses to fight fair, as in guerrilla warfare. Also with the use of massive firepower comes the inevitable civilian casualties that often make more enemies than you had to begin with. Again we see this pattern in Iraq and Afghanistan, until lately where they have learned to defend the population from the insurgency, instead of just bombing indiscriminately.

  19. Heretic permalink
    January 8, 2010 3:28 pm

    Sea Gripen
    Report by Douglas Barrie at Aviation Leak.

    I’m amused by the comments of jetcal1 there, who seems to have completely overlooked the fact that the Gripen already has STOL performance built into the baseline airframe … which goes an awful long way towards supporting navalized CTOL in a CATOBAR or STOBAR configuration (as indicated in Douglas’ reporting).

  20. Chuck Hill permalink
    January 8, 2010 3:23 pm

    Obviously the Offshore Patrol Cutters are going to be important to the Coast Guard, but they may be important to the Navy as well. They are replacing ships about 1,000 to 1,800 tons full load. They will probably be between 2,000 and 3,000 tons and they will be built in a large enough quantity to drive the price down, probably close to the original estimate for the LCS. These could be these basis for the Corvette Mike has been advocating.

    This is where we have been discussing alternatives for the class:

  21. D. E. Reddick permalink
    January 8, 2010 3:11 pm


    Yeah, I read the same over at ID.

    Recall that the Danish Shipowner’s Association (DSA) is planning to spend something like $500 million on building PBs / PCs / OPVs for East African navies and coast guards. That would seem to fit into Maersk’s recent hiring of a Tanzanian warship. I would expect such Danish-built patrol craft to be provided the navies of Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles, and perhaps other Indian Ocean nations – well, except for Somalia.

    Lots an’ lots of developments appear to be underway in regards to enhancing local anti-piracy capabilities of the navies and coast guards of the nations around the Horn of Africa and further south along the coast of East Africa.

  22. January 8, 2010 3:01 pm

    Why does the US NAVY think that it needs patrol boats, PBRs, Combat Boat 90s…whatever to combat this problem. The fleet as its currently constituted could destroy the pirate problem or at the very least control the sea lanes so that it wouldn’t be a problem anymore. It wouldn’t even take many ships….

    The problem isn’t strategy, it isn’t hardware (or ships) its the will of Navy leadership to push to solve the problem and possibly political leadership that doesn’t want to do more than make token efforts toward rectifying the situation.

    When a terrorist incident occurs off the coast of Yemen it will be too late. Policy makers will ask Navy leadership why they didn’t warn of this problem, many who are worried about strategy and such will point out how obvious this was but it will be too late. Lives will be lost and the Navy will be embarrassed.

    Again its not a lack of ships or a lack of the right ships….its a lack of will.

  23. January 8, 2010 2:45 pm

    Hello D. E. Reddick,

    I read this yesterday at Information Dissemination:

    “Matched with a Global Fleet Station program that provided maritime security training and helped develop C2ISR capabilities at sea with Yemen, one could potentially put 8 offshore patrol vessels and 64 inshore patrol vessels off Yemen at a fleet cost of $736 million. As a 10 year procurement plan, the costs would run less than $75 million annually and the capability goes long term not only to defending the sea lines of communication of Yemen, but also towards developing a regional Coast Guard capability to defend international shipping against regional piracy. As a 15 year action plan, the cost comes down below $50 million a year and after 15 years, if Yemen is a cooperative partner in the 15 year plan, we simply give the equipment away as a permanent regional maritime security capability.”

    It was written by Galrahn here:

    Given the amount of money the Yemenis are making,I am sure they will appreciate the United States Navy freeing up more of their patrol boats for more profitable employment:

    The Yemeni Navy currently has 13 patrol vessels in it’s fleet, 10 of those are very modern.
    Which begs the question,how many vesels are needed to patrol just 900 miles of coast?

    The Yemeni approach appears to be eminently sensible.
    Pirating is a self sustaining economic activity.
    The Yemeni Navy has found a self sustaining economic activity to counter to piracy.
    A very pragmatic and resource effective solution to the problem.


  24. January 8, 2010 2:40 pm

    SCOTT! You have got to be kidding me! I really don’t want to read that do I?

  25. D. E. Reddick permalink
    January 8, 2010 2:08 pm

    It seems that Maersk’s hiring of a Tanzanian Navy patrol boat isn’t the only navy-for-hire scheme available to merchant vessels. The Yemeni Navy and/or Coast Guard can also be hired for transits through the Gulf of Aden.

    Yemen Navy rents out antipiracy services

    Armed Vessel Escort

    GoAGT will supply the customer’s vessel with a dedicated escort by what it describes as a “heavily armored 37.5 meter Yemen Navy Austal patrol boat” transiting 500 m from the escorted vessel throughout the entire journey.

    Prices for the service range from $45,000 to $55,000 based on a three day transit.

    Armed Security Team

    For $35,000 for a three day transit, GoAGT will supply an armed team of six serving Yemen military or coastguard personnel to embark on and protect a vessel between the GoAGT transit coordinates.

  26. Scott B. permalink
    January 8, 2010 1:43 pm

    And for all the fans of the San Antonio-class LPD :

    LPD machinery issue could affect other ships

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