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Sunday, 11 November 2018

FLEETS #23: The Royal Canadian Navy of the future

Type 26 frigate for Canada
Harry DeWolf class OPV
The Royal Canadian Navy of the future graph illustrates the main surface fleet and submarines of the Navy by the early-2040s (tankers, auxiliary vessels, etc. are not included). There are currently two major projects underway that will see upgrades to Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) capabilities. There will be, as of November 2018, up to twenty-one RCN ships under construction: up to fifteen Type 26 frigates and six Harry De Wolf-class ocean-going patrol vessels (OPV). There is no announcement yet about a Victoria-class replacement project (Naval Group Shortfin Barracuda is illustrated in the graph).
The Royal Canadian Navy of the future. High resolution image here.
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FLEETS #22: The Royal Navy of the future

Dreadnought class nuclear submarine
Type 26 frigate
The Royal Navy of the future graph illustrates the main surface fleet and submarines of the Navy by the early-2040s (landing ships, tankers, auxiliary vessels, etc. are not included). There are currently several major projects underway that will see upgrades to Royal Navy (RN) capabilities. There are, as of August 2018, thirteen RN ships and submarines under construction: four Astute-class nuclear-powered submarines (boats 4-7), one Dreadnought-class ballistic missile submarine (boat 1 of 4), one Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier (ship 2 of 2), one City class (Type 26) frigate (ships 3 of 8) and four River-class Batch II ocean-going patrol vessels (ships 2-5). Early design and preparation work has begun on a fleet of at least five general-purpose frigates known as the Type 31

The Royal Navy of the future. High resolution image here.
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Saturday, 10 November 2018

FLEETS #21: The Royal Australian Navy of the future

Shortfin Barracuda
Hunter class FFG
The Royal Australian Navy of the future graph illustrates the main surface fleet and submarines of the Navy by the mid-2040s. There are currently several major projects underway that will see upgrades to Royal Australian Navy (RAN)  capabilities. The major projects for the RAN are the following:

  • Project SEA 1180 Phase 1 will replace the Armidale-class patrol boats with twelve (12) new Offshore Patrol Vessels to be constructed by Lürssen. Construction will commence in Q4 2018, with the first vessel to enter service in Q4 2021. The
  • Project SEA 4000 Phase 3, under which the RAN will acquire three (3) Hobart-class air warfare destroyers, built around the United States Navy Aegis air and surface combat management system. The vessels are based on the Spanish Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate. As of November 2018, two are in active service and one is currently under construction. It is more likely that by the mid-2040s the first vessels in the class will have been already retired.
  • Project SEA 5000 Phase 1, where nine (9) Hunter-class frigates to replace the Anzac-class frigates. The vessels will be built in Adelaide by BAE Systems and will be a variation of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship to be operated by the Royal Navy. The last ship in the class will have entered service by 2042.
  • Project SEA 1000, where twelve (12) Future Submarines will replace the Collins-class submarines. The future class is to be based on the Shortfin Barracuda proposal by French shipbuilder Naval Group. The class will enter service in the early 2030s with construction extending into the late 2040s.
The Royal Australian Navy of the future. High resolution image here.


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Saturday, 20 October 2018

INFOGRAPHICS #40: City class frigate of the Royal Navy

Model of the Royal Navy City-class frigate by JLawson modelmakers.
The following image, is a photo of a model of the future Royal Navy Type 26 class (or City-class frigate), which was created by JLawson Modelmakers and was modified by me, in order to report mainly the frigates' armament configuration. The City-class frigate is a class of eight frigates being built for the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. The ship design and manufacture program, known as the Global Combat Ship, was created by the UK Ministry of Defence to partially replace the navy's thirteen Type 23 frigates, and for export. It will be a multi-mission warship designed to support anti-submarine warfare, air defence and general purpose operations. The contract award to manufacture the Type 26 was announced by BAE Systems on 2 July 2017, with steel cut for the first of class, HMS Glasgow on 20 July 2017 by the Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon. In June 2018, the Australian Government announced that it had selected a modified version of the Type 26 platform as the planned replacement for its Anzac-class frigate. This will see the Royal Australian Navy procure up to nine Hunter class frigates, which will be constructed by BAE Systems Australia at ASC's shipyard in Osborne, South Australia. Yesterday, on 19 October 2018, it was announced that BAE-Lockheed Martin had been selected as the winning bidder in the Canadian Surface Combatant program and that the Canadian government had awarded a contract for 15 ships worth CAD$60 billion.

Infographic of the future City class (Type 26) frigate of the Royal Navy. High resolution image here.
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Friday, 19 October 2018

INFOGRAPHICS #39: The major surface combatants of the most powerful European Navies in 2035

Written by D-Mitch

European frigates, ESPS Blas de Lezo (F103), FGS Sachsen (F219)
and TCG Saligreis (F246), in close formation.

In this short article, similar to a complete analysis I did in the past on The major surface combatants of the most powerful European Navies in 2030, I illustrate the six most powerful surface combatant fleets in Europe by 2035 in a single graph, based on the shipbuilding programs that have announced and only. Russian Navy, as a naval superpower, is excluded from the graph. This time, the new graph, does not include only those countries that are located wholly or predominantly in Europe but also countries that exist partially within geographical Europe. Thus Turkish Navy is included as well. In this post, I will mention briefly some additions and changes regarding the previous article but I will not analyze more the developments and the designs, because I believe the beforementioned article covered the topic to a large extent.

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Monday, 15 October 2018

PHOTO GALLERY #24: Monmouth, frigate of the Royal Navy

F235 Monmouth, Type 23 class frigate of the Royal Navy
This is the seventh photo gallery (see previous posts) from my visit to Kiel, on the first weekend of the 136th Kiel Week. The Kiel Week (German: Kieler Woche) or Kiel Regatta is an annual sailing event in Kiel, the capital of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The first weekend of the Kiel Week, the famous Naval Base of Kiel, opens its gates for just four hours per day, for thousands of tourists who are eager to visit the German Navy warships and dozens of foreign warships which visit the city of Kiel, to honor the Kiel Week. Τhe Royal Navy was represented by a number of ships and craft, including the F235 Monmouth, the sixth vessel in the Type 23 class of frigates. The ships are named after British Dukes, thus leading to the class being commonly known as the Duke-class. The first Type 23, HMS Norfolk, was commissioned in 1989, and the sixteenth, HMS St Albans was commissioned in June 2002. They form the core of the Royal Navy's destroyer and frigate fleet and serve alongside the Type 45 destroyers. Originally designed for anti-submarine warfare in the North Atlantic, the Type 23 evolved into a more complex and balanced vessel optimised for general warfare, which introduced a host of new technologies and concepts to the Royal Navy. These included extensive radar cross-section reduction design measures, automation to substantially reduce crew size, a combined diesel-electric and gas (CODLAG) propulsion system providing very quiet running for anti-submarine operations along with excellent range, vertical launch missile technology and a fully distributed combat management system. Thirteen Type 23 frigates remain in service with the Royal Navy, with three vessels having been sold to Chile and handed over to the Chilean Navy. Affectionately known as "The Black Duke", Monmouth is the only ship in service with the Royal Navy that has its name painted in black and flies a plain black flag in addition to the ensign. This is due to the dissolution of the title and the blacking out of the Coat of Arms of the Duke of Monmouth in 1685 following the Monmouth Rebellion against James II of England. As of 2018, Monmouth carries the most battle honours of any ship name currently serving in the Royal Navy. Enjoy my photos from my visit aboard the mighty HMS Monmouth!

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Wednesday, 3 October 2018

The new eyes of the Hellenic Navy and Hellenic Coast Guard: Miltech Hellas TDR-10 ADVANCED

Miltech Hellas TDR-10 ADVANCED, the new Greek advanced electro-optical sensor!
All photos were taken today during my visit to the company.
This is an update on the latest news regarding the equipping of Hellenic Navy warships with new electro-optical sensors. In the article The new eyes of the Hellenic Navy Fleet: Miltech Hellas TDR-10 and IRB-75, I reported that a sensor designed and produced by Miltech Hellas, the TDR-10 model, has equipped three Hellenic Navy gunboats and one frigate while 15 (!) more systems of the advanced model TDR-10A, a completely new system, will equip other warships of the Fleet (offset commitment by Raytheon). The TDR-10 electro-optical (EO) sensor has proved an excellent EO sensor after being intensively tested by the Hellenic Navy. The dual-axis gyro stabilized platform mounted system (pan-tilt unit HI-PTU100-DSG), designed by Hellenic Instruments, is equipped with a high performance 3rd generation cooled sensor with a high resolution detector, a laser rangefinder (up to 10km), motorized thermal lens, GPS and a high resolution day camera full HD. The whole system weighs less than 15kg while approximately 9kg is the weight of the pan-tilt unit. A terrific system all Made in Greece!  

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Monday, 1 October 2018

PHOTO GALLERY #23: Álvaro de Bazán, frigate of the Spanish Navy

Álvaro de Bazán, frigate of the Spanish Navy
This is the sixth photo gallery (see previous posts) from my visit to Kiel, on the first weekend of the 136th Kiel Week. The Kiel Week (German: Kieler Woche) or Kiel Regatta is an annual sailing event in Kiel, the capital of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The first weekend of the Kiel Week, the famous Naval Base of Kiel, opens its gates for just four hours per day, for thousands of tourists who are eager to visit the German Navy warships and dozens of foreign warships which visit the city of Kiel, to honor the Kiel Week. Τhe Spanish Navy was represented by the F101 Álvaro de Bazán, the lead ship of the Álvaro de Bazán class frigates, which was commissioned in September of 2002. The Álvaro de Bazán class (also known as the F100 class of frigates) is a modern class of Aegis combat system-equipped air defence frigates that entered service with the Spanish Navy the period 2002-2012. They were built in the Spanish factory of Navantia in Ferrol and are named after famous Admiral Álvaro de Bazán. The F100 design is the basis for the new Hobart-class destroyers of the Royal Australian Navy of which the two of the three ordered, are already in service with the Navy. Furthermore, in February of 2018, it was announced that a design based the class was selected as one of five finalists for the U.S. Navy’s FFG(X) program. The ships of the class thanks to their Aegis naval weapons system can track hundreds of airborne targets simultaneously and subsequently to guide dozens of anti-aircraft missiles they carry. Τhe usual load of anti-aircraft missiles is 32 SM-2MR and 64 ESSM in 48-cell Mk41 VLS. The rest of the armament consists of a 5-inch/54 Mk45 Mod 2 gun, two quadruple Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers, four 324 mm Mk32 Mod 9 twin torpedo launchers, two 20mm guns (additionally two Mk38 25mm guns on the last ship of the class), a variety of machine guns, while there is provision for one Meroka CIWS. Enjoy my photos from my visit aboard the mighty and state-of-the-art ESPS Álvaro de Bazán, the pride of the Spanish Navy!

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Sunday, 30 September 2018

PHOTO GALLERY #22: William Butler Yeats, offshore patrol vessel of the Irish Naval Service

William Butler Yeats, offshore patrol vessel of the Irish Naval Service
This is the fifth photo gallery (see previous posts) from my visit to Kiel, on the first weekend of the 136th Kiel Week. The Kiel Week (German: Kieler Woche) or Kiel Regatta is an annual sailing event in Kiel, the capital of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The first weekend of the Kiel Week, the famous Naval Base of Kiel, opens its gates for just four hours per day, for thousands of tourists who are eager to visit the German Navy warships and dozens of foreign warships which visit the city of Kiel, to honor the Kiel Week. Τhe Irish Naval Service was represented by the P63 William Butler Yeats, the third Samuel Beckett class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) which was commissioned in October 2016. The Samuel Beckett class OPVs are the largest and most modern Irish warships today and are named after literary figures. The ships have 90 meters length and over 2,200 tons displacement at full load. As all Irish warships, the Samuel Beckett class OPVs are armed with an OTO Melara 3in (76mm) automatic gun installed forward of the bridge, two Rheinmetall 20mm Rh-202 guns, and several M2HB 12.7mm heavy machine guns or FN MAG 7.62mm light machine guns. Enjoy photos from my visit aboard William Butler Yeats, a very modern patrol vessel!

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PHOTO GALLERY #21: Otra, minesweeper of the Royal Norwegian Navy


Otra, minesweeper of the Royal Norwegian Navy, alongside HMS Ramsey
This is the fourth photo gallery (see previous posts) from my visit to Kiel, on the first weekend of the 136th Kiel Week. The Kiel Week (German: Kieler Woche) or Kiel Regatta is an annual sailing event in Kiel, the capital of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The first weekend of the Kiel Week, the famous Naval Base of Kiel, opens its gates for just four hours per day, for thousands of tourists who are eager to visit the German Navy warships and dozens of foreign warships which visit the city of Kiel, to honor the Kiel Week. Τhe Royal Norwegian Navy was represented by the Μ351 Otra, an Alta class minesweeper with mine hunting capabilities. The Alta class was built by Kværner Mandal during 1996 and 1997; a total of 5 vessels were built but currently only three are active. The 400-ton Alta class vessels are air-cushioned vehicles of catamaran design. The catamaran hull is built in a fibre-reinforced plastic sandwich of very low magnetic signature. Two large fans located on each side create an air cushion between the two hulls and a front and aft rubber skirt, lifting the vessel, giving small drag and a high cruise speed, as well as low susceptibility to the shock of exploding mines since only a small portion of the hull is actually exposed in the water. Propulsion by water jet, again one in each hull, gives a low acoustic signature. A degaussing system gives the vessels extremely low electromagnetic signature. The vessels of the class are armed with two MH2B 12.7mm heavy machine guns, four to six MG3 machine guns and a Simbad Mistral SAM launcher. Enjoy photos from my visit aboard HNoMS Otra, a very interesting design!

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Friday, 28 September 2018

PHOTO GALLERY #20: Jotvingis, minelayer and command vessel of the Lithuanian Navy

Jotvingis, minelayer and command vessel of the Lithuanian Navy
This is the third photo gallery (see previous posts) from my visit to Kiel, on the first weekend of the 136th Kiel Week. The Kiel Week (German: Kieler Woche) or Kiel Regatta is an annual sailing event in Kiel, the capital of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is the largest sailing event in the world, and also one of the largest Volksfeste in Germany, attracting millions of people every year from all over Germany and neighboring countries. The first weekend of the Kiel Week, the famous Naval Base of Kiel, opens its gates for just four hours per day, for thousands of tourists who are eager to visit the German Navy warships and dozens of foreign warships which visit the city of Kiel, to honor the Kiel Week. Note that the majority of the visiting warships had returned from the NATO BALTOPS (Baltic Operations) Exercise, an annual joint, multinational maritime-focused exercise. It is designed to improve training value for participants enhance flexibility and interoperability, and demonstrate resolve among allied and partner forces in defending the Baltic Sea region. The Lithuanian Navy was represented by the N42 Jotvingis, former HNoMS Vidar (N52), a Royal Norwegian Navy Vidar class minelayer, built in Bergen in 1977, and sold to Lithuania in 2006 where she was later modernized. The ship has a  displacement of 1,700t at full load and has a length of 65 meters. It can carry up to 400 mines (depending on the type) and it is armed with two 40mm guns and two M2HB 12.7mm heavy machine guns. Enjoy photos from my visit aboard this very interesting warship!

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Thursday, 27 September 2018

PHOTO GALLERY #19: Kraków, minelayer/landing ship of the Polish Navy


ORP Kraków, landing ship/minelayer of the Polish Navy
This is the second photo gallery (the first one is U36, submarine of the German Navy) from my visit to Kiel, on the first weekend of the 136th Kiel Week. The Kiel Week (German: Kieler Woche) or Kiel Regatta is an annual sailing event in Kiel, the capital of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is the largest sailing event in the world, and also one of the largest Volksfeste in Germany, attracting millions of people every year from all over Germany and neighboring countries. The first weekend of the Kiel Week, the famous Naval Base of Kiel, opens its gates for just four hours per day, for thousands of tourists who are eager to visit the German Navy warships and dozens of foreign warships which visit the city of Kiel, to honor the Kiel Week. Note that, the majority of the visiting warships had returned from the NATO BALTOPS (Baltic Operations) Exercise, an annual joint, multinational maritime-focused exercise. It is designed to improve training value for participants enhance flexibility and interoperability, and demonstrate resolve among allied and partner forces in defending the Baltic Sea region. The Polish Navy, a Kiel Week's regular visitor ,was represented by the ORP Kraków, the third ship in the Lublin class. The Lublin class (Projekt 767) are minelayer-landing ships designed and built in Poland for the Polish Navy, in service since 1989. Only five out of the twelve planned ships were built, by the Northern Shipyard in Gdańsk, due to the fall of Communism. They can carry up to nine (9) T-72 tanks or 17 transport vehicles and 135 equipped troops. Moreover, the ships were designed to carry up to 80 naval mines. The ships are named after the chief cities of the Piast dynasty. ORP Kraków has a full displacement close to 1,800t and a length of almost 96 meters. The ship is armed with four ZU-23-2MR Wróbel-II twin 23mm gun turrets, installed forward and aft the superstructure in pairs, as well as with Grom MANPADS. Enjoy photos from my visit aboard this truly unique and very well maintained warship, a ship that I always wanted to visit!
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Wednesday, 26 September 2018

PHOTO GALLERY #18: U36, submarine of the German Navy

U36, submarine of the German Navy
The following photos were taken during my visit to Kiel, on 16th of June, the first Saturday of the 136th Kiel Week. The Kiel Week (German: Kieler Woche) or Kiel Regatta is an annual sailing event in Kiel, the capital of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is the largest sailing event in the world, and also one of the largest Volksfeste in Germany, attracting millions of people every year from all over Germany and neighboring countries. The first weekend of the Kiel Week, the famous Naval Base of Kiel, opens its gates for just four hours per day, for thousands of tourists who are eager to visit the German Navy warships and dozens of foreign warships which visit the city of Kiel, to honor the Kiel Week. Note that, the majority of the visiting warships had returned from the NATO BALTOPS (Baltic Operations) Exercise, an annual joint, multinational maritime-focused exercise. It is designed to improve training value for participants enhance flexibility and interoperability, and demonstrate resolve among allied and partner forces in defending the Baltic Sea region. One of the boats were present that weekend, was one of the only two operational submarines of the German Navy today, the last of its German Type 212 class, the submarine U36. Type 212 class is a highly advanced design of non-nuclear submarine developed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW) for the German and Italian navies. It features diesel propulsion and an additional air-independent propulsion (AIP) system using Siemens proton exchange membrane (PEM) compressed hydrogen fuel cells. The submarines of the class can operate at high speed on diesel power or switch to the AIP system for silent slow cruising, staying submerged for up to three weeks without surfacing and with little exhaust heat. Type 212 is the first fuel cell propulsion system equipped submarine series. The U36 was laid down in August 2008 by Howaldtswerke, Kiel, launched in February 2013 and commissioned on 10 October 2016. She is under the patronage of the town of Plauen, in Saxony. Enjoy some photos from my visit!

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

BOOK REVIEW #4: 1900


Welcome to my fourthbook review, 1900, by Stefanos Milesis and Panagiotis Tripontikas. This book brings to light the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by the Hellenic Navy masted cruiser "Navarhos Miaoulis",a voyage that broke all the records set since the establishment of the Modern Greek State! The book has not been published in English yet, therefore the review is written for Greek-speaking readers.

1900, ένα ναυτικό και ιστορικό διήγημα
Φωτογραφία του ευδρόμου Ν. Μιαούλης
Η πλειονότητα των βιβλίων στρατιωτικής ιστορίας αναφέρονται σε μάχες, σε πράξεις ηρωισμού σε συνθήκες πολέμου, σε πολεμικά κατορθώματα, σε εξελίξεις στον οπλισμό και τη στρατηγική. Το βιβλίο που παρουσιάζεται σε αυτό το άρθρο αποτελεί εξαίρεση. Το ιστορικό διήγημα «1900» των Στέφανου Μίλεση, συγγραφέας και δημοσιογράφος, και Παναγιώτη Τριπόντικα, Αντιπλοίαρχος στο ΠΝ σήμερα και πρώην διευθυντής του Μουσείου Θ/Κ Αβέρωφ, εξιστορεί ένα σημαντικότατο κατόρθωμα, μια πράξη ανδρείας των Ελλήνων στελεχών του Πολεμικού Ναυτικού, μια πράξη ξεχωριστή αφού έλαβε χώρα σε ειρηνική περίοδο και συνάμα ιδιαιτέρως ιστορική. Το «1900» είναι το πρώτο βιβλίο που εκδίδεται στο είδος του από το Πλωτό Ναυτικό Μουσείο Θ/Κ ΑΒΕΡΩΦ και αφηγείται ένα ναυτικό εγχείρημα ξεχασμένο από πολλούς και παραγκωνισμένο από τις ναυμαχίες και τα πολεμικά κατορθώματα του ναυτικού της Ελλάδας, ενός Ναυτικού του οποίου οι ρίζες της ιστορίας του χάνονται στα βάθη των αιώνων της ιστορίας του ανθρώπινου γένους.
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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

WARSHIPS OF THE PAST: Ivan Rogov class large landing ships of the Russian Navy

Written by Keith Jacobs
Images by D-Mitch

Mitrofan Moskalenko, the third vessel in the Ivan Rogov class
The Ivan Rogov (Project 1174) class amphibious dock landing ships (LPD) were in the early 1970s the largest amphibious warship design then attempted by the former-Soviet Union. They were robust, highly flexible, and expensive in construction and maintenance costs, but offered for the first time, long-distance operational capability to place Soviet naval infantry in such distant locations as the eastern Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, or Southeast Asia, in conducting mosrkaia descantnaia operatsiia (Sea Landing Operation) in support of Soviet policy objectives. Till today, the three vessels of the Project 1174 LPD, are the largest amphibious warfare ships ever commissioned by the Russian Navy.

Mitrofan Moskalenko, the third and most advanced vessel in the Ivan Rogov class

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Monday, 30 July 2018

INFOGRAPHICS #38: World's ballistic missile submarines

Written by D-Mitch

The North Korean Sinpo/Gorae class submarine, currently
the only SSB in service with the North Korean Navy

This is the introduction to an article I wrote some months ago for the world-wide known Popular Mechanics, the official website of the famous classic magazine of popular science and technology (the first issue was published on January 11, 1902!). The article titled "All the Nuclear Missile Submarines in the World in One Chart" looks at today's world's ballistic missile submarines, their numbers and capabilities. A ballistic missile submarine is a submarine capable of deploying submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with nuclear warheads. Officially only seven countries in the entire world deploy nuclear weapons at sea, an exclusive and deadly club. The ballistic missile submarine, either nuclear-powered (SSBN) or diesel-electric (SSB), is the most reliable means of nuclear deterrence. These vessels would survive a first strike and retaliate, which is meant to prevent an enemy from ever using its weapons. These fearful underwater giants stay hidden in the oceans avoiding detection at all costs and are always ready for the moment they might be needed. Enjoy my take on these marvelous beasts here!
World's Ballistic Missile Submarines. For high resolution image click here.
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Sunday, 22 July 2018

INFOGRAPHICS #37: The Asian submarine forces by subregion in 2018

Written by D-Mitch

Aerial view of PLAN Type 094 SSBN's missile compartment
In the following infographics, I depict all the submarines that are in active service in Asia as of July 1st 2018, by subregion. I do this in order anyone could easily compare the forces of neighboring countries. The submarine forces of Western Asian, West Asian, Southwestern Asian or Southwest Asian countries (Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Israel) are excluded, as their forces are included already in other graphs such as The attack submarines of the Mediterranean in 2018 or The attack submarines of Asia and Australia in 2018 (China and Russia excluded). The North Asian submarine forces (only Russia belongs to that subregion of Asia) are excluded as well while the Central Asian countries have not submarines in their inventories. In all graphs mini-submarines and small coastal submarines are not included. Notice that in Southeast Asia, Thailand will join the rest of the submarine forces with three submarines in its inventory. There are 136 submarines in total in East Asia, 25 in South Asia and 17 in Southeast Asia.

The East Asian submarines in 2018. For a high resolution image click here.
The South Asian submarines in 2018. For a high resolution image click here.
The Southeast Asian submarines in 2018. For a high resolution image click here.

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Sunday, 15 July 2018

INFOGRAPHICS #36: The Americas submarines in 2018

Written  by D-Mitch
The Chilean Scorpenes are currently the most
modern diesel-electric submarines in the continent
In the following infographic, named The Americas Submarines, I depict all the submarines that are in active service in America as of July 1st 2018. Currently, the United States Navy operates a massive amount of powerful nuclear-powered submarines, consisting of 14 Ohio class ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), four (4) Ohio class (modified) guided missile submarines (SSGN), three (3) Seawolf class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN) (including the highly modified USS Jimmy Carter SSN-23), 16 Virginia class SSN, 22 Improved Los Angeles class SSN, and 10 Los Angeles class SSN (see The United States Navy submarines in 2018). Three more Los Angeles boats are on paper still in commission but actually are out of service. San Francisco is being converted to Moored Training Ship (MTS), Jacksonville, has started a months-long preparation for inactivation and decommissioning and Buffalo is under inactivation and decommissioning procedure. Regarding the rest of the countries in the continent, there is no nuclear-powered  submarine (SSN) in any Navy (at least until Brazil commissions its first vessel after 2020), neither there is a submarine equipped with Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) system (the Chilean Scoprene class submarines are fitted but not with the system and will receive it in a future refit). It should be mentioned also that from the 21 countries of Latin America, only seven navies (7) have submarines in their fleet; Peru has the most numerous fleet but Brazil and Chile the most modern submarine fleets in the region. Moreover, the 92% of the Latin American submarines are German-built (!). Also, Argentina, while it has in its inventory the largest submarine in the region (TR1700 class: 67 meters length and 2,100t displacement), none of its submarines is currently in active service (see more details at The Attack Submarines of Latin America in 2018). In the Americas, there are 98 submarines in total of which the 69 are of the U.S.Navy.

The Americas submarines in 2018. For a high resolution image click here.
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Saturday, 30 June 2018

INFOGRAPHICS #35: HMS Rodney battleship of the Royal Navy

HMS Rodney, Nelson class battleship of the Royal Navy
HMS Rodney (pennant number 29) was one of two Nelson-class battleships built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1920s. The ship was named after Admiral Lord Rodney. The Nelsons were unique in British battleship construction, being the only ships to carry a main armament of 16-inch (406 mm) guns (nine guns in three turrets!), and the only ones to carry all the main armament forward of the superstructure (the French followed the British example in 1937 with the commissioning of their Dunkerque class and later with the Richelieu class). They were designed as larger ships but 'cut down' by the Washington Treaty of 1922, the design was limited to 35,000 tons (216 meters overall length) and showed certain compromises. To accommodate 16-inch main guns in three turrets, all of the turrets were placed forward and the vessel's speed was reduced and maximum armor was limited to vital areas. Even with the design limitations forced on the designers by the treaty, Rodney and Nelson were regarded as the most powerful battleships afloat until the new generation of all big gun ships was launched in 1936. Note that they were the only British battleships built between the Revenge class (ordered in 1913) and the King George V class, ordered in 1936. As her superstructure was located aft of midships like RN fleet oilers whose names carried the ...'ol' suffix, she was sometimes derisively referred to as "Rodnol".

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Thursday, 14 June 2018

BOOK REVIEW #3: The Best of Don Winslow of the Navy

Welcome to my third book review, The Best of Don Winslow of the Navy, A Collection of High-Seas Stories from Comics' Most Daring Sailor!

The Best of Don WInslow of the Navy.
Publisher: Dead Reckoning, U.S. Naval Institute
Welcome to my third book review! This time, the book I will present and review here isn’t actually a literature book but a book collection of the best stories from a famous American comic! This comic is the classic Fawcett run of Don Winslow of the Navy, one of the most popular comics running during and after World War II! Don Winslow of the Navy was introduced to the American public in March, 1934, originally as a comic strip in newspapers in the ‘30s and ‘40s. The comic magazine, as it was known at the time, was launched in February, 1943, by Fawcett Publications containing the original stories of Don Winslow in the form of short stories. The Don Winslow of the Navy comic was originally created by Frank V. Martinek, Lt. Commander in U.S. Naval Intelligence in order to stimulate the interest of young Americans about military life and thus to foster recruitment (especially in the Navy), as well as to entertain and engage military audiences and the general public. Somebody can imagine how exciting or mysterious a life on the sea would be to people from the Midwestern United States and Mountain United States, many of whom might not have even seen the ocean.
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Monday, 28 May 2018

INFOGRAPHICS #34: The attack submarines of Asia and Australia in 2018 (China and Russia excluded)

Written  by D-Mitch

Japan, perhaps except Russia and China, has the most
modern and advanced submarine fleet in Asia region.
In the following infographic, named The Attack Submarines of Asia and Australia in 2018, I depict all the attack submarines that are in active service in Asia and Australia continents  right now (and will continue to be part of their Navies until the end of 2018). Please note that in comparison with the previous graphs,  The Attack Submarines of Europe in 2017 (updated for 2018), The Attack Submarines of Latin America in 2018, and The Attack Submarines of the Mediterranean in 2018, two countries are excluded from the graph; China and Russia, both superpowers which have numerous submarines in their fleets (Russian Navy submarine fleet and PLA Navy submarine fleet). Countries such as the United States of America and others that have naval bases in the region are not included as well in the graph. Note that there is only one navy in the region (except Russia and China always) with nuclear-powered  submarine (SSN), and specifically only India has in its inventory an Improved Akula class submarine which has been leased from Russia for 10 years. India also is the only country with nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) in its fleet (currently two Arihant class boats). There are also navies that have submarine-launched cruise missile capability which belong to Vietnam (Kilo class with Club-S), India  (Kilo and Akula classes with Club-S) and Israel (Dolphin I/II class with Popeye Turbo). Moreover, there are seven countries in the region with submarines in their inventories equipped with (or fitted but not with) Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) system; Japan (nine in its inventory), India (two in its inventory), South Korea (eight in its inventory), Pakistan (three in its inventory), Singapore (two in its inventory), Israel (two in active service) and Malaysia (two in its inventory). Japan has the most numerous fleet (20 boats), India has the largest submarine (INS Chakra: displacement of 12,700t submerged and length of 110 meters), Iran the smallest one (Fateh class: displacement of 590t submerged and length of 48 meters) except the numerous midget submarines that has together with North Koerea, and Taiwan the oldest ones (the two Hai Shih class submarines were launched in 1944-45!) which however they are sure superior to the younger Type 033 class submarines of North Korea. One more country will join the club in the coming years and this is Thailand.

The Attack Submarines of Asia and Australia in 2018. For a high resolution image click here.
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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

PHOTO GALLERY #17: Aboard the Hellenic Navy destroyer Sachtouris (D-214), in the STANAVFORMED, back in the '90s

Photos by Spyros P.

Sachtouris (D-214), Gearing-class FRAM I destroyer
The Sachtouris (D214) was a United States Navy Gearing-class FRAM I destroyer launched in 1945 as USS Arnold J. Isbell (DD-869), she was transferred to Greece in 1974 and renamed. She remained in active service until October 1992 and reportedly scrapped in Turkey in 2002. The following (scanned) photos were taken by Spyros P. who served aboard the destroyer; all photos were taken in 1992 (some time before she was decommissioned) when the Greek vessel was part of the NATO Standing Naval Force Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED or SNFM) (Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 - SNMG2) today) and its patrols and visits in the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean. A big thank to Spyros for sharing with us these unique photos. From my side, I tried to identify the ships illustrated and provide some descriptions. All the frigates and destroyers are mentioned, were part of the force that time. Enjoy!

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Sunday, 13 May 2018

Greek Maritime Patrol Aircraft: Past, Present and Future

Written by Γ.Μ.

A pair of Hellenic Navy P-3B Orions in formation
Compared to other operational means, the specialized maritime patrol aircraft offers a number of advantages such as high response speed, great autonomy, the ability to carry a variety of sensors and weapons, and others, in order to fulfill their mission. Thus, provided that they are equipped with the appropriate equipment, they can perform Maritime Patrol Surveillance (MPS), Intelligence Gathering, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW), targeting beyond the horizon, and others. They can also contribute to other missions such as SAR and aerial minelaying. Even other means that often appear to be more cost-effective substitutes for MPAs, such as Unmanned Aerial Systems - which are useful supplements for some cases which require persistent surveillance - are usually lagging behind in critical areas such as speed, the ability to transport simultaneously many different mission modules and / or weapons (especially in relation to medium / large MPAs) and, of course, in the absence of the human factor, the immediacy of the crisis and its intervention, is decisive in many missions of naval cooperation.
Three P-3B Orions of the Hellenic Navy in formation

In countries with a long coastline and hence with extensive maritime borders, such as Greece, the operational utility of MPA is obvious. Therefore, the availability of such means to the Hellenic Armed Forces should be considered as absolutely necessary for a number of national as well as international tasks.
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Monday, 7 May 2018

INFOGRAPHICS #33: The destroyers and frigates of the European Union in 2018

Written by D-Mitch

British and French destroyers in formation.
The following infographic depicts all The destroyers and frigates of the European Union in 2018, in a single image! Note though that the military forces of European Union are not integrated and thus there is not a single European Navy from the members of the European Union. However, in March 2017, the European Union approved a new military command center for foreign training missions after Britain dropped its opposition (which was the main obstacle), the latest step in EU efforts to integrate its military forces and defense industries.Therefore, the formation of a "EU Navy" is closer than ever. The EU major surface combatant fleet consists of 115 frigates and destroyers of which 29 are anti-aircraft warfare (AAW) warships and the rest 86 are general purpose (GP) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) warships (SSBN)! There are 31 classes in commission (some of them are actually are variants of main classes such as the Karel Doorman or O.H. Perry). The major contributor to the EU naval fleet (till today at least) is the United Kingdom (UK) with 19 major surface combatants. France and Italy have just one less ship in their fleets, while Greece counts 13 ships with Spain and Germany 11 each. UK has six (6) AAW destroyers in commission, Spain five (5) and France and Italy four (4) each. Note that the Danish opt-out from EU defence cooperation and the UK will leave the EU on March 29, 2019. Moreover, countries such as Romania and Bulgaria have warships with limited armament; especially the two Type 22 frigates could be characterized as large offshore patrol vessels as they lack any missile system.

The destroyers and frigates of the European Union in 2018. For a high resolution image click here.
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