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Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Internationales Maritimes Museum - A real gem in Hamburg! (Part A: general impressions)

The impressive IMMH building in Hamburg
The Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg (IMMH, International Maritime Museum of Hamburg) is a private museum in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, Germany. The museum houses predominantly Peter Tamm's collection of model ships, construction plans, uniforms, and maritime art, amounting to over 40,000 items and more than one million photographs on 12,000m2 (130,000 sq ft). It is the world's largest private collection of maritime artifacts. It opened in a former warehouse in 2008. The private collection was started in 1934 by Peter Tamm (12 May 1928 – 29 December 2016) - former editor for naval themes at the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper and chairman of the board of the Axel Springer AG - when Tamm was six years old. As Tamm retold the history, the initial event was when his mother presented him his first model ship. From his collection, he founded the Wissenschaftliches Institut für Schifffahrts- und Marinegeschichte (Academic Institute for Shipping and Naval History) located in a mansion at the Elbchaussee street and only open by appointment. Later, on December 10th 2002, the Peter Tamm Sen. Stiftung foundation was established, which is the owner of the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg. In 2004 the Hamburg Parliament approved a €30 million grant for a new museum in the HafenCity quarter unanimously. In 2005, the building was given to the foundation by lease for free for 90 years by the senate of Hamburg. On 25 June 2008, the museum was opened by the German president Horst Köhler. 

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Friday, 6 December 2019

Erradii class frigates of the Algerian National Navy

Written by D-Mitch

El Moudamir (911), MEKO A-200AN of the Algerian National Navy
The first MEKO A-200 frigates were ordered from South Africa in 1999. The South African Navy placed an order for four multi-purpose MEKO A-200SAN which are known as the Valour class. The ships were constructed in Germany between 2001-03 and delivered unarmed to S.Africa where the weapons, sensors and combat system were integrated, a process that took 2-3 years per ship. The first vessel, SAS Amatola, was commissioned in February 2006 while the fourth and final ship, SAS Mendi, was handed over in June 2004 and commissioned in March 2007. Two MEKO A-200 AN frigates, a further development of the Valour-class design were built for Algeria by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). TKMS is a group and holding company of providers of naval vessels, surface ships and submarines. It was founded when large industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp acquired Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft on January 5, 2005.  The group consists of Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel, Germany, Atlas Elektronik in Bremen, Germany and Hellenic Shipyards Co. in Skaramangas, Greece (25%). The South African frigates will be analyzed in a future article.

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Friday, 22 November 2019

PHOTO GALLERY #31: Oak Hill, dock landing ship of the United States Navy

USS Oak Hill moored at Tirpitz quay, Kiel Naval Base
This is the eighth photo gallery from my visit to Kiel in 2018, on the first weekend of the 136th Kiel Week. More galleries will follow from 2018-19 Kiel Weeks. 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 United States Navy was represented by a number of ships including the USS Oak Hill (LSD-51), a Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship (LSD). She is named in honor of Oak Hill, the residence of James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States. The Monroe Doctrine was penned at Oak Hill, and subsequently delivered at an 1823 Congressional address which asserted that the Western Hemisphere was never to be colonized again. This doctrine is the inspiration for the Ship’s Motto: Nations’ Protector. Oak Hill is the second ship to honor the residence. Oak Hill was commissioned on 8 June 1996 and is the third vessel in a class of four. She is 186 meters long and has a full displacement around 16,600 tons. Enjoy the photos!
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Thursday, 14 November 2019

MEKO 200 Frigate Mild-Life Upgrade (MLU) programmes worldwide

Written by D-Mitch

MEKO 200 frigates HMNZS Te Mana, HMAS Parramatta and
HMAS Perth during the International Fleet Review 2013
The MEKO 200 is a frigate (FFG) design by the German shipyard Blohm+Voss as part of the MEKO family of warships. Ten MEKO 200 frigates were built to the Anzac-class design; eight for the Royal Australian Navy (first ship entered service in 1993), and two for the Royal New Zealand Navy (first ship entered service in 1994). Eight MEKO 200TN frigates were acquired by Turkey in three different tracks: four Track I/Yavuz vessels (first ship in 1987), two Track IIA/Barbaros class vessels (first ship in 1997) and two Track IIB/Barbaros (Salihreis subclass) vessels (first ship in 1998). Portugal acquired three MEKO 200PN/Vasco da Gama class (first ship commissioned in 1991) and Greece four MEKO 200HN/Hydra class (first ship commissioned in 1992). Total 25 vessels of seven (7) configurations! This article focuses on the Mild-Life Upgrade (MLU) programmes that are implemented on the MEKO 200 classes worldwide, of which some of them have change completely the appearance of the ships.

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Thursday, 7 November 2019

The new eyes of the Hellenic Navy and Hellenic Coast Guard: Miltech Hellas TDR-10A and TDR-HR-300

TDR-10A EO-sensor on a Hydra class frigate
This is the last update on the news regarding the equipping of Hellenic Navy warships and Hellenic Coast Guard offshore patrol vessels with new electro-optical (EO) 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 the Greek company 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, would equip front line surface combatants of the Greek Fleet that lack such a sensor. The TDR-10A was described in detail in the previous article The new eyes of the Hellenic Navy: Miltech Hellas TDR-10 ADVANCED

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Wednesday, 30 October 2019

SCENARIOS #1: Hellenic Navy 1998 - 2030

Written by D-Mitch 

In this new series of articles, I examine briefly how the composition of major surface combatants of a specific naval Fleet could be different than it is today and how it could possibly look like in the near future. A graph illustrates this development through the years examined. For the graph, I take into account only the serious "opportunities" (mainly second-hand vessels) emerged during the time period considered as well as the official declared interest by the country's and/or armed forces' leadership. Please note that I do not criticize the decisions taken by the Hellenic Armed Forces leadership as every offer had its pros and cons. In this first article, I examine the Hellenic Navy (Πολεμικό Ναυτικό) from 1998 until 2030 focusing on specific years and providing a brief overview of the situation.
SCENARIOS #1: Hellenic Navy 1998 - 2030. High resolution image here.
Analytically about the lost opportunities (?) and the future of the Navy, as it follows:
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Tuesday, 29 October 2019

BOOK REVIEW #8: CIA & Военно-морской флот СССР

CIA & Военно-морской флот СССР
του Εμμανουήλ Μουρτζάκη
Welcome to my eighth book review, The Soviet Navy through the Central Intelligence Agency documents, by Emmanouil Mourtzakis. This book brings to light the Soviet naval Strategy and the capabilities of the Soviet Navy directly through CIA documents of that period. The book has not been published in English yet, therefore the review is written for Greek-speaking readers. 

Η συγκεκριμένη μελέτη με τίτλο "Το Πολεμικό Ναυτικό της ΕΣΣΔ μέσα από τα αρχεία της Αμερικανικής Κεντρικής Υπηρεσίας Πληροφοριών και η σύγχρονη Ρωσική Ναυτική Στρατηγική", παρουσιάστηκε για πρώτη φορά στο ελληνικό κοινό ως ένθετο στο τεύχος 606 της Ναυτικής Επιθεώρησης του 2019. Στόχος του βιβλίου είναι να παρουσιάσει τη Σοβιετική Ναυτική Στρατηγική και Πρακτική καθώς και τις δυνατότητες του Σοβιετικού Ναυτικού, για πρώτη φορά, απευθείας από τα αρχεία της Κεντρικής Υπηρεσίας Πληροφοριών (CIA) των ΗΠΑ. Τα δύο πρώτα κεφάλαια επιτελούν αυτό το σκοπό, με διαχωρισμό των διαφόρων χρονικών περιόδων των αρχείων της CIA στο δεύτερο κεφάλαιο. Στη συνέχεια, στο τρίτο κεφάλαιο παρουσιάζεται η Ρωσική πλέον Ναυτική Στρατηγική και ο τρόπος που εφαρμόζεται σήμερα στον Αρκτικό Κύκλο και την Ανατολική Μεσόγειο. Όπως στο προηγούμενο βιβλίο που παρουσιάστηκε εδώ, Admiral Gorshkov: The Man Who Challenged the U.S. Navy, αναδεικνύονται οι επιχειρησιακές δυνατότητες του Σοβιετικού Ναυτικού κατά τη διάρκεια του Ψυχρού Πολέμου, δυνατότητες τόσο σημαντικές που αποτέλεσαν ουσιώδη πηγή στρατηγικού, επιχειρησιακού και τακτικού προβληματισμού για τις δυνάμεις των ΗΠΑ και των συμμάχων τους εκείνη τη περίοδο. 

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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

BOOK REVIEW #7: Admiral Gorshkov: The Man Who Challenged the U.S. Navy

Welcome to my seventh book review, Admiral Gorshkov: The Man Who Challenged the U.S. Navy, by Norman Polmar, Thomas A Brooks, and George E Federoff.

Admiral Gorshkov:
The Man Who Challenged the U.S. Navy
In October 2005 the Russian MoD placed an order with Severnaya Verf for the construction of the lead ship of a new class of high-tech frigates. That stealth frigate was the first large surface combatant being built for the Russian Navy in 15 years, years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The launching of this new combatant as well as some years later the launching of the first Borei class ballistic missile submarine, marked the Russian determination to restore Russia to great power status. The name that was given to the lead ship, and thus to the whole class, was Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Gorshkov (Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov). Who was Gorshkov? Sergey Georgyevich Gorshkov (Russian: Серге́й Георгиевич Горшков; 26 February 1910 – 13 May 1988) was an admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union. Twice awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, he oversaw the expansion of the Soviet Navy into a global force during the Cold War. He is one of the most famous Russian and Soviet commanders who will be remembered as the man who designed and built a potent high-seas fleet that could challenge the supremacy of the U.S. Navy during the Cold War!

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Wednesday, 2 October 2019

PHOTO GALLERY #30: Admiral Makarov, Admiral Grogorovich class frigate of the Russian Navy

Photos by Γ.Μ.
Admiral Makarov, an Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate
In this post you will enjoy some very good photos of Admiral Makarov, the latest Admiral Grigorovich-class (pr. 11356M) multi-mission frigate of the Russian Navy Black Sea Fleet, during her visit in Kerkyra (Corfu), as part of the 17th Hellenic -Russian Week in the Ionian Islands. Admiral Makarov was commissioned in December 27, 2017 and she is the third and morel likely the final vessel in the class, as the two incomplete vessels (4th and 5th) will be purchased by India for completion while the future of the 6th vessel is not known. The general characteristics of the class is a displacement of approximately 4,000t at full load, length of 124.8m, beam of 15.2m, maximum speed of 30 knots and a range of 4,850n.m. with the speed of 14 knots. Because some systems are not visible, it should be mentioned that the ship is equipped with among others a bow sonar (MGK-335EM-03) and a towed sonar array (Vignette-EM). The crew is 180-200. Enjoy photos of this quite heavily armed frigate!
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