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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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