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Wednesday 27 May 2015

Jacob van Heemskerck class frigates of the Chilean Navy

Written by D-Mitch 

CS Almirante Latorre (FFG-14). Photo: Armada de Chile
The Jacob van Heemskerck class or else L-class of Chilean Navy (Armada de Chile ) is a class of two anti-aircraft warfare (AAW) frigates. These are ex-Royal Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine) frigates and they are the air-defence version of the Kortenaer (Standard or else S-class). These two AAW frigates were built as replacements after two of the Standard class frigates (frigates n.6 and n.7) that were under construction for the  Royal Netherlands Navy were sold to Greece (Hellenic Navy) in 1980-81. The two vessels were launched the period 1983-84 and they were commissioned in 1986. In 2005 the two ships were sold to Chile. In Chilean service, the F-812 Jacob van Heemskerck was renamed FFG-14 Almirante Lattore and the F-813 Witte de With was renamed FFG-11 Capitán Prat.

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Monday 25 May 2015

Sachsen class frigates of the German Navy

Written by D-Mitch

Frigate Hessen, last ship of the Sachsen class.
The Sachsen class (or else F124 class/Klasse 124) of German Navy (Deutsche Marine) is a class of three high-tech Anti-Aircraft Warfare (AAW) frigates built by Blohm + Voss, Howaldtwerke-Deutsche Werft and Thyssen Nordseewerke (from 2005 the three companies are part of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems) the period 1999-2005 under a contract of €2.1 billion (!) that was signed in 1996. The shipyards joined forces for this contract as Working Group 124 (ARGE 124); all three yards built a vessel each. An option on a fourth vessel that was provisionally to have been named Thüringen was not taken up. This class of warships is based on an enlarged pattern of the Brandenburg class (F123/Klasse 123) multipurpose frigates featuring stealth characteristics, weapons and sensors for air defence capabilities. The three vessels replaced the three Lütjens-class destroyers that were modified Charles F. Adams-class destroyers. It is worth of mention that the ships of the class have about 2,000tons more displacement and 10 meters more length than the class that they replace. The Sachsen class frigates are very similar to the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën class frigates (the class will be analyzed in another article), in that both are based on the use of a common primary anti-air warfare system built around the APAR and SMART-L radars as well as the area-defence SM-2 Block IIIA and point/medium range defence Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) surface-to-air missiles. The ships of De Zeven Provinciën class frigates are of similar size but their major differences are that they have one more module (8-cells) in their vertical launch system (VLS), they have Goalkeeper CIWS instead of RAM, 5in gun and their hangar can accommodate one helicopter. The last ship of the class, Hessen, entered in service in April 21, 2006. The vessels of the class are some of the most advanced AAW in the world and contribute significantly to the European air-defence.

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Monday 11 May 2015

WARSHIPS OF THE PAST: Giuseppe Garibaldi cruiser of the Italian Navy

Written by D-Mitch

Colorized photo of Giuseppe Garibaldi cruiser in the '60s
Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian Duca degli Abruzzi-class light cruiser, the latest evolution of the light cruisers Condottieri class, that served in the Navy of the Kingdom of Italy (Regia Marina) during World War II. The ship was named after the Italian general and politician and nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi who played a large role in the history of Italy. The cruiser was laid down in 1933 and completed in 1936. She was commissioned in 1937. The 12,000t cruiser was initially armed with ten (10) 6in (152mm) guns in two triple and two twin turrets, a variety of medium and light guns, six (6) 533mm torpedo tubes while she could carry up to four (4) IMAM Ro.43 reconnaissance single float seaplanes that were launched from ship's two catapults. Active with the Italian Navy (Regia Marina) during World War II, she participated in numerous operations. Along with her convoy escort duties, shore bombardment and British convoy interception, she was present at Punto Stilo/Calabria. She missed the Battle of Cape Matapan, having been detached to Brindisi immediately before. On July 28, 1941 she was torpedoed by the submarine, HMS Upholder, and returned to port with 700 tons of water. With the Italian Armistice, she sailed to Malta in September 1943. Except for a very brief period of time on anti-blockade runner duties, she spent the remainder of the war in transport and training duties.

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Saturday 9 May 2015

INFOGRAPHICS #14: The Great White Fleet

The arrival of the Great White Fleet at San Francisco (May 6, 1908).
Magic Lantern Slide, scan courtesy of John Freeman
The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from December 16, 1907 to February 22, 1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of 16 battleships divided into two squadrons, along with various escorts. Roosevelt sought to demonstrate growing American military power and blue-water navy capability. Hoping to enforce treaties and protect overseas holdings, the U.S. Congress appropriated funds to build American sea power. Beginning with just 90 small ships, over one-third of them wooden, the navy quickly grew to include new modern steel fighting vessels. The hulls of these ships were painted white, the Navy's peacetime color scheme, decorated with gilded scroll-work with a red, white, and blue banner on their bows. These ships would later come to be known as the Great White Fleet.

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Friday 1 May 2015

WARSHIPS OF THE PAST: Vittorio Veneto helicopter cruiser of the Italian Navy

Written by D-Mitch
Vittorio Veneto, the last cruiser of Italian Navy
Some years after the commissioning of the two helicopter cruisers of Andrea Doria class, the Italian Navy ordered an enlarged version of a helicopter cruiser. The new 180-meter cruiser received the name Vittorio Veneto (C550) and she entered in service with the Italian Navy in 1969. A second ship of the same design, the Italia, was cancelled. Instead, Italy proceeded later in the construction of Giuseppe Garibaldi light aircraft carrier, an aircraft carrying cruiser as it was classified in the early years of its service. Vittorio Veneto had a similar layout as the smaller Andrea Doria class helicopter cruisers, but with two elevators in the large (40x18.5-metre) flight deck and the hangar positioned below the flight deck. The ship was built from the keel up as guided missile cruiser forward and helicopter carrier aft. Unlike the Andrea Doria class ships, Vittorio Veneto had two combination mast/funnels, rather than separate funnels like the ships of the Andrea Doria class. Vittorio Veneto was a fast ship especially for her size as she was propelled by two steam turbines providing 73,000 shp, for a maximum speed of 32 knots. Similarly to Andrea Doria class vessels, she had a sets of stabilizing fins to improve stability for helicopter operations.

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