FleetMon – Naval News 6 March 2015
ARSENAL DE MARINHA DO RIO DE JANEIRO: The Brazilian Navy’s main shipyard, Arsenal de Marinha do Rio de Janeiro, is to carry out the major service life extension of the Navy’s only aircraft carrier, following the decision by the Brazilian Government to not proceed with a newbuilding replacement due to costs. The aircraft carrier N Ae Sao Paulo (A 12) is scheduled to enter drydock in June this year, with the project taking four years to complete, thereby prolonging the vessel’s service life until 2039. If this does in fact happen the vessel will be 76 years old, as she entered service for the French Navy as the Foch in 1963. The 33,673 ton full load displacement vessel was sold to Brazil in 2000 and after modifications at the French Navy’s Brest facility joined the Brazilian Navy in 2001. As part of the aircraft carrier’s life extension programme the French shipyard DCNS has been contracted for the modernisation and maintenance e of the vessel’s propulsion n systems. Sao Paulo is fitted with six La Valle boilers powering two GEC Alsthom steam turbines. Other work to be undertaken on the aircraft carrier includes modifications to the two aircraft lifts (to move aircraft of 20 tons) as well as upgrading of both flightdeck catapults. Arsenal de Marinha do Rio de Janeiro features three graving docks and one floating dock, capable of drydocking vessels up to 70,000 tons.
TANDANOR SHIPYARD: The Argentine shiprepairer Tandanor, based in Rio de La Plata, Buenos Aires, is coming to the end of a massive US $400m rebuilding and modernisation of the Argentine Navy’s Antarctic patrol ship ARA Almirante Irizar (Q 5). The 14.900 full load displacement icebreaker, built by the Helsinki yard of Finland’s Wärtsilä in 1978, suffered a severe engineroom fire in 2007 while in the South Atlantic. As Almirante Irizar operates as a multi-purpose scientific research, logistics and Antarctic rescue ship, complete with a very modern hospital, she was thought to be too valuable to be scrapped. However, mismanagement of the project, coupled with cost overruns have seen extensive work requiring 1.2m manhours to date with the repair bill currently standing at $400m! During her rebuilding and modernisation at Tandanor the work package includes the fitting of new diesel engines and electrical systems, replacing the vessel’s original Wärtsilä-Pielstick 8PC2.5L diesel-electric system. The vessel is also getting a new integrated bridge, more than 200,000m of new cabling, 65,000m of pipe work and a new fire-fighting system. The icebreaker will also feature modernised scientific laboratories and accommodation. The massive rebuild will see the vessel return to naval service for the 2015/2016 Antarctic season and start by undertaking ice tests.
INDIAN NAVY: Russia’s Far east-based Amur Shipyard is to undertake the reactivation of the nuclear powered Akula II-class attack submarine RFS Kashalot (K 322), which is being bought by the Indian Navy. Although built by the Amur Shipyard in 1988, the submarine has remained inactive at this Pacific coast shipyard since 2003. Reactivation work, and training of the boats new Indian crew, is expected to take three years to complete.
US NAVY: The fifth of 10 Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) building for the US Navy has been christened USNS Trenton (JHSV-5) at Austal Shipyard’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard. Meanwhile, plans to turn the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (into a floating museum in Fairview, Oregon, have fallen through and the vessel is to be scrapped. She will be towed from Bremerton, on the US West Coast, via South America, to International Shipbreaking in Brownsville, Texas for scrapping. USS Ranger is too large to transit the Panama Canal. Other US Navy veterans being decommissioned include the 27 year old Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Rodney M Davis (FFG 60), which is being offered for sale to a foreign navy, while the last Tarawa-class amphibious assault vessel USS Peleliu (LHA 5) decommission in March after 34 years service with the USN. Finally, on the new vessel front, General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, California, has been awarded a US $498m contract to build a fourth Mobile Landing Platform (MLP). The, as yet unnamed vessel, will be commissioned in March 2018.
ROYAL SWEDISH NAVY: Swedish defence giant Saab has been awarded a SEK 121m contract for the overhaul and modernisation of the Royal Swedish Navy’s submarine HMS Södermanland. The work will be undertaken at Saab’s Kockums Shipyard in Malmö, with the submarine expected to return to naval service towards the end of 2016.
CROATIA: The Government of Croatia has ordered five fast patrol boats from domestic shipbuilder Brodsplit under a US $63.5m contract. The first vessel is set for delivery in early 2016.
ROYAL NAVY OF OMAN: Australia’s Austal Ships in Western Australia was secured a £124.5m contract from Oman for the construction of two 72m high speed support vessels for the Royal Navy of Oman. Delivery is set for late 2016.
ROYAL FLEET AUXILIARY: The UK shiprepairer Cammell Laird, in Birkenhead, on Merseyside, has completed the £50m refit and modernisation of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s (RFA) Fleet Replenishment Ship RFA Fort Victoria (A 387). Work carried out included upgrading and enhancements to the vessel’s main engines, machinery, pumps and crew accommodation. The REFA is the supply and support arm of the Royal Navy.
IRISH NAVAL SERVICE: The Republic of Ireland’s small navy has commissioned the second of three new 90m offshore patrol vessels – LE James Joyce. Built in the UK by Babcock Marine’s Appledore Shipyard in North Devon, LE James Joyce joins sistership Le Samuel Becket in protecting the Republic’s waters from fishing violations and drug smuggling. Both vessels are also expected to soon join in the counter piracy operations off the Somali coast. A third vessel is also under construction and due for delivery in 2016.
MALAYSIA: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency has taken delivery of the first of two 38.2m Bay-class patrol vessels donated by the Australian Government. Operated by the Australian Customs & Border Protection Service since 1990 ACV Arnhem Bay (ACV 60) has been renamed KM Perwira. A second vessel is set to be delivered to Malaysia in mid-2015.
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY: The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) modified Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate HMAS Sydney (03), commissioned in 1983, has returned from her final deployment and is being used as a training vessel at the RAN’s Garden Island Dockyard in Sydney, prior to decommissioning in December this year.
PORTUGAL: The Portuguese Navy is looking seriously at buying the French Navy’s Foudre-class Landing Platform Dock (LPD) FS Siroco (L 9012).