Turkey Launches Largest Naval Exercise
Turkey's military launched the largest naval exercise in its history on Thursday, February 28, carrying out drills with frigates, corvettes and submarines in the Black Sea, Aegean and eastern Mediterranean.The nine-day exercise is aimed at testing the readiness of command bases and operation centers throughout Turkey's territorial waters, the defense ministry said.On board the frigate TCG Barbaros, gunners fired live ammunition at mock targets floating on the waves. Nearby, helicopters lowered soldiers onto a ship's deck…
Chemicals Found on Dutch Beach after Container Spill
A load of dangerous chemicals that fell off one of the world's largest container ships into the North Sea washed up on a Dutch beach on Thursday, and more debris was expected to land overnight, officials said.The Dutch Defence Ministry said the loss of 270 containers from the freighter MSC Zoe on Wednesday, some of them thought to contain hazardous chemicals, was one of the biggest incidents of its kind, they said.It was unclear how many of the containers sank to the sea bottom…
Navantia to Build 5 Frigates for Spanish Navy
Spain's state-held shipbuilder Navantia will build five F-110 frigates for the Spanish navy in a contract worth 4.3 billion euros ($4.9 billion), the government confirmed on Thursday after a report by French news agency AFP.The contract for the frigates will be approved on Friday during the weekly cabinet meeting, the Defence Ministry said in a statement. (Reuters, Reporting by Belen Carreno; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Ingrid Melander)
Ferry with 335 People on Board Powerless in Baltic Sea
A Lithuanian-flagged ferry carrying 335 people is powerless in the Baltic Sea but no one is reported injured, a spokesman for Danish ferry company DFDS told Reuters."There was vibration and there was smoke, but no fire was noticed," the spokesman said, contradicting earlier reports from the Lithuanian military of a fire on board the vessel.He could not say whether the passengers and crew were in any danger and said the ferry would have to be towed to port.The company said the ferry would be towed to the Lithuanian port town of Klaipeda, where it was heading from Kiel in Germany when it experie
At Least 48 Dead after Migrant Boat Sinks
At least 48 migrants were killed when their boat sank off Tunisia's coast and 67 others were rescued by the coast guard, officials said on Sunday, one of the worst migrant boat accidents in recent years.The boat went down near the southern island of Kerkenna, a tourist spot, in the night to Sunday, the defence ministry said in a statement. The victims were Tunisians and other nationalities, it said, without giving details.The rescue operation was suspended late on Sunday but will resume on Monday morning, officials said.Human traffickers increasingly use Tunisia as a launch pad for migrants heading to Europe as Libya's coast guard, aided by armed groups…
Beijing's South China Sea Building Boom Grows
At first glance from above it looks like any clean and neatly planned small town, complete with sports grounds, neat roads and large civic buildings. But the town is on Subi reef in the Spratlys archipelago of the hotly contested South China Sea and, regional security experts believe, could soon be home to China's first troops based in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia. Private sector data analysis reviewed by Reuters shows Subi, some 1,200 km (750 miles) from China's coast, is now home to nearly 400 individual buildings – far more than other Chinese islands.
China's First Home-built Carrier to Start Sea Trials
China first domestically developed aircraft carrier looks set to begin sea trials after pictures appeared on the Chinese internet on Monday of it leaving its dock in the northeastern port of Dalian. The still-unnamed carrier was launched this time last year but since then has been undergoing fitting of weapons and other systems and has not yet entered service. Chinese President Xi Jinping is overseeing an ambitious military modernisation scheme, including stealth jets and anti-satellite missiles, as China ramps up its presence in the disputed South China Sea and around self-ruled Taiwan, an island it considers its own. Online Chinese news portals…
Spain to Sign $2.2 Bln Deal to Sell Warships to Saudi Arabia
Spain and Saudi Arabia were due to sign a framework agreement for the purchase of warships worth more than $2 billion on Thursday, a Spanish Defence Ministry source said. Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia would sell five small warships to the kingdom, and the deal would include the Spanish army training military personnel in Saudi Arabia and building a naval construction centre there, the source said. The ships would be sold for around 1.8 billion euros ($2.22 billion) in a deal which still requires final signatures from Navantia and the Saudi Defence Ministry, the source said.
China: South China Sea Drills 'Routine'
China's Defence Ministry said on Thursday the military was carrying out routine training in the South China Sea, but would not comment on the presence of China's sole operational aircraft carrier there. Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off China's Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show. The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirmed a Chinese carrier group had…
Chinese Navy Plans Combat Drills in South China Sea
China's navy will carry out combat drills in the South China Sea, the military's official newspaper said on Friday, describing the move as part of regular annual exercises. Taiwan's defence ministry said this week it had shadowed a Chinese aircraft carrier group traversing the Taiwan Strait in a southwesterly direction - meaning into the disputed South China Sea - in what Taiwan judged to be a drill. In a brief report on its WeChat account, the People's Liberation Army Daily said the combat exercises would take place shortly…
Amid Tension, China Carrier Group Sails through Taiwan Strait
A Chinese carrier group has sailed through the narrow Taiwan Strait that separates the self-ruled island from its giant neighbor but no unusual activity was detected, Taiwan said on Wednesday, amid heightened tension with Beijing. Beijing has taken an increasingly hostile stance toward Taiwan since the election two years ago of President Tsai Ing-wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. China suspects Tsai wants to push for formal independence, though she has said she wants to maintain the status quo and is committed to ensuring peace.
Trump Troubled About Oil Flow into North Korea
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was "very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea" and that such moves would prevent "a friendly solution" to the crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear program. "Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!" Trump wrote in a post on Twitter. China earlier on Thursday said there had been no U.N.
Russian Navy Gets Admiral Makarov Frigate
Baltic Shipbuilding Plant “Yantar” (United Shipbuilding Corporation, Kaliningrad) has delivered the Admiral Makarov frigate, third ship of Project 11356, to Defence Ministry of the Russian Federation. According to the shipyard, the acceptance/delivery certificate has been signed today, 25 December 2017, by Eduard Yevimov, Yantar Director General, and Capt 1 rank Aleksey Poteshkin, Chairman of State Acceptance Commission. Admiral Makarov was laid down in early 2012 in Kaliningrad and was launched in 2015 to commence sea trials.
U.S. Navy Carrier Drills with Japanese Navy
The U.S. Navy carrier Ronald Reagan is conducting drills with Japanese warships in seas south of the Korean peninsula, Japan's military said on Friday, in a show of naval power as Pyongyang threatens further nuclear and missile tests. The Reagan strike group will conduct a separate drill with the South Korean Navy in October, the defence ministry said in a statement distributed to South Korean lawmakers on Monday. The 100,000-ton Reagan, which is based in Japan, and its escort…
China "coordinating with U.S." in S.China Sea SAR Ops
China said on Thursday that it was coordinating with the U.S. navy in the search for a missing U.S. sailor in the South China Sea, a rare show of goodwill between the navies in the disputed waters. The U.S. 7th Fleet said on Tuesday that U.S. and Japanese ships were looking for an unnamed sailor from the USS Stethem destroyer who had gone missing during a routine operation in an unspecified section of the South China Sea. It said multiple searches were conducted inside the ship, but to no avail.
China Denounces US S.China Sea Naval Transit
The United States has seriously damaged peace and stability in the South China Sea after a U.S. warship sailed near a disputed island in waters claimed by China, the Asian nation's defence ministry said on Monday. The ministry resolutely opposes the entry of U.S. warships into Chinese territory, it said in a statement on social media. The actions of the United States navy seriously damaged the "political atmosphere" around the development of military ties between the two countries, the ministry added.
Three Dead, Thousands Rescued in Seas Off Libya
Three migrants died in the Mediterranean on Monday night, a German aid group said, during Italian-led rescue operations in which thousands more were pulled to safety from rickety boats. About 5,000 migrants were picked up off the Libyan coast by emergency services, Italy's navy, aid groups and private boats on Monday, and rescues were continuing on Tuesday, according to an Italian coastguard spokesman. "Despite all efforts, three people died from a sinking rubber boat" and rescue boats in the area are struggling to cope, German humanitarian group Jugend Rettet said on Facebook. Jugend Rettet (Rescuing Youth) is one of about nine aid…
ThyssenKrupp, German Naval Yards in New Warship Bid
Luerssen, ThyssenKrupp and German Naval Yards have agreed to bid jointly for a German navy warship contract after competition authorities struck down an earlier bid, an industry source said. The contract had originally been worth 1.5 billion euros($1.68 billion) but it is unclear how much the government will ultimately pay. The contract for five corvettes, which had been due to be awarded without tender to a consortium of ThyssenKrupp and Luerssen, was struck down by the German cartel office after German Naval Yards complained.
Philippines: Japan Offers Anti-Piracy Help
Japan has offered to send patrol ships to deal with a growing piracy threat in the southern Philippine waters bordering Indonesia and Malaysia, a senior Philippine defence official said on Tuesday. A surge in piracy off parts of the southern Philippines is forcing ship-owners to divert vessels through other waters, pushing up costs and shipping times. Dozens of sailors have been taken captive by Abu Sayyaf. Japanese vice minister Ro Manabe offered the assistance at a meeting in Tokyo on Friday and expressed readiness to contribute to efforts by the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia "in addressing piracy and terrorism", said Raymund Quilop, assistant defence minister for assessments and international affairs.
India, China Navies Thwart Somali Pirate Attack
A Chinese navy ship supported by an Indian navy helicopter thwarted an attack by suspected Somali pirates on a Tuvalu-flagged merchant ship, India's defence ministry said on Sunday. The ship, known as OS 35, was reported to be under attack on Saturday. The Indian defence ministry said four of its navy ships in the vicinity responded to a distress signal from the ship and reached the bulk carrier early on Sunday. It said the crew had taken refuge in the ship's strong room, known as the citadel, once they learnt they were under attack in line with established safe shipping operating procedures. "An Indian Navy helicopter undertook aerial reconnaissance of the merchant vessel at night, and at sunrise ...
Sri Lanka Denies Chinese Request for Sub Visit
Sri Lanka has rejected China's request to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month, two senior government officials said on Thursday as the Indian prime minister landed in the island nation. Sri Lanka last allowed a Chinese submarine to dock in the capital of Colombo in October 2014, a move that triggered fierce opposition from its northern neighbour India, which worries about growing Chinese activity in a country it has long viewed as part of its area of influence. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Sri Lanka on Thursday for a two-day official visit. A senior Sri Lankan government official said China's request to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month had been rejected.
Late & Overweight: Germany's New Frigates Found Wanting
Germany's much-delayed new frigates, built by ThyssenKrupp and Luerssen for at least 650 million euros ($710 million) apiece, are overweight and float with a persistent list to starboard, according to a confidential report seen by Reuters. The ships, designed to need a crew of only 120, less than half their predecessors, are a crucial element in Germany's plans to beef up its military to face an increasingly uncertain European security landscape and a more assertive Russia. Designed to remain at sea for far longer than the German armed forces' existing fleet…
Germany Halts Planned Warship Purchase
Germany's federal cartel office upheld on Thursday a complaint brought by German Naval Yards against an order from the defence ministry for five new military corvettes valued at over 1.5 billion euros, after the ministry skipped an open procurement. The ministry had argued that the quickest way to meet the navy's urgent military needs in the Baltic and Mediterranean seas would be to buy more of the ships already produced by a consortium including Luerssen Werft and ThyseenKrupp. However, the cartel office agreed with German Naval Yards that the need for competition took priority, confirming reports on Wednesday by two German newspapers. An appeal may be lodged within two weeks. (Reporting by Anneli Palmen; Writing by Madeline Chambers, Editing by Thomas Escritt)