Defense Ministry News

16 Nov 2020

Russia Plans New Naval Facility in Sudan

© vadim_orlov / Adobe Stock

President Vladimir Putin on Monday approved the creation of a Russian naval facility in Sudan capable of mooring nuclear-powered surface vessels, clearing the way for Moscow’s first substantial military foothold in Africa since the Soviet fall.The new facility, earmarked to be built in the vicinity of Port Sudan, will be capable of accommodating up to 300 military and civilian personnel and improve Russia’s ability to operate in the Indian Ocean, expanding its influence in Africa.Putin presided over a flagship Russia-Africa summit last year…

26 Oct 2020

Tanker Operator Thanks UK for Storming Vessel after Stowaways Turned Hostile

Nave Andromeda - Credit: Peter Stockwell/MarineTraffic.com

The operator of an oil tanker stormed in the English Channel by British special forces thanked the authorities on Monday for their timely response, saying help was requested after seven stowaways who boarded in Nigeria turned hostile.Troops from the Special Boat Service, Britain's elite naval special forces unit, boarded the Greek-operated Nave Andromeda near the Isle of Wight off southern England after the master of the ship said he was concerned about the safety of his crew.Defense…

26 Oct 2020

UK Special Forces Storm Oil Tanker, Detain Stowaways in English Channel

Nave Andromeda - Image Credit: GIBFRAN46 (file photo) - MarineTraffic.com

British special forces stormed a Greek-operated oil tanker in the English channel on Sunday to wrestle control of the vessel from seven stowaways who had threatened the crew in a suspected hijacking.Troops from the Special Boat Service, a navy special forces unit whose headquarters in just a few miles away from where the vessel began showing signs of distress, boarded the Nave Andromeda near the Isle of Wight off southern England.Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary…

20 Oct 2020

What Is the Malabar Exercise, and Why Is It Significant?

File photo: Ships from the Indian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the U.S. Navy sail in formation during Malabar 2018. (Photo: Erwin Jacob V. Miciano / U.S. Navy)

Australia will join three-way naval exercises involving the United States, Japan and India, in a move that could provoke concern from China, which has criticized similar joint drills in the past.Here are some of the most common questions on the Malabar exercise:What is the Malabar exercise?The Malabar naval exercise began in 1992 as a training event between the United States and India. Japan joined it in 2015, but Australia has not participated since 2007.The exercise was conducted…

20 Oct 2020

As the Arctic's Attractions Mount, Greenland is a Security Black Hole

File photo: Chinese research vessel Xue Long (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

On a windy August afternoon in 2017, Akitsinnguaq Ina Olsen was relaxing in the old harbor of Nuuk, Greenland's capital, when a Chinese icebreaker sailed unannounced into the Arctic island's territorial waters."I saw it by chance," Olsen, 50, told Reuters. "My first thought was: 'They're already here!' They're pretty cheeky, those Chinese."She pulled out her phone and took a picture of the 167-meter long Chinese icebreaker Xue Long (Snow Dragon), before it turned around and disappeared.The…

14 Oct 2020

Japan Says Chinese Vessels Sail Near Disputed Islands

© oasisoasis / Adobe Stock

Japan’s Coast Guard said on Sunday that two Chinese vessels entered what Japan considers its territorial waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea.It marked the 21st time this year that Chinese boats have entered Japanese waters and the first since late August, a Japanese Coast Guard representative said.Japan’s government has complained of “relentless” intrusions in waters around the group of islets claimed by both nations. The contested territory contains islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.Two Chinese Coast Guard ships entered the waters at about 10:45 a.m.

15 Jun 2020

Fire Breaks Out Aboard French Nuclear Submarine

(Photo: Maritime Prefecture of the Mediterranean)

Fire broke out onboard a nuclear submarine docked at the Mediterranean port of Toulon on Friday and was still raging but under control by afternoon, local officials said.Nobody was hurt and no nuclear materials or weapons were on board the vessel, the Perle, which is in dry dock for repairs, the prefecture said in a statement.“The fire is under control. It will not spread, but it has not yet been put out,” a spokeswoman for the Mediterranean prefecture told Reuters.The prefecture also said that smoke coming from the Perle was not radioactive.Dozens of firefighters were on the scene…

06 May 2020

US Rearms to Nullify China's Missile Supremacy

File photo: A Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is launched from the guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George in the eastern Mediterranean Sea March 23, 2003. (U.S. Navy photo by Kenneth Moll)

As Washington and Beijing trade barbs over the coronavirus pandemic, a longer-term struggle between the two Pacific powers is at a turning point, as the United States rolls out new weapons and strategy in a bid to close a wide missile gap with China.The United States has largely stood by in recent decades as China dramatically expanded its military firepower. Now, having shed the constraints of a Cold War-era arms control treaty, the Trump administration is planning to deploy long-range…

20 Apr 2020

Thyssenkrupp in Talks About Possible Warship Unit Merger

On April 9, 2020, "S43" as the third of four HDW Class 209/1400mod submarines was officially handed over by thyssenkrupp Marine Systems to the Navy of the Arab Republic of Egypt. (Photo: © thyssenkrupp AG, https://www.thyssenkrupp-marinesystems.com)

German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp is in talks about possibly merging its subsidiary ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) with a domestic rival to create a national champion.The Thyssenkrupp board member in charge of the marine systems unit, Oliver Burkhard, tweeted earlier that the company was in talks as an alliance could make sense in the current European market environment, with the creation of a national champion one possible outcome.The tweet followed a report by public sector…

17 Apr 2020

Chinese, Malaysian Offshore Oil Vessels in South China Sea Standoff

A Chinese government survey ship is tagging an exploration vessel operated by Malaysia's state oil company Petronas in disputed waters in the South China Sea, three regional security sources said on Friday.China's Haiyang Dizhi 8 entered waters near Malaysia on Thursday, according to ship tracking website Marine Traffic.On Friday, it was close to the Petronas-operated West Capella, according to the security sources, who did not want to be identified because they were not authorised to talk to the media. One of the sources said a Vietnamese vessel was also tagging the West Capella.The area is close to waters claimed by both Vietnam and Malaysia as well by China…

24 Feb 2020

Iran Invests $857Mn in Maritime Industry

Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) has allocated 36 trillion rials (about $857.2 million) allocated 36 trillion rials ($857.2 million) to develop the country's maritime industry, including the construction of 83 vessels.Mohammad Rastad, head of PMO said that PMO has taken significant measures regarding the improvement of the country’s maritime industry.The maritime industry transformation plan was prepared by the Ministry of Transportation and Urban Development in collaboration with the Defense Ministry back in 2019.According to Rastad, the plan which has already begun is mainly focused on improving the country’s ports and maritime fleet.The program includes a project for the construction of 40 vessels…

22 Jan 2020

South Korea Anti-piracy Unit Heading to the Strait of Hormuz

© Nicolas Parneix / Adobe Stock

South Korea's military said on Tuesday it plans to expand the deployment of an anti-piracy unit now operating off the coast of Africa to the area around the Strait of Hormuz, after the United States pressed for help in guarding oil tankers.Attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz off the coast of Iran last year prompted U.S. officials to call for allies to join a planned maritime security mission.While South Korea, a key U.S. ally, will deploy its forces to the area, including the Gulf…

03 Jul 2019

France Seals Navy Ship Deal with Romania

(Photo: Naval Group)

France's defense ministry said on Wednesday that defense firm Naval Group had won a 1.2 billion euro ($1.35 billion) contract to build four Gowind navy corvettes for Romania, as it looks to ensure security in the Black Sea.The deal, which will also see Naval Group renovate two existing Romanian frigates, ensures the delivery of the first ships in 2022."Romania becomes the first European country, but also the first NATO country, to acquire this type of warship," the French defense ministry said in a statement."The Godwin has the ideal capacity to ensure security in the Black Sea…

20 Jun 2019

Navy: India deploys ships in Gulf of Oman

© jpgon/AdobeStock

India's navy has deployed two ships in the Gulf of Oman to ensure safe passage for Indian-flagged vessels, the country's defense ministry said late on Thursday, a week after two oil tankers were attacked in the region.The United States has blamed Iran for the attacks on a Norwegian-owned and a Japanese-owned tanker, raising concerns about further U.S.-Iranian confrontation. Tehran has denied the allegation.Indian naval ships named Chennai and Sunayna have been "deployed in the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf to undertake maritime security operations…

14 Jun 2019

Defense Show Set for Denmark in September

Major naval and maritime exhibition set for Copenhagen Sept. 3-6, 2019; MAST NOCO 2019 will be the biggest military conference in Denmark everThe maritime world will meet at MAST NOCO 2019 in Copenhagen September 3-6, 2019. MAST, which stands for Maritime Systems and Technologies, encompasses a series of global conference and exhibitions. The year’s MAST NOCO 2019, which takes place at the same time as the Northern Coasts (NOCO) 2019 multinational naval exercises, will be the biggest military equipment exhibition and conference ever held in Denmark.

10 Apr 2019

British Shipyard Evacuated After Bomb Threat

File photo: Astute Class submarines being built at BAE Systems’ shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness in 2013 (Photo: UK Royal Navy)

A shipyard in northern England that builds Britain's new generation of nuclear submarines was evacuated on Wednesday after what a local news website said was a bomb warning.Ambulances and police were on the scene in Barrow-in-Furness in northwestern England. The defense ministry declined to comment."As a precaution, the Devonshire Dock Complex has been closed," a spokeswoman for BAE Systems said.

25 Mar 2019

US Navy, Coast Guard Navigate Taiwan Strait

File Image: CREDIT US Navy

The United States sent Navy and Coast Guard ships through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the U.S. military said, as part of an increase in the frequency of movement through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China.The voyage risks raising tensions with China further but will likely be viewed by self-ruled Taiwan as a sign of support from Washington amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing.The two ships were identified as the Navy destroyer Curtis Wilbur and the Coast Guard cutter Bertholf, a U.S.

28 Feb 2019

Turkey Launches Largest Naval Exercise

© Cristal Oscuro/AdobeStock

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…

21 Feb 2019

Russia Struggles to Modernize its Navy

Yaroslav Mudry. Photo from kaliningrad.kp.ru

President Vladimir Putin calls improving the Russian navy's combat capabilities a priority.The unfinished husks of three guided-missile frigates that have languished for three years at a Baltic shipyard show that is easier said than done.Earmarked for Russia's Black Sea Fleet, the frigates fell victim to sanctions imposed by Ukraine in 2014 after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, prompting Kiev to ban the sale of the Ukrainian-made engines needed to propel them.With Moscow unable to quickly build replacement engines for the Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates, construction stopped.

26 Dec 2018

Soldier-run PDVSA and AWOL Oil Output

© natanaelginting/Adobe Stock

Last July 6, Major General Manuel Quevedo joined his wife, a Catholic priest and a gathering of oil workers in prayer in a conference room at the headquarters of Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA.The career military officer, who for the past year has been boss at the troubled state-owned oil company, was at no ordinary mass. The gathering, rather, was a ceremony at which he and other senior oil ministry officials asked God to boost oil output."This place of peace and spirituality…

19 Nov 2018

Argentine Submarine Found After Yearlong Search

(Photo: Ocean Infinity)

The Argentine Navy submarine that went missing a year ago off the country's Atlantic Coast was found by a private company involved in what had been a massive search for the vessel and its 44-member crew, the defense ministry said in a news conference on Saturday.The ARA San Juan submarine was discovered by marine tracking contractor Ocean Infinity, 907 meters (2,975 feet) below the ocean surface. The vessel was found in an underwater canyon with its tail partially "imploded," Argentina's Defense Minister Carlos Aguad said.Given the poor visibility at the site…

02 Oct 2018

DFDS Ferry Continues Journey After Engine Incident

© Lukas Rapolavicius / MarineTraffic.com

A ferry heading to Lithuania from Germany was able to continue its journey on Tuesday, hours after it lost power following an engine room incident, Lithuania's Defense Ministry said.The Lithuanian-flagged Regina Seaways, carrying 335 people, restored power to its main engine four hours after it issued a distress call due to a suspected fire in its engine room, the ministry said.No one was reported injured and the ferry was expected to dock in the port of Klaipeda by 2100 GMT, a spokesman for Danish ferry company DFDS said."There was vibration and there was smoke, but no fire was noticed," the

01 Jun 2018

US Pacific Command Renamed in Symbolic Nod to India

(U.S. Navy photo by James Mullen)

The U.S. military on Wednesday renamed its Pacific Command the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, in a largely symbolic move underscoring the growing importance of India to the Pentagon, U.S. officials said.U.S. Pacific Command, which is responsible for all U.S. military activity in the greater Pacific region, has about 375,000 civilian and military personnel assigned to its area of responsibility, which includes India.“Relationships with our Pacific and Indian Ocean allies and partners have proven critical to maintaining regional stability,” U.S.

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