Defense Ministry News

24 Feb 2020

Iran Invests $857Mn in Maritime Industry

Photo:  Ports & Maritime Organization

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…

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.

27 Mar 2018

Satellite Images Show China's Show of Force in South China Sea

(Photo: Planet Labs)

Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show. The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirm a Chinese carrier group has entered the vital trade waterway as part of what the Chinese navy earlier described as combat drills that were part of routine annual exercises. The Liaoning carrier group last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defense ministry.

26 Feb 2018

US Prepares High-seas Crackdown on N.Korea Sanctions Evaders

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Levi Read)

The Trump administration and key Asian allies are preparing to expand interceptions of ships suspected of violating sanctions on North Korea, a plan that could include deploying U.S. Coast Guard forces to stop and search vessels in Asia-Pacific waters, senior U.S. officials said. Washington has been talking to regional partners, including Japan, South Korea, Australia and Singapore, about coordinating a stepped-up crackdown that would go further than ever before in an attempt to squeeze Pyongyang’s use of seagoing trade to feed its nuclear missile program, several officials told Reuters.

22 Jan 2018

China Says US Warship Violated its South China Sea Sovereignty

File photo: USS Hopper (DDG 70) in November 2017 (U.S. Navy photo by Daniel Pastor)

A U.S. Navy destroyer this week sailed near the Scarborough Shoal, a disputed lagoon claimed by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Saturday, and Beijing vowed to take “necessary measures” to protect what it said was its sovereignty. China’s foreign ministry said USS Hopper missile destroyer came within 12 nautical miles off Huangyan island, better known as the Scarborough Shoal and subject to a rival claim by the Philippines, a historic ally of the United States. It was the latest U.S.

08 Jan 2018

British Frigate Escorts Russian Ships through English Channel

Pictured is HMS Westminster (Foreground) 30NM off the British coast escorting the Russian Steregushchiy class ship Soobrazitelny (531). (Photo: U.K. Royal Navy)

A British frigate escorted Russian ships through the English Channel on Monday, Britain’s defense ministry said, adding that it was the latest sign of an upsurge in Russian naval activity near UK waters over the festive period. Royal Navy frigate HMS Westminster was sent to monitor four Russian vessels over the weekend as they passed close to British waters, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said, and will stay with the warships as they head north. The MoD added that two Russian frigates…

20 Nov 2017

Argentina's First Female Submarine Officer on Board Missing Vessel

One of the 44 crew members on board the Argentine submarine that is missing in the South Atlantic is Eliana Maria Krawczyk, who came from a landlocked province to become the country’s first female submarine officer. In a Facebook video posted in January by the Defense Ministry, Krawczyk discussed her experience of being the first woman in a traditionally male space. She said that she aspired to become the commander of a navy submarine one day. “If you think about being underwater, navigating, and being the only woman, it is strange, but at the same time it is exciting and very challenging,” she said in the video. Krawczyk, 35, was born in the northeastern province of Misiones and joined the navy in 2004, after responding to an advertisement online.

24 Oct 2017

Ship of the Month: October 2017

(Photo: courtesy Freire Shipyard)

More than three years after completing the first outline sketches, Spanish naval design and architecture firm Oliver Design has completed outfitting the interiors for the Bima Suci, the Indonesian navy’s new sail training ship. This spectacular vessels is one of the largest tall ships in the world and measures 364 x 44 ft. with a 14.8 ft. draft. Built at Freire Shipyards in Vigo, Spain, the new training ship sports 36,200 sq. ft. Oliver Design also carried out turnkey architectural design for Bima Suci…

10 Aug 2017

US Destroyer Challenges China's Claims in South China Sea

USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) (U.S. Navy photo by James Vazquez)

A U.S. Navy destroyer carried out a "freedom of navigation operation" on Thursday, coming within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials told Reuters. The operation came as President Donald Trump's administration seeks Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programs and could complicate efforts to secure a common stance. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals.

25 May 2017

U.S. Warship Challenges Beijing in South China Sea

The USS Dewey underway in the South China Sea (CREDIT: PO3 Kryzentia Weiermann)

A U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Dewey traveled close to the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors. China said its warships had warned the U.S.

21 Apr 2017

DCNS to Build Next French Naval Frigates

Image: DCNS

DCNS said it has been awarded a contract from the French Defense Ministry for the development and construction of five intermediate-size frigates (FTIs) intended for the French Navy. DCNS will propose a French version of its new BELH@RRA frigate. The first of the five frigates from this French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA)-managed program should be delivered in 2023 with an entry into active service in 2025. The new BELH@RRA frigate will be designed and developed by DCNS, in joint project management with THALES for the development of the new-generation radar it will be equipped with.

28 Mar 2017

China Could Deploy South China Sea Warplanes Now

China appears to have largely completed major construction of military infrastructure on artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea and can now deploy combat planes and other military hardware there at any time, a U.S. think tank said on Monday. The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), part of Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the work on Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief Reefs in the Spratly Islands included naval, air, radar and defensive facilities. The think tank cited satellite images taken this month, which its director, Greg Poling, said showed new radar antennae on Fiery Cross and Subi. "So look for deployments in the near future," he said. China has denied U.S. China's Defense Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

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