Government & Military News

25 Jan 2021

Guyana Says Venezuela Detained Two Fishing Vessels In Its Waters

© JM-Guyon / Adobe Stock

Guyana said late on Saturday that a Venezuelan navy vessel detained two vessels that were fishing in Guyana’s exclusive economic zone, the latest dispute in a long-running border conflict between the two South American nations.Caracas says much of eastern Guyana is its own territory, a claim that is rejected by Georgetown. The conflict has flared up in recent years as Guyana has started developing oil reserves near the disputed area.“The Venezuelan vessel was illegally maneuvering within Guyana’s EEZ and Contiguous Zone when it intercepted…

25 Jan 2021

China Says US Military in South China Sea Not Good for Peace

(Photo: Brendan Mullin / U.S. Marine Corps)

The United States often sends ships and aircraft into the South China Sea to “flex its muscles” and this is not good for peace, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday, after a U.S. aircraft carrier group sailed into the disputed waterway.The strategic South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade flows each year, has long been a focus of contention between Beijing and Washington, with China particularly angered by U.S. military activity there.The U.S. carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt and accompanied by three warships…

25 Jan 2021

Metal Shark Developing Autonomous Vessel for US Marine Corps

(Image: Metal Shark)

Autonomous vessels are quickly gaining acceptance across the maritime sector, but especially in government and military applications where the technological and safety advantages are most pronounced.On Monday, Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark said it has been selected by the U.S. Marine Corps to develop and implement the Long Range Unmanned Surface Vessel (LRUSV) System, a network of unmanned vessels traveling autonomously for extended ranges and transporting loitering munitions to address targets at sea and on land.The weapons system will be tiered and scalable…

22 Jan 2021

China Authorizes Coast Guard to Fire on Foreign Vessels if Needed

(File photo; William Colclough / U.S. Coast Guard)

China passed a law on Friday that for the first time explicitly allows its coast guard to fire on foreign vessels, a move that could make the contested waters around China more choppy.China has maritime sovereignty disputes with Japan in the East China Sea and with several Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea.

21 Jan 2021

Biden's Transportation Secretary Pick Buttigieg Supports the Jones Act

Pete Buttigieg (Photo: U.S. Senate)

Pete Buttigieg, President Joe Biden's nominee to head the U.S. Department of Transportation, has voiced his support for the Jones Act, a federal law that regulates maritime commerce in the United States.Buttigieg's comments came in response to questioning by Sen. Maria Cantwell (Dem.-Wash.) during a nearly three-hour confirmation hearing held by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on Thursday."I am a big Jones Act supporter, and the state of Washington and the trade that we have related to the Jones Act to make sure that we have U.S.-flagged vessels," Cantwell said.

21 Jan 2021

Biden Administration Suspends Federal Oil and Gas Permitting

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The Biden administration has temporarily suspended oil and gas leasing and permitting on federal lands and waters while it evaluates the legal and policy implications of the program, according to a Department of Interior memo.The move appears to be a first step in delivering on newly sworn-in President Joe Biden's campaign promise to ban all new federal drilling permits, part of his wider agenda to combat global climate change.The order was welcomed by environmentalists and derided by the oil and gas industry…

21 Jan 2021

Greensea Receives US Navy Award

“The long range standoff command and control of ROVs is the single best solution to keep the warfighter safe by getting them as far as possible from a subsea threat,” said Ben Kinnaman, CEO of Greensea.

Greensea's open architecture technology on Remotely Operated Vehicles furthered by Small Business Innovation Research Phase II grantGreensea Systems, Inc. creator of OPENSEA, an open architecture robotics platform for the marine industry, won a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) ASAP grant totaling $1,100,000, with option for additional funding, for the continued development of Standoff Command and Control of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division…

21 Jan 2021

Biden Administration Names Lessley as MARAD Deputy Administrator

© Felix Mizioznikov / Adobe Stock

Lucinda Lessley has been named Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), the Biden Administration announced Thursday among a number of key appointments to its Department of Transportation (DOT) leadership team.Lessley will lead MARAD until an Administrator is nominated by the Biden Administration and confirmed by the Senate. She takes over from Doug Burnett, MARAD's Chief Counsel, who had been serving as Acting Administrator following Mark Buzby's resignation in the wake of the Capitol intrusion earlier this month.

20 Jan 2021

Biden Announces Return to Global Climate Accord, New Curbs on US Oil Industry

Joe Biden - Image by Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced America's return to the international Paris Agreement to fight climate change, the centerpiece of a raft of day-one executive orders aimed at restoring U.S. leadership in combating global warming.The announcements also included a sweeping order to review all of former President Donald Trump's actions weakening climate change protections, the revocation of a vital permit for TC Energy's Keystone XL oil pipeline project from Canada…

20 Jan 2021

MARAD to Award $19.6 Million in Small Shipyard Grants

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The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) said it will award $19.6 million in federal funding to support efficiency improvements and modernizations at America’s small shipyards.The investments awarded annually by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s MARAD through the Small Shipyard Grant Program help U.S. shipyards and their workers to reap the benefits of increased production capabilities, and boost yards’ competitiveness in the global marketplace.Since its inception in 2008…

20 Jan 2021

US Coast Guard 'Alarmed' By Mariners Turning Off AIS

(Photo: Luke Pinneo / U.S. Coast Guard)

The U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday issued a warning to mariners and commercial fisherman about the dangers and legal consequences of switching off their Automated Identification Systems (AIS), citing concern over a growing number of vessels operating with the tracking equipment disabled.The Coast Guard said it has been alarmed in particular by the increase of commercial fishing and crabbing vessels disabling their AIS, purportedly in an attempt to keep their fishing spots secret…

19 Jan 2021

MARAD Green Lights Two More NSMV Builds

(Image: MARAD)

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) on Tuesday authorized the construction of two additional National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMV), marking a key milestone for one of America's most high-profile shipbuilding programs.The new vessels will replace aging training ships at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, and Texas A&M Maritime Academy in Galveston, Texas. MARAD previously authorized the construction of the first two NSMVs, destined for SUNY Maritime College in Bronx…

19 Jan 2021

UK: Royal Navy to Get Uncrewed Minesweeping System

Three world-class autonomous uncrewed minesweeping systems, to dispose of sea mines while reducing the risk to life of Royal Navy personnel will be delivered under an agreement between industry and Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), a trading entity and joint-defense organization within the UK Ministry of Defence - Credit: DE&S

Uncrewed minesweeping systems, designed by Atlas Elektronik, will detect and destroy sea mines on naval operations for the UK Royal Navy, thanks to a £25 million contract announced Tuesday.The Combined Influence Minesweeping (SWEEP) system will be the Royal Navy’s first uncrewed minesweeper.More than 25 jobs will be supported through the contract to deliver SWEEP at the Dorset-based company, plus 48 more jobs in the supply chain, the UK Government said in a statement.The system will allow personnel to neutralize mines from a remote and safe distance at sea while on operations worldwide…

18 Jan 2021

Remontowa Delivers Tug for the Polish Navy

(Photo: Remontowa Shipbuilding)

Polish shipbuilder Remontowa Shipbuilding said it recently delivered the fourth in a series of six tugboats for the Polish Navy.The vessel, H-12 Semko, was built in Gdańsk and sailed to Świnoujście for handover to the 8th Vice Admiral Kazimierz Porębski Coastal Defense Flotilla.The contract for the design and construction of six tugs was signed in June 2017. The workboats will be used by the Polish Navy for military and logistics operations support at sea and in ports, as well as for technical evacuations, personnel transfers, search and rescue operations and oil spill recovery.

18 Jan 2021

Singapore Prioritizes Vaccinations to Frontline Maritime Workers

© Feydzhet Shabanov/AdobeStock

More than 10,000 frontline maritime personnel to receive COVID-19 vaccinations by end of January.In the global seafarer crisis created by COVID-19, Sinagapore has emerged as a world leader in the treatment of seafarers and frontline maritime personnel. That streak continues as Singapore became one of the first countries to prioritize COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline maritime workers. The vaccination exercise is part of the national COVID-19 vaccination strategy to protect frontline personnel and their family members…

15 Jan 2021

US Imposes Fresh Sanctions on Iran

© R. Jeff Huth / Adobe Stock

The United States on Friday sanctioned companies in Iran, China and the United Arab Emirates for doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and on three Iranian entities over conventional arms proliferation.They are the latest in a series of measures aimed at stepping up pressure on Tehran in the waning days of President Donald Trump's administration, which ends on January 20.U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington had sanctioned seven companies, including Chinese-based Jiangyin Mascot Special Steel Co.

15 Jan 2021

Wolfson Takes the Helm at Norfolk Naval Shipyard

Captain Dianna Wolfson took the helm January 15 as the 110th commander of Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) and first female leader in its 253-year history. (Photo: Shelby West / Norfolk Naval Shipyard)

Captain Dianna Wolfson took the helm Friday as the 110th commander of Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) and first female leader in its 253-year history.Wolfson also holds the distinction of becoming the first female commander of any of the nation’s four public shipyards when she assumed command in June 2019 of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF).This marks her third NNSY tour, with previous assignments as Operations Officer and Project Superintendent for the USS Newport News (SSN 750) Engineered Overhaul.NNSY…

15 Jan 2021

Deal on Marine Mammal Oil Spill Response Program for Western Alaska

Photo: The Alaska Chadux̂ Network (ACN) and the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC)

The Alaska Chadux̂ Network (ACN) and the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) have finalized an agreement to develop and implement a program to respond to oil spill impacted marine mammals throughout Western Alaska, the U.S. Arctic, and Prince William Sound. The Agreement includes funding from ACN for ASLC to further develop oiled marine mammal response protocols and resources. In addition, the new program will involve opportunities to train, exercise and drill with ACN responders, including ACN partners in local communities…

13 Jan 2021

NASSCO Launches First New Oiler for the US Navy

(Photo: General Dynamics NASSCO)

U.S. shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO launched the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), the first of six vessels in the John Lewis-class fleet oiler program designed to support the U.S. Navy.Construction of the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205) began in the fall of 2018. The 742- foot long vessel is designed to transfer fuel to U.S. Navy carrier strike group ships operating at sea, the oilers will feature the capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity…

13 Jan 2021

Maritime Security: Neo-colonialism in the Gulf of Guinea

© Lucia / Adobe Stock

Is neo-colonialism in the Gulf of Guinea the answer to West Africa’s maritime crime crisis?In October 2020, China’s transport ministry established an ad hoc workgroup to lay down precautionary measures for ships and seafarers passing through high piracy risk West African waters.The move came as China told its vessels to up vigilance and implement a series of precautionary measures to ensure the security of ocea-going vessels and seafarers amid rising attacks and a surge in kidnaps in the Gulf of Guinea.Plans outlined by Wu Chungeng…

13 Jan 2021

MARAD Administrator Mark Buzby Resigns

Mark Buzby (Photo: MARAD)

Mark Buzby, the Trump-appointed head of the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), has resigned following the violent intrusion of the U.S. Capitol by the President's supporters, the agency confirmed to MarineLink.“I no longer believe that I am able to serve as a member of the administration while remaining true to the values which have been the core of my service to the people of our nation,” said Buzby, a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral.Buzby's resignation took effect Monday, January 11. He served as Maritime Administrator since August 2017.MARAD, part of the U.S.

13 Jan 2021

BIMCO: China Cements Top Position in the Bulk Market

© tsuguliev/AdobeStock

The turbulence of the past year has in many ways clouded the underlying fundamentals in the dry bulk shipping market, but with 2020 now behind us, we are in a better position to establish an overview of expectations for 2021. Overall, total tonnes transported by the dry bulk shipping industry fell by 1.3% to 5.49 billion tonnes, from 5.56b in 2019, which is however still higher than the 5.46b tonnes shipped in 2018. China has further cemented its position as the dominant player…

12 Jan 2021

WRDA 2020 Winds its Way to Passage

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In early October, Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reported in its newsletter Capitol Currents that the future of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020 hung in the balance, with many unknowns for its chances of being signed into law during the Lame Duck session of Congress that just concluded in late December.But despite twists and turns and a roller coaster ride, WRDA was, indeed, passed by Congress on December 21 as part of the FY21 Omnibus Appropriations that included a $900 billion COVID Relief package.

11 Jan 2021

First Building Complete at HII's New Unmanned Systems Campus

The new site will be used to assemble hull structures for Boeing’s Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV) program for the U.S. Navy. (Image: Boeing)

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) said Monday it has completed the first phase of its Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence with the construction of a 22,000-square-foot facility.The first of two planned buildings on the 20-acre campus in Hampton, Va. will be used to assemble hull structures for Boeing’s Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV) program for the U.S. Navy.“We are thrilled to reach this critical milestone with the development of our Center of Excellence campus,” said Andy Green, executive vice president of HII and president of HII’s Technical Solutions division.

11 Jan 2021

Iran Tells South Korea Not to Politicize Seized Vessel

© Rik van Marle /

Iran said on Sunday that South Korea should avoid politicizing the seizure of its vessel by Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Gulf, Iranian state media reported, while pressing Seoul to release $7 billion in funds frozen amid U.S. sanctions.South Korea’s vice foreign minister, Choi Jong-kun, arrived in Tehran on Sunday to discuss the release of the South Korean-flagged MT Hankuk Chemi, which was seized by the Guards on Monday near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.Iran has denied allegations that the seizure of the tanker and its 20-member crew amounted to hostage taking…

11 Jan 2021

Elbit tapped for $166m UK MOD Contract for the Future Naval Training Program

The HMS Ambush Astute Class attack submarine returning to HMNB Clyde in Scotland. Credit Royal Navy

Elbit Systems Ltd. subsidiary, Elbit Systems UK Ltd. won a $166m contract from the UK Ministry of Defence for the Royal Navy Future Naval Training Programas part of the Fisher consortium led by Capita plc. The contract will be performed over a 12-year period.The program calls for the transformation and modernization of the shore-based training of the Royal Navy including the establishment of the Future Submarine School. As the provider and integrator of training solutions for the Consortium…

08 Jan 2021

Port Everglades Receives 'Marine Highway' Designation

© dani3315 / Adobe Stock

Port Everglades received approval from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) for “Marine Highway” designation for a new route connecting Port Everglades with Port Houston, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). National Shipping of America (NSA) will be the first company to offer service on this new route. Port Everglades is the first port to receive this designation in South Florida and is among only 45 others nationwide.“We are honored to be part of MARAD’s Marine Highway program,” said Jonathan Daniels, Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director.

08 Jan 2021

Canadian Coast Guard Begins Icebreaking on the Great Lakes

The CCGS Samuel Risley performs icebreaking duties on the St. Marys River, Ontario in March 2020. (Photo: Canadian Coast Guard)

The Canadian Coast Guard’s annual icebreaking season on the Great Lakes, which provides assistance to the shipping industry, is underway. Working in partnership with U.S. Coast Guard District 9, the Canadian Coast Guard has two icebreakers assigned to the Great Lakes for the entire winter season: CCGS Griffon and CCGS Samuel Risley. These vessels are supported as required by additional Coast Guard vessels during the spring icebreaking season.Although the St. Lawrence Seaway, Welland Canal and Sault Ste.

07 Jan 2021

USCG Seeks Cruise Ship for Underway Examiner Training

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The U.S. Coast Guard said it is seeking a cruise ship to host examiner training courses while underway.The contracting opportunity is for a vessel of at least 70,000 gross tons to host three Foreign Passenger Vessel Examiner  (FPVE) courses for the Coast Guard's United States Coast Guard Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise (CSNCOE). The training would be conducted in 2021 on board a cruise ship departing from either Ft. Lauderdale, Miami or Canaveral, Fla.The CSNCOE, located in Ft.

07 Jan 2021

HII Begins Fabrication of Destroyer Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129)

Erika Lynd, Ingalls burner workleaderman, cuts steel into patterns using the Avenger IV plasma cutter, signifying 100 tons of steel cut and start of fabrication for the destroyer Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129). Observing the milestone are U.S. Navy Cmdr. Sean Doherty, DDG program manager’s representative, and Ben Barnett, Ingalls Shipbuilding’s DDG 129 ship program manager. Photo by Derek Fountain/HII

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (NYSE: HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division started fabrication of the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) destroyer Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129) on January 7, 2021. The start of fabrication signifies the first 100 tons of steel have been cut.“The start of fabrication for one of the U.S. Navy’s most critical assets is always a significant milestone for our shipbuilders,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. “We look forward to leveraging our unparalleled shipbuilding expertise to construct the nation’s newest…

07 Jan 2021

US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to Resign

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Thursday she would resign, citing the intrusion of the U.S. Capitol by violent supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump.Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is the first Cabinet secretary to announce her departure after the events. Many lower-level administration officials have announced they would resign, including several White House aides.Chao said her resignation would take effect Monday, just nine days before Trump is set to leave office.

07 Jan 2021

Halter Marine Upgrades Launch Way for Polar Security Cutter Build

Augers drill 110-foot long holes to house concrete piles as part of the launch way 
upgrade project at Halter Marine. (Photo: Halter Marine)

Gearing up to build the U.S.' first new heavy icebreaker in decades, Pascagoula, Miss. shipbuilder Halter Marine said it is upgrading the launch way area where the U.S. Coast Guard's Polar Security Cutter (PSC) will be constructed.The detailed design phase is "rapidly progressing", the shipbuilder said, and the 460-foot icebreaker is the heaviest vessel per foot of length that Halter Marine has constructed. The launch way has been fortified to accommodate the PSC’s 19,000-ton launch weight.Bob Merchent, President and CEO of Halter Marine.

06 Jan 2021

South Korea Delegation Heads to Iran to Seek Release of Seized Tanker

© Rik van Marle /

A South Korean delegation is heading to Iran on Wednesday to seek the release of a chemicals tanker and its 20-member crew seized in Gulf waters by Iranian forces, Yonhap news agency reported.Iran denied on Tuesday it was using the ship and its crew as hostages, a day after it seized the tanker near the Strait of Hormuz while pressing a demand for Seoul to release $7 billion in funds frozen under U.S. sanctions.The seizure of the MT Hankuk Chemi has been seen as an attempt by Tehran to assert its demands, just two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office in the United States.

05 Jan 2021

Fairbanks Morse Acquires Ward Leonard

George Whittier, CEO of Fairbanks Morse

Fairbanks Morse, a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management, has acquired Ward Leonard Operating, LLC, a provider of motor and control solutions for military applications. This acquisition will expand the scope of power and propulsion equipment and aftermarket services that Fairbanks Morse provides to its core customers, including the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and the Canadian Coast Guard."The acquisition of Ward Leonard expands the Fairbanks Morse product portfolio into complementary technologies, positioning us to serve as a power systems integrator to the U.S. Navy and U.S.

05 Jan 2021

US Hits Iran With Fresh Sanctions

© twinsterphoto / Adobe Stock

The United States on Tuesday blacklisted a Chinese company that makes elements for steel production, 12 Iranian steel and metals makers and three foreign-based sales agents of a major Iranian metals and mining holding company, seeking to deprive Iran of revenues as U.S. President Donald Trump's term winds down.In a statement, the U.S. Treasury Department named the China-based company as Kaifeng Pingmei New Carbon Materials Technology Co Ltd.

05 Jan 2021

Iran Denies Seized Korean Ship and Crew Are Being Held as Hostages

© Sergei Skriabin /

Iran denied on Tuesday it was using a South Korean ship and its crew as hostages, a day after it seized the tanker in the Gulf while pressing a demand for Seoul to release $7 billion in funds frozen under U.S. sanctions.The seizure of the MT Hankuk Chemi and its 20-member crew near the strategic Strait of Hormuz has been seen as an attempt by Tehran to assert its demands, just two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office in the United States.Iran wants Biden to lift sanctions imposed by outgoing President Donald Trump.

04 Jan 2021

S.Korea Reviewing Planned Diplomat Visit to Tehran After Tanker Seizure

© Rik van Marle /

South Korea's foreign ministry is reviewing whether a senior diplomat would be visiting Tehran on Sunday as planned, an official said, after Iranian forces seized a South Korean-flagged chemical tanker in Gulf waters and detained its crew.The incident comes amid tensions between Tehran and Seoul over Iranian funds frozen in South Korean banks due to U.S. sanctions. Iranian state TV cited a Tehran government official as saying Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun had been due to…

04 Jan 2021

Salvors Separate Stern Section from Capsized RoRo Golden Ray

(Photo: St. Simons Sound Incident Response Unified Command)

Salvage crews completed cutting operations to separate the stern section from the Golden Ray wreck in St. Simons Sound, Ga., on Saturday night, and the giant piece of the overturned car carrier will be craned onto a barge and hauled away for recycling.Once lifting preparations conclude, the Barge 455-8 will move into position to receive the separated hull section for transit out of the environmental protection barrier (EPB) surrounding the wreck to nearby Mayor’s Point Terminal for further sea-fastening before transport to Modern American Recycling Services (M.A.R.S.) in Gibson, La.

04 Jan 2021

US Calls for Iran to Release South Korean-flagged Tanker

© Sergei Skriabin /

The U.S. State Department called on Iran on Monday to immediately release a South Korean-flagged tanker that it seized in the Gulf and accused Tehran of threatening freedom of navigation as a way to extract relief from economic sanctions.“The (Iranian) regime continues to threaten navigational rights and freedoms in the Persian Gulf as part of a clear attempt to extort the international community into relieving the pressure of sanctions.

04 Jan 2021

HII Acquires Autonomy Business from Spatial Integrated Systems

Spatial Integrated Systems' unmanned systems solutions, including multi-vehicle collaborative autonomy, sensor fusion and perception, have been fielded for more than 6,000 hours on 23 vessel types. Image courtesy HII

In a move that further expands its unmanned systems capabilities, Huntington Ingalls Industries acquired the autonomy business of Spatial Integrated Systems Inc. (SIS) which has proven unmanned surface vessel (USV) solutions.SIS’s unmanned systems solutions — including multi-vehicle collaborative autonomy, sensor fusion and perception — have been fielded for more than 6,000 hours on 23 vessel types. They have supported multiple development projects and demonstrations advancing autonomy in unmanned systems in the maritime…

04 Jan 2021

UK Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group Reaches Initial Operating Capability

Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC).
Photo shows HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group at an exercise in October 2020: Photo by LPhot Belinda Alker

The UK Royal Navy’s new Carrier Strike Group has reached Initial Operating Capability (IOC), meaning all elements of the group from fighter jets to radar systems to anti-ship weapons have been successfully brought together and operated, the UK Ministry of Defence said in a statement on Monday.Both the air and naval elements of the CSG have now met this milestone, which includes qualified pilots and ground crews being held at short notice for carrier-based operations and trained to handle weapons and maintain the equipment…

31 Dec 2020

Alfa Laval's PureBallast 2.0 BWMS Gains US Type Approval

© Gudellaphoto / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Center issued a ballast water management system (BWMS) type approval certificate to Alfa Laval Tumba AB after a detailed review of the manufacturer’s type approval application determined the system met the requirements of 46 CFR 162.060.Most owners of Alfa Laval’s second-generation ballast water treatment systems can now opt to continue operating in U.S. waters, even when their Alternate Management System (AMS) approval expires.The PureBallast 2.0 system generation, launched a decade ago, was developed before the USCG presented its testing regime.

30 Dec 2020

71-year-old Tug Sinks off Puerto Rico

A raft adrift, December 24, 2020, south of Yabucoa Harbor, Puerto Rico. Sector San Juan watchstanders received a mayday call from the 112-foot tugboat Proassist III crew stating they were taking on water with three people aboard approximately two miles south of Yabucoa Harbor, P.R. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

Three people were rescued from a 71-year-old tugboat that sank south of Puerto Rico on Thursday.The U.S. Coast Guard said its watchstanders at Sector San Juan fielded a mayday call from the crew of the 112-foot U.S.-flagged tug Proassist III, stating they were taking on water approximately two miles south of Yabucoa Harbor.A good Samaritan embarked the three people from the 1949-built tug and took them ashore with no reported injuries.On Friday, a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen…

30 Dec 2020

Bollinger to Build Four More Fast Response Cutters for U.S. Coast Guard

Credit: Bollinger Shipyards

Bollinger Shipyards will build four more Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRC) for the United States Coast Guard after U.S. President Trump last Sunday signed into law the omnibus spending bill for Fiscal Year 2021, which included funding for four more such vessels.This increases the total number of funded boats to 64, Bollinger said.“It’s a great honor to have the confidence of the U.S. Congress to continue the work we’re doing in support of the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Bollinger Shipyards President & CEO Ben Bordelon.

28 Dec 2020

Strike Stymies more than 140 Grains Ships in Argentina

© andriano_cz/AdobeStock

Loading of more than 140 agricultural export ships in Argentina has been stalled by a port-side oilseed workers' strike that started on Dec. 9, the head of the local chamber of soymeal manufacturers said on Monday, on the eve of talks on a new contract.The CIARA-CEC chamber of soy byproduct manufacturers will meet on Tuesday with the two main unions representing oilseed workers to try and hammer out a 2021 compensation package."We seek an agreement with the unions that allows the efficient…

24 Dec 2020

Propulsion Profile: US Navy's Tier 4 Tugs

(Photo: Dakota Creek Industries)

Built by Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, Wash., the first of the U.S. Navy's new fleet of six YT 808-class tugs was delivered in October after completing the last construction phase. Measuring 90 feet long and 38 feet 3 inches wide, the YT 808 vessel is powered by twin Cat 3512E marine engines, each rated at 1,810 horsepower. The engines drive two Schottel SRP 340 fixed-pitch z-drive thrusters providing a top speed of 12.5 knots and an expected bollard pull of 40 metric tons.The new series of Robert Allan Ltd.-designed tugs are the Navy's first vessels built to meet the U.S.

23 Dec 2020

Bollinger Delivers USCGC Robert Goldman

(Photo: Bollinger Shipyards)

Bollinger Shipyards has delivered the USCGC Robert Goldman to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Fla. This is the 165th vessel Bollinger has delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 42nd Fast Response Cutter (FRC) delivered under the current program.The USCGC Robert Goldman is the second of six FRCs to be home-ported in Manama, Bahrain, which will replace the aging 110-foot Island Class Patrol Boats, built by Bollinger Shipyards 30 years ago, supporting the Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), the U.S.

23 Dec 2020

Wasted Words: Post-casualty Apologies Are ‘Sorry’ Excuses

© Steve / Adobe Stock

Vessel collisions on America’s busy inland waterways have been a fact of life for a very long time. With towboats, barges, ferries, oceangoing ships and recreational vessels all jockeying for position in limited space, collisions (and even more near misses) are inevitable.Most of these incidents involving professional mariners do not lead to suspension and revocation (S&R) proceedings against the involved USCG licensed mariners, but, depending on the human and/or financial costs associated with the collision…

23 Dec 2020

Elbit Systems to Buy Sparton for $380 Million

Kovalenko I - AdobeStock

Israel-based international defense electronics company Elbit Systems has signed an agreement to buy maritime defense contractor Sparton for $380 million. Elbit said Wednesday that its U.S. subsidiary Elbit Systems of America had signed a definitive agreement with an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. for the acquisition of Sparton. Sparton Parent, Inc.—formerly known as Striker Parent 2018—an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. bought Sparton in March 2019.The Elbit transaction is conditioned on various closing conditions, including receipt of U.S.

22 Dec 2020

Halter Marine, Gibbs & Cox Partner on US Navy's Large Unmanned Surface Vessel

Shipbuilder Halter Marine is teaming with naval architecture firm Gibbs & Cox, Inc., on the U.S. Navy’s contract to perform design studies for the development of the Large Unmanned Surface Vessel (LUSV). The LUSV studies contract has an anticipated completion date of August 2021 with an option for additional studies, which would extend the forecasted completion date to May 2022.The LUSV will be a high-endurance ship able to accommodate various payloads for unmanned missions to augment the Navy’s manned surface force, according to the Navy’s program summary. Plans call for a vessel about 200 to 300 feet long that can function either partially or completely autonomously."We are honored to be part of the Gibbs & Cox team participating in the Navy’s LUSV studies contract…

21 Dec 2020

Fincantieri Marine Systems Tallies MSC Contract

File photo: Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels, USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1), USNS Choctaw County (T-EPF 2) and USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4). (Photo: Brian Suriani / U.S. Navy)

Military Sealift Command (MSC) has awarded Fincantieri Marine Systems N.A. (FMSNA) an IDIQ contract to support the maintenance of the Ship Service Diesel Generators (SSDG) on the Expeditionary Fast Transport Vessels (EPF). The current contract is for a base year plus four option years, and should the options be exercised, will run through October of 2025.The Expeditionary Fast Transport Fleet consists of high-speed, shallow draft vessels intended for rapid intratheater transport of medium-sized cargo payloads.

21 Dec 2020

US Coast Guard Kicks Off Northeast Icebreaking Season

A U.S. Coast Guard boatcrew from Aids To Navigation Team Long Island Sound navigates the Connecticut River in support of Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters (RENEW) near Haddam, Conn., December 19, 2020. Operation RENEW is the Coast Guard's region-wide effort to ensure Northeast communities have the security, supplies, energy and emergency resources they need throughout the winter. (Photo: Katie Loudermilk / U.S. Coast Guard)

The U.S. Coast Guard has launched its icebreaking season, helping to maintain the flow of essential maritime commerce as as winter’s cold temperatures are anticipated to impact every port, waterway and harbor in the Northeast throughout the coming months.Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters (RENEW) is the Coast Guard's region-wide effort to ensure Northeast communities have the security, supplies, energy and emergency resources they need throughout the winter. Of all the heating oil used in the U.S.…

21 Dec 2020

China Says It Tailed a US Warship in the Taiwan Strait

USS Mustin (DDG 89) (Photo: Arthur Rosen / U.S. Navy)

China’s military tailed a U.S. warship as it passed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Saturday, the Chinese military said, denouncing such missions as sending “flirtatious glances” to supporters of Taiwan independence.China, which claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory, has been angered by stepped-up U.S. support for the island, including arms sales and sailing warships through the Taiwan Strait, further souring Beijing-Washington relations.The U.S. Navy said the guided missile destroyer USS Mustin had conducted “a routine Taiwan Strait transit (on) Dec.

17 Dec 2020

GE to Power the US Navy's Constellation-class Frigates

(Image: U.S. Navy)

GE Marine will provide gas turbine engines and associated equipment for the Navy’s Constellation-class frigates being designed and built by Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin.“GE Marine brings a proven and reliable gas turbine that integrates perfectly in our combined diesel electric and gas turbine (CODLAG) propulsion system,” said Dario Deste, President and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group. “Fincantieri has a decades-long relationship with GE, and we are proud to have these American-made gas engines on our U.S.

17 Dec 2020

US Navy Helps Small Companies Engage with Experimentation

Experimentation during exercises help evaluate the suitability for new technology into tactical operations. In this photo, an unmanned aerial vehicle launches from a tactical transport vehicle during the Ship-to-Shore Maneuver Exploration and Experimentation Advanced Naval Technology Exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. The exercise brought industry, academia and Navy researchers together to demonstrate emerging technology and engineering innovations. (U.S. Navy photo by Joh

The United States' Department of Navy (DoN) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Experimentation Cell (DoN SEC) connects SBIR innovators with the DoN experimentation community to deliver innovative solutions for the warfighter.“Our mission is to support the SBIR community from the first idea to experiment execution by offering beginning-to-end facilitation, mentoring, and training in all aspects of experimentation,” said Scott Bartlett, the DoN SEC program manager,Naval experimentation can validate or inform concepts of operations…

16 Dec 2020

Biden Introduces Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary

Pete Buttigieg (Credit: Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0)

President-elect Joe Biden touted the diversity of his incoming administration as he introduced former rival Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday as his choice for U.S. transportation secretary.Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, would be the first openly gay Cabinet secretary confirmed by the Senate if he is approved.Appearing with Buttigieg in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said the 38-year-old would confront the task of upgrading America’s aging infrastructure and restoring what he called “our crumbling roads…

15 Dec 2020

Video: Philly Shipyard Cuts Steel for First NSMV

(Image: MARAD)

Philly Shipyard held a steel cutting ceremony for the new National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV), the first of five planned purpose-built, state-of-the-art training vessel for America’s state maritime academies, marking a key milestone in one of the U.S.' most significant shipbuilding programs.“This new state-of-the-art modern school training ship will be a tremendous addition to the U. S. Flag fleet, be available to respond to disaster relief efforts, and support about 1,200 jobs in Philly Shipyard,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L.

14 Dec 2020

Taiwan Commissions New Coast Guard Ships

© bilalulker / Adobe Stock

Taiwan commissioned the first of a new fleet of coastguard ships on Friday, an advanced catamaran that can be armed with missiles during war, as the island bolsters its defenses in the face of what it sees as a growing threat from Beijing.President Tsai Ing-wen has made military modernization a priority for the Chinese-claimed island. Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control.Attending the commissioning of the domestically made, T$1.05 billion ($37.30 million) Anping in the southern city of Kaohsiung…

14 Dec 2020

Navy Ends Search for Man Overboard from USS Theodore Roosevelt

Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) (Photo: Clayton Kimbrough / U.S. Navy)

The U.S. Navy called off its search for a sailor missing from aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) after the crewmember reportedly fell overboard off the coast of Southern California.Search and rescue efforts ended at sunset Saturday after Theodore Roosevelt, USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Russell (DDG 59), USS Howard (DDG 83), USS Charleston (LCS 18), USS Portland (LPD 27) the U.S. Coast Guard and both fixed and rotary wing air assets searched more than 607 square nautical miles for more than 55 hours…

10 Dec 2020

US, UK Tighten Navy Partnership

The British Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) steams alongside the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) in 2018. (Photo: John Philip Wagner, Jr. / U.S. Navy)

The United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and the United States Navy announced a new partnership to accelerate the adoption of novel ideas and technologies, marking a unique chapter in the historic relationship between the two nations.A newly established London Tech Bridge—with both nations as full partners—will serve as a command post for innovation for the two Navies as they work toward interchangeability in everything from technology development to deployment and operations.Royal Navy Second Sea Lord Vice Adm. Nick Hine, and the Hon. James “Hondo” Geurts, U.S.

10 Dec 2020

Port of Gdynia Seeking Partner for Outer Port Development Project

Credit: Port of Gdynia Authority

The Port of Gdynia Authority (PGA) in Poland has recently launched a formal procedure to select a private partner for the construction of the outer port in the Port of Gdynia.The project is a strategic investment of the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A., and is enlisted in the Polish government’s Seaports Development Program. The outer port development project, which is being prepared as a public-private partnership, consists of the construction of a new deep-water container terminal with an annual transshipment capacity of 2.5 million TEU.

10 Dec 2020

Top Maritime Trends 2020: Owners and Operators can Do the Right Thing for Seafarers

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Due to a confluence of factors, COVID-19 has adversely impacted merchant mariners more than virtually any other profession. The merchant marine is an international profession from a wide variety of countries, so there is no one nation standing up to represent them.The ships on which they sail are registered in numerous nations, heavily weighted toward small countries with limited influence on the world stage. The ports at which the vessels call tend to be more concerned about the health of the local community than the welfare of seafarers…

09 Dec 2020

US Maritime Industry Seeks $3.5 Billion in COVID-19 Relief

© Natalia Bratslavsky / Adobe Stock

In a joint plea to Congressional leadership and Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin this week a host of maritime transportation entities asked that $3.5 billion in COVID-19 relief funding be made available for the U.S. maritime transportation sector, citing “significant hardships” and “unique and unexpected challenges” posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.The letters ask Congress and the Administration to take immediate action to provide the whole of the maritime transportation system…

09 Dec 2020

Austal USA Delivers the Future USS Mobile

(Photo: Austal USA)

Mobile, Ala. shipbuilder Austal USA said Wednesday it has delivered the future USS Mobile, the 13th Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) for the U.S. Navy.Mobile (LCS 26) is one of 16 ships Austal has delivered to the Navy over the last five years, including four deliveries in 2020.“We’re especially excited for Mobile to join the fleet to pay tribute to a great community which has contributed to our success in so many ways over the years,” Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said.

08 Dec 2020

Bulker Rescues Sailors Caught in Rough Seas

A sailboat became disabled after it was caught in rough weather 345 miles from North Carolina. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

A bulk carrier rescued two people from a sailboat disabled by rough weather approximately 345 miles east of Hatteras Inlet, N.C., Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.Watchstanders at the Coast Guard’s 5th District Command Center received notification from the International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center at approximately 9:30 a.m. that a GPS alert had been received from a vessel in distress. The alert also stated that the vessel was experiencing severe weather and that both…

08 Dec 2020

US Targets Coal Shipments in Fresh N. Korea-related Sanctions

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The United States imposed new sanctions on six groups and four vessels related to the transport of North Korean coal on Thursday, including operations based in China, the Treasury Department said on Tuesday."The DPRK (North Korea) continues to circumvent the U.N. prohibition on the exportation of coal, a key revenue generator that helps fund its weapons of mass destruction programs," Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

08 Dec 2020

France's Next-generation Aircraft Carrier Will Be Nuclear-powered

(Image: Naval Group)

France's next-generation aircraft carrier will be nuclear-powered and replace the national fleet's flagship warship, the Charles de Gaulle, in 2038, President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.The 11th carrier-vessel in the French Navy's history will be built by French defense contractor Naval Group and equipped with the new electromagnetic aircraft launch system developed by U.S. company General Atomics, French officials said.The carrier will be 300 meters long and have a deadweight of 75,000 tons.

08 Dec 2020

Austal Launches First of Two Patrol Boats for Trinidad and Tobago

(Photo: Austal)

Shipbuilder Austal Australia has launched the first of two Cape-class Patrol Boats for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG), under construction at the company’s Henderson, Western Australia shipyard.Under a A$126 million contract awarded by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT), Austal is constructing two 58 meter Cape-class Patrol Boats for the TTCG, scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2021.“With 10 vessels already in operation with the Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy…

07 Dec 2020

Car Carrier Crewman Medevaced off Hawaii

Coast Guard air crew prepare to conduct a medevac of a mariner 100 miles northwest of Oahu, December 4, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Air Station Barbers Point)

An ailing seafarer was medevaced from a 650-foot car carrier vessel, 100 miles northwest of Honolulu, Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.At 9 p.m., Thursday, the Cayman Islands-flagged Brilliant Ace notified Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) watchstanders in Honolulu that a 50-year-old crewmember on board appeared to be suffering from his medications not working.Duty flight surgeons from the Coast Guard were consulted and recommended a medevac based on the concern that the mariner’s condition could rapidly deteriorate if left untreated.

07 Dec 2020

Paramount Launches another Boat for S. African Navy

Photo: Paramount Maritime

Paramount Maritime launched its second of three next-generation Survey Motor Boats (SMBs) for the South African Navy in a move that will enhance the capabilities and infrastructure of the South African Navy Hydrographic Office (SANHO). This follows the launch of the first Survey Motor Boat to the South African Navy in August 2020.Veecraft Marine, a subsidiary of Paramount Maritime, had been tasked with the design and manufacture of the three Survey Motor Boats, all of which having taken place in their shipyard in Cape Town…

07 Dec 2020

Vestdavit wins Contract to Supply on new USCG Icebreaker

Artist rendering of the Halter Marine Polar Security Cutter design (image courtesy of Halter Marine / Technology Associates, Inc.

Vestdavit won a tender with Pascagoula, Miss. shipbuilder Halter Marine to supply marine davits for the U.S. Coast Guard’s new Polar Security Cutter (PSC). The 460-foot vessel will support U.S. operations in Arctic and Antarctic waters.Two HNFE-5000 davit systems from Vestdavit will launch and recover the Coast Guard’s ‘Over the Horizon’ rigid-hull inflatable boat, designed to intercept fast and non-compliant vessels, from the PSC’s enclosed bay. The lead PSC is scheduled to be delivered to the Coast Guard in 2024.“The PSC is a robust…

03 Dec 2020

US Axes Environmental Reviews of LNG Marine Transport

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday issued a rule to exclude environmental reviews for marine transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG), as the Trump administration unleashes last minute rules supporting the fossil fuel industry.The rule, which the Energy Department issued in a pre-publication notice in the Federal Register, frees LNG transport license applications from including environmental reviews that have been required under a bedrock environmental law, the National…

03 Dec 2020

US Coast Guard Surf Boats: Service Life Extension

(Photo: Birdon America)

Since the days of wooden hulls and human power, lifeboat crews have put to sea through dangerous surf to save the lives of their fellow seamen. The first engine powered boats allowed decks and cabins that afforded a greater level of safety. When the U.S. Coast Guard developed its 47-foot surf boat in the late 1990s, a whole new standard for lifeboats was set.Designated 47-foot MLB, these all-aluminum craft demonstrated spectacular performance. Capable of handling 60-knots winds…

02 Dec 2020

Streamlining and Simplifying US Government Guaranteed Vessel Financing

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The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has taken several steps to streamline and simplify the Federal Ship Financing Program under Chapter 537 of Title 46 of the U.S. Code (commonly referred to as Title XI). The Title XI program provides for a full faith and credit guarantee by the United States government to promote the growth and modernization of the U.S. merchant marine and U.S. shipyards. The Title XI Program supports U.S. shipowners obtaining new vessels from, or reconstructing and reconditioning vessels in, U.S. shipyards. It also aids U.S.

02 Dec 2020

Israel Receives Its Most Advanced Warship as Iran Tensions Rise

(Photo: Israeli Navy)

Israel received its most advanced warship on Wednesday, describing the German-made vessel dubbed "Shield" as a bulwark for vulnerable Mediterranean gas rigs as tensions with Tehran soar over the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist.The Saar-6 corvette that docked in Haifa port, and three of the same model to follow next year, will bring to 15 the number of missile boats deployed by an Israeli navy which, while small, carries out missions as far away as the Red Sea and the Gulf.Israel also wants to protect off-shore natural gas fields close to Lebanon…

01 Dec 2020

Fire-stricken Warship USS Bonhomme Richard to Be Scrapped

On July 12, a fire was called away aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard while it was moored pierside for a maintenance availability at Naval Base San Diego. (Photo: Garrett LaBarge / U.S. Navy)

The U.S. Navy announced it will scrap the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), forgoing repairs to the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship that was ravaged by a major fire in San Diego in July."We did not come to this decision lightly," said Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. "Following an extensive material assessment in which various courses of action were considered and evaluated, we came to the conclusion that it is not fiscally responsible to restore her."Although it saddens me that it is not cost effective to bring her back…

29 Nov 2020

Containership Rescues Man Clinging to Capsized Boat

A missing boater was found clinging to the hull of his capsized vessel. (Photo credit: a crew member aboard containership Angeles via U.S. Coast Guard)

A containership rescued a boater clinging to the hull of his capsized vessel approximately 86 miles east of Port Canaveral, Fla., Sunday.Stuart Bee departed Cape Marina in Port Canaveral on Friday and was reported missing Saturday after he did not return from his day trip. A marina member contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville at 11:40 a.m., Saturday stating that 62-year-old Bee typically does not stay out overnight on his 32-foot boat Stingray.Watchstanders…

25 Nov 2020

Three Rescued from Barge After Tug Sinks off Rhode Island

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued three mariners from a disabled 108-foot barge off Point Judith, R.I., November 25, 2020. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

Three mariners were rescued from a disabled barge Wednesday after their tug sank off the coast of Point Judith, R.I.At 8:17 a.m., watchstanders at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England, in Woods Hole, Mass., received a call via VHF Channel 16 from the tug Warthog, reporting their vessel was taking on water, and had a barge in tow. A Coast Guard Station Point Judith 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew immediately launched to assist, and when they arrived on scene, the tug was completely submerged, and all three Warthog crewmembers were on the 108-foot barge.

25 Nov 2020

FMC Raises the Monitoring Report Requirements for Global Carrier Alliances

FMC Chairman Michael Khouri. Photo: FMC

Pursuant to direction from FMC Chairman Michael Khouri, the Federal Maritime Commission has issued letters to the three global carrier alliances (2M, THE, and OCEAN) requiring that certain carrier-specific trade data currently filed with the Commission quarterly, must now be submitted on a monthly basis.The Commission’s Bureau of Trade Analysis (BTA) has traditionally relied on a combination of individual vessel operator confidentially provided data and information from commercially available industry data to monitor and analyze container carrier freight rates and service market trends.

25 Nov 2020

Eight Dead, More Missing as Boat Capsizes Off Canary Islands

© Peter Hermes Furian/AdobeStock

At least eight people were drowned after a boat carrying more than 35 migrants from the Maghreb region of North Africa and heading towards the Canary Islands capsized on Tuesday, emergency services said on Wednesday.Four people were found dead late on Tuesday and another four bodies were rescued on Wednesday morning. The emergency services said they were searching for any more missing persons.One of the 28 migrants rescued had to be transferred to a hospital.A Reuters reporter…

24 Nov 2020

BAE Systems Wins $197 Million Contract for USS Wasp Modernization

Amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) (File photo: Taylor King / U.S. Navy)

BAE Systems said Tuesday it has received a $197.4 million contract from the U.S. Navy to drydock and perform maintenance and modernization work aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). This is the second time in four years that the company has performed significant work on board the Wasp to sustain its warfighting capability.Under the new contract, BAE Systems’ Norfolk, Va. shipyard will begin working aboard the 843-foot-long USS Wasp in February 2021, performing hull, tank and mechanical work.

24 Nov 2020

Newport News Shipbuilding to Build Columbia Class Submarine Modules

HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division (Photo: Ashley Cowan / HII)

America’s largest military shipbuilder announced Tuesday that its Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division has been awarded a contract modification from General Dynamics Electric Boat in support of construction on the first two Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines.The contract modification, valued at approximately $2.2 billion, provides continued design support efforts, as well as the construction and delivery of six module sections for each of the first two Columbia-class submarines, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) said.As part of the contract, the Newport News, Va.

24 Nov 2020

Interview: Rear Admiral John Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, US Navy

“The ocean is critical to National and Global Security. Back in the early 90’s the ocean wasn’t contested, the U.S. was the most powerful Navy and we had freedom of movement, anytime, anywhere,” said RDML Okon. “Now, while we are still the most powerful Navy in the world, near peer competitors are racing to close that gap." Photo: U.S. Navy

Insights on technology advances with Rear Admiral John Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command.Rear Admiral Okon never started out to have a career in Oceanography, rather in Broadcast Meteorology. “At NY Maritime College, I studied both Meteorology and Oceanography and became equally passionate about Oceanography. Thanks to the U.S. Navy, we have a career field in both.”By its very nature, the U.S. Navy operates in one of the most discussed and disected environments on earth, the oceans.“The ocean is critical to National and Global Security.

20 Nov 2020

Iran Says It Has an 'Aircraft Carrier'

(Photo: IRNA)

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have added a warship capable of carrying aircraft, missile launchers and drones to its naval fleet, state media said on Thursday, at a time of high tension between Tehran and Washington.Antagonism between longtime foes Tehran and Washington has risen since 2018, when President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.A U.S. official told Reuters on Monday that Trump…

20 Nov 2020

UK PM Johnson Outlines Plans to Build Europe's Most Powerful Navy

© Wojciech Wrzesień / Adobe Stock

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to restore Britain’s navy to its position as Europe’s most powerful maritime force on Thursday, highlighting that shipbuilding could also help heal divisions between the four nations of the United Kingdom.With repeated polls suggesting most people in Scotland now support independence, Johnson was keen to press the case for how England and Scotland can work together.He announced plans for 13 more frigates as well as committing to a new generation of warships…

20 Nov 2020

Thyssenkrupp Expects Consolidation in European Warship Sector

Illustration - © thyssenkrupp AG

Thyssenkrupp is in intense discussions with European peers about consolidation in the warship sector, Chief Executive Martina Merz told analysts on Thursday.Thyssenkrupp has said that it is exploring partnerships for its Marine Systems division, which builds frigates and submarines, and Merz said developing the unit as a standalone business within the group was not the most likely scenario.Sources said earlier this year that Thyssenkrupp was in talks with Italy's Fincantieri about a possible tie-up and there is regular speculation about France's Naval Group as a potential partner.

18 Nov 2020

Coast Guard Cutter Returns Home After Crew Tests Positive for COVID-19

File photo: U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) (Photo: Matthew S. Masaschi / U.S. Coast Guard)

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter's patrol in the Eastern Pacific has been cut short following a coronavirus outbreak on board, the Coast Guard said Wednesday.Legend-class cutter Stratton (WMSL-752) returned to its homeport Wednesday at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, Calif. after 11 crew members tested positive for COVID-19 during the deployment.The affected crew members reported mild symptoms and are receiving medical care.The cutter was met by Coast Guard medical staff, who conducted testing of the entire crew.

18 Nov 2020

Kongsberg Propellers for Spanish Navy Frigates

Credit: Kongsberg Maritime

Norwegian maritime equipment and systems provider Kongsberg Maritime has won a contract to deliver propeller systems for five F110 frigates, currently in construction for the Spanish Navy. The contract, with the Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, is worth NOK 200 million (22,1 million).Destined for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations, each vessel will be fitted with twin Kongsberg Kamewa Controllable Pitch Propeller (CPP) systems, developed for minimum noise and vibration throughout the system…

17 Nov 2020

Japan, Australia Reach Security Pact Amid Fears Over Disputed South China Sea

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) in the South China Sea for multinational exercises, Oct. 19. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Japan and Australia agreed on a breakthrough defense pact on Tuesday allowing reciprocal visits for training and operations, and voiced concern over the disputed South China Sea, where China is extending its military influence.It is Japan's first agreement covering foreign military presence on its soil since a status of forces agreement in 1960 that allowed the United States to base warships, jets and troops in Japan as part of an alliance that Washington describes as the bedrock of regional security.The Reciprocal Access Agreement strengthens defense ties between the two U.S.

17 Nov 2020

Partially Sunken Tug Leaking Oil in St. Croix

Coast Guard pollution response personnel from Resident Inspection Office St Croix assess the pollution threat from the partially sunken tugboat Cape Lookout Nov. 13, 2020, which partially sank at the St. Croix Renaissance Group facility within Krause Lagoon in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. (U.S. Coast Guard photos)

An abandoned, partially sunken tugboat is actively discharging oil within Krause Lagoon in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, the U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday.The amount of oil discharged from the tug Cape Lookout remains unknown, while the maximum potential discharge based on the size of the vessel fuel and lube oil tanks is approximately 48,000 gallons of fuel and 2,000 gallons of lube oil, the Coast Guard said, adding it is unknown how full both tanks are at this time.“Due to the immediate pollution threat this vessel represents to the environment and surrounding area…

16 Nov 2020

Tanker Captain Medevaced Off Texas

A Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin helicopter responds to a medevac request near Christi, Texas, November 16, 2020. The mariner was transferred to awaiting emergency medical services personnel at the CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Shoreline and was reported to be in stable condition. (U.S Coast Guard photo)

The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced an unresponsive tanker captain nine miles offshore Corpus Christi, Texas, Monday afternoon.Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi watchstanders received a call from a crewmember aboard the Norwegian-fagged liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier Hoegh Galleon stating that the captain of the vessel had collapsed and was unresponsive. Watchstanders consulted with the duty flight surgeon who recommended the medevac.A Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was launched to the scene.Once on scene…

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…

13 Nov 2020

Pakistan Navy Commissions New Corvette

PNS Tabuk during sea trials (Photo: Damen)

The Pakistan Navy commissioned its new Corvette PNS Tabuk at the Port of Constanta, Romania, on Thursday.The ship, a Damen OPV 1900, is part of a two vessel order with Damen, signed by the Pakistan Ministry of Defense in 2017. Both ships are built at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania. The first vessel, PNS Yarmook, joined the Pakistan Navy’s fleet in February this year.Like her sister vessel, PNS Tabuk is a multipurpose, highly adaptable platform, capable of performing a wide variety of operations in a complex maritime environment.

12 Nov 2020

French and Japanese Warships Aid Injured Mariner

(Photo: Combined Maritime Forces)

Two warships came to the aid of an injured seafarer on board the Indian-flagged merchant tanker Lourdes off the coast of Oman in the early hours on Monday.French frigate Jean Bart and Japanese destroyer Ariake were called to conduct the emergency operation, which saw medical personnel from both vessels assist an Indian patient who had a suspected head injury.At 0100Z (0400 local time), a Japanese medic provided immediate assistance on board MV Lourdes, before coordinating with…

12 Nov 2020

"Made in India": Indian Shipyard Launches Scorpene Submarine Vagir

INS Vagir is the fifth P75
Scorpene submarine entirely built by the Indian shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL). Photo: Naval Group

INS Vagir is the fifth P75 Scorpene submarine entirely built by the Indian shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) based on technology transfer and partnership with Naval Group.After recent commissioning of INS Khanderi in September 2019 and the launch of the INS Vela in May 2019, Vagir is the fifth of the series of six Kalvari-class submarines ordered by India in 2005, to be launched.The submarines have been completely built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) through a transfer of technology from Naval Group, in line with Indian Government’s “Make in India” policy.

11 Nov 2020

Autonomous Offshore Power Trials Get Underway off Hawaii

Image Courtesy Columbia Power Technologies

With the advent of autonomy on and under the water, part of the value proposition is the ability to stay at sea, on station, to exponentially increase efficiencies. Have the ability to repower at sea is central to this effort, as an increasing number of companies work to solve the inherent technical and logistic problems.Columbia Power Technologies (C-Power) is commencing a six-month sea trial to test and validate its SeaRAY autonomous offshore power system (AOPS), in partnership with a pair of powerhouses: the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. NavyInitially conceived during a U.S.

10 Nov 2020

GPS Unreliability

© Yuriy/AdobeStock

The Global Positioning System (GPS) has become vital to the maritime community. Proper use of properly functioning equipment can allow ships to safely navigate worldwide. It’s signals are now integrated into a variety of shipboard items, including the automatic identification system (AIS) and the electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS). It has been copied by Russia’s GLONASS, Europe’s GALILEO, China’s BeiDou, India’s IRNSS, and Japan’s QZSS. Originally developed for the US Navy for ship positioning and navigation…

10 Nov 2020

Ingalls Delivers National Security Cutter Stone

National Security Cutter Stone (WMSL 758) sails in the Gulf of Mexico during builder’s sea trials earlier this year. (Photo by Lance Davis / HII)

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has delivered National Security Cutter Stone (WMSL 758) to the U.S. Coast Guard.Documents signed Monday mark the official transfer of custody of the ship from HII to the Coast Guard. Stone is scheduled to sail away from the Pascagoula, Miss. shipyard at the end of this year to its homeport in Charleston, S.C.The Legend-class NSC is the most technologically advanced ship in the Coast Guard’s fleet, which enables it to meet the high demands required for maritime and homeland security…

10 Nov 2020

Fairbanks Morse to Power US Navy Warship LHA-9

The Ingalls-built amphibious assault ship Tripoli (LHA 7) (Photo: Derek Fountain / HII)

Power solutions provider Fairbanks Morse announced Tuesday that it will supply the ship service diesel generator (SSDG) sets for the electric power generation system aboard the U.S. Navy’s newest America class amphibious assault warship LHA-9.Construction of the SSDGs will begin in 2021 and delivery to the shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. will start in 2023, the manufacturer said.The Landing Helicopter Assault (LHA) ships, the largest of all amphibious warfare ships…

10 Nov 2020

Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg Tech: RDT&E's Annual Arctic Technology Evaluation

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Campbell underway during their Arctic deployment off Greenland's western coast. U.S. Coast Guard photos by SN Kate Kilroy

The Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) teamed up with Coast Guard Cutter Campbell’s crew this summer to evaluate five technologies as part of the RDC’s annual Arctic Technology Evaluation. The Campbell crew conducted the evaluations during their two-month deployment supporting joint Arctic operations off Greenland’s western coast, returning to their Kittery, Maine, homeport on Sept. 29, 2020.“Testing various technologies by cutter crews for operation in cold and Arctic environments provides highlights on what works and what may need improvement…

10 Nov 2020

Gulf Copper Wins USNS Comfort Maintenance Work

USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) (File photo: Ernest R. Scott / U.S. Navy)

Gulf Copper and Manufacturing has been awarded a firm-fixed contract for a value is $7.49 million, including options, from Military Sealift Command for the mid-term availability repair on the hospital ship USNS Comfort.The work will be performed pier side in Norfolk, Va. commencing in February 2021.USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) is an 894-foot U.S. Navy Mercy class hospital ship used to provide on-site emergency and medical care for American combat forces as well as for disaster and humanitarian relief efforts.

09 Nov 2020

Working Out the Election’s Impact on the US Workboat Industry

© Matthew / Adobe Stock

By the time this article is published, voting will have concluded in the 2020 United States presidential election. Based on the possibility of legal challenges to the election, however, it may be some time before we know who will be occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20, 2021. Additional uncertainty may linger with regard to control of the Senate. However, beyond the general spectacle of American politics, an important question remains: What does this election mean for the U.S.

05 Nov 2020

Video: Bulker Crewmember Medevaced Off San Diego

A crew member was medevaced from the bulk carrier Jal Kamadhenu roughly 250 miles off the U.S. West Coast (Image: U.S. Coast Guard)

An ailing mariner was medevaced Thursday from a bulk carrier more than 250 miles west of San Diego, the U.S. Coast Guard said.On Wednesday night, watchstanders at 11th Coast Guard District command center received a request for assistance from the Panamanian-flagged bulker Jal Kamadhenu, which reported a 55-year-old crewman on board was displaying symptoms of a possible heart attack or stroke.A Coast Guard Sector San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter launched on Thursday morning with…

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