Hollande, Sissi Agree on Mistral Warships Deal
French President Francois Hollande and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi have agreed on the purchase by Egypt of the two French Mistral helicopter carriers whose planned sale to Russia was cancelled. "They agreed on the principle and the terms of the acquisition by Egypt of the two" Mistral warships, Hollande's office said in a statement on Wednesday. France, whose navy already operates three of the Mistral helicopter carriers, has no use for the ships, whose sale to Russia was scrapped due to the Ukraine crisis. Reporting by James Regan
Russia May Sue France Over Non-delivery of Warships
Russia will take France to court within six months over its failure to deliver the first of two Mistral-class warships to the Russian navy, the Russian Defense Minister has said. “There is a contract, so everything must be strictly complied with,” Sergei Shoigu said. The dates there are split into three parts. The first one is in January, and it has already been done. It was an explanation why [the contract has not been fulfilled]. The other dates are three and six months, he added. The Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation issued a warning notice to France on Jan.
Russia Says France's Halt to Supply Navy Ship No Tragedy
Russia's Defence Ministry said on Wednesday France's decision to suspend delivery of a helicopter carrier to Russia over the crisis in Ukraine would not hurt its military modernization and reform plans, Itar-Tass news agency reported. "Although of course it is unpleasant and adds to certain tensions in relations with our French partners, the cancelling of this contracts will not be a tragedy for our modernization (of the army)," Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov told the agency. (Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel, Editing by Timothy Herifrtage)
Mistral Deal - A Storm Brewing at Sea
While France is seeking a way to cancel its contract to deliver two helicopter carriers to the Russian navy, Russia wants 1.163 billion euros ($1.32 billion) from France in compensation for nixing the deal. President Francois Hollande is under pressure from Western allies to scrap the deal because of Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis. France has offered Russia its terms to scrap a contentious contract to supply two warships that was suspended due to the Ukraine crisis, but Moscow judged the sum as unacceptable.
Egypt, Other Countries Interested in French Mistral Warships
About 10 countries, including Egypt, are interested in buying two French helicopter carriers whose planned sale to Russia has been cancelled due to the Ukraine crisis, a source familiar with the situation said. A second source, a French diplomatic source, said that other countries interested include Brazil, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Canada, which could be the most suitable candidate for the ships because they were designed for cold waters. France, whose navy already operates three of the Mistral helicopter carrier warships, has no use for the two ships and will have to pay Russia nearly 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) for cancelling the contract. The first source also said that Egypt is negotiating the possible exercise of its option to buy two Gowind corvettes.
HMS Illustrious Decommissioned
HMS Illustrious – the last of the Royal Navy’s Invincible-class aircraft carriers – was decommissioned at Portsmouth Naval Base today, marking the end of her 32-year career. The ship’s White Ensign was lowered for the final time during the decommissioning ceremony in front of hundreds of guests, ending an era which began with the launch of her sister ship HMS Invincible in 1977. Illustrious is being replaced as the nation’s helicopter carrier by HMS Ocean which has just undergone a £65m refit.
Helicopter Carrier Delivered to the Egyptian Navy
French industrial group DCNS has delivered LHD (Landing Helicopter Dock) Anwar El Sadat, the second of two helicopter carriers acquired by the Arab Republic of Egypt. The flag transfer ceremony took place September 16, 2016 in the presence of the two Chiefs of Staff of the Egyptian and French navies, Admiral Rabie and Admiral Prazuck, the chairman and CEO of DCNS, Hervé Guillou, and the president of STX France, Laurent Castaing, together with senior French and Egyptian officials.
France Negotiating With Egypt over Helo Carriers
Two Mistrals were originally destined for Russia. France is in talks to sell two Mistral helicopter carriers to Egypt after their sale to Russia was cancelled earlier this month, two sources close to the matter said on Wednesday. Cairo has sought to boost its military power in the face of a two-year-old insurgency based across the Suez Canal in the Sinai peninsula and fears the crisis in neighbouring Libya could spill over. Egypt's allies are also keen to burnish its image in a region beset by turmoil. A sale would also fit into France's recent strategy of favouring predominantly Sunni Arab nations, both politically and commercially, over their Shi'ite rival Iran.
Russian navy to add three landing vessels in 2015
The Russian navy will add three new large landing ships next year to the 19 already in service, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted as saying on Tuesday. The Russian navy is under scrutiny during a widening international crisis over Crimea, a region with an ethnic Russian majority in Ukraine which Moscow has effectively wrestled from Kiev in recent days, causing outrage in the West. President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops involved in a military exercise in central and western Ukraine back to base, a move that appeared intended to help ease tension. But the timing of Shoigu's comments signalled Moscow was still flexing its muscles, underlining Moscow's commitment to building up its armed forces in coming years. Russia's Black Sea Fleet has a base in Crimea.
France Sets Terms for Warship Delivery to Russia
French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that a ceasefire and a political settlement in Ukraine were conditions for France to deliver a warship it has built for Russia. Hollande told reporters on the sidelines of a NATO summit that the contract to supply two Mistral-class helicopter carriers was neither cancelled nor suspended, but the conditions for delivering the first ship - due in October - were not ripe. "What are the conditions? A ceasefire and a political settlement," he said. If there were further complications, delivery would be delayed but the contract would not be suspended, he added. France has come under strong public pressure from the United States and European partners to scrap the deal, signed under former President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2011.
Cameron Questions France's Sale of Warships to Russia
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday questioned France's plan to sell Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, saying fulfilling such an order would be unthinkable in Britain after the downing of the Malaysian Airlines plane in Ukraine. When asked about France's plan to press ahead with a 1.2 billion-euro ($1.66 billion) contract to sell the ships to Russia, Cameron said: "Frankly in this country it would be unthinkable to fulfil an order like the one outstanding that the French have. "But we need to put the pressure on with all our partners to say that we cannot go on doing business as usual with a country when it is behaving in this way." (Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and William James; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
STX France to Build Helicopter Carriers for Russia
The signature of a contract for two Mistral class helicopter carriers (LHDs), and associated services, between DCNS and the Russian defence export agency Rosoboronexport took place in St. Petersburg on June 17, 2011. STX France will undertake the construction of the ships at its Saint-Nazaire shipyard under a subcontract with DCNS. The Russian shipbuilder OSK will provide part of the hull of both ships. The first ship will be delivered to Russia in 2014 and the second LHD will be delivered in 2015. The vessels will have a length of 199 meters, a displacement of 22,000 tons and a speed in excess of 18 knots. Previously, STX France and DCNS have built three Mistral class LHDs for the French Navy. Mistral and Tonnerre were delivered to the French Navy in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
Japan's Navy Unveils De-Facto Aircraft Carrier
Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) took delivery of its biggest warship Izumo, since World War II, a vessel that observers say is a "de-facto aircraft carrier". The 19,500-ton destroyer Izumo, measuring 248 meters long and 38 meters wide, allows five helicopters to take off and land simultaneously. It can also load MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft to be purchased by the Ground Self-Defense Force, Japan's Kyodo News reported. The Izumo was indigenously constructed at a shipyard in Yokohama, near Tokyo, at a cost of around $1.5 billion.
MALABAR - 2017 Commences in Bay of Bengal
Naval cooperation between India, US and Japan epitomises the strong and resilient relationship between the three democracies. The MALABAR series of exercises, initiated in 1992 between the Indian and US Navies, have steadily grown in scope, complexity and participation into a multifaceted exercise with the participation of Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF). The 21st edition of the exercise, MALABAR-17 will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 10 to 17 July 2017. The…
UK 'Floating Warehouse' Still Active in Philippine Relief
The Royal Navy’s amphibious aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious arrived in the Philippines on 25 November, 2013, after a short stop in Singapore to load up 500 tonnes of humanitarian aid under the direction of the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Teams of personnel have been working 24-hours-a-day in her hangar to sort and pack the much needed supplies, ready for distribution ashore, and the flight deck has been operating constantly since the 23,000-tonne ship arrived.
Japan Considers Refitting Its Largest Warship
Japan is considering refitting the Izumo helicopter carrier so that it can land U.S. Marines F-35B stealth fighters, government sources said on Tuesday, as Tokyo faces China’s maritime expansion and North Korea’s missile and nuclear development. Japan has not had fully fledged aircraft carriers since its World War Two defeat in 1945. Any refit of the Izumo would be aimed at preparing for a scenario in which runways in Japan had been destroyed by missile attacks, and at bolstering defense around Japan’s southwestern islands, where China’s maritime activity has increased.
Piracy – EU Naval Force Extends Mission, Sends Ships
The decision to extend the mission will enable Operation Atalanta Forces to work directly with the Transitional Federal Government and other Somali entities to support their fight against piracy in the coastal areas. In accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Somali government has notified the UN Secretary General of its acceptance of the EU’s offer for this new collaboration. The EUNAVFOR fleet which normally includes between 4 and 7 warships will be joined by two French Navy vessels.
Coast Guard Medevacs Tanker Crewman with Severed Finger
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew medevaced a man Wednesday afternoon from the 392-foot Maltese-flagged tank ship Emek-S, approximately 28 nautical miles southwest of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a call from the captain of the Emek-S at 3:08 p.m. stating that a crewmember, who was a Turkish citizen, had lost part of his left hand's middle finger two hours earlier. The watchstanders notified the Air Station Borinquen flight surgeon…
China Says Hopes New Japanese Carrier Doesn't Mark Return to Militarism
China said on Thursday that it hoped the entry into service of Japan's second big helicopter carrier, the Kaga, did not mean a return to the country's past militaristic history. The ship, along with its sister the Izumo, gives Japan's military greater ability to deploy beyond its shores as it pushes back against China's growing influence in Asia. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that in recent years Japan had exaggerated the "China threat" as an excuse to expand its military. "I also want to say that the Kaga was sunk by the U.S. military in World War Two. Japan should learn the lessons of history," Hua told a daily news briefing.
U.S. Navy Carrier Drills with Japanese Navy
The U.S. Navy carrier Ronald Reagan is conducting drills with Japanese warships in seas south of the Korean peninsula, Japan's military said on Friday, in a show of naval power as Pyongyang threatens further nuclear and missile tests. The Reagan strike group will conduct a separate drill with the South Korean Navy in October, the defence ministry said in a statement distributed to South Korean lawmakers on Monday. The 100,000-ton Reagan, which is based in Japan, and its escort…
Intersleek 900 for UK Navy’s Flagship
The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has returned to International Paint for more of the latest fuel saving technology, Intersleek 900, for the hull of the UK Navy’s flagship HMS Ark Royal. She is the latest UK MoD vessel to benefit from Intersleek foul release coatings which can cut fuel consumption and reduce emissions. As part of the Ark Royal’s Contractor Support Period at Portsmouth Naval Dockyard in the UK, the 20,600 ton Invincible Class aircraft carrier has had her underwater hull coated with our premium fluoropolymer foul release coating…
GE To Supply Gas Turbines for Royal Norwegian Navy
GE Marine Engines reported that its LM2500 aeroderivative gas turbine will power five new Royal Norwegian Navy F310-class frigates. IZAR Construcciones Navales, S.A., will build the frigates at its naval shipyard in Ferrol, Spain. This is the first naval Combined Diesel And Gas Turbine (CODAG) configuration to be installed by IZAR, and the Royal Norwegian Navy is only the second international navy to adopt this arrangement. The Germany Navy uses an LM2500-based CODAG configuration on its new F124-class frigates. The CODAG configuration on each F310-class frigate will consist of one GE LM2500 gas turbine, rated at 21.5 megawatts/28,832 shaft horsepower, combined with the two diesel engines for a total propulsion system rating of 30.5 megawatts.
Egypt to Buy French Warships Initially Built for Russia
France has agreed to sell two Mistral helicopter carriers to Egypt for 950 million euros ($1.06 billion) after their sale to Russia was canceled in August, French officials said on Wednesday. Cairo has sought to boost its military power in the face of a two-year insurgency based across the Suez Canal in the Sinai peninsula and fears the conflict in neighbouring Libya could spill over. Egypt's allies are also keen to burnish its image in a region beset by turmoil. "We unwound the contract we had with Russia, on good terms, respectful of Russia and not suffering any penalty for France," Hollande told reporters on his arrival at an EU summit in Brussels.