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Other contenders are Spain’s Navantia, with a (4.5inch [114.3mm] Mk8 Mod1 Gun) capable of
derivative of the Alvaro de Bazán, while Damen firing long-range ammunition, and 30mm Gun
Schelde Naval Shipbuilding are reported by Greek installation; and the vessel is also fit to receive the
sources to be offering a version of the De Zeven surface ship torpedo defence (SSTD). Major aviation
Provinciën class. Also on offer, from Odense Steel improvements include Lynx Merlin Production
Shipyard, is the new Danish air defence frigate. Interim Solution Merlin (PRISM), wave-off lights,
The first-of-class should be delivered 48months windpost and improved approach lighting.
after the contract is signed, followed by the remain-
ing vessels at eight-month intervals.
India launches
minehunter search
The Indian Navy has launched its long-awaited
US$1.4 billion programme to acquire up to eight
mine countermeasures vessels.
Naval Spyglass said India is seeking minehunt-
ers/ minesweepers with glass-reinforced plastic
hulls to replace some of the Pondicherry (Natya I)
class ocean minesweepers. Four of the eight ships are HMs Sutherland has completed an extensive refit.
being upgraded by Thales Underwater Systems under
a US$50 million programme.
However, New Delhi needs to expand and to Further upgrades have included improvements to the
modernise its mine countermeasures force and is ship’s ventilation systems for improved performance in
seeking ships 50-60m in length and with a beam of warmer climates (globalisation); radial filters installation
up to 11m. They will have an endurance of at least 10 for chemical warfare; increased fresh water capability as
days and a maximum speed of at least 16kts. a result of structural enlargement of fresh water tanks;
Six of the eight ships will be built by the Goa installation of the Defence Information Infrastructure
Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and the first foreign-built ship (DII); habitability upgrades; installation of crash boat
will be delivered within 33months of the contract davits; and a reshaped stern (with installation of a stern
being signed. The Indian defence ministry is reported flap) to improve performance and fuel economy.
to have invited DCNS, Fincantieri, Izar, Kangnam In addition to what is believed to be the largest
(South Korea) and Northrop Grumman to partici- upgrade package undertaken on a Type 23 frigate in
pate, but must provide defence offsets of about upkeep, the ship has also undergone a major structural
US$420 million. A contract is anticipated in 2010. repair package. This included major renewal of steel
plate and ‘sea tubes’ to the ship’s sides and hull areas,
Refit as well as renewal of the stern area. Additionally, the
Sutherland leaves
hull and sides were blasted and coated with the new
foul release paint system (which improves perform-
for sea trials
ance and fuel economy).
A number of challenges were successfully met during
The Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland has left Rosyth the course of the refit. Emergent work on the Sonar
in Scotland for sea trials, following an 11-month refit 2050 renewal required a change of array in quick time
and capability upgrade carried out by through-life to avoid any delay in undocking, which was achieved
defence support specialist Babcock Marine, which by applying the skills and experience of a joint Rosyth/
has made the vessel the most powerful of the UK Devonport Babcock Marine team. The replacement
Royal Navy’s frigates. array was transplanted into the ship’s existing dome in
New equipment has been installed as part of a a process for which there was no written procedure –
general overhaul, including the Navy’s latest and most an achievement that saved time and money.
sophisticated submarine hunting sonar system (Sonar Elsewhere, a difficult repair was carried out to the
2087), capable of identifying submarines at a greater ship’s grey water tank after it was found that large areas
range; an advanced Sea Wolf air defence missile of the tank were affected by sulphate reducing bacteria,
system (vertical launch Seawolf mid-life update), which causes accelerated corrosion. A considerable
which will counter the advanced threat from missiles quantity of steel required replacement or renewal, made
and fixed-wing aircraft; a new improved main gun difficult by the lack of access. The Babcock Marine team
Warship Technology January 2009 7
WT_Jan09_p6+7+8+10+11.indd 7 12/23/08 2:20:48 AM
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