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applied its engineering expertise to develop a method re-arming capability. The OPV is intended to be a
that involved removal, manufacture and replacement of multi-purpose hull capable of anti-surface, anti-sub-
modular sections of the tank, complete with pipework. marine and mine warfare through a ‘plug and play’
This minimised any time impact on the programme. system using modular pallets.
A novel method of carrying out a dynamic load test
on the sonar has also been developed. Traditionally Acquisition
this has required the vessel to be docked, but a new
approach devised for Babcock Marine by special-
exports key to
ist technical advisors IMES now enables this to be
future of FReMM
undertaken afloat (using a barge to provide a stable
platform), generating valuable time and cost savings Naval Spyglass says the commercial viability of the
by avoiding the need for a second docking. Franco-Italian Frégate Européenne Multi-Mission
HMS Sutherland is due to return to service in (FREMM) programme will now depend upon export
January 2009. sales after France cut its requirement by a third as
questions are raised about the Italian commitment.
submarines France had originally planned to have 17 Aquitaine
Pakistan’s Hamza
class frigates; eight anti-submarine Frégates Action
Sous-Marine (F-ASM) and nine multipurpose/
completes testing
land-attack Frégates Multi-Missions/Action Vers la
Terre (FMM/F-AVT), but the programme is now
The Pakistan Navy has completed customer being significantly revised.
acceptance testing of PNS Hamza, a DCNS-designed The first production batch ordered in 2005 was due
Type Agosta 90B diesel-electric submarine with the to consist of six FASM and two FMM/F-AVT, but the
Mesma air-independent propulsion system. latter were cancelled at the end of September 2008. It
The submarine was built entirely by Pakistan Naval is possible the funds will be used to convert the last
Dockyard in Karachi under a DCNS technology two ships into a F-ASM and a Frégates de Défense
transfer programme. Two additional Mesma modules Aérienne (Freda).
are currently under construction for sister boats PNS Two Fredas are needed to replace France’s cancelled
Khalid and PNS Saad and will be integrated with Horizon class destroyers, but the first is unlikely to
them when they come up for major refit. appear before 2015. An order for four frigates split
between F-ASM and FMM/F-AVT was anticipated in
OPVs 2008 but this now seems unlikely.
Italy plans
Acquisition
multi-role OPV
Russia plans new
The Italian Navy is drafting a requirement for a
carriers
new class of reconfigurable Offshore Patrol Vessel
(OPV). Naval Spyglass said the ships would replace Russia is to begin work on a new aircraft carrier in
the eight Minerva class corvettes and four Cassiopea 2012 and plans a fleet of up to six with the Northern
class OPVs. and Pacific Fleets. Growing wealth thanks to
The project is in the preliminary design phase and hydrocarbon exports is fuelling Russia’s ambitious
the ships are unlikely to enter service for some 15 naval plans.
years, although the Italian Navy is open to interna- The carrier plan was announced by navy
tional co-operation. commander Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, but there
The new vessels will have a displacement of have been several indications that Moscow wants
2000tonnes (2500tonnes full load) a length of nuclear-powered ships.
105-115m, a beam of 14-16m, a maximum speed of The carriers will form the core of between five and
30kts and an endurance of 20 days. The OPVs will six groups with escort and support ships. The carrier
have a stealth design with a high-strength steel hull task groups will be split evenly between the Northern
and a light (possibly composite) superstructure. The and Pacific Fleets, but Russia is gradually shifting the
simplicity of the design and integrated automation focus of its geopolitical interests toward the Arctic
systems will reduce the crew to 80 with accommoda- and will increase its military presence in the region.
tion for 120 people. According to Naval Spyglass, the Russian Defence
Low acquisition and operating costs will be a major Ministry is drafting a strategic outline for the
requirement and a two-shaft CODAD configuration is Russian armed forces to 2030 and this is known to
the preferred propulsion option. The main armament confirm the importance of a nuclear triad based
will be a 76mm gun and the ship will feature a large on submarines, land-based ballistic missiles and
flight deck with a small hangar with refuelling and bombers. Russia aims to use the latest technologies
8 Warship Technology January 2009
WT_Jan09_p6+7+8+10+11.indd 8 12/23/08 2:20:49 AM
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