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Friday, 17 November 2017

Gurza-M class small armored artillery boats of the Ukrainian Naval Forces

Written by D-Mitch

Berdiansk (U175), second boat in the Gurza-M class (pr.58155)
It was December 6th of 2016 when the Ukrainian Naval Forces commissioned their first new naval vessels after decades. The only exception was the Grisha-V class corvette Ternopil (U209) which was commissioned in 2006 and which was later on captured by Russian forces during the Crimean crisis on March 20, 2014. The two boats that entered service on that date, were the first boats of the new Gurza-M class (Project 58155) small armored artillery boats; a larger derivative of the Gurza (Desert Viper) class (Project 58150) boats which serve with the Border Service of Uzbekistan. The boats of the class are like floating infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) if I could say; they have even gas barrels at the stern similarly to modern Ukrianian/Russian tanks! They remind also a lot the river monitors but their displacement if far much less than them, they are lighter armored and carry less weapons (see for example the Romanian Mihail Kogălniceanu-class river monitor). The boats are designed by the State Research and Design Shipbuilding Centre (SRDSC) of Ukraine and being built by PJSC Leninska Kuznya Plant, headquartered in Kiev, Ukraine. The Gurza is considered a product of UKROBORONPRO, the association of multi-product enterprises in all sectors of the Ukrainian defense industry.

Akkerman (U174) and Berdiansk (U175) first two boats in the class.
Photo: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

PHOTO GALLERY #16: Matrozos, submarine of the Hellenic Navy

HS Matrozos as seen from the fast attack craft Degiannis
The third warship that I visited on Friday, October 27 (see previous post here), which was opened to the public at Piraeus harbor due to the forthcoming celebration of Ohi Day (anniversary of the "No"), was a Papanikolis class submarine, the HS Matrozos. Submarine Matrozos was commissioned in March of 2016 and it is the third vessel in the class. The four 65-meter vessels of the Papanikolis class (Type 214HN) submarines, are equipped with  air-independent propulsion (AIP) system, and are the most modern and advanced submarines in service with the Hellenic Navy and some of the most advanced submarines in the world today! The Papanikolis class is indeed the pride of the modern Hellenic Navy. Enjoy some photos from my visit!

HS Matrozos, submarine of the Hellenic Navy

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Sunday, 5 November 2017

PHOTO GALLERY #15: Psara, frigate of the Hellenic Navy

HS Psara, Hydra class frigate of the Hellenic Navy
The second warship that I visited on Friday, October 27 (see previous post here), which was opened to the public at Piraeus harbor due to the forthcoming celebration of Ohi Day (anniversary of the "No"), was a Hydra class frigate, the HS Psara. Frigate Psara was commissioned in December of 1998 and she is the third vessel in the class. The four vessels of the Hydra class (MEKO 200HN) frigates are the most powerful surface combatants in the Hellenic Navy today and the only ones equipped with a 5in gun as well as with a vertical launching system for Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM). A complete article about the class will follow in the near future. Meanwhile, enjoy more than 50 photos from my visit! I would like to thank the crew for the guided tour in the ship's various compartments but especially a big thank to a young Petty Officer on the bridge who was a real expert on reporting the systems onboard, showing that he really loves his job!

HS Psara, frigate of the Hellenic Navy. Photo: D-Mitch
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PHOTO GALLERY #14: Degiannis, fast attack craft of the Hellenic Navy

HS Degiannis of the Hellenic Navy. Photo: D-Mitch
On Friday, October 27, I had the opportunity to visit the fast attack craft P-26 Degiannis, third vessel in the Kavaloudis class (Combattante IIIB) of the Hellenic Navy. The six vessels in the class were built in Hellenic Shipyards and delivered to the Navy in the period 1980-1981. One of the vessels, P-25 Kostakos which was sunk in November 4th, 1996, when it was struck by Samaina a passenger ferry and four members of the crew lost their lives in that tragic accident. The Kavaloudis-class boats have not been modernized as their older sisters, the Laskos class (Combattante IIIA) (photo gallery of HS Blessas here). However, they have replaced their ageing missile systems, the 40km-range Penguin anti-ship missiles, with Harpoon that has three times the maximum range of a Penguin missile. Another new addition to the equipment of the vessel is that of a SIMRAD navigation radar which supplements the old Decca radar. HS Degiannis, together with the Hydra class frigate HS Psara (photo gallery here) and Papanikolis class submarine HS Matrozos were opened to the public at Piraeus harbor due to the forthcoming celebration of Ohi Day (anniversary of the "No") to commemorate the rejection by Greek Prime Minister Metaxas of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Mussolini on October 28, 1940 during WWII. I hope you will enjoy the photos!

The three warships at Piraeus harbor. Photo: D-Mitch
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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The attack submarines of Europe by 2030

Written by D-Mitch

Astute class submarine of the Royal Navy
The most important developments in the European surface and submarine fleets were described in detail by the author in two previous articles, the very recent The major surface combatants of the most powerful European Navies and the attack submarines of Europe, in 2017 and the 2016 article The major surface combatants of the most powerful European Navies in 2030. This article describes the European submarine fleets based on the latest official statements from European governments about future shipbuilding and procurement programmes for their Navies. Those submarine classes that have not entered service yet, are illustrated based on the latest official artist's impressions. Boats that were commissioned prior the year 2001, have been excluded from the future submarine fleets as they will have either reached 30-years of active service by 2030, which is normally the life limit in a modern day's navy, or they will have been replaced much earlier by newer classes.

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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

INFOGRAPHICS #26: The major surface combatants of the most powerful European Navies and the attack submarines of Europe, in 2017

Written by D-Mitch

Greek HS Poseidon (Type 209), Portuguese NRP Tridente
(Type 214) and German U33 (Type 212) during the Exercise
NOBLE JUSTIFICATION 2014
This article includes two infographics. In the first infographic, named The major surface combatants of the most powerful European Navies in 2017, I depict the major surface combatant fleets of the seven (7) most powerful Navies in Europe, those seven navies that historically maintain and develop a strong naval fleet of very advanced warships (a similar article The major surface combatants of the most powerful European Navies in 2030). But what is a surface combatant? According to the Office of Naval Research of the United States Navy, "..surface combatants (or surface ships or surface vessels) are a subset of naval warships which are designed for warfare on the surface of the water, with their own weapons. They are generally ships built to fight other ships, submarines or aircraft, and can carry out several other missions including counter-narcotics operations and maritime interdiction. Their primary purpose is to engage space, air, surface, and submerged targets with weapons deployed from the ship itself, rather than by manned carried craft.". The term is primarily used to mean any modern vessel type that is not a submarine; although a "surface ship" may range in size from a small cutter to a large cruiser, the largest surface combatant today in any Navy.  

German Navy Baden-Württemberg and Brandenburg class frigates in formation

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Friday, 20 October 2017

FLEETS #18: Italian Navy, Japanese Navy, French Navy (v.II) and Turkish Navy in WWI

The following images illustrate the most important classes of warships that were in service with the navies of Italy, Japan, France (version 2) and Turkey (Ottoman Empire) during the World War I. More posts will follow for your collection of current naval fleets but also of fleets from the past.

Italian Navy (Regia Marina) in WWI

Click to enlarge and save the image to view the details - Italian Navy in WWI

Japanese Navy (Imperial Japanese Navy) in WWI

Click to enlarge and save the image to view the details - Japanese Navy in WWI

French Navy (Marine Nationale) in WWI (version 2)

Click to enlarge and save the image to view the details - French Navy in WWI

Turkish Navy (Ottoman Navy) in WWI

Click to enlarge and save the image to view the details - Ottoman Navy in WWI. It should be mentioned
here that the battlecruiser Yavuz was acquired by the Ottoman Empire in 1914 and not 1912.

Finally I discovered the original source of those WWII and WWI fleet graphs and it is the www.naval-encyclopedia.com. There you can read some excellent naval history articles, to download other graphs or you can purchase the same graphs in high resolution in their online shop!
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