Tuesday, 13 June 2017

FLEETS #17: Spanish Navy, Polish Navy and Irish Naval Service today

This is the sixth article about various countries' navies today; a new Fleets post after a long time. In these articles, I briefly describe a country's naval fleet by reporting the ships in each type/category of warships and by providing a nice image where all the types of warships are illustrated and the units of its class are reported. I include the vessels that will enter in service this year and I have excluded those that are about to be decommissioned. I deliberately excluded many classes of auxiliary ships; those that they have "0" defence capacity and those that have secondary roles such as hydrographic survey ships, tugs, depollution vessels and training ships.

Spanish Navy (Armada Española)

The Spanish Navy in 2017 consists of the following warships:
  • 1 landing helicopter dock/aircraft carrier (Juan Carlos I)
  • 2 landing platform docks ships (Galicia, Castilla)
  • 5 destroyers (Álvaro de Bazán, Almirante Juan de Borbón, Blas de Lezo, Méndez Núñez, Cristóbal Colón)
  • 3 attack submarines (Galerna, Mistral, Tramontana)
  • 6 frigates (Santa María, Victoria, Numancia, Reina Sofía, Navarra, Canarias)
  • 8 offshore patrol vessels (Meteoro, Rayo, Relámpago, Tornado, Aydaz, Infanta Elena,
    Infanta Cristina, Cazadora)
  • 7 patrol vessels (Serviola, Centinela, Vigía, Atalaya, Alborán, Arnomendi, Tarifa)
  • 8 coastal patrol vessels (Tagomago, Medas, Tabarca, Toralla, Formentor, Cabo Fradera, and two others)
  • 6 mine counter-measure vessels (Segura, Sella, Tambre, Turia, Duero, Tajo)
  • 2 replenishment/logistic support ships (Patiño, Cantabria)
  • 1 submarine rescue vessel (Neptuno)
  • 1 signals intelligence ship (Alerta)
  • 3 transport ships (Contramaestre Casado, Martín Posadillo, El Camino Español)
  • about 13 fighters and about 30 helicopters
 and several other auxiliaries such as salvage vessels, landing craft, transport and training ships.

Spanish Navy in 2017 (full fleet depicted). For a high resolution image click here.

Polish Navy (Marynarka Wojenna)

The Polish Navy in 2017 consists of the following warships:
  • 2 frigates (Generał Kazimierz Pułaski, Generał Tadeusz Kościuszko)
  • 5 attack submarines (Orzeł, Sokół, Sęp, Bielik, Kondor)
  • 2 corvettes of which the first one will enter in service initially as an offshore patrol vessel (Ślązak, Kaszub)
  • 3 fast attack misisle craft (Orkan, Piorun, Grom)
  • 5 landing ships/minelayers (Lublin, Gniezno, Kraków, Poznań, Toruń)
  • 1 oiler (Baltyk
  • 1 logistic support ship (Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki)
  • 1 training/escort ship (Wodnik)
  • 20 mine counter-measure vessels (Kormoran, Flaming, Mewa, Czajka, Gardno, Bukowo, Dąbie, Jamno, Mielno, Wicko, Resko , Sarbsko, Necko, Nakło, Drużno, Hańcza, Mamry, Wigry, Śniardwy, Wdzydze)
  • 2 signals intelligence ships (Nawigator, Hydrogaf )
  • about 8 aircraft and 21 helicopters
 and several other auxiliaries such as salvage vessels, survey and training ships.

Polish Navy in 2017 (full fleet depicted). For a high resolution image click here.

Irish Naval Service (an tSeirbhís Chabhlaigh)

The Irish Naval Service in 2017 consists of the following warships:
  • 6 offshore patrol vessels (Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Eithne, Róisín, Niamh)
  • 2 coastal patrol vessels (Orla, Ciara)
 and few training vessels

Irish Naval Service in 2017 (full fleet depicted). For a high resolution image click here
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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Irish Naval Service fleet today

Written by D-Mitch

The Force is strong with the Irish Naval Service!
Samuel Beckett crest, a photo by Salvador de la Rubia
The Naval Service (Irish: an tSeirbhís Chabhlaigh) is the maritime component of the Defence Forces of Ireland and is one of the three branches of the Irish Defence Forces. The Naval Service provides the maritime component of the State's Defence capabilities and is the State's principal seagoing agency. The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps. Its base is in Haulbowline, County Cork. The Naval Service is tasked with a variety of roles including defending territorial seas, deterring intrusive or aggressive acts, conducting maritime surveillance, maintaining an armed naval presence, ensuring right of passage, protecting marine assets, countering port blockades; people or arms smuggling, illegal drugs interdiction, and providing the primary diving team in the State. The Service supports Army operations in the littoral and by sea lift, has undertaken supply and reconnaissance missions to overseas peace support operations and participates in foreign visits all over the world in support of Irish Trade and Diplomacy.

The flagship of the Irish Naval Service, LÉ Eithne, in formation with Emer
class (retired) and Roisin class offshore patrol vessels.

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

FLEETS & INFOGRAPHICS: improvements and updates

During the last months, I finally managed to update and improve the majority of the articles and especially the Infographics that are included almost in every post and the Fleets. I received many comments suggesting me to create Fleet graphs similar to the Royal Navy and Hellenic Navy graphs where all the combat units are depicted one by one and not just the classes. So I finally did that for all the Fleets I have created until now! But I did not stop only there but I did the following (which was not an easy work at all...):
  • The font has been changed in almost every graph and infographic such as the Andrea Doria class, Vittorio Veneto, Horizon class, Aquitaine class, the Karel Doorman class, etc. I still though need to improve the font of the Elli class graphs, the Durand De la Penne graphs and very few others
  • Crests/seals were added or improved on many Fleet graphs and Infographics
  • Ship figures were improved on Fleet graphs
  • The Fleets are now all depicted as of December 2017, thus ships that are about to be decommissioned have not been included while those that are about to enter service this year have been included
  • Many dead links in some articles have been replaced with new ones while new information and photos were added. The information in the articles is updated constantly accordingly to latest news
  • Emblems, flags and others have been changed or improved on graphs and infographics
  • New infographics were added of which some have replaced old ones, such as the Egyptian Navy Aquitaine class, the Italian Navy Bergamini class, the Republic of Singapore Navy improved Formidable class , the Turkish Navy Kilic I/II class and the Turkish Navy Yildz class
The Italian Navy Bergamini class FREMM, old (up) and new (bottom)
More analytically about the Fleets graphs, in the following images you can see the huge improvements were made. Now, it is finally time to proceed with new Analyses and the design of new Fleets such as Spanish Navy, Polish Navy, Irish Navy, Japanese Navy, Indonesian Navy and more. Stay tuned!

The RAN old (2015) and new graph (2017)
The RCN old (2015) and new graph (2017)

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Sunday, 21 May 2017

Malaysian 15 to 5 Armada Transformation Program - Meeting Mahan’s Perspectives while Adjusting to the Fiscal Environment

Written by Theodore Bazinis*

Alfred Thayer Mahan. Source
Royal Malaysian Navy vessels in formation
In his essay “Considerations Guiding the Dispositions of Navies’’, for the British journal National Review (1901), Mahan defined the ways that a nation should deploy and dispose its naval forces in times of peace. Τhe godfather of Sea Power, determined the constitution of the fleet, as a critical factor for naval power. Aiming to cope with a range of threats and challenges and fulfill its nation’s ambitions in maritime domain, a fleet should consist of adequate number of ships and of requisite types. Naval Strategists and Naval Policy Makers are charged to correspond in such a manner so that to achieve an ideal connection between naval procurements (which define the future constitution of the fleet) and ambitions, threats and challenges within a given fiscal context. Mahan determined four elements (abilities) which constitute a balanced fleet: (1) projection of sea power and overcoming a contingent or future enemy, (2) protection of vital sea lanes, (3) scouting and operating toward the coast and (4) exercise naval diplomacy.

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Monday, 17 April 2017

Sa'ar 4.5 (Hetz) class fast attack craft of the Israeli Navy

Written by D-Mitch
Sa'r 4.5 class fast attack missile craft (FACM), the powerful
naval protectors of Israel. Photo by Ofek Ron-Carmel
When we talk about Israeli vessels, aircraft or any kind of military platform, we expect a variety of sensors and antennas, of which the majority of them have usually an unknown to the general audience purpose. This is exactly the case for the naval class which is analyzed in this article where its sensors related to electronic countermeasures, are reported mainly based on my experience and also on my judgement according to the producers' product descriptions. I must admit this article was not easy at all; an article which I started writing about a year ago and reached over than 35 pages... It was worth it though as I believe I managed to write the most complete article about the class online. The Israeli naval class which is analyzed in this article is the Sa'ar 4.5 class or else Hetz class of fast attack missile craft (FACM); the backbone of the modern Israeli Navy (Hebrew: חיל הים הישראלי‎‎, Ḥeil HaYam HaYisraeli (English: Sea Corps of Israel); Arabic: البحرية الإسرائيلية‎‎) which is the naval warfare service arm of the Israel Defense Forces. Actually there are two different subclasses that are both named Sa'ar 4.5. The first subclass consists of two boats and was initially called Chochit (Hebrew: חוחית‎‎), but renamed to Aliya (Hebrew: עליה‎‎) and later on were sold to the Mexican Navy which renamed to Huracan class. Two Aliya subclass boats are in service with the Mexican Navy. This class will be analyzed in a future post. The second subclass was initially called Nirit (Hebrew: נירית‎‎) but renamed to Hetz (Hebrew: חץ‎‎). It should be mentioned here that this class was once the most heavily armed and most advanced in the world in the fast attack missile craft type. Today, Sa'ar 4.5 (Hertz), in its regular configuration, shares the first place together with the Egyptian Ezzat class (Ambassador Mk III) the latest addition to the Egyptian Navy, and certainly is one of the best FACM in the world today.

Israel Navy Saar 4.5 class missile boats. Photo: Nir Ben-Yosef (AKA xnir)

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Saturday, 1 April 2017

An (early) April Fool's Day joke, the Greek media and the journalistic professionalism

Very early in the morning of Friday the 31th, I read in the news that the shipowner Alexandros Goulandris is intended to make the armored cruiser Georgios Averof sailable, a legendary ship of the Hellenic Navy (Πολεμικο Ναυτικό) and now for many decades a memorial and museum ship. I found it really funny to be honest, someone to spend so much money to repair an old museum vessel and make it sailable again when the priorities of the Hellenic Navy are so many and when the country is broke. I am Greek as many of you know (or you can realize that from my posts that give an emphasis to the Navy of Greece), and as a navy enthusiast, researcher (operations research analyst)  and amateur blogger, I do care about the future of my country's Navy. Therefore I wanted to raise up an issue, to see the reactions of the people and moreover to test the Greek media. This was not an easy decision for me to make and took a lot of consideration before I posted the fake news. I hope that my followers will not have bad feelings and enjoyed the joke as much as I did. I must admit also that I was not expecting that huge domino effect and the reproduction of my "news" in so many blogs and websites and most important in so many variations! I was also seriously "bombed" from dozens of phone calls and private messages.

USS Stout (DDG-55), one of the ships that was "acquired" by the Hellenic Navy

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Monday, 20 March 2017


Written by D-Mitch

This is the fourth post, after a long time, of a new category of infographics of various coast guard vessels from around the world. These infographics aim to highlight the most important equipment of the vessels; I do not analyze the systems in depth as I do for the warships instead I provide some basic information mainly from Wikipedia (if else I provide the source) about the ships, their history and their capabilities.
1.  Sa'ar 62 class offshore patrol vessels of the Azerbaijani Coast Guard
President Ilham Aliyev inspecting the
new shipyards and the boats
Typhoon MLS-NLOS missile launcher
Azerbaijan is one of the very few countries in the world that has in her inventory missile-armed coast guard vessels. Jane's, reported in summer of 2014, that Azerbaijan had bought six Sa'ar 62 offshore patrol vessels (based on the Sa'ar 4.5 class) and six lighter Shaldag Mk V patrol boats. The purchase came to light flowing the release of images from the commissioning of a new naval shipyard in Azerbaijan, which showed the first vessels during handling and construction in new shipyards in Türkan (video here), which is also according to Jane's believed to have been built by Israel Shipyards. The construction hall has capacity for at least three vessels to be constructed simultaneously. It should be mentioned that  Azerbaijan became second country in the world, after Russia with her remaining Krivak III (Nerey) class cutters armed with SA-N-4 surface-to-air missiles, that introduced in the coast guard fleet, vessels armed with missile weapon systems. However, in the Azerbaijani service, the distinction between  a coast guard vessel and a naval vessel is blur, as none of the naval vessels is equipped with missiles in contrast to.. the coast guard vessels! A nice video about the Azerbaijan Coast Guard can be watched here. Recently, Turkmenistan and United Arab Emirates commissioned coast guard vessels with missile weapon systems. These vessels, will be analyzed in a future post.

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