In January, the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless, whilst on deployment in the Persian Gulf, joined the American carrier group centred around the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
The British destroyer escorted the massive carrier as aircraft were launched from her flight deck on sorties striking at ammunition dumps, communication centres and troop concentrations of the fundamentalist Muslim ISIL movement.
Another British warship in the region, was the Type 23 frigate HMS Kent and she too operated with an aircraft carrier in the area, but this time it was the French nuclear powered strike carrier FS Charles de Gaulle. HMS Kent’s sophisticated anti submarine weaponry and sensors were utilised to their fullest extent during joint manoeuvres called White Shark. These were followed up by a three day naval exercise with the Royal Saudi Navy and Air Force.
The long planned upgrade of Romania’s pair of former British Type 22 frigates is likely to get underway soon.
Rear Admiral Alexandru Mirsu told a naval conference that the frigates bought in 2003 would receive a modern combat management system and a new 3-D surveillance radar.
He added that the ships would also receive kinetic equipment in terms of enhanced weaponry specifi cally in the areas of anti air missile and Close in Weapon systems.
The Regele Ferdinand (pictured) and Regina Maria form the main part of the Romanian Navy’s frigate squadron together with the locally built frigate Marasesti.
The ship is expected to be decommissioned from French Naval service in June 2015 but might be sold sooner if the Brazilian offer is taken up by the French authorities, which are struggling to fund a wide variety of naval and other military projects as the French economy falters.
Chinese shipbuilders have, according to media reports, offered to build a new class of ocean going patrol boats for the Argentinean Navy and these will be named after the Falkland Islands as the Malvinas class.
The Argentine Government has been looking around the globe for suitable vessels to undertake the role, including designs offered by shipbuilders in Germany, Spain and their neighbours to the north Brazil. It appears that Argentina has, however, selected the design offered by the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation’s P18 corvette. The first two ships are expected to be built in China, with a further three to be built in Argentina.
Each vessel is armed with a single 76 mm main gun, a pair of 30mm cannons and up to eight long range anti ship missiles, triple torpedo tubes and a medium sized helicopter. The 1,800 tonne vessels are also capable of extended range with powerful diesel engines and a top speed of 25 knots.
It has been indicated that Argentina has also decided to fi t the corvettes with towed array sonar and a larger fl ight deck capable of accommodating helicopters of the size of Sea Kings for anti submarine warfare duties.