The tenth member of the San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship, USS John P Murtha, was christened on 21 March in a ceremony held at her shipbuilders’ yard at Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard.
The ship is named in honour of the late former US Congressman John P Murtha who after serving in Korea and Vietnam, earning two Purple Hearts went on to serve as congressman for Pennsylvania between 1974 and 2010.
Ten days later saw the launching of the latest Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, USS John Finn. This vessel is the first of the DDF51 Flight IIA restart ships that were ordered after the original number of destroyers envisaged was reached. The construction program was restarted following the cancellation of most of the Zumult class destroyer program. It is expected that the destroyer will enter service with the US Navy in the third quarter of 2016.
A major milestone in the history of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) occurred on 25 March with the commissioning of the largest warship in the fleet since the days of the Second World War.
The helicopter carrier JS Izumo displaces 24,000 tons and is capable of carrying up to 14 large naval helicopters.
A sister ship is currently under construction and the pair will replace the 1980’s built duo of JS Shirane and JS Kurama in service.
One of six projected DeWolf class arctic offshore patrol vessels being built for the Royal Canadian Navy is to be named HMCS Margaret Brooke.
The ship is named in honour of Lieutenant Commander Brooke, who during World War Two served as a nursing sister and received a gallantry award as well as receiving a British OBE. She tried to rescue her colleague Agnes Wilkies after the German U boat U69 sank the SS Caribou off Newfoundland. The new ship is the first ship in the class and all subsequent vessels will bear the names of outstanding Canadian naval heroes and heroines.
The DeWolf program will cost the Canadian taxpayer $2.3 billion and the ships are being built by Irving Shipbuilding of Nova Scotia. Each of the ships will be able to operate in up to one metre thick ice and can operate independent of shore facilities for up to four months at a time. The first of the class was named HMCS Harry DeWolf.
The Russian Navy has commenced construction of the latest member of the Yasen class of nuclear attack submarines. Arkhangelsk was laid down on 19 March at Sevmash Shipyard in Severodvinsk. The date was chosen especially as it is Submariners Day in Russia.
On 7 April, the Oscar II class submarine Orel caught fire whilst the vessel was being repaired alongside at the Severodvinsk shipyard.
At the time of the incident it was not believed that the submarine had any weapons or nuclear fuel onboard and there were no reported casualties.