American News

USS Rafael Peralta

On October 28, the nuclear attack submarine USS Houston arrived home to Pearl Harbor at the end of her last scheduled deployment with the US Navy.

Her last six month deployment saw the boat operating in the Western Pacific region in support of the 7th Fleet. She will be formally decommissioned early in 2016.

Three days later on 31 October, with a ceremony that was conducted in both English and Spanish, the latest Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer for the US Navy, USS Rafael Peralta, was christened at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine. The ship is named for a US Marine from San Diego who was killed in action on November 15 2004.

Russian News

Project 03182On 27 October, the Russian shipyard of Vostochnaya Verf in Vladivostok laid down the first components in the construction of two new arctic multi purpose support vessels.

Built under the auspices of Project 03182, the new ships will be able to operate in a wide variety of roles including serving as small tankers and replenishment and support roles for Russian warships and also to conduct scientific research and search and rescue operations.

The ships will also be built to withstand the Arctic ice with strengthened hulls. The Russian Ministry of Defence has announced that the first of the pair will be named Mikhail Barskov and will be fitted to operate a helicopter. She is expected to be delivered in November 2017 with the second ship two years later.

Royal Navy News

Prince of Wales bowConstruction of the second Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales passed a major milestone on 27 October when the two halves of the massive build were slid over 17 metres together within minute tolerances.

The forward half of the ship weighing in at 26,500 tonnes was joined with the rear most 12,000 tonne superblock in Rosyth Dockyard where both aircraft carriers are being built. The operation is thought to be a UK record in terms of the weight of the ship that was skidded and took 10 hours to complete. Over the coming months the two blocks will be welded together and all of the 3.2 million metres of electrical cabling connected.

RFA Mounts Bay, which has for the last 18 months been undergoing repairs and refurbishent at A&P Falmouth, sailed from Falmouth on 18 November. The work onboard the landing ship included refurbishing her main machinery, enhancing her accommodation spaces and sick bay. She is expected to return to operational duties early in 2016.

Chinese News

TaihanshanTHE People’s Liberation Army Navy commissioned a Type 072A Yuting II class landing ship tank called Taihanshan on 21 October.

The new vessel is a sister ship to Dabieshan which was commissioned on 23 May and joins another eight of the the class already in service.

The last two vessels have some significant differences to earlier members of the type including a single barrelled H/PJ-17 30mm gun mounting in place of twin 37mm turret on the forecastle plus enhanced satellite communications equipment.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - January 2016 Issue
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