Royal Navy News
The ongoing pestering of British and foreign warships utilising the facilities at Gibraltar by Spanish vessels continued in early May.
The latest unprovoked incident involved the Spanish Guardia Civil vessel Rio Cedena twice ‘hassling’ the USS Florida as she came into dock at the British colony.
In an obvious escalation in the intensity of incidents, the Royal Navy patrol boat HMS Sabre was dispatched to warn off the Spanish vessel. When this did not work HMS Sabre resorted to firing flares towards the Rio Cedena, which eventually backed off.
In a case of what could easily be described as a government garage sale, the Italian Navy between 24-27 May organised a second hand ship show in La Spezia and invited representatives from at least eleven countries to view the goods on offer.
In the case of the Italian Navy this meant 54 vessels that are nearing the end of their careers with the Navy. The event has been running for the last five years and has been given the name of Seafuture and Maritime Technologies 2016.
The Italian Navy has been facing a period of block obsolescence as the ships on offer were all constructed during the 1970’s and are now nearing the end of their operational careers.
Amongst the ships on offer for sale are Maestrale and Lupo class frigates, a Leirci class minesweeper and Minerva class corvettes. The proceeds from the sale of these ships between 2016 and 2025 will, it is hoped, generate much needed finance for the Italian Navy which has been investing heavily in new construction over the last decade.
The Australians and French will together develop a new cutting edge ‘Shortfin’ Barracuda Block 1A submarine. There will also be a degree of involvement from American defence contractors.
The Barracudas are a step change from the current fleet of Collins class conventionally powered diesel electric submarines. They will combine the very latest stealth technologies, emerging weaponry and utilise innovative propulsion techniques.
The Australian’s have chosen to name their new submarines ‘Shortfin’ not because of any design feature but rather after the shortfin barracudas found on the Great Barrier Reef.