Royal Navy News
On 16 December, in a rather chilly Devonshire Dock Hall at BAE Systems shipyard at Barrow in Furness, Lady Elizabeth Jones, the wife of the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones, formally christened the latest Astute class nuclear powered hunter killer submarine HMS Audacious. HMS Audacious is the fourth member of the class of 7,400 tonne submarines that will, eventually, number seven with HMS Anson, HMS Agamemnon and an unnamed seventh vessel all at differing levels of construction in the vast building complex.
The Royal Navy’s Falklands Patrol vessel HMS Clyde, which has been in almost continuous deployment in the South Atlantic for the last five years, was sailed to Simonstown Dockyard in South Africa for a major overhaul to be carried out by ARMSCOR, an agency of the South African Department of Defence. Work was carried out on her hull, machinery and internal compartments. During her absence from the Falkland Islands, her duties were carried out by the survey ship HMS Enterprise.
The Russian Navy has, according to leaked documents, been testing a new type of autonomous drone submarine, which, according to Russian news outlets, could be capable of carrying nuclear warheads to within striking distance of the waters off the US East coast.
The submarine has been given the code name Kanyon by the Pentagon. Without the need for a crew, the submarine has a displacement of just 40 tonnes, a range of 6,200 miles and a top speed of 56 knots.
The Kanyon was first detected on 27 November after being launched from a Sarov class submarine. At the same time, the Americans announced that a Russian research vessel, Yantar was being watched closely as it carried out underwater reconnaissance and gathering intelligence in waters off the east coast of the United States.
New Zealand News
The new 24,000 tonne vessel will cost NZD493 million and in addition to its resupply and refuel roles, will also undertake a limited amount of sealift and humanitarian and disaster relief roles. The New Zealand Navy has also indicated that the ship will be strengthened for use in the Antarctic Ocean.
The ship will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industies in partnership with Rolls Royce.
The second of three Hobart class area defence destroyers for the Royal Australian Navy will, on completion, join sister HMAS Hobart, which, in early 2017, has been conducting sea trials off the coast of South Australia. The third member of the trio is HMAS Sydney which is still under construction.