It has been a particularly busy period for the Japanese with a number of new vessels being accepted into service.
The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force continues to add new vessels to its already impressive fleet. On 7 March, the first Asahi (25DD) class guided missile destroyer (pictured) was commissioned into service at a ceremony held at Nagasaki Prefecture. JS Asahi was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and has a length of 151 metres she will be followed by another three vessels of the same class. The class are armed with launchers for the Type 90 anti ship missile and the RIM-162B Evolved Sea Sparrow for anti aircraft duties. Additionally, each ship has a Mk 45 series 127mm naval gun, a pair of Mk15 Phalanx 20mm close in weapons systems and six 324mm torpedo tubes for Mk 46 lightweight anti submarine torpedoes.
Another addition to the Japanese fleet is the ninth Soryu class diesel electric submarine JS Seiryu, which was delivered from the shipyard of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at Kobe.
The submarine rescue ship JS Chiyoda was accepted from Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding on 20 March. The new ship is 128 metres long and is the first such vessel to be inducted into the Japanese fleet. She will be based with the submarines of Submarine Flotilla 2 at Yokosuka.
Finally, the second of three Awaji class mine countermeasures vessels, JS Hirado, was commissioned into service on 16 March in Kanagawa Prefecture.
New Zealand News
HMNZS Te Kaha, one of two Meko 200 class frigates of the Royal New Zealand Navy arrived at the Canadian Naval Base of Equimalt on 6 March to undertake a series of systems upgrades undertaken by Lockheed Martin Canada.
The frigate will receive extensive updates to its surveillance, self defence and combat capabilities including a brand new combat information system. The New Zealand government hopes that this refit and a similar one planned for her sister ship HMNZS Te Mana will extend the life of the frigates to beyond 2030.
The contract, said to be worth, 200 billion Indian Rupees (US$3.08 billion) will see the fi rst pair built in Russia at the Yantar Shipyard, with the second pair constructed at India’s Goa Shipyard Limited under the terms of a technology transfer arrangement.
The ceremony took place at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut. The submarine is the 15th member of the class that is gradually replacing the elderly Los Angeles class submarines in service with the US Navy.