http://andrewdoria.org/ Sat, 18 Sep 2021 19:54:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 These warships leave Japan after more than two decades abroad http://andrewdoria.org/these-warships-leave-japan-after-more-than-two-decades-abroad-2/ Fri, 17 Sep 2021 16:50:51 +0000 http://andrewdoria.org/these-warships-leave-japan-after-more-than-two-decades-abroad-2/

U.S. Navy warships John S. McCain and Curtis Wilbur are heading to new home ports on the West Coast after more than two decades of advanced deployment to Japan, the navy said this week.

John S. McCain has been based with the U.S. 7th Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan since 1997,

Following the 2017 sea collision that killed 10 sailors, the destroyer underwent extensive repairs and resumed operations in the summer of 2020.

He left Japan on Friday and is heading to his new home at Naval Base Everett, Wash., Where he will now report to U.S. 3rd Fleet Command.

Meanwhile, Curtis Wilbur arrived at his new homeport of San Diego on Thursday after more than 25 years in Japan, making her the longest forward-deployed vessel in recent history, according to a statement from Marine.

The destroyer will undergo maintenance and upgrades before joining the 3rd Fleet.

The replacements are the destroyer Dewey, which arrived at its new home port in Japan earlier this month, while fellow destroyer Ralph Johnson also recently left Everett to join the 7th Fleet.

Geoff is a senior Navy reporter for the Military Times. He has covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was recently a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes all kinds of advice at geoffz@militarytimes.com.


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These warships leave Japan after more than two decades abroad http://andrewdoria.org/these-warships-leave-japan-after-more-than-two-decades-abroad/ Fri, 17 Sep 2021 16:50:51 +0000 http://andrewdoria.org/these-warships-leave-japan-after-more-than-two-decades-abroad/

U.S. Navy warships John S. McCain and Curtis Wilbur are heading to new home ports on the West Coast after more than two decades of advanced deployment to Japan, the navy said this week.

John S. McCain has been based with the U.S. 7th Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan since 1997,

Following the 2017 sea collision that killed 10 sailors, the destroyer underwent extensive repairs and resumed operations in the summer of 2020.

He left Japan on Friday and is heading to his new home at Naval Base Everett, Wash., Where he will now report to U.S. 3rd Fleet Command.

Meanwhile, Curtis Wilbur arrived at his new homeport of San Diego on Thursday after more than 25 years in Japan, making her the longest forward-deployed vessel in recent history, according to a statement from Marine.

The destroyer will undergo maintenance and upgrades before joining the 3rd Fleet.

The replacements are the destroyer Dewey, which arrived at its new home port in Japan earlier this month, while fellow destroyer Ralph Johnson also recently left Everett to join the 7th Fleet.

Geoff is a senior Navy reporter for the Military Times. He has covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was recently a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes all kinds of advice at geoffz@militarytimes.com.


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Lockheed Tunes Reaches Agreement To Supply Greek Navy With New Updated Warships | greece, politics http://andrewdoria.org/lockheed-tunes-reaches-agreement-to-supply-greek-navy-with-new-updated-warships-greece-politics/ Fri, 17 Sep 2021 14:40:00 +0000 http://andrewdoria.org/lockheed-tunes-reaches-agreement-to-supply-greek-navy-with-new-updated-warships-greece-politics/

S – Faced with European challengers who propose to sell Greece more warships as part of a growing naval and military arsenal against provocations from Turkey, the American defense company Lockheed Martin has revised its offer.

The New Democracy government is due to make a decision on new frigates and modernize existing ships by the end of the year, which has resulted in fierce competition among Greece’s allies.

In addition to concerns about Turkey’s violation of Greece’s waters – and airspace – there are also concerns about the growing presence of Russian submarines in the Mediterranean and migrants from Africa, a said Defense News.

The Hellenic Navy wants to purchase four new frigates, improve the combat capability of its four current MEKO 200 Hydra-class frigates and receive some sort of interim capability to operate in the meantime, the report adds.

Lockheed is working with the US Navy to try to win the offer and the site said the US side believes it has the best deal because of the benefits of its Aegis combat system and that Greek companies are doing most of the work. construction.

“One of the great advantages of the US offer, over all other offers, is that it is done through the US government’s foreign military sales process. Greece has handled some 2,000 cases of foreign military sales with the United States. It’s a very well established process, it’s a very transparent process, ”said Jon Rambeau, vice president and general manager of Lockheed for the Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors business line. to place.

Five other bids from European shipbuilders still appear to be in the running, but he said Lockheed’s proposal is the only one that is part of an official foreign military sales program, with written cost and time guarantees.

In June, Naval News reported that Greece had named the six nominations to its shortlist: the Damen of the Netherlands; the French naval group; the Italian Fincantieri; the Babcock of the United Kingdom; Blohm + Voss in Germany and Lockheed.

Rambeau said those offers received an initial ranking from Greek officials, but that order was not shared with industry.

GUARANTEES VIEW DIFFERENCE

But he said if the US team won, the US Navy would act as “Greece’s money custodian” and “contract with Lockheed Martin, and they would negotiate with us as hard as if they were providing. that to the US government. And at the end of the day, if there is any money left in this case, by law, the United States will have to return that money to Greece. “

The Greek military has a half-century of history with the U.S. defense provider and Joe DePietro, vice president and general manager of naval combat systems and missile defense, told the site in June that Greece needed ‘improved anti-submarine warfare and an expanded area. air defense capabilities.

Regarding the modernization of the MEKO frigates, Lockheed proposes to install an Aegis-based combat system that would integrate the ships of the 1990s with new frigates, a fleet of MH-60R helicopters, the F-16s of the Hellenic Air Force and more.

Rambeau said the possibility of linking through a network with the rest of Greece’s existing and future aircraft and weapon systems “has been a consistent theme when we think of upgrades.”

The US Navy would be the one offering the interim solution, likely a few decommissioned ships from the service that could be temporarily handed over to Greece, until MEKO’s upgrades are complete, the report adds.

Lockheed has discussed with the Skaramangas shipyard in Greece working together to build some of the four new frigates there, investments in facilities for the frigate program and other work.

In August, unidentified analysts told the Breaking Defense news site it was an arms race to be the supplier with a decision expected in the fall as Greece and Turkey backed down during in the summer to avoid scaring tourists.

The Greeks “want to make the most of it… and they have demands, and they are tough,” said Guy Stitt, president of AMI International, a naval analysis company that tracks and analyzes ship purchases in dozens. of country.


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Has China sailed warships off the coast of Alaska? http://andrewdoria.org/has-china-sailed-warships-off-the-coast-of-alaska/ Thu, 16 Sep 2021 13:09:51 +0000 http://andrewdoria.org/has-china-sailed-warships-off-the-coast-of-alaska/

People’s Liberation Army warships have reportedly sailed near Alaska in what may be a clear effort to challenge or counter the US Navy’s freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea. The presence of Chinese warships off the coast of Alaska in international waters does not appear to be confirmed, however, it is cited in a Chinese government newspaper called the World time.

A website affiliated with the US Department of Defense reported on Sunday that a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) naval flotilla, including one of China’s most powerful warships, recently sailed in international waters near Alaska, ”according to the newspaper.

However, the World time goes on to say “if the report is true”, a statement which, of course, raises some questions as to whether this actually happened. Nonetheless, the Chinese government-backed newspaper reports this and discusses it as if it were true, citing Chinese military officials discussing the patrol.

“If the report is true, the activities of Chinese warships are probably normal training offshore amid the rapid development of such capabilities by the PLA navy,” Chinese analysts said on Monday, noting that it could also be considered as a countermeasure against the American military provocations on the gates of China in the name of the freedom of navigation ”, according to the World time.

The Chinese newspaper said the information came from a press release from the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service of the Ministry of Defense. The newspaper provided details of a four-ship task force from the PLA Navy, saying the force included a guided-missile cruiser, a guided-missile destroyer and a general intelligence vessel with an auxiliary vessel.

The PLA Navy Task Force, according to the Chinese report, “has navigated international waters within the exclusive economic zone of the United States, off the coast of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, August 29 and 30.

The Chinese ships would not have sailed within the twelve-mile territorial sovereignty limit of Alaska’s waters, a stipulation in accordance with the United Nations International Convention on the Law of the Sea. However, if the report that the ships Chinese war-fighters sailed the two hundred mile exclusive economic zone, another border stipulated by the convention on the law of the sea to protect the trade of host countries several hundred miles offshore, it is indeed important. The Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which the entire international community, including the United States, adheres, indicates that an EEZ is intended to ensure commercial operations over several hundred kilometers off the coast of a given country. . Therefore, any other country wishing to do business in this region, including things like commercial shipping or fishing, must receive permission from the host country. However, the law of the sea does not prevent other countries from simply crossing the area.

Regardless of the actual mission or intention, a patrol of this type certainly exacerbates the long-standing disagreement between the United States and China over land claims in the South China Sea. For many years now, the United States has been sailing within the twelve-mile territorial border of certain island areas that China claims to be theirs. However, the United States and much of the international community consider these claims to be false or illegitimate. The United States is not alone, which means that many allies view Chinese territorial claims in the region as illegal, provocative and illegitimate, especially since other countries in Southeast Asia also have land claims in the region. Of course, the concerns of the United States and its allies are compounded by the fact that China has carried out bogus island-building operations in the region, described by the Pentagon as illegal land reclamation, to bolster its claims. territorial.

Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National interest. Osborn previously served in the Pentagon as a highly trained expert in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. Osborn also worked as an on-air presenter and military specialist on national television networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Image: Reuters


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Thousands of servicemen will join 30 planes and 25 warships for Europe’s largest military exercise in Ayrshire http://andrewdoria.org/thousands-of-servicemen-will-join-30-planes-and-25-warships-for-europes-largest-military-exercise-in-ayrshire/ Thu, 16 Sep 2021 11:43:14 +0000 http://andrewdoria.org/thousands-of-servicemen-will-join-30-planes-and-25-warships-for-europes-largest-military-exercise-in-ayrshire/

Prestwick Airport is due to play its part in what will be Europe’s largest military exercise later this week.

The airport is expected to accommodate several military planes from this Saturday as the UK joins forces with many other countries in “Exercise Joint Warrior 212”.

And navy enthusiasts will also have the chance to see ships from Belgium, Canada, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia and Norway as they sail on their way. towards the Clyde – some arriving at Hunterston, North Ayrshire.

The UK-led multinational exercise, which takes place twice a year, in the spring and fall, will run from Saturday September 18 through Thursday September 30 and includes a number of participating ships departing from the ports of the West Coast.

Eleven NATO countries will participate, bringing 25 warships, three submarines, more than 30 aircraft and approximately 6,750 military personnel, including 500 troops on the ground, to military ranges across the country and to areas maritime exercises off the west and north coasts of Scotland.

Participating NATO countries will be the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, France, Norway, Latvia, Germany and the United States.



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Part of the exercise activity includes: around 30 aircraft taking part in the exercise with some of them operating from Prestwick Airport (formerly HMS Gannet) and RAF Lossiemouth, combat vessels mines (MCMs) conducting minehunting drills in the areas around Campbeltown, Loch Ewe, Gruinard Bay, Loch Broom, Little Loch Broom, Enard Bay and Shiant Bank and amphibious operations near Loch Ewe, Loch Goil and Kyle of Lochalsh.



Prestwick Airport will see a lot of military air traffic this weekend
Prestwick Airport will see a lot of military air traffic this weekend

Participating nations will also practice a wide range of land, sea and air capabilities in coordinated joint operations with other allied nations.

The exercises are designed to reflect a wide range of “crisis and conflict situations” that could “be realistically experienced” in real world operations.

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Royal Navy unveils vision for autonomous warships of the future http://andrewdoria.org/royal-navy-unveils-vision-for-autonomous-warships-of-the-future/ Wed, 15 Sep 2021 16:06:55 +0000 http://andrewdoria.org/royal-navy-unveils-vision-for-autonomous-warships-of-the-future/

The Royal Navy has unveiled its vision for how its future autonomous fleet, including aircraft carriers, robotic warships, submarines and submarine command centers, will operate over the next 50 years.

Preparing for the war of the future, young engineers from UK Naval Engineering Science and Technology (UK NEST), along with other academics and researchers from private and public institutions, took part in a design challenge and provided a myriad of concepts for the naval force in the future. The program involves an increasing reliance on artificial intelligence and automation associated with greater exploitation of the underwater domain.

The Royal Navy unveils its vision for autonomous warships of the future. Credit: Royal Navy

Detailed proposals for four potential vehicles include a massive flying drone station that would be attached to a helium balloon and based in the stratosphere; unmanned fast attack craft housing smaller autonomous boats; aircraft carriers powered by both marine biofuels and wind power; and a submarine flagship at the center of the fleet. Other conceptual ideas include the increased use of artificial intelligence to help with low-level planning and underwater transport units carrying everything from ammunition to food.

In a press release, the Royal Navy said it was also on track to implement one of these futuristic visions, known as Persistent Operational Deployment Systems (PODS), into reality in the over the next decade. PODS are interchangeable modules that can be quickly deployed to a fleet while still at sea. Similar in design to a shipping container, their purpose is to support a plug-and-play warship design. play and enable Royal Navy ships of all sizes to be more adaptable and versatile when deployed.

Underwater platform.
Underwater platform. Credit: Royal Navy

Delivered using innovative technologies such as heavy transport drones or autonomous boats, a ship will be able to receive the equipment it needs to be reassigned more quickly without having to go to a port to retrieve it. Large in size, the PODS will house assets essential to support Royal Navy operations. These can include an autonomous boat for surveillance and reconnaissance, quadcopter drones to deliver supplies, humanitarian aid, and stores for disaster relief or medical equipment.

In a future scenario, if we find ourselves unable to traditionally compete in terms of mass, we must think differently if we are to regain operational advantage,Said Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Nick Hine. “The young engineers who worked on this project think drastically and with real imagination and also reflect the way the Royal Navy thinks.


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British Army to equip tanks and warships with ‘laser cannons’ in £ 6bn tech push http://andrewdoria.org/british-army-to-equip-tanks-and-warships-with-laser-cannons-in-6bn-tech-push/ Wed, 15 Sep 2021 14:15:33 +0000 http://andrewdoria.org/british-army-to-equip-tanks-and-warships-with-laser-cannons-in-6bn-tech-push/

The UK could move closer to Star Wars-style laser battles, following the government’s decision to invest in new “laser weapons”.

The Department of Defense announced that it had awarded three contracts worth around £ 72.5million for ‘Directed Energy Weapons’ (DEW), ie laser guns.

Electrically powered and requiring no ammunition, the weapons would operate at a considerably reduced cost compared to regular ammunition.

The first laser will be tested aboard a Royal Navy Type 23 frigate, where it will be tested in detecting, tracking and combating UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) or drones.

The British military will also run lasers on a Wolfhound armored vehicle, again to test its resilience against airborne threats.

“These technologies have the potential to revolutionize the future battlefield of our armed forces, enabling the pursuit of new targets in the land, sea and air domains and enabling commanders to achieve mission objectives in new ways,” said said Shimon Fhima, MOD director of the MOD. strategic programs.



“Directed energy weapons” will first be tested on a warship

The contracts are part of a larger £ 6bn investment by the British military, which will be spent on research and development as well as a new kit over the next four years.

The Ministry of Defense has reportedly already awarded a contract to a French missile company for the construction of a directed energy weapon called “Dragonfire”. Despite the promise of a public demonstration by 2019, the laser never materialized – apparently the mirrors used to steer the laser were melting in its intensity.



LEGEND: British Army announces support for laser cannons on Lockheed Martin tanks and warships - Laser Weapon Systems
The Ministry of Defense plans to spend £ 6bn on high-tech weapons over the next few years

It looks like the British military is intent on getting as many high tech sci-fi weapons as possible. As recently as last week, the Royal Navy unveiled its “future vision” for autonomous boats, submarine warships and flying drone stations.

The proposals were generated by young naval engineers as part of a design challenge, and the Navy says some of the initial concepts will be operationally deployed in the near future.

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Air Force installs 70 km surface-to-air missile system | Latest India News http://andrewdoria.org/air-force-installs-70-km-surface-to-air-missile-system-latest-india-news/ Thu, 09 Sep 2021 18:47:56 +0000 http://andrewdoria.org/air-force-installs-70-km-surface-to-air-missile-system-latest-india-news/

The Indian Air Force on Thursday installed a Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile System (MRSAM) capable of neutralizing air threats such as enemy fighters, missiles, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles at a distance of 70 km. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh described this capability as a “game changer” in air defense.

India and Israel jointly developed MRSAM or the Barak 8 air defense system which includes advanced radar, command and control systems and mobile launchers. The missile is powered by a locally developed rocket motor and control system for high maneuverability in the terminal phase.

“With the handing over of the MRSAM system to the IAF, we have taken a giant step towards achieving ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Autonomous India). MRSAM will be a game-changer in air defense, ”Singh said at the induction ceremony in Jaisalmer.

The system was jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Other companies involved in the project include Israeli company Rafael, Bharat Electronics Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited and Larsen & Toubro.

DRDO chief G Satheesh Reddy handed over the system’s first firing unit to Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria in the presence of Singh.

“The system is capable of hitting multiple targets simultaneously up to a distance of 70 km, even in bad weather. Its success in a series of rigorous tests is proof of its reliability, ”said the Minister of Defense.

A naval version of MRSAM is already deployed on some Indian warships to strengthen their anti-aircraft capabilities. The army has also placed orders for MRSAM but has not yet installed the system. India and Israel have signed separate agreements worth around $ 3 billion over the past four years for advanced surface-to-air missile systems for the three services.

“The MRSAM system was long overdue. His induction will now significantly strengthen the air defense capability of the IAF. The imminent arrival of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia will make these capabilities even more formidable, ”said Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (retd), former additional director general of the Center for Air Power Studies .

India is expected to begin induction soon for the S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems ordered from Russia in October 2018. New Delhi has placed an order for five of these missile systems capable of destroying various air threats, including aircraft. combat and enemy missiles, at a distance of 400 km, and expects the first deliveries by the end of the year.

Singh said MRSAM was one of the best missile systems available in the world, and the project highlighted the close partnership between India and Israel in the defense sector. The minister said that the MRSAM project strengthened the defense industrial bases of India and Israel, and was “a win-win situation” for the two countries. It has also led to the creation of new testing facilities and other infrastructure in the country, he said.

Israel has been among the top three suppliers of arms to India over the past five years, according to a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) in March 2021. The top three suppliers of arms arms of India in 2016-20 were Russia (accounting for 49% of India’s imports), France (18%) and Israel (13%).

Singh said the geopolitical changes have impacted trade, economy, power politics and the security scenario. “In such a situation, strengthening our security and self-reliance has become a necessity, not an achievement. “

The minister said the global scenario is changing very quickly. “Equations between countries also change rapidly according to their interests. Whether it’s the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean region, the Indo-Pacific or Central Asia, the uncertainty is visible everywhere, ”Singh said.

The MRSAM induction ceremony took place after Singh and Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari jointly inaugurated an emergency landing facility for the IAF on the Satta-Gandhav section of the NH-925A near by Barmer. The two ministers also attended air operations at the new landing facility, which supports the landing of all aircraft in the Air Force’s fighter and transport fleets.


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China threatens to send warships into U.S. territorial waters http://andrewdoria.org/china-threatens-to-send-warships-into-u-s-territorial-waters/ Wed, 08 Sep 2021 21:00:00 +0000 http://andrewdoria.org/china-threatens-to-send-warships-into-u-s-territorial-waters/

VSHina on Wednesday threatened to send warships into U.S. territorial waters.



a large ship in a body of water


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The World time called on People’s Liberation Army navy warships to travel to “US military bases in Asia-Pacific and the coasts of US allies to conduct close reconnaissance and declare freedom of navigation” . The editorial added that “the United States will certainly see the PLA show up on its doorstep in the not-so-distant future.”

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It is not a simple rant. The World time operates under the leadership of Yang Jiechi, director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission. His words represent a credible threat.

Why is China so mad?

He deplores the “naked provocation” of the transit of a US Navy destroyer on Wednesday, less than 12 miles from an artificial Chinese island in the South China Sea. Yang’s spokesperson warns that “only by giving the United States a taste of its own medicine can we touch the nerves of the United States and its allies and reshape the Western world’s understanding of the American intimidation in the South China Sea “.

This assessment bears little relation to reality. China’s property claims over the South China Sea are both geographically absurd and politically imperialist. Instead, China is stepping up its militarization of the sea for two clearly unwarranted reasons. First, to make these waters safe for the unilateral extraction of Chinese Communist resources. Second, to obtain political concessions from other nations in exchange for their access to the sea. China’s leverage is the $ 3.5 trillion to $ 4 trillion in annual trade flows that pass through the South China Sea.

The Trump and Biden administrations have rightly resisted China’s actions with US naval actions such as Wednesday’s. They recognize China’s threat to trade, sovereign government, and a key tenet of the post-WWII US-led international order: free transit. But while America’s European allies did not want to make the transits like the United States, which has shaken China so much, countries like Australia, India, Japan and Vietnam are moving closer. of the American position. China therefore feels that it might face a more solid multilateral challenge.

The language used here by Beijing to conduct “freedom of navigation” activities off “US military bases in the Asia-Pacific and on the coasts of US allies” is clearly conceived of as a threat to send ships of. PLA war within 12 miles of Guam, Australia. , and Japan. (While the Philippines is an ally of the United States, its president has made a human pet for Xi Jinping).

Either way, the US Navy’s transits in international waters are one thing. PLA transits within 12 miles of the sovereign coasts of the United States or the Allies would be a different matter altogether. In other words, when the United States walks in a public park, China claims the right to seize public parks and then engage in home invasions. The reality is clear: by its intention and international law, any Chinese incursion as threatened would constitute an act of provocation bordering on war.

China has no justification for blurring the lines.

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Key words: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, China, Foreign Policy, National Security, Navy, South China Sea, Pentagon, Xi Jinping, Communist Party

Original author: Tom rogan

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Royal Navy warships leave UK for historic five-year Pacific deployment http://andrewdoria.org/royal-navy-warships-leave-uk-for-historic-five-year-pacific-deployment/ Wed, 08 Sep 2021 04:43:00 +0000 http://andrewdoria.org/royal-navy-warships-leave-uk-for-historic-five-year-pacific-deployment/ “Two-thirds of the world is our playground,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ben Evans, commanding officer of HMS Spey, a 2,000-ton, 300-foot-long offshore patrol vessel that will team up with HMS Tamar on a mission that is unlikely to see them return to their home port of Portsmouth until 2026.

Patrolling the waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, warships will venture as far north as the Bering Sea and as far south as New Zealand and the Australian state of Tasmania.

At the center of this region is China, with which tensions have escalated with Britain’s main ally, the United States.

“They will act as the eyes and ears of the Navy – and the nation – in the region, working alongside Britain’s allies, conducting security patrols to combat drug trafficking, smuggling, terrorism and other illegal activities, joining exercises with other navies and armed forces, and flying the flag of world Britain, “the Defense Ministry statement read.

Global Britain is the country’s post-Brexit plan to exert British influence in the world in a number of areas, including in the case of the two warships, military security.
Britain released an in-depth review of its military and foreign policy in March, in which it recognized an Indo-Pacific tilt over the next decade and warned of challenges coming from China.

HMS Spey and HMS Tamar each carry a crew of 46, whose members of the Royal Navy will be swapped out as often as every few weeks as the service tries to provide a regional experience to its crews, without exhausting them to l ‘extreme. mission launched. It will also allow ships to spend up to nine straight months at sea, the navy said.

“Swiss Army Knives of 2,000 tons”

The ships will not have a permanent base in the Pacific. Instead, they will call allied and partner bases and ports whichever best suits their mission, the Navy said.

With their normal crews, the ships will accommodate up to 52 Royal Marines or other troops, who can help with specific missions, “a versatility that makes ships ” 2,000-ton Swiss Army knives,” “according to the press release. Marine.

The ships headed west into the Atlantic from Portsmouth to begin their deployment on Tuesday. They will cross the Panama Canal on their way to their new Pacific patrol area.

Spey and Tamar obtained a “dazzling painting” of World War I for their mission in the Pacific. The paint scheme was supposed to make warships harder to follow a hundred years ago, at a time when the British fleet was considered the best in the world.

“With our paint schemes we stand out – we look different. Together we will be piloting the White Ensign in the Indo-Pacific region. People will know the Royal Navy is back,” said Evans, commander of Spey. .

British allies and partners in the region already got a taste of the modern Royal Navy this summer with the deployment of Britain’s largest warship, the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, to the region.

The UK’s Carrier Strike Group 21, which also includes US and Dutch warships, left Britain in May for a seven-month deployment that took it to South Korea, where it served conducted three days of exercises with the South Korean Navy last week. .

This followed the very first exercises between the American and British carrier groups as the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and her escorts conducted combined exercises with the Queen Elizabeth in the Pacific. F-35 stealth fighters from both carriers conducted training operations during these exercises.

Defense cooperation between the UK and Japan

The Queen Elizabeth visited Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan this week, with senior Japanese defense officials and military officers visiting the aircraft carrier on Monday.

“The visit of the British carrier strike group is of great importance, to maintain and strengthen a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said after his visit to Queen Elizabeth, according to a Reuters report.
The British Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is docked at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan on September 5, 2021.

Yokosuka is also the home port of the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, the only one of the 11 US Navy aircraft carriers to be based outside the United States.

This is seen as a symbol of the United States’ strong defense commitment to Japan, the kind of ties Britain wishes to promote in the Pacific with the Queen Elizabeth and her other warships.

“The visit to Japan of HMS Queen Elizabeth and other British ships of the Carrier Strike Group is a confident embodiment of the close and deep relationship between the United Kingdom and Japan,” said British Ambassador to Japan Julia Longbottom in a statement. communicated.

“The relationship between the UK and Japan has a long history. We believe this visit marks the elevation of our defense and security relationship to a new level,” she said.

The three partners, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, have expressed what they call the growing Chinese threat to security in the Asia-Pacific region.

In its defense white paper released this summer, Tokyo took a strong stand against what it called “China’s unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas,” and it mentioned Britain as a key partner in sharing its vision of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”

For its part, China mocked the presence of the British aircraft carrier and other warships in the region.

From left to right, HMS Queen Elizabeth, The Netherlands.  HNLMS Evertsen, US Navy USS The Sullivans and HMS Kent sail July 26 in Singapore waters.

Writing in Chinese state media when the Queen Elizabeth transited the South China Sea in late July, Wu Shicun, president of the Chinese National Institute for South China Sea Studies, described the carrier’s deployment. British planes as an attempt to “relive the glory days of the British Empire.” . “

“The South China Sea was a symbol of Britain’s glorious colonial past, through which the old empire that boasted of its global colonies returned the fortune and treasures it had plundered to Asia,” he said. Wu writes.

Hu Xijin, editor of the state tabloid Global Times, on Wednesday brushed off the importance of British fleet pride in Pacific waters.

“The British aircraft carrier’s visit to Japan was viewed by Chinese netizens as an embrace of two hired thugs from the United States. In the eyes of Chinese netizens, the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier is useless as a dredge,” Hu said on Twitter.


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