Maritime Security Vessel News Roundup | April 20 – US, Russian and Turkish surface warship construction plus naval ROVs

Construction is nearly completed on ships for the American and Russian navies while the first steel has been cut for three new multi-role frigates for Turkey. Two firms have meanwhile been selected to supply unmanned craft to the Spanish Navy and an undisclosed Asian defence operator.

US Navy’s newest littoral combat ship floated out

Photo: Fincantieri Marinette Marine

Fincantieri Marinette Marine of Wisconsin has floated out the future USS Cleveland, the 16th Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) to be built for the US Navy.

The LCS is the fourth US Navy ship to be named in honour of the city of Cleveland, Ohio.

Upon completion, the future Cleveland will have a length of 387 feet (118 metres), a beam of 58 feet (17.7 metres), a draught of 13 feet (3.9 metres), and space for 35 crewmembers plus up to 75 additional personnel. Armament will include a 57-millimetre naval gun and surface-to-air missiles while flight deck space will be available for an MH-60 Seahawk helicopter or two MQ-8 Fire Scout rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Freedom-variant ships are being built jointly by Fincantieri Marinette Marine and Lockheed Martin.

New Russian Navy minehunter hits the water

Photo: United Shipbuilding Corporation

Russia’s Sredne-Nevsky Shipbuilding Plant has launched a new Project 12700 mine countermeasures vessel ordered by the Russian Navy.

The future Lev Chernavin is the eighth to be built under Project 12700, otherwise known as the Alexandrit-class.

The vessel will have space for 44 crewmembers and will be capable of speeds of up to 16 knots. Armament will include a 30-millimetre naval gun and surface-to-air missiles.

Spanish Navy acquires unmanned vehicle for submarine rescue missions

Photo: Saab Seaeye

Swedish unmanned systems specialist Saab Seaeye has supplied a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to the Spanish Navy for use in rescuing crews from distressed submerged submarines.

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency acquired the electric-powered ROV for the Spanish Navy to fulfill the responsibilities of the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office and provide diving support.

Saab Seaeye said the ROV can locate and survey a distressed submarine using its array of sonar systems and cameras to provide both colour zoom and low-light black and white video images for rescue planners. In urgent rescue situations, it can work continuously 24 hours a day, for days on end in challenging conditions.

Construction starts on three Turkish Navy frigates

Photo: Turkish Defence Industry Agency

Sedef Shipyard in Turkey has cut the first steel for three new Istanbul-class frigates slated for the Turkish Navy.

The 3,000-tonne frigates belong to the MILGEM family of warships, which also include vessels to be operated by the navies of Pakistan and Ukraine.

Once in service, the Istanbul-class ships will be used for anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-air warfare.

UK firm to supply two ROVs to Asian navy

Photo: FET

UK manufacturer Forum Energy Technologies (FET) has secured a contract from defence and energy support specialist the Unique Group to supply two light, work-class ROVs for use by an unnamed Asian navy.

The ROVs will be installed on board the operator’s new dive support vessels. The craft’s lightweight construction will allow for rapid set-up and deployment.

The ROVs will be capable of operating in strong currents and can each carry a payload totalling 300 kilograms.

Deliveries are scheduled for the second half of 2023 following completion at FET’s facilities in North Yorkshire.

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