Maritime Security Vessel News Roundup | January 27 – A French Navy interceptor, Qatar’s newest amphibious ship and more

An Indian Navy submarine enters service as the French Navy takes delivery of a new interceptor boat. Construction is meanwhile underway on a new amphibious ship for the Qatari Emiri Navy, a frigate for the UK Royal Navy, and a fleet oiler for the US Navy.

Indian Navy commissions fifth Kalvari-class submarine

Photo: Indian Navy

The Indian Navy commissioned its fifth Kalvari-class diesel-electric submarine in a ceremony in Mumbai on Monday, January 23.

Like its sisters, INS Vagir is a variant of the Scorpene-class submarine designed by the Naval Group of France. Construction took place at the Mumbai facilities of state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders.

Vagir measures 75 by 6.2 metres and is crewed by eight officers and 35 enlisted sailors. Armament includes torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.

Lead boat of new interceptor series delivered to French Navy’s infantry arm

Photo: French Ministry of Armed Forces

French boatbuilder Ufast has delivered the first vessel in a new series of 12 interceptor craft slated for the French Navy.

The 15-metre-long newbuild belongs to a series of boats officially designated as naval infantry vessels (Vedettes des Fusiliers Marins; VFM) as they will be operated primarily by the French Navy’s Fusiliers Marins naval infantry force. Missions will include escort, surveillance, and force protection.

The VFMs will each be capable of a top speed of 40 knots and will be equipped with ballistic protection panels and 12.7mm machine gun armament.

The boat is christened Bir Hakeim in line with the navy’s convention of naming the VFMs after historical battles in which the Fusiliers Marins participated.

Italian builder launches new amphibious ship for Qatar

Photo: Fincantieri

Italian shipyard Fincantieri has launched a new landing platform dock (LPD) ordered by the Qatari Ministry of Defence for the Qatari Emiri Navy.

Once completed, the future QENS Al Fulk will measure 143 by 21.5 metres and will have space for 550 crewmembers and other personnel as well as vehicles including landing craft and a utility helicopter.

The LPD will also be capable of performing humanitarian missions.

US Navy christens fleet oiler Earl Warren

Photo: General Dynamics NASSCO

The US Navy christened its third John Lewis-class fleet oiler in a ceremony in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 21.

The future USNS Earl Warren honours the late Earl Warren, a former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. During Mr Warren’s 16 years as Chief Justice, a period of time when the Supreme Court was known as the “Warren Court”, civil rights and civil liberties were dramatically expanded, marking this period as one of the most important periods in the history of American constitutional law.

Like its John Lewis-class sisters, the future Earl Warren is designed to transfer fuel to US Navy carrier strike group ships operating at sea and has the capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, and aviation capability up to a speed of 20 knots.

General Dynamics NASSCO of San Diego is the prime contractor in the John Lewis-class shipbuilding program.

First steel cut for Royal Navy’s second Type 31 frigate

Photo: Royal Navy

UK defence company the Babcock International Group has cut the first steel to be used for the construction of the future HMS Active, the second Type 31 or Inspiration-class frigate slated for the UK Royal Navy.

Once in service, the frigate will be used to conduct missions including counter-terrorism and counter-drug patrols and disaster response. It will have a 57-millimetre naval gun, two 40-millimetre autocannon, surface-to-air missiles, a helicopter deck, and space for three small fast boats for at-sea interceptions and boardings.

Babcock intends to deliver all five Type 31 ships to the Royal Navy by 2028.

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