Meridian – Maritime


Meridian - summer break from August 14, 2021 to September 6, 2021



Naval Reserve member stays the course on the high seas

Able Seaman Barry Dulieu preparing to board a rigid-hull inflatable boat during the Navy Reservist exercise in Auckland, outside the Devonport Naval Base. When he was six, Barry Dulieu travelled on the interisland ferry Tamahine got the chance to steer the ship. A seed was planted that set him on a maritime course for the rest of his life. Now 68, the long-time Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve member has patrolled New Zealand waters and taken part in international naval exercises, where he played roles from storming a ship to being an “antagonistic evacuee”. The Able Seaman was recently in Auckland for an exercise which provided reservists an opportunity to understand how their role supports the Navy’s operations...




Ningbo terminal closure and what if Covid hits more Chinese ports

The news that Ningbo Meidong Container Terminal had suspended operations on Wednesday over a single Covid case raises wider fears for the supply chain as the Delta variant outbreak in China continues to spread. Tackling its largest Covid outbreak since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020 China continues to operate a zero-Covid strategy of travel restrictions, locking down cities, and testing entire populations, when cases spring up. In the case of Ningbo Zhoushan Reuters reported that a single employee of the Meidong terminal had tested positive for Covid-19. The employee who was fully vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine was believed to be asymptomatic. It is not yet known if the infection is the Delta variant strain which Sinovac appears to have limited in efficacy against...



More and more container ships are waiting in Chinese ports

The ships are stowed in the two leading container transshipment ports in China. The background is the stricter restrictions to contain the latest corona outbreak. How the ship traffic jam has worsened in the last few days. How many ships are already stowed in the two leading container transshipment ports in China. How diverted ships aggravate queues in other ports...


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Grounded woodchip carrier breaks in two off Japan

“NYK has organized a crisis management center led by NYK president Hitoshi Nagasawa to rapidly address the situation. The company is cooperating with related parties based on advice from the Japan Coast Guard. Company personnel have been sent to the site, and necessary support will be provided to the shipowner and ship-management company,” the Japanese shipping company said...



Residents flee Greek island as fire devours its forests

Pillars of billowing smoke and ash turned the sky orange and blocked out the sun above Greece's second-largest island Sunday (today NZT) as a days-old wildfire devoured pristine forests and encroached on villages, triggering more evacuation alerts. The fire on Evia, an island of forested mountains and canyons laced with small coves of crystalline water, began August 3 and cut across the popular summer destination from coast to coast as it burned out of control. Scores of homes and businesses have been destroyed and thousands of residents and tourists have fled, many escaping the flames via flotillas that even operated in the dark of night. The blaze is the most severe of dozens that broke out in the wake of Greece's most protracted heat wave in three decades, which sent temperatures soaring to 45 degrees Celsius for days, creating bone-dry conditions...


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Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship 27 Launched and Christened

The 27th Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Nantucket, launches sideways into the Menominee River in Marinette, Wisconsin, on August 7. The Lockheed Martin-led shipbuilding team launched and Polly Spencer, ship sponsor and wife of the 76th Secretary of the U.S. Navy, Richard V. Spencer, christened Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 27, the future USS Nantucket, into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Shipyard on Saturday, August 7, 2021. “Lockheed Martin is proud to celebrate this milestone for Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 27 the future USS Nantucket. The LCS Freedom-variant is a resilient, flexible warship, designed to meet the evolving missions of the U.S. Navy. The Lockheed Martin team continues to partner with the U.S. Navy to add lethality and survivability enhancements to the highly capable LCS class and we look forward to continued delivery of these adaptable ships...



Indo-Pacific Nations Kick Off 20th SEACAT Exercise

Maritime forces from 21 Indo-Pacific partner nations including the U.S. Navy, U.S interagencies, and international organizations began the 20th iteration of Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) in Singapore and virtually, Aug. 10. SEACAT is a multilateral exercise designed to enhance cooperation among Southeast Asian countries and provide mutual support and a common goal to address crises, contingencies, and illegal activities in the maritime domain using standardized tactics, techniques, and procedures.  “In this region, the strength of our partnerships matter and our ability and willingness to work together is paramount.”  “This year’s SEACAT aims to enhance our interoperability as we address our shared maritime security concerns and preserve rules-based international order.” Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet...



HII Awarded $273 Million US Navy Aircraft Carrier

And Surface Ship Maintenance Contract

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Technical Solutions division announced today that it has been awarded a five-year contract with a total value of $273 Million to support the U.S. Navy’s carrier engineering maintenance assist team, surface engineering maintenance assist team for west coast surface ships, and other maintenance and material readiness programs. “Continuous modernization and sustainment of our nation’s fleet is essential to our national security,” said Garry Schwartz, president of Technical Solutions’ Defense and Federal Solutions business group. “HII is honored to extend our 40-year partnership with the U.S. Navy in support of these critical defense assets, and to continue leveraging our expertise to maximize efficiency and cost-savings in the future.” Work performed on the contract will support maintenance and planning for the overhaul and repair of equipment and systems including hull, mechanical and electrical; aviation equipment and systems; command, control, communications, computer and intelligence; and combat support systems...


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Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group joins Large-Scale Exercise 2021

"LSE at its core is leveraging integrated fighting power of multiple naval forces to share sensors, weapons and platforms across all domains" said Rear Adm. Dan Martin, commander, CSG 1. "Contemporary naval doctrine demands a shift of focus from the individual carrier strike group to a fleet-centric approach. During LSE 2021, CSG 1 assets will participate in live and virtual events designed to combine the art of science and naval warfare into a joint-force training platform." LSE will display abilities to employ precise, lethal and overwhelming force globally across three naval component commands, five numbered fleets and 17 time zones. The first iteration provides high-end training at sea and ashore involving only U.S. participants; however, future training will evolve into a triennial exercise that will include U.S. allies and partners...


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Indo-Pacific Forces from 21 Partner Nations Kick Off SEACAT

SINGAPORE - Maritime forces from 21 Indo-Pacific partner nations including the U.S. Navy, U.S interagencies, and international organizations began the 20th iteration of Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) in Singapore and virtually, Aug. 10. SEACAT is a multilateral exercise designed to enhance cooperation among Southeast Asian countries and provide mutual support and a common goal to address crises, contingencies, and illegal activities in the maritime domain using standardized tactics, techniques, and procedures. “In this region, the strength of our partnerships matter and our ability and willingness to work together is paramount,” said Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. “This year’s SEACAT aims to enhance our interoperability as we address our shared maritime security concerns and preserve rules-based international order.” The exercise scenarios are designed to encourage countries to use maritime forces to enhance understanding of the operational environment, build capacity for humanitarian support missions, and uphold international laws and norms...



S.Korea and U.S. to begin preliminary

military exercises on Tuesday -Yonhap

SEOUL, Aug 9 (Reuters) - South Korea and the United States will begin preliminary military drills on Tuesday, the Yonhap news agency reported on Monday, despite North Korea's warning that the exercises would dent signs of an inter-Korean thaw. The drills, called Crisis Management Staff Training, were designed to examine the allies' readiness to respond to a potential contingency, and will be held until Friday before switching to full-scale exercises scheduled for Aug. 16-26, Yonhap said, citing unidentified military and government sources. South Korea's defence ministry said the timing, scale and formation of the drills were not yet finalised. The U.S. Forces Korea declined to comment, citing its policy. South Korea and the United States regularly stage military exercises, mainly in the spring and summer, but North Korea has for decades reacted angrily, calling them a rehearsal for war...


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Indian Navy ships Shivalik and Kadmatt

arrive in Brunei, to take part in bilateral exercise ndia/story/indian-navy-ships-shivalik-kadmatt-brunei-southeast-asia-deployment-bilateral-exercise-1838714-2021-08-09

Indian Navy ships Shivalik and Kadmatt arrive in Brunei, to take part in bilateral exercise - During the stay at Brunei's Muara, the crew of both the ships will participate in various bilateral interactions with the Royal Brunei Navy. As part of India's 'Act East' policy, Indian Navy ships Shivalik and Kadmatt arrived at Brunei's Muara on Monday as part of their deployment in southeast Asia, the Indian Navy said in a statement. During the stay at Muara, the crew of both the ships will participate in various bilateral interactions with the Royal Brunei Navy. The exercise will provide an opportunity to both the navies to enhance interoperability, gain from best practices and develop a common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations besides strengthening India-Brunei defence relations. The bilateral exercise will conclude with a Passage Exercise with Royal Brunei Navy at sea on Aug 12. Indian Navy ships Shivalik and Kadmatt are the latest indigenously designed and built multi-role Guided Missile Stealth Frigate and Anti-Submarine Corvette respectively. They form part of the Indian Navy's Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam under the Eastern Naval Command. The two ships are equipped with a versatile array of weapons and sensors, including multi-role helicopters...


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Salvage Begins on Capsized Seacor Power off Louisiana

Salvage operations commenced on the capsized Seacor Power, which remains partially submerged approximately seven miles off Port Fourchon, Louisiana. Salvage crews under the supervision of the Unified Command established by the U.S. Coast Guard and the vessel’s owner Seacor Marine, set up operations beginning May 1 as the private volunteer search effort came to an end. The liftboat partially sunk on April 13 shortly after departing port. It encountered heavy seas during a sudden and intense storm. Seven crewmembers remain unaccounted for while six were rescued in the hours after the accident and six bodies were recovered from the water and aboard the vessel...



'Devastated' workers and Northland leaders upset with oil refinery closure

RNZ's podcast The Detail looks at the history of Marsden Point, and why people are warning that closing it will not only hurt Northland's economy, but put the country's fuel security at risk. Refining NZ’s shareholder vote to turn Marsden Point refinery into a fuel import terminal has been described as a huge let-down by some of the 240 employees who stand to lose their jobs. The yes vote effectively ends oil refining in New Zealand, and will shut down most of the Marsden Point site from mid-2022. A total of 240 workers, out of the 300 employees will be made redundant, while 80 per cent of the approximately 200 contractors on site are also set to be out of work...



New U.S. Navy Secretary is "Exclusively Focused on the China Threat"

On Saturday, the U.S. Senate confirmed businessman and former Navy officer Carlos Del Toro as the 78th Secretary of the Navy. Del Toro takes over from Acting Secretary Thomas Harker, and he will be the seventh person in four years to occupy the service's top civilian post. Del Toro, who retired with the rank of commander after a 22-year career in the Navy, served as the first commanding officer of the destroyer USS Bulkeley. He deployed to the Persian Gulf three times during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and he served aboard a frigate, two destroyers, a cruiser and an aircraft carrier over the span of his time in the service. His shore tours included time as a program manager with Naval Warfare Information Systems Command and the National Reconnaissance Office.  By background, he was born in Havana and immigrated to the United States with his parents at an early age; he is the second Latino and the first Cuban-American to hold the post of Secretary of the Navy. In his confirmation hearing in July, Del Toro told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he would focus on modernization, and would be keeping a particularly close eye on the Indo-Pacific. "I am going to be exclusively focused on the China threat and exclusively focused in moving our maritime strategy forward in order to protect Taiwan and all of our national security interests in the Indo-Pacific theater,” he said...


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Royal Navy Carrier Enters the Pacific for the First Time in Decades

The UK Royal Navy's first full-scale aircraft carrier in a generation has entered the Pacific, marking Great Britain's new commitment to maritime security in the Far East in an era of great power competition. Independent reports suggest that carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has been operating in the South China Sea since last week. "The arrival of the Carrier Strike Group in Southeast Asia is a clear sign that the UK is ready to work with friends and partners, new and old, to strengthen the security and freedoms upon which we mutually depend," said Commodore Steve Moorhouse, commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group, in a statement Thursday. The task group, led by Queen Elizabeth, passed through the Strait of Malacca and met up with vessels of the Thai, Malaysian and Singaporean navies for passing exercises and maneuvers along the way. Meanwhile, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker RFA Tidespring made a port call in Singapore to take on supplies...


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Navy Sea Base Arrives In Nigeria For Anti-Piracy Push

USS Hershel “Woody” Williams, the first ship permanently assigned to Africa, arrived in Nigeria’s commercial capital city of Lagos on Saturday as part of the U.S. government’s support to combat piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. “Ship visits like this one clearly demonstrate the U.S.’s continued dedication to our partners in the Gulf of Guinea as they strive for the security of their resources, their economy, and their people,” Claire Pierangelo, U.S. Consul General in Lagos, told reporters Saturday. West African loses about 800,000 tons of fish a year, worth almost $2 billion in gross revenue, to illegal activities by both foreign and domestic vessels, Pierangelo said. This removes vast seafood protein from the region. Nigerian waters are at the center of the Gulf of Guinea, a vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stretching from Senegal to Angola that’s the most dangerous part of the world for sailors, accounting for almost all kidnappings at sea in recent years. “We’re here to train and work with the Nigerian Navy on anti-piracy, tactics, techniques, and procedures,” Hershel “Woody” Williams Captain Chad Graham said...



The U.S. Navy Wants More 15 New Next-Gen Frigates

The Navy is surging forward with its new ambitious plan to produce as many as fifteen new frigates within the next five years. Alongside that development, the military service’s plans for weapons and technology integration are taking shape. It is clear the Navy intends to architect this ship in what could be referred to as a dual-attack capacity, which means the ship will be built for both littoral warfare and “blue water” warfare on the open sea. Some of the technological indications, now being refined by the Navy through simulation, are showing great promise that such an approach is indeed achievable. While initially being conceived as an up-gunned Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), or more survivable LCS-type platform, the Fincantieri Marinette Marine-engineered frigate has taken on more of its own developmental trajectory to incorporate both littoral kinds of maritime warfare capabilities as well as “open” or “blue water” combat potential. For instance, initial plans for the frigate years ago were not clear or certain that the ship would integrate missile-launching Vertical Launch Systems (VLS), yet the current ship under development will include as many as thirty-two VLS, Capt. Kevin Smith, the program manager of the Constellation-class frigate, told an audience at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space Symposium...


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A globe-spanning Navy exercise, run out of Norfolk:

‘Our job is to reduce the fog of war’

Tied up at Pier 6 on Naval Station Norfolk, with divers over the side to clean USS San Jacinto’s bottom, sailors in the cruiser’s blue-lit combat information center were thousands of miles away. Like some 25,000 sailors and Marines, spread across 17 time zones, they were in the early days of a test of the Navy’s ability to fight a global war. For San Jacinto, tied up at the pier but in a virtual sense off the coast of Norway, this meant the CIC team were in their usual role watching for enemy aircraft or missiles aiming at any of the warships in the USS Harry S. Truman carrier strike group. “We’re actually monitoring any surface and air contacts ... It could be anything from friendlies, people that we’re training with right now within this exercise, to simulated combatants, or unknown contacts,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Falgoust. The screens that he and the three tactical air controllers watch allow them to project tracks of aircraft and ships, using advanced software and their best judgment. The aim: to see which are threats and which are harmless...


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Understatement show - smaller than provided?


China flexes nuclear muscle to burnish its big power credentials

Rapid development of arsenal suggests Beijing will forsake its ‘minimum deterrence’ policy

One of Joe Biden’s most urgent missions on taking office was to rescue nuclear arms control. Two weeks after his inauguration, the US president extended the New Start Treaty with Russia, a cornerstone of arms control that a fractious relationship had left at risk of expiring. But the Biden administration has now been forced to confront another nuclear challenge: China. Since June, experts have discovered more than 200 missile silos under construction in the country’s remote western deserts. “For a very, very long time, we talked about China as a future problem. Now, China is clearly a nuclear problem,” said David Santoro, president of Hawaii-based think-tank Pacific Forum and a co-organiser of semi-official US-China nuclear dialogue for 15 years until 2019. “We have known for a while that China is in a nuclear build-up situation. What is happening now is a more rapid build-up.” Matt Korda and Hans Kristensen, the nuclear arms experts who last week revealed an 800 sq km missile silo construction field in Xinjiang, said it was the “most significant expansion of the Chinese nuclear arsenal ever”...


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The new militarisation of the Pacific

Military assets in the Pacific are increasing, ostensibly in an effort to help curb one of the region’s biggest challenges: illegal fishing. However, it’s also in part an effort to counter China’s influence in the region. National correspondent Lucy Craymer looks at what this means and New Zealand’s role in it. A New Zealand Defence Force P-3K2 Orion​ took off from Nauru’s only runway this week. The crew of the plane spent the next several hours peering out of its windows at the expanse of blue ocean below, looking for fishing boats, yachts and merchant ships. This military plane is part of a multinational push – with the United States, France and Australia also involved – to curb illegal fishing in an operation led by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency​. It is also just one of a growing number of defence assets operating regularly in the region as Western partners counter China’s growing power there...


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Ahead Of Indian Navy Expedition, China Begins Drills in South China Sea

China today kicked off five-day naval drills in the disputed South China Sea, setting up a vast navigation restriction zone amid the all-domain military exercises being conducted by the US in the Indo-Pacific region along with Britain, Australia and Japan, the first of its kind in more than four decades. The Indian Navy is also deploying a naval task group comprising four frontline warships to the South China Sea (SCS) Western Pacific and South East Asia for over two months beginning early August, in a significant move aimed at enhancing its profile in the strategically key sea lanes. In the course of their deployment, the Indian ships will participate in the next edition of the Malabar exercise alongside the Quad allied navies of Japan, Australia, the US, in the Western Pacific, Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said on August 2. About the drills by Quad countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday, "China hopes that the warships of relevant countries will earnestly abide by international law, respect the sovereignty, rights and interests of countries along the South China Sea and avoid harming regional peace and stability." A notice released by the Maritime Safety Administration early this week said China will hold military training in the SCS from Friday to Tuesday, and other vessels are prohibited from entering the navigation restriction zone. The coordinates provided in the notice show that the exclusion zone stretches from waters off the southeast of Hainan Island to a majority of waters around the Paracel islands which China claims as Xisha islands, the National Defence Newspaper reported on Thursday. The Paracel islands in the South China Sea are also claimed by Vietnam...



India to deploy naval task force into South China Sea and beyond

India is sending a task force of four warships into the South China Sea on a two-month deployment that will include exercises with Quad partners the United States, Japan and Australia, India's Defense Ministry announced Monday. The warships will depart India early this month, the Defense Ministry statement said, without giving a specific departure date. The task force, which includes a guided-missile destroyer, guided missile frigate, anti-submarine corvette and guided-missile corvette, will participate in a series of exercises during the two-month deployment, including the Malabar 2021 naval exercises with US, Japanese and Australian forces. In other bilateral exercises during the deployment, the Indian warships will work with naval units from South China Sea littoral states, including Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, the Defense Ministry said…


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Military Sealift Command supports U.S. Navy’s Large Scale Exercise 2021

SAN DIEGO - Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet replenishment oiler USNS Yukon (T-AO 202) and dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11) will participate in the Pacific portion of the U.S. Navy’s Large Scale Exercise 2021. Yukon and Chambers will provide logistics services including aviation fuel, bunker fuel, dry food, as well as machine parts and equipment to the ships in the region. “Exercises like LSE 21 demonstrate MSC’s ability to provide crucial logistics support to our joint warfighters,” said Capt. Kendall Bridgewater, commander, Military Sealift Command Pacific. “MSC is a vital part of our nation’s defense force and exercises, like this, enable us to operate at an accelerated tempo that will better hone our skills for future operations.” LSE 2021 is a globally integrated exercise designed to test advanced warfare concepts across the full-range of maritime and amphibious operations under Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO). LSE 2021 will take place Aug. 3-16, 2021, in the U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Fleet Forces, and U.S. Naval Forces Europe areas of operation...



German warship ‘Bayern’ heads to the Indo-Pacific

WASHINGTON – The German navy’s frigate “Bayern” set sail on Monday for the Indo-Pacific region, fully loaded with Berlin’s aspirations to play a small role in the geopolitical standoff between China and the West. The first such deployment in almost 20 years is meant to uphold freedom of navigation in international waters, protect “open societies” and express support for regional partners sharing Germany’s values, Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said in a statement. The six-month mission follows the government’s overall strategy, published almost a year ago, for dealing with Indo-Pacific challenges. For Germany, that has entailed a delicate dance around the subject of China, which government leaders believe is a would-be adversary in the security arena and an ally in other domains, like fighting climate change...



America Expeditionary Strike Group participates

in Combined and Joint Battle Problem

CORAL SEA- - USS America Expeditionary Strike Group, along with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), will conduct operations alongside Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Canberra (L 02) and HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's JS Makinami (DD 115), Aug. 5-8, in support of the Combined and Joint Battle Problem (CJBP). “It should come as no surprise that our blue-green team will continue to operate with like-minded nations in order to promote stability and the international rules-based order,” said Rear Adm. Chris Engdahl, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7. “Operations such as these ensure our forces can come together, if called upon, to defend shared interest in the region and respond to conventional or non-conventional threats.” CJBP is one of many operations nested under the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s Large Scale Global Exercise (LSGE) 21. LSGE 21 is global command and control exercise, with a regional focus, to enhance integration of the U.S., allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region...


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Exclusive footage of new 140m super explorer Solaris

After her recent delivery from Lloyd Werft in Germany, the new 140-metre super explorer Solaris is on the French Riviera for her maiden summer season where photographer Tom van Oossanen captured the vessel in all her glory this week. Get up close and personal with this new explorer-style yacht from the drawing boards of Marc Newson in this exclusive Solaris video below...



All Three Of The U.S. Navy’s Most Powerful Submarines

Were Under Way At The Same Time, In The Same Place

The U.S. Navy in July apparently deployed all three of its most powerful attack submarines all at the same time in the same ocean. In July, every Seawolf-class nuclear attack sub was under way in the Pacific Ocean. The Seawolf surge has serious implications for U.S. naval strategy at a time when America’s biggest competitor, China, fast is growing its own fleet. USS Seawolf, USS Connecticut and USS Jimmy Carter all sail from Bremerton, Washington. The 1990s-vintage vessels are the biggest, fastest and most heavily armed of the U.S. fleet’s roughly 50 attack submarines. Each Seawolf with its 50 torpedoes and missiles packs enough firepower to sink an enemy convoy or carrier group. The secretive Jimmy Carter also boasts a 100-foot hull extension that affords her special espionage and special-operations capabilities. One Seawolf in your backyard is bad news for your war plans. Three is potentially decisive against them...



Investigation –

Evidence points to secret Indian navy base on Mauritian island

Analysis of data suggests construction of airstrip and jetty for military use as India expands influence towards Africa. Satellite imagery, financial data and on-the-ground evidence obtained by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit point to India building a naval facility on the remote Mauritian island of Agaléga. Military experts who have analysed Al Jazeera’s evidence say an airstrip under construction will almost certainly be used for maritime patrol missions by India’s navy. Rumours and media reports about the military base first surfaced in 2018 but both Mauritius and India have denied that the construction project is for military purposes and say the infrastructure is only to benefit the islanders...



British navy group: Hijackers have left vessel off UAE coast

FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The hijackers who captured a vessel off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in the Gulf of Oman departed the targeted ship on Wednesday, the British navy reported, as recorded radio traffic appeared to reveal a crew member onboard saying Iranian gunmen had stormed the asphalt tanker. The incident — described by the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations the night before as a “potential hijack” — revived fears of an escalation in Mideast waters and ended with as much mystery as it began. Hints of what unfolded on the Panama-flagged asphalt tanker, called Asphalt Princess, began to emerge with the maritime radio recording, obtained by commodities pricing firm Argus Media and shared with The Associated Press. In the audio, a crew member can be heard telling the Emirati coast guard that five or six armed Iranians had boarded the tanker...



See it in full resolution here.


Here's the Entire U.S. Navy Fleet in One Chart

The United States Navy is a powerhouse. The fleet consists of roughly 430 ships in active service or reserve. The vessels run the gamut from the massive Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, which stretches more than 1,000 feet, to the Los Angeles-class submarine that slithers 900 feet below the ocean surface. This map from @Naval_Graphics on Twitter shows all the commissioned and noncommissioned ships of every size as of April 2015. The ships are organized by size, from the humongous aircraft carriers at the top to the smaller ships at the bottom...



China starts production of world’s first

100,000 dwt deep-water semi-submersible FPSO

The platform, named Shen Hai Yi Hao, is formally commencing production after being installed at the Lingshui (LS) 17-2 gas field in the South China Sea, operated by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). CCS President Mo Jianhui said the building of the Shen Hai Yi Hao marks a “giant step forward” in China’s offshore development capability as it extends the exploration depth from the previous record of 300m to 1500m ultra-deep water, which is also China’s first self-developed deep water FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading). The project achieved three world firsts, said You Xuegang, CNOOC project manager of Shen Hai Yi Hao, “This is the first FPSO to have condensate oil storage in the four semi-submersible columns with a maximum storage capacity of nearly 20,000 cu m; the largest span of the semi-submersible truss-type topside in the world of up to 49.5m and the first wet in-dock semi-stool assembly technology conducted on land. Meanwhile, 13 domestic initiative technologies have been applied practically, and her construction speed has set a new world record among the same type of platforms...



US Navy’s Most Unique Ship Looks Like Noah’s Ark

The U.S. Navy’s most unique ship is headed from Mississippi to Japan. Named APL 67, this brick-shaped ship is known as a berthing barge and is quite similar to Noah’s Ark. This special vessel has been designed to accommodate sailors when their warships are temporarily uninhabitable. The APL 67 is grey white. It is 267 feet long and 68.7 feet wide. It rises about four stories above the water and is primarily featureless. Its enormous size has led many to compare it to Noah’s Ark. (The Ark, was considerably huge 525 feet and 87 feet wide measurements.) VT Halter Marine, an American shipbuilding company, constructed it in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Presently, it is travelling to San Diego Naval Base and will then travel across to Fleet Activity Yokosuka, Japan. Fleet Activity Yokosuka across the Pacific Ocean is home to the Seventh Fleet of the U.S. Navy...



Australian Navy HMAS Sydney Hobart Class

guided missile destroyer is now ready for operational duty

The HMAS Sydney, Hobart Class guided missile destroyer passed the tests and now joins her sister ships Hobart and Brisbane as being ready for operational deployment. Commanding Officer Sydney Commander Andrew Hough said Navy’s Hobart-class destroyers provided significant combat capability to the joint force, be it in defending naval task groups, providing fire support to troops ashore, or coordinating air defense activities with the Air Force. Built in Adelaide by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance, Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney are equipped with the Aegis combat system, which includes advanced phased array radar and SM–2 missiles. The Aegis provides the destroyers with advanced air defense systems capable of engaging aircraft and missiles...



PLA flattops, advanced warplanes celebrate China's Army Day

The picture shows the aircraft carrier Liaoning (Hull 16) and other vessels and fighter jets in the maritime parade conducted by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the South China Sea on the morning of April 12, 2018. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), reviewed the parade. ( by Zhang Lei) - Displaying the Chinese military's tremendous development achievements to celebrate this year's Army Day on Sunday, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Army, Navy and Air Force demonstrated their most powerful weapons and equipment including warships and warplanes, with Chinese flattops recently conducting exercises involving the exploration of new operational methods...



U.S. Navy Asserts “Freedom of Navigation” in the South China Sea

The 1982 Law of the Sea Convention recognizes the rights and freedoms of all nations to engage in traditional uses of the sea. According to the Department of Defense 2020 Annual Freedom of Navigation Report to Congress, “Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims—or incoherent legal theories of maritime entitlement—that are inconsistent with international law pose a threat to the legal foundation of the rules-based international order.” Not all nations adhere to this principle. Consequently, the United States is “committed to confronting this threat by challenging excessive maritime claims,” the report said. The U.S. Navy routinely asserts those right by conducting “Freedom of Navigation” operations (FONOPS) around the world.  There are a number of claims around the globe with which the U.S. does not agree or accept.   Last year U.S. forces met 28 excessive maritime claims by 19 countries, the DoD report said.  This is perhaps most visible in the western Pacific, where the United States Navy continues to assert its right to operate freely in international waters by conducting FONOPS in the South China Sea, particularly in the vicinity of the Spratly and Paracel Islands...



An Update on the French Navy: July 2021

Paris – The French navy has “excellent relations” with the Australian navy, which shares the French view of the importance of the Pacific region, Admiral Pierre Vandier, navy chief of staff, said July 12. Australia is acquiring submarines and combat systems with “oceanic capability,” with an operational range of 10,000 km, he told the association of defense journalists. The Pacific is seen as a region of rising conflict, with media reports of China building  military bases on small islands in the South China Sea, and making claims of control over international waters disputed by other Asian nations. There is also growing concern over China seizing Taiwan, prompting the U.S. Navy to raise the option of forming the 1st fleet command, creating a second Pacific fleet to boost the capability of the 7th fleet based in Japan. Part of Australia’s pursuit of military means is a plan to acquire 12 diesel-electric attack submarines, with French shipbuilder Naval Group as prime contractor...



For The First Time Since 2016

German Navy To Deploy A Frigate In Indo-Pacific Region

With the deployment of a frigate in Indo-Pacific region, the German Navy wants to send a signal for free sea routes and the observance of international law in the region. The ship will be underway for a good six months. It will sail through the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal via the Indian Ocean to Australia and East Asia. On the way, exercises are planned with the navies of Australia, Singapore, Japan and the United States of America. In addition, there will be formal visits, port visits at the highest diplomatic level. By sending the “Bayern” to the South China Sea, the German government is underscoring its guidelines on the Indo-Pacific published last year. The region is of great strategic importance. “Stronger defense and security cooperation fills the multilateralism that is so important to us with life and strengthens the partnership with friends in Australia, Japan, South Korea and Singapore...



Review! UK Carrier Strike Group To

Conduct Exercise With Indo-Pacific Partners

The Strike Group will undertake a series of exercises with forces from the US, Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand and Korea in the Philippine Sea in August. On a visit to US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) in Hawaii, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace met with the Commander Admiral John C Aquilino and announced that the UK Carrier Strike Group will undertake a series of multinational exercises with global allies in the Philippine Sea this August. Operating alongside Naval and Air Forces from the United States, Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea, the UK Carrier Strike Group will undertake a number of integration exercises designed to build interoperability between like-minded international partners in this globally significant region of the world. The HMS Queen Elizabeth led Strike Group will operate with a US Carrier Strike Group, which combined, will be the largest concentration of F-35 jets anywhere in the world...



Cargo ship grounding, Gulf of Patras, Greece

General cargo ship MAYMONA ran aground in Gulf of Patras, Greece, Ionian sea, at around 1600 UTC Jul 29, while en route from San Nicolas Greece to Vassilko Cyprus, with cargo of bauxite. As of 1800 Jul 31 ship’s status unclear, no AIS position/status during last 48 hours. No leak reported, the ship was fenced off with booms. No tugs visible near grounding site, the ship was probably already refloated...


Meridian Maritime May 2021  Meridian Maritime June 2021  Meridian Maritime July 2021



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