South Korean navy receives second upgraded KDX-I-class destroyer

by Gabriel Dominguez

South Korea's DAPA announced on 22 October that KDX-I-class destroyer Gwanggaeto Daewang was returned to RoKN after completing an upgrade programme. (RoKN)

The second upgraded Gwanggaeto Daewang (KDX-I)-class destroyer has been returned to the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) after completing a modernisation programme aimed at improving the vessel's combat management system (CMS) and other sensors.

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement that Gwanggaeto Daewang (pennant number DDG 971) was returned to the service on 22 October during a ceremony held at the Jinhae Naval Base in South Gyeongsang Province.

The first destroyer of the three-vessel KDX-I class to have completed the upgrade was Yang Manchun (DDG 973), which returned to service in September 2020. The third destroyer, Eulji Mundeok (DDG 972), is currently undergoing upgrades and is expected to return to service in December, according to DAPA.

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NAVSEA establishes new US Navy group to improve industrial fire safety

by Michael Fabey

Fire damage led to the decommissioning of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard in 2020. The US Navy has established a group to prevent such incidents. (US Navy)

The US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has established a new team focused on preventing future industrial shipboard fires and reducing risks highlighted in the investigations of previous fires, NAVSEA officials confirmed on 6 December.

Over the past 12 years, the navy has suffered four major shipboard fires that resulted in the loss of two capital asset ships, extended availabilities, and significantly increased costs, NAVSEA officials noted in a statement.

The launch of the Industrial Fire Safety Assurance Group (IFSAG) by NAVSEA Commander Vice Admiral William Galinis and Executive Director Giao Phan, “provides the command and the navy with a team focused specifically on analysing industrial shipboard fire metrics, and developing actions to address and reduce those risks”, NAVSEA officials said.

“Hot work and electrical fires,” Eric Duncan, IFSAG director pointed out, “are top offenders, along with material handling and stowage, and compliance with fire safety requirements.”

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Thyssenkrupp might shed naval business

by Marc Selinger

Thyssenkrupp's naval products include the F125 frigate. (Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems)

German industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp is exploring divesting its Marine Systems (TKMS) business to facilitate consolidation in the fragmented European naval shipbuilding industry.

One option under consideration is to combine TKMS with another shipbuilder, Thyssenkrupp said on 2 December. Another is to turn TKMS into a standalone entity, which could ultimately lead to a merger with another shipbuilder. The TKMS review is in an early stage, according to Thyssenkrupp CEO Martina Merz.

TKMS builds submarines, surface ships, and electronic systems for naval customers. In fiscal year (FY) 2020–21, which ended on 30 September 2021, the business generated sales of EUR2 billion (USD2.3 billion), an 11.1% increase from the previous year, fuelled by surface ship deliveries to the German and Israeli navies. Its adjusted earnings before interest and taxes rose 30% to EUR26 million, and its order intake more than tripled to EUR6.7 billion.

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First SLAM-F component handed over

by Richard Scott

France has accepted delivery of the first hardware for its SLAM-F (Système de lutte anti-mines futur) future mine countermeasures (MCM) capability.

A prototype Maritime Mine Countermeasures (MMCM) system was formally handed over to the Direction générale de l'armement by Thales in Brest on 25 November to support operational evaluation activities and establish an initial operational capability.

The SLAM-F recapitalisation is intended to provide the French Navy with a next-generation MCM capability to deliver against four different MCM tasks: to maintain the security of the strategic deterrent and the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle ; to protect access to French ports; to support the deployment of a deployed task group; and to support evacuation, crisis prevention, and contested intervention operations.

The MMCM programme, co-funded by France and the UK, has matured an end-to-end offboard minehunting system that uses remote offboard systems – both autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) – to enable the detection, classification, localisation, and neutralisation of mine threats at stand-off ranges.

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The second upgraded Gwanggaeto Daewang (KDX-I)-class destroyer has been returned to the Republic of ...

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