Archive for January, 2008

  Naval News Today

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 31Jan08.

U.S. Navy says sets record for futuristic gun

The U.S. Navy said it generated on Thursday the strongest-ever force of its kind used to fire a futuristic weapon designed to boost naval gunfire range more than 10 times by 2020.

The Office of Naval Research said it had demonstrated a “revolutionary” technology that could turn U.S. warships into super-long-range machine guns capable of firing relatively inexpensive rounds with near pinpoint accuracy.

Development of the so-called electromagnetic railgun began in earnest in 2006 under contracts awarded to BAE Systems and closely held General Atomics, which produces the Predator family of remotely piloted aircraft.

The system, when fully developed, would send an electric current along parallel rails to shoot a shell more than 200 nautical miles, or 230 miles, at seven times the speed of sound and within five meters of the target. Conventional guns, by contrast, rely on chemical powders to launch projectiles.

Rosyth gets assurance on ‘supercarriers’

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown has said the building of two Royal Navy aircraft carriers at Rosyth Dockyards is still going ahead, but has refused to commit to a timescale.

Recent reports suggested there may be delays in the £3.9 billion project to assemble the “supercarriers” at Rosyth.

In the House of Commons yesterday, Dunfermline and West Fife MP Willie Rennie asked why the contracts for the job had still not been signed, even though the Defence Secretary announced the go-ahead last July.

Mr Brown replied that the Government was still committed to assembling the ships at the Fife yard, although he would not be drawn on when work will start.

French navy in big cocaine seizure off West Africa

French navy warship has intercepted a Liberian-flagged fishing vessel carrying 2.5 tonnes of cocaine in waters off the West African coast, a United Nations anti-narcotics official has said.

It was the biggest cocaine seizure so far this year off West Africa, which has increasingly become a trans-shipment point favoured by Latin American drug cartels because of weak local law enforcement and its long largely unsupervised coastline.

In this growing trafficking corridor, the drugs are flown or shipped across the Atlantic and then on to markets in Europe.

The Blue Atlantic and its nine Ghanaian crew members were detained by the French navy vessel Tonnerre on Wednesday, 520 km south west of the Liberian capital Monrovia, Amado de Andres, deputy representative for West Africa of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told Reuters.

  Thursday Open Post

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 31Jan08.

  Naval News Today

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 31Jan08.

Navy asks court to drop sonar injunction

President Bush was within his legal rights to exempt the Navy from environmental laws to allow sonar training off Southern California, military lawyers argued Wednesday in court.

The exemption was issued to allow the Navy to continue using sonar during anti-submarine warfare exercises that Bush deemed necessary for national security, Justice Department attorney Luther Hajek told U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper.

“The president’s action was a valid, legal act,” Hajek said.

The exemption two weeks ago drew criticism from environmentalists who say the sonar harms whales and other marine mammals. The move came after Cooper issued a preliminary injunction requiring the Navy to create a 12-nautical-mile no-sonar zone along the coast.

As a result of the executive exemption, Cooper temporarily lifted some restrictions on the Navy’s use of high-power sonar.

The Justice Department on Wednesday asked the judge to vacate the injunction entirely or, barring that, keep the partial stay in place.

US Navy to test-fire electric hypercannon, Record-breaking railgun crowdpleaser

The US Navy will astound the world tomorrow by test-firing a radical new weapon system at an unprecedented power level. The new piece of war-tech on trial is that old sci-fi favourite, an electromagnetic railgun.

According to the Office of Naval Research, which is in charge of the project, the electric cannon will deliver over ten megajoules of energy in one shot. The ONR say this is “a power level never before achieved” by a railgun, and already represents significantly more poke than a normal five-inch naval gun can put behind its shells.

The designers hope in future to get the technology up to 64 megajoule muzzle-energy levels, able to shoot hypervelocity projectiles at a blistering Mach 7 and strike targets two hundred miles away – still going at Mach 5 – with pinpoint precision.

S Korean Navy chief starts European tour

South Korea’s Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Song Young-moo started a 10-day trip to Spain, Turkey and Italy on Wednesday, seeking further military exchange and cooperation with those countries, the Navy said.

According to the Yonhap news agency, Song would start his European tour in Spain with consultations with his counterparts over the operation of the Aegis system, an advanced combat system that uses powerful computers and radars to track and destroy enemy targets.

Yonhap cited the Navy as saying that Song would then travel to Turkey seeking cooperation opportunities for South Korea’s defense industry, and then to Italy for discussions on the exchange of military personnel.

Navy bestows names on latest Va.-class subs

Three forthcoming Virginia-class submarines being built in part at Northrop Grumman’s Newport News shipyard were named Wednesday.

Keeping in the tradition of naming Virginia-class subs after states, Navy Secretary Donald C. Winter announced the next three boats will be named Missouri, California and Mississippi, the service said Wednesday.

Those subs will join the already delivered USS Virginia, USS Texas and USS Hawaii; and three others under construction: North Carolina, New Hampshire and New Mexico.

Peru Navy Oil Tanker Sinks Off Coast; 15 Injured (Update4)

A Peruvian navy oil tanker sank today off the Andean country’s north coast after an explosion injured 15 sailors and caused an oil spill, Energy Minister Juan Valdivia said.

The tanker BAP Supe, leased by Houston-based oil and gas exploration company BPZ Resources Inc., was carrying 1,300 barrels of crude oil when it sank in flames off the port of Zorritos, 1,000 kilometers (622 miles) northwest of Lima, Valdivia told reporters at the Presidential Palace in Lima.

  Wednesday Open Post

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 31Jan08.

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