Major Expansion of U.S. Navy Amphibious Warfare Fleet?

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

LPD-17 – Source, US Navy

The decision to use the LPD-17 design as the baseline for the LX(R) has opened up a major discussion on the future size and composition of the U.S. Navy amphibious warfare fleet.  This decision resulted from the Navy’s determination that the Ingalls Shipbuilding production line for LPD-17s is now working so efficiently that another ship could be ordered to bridge the gap between LPD-17 construction and the start of the LX(R) program. As a result, lawmakers provided $1.8 billion for LPD-29, the 13th ship in the class, in the fiscal year 2017 spending plan.

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S-Cube the Sonar of Choice for New Submarines

By Richard Sterk, Defense Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

S-Cube Submarine Sonar System. Source: Thales

The older generation Eledone (technology- based) sonars such as the TSM-2233 are being phased out by newer sonars like the S-Cube and the UMS-3000.  (The UMS-3000 appears to be the designation for the system intended for the Barracuda class SSNs and Le Triomphant class SSBNs.)  Forecast International’s market forecasts for the UMS-3000 and S-Cube systems are based upon the procurement of submarines (platforms) that host these sonars, such as the Scorpène class subs under construction for Brazil, India, and Spain.  They are also based on expected retrofits and upgrades to various Type 209 submarines. Continue reading

There Is Something Wrong With Our Ships Today – And There Is Something Wrong With Our System

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Damage to the John S McCain. Courtesy Royal Malaysian Navy.

Ten sailors are missing and five were injured after DDG-56 USS John S. McCain was involved in a collision with the Alnic MC, a 600-foot oil tanker.  The collision took place off Singapore about 5.24 a.m. local time on August 21.  Five sailors were injured in the collision, and 10 are missing. The McCain suffered “significant damage to the hull” after a hole was torn in the warship beneath the waterline. It led to flooding of crew accommodation and a communications rooms and, most critically, caused flooding in a shaft tunnel.

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Forecast International Launches Improved U.S. Defense Budget Database

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

Source: Forecast International’s U.S. Defense Budget Forecast

Forecast International is pleased to announce the launch of a newly enhanced U.S. Defense Budget Forecast database, now featuring the ability to track major program spending and identify winners and losers within every Pentagon budget request.  FI’s budget database provides quick access to DoD request and forecast budget data, justification documents, congressional markups, and more.  The Pentagon’s massive weapons spending plan can be sorted by value, with options for filtering programs by appropriation title (R1/P1), service, and appropriation account.       Continue reading

Dolphins in Trouble

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Dolphin-Class Submarine. Source: IDF Navy

With the original group of Dolphin-class submarines designed to have a hull life of 30 years and a design initiation-to-commissioning cycle of at least 10-15 years, attention turned to designing replacements for the first three submarines in 2015.  At first, Israeli ambitions seemed somewhat excessive, with references to “an entirely different submarine from the Dolphin or the Dolphin AIP.” Reality appears to have set in, however, with attention now focused on an upgraded version of the Flight II Dolphin class that includes “some room for growth, with new materials, better sonar … but pretty much the same design.” Continue reading

China’s Long March toward Global Naval Presence Symbolized in New Carrier

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Chinese Carrier Liaoning. PLAN Photo.

With the April 26 launch of its first indigenous aircraft carrier, China has signaled its resolve to build a first-rate navy with a global reach.  China’s long-term goal of building a blue-water navy capable of extending its maritime presence beyond its immediate region continues to bear fruit. That process took a step forward with the launching in the northeastern port city of Dalian of the locally built ship.    Continue reading

Western Sanctions Impact Russian Frigate Sale to India

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Russian Frigate Admiral Grigorovich. Source: Russian Ministry of Defense

Russia is moving forward with export plans for two of its Admiral Grigorovich class frigates (Project 11356M). Under an agreement inked last year, Moscow will export the Admiral Butakov and Admiral Istomin  to India, and assist India in producing two more locally. While both sides seem to be working on implementing the contract, Western sanctions have created complications. Continue reading

Japan Opts for More Small Ships – and a Faster Build Rate

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Faced with a growing People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) naval capacity and maritime presence in waters of the East China Sea, Japan’s government plans to accelerate, alter and expand a warship building project. Rather than continuing with a build rate of one new 5,000-ton destroyer per year, a decision was reached to shift to construction of two smaller 3,000-ton destroyers per year beginning with the launch of the fiscal year in April 2018. This will allow for an expansion of the class from four to eight ships, thus providing the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) with greater fleet capacity with which to counter the growing naval arm of the PLAN. Continue reading

India Launches Second Scorpene Submarine, but Capacity Pressures Still Haunt Navy

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Scorpene class submarine

With India’s submarine capacity dwindling, small rays of sunshine are beginning to appear in the distance. The launching on January 12 of the second in a six-boat class of French-designed Project 75 Scorpene attack submarines (SSKs) marks another small, slow step in building up a capable submarine arm that has dangerously atrophied over the years. During the 1980s, the Indian Navy submarine inventory numbered 21 vessels, while today it features just 13 conventional submarines, plus one indigenous nuclear-powered ballistic missile (SSBN) submarine, the Arihant. Another boat, the Russian Akula-class Chakra, is leased and used only for training purposes. Continue reading

Malaysia Plans to Buy Ships from China as Beijing Courts Southeast Asia

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

By 樱井千一 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26092295

Type 056 (Jiangdao class) corvette.  Source: 樱井千一 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Marking a new step in military cooperation between China and Malaysia, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced that his country will be purchasing “at least” four naval ships from China tailored for missions in littoral waters. Continue reading