End of an Epoch

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

Decommissioning of the Almirante Grau
Source: Peruvian Navy

Five hundred years of naval history ended in late September when the world’s last armored, gun-armed cruiser was decommissioned by the Peruvian Navy.  The Navy’s long-time flagship BAP (Buque Armada Peruana) Almirante Grau lowered her flag for the last time after 45 years of service.  With her departure, the world’s last warship designed primarily as a platform for her guns is gone and a line of development stretching back to the 15th century has ended.  The BAP Almirante Grau was replaced as fleet flagship by BAP Montero, a Carvajal class frigate built by Servicios Industriales de la Marina (SIMA) and commissioned into the Navy in 1984. Continue reading

Adieu to Super Etendard

by Carter Palmer, Military Aircraft Inventories Specialist, Forecast International.

Super Etendard. Source: wikipedia

Super Etendard. Source: wikipedia

The French Navy’s sleek Super Etendard strike aircraft catapulted into the air for the last time on March 16. The SEM model launched represents the last incarnation of a long line of Etendards (the aircraft was developed as a light strike fighter in the 1950s). The fighter is perhaps best remembered for the role it played in a war over a distant British outpost. The Falkland Islands, seized by Argentine forces in 1982, proved difficult to recapture both on land and sea. Continue reading