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

China Unveils 2017 Defense Budget Target

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

China has announced its latest military spending earmark for fiscal year 2017 with a topline figure of CNY1.044 trillion ($151 billion). This amounts to about 9.4 percent more in nominal spending than in 2016, when the official defense target budget was set at CNY954.4 billion ($144 billion). Continue reading

Taiwanese Navy Pushes the Throttle on Indigenous Shipbuilding with LHD Plan

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

Computer drawing of LHD amphibious warfare ship based on Juan Carlos class.

The Taiwanese Navy has revealed its plans for a proposed helicopter-carrying, amphibious landing helicopter dock (LHD) warship that aligns with the indigenous defense industry buildup approach being pursued by the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen. 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

Indian Navy on the Hunt for Multirole Carrier-Borne Fighters

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

Indian Air Force MiG-29

The Indian Ministry of Defense – acting upon the Navy’s formal requirement for 57 multirole carrier-based fighters (MRCBFs) – has issued  a Request for Information (RFI). The RFI comes with multiple queries, which range from weapons payload capability to license production agreements to transfer of technology. And, it also sends a signal that the effort to develop an indigenous naval fighter variant – via state-owned  Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (the LCA-Navy) – faces further hurdles. Continue reading

Indian Navy’s Quest for New Minehunters Mired on Shoals of Indigenization Pressures

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

Kangnam mine countermeasures vessel

The Indian Navy’s long-standing quest for a new-build, modern class of mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) continues to flounder amid government demands regarding technology transfer and indigenization. A $5 billion project to build 12 MCMVs through state-owned Goa Shipyard Ltd is currently stalled as South Korea’s Kangnam Corporation balks at the Indian Ministry of Defence requirement for transfer of complete intellectual property rights of the ships. 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

Egypt Receives First Mistral Vessel

By Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

The two Egyptian Mistral vessels in France. Source: DCNS

The two Egyptian Mistral vessels in France. Source: DCNS

On June 2, Egypt received the first of its two Mistral helicopter carrier vessels, constructed by French shipbuilder DCNS. The ship, named for Egypt’s late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, is partaking in exercises with the French Navy prior to setting sail for Alexandria. Continue reading

Was the LHA-6 a Good Idea?

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

LHA 6 America

LHA 6 America

Replacing the five original LHAs was an urgent requirement; the ships were old, had been worked hard, and had reached the end of their operational lives.  When the first of the replacement ships was designed, a number of key decisions that seemed logical at the time have since become questionable.  Of these, the most controversial has been the deletion of the well deck and the resulting reliance on aircraft to carry out the ships’ missions.  In reality, the new ships were LPHs rather than LHAs. Continue reading