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

When Market Segments Collide

by Larry Dickerson, Missile Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Harpoon Anti Ship Missile. Source: U.S. Navy

The anti-ship missile market is growing.  Despite this, the segment might not be around in the future.

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U.S. President Trump Orders Tomahawk Strikes on Syrian Airbase

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Tomahawk missile launch

The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a Tomahawk missile (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)

Early on April 7, 2017, the United States Navy conducted Tomahawk missile strikes on al-Shayrat airbase in Homs, Syria, in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack earlier in the week on Khan Sheikhoun, in opposition-controlled Idlib. The strikes mark the first time the United States has deliberately targeted the Syrian military since an uprising began in 2011. 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

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

We Should Never Have . . .

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

CVN-78 aircraft carrier

USS Gerald R Ford is the latest U.S. aircraft carrier Source: U.S. Navy

Sea-Air-Space Symposium, Washington One of the topics that invariably comes up at a meeting of naval-oriented people concerns the iniquities of the past wherein ships that were supposedly the perfect solutions to the requirements of the time were scrapped, allegedly to “save money.”  Those of the aviation persuasion add in their pleas on behalf of aircraft that were once in service but are now relegated to museums.  So, why were these alleged paragons of virtue removed from service and scrapped? Continue reading

Canada’s Supply Ship Problem

By Shaun McDougall, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

HMCS Preserver. Source, Dept of National Defense

HMCS Preserver. Source, Dept of National Defense

The Royal Canadian Navy recently hired a barge to transport fuel into the Arctic for two of its maritime coastal defense vessels on patrol in the northern waters. The barge was also used to resupply the ships, according to service officials. The Navy has also been utilizing a Chilean Navy supply ship to resupply its west coast fleet, spending CAD6 million for 40 days of access to Chile’s Almirante Montt over the summer. Canada is working on a similar agreement with Spain to support the east coast fleet later in the year. Why is Canada going through all of this effort to utilize outside resources to supply its own fleet? The answer is simple – Canada no longer has supply ships to do the job. Continue reading

The Importance of a Warship’s Fourth Dimension

by Stuart Slade, Warships Analyst, Forecast International.

The HMS Daring is an excellent ship, but the timing of its delivery was not ideal (Credit: Royal Navy)

The HMS Daring is an excellent ship, but the timing of its delivery was not ideal (Credit: Royal Navy)

A successful warship design needs to get four things right. Three of them are obvious. The ship must have the firepower needed to fulfill her role. She needs the speed to arrive at the scene of operation in timely manner, and she needs the range to get there. A successful warship design means ensuring that these three dimensions of a ship’s characteristics meet requirements and that those requirements are realistic. Continue reading

Is This the End of Gearing?

by Stuart Slade, Warships Analyst, Forecast International.

Main Reduction Gearing

Main Reduction Gearing

Within a period of 20 years, dating from around 1960, when the first production gas turbine-powered ships entered service, to the early 1980s, marine gas turbines effectively destroyed the century-old steam turbine industry. This process involved not just the substitution of gas turbines for the existing combination of boilers and steam turbines, but also extensive changes to the logistics and support systems that had grown up around steam. Gas turbines required a lighter grade of fuel to run the most efficiently, and the processes by which they are maintained are completely different. The net effect was that, once the switch to gas turbines was made, going back was impossible. The marine steam turbine industry was dead. Continue reading

Russian Warship Construction Crippled by Gas Turbine Shortage

by Stuart Slade, Forecast International.

Russian Project 2235 construction has been halted by gas turbine embargo.

Russian Project 2235 construction has been halted by gas turbine embargo.

The latest updates to Forecast International’s Industrial and Marine Gas Turbine Database show that the conflict in Ukraine is having a serious impact on Russian naval construction programs. At present, work on at least seven Russian frigates and a number of smaller vessels has been suspended due to the lack of gas turbines.

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