American Made Patrol Boats for Qatar

NavyRecognition reports, “The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Qatar for Mk-V Fast Patrol Boats, equipment, training, and support. The estimated cost is $124.02 million.”

Based on the number of .50 calibers ordered, it appears that this will include four boats.

Looking back, in 2009 DefenseIndustryDaily reported the sale of ten of these craft to the Kuwaiti Navy under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program for $61.6M. Saudi Arabia is also interested in these boats and is reportedly planning to buy 30 at an estimated $1.2B.

These are apparently an extended version of the US Navy Mk5 Speicial Operations Craft. The company web site has more information on both versions.

I don’t recognize the 27 mm reportedly included in the Qatar deal as a weapon in US service, but the Germans (Mauser, now Rheinmetall) do make a 27mm and this is the gun used on the Kuwati boats, and it appears to be gun used on the boats for Qatar.

 MLG27 onboard Elbe Class Tender Rhein at the en:Kiel Week 2007. Photo by Rebell18190

MLG27 onboard Elbe Class Tender Rhein at the en:Kiel Week 2007. Photo by Rebell18190

The size of the boat seen on the stern ramp in the video is not clear.

These 90 foot boats is clearly optimized more for speed than our 87 footers. They also have a shorter range and with water jets, are probably less manuverable at the slow speeds often required for SAR.

All 512 POB Rescued from Burning Ferry.

I don’t usually talk about SAR cases but this is unusual. The Coast Guard and local agencies have managed to remove all 512 people on board a 561 foot passenger and vehicle ferry after it caught fire just of San Juan.

Caribbean Fantasy Fire San Juan Puerto Rico

Additional reports:

An interesting observation is that the ship apparently had slides similar to those on passenger aircraft that allowed personnel to go from an upper deck to the water. You can see one of these in the photo above.

Bad Week for Turkish CG & a Maritime IED?

The German Navy blog, Marine Forum, reports, 17 August.

“Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-25 (KAAN-15 class) (pictured above) off Istanbul collided with a merchant vessel, capsized … 3 sailors said to be trapped inside … rescue efforts underway”

A later report indicates there are three dead.

In a separate incident, a Turkish Coast Guardsman was killed and a fisherman injured when they attempted to tow a life raft with two bodies aboard near the Syrian boarder.

Philippine Coast Guard Upgrades

The Philippines is in the process of a substantial upgrade of its Coast Guard and it is getting a lot of help form Japan. They already have a contract for the delivery of ten 44 meter patrol craft, that fill a role similar to our own Webber class WPCs. The first of these can be seen on sea trials in the video above.

Now we have reports that the Japanese will be building two new much larger, 295 foot (90 meter) cutters for the Philippines. These may be an entirely new design, but it is more likely it will be closely related to a existing Japan Coast Guard design.

Which class seems likely? They will almost certainly be Kunigami class like the ships in the videos below.

Japan Coast Guard Kunigami class large patrol vessel TARAMA (PL-85) 

PL11 RISHIRI, Yard: MHI SHIMONOSEKI SHIPYARD & MACHINERY WORKS
Filmed date: 2016/7/27

I haven’t been able to find a speed for the class, but apparently they are 1,700 tons full load, 96.6 m x 11.5 m (length 317 feet, beam 38 feet). They have a helo deck, but no hangar. They appear to have three boats, two smaller ones on davits, and a larger boat launched by crane. The gun is probably a 20 mm Sea Vulcan Gatling gun.

None of the Philippine CG vessels have a weapon larger than an old 20 mm and almost all have .50 cal. (12.7 mm) M2 crew served machine guns and/or lighter weapons. If they wanted to mount something larger, the Mk38 mod2 (or 3) 25 mm is likely, since it recently entered service with the Philippine Navy.

Perhaps more importantly, the Japan Coast Guard ships also have a water cannon that might come in handy. 

12PL09kunigamiPL10motobu

“Fisheries as a Strategic Maritime Resource”–Midrats

HMNZS Wellington intercepts suspected toothfish poachers

HMNZS Wellington intercepts suspected toothfish poachers

CIMSEC “Midrats” blog radio show has an online interview with a State Department employee I was lucky enough to meet earlier, Scott Cheney-Peters, LCDR, USNR about international fisheries issues. You can find it here. Nominally it is an hour, but it took me a little longer than that because download was not seamless.

The discussion also touches on international networking/cooperation/enforcement, maritime domain awareness, human traffic, drug enforcement, and the ship rider program.

Coast Guard Cuttermen Association (CGCA)/Surface Navy Association (SNA) Agree to Merge

Recently recieved an email from the President of the Cuttermen Association. I am quoting it below.

Past and Present Members of the Coast Guard Cuttermen Association,

We are very excited that the Coast Guard Cuttermen Association (CGCA) and the Surface Navy Association (SNA) have agreed to merge their organizations.  This will bring new members to SNA, and will provide CGCA with the full time administrative support it needs in tracking its membership and in communicating with its members through email and online.  The potential merger was unanimously approved during CGCA’s Annual Meeting in January, and the details were approved by both organizations in June.  For those of you who have not been as deeply involved in the administration of our organization, you may not know that SNA provided significant assistance each year since our inception, and continues to do so.  There is an incredible synergy and purpose between our two organizations and our sea services, which makes this merger common sense.  We are much stronger together.

We will reach out to our membership periodically in coming months to provide more information on this effort and our progress and answer any concerns. CDR Tony Russell has volunteered to spearhead a membership drive with the chapters to encourage renewal of existing members and seek new members within our cuttermen communities.  We are planning a formal signing ceremony in September.

Through the merger agreement the CGCA will now be known as the National Cuttermen’s chapter of the Surface Navy Association, and the Washington Homeport of CGCA will now be the Anacostia chapter of SNA.  The New London Chapter will be become the New London chapter of SNA.  All financial resources of the National Cuttermen’s Association will be transferred to our new chapter within SNA under the signed agreement, and a final financial report will be made to our membership.

I am impressed by the efforts of Captain Tom Crabbs the prior President and his board to build towards this partnership with Surface Naval Association last year, which we have now finalized.  As your new CGCA President I am excited about the benefits of our merger with the Surface Naval Association for both organizations, and the opportunity that this effort presents to renew and grow our organization.  This partnership will resolve some of the significant administrative challenges that our organization has faced since conception.

LT Torrey Jacobsen was elected as our new Vice President.  Rear Admiral (Select) Eric Jones is our newly elected Treasurer.  Brian Perkins (CAPT, USCG ret.) serves in his new capacity as our Secretary, and has been the workhorse behind arranging this new SNA partnership.  CAPT Tom Crabbs continues to serve on our Board as our Past President.

In the next couple of days SNA will be sending an email with procedures on how past members can rejoin and current members can affiliate with a chapter of their choice.

If you have any questions please feel free to write me at Scott.W.Clendenin@uscg.mil.

Thank you for your continued interest and support of our organization.

Captain Scott Clendenin

President

National Cuttermen’s Chapter

This is probably a good thing. It another small step toward recognizing the the Coast Guard’s role in the National Fleet.  The Coast Guard is already well represented at the SNA’s annual symposium. For more information on the Surface Navy Association, their web site is here. Their next symposium, “Distributed Lethality: Enabling Sea Control,” is scheduled for January 10-12, 2017. Not sure the Coast Guard will have much to say about “distributed lethality” unless we start think about something like this.