New OPV, “Malaysia evaluates options for second batch of Littoral Mission Ships” –Janes

Janes reports that “The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has begun an initial process to evaluate possible vessel types for its second Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) project.”

Reportedly,

“The four proposals are namely a 70.7 m patrol boat concept from US shipbuilder Swiftships, a 68 m offshore patrol vessel (OPV) concept from Damen known as the Stan Patrol 6811, a 70.2 m patrol vessel from German shipbuilder Fassmer, and a 70 m patrol boat from Malaysian company Preston.

“Meanwhile, the proposal that has been forwarded by the joint venture between Damen and Destini is an 83 m vessel that is very similar to the OPV ordered for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA)..”

The real surprise here is that they are not continuing to build additional units of the Chinese built batch 1 ships. (More recent photos here, including the two stern launch boat slips. Text is apparently in Indonesia, but there was an option for translation that worked reasonably well.)

“The RMN has awarded a contract to China Shipbuilder & Offshore International Co. Ltd. to build the first batch of four (4) Littoral Mission Ship based on a 68-metere design. The first ship, the KD Keris (111), was commissioned with the RMN on January 2020, while the second ship, Sundang (112) was launched in China on July 2019….Under its 15-to-5 Transformation Program, the RMN plans to have 18 Littoral Mission Ship, although the decision to look for a new design for the second batch of LMS means the RMN itself is diverting from its original plan to only have 5 classes of ships in its inventory. (emphasis applied–Chuck)

The Chinese built ships are reportedly,

“…68.8 meters long, with a beam of 9 meters and draft of 2.8 meters. It displaces at 700 tons full load, and with a maximum speed of 22 knots and range of 2,000 nautical miles at 15 knots.”

I have only really been able to pin down one of the proposed designs, That of the 83 meter Damen design (photo below) currently being built for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Coast Guard).

Front view of a scale model of an OPV-1800 vessel made by the Dutch company Damen. Photo taken during the 2018 Asian Defence and Security (ADAS) Trade Show at the World Trade Center in Pasay, Metro Manila. Photo by Rhk111 from Wikipedia

The Fassmer website talks about the 80 meter OPV we are familiar with, but there is no mention of a 70 meter design. Swiftships offers a 75 meter corvette, but no 70.7-meter design. Reportedly the Damen offer is a 68 meter stretched version of their 6211 design. It may be that they are referring to waterline length rather than overall.

There is not a lot of information about proposed capabilities. Sounds like they may have decided they need a flight deck for a helo or at least a UAV.

North Korea’s Ghost Fishing Fleet –It is worse than I thought

Sixty fishermen aboard this North Korean boat were rescued after it collided with a Japanese patrol vessel and sank off Japan’s Noto Peninsula in October 2019.

The Indo-Pacific Defense Forum reports on the extent of the disaster that has befallen North Korean fishermen since their government has sold fishing rights to the PRC.

“The so-called ghost ships come ashore on Japan’s coastline and increasingly along Russia’s coast, according to a mid-September 2020 report by Lenta.ru, a Russian-language online newspaper.

“Japanese authorities report that more than 500 ghost boats have landed on the nation’s coast in the past five years, with 158 in 2019, Lenta.ru reported. The unidentified bodies found aboard are buried in unmarked graves in Japanese and Russian coastal towns, the online report said.”

“Euronaval 2020: Black Scorpion small-size torpedo from Leonardo” –Navy Recognition

Black Scorpion small-size torpedo from Leonardo (Picture source Leonardo)

We saw this earlier but Navy recognition has another report on the Leonardo Black Scorpio, a truly very small torpedo, 127mm (5″) in diameter and 1.1 meters (43.3″) in length. The report provides a bit more insight into how it is expected to be used.

Much as I see the need for the Coast Guard to have a light weight torpedo, this may be too small to have anything more than very limited utility. A 21″ (533mm) heavy weight torpedo is 80-100 times heavier. A 12.75″ (324mm) light weight torpedo is 11 to 12 times larger. Even Grumman’s “Common Very Light Weight Torpedo” is five times as large.

But I am still curious. Range? Speed? Sensor range? Usable against surface ships? Midget submarines? Moored mines?

Graphic from Leonardo

 

 

“TIAR 21: MARITIME SECURITY, THE TIAR, AND IUU FISHING IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE” –CIMSEC

CIMSEC has what I believe could be a significant proposal for how the Americas could respond to the large fleets of fishing vessels that present a threat of Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported fishing that can overwhelm the resources of the individual nations. The US Coast Guard recently assisted Ecuador in monitoring one of these fleets.

The author suggests that collective action could be taken under the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (commonly known as the Rio Treaty, the Rio Pact, the Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, or by the Spanish language acronym TIAR from Tratado Interamericano de Asistencia Recíproca), perhaps modified as necessary, but he also notes that it already includes this provision,

“…Article 11 mentions how “the High Contracting Parties recognize that, for the maintenance of peace and security in the Hemisphere, collective economic security for the development of the Member States of the Organization of American States must also be guaranteed.” It goes without saying that economic security for coastal nations includes the fishing industry.

What typically happens is that a huge international fleet will follow the fishery. Most will be in international waters, but at least some may be tempted to enter the EEZ of coastal states. This year we have seen them move from off Ecuador, past Peru, down to Chile, and they are expected to transit to waters off Argentina. The size of the fishing fleet may successively overwhelm fisheries enforcement resources of these individual countries, but a collaborative approach could allow more effective enforcement.

The author refers to the US Coast Guard Shiprider Program as a model of how cooperative enforcement might work. Enforcement operations could be conducted under the authority of a representative of the nation whose resources are under threat.

Since the threat is primarily to violations of the Exclusive Economic Zone there would be no need for these collaborating units to even enter the territorial sea of the country under threat.

If such a collaborative operation is successful in the Americas, it could serve as a model for enforcement off Africa and Southeast Asia, leading perhaps to regional Combined Maritime Security Task Forces.

“Japan Coast Guard protects fishing boat from Chinese vessels near Senkaku islands” –Stars and Stripes

The Senkaku islands in the East China Sea are administered by Japan but also claimed by China and Taiwan. CABINET SECRETARIAT OF JAPAN

Stars and Stripes reports the latest of an increasingly frequent series of incursions by the Chinese in an attempt to intimidate Japanese interests in the Senkaku islands.

The report identified the Chinese vessels only as “naval vessels.”

Uotsuri-shima / Diaoyu Dao (Blue, west end and nearly south end, 25°44′33″N 123°28′17″E at Mount Narahara), Kuba-shima / Huangwei Yu (Yellow, north end, 25°55′24″N 123°40′51″E at Mount Chitose), Taishō-tō / Chiwei Yu (Red, east end, 25°55′21″N 124°33′36″E at the peek) referenced on Geospatial Information Authority of Japan and distances referenced on Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Every distances of the map show coast to coast, but distances of the coast of Okinawa Island and Naha City, and the coast of Ishigaki-Island and Ishigaki City are quite near on the map. Author: Jackopoid, from Wikipedia.

“Autonomous vessel operations in the Arctic: Lessons learned from the Summer 2020 Mapping Mission” –NOAA

Three of six saildrones getting ready for deployment from Dutch Harbor, AK, on the 2019 Arctic mission. Photo Credit: Saildrone, Inc.

Since the Coast Guard is currently testing the “Saildrone,” thought the experience reported by NOAA on this 6,000 mile mission was very interesting.

Autonomous vessel operations in the Arctic: Lessons learned from the Summer 2020 Mapping Mission

Navigation tracks of all four saildrones during the nearly two-month deployment as part of the North Slope Arctic mapping mission. Credit: TerraSond.

Thanks to Mike B for the link. 

“Coast Guard, pleasure craft collide near Manatee Pocket” –News Release

See the source image

Photo: Coast Guard 33 foot Special Purpose craft like the one involved

We will probably hear more about this

united states coast guard

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard 7th District Southeast
Contact: 7th District Public Affairs
Office: 305-415-6683
After Hours: 786-367-7649
7th District online newsroom

Coast Guard, pleasure craft collide near Manatee Pocket

MIAMI — A Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement boat crew and a 23-foot pleasure craft with five people aboard were involved in a collision Saturday near Manatee Pocket. 

The people aboard the pleasure craft were embarked by the Coast Guard boat crew onto the Station Fort Pierce small boat and taken to Sandsprit Park. One person from the pleasure craft was reported to be injured and was transported to Martin County Memorial Hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported. 
As a result of the collision, the pleasure craft began taking on water and became submerged in the channel. The Martin County Sheriff’s Office is working with commercial salvage providers to remove the pleasure craft from the water.

The Coast Guard is working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.

“Seeing Below The Surface: Ladar Trials Promise Enhanced Vessel Safety” –Maritime Executive

Ladar allows Color Line’s officers to perform safe deviation from the set course, maximizing fuel efficiency without increased risk of grounding.

Maritime Executive reports that,

Norwegian operator Color Line has been trialing Ladar, a light-based laser technology anti-collision system designed to identify floating objects on or under the surface of the water, including drifting fishing nets, logs, containers and ice, as well as plastic and other flotsam.

Wonder if this might be useful in finding people in the water, especially in rough weather and at night?

“The system we tested was better at detecting smaller items than we had anticipated, but not as good on metal objects in still water.”

The reason for this: waves caused by wind increase disturbance in the water around an object, making it easier to detect. “This includes up to storm level winds,” Dokken confirms. “The more activity in the water, the better.”

Frequently we need to go close to shore to execute a rescue. This could conceivably allow us to get closer without running aground, than we would using charts alone.

Might also be useful for the Waterways Commerce Cutters that operate in rivers with shifting bottom contours.

Really the Navy and Marines should be interested in this too.

Sounds like a good project for the R&D Center.

“The Value of an Extra C – The New C5ISC” –MyCG

An old Deepwater Concept illustration, but you get the idea

Passing this along, because it looks like an important reorganization. It appeared on the MyCG website that I recently added to the “Recommended Blogs” list. This seems to be putting a greater emphasis on cyber. The “Brochure” linked at the bottom of the story gives a nice breakdown of the organization and responsibilities.


The Value of an Extra C – The New C5ISC

By Shana Brouder, MyCG Writer

The Coast Guard has completed the single largest organizational restructuring of a unit in the past decade. In June, the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, and Intelligence Service Center (C5ISC) was established. It replaced its counterpart, the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Information Technology Service Center (C4ITSC) as well as assimilated the three centers of excellence: the Command, Control, and Communications Engineering Center (C3CEN), Telecommunication and Information Systems Command (TISCOM), and the Operations Systems Center (OSC).

The reorganization encompasses over 800 military and civilian personnel. The alignment promises to improve the Coast Guard’s ability to deliver technology solutions at the “speed of need” for mission success. The functional structure of this new unit will underpin and enable the Coast Guard’s Technology Revolution’s five lines of effort: Cutter Connectivity; Modernizing C5I Infrastructure; Cyber Readiness; Software, Mobility and Cloud; and Data for Decisions.

“The commissioning of the new C5I Service Center represents the culmination of over six years of effort from personnel across the Coast Guard to transform the C4ITSC into an organization that will more effectively and efficiently deliver technology solutions for mission success,” explained Capt. Russell Dash, the new C5ISC commander. “Our new structure supports the Coast Guard directly through our six Product Lines, which serve as the focal point and center of gravity for our service delivery. Our robust Shared Service Divisions are designed to make our Product Line Managers successful by providing consistent, standard support including business operations, engineering and infrastructure services, workforce and facilities management, budget and finance, and asset and logistics services. The new organization is now poised to make the Commandant’s Tech Revolution a reality and deliver C5I mission support at the speed of need.”

By standardizing processes and creating intentional mission alignment with other Coast Guard units who also work in the informational technology space (e.g. Surface Forces Logistics Center [SFLC], Aviation Logistics Center [ALC], Shore Infrastructure Logistics Center [SILC], Health, Safety and Work-Life Service Center [HSWL], and Coast Guard Cyber Command [CGCYBER]), the new C5ISC structure enables faster, more nimble responses to technology-related problems.

This fundamental shift in how the Coast Guard delivers C5I capabilities, unifies efforts under a single leadership structure and follows industry-proven standard processes, which will drive efficiency and consistency in every action moving forward.

The few months since the C5I Service Center’s establishment have already reaped successes. For example, the Fleet Logistics System Mobile Asset Manager (FLS-MAM), the supply management tool used by cutter maintenance and supply personnel, was rewritten to ensure this vital program would stay safe and secure from outside threats, such as spyware or other malicious software. Another example includes the delivery of essential satellite communications equipment to the medium endurance Coast Guard Cutter Bear. Members of the C5ISC worked with other offices to provide the Bear, the important backup Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) system it needed to deploy on-time, despite tight time constraints.

Additionally, the C5ISC shared services divisions and product lines partnered with cyber operations and the Eighth District to provide a unified C5I response, which supported contingency operations for Hurricanes Isaias, Laura, Sally, and Tropical Storm Beta.

The C5ISC workforce has been aggressively working to improve the Coast Guard’s information technology infrastructure. More specifically, they have been working to identify the constraints within our external network connections that impact our capacity in the information technology arena and overall cyber resiliency. This became even more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent increase the Coast Guard workforce’s teleworking. This dramatic increase in using the Coast Guard’s external network highlighted gaps that the C5ISC is now better placed to resolve, thanks to a more streamlined and cohesive set up. Through various partnerships, including Cyber and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the C5ISC has made significant headway improving the Coast Guard’s ability to meet missions and strategic goals as outlined in the Technology Revolution Roadmap.

If you have access to the Portal, more information on the C5I Service Center can be found here.

Resources:

Coast Guard Vice Commandant tests positive for COVID-19

Vice Admiral Charles W. Ray

This is just an FYI in case somehow you missed it. Apparently this has resulted in almost the entire upper echelon of the US military going into quarantine. At least it does show that the Coast Guard does meet with top US Pentagon leadership including CJCS, the CNO, the Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the heads of the Air Force, Army, Cyber Command, and NSA.

News Release:

U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
Coast Guard Vice Commandant tests positive for COVID-19
WASHINGTON – On Monday, the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Charles Ray, tested positive for COVID-19. He was tested the same day, after feeling mild symptoms over the weekend.
The Coast Guard is following established policies for COVID, per CDC guidelines, to include quarantine and contact tracing. According to CDC guidelines, any Coast Guard personnel that were in close contact will also quarantine.
In accordance with established Coast Guard COVID policies, Admiral Ray will be quarantining from home.
Since April, the Coast Guard has been following CDC, DoD and DHS guidelines for temperature testing, social distancing to the greatest extent possible, and the wearing of masks when social distancing is not possible. The Coast Guard remains ready to ensure our Nation’s maritime safety, security and stewardship.