“SOCARENAM Shipyard Selected to Deliver 6 French Navy OPVs for Overseas Territories” –Naval News

Rendering of the future “POM” OPV of the French Navy

Naval News reports,

French President Emmanuel Macron announced today a procurement order of 6 new patrol vessels to be based overseas, a program known as POM in French (for patrouilleurs outre-mer).

They will be about 70 meters (230 feet) in length with a speed of 22 knots. They will be equipped with an unmanned air system (UAS) (apparently that flight deck is not really intended for helicopters).

Basing will be two ships in New Caledonia at Nouméa naval base (Pacific), two ships in La Reunion Island at Port Réunion naval base (Indian Ocean), and one ship in French Polynesia at Fare Ute Papeete (Tahiti) naval base (Pacific), basing of the sixth ship has not yet been decided.

This will be a significant upgrade over their current assets in the Western Pacific and will complement the Coast Guard’s increased presence in the area, as well as the efforts of Australia and New Zealand to curb Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported fishing. When disaster strike, like Australia, New Zealand, and the US, the French Navy will come to the aid of their neighbors. They are developing technology to enhance maritime domain awareness, here and here.  

The French do not have the same kind of Coast Guard that the US does. The French Navy handles many coast guard type missions. Clearly they recognize the importance of these functions. These ships come on the heels of other French Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel projects, here and here.

French territory, territorial waters, and EEZ. By B1mbo, via Wikipedia

Despite the recent kerfuffle at the NATO get together, France is our oldest ally. They and the US have the largest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world.

Both the US and France benefit from a close working relationship between the US Coast Guard and the French Navy. Beside, occasional visits by Coast Guard vessels or aircraft to New Caledonia (a major base during WWII) and Tahiti might not be bad for morale.

DOD Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, 1 June 2019

Winkel Tripel projection, WGS84 datum, central meridian : 150°E. Source Wikipedia Commons, Author: Eric Gaba

The DOD has issued a 64 page unclassified Indo-Pacific Strategy Report

Below is the press release quoted in full. Sorry, I have not read it yet, so no commentary. The US Coast Guard and coast guard organizations are mentioned a number of time. 


The Department of Defense’s Indo-Pacific Strategy Report was publicly released the morning of June 1, 2019, and can be accessed here, under “Publications” on Defense.gov.

The first Indo-Pacific Strategy Report released by the Department, the document is a comprehensive articulation of DoD’s role within a whole-of-government strategy for the Indo-Pacific region.  As an implementation document, the report provides clarity on the U.S. National Defense Strategy as it applies to the region and highlights the role of allies and partners in implementing our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The report details the Department’s enduring commitment to upholding a free and open Indo-Pacific.  The execution of this vision is articulated in the context of preparedness, partnerships, and the promotion of a networked region.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan delivered key messages from the report during his plenary remarks at the 18th Asia Security Summit: the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

USCG in Packistani Naval Exercise?

USS Hurricane (PC-3)

USS Hurricane (PC-3)

Interesting note from the German Navy Blog, “Marine Forum”

“10 February, PAKISTAN, Opening ceremony in Karachi for Pakistan-hosted multinational naval exercise „Aman 2017“ … until 14 Feb, three phases in and off Karachi: in-port, at-sea maritime, anti-terror (special forces/naval infantry) … participants from 37 countries, 9 of which with naval units … 24th Chinese task group (destroyer „Harbin“, frigate „Handan“, replenishment ship „Dongpinghu“), Russian Northern Fleet task group (destroyer „Severomorsk“, tanker „Dubna“, salvage tug „Altay“), USA with patrol boat „Typhoon“, AKE „Amelia Earhart“ plus two USCG vessels (emphasis applied–Chuck) … frigate „Arunta“ (Australia), frigate „Sultan Iskandar Muda“ (Indonesia), OPV „Samudra“ (Sri Lanka), frigate „Gelibolu“ (Turkey), destroyer „Daring“ (UK) … and, of course, hosting Pakistan Navy”

I can only think that since the Navy PC “Typhoon” is there, the two USCG vessels might be 110s out of Bahrain. Kind of surprising we have not seen any press releases on this.

110 foot WPB USCGC Jefferson Island

110 foot WPB USCGC Jefferson Island

Bangladesh Coast Guard to Get Huge Upgrade

File Image: Fincantieri - Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A.

MarineLink is reporting that the Bangladesh Coast Guard has reached agreement with Italy and Fincantieri for the refurbishment and transfer of four Minerva Class Corvettes, “Minerva”, “Sibilla”, “Urania”, and “Danaide”, for use as Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). The 87 meter (285 foot), 1,285 ton, diesel powered, 25 knot vessels had been previously employed in this role by the Italian Navy. They first entered service between 1987 and 1991.

My trusty “Combat Fleets of the World,” 16th Ed., copyright 2013, indicates that the Bangladeshi Coast Guard consisted of approximately 20 officers and 250 enlisted. The Wikipedia entry, which appears very up to date, says they have 1,282 personnel and 57 vessels. Apparently the organization is growing rapidly, helped by the Bangladesh Navy. It is probable they would welcome some assistance from the USCG. It sounds like the Bangladesh Coast Guard closely follows the USCG model in terms of missions and general structure, in that it is a military organization outside the regular defense organization having law enforcement authority and a military mission in time of war.

The intention is to extend the life of these four ships another 20 years. Delivery is expected to take two years. There is no specific information about what the conversion would include.

Is Pakistan Forming an American (or Chinese) Style Coast Guard?

Defense News reports that Pakistan is planning a new force to protect its ports and Exclusive Economic Zone. There are few details except that it should have 12,000 members. There is speculation that it will incorporate the existing Maritime Safety Agency which is a maritime agency under control of the Navy and their existing Coast Guard which is a shore-side agency under control of the Army.