“HHI To Build Six New OPVs For The Philippine Navy” –Naval News

Philippine Navy OPV to be built by HHI in S. Korea. HHI image.

Naval News reports,

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) signed a contract with the Philippine Department of National Defense on June 27th to construct six units of new build 2,400 ton Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) worth USD 573 million.

They provide this description,

The Philippine Navy OPV has a displacement of 2,400 tons, a length of 94.4 meters, a width of 14.3 meters, a maximum speed of 22 knots, a cruising speed of 15 knots, a range of 5,500 nautical miles and will be built at HHI’s Ulsan shipyard until 2028. The vessel is to be equipped with a 76mm main gun, two 30mm secondary guns, a helideck capable of operating a helicopter and unmanned aerial vehicles.

That is 310 ft in length, 47 ft beam. In terms of displacement they will be a third larger than the Bear class 270 foot WMECs.

Looking at the artist concept, I see only one 30mm, but I also see fire monitors on the corners fo the hangar roof and decoy launchers between the bridge and funnels. There seems to be considerable open space under the flight deck. There may be provision for a stern launch ramp.

Also, the illustration shows the ships equipped with a pair of Simbad-RC for short range Mistral fire-and-forget, IR homing Missiles, mounted on either side of the hangar roof between the funnels and the 30mm. Inclusion on this class appears likely and logical because the system was also included on the BRPJose Rizal class frigates built for the Philippine Navy by HHI. This system is also reported to be effective against small high speed surface craft.

A Simbad-RC with Mistral Missiles on the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) Frigate of the Philippine Navy (PN)

The helicopter depicted in the illustration is a Westland Wildcat AW159. The Philippine Navy recently aquired two of these and will presumably add more to their fleet as more flight decks join the Navy. With a max take off weight of 13,228 lb it is larger than an MH-65 but considerably smaller than an MH-60. This aircraft can have both an Anti-Submarine and an Anti-Surface capability. It appears unlikely the ships themselves will have either a ASW mission or capability as built. The Wildcat can launch light weight torpedoes and reportedly the S. Korean and Philippine aircraft can launch Spike NLOS. This is a 70 kg (150 lb) anti-surface missile with man-in-the-loop guidance and a claimed maximum range of 25 km (16 mi). The range may actually be considerably greater. From Wikipedia,

“In 2020 the US Army announced its intention to procure Spike NLOS missiles to be mounted on Apache helicopters. A test was conducted in March 2021 where an AH-64E fired a Spike NLOS at a target 32 km (20 mi) away and scored a direct hit.

“In June 2022, Rafael unveiled the Spike NLOS 6th generation with range increased to 50 km (31 mi), a salvo feature which can launch up to four missiles at a time, and the ability to hand over control after firing to another platform. It also has a Target Image Acquisition capability that can prioritize important targets for strike…”

These ships could considerally strengthen the Philippines’ hand in dealing with Chinese gray zone operations, if the Philippines could get over their apparenent reticence in using their Navy to police their EEZ. Maybe they could just paint them white and add law enforcement stripes while still labeling them Philippine Navy and let embarked Philippine Coast Guard ride-alongs do actual law enforcement.

“Taiwan’s Coast Guard Tests Its Ability To Turn Cutters Into Ship Killers” –The Drive

Taiwan Coast Guard Vessel Anping firing missile

The Drive/The War-Zone reports,

During the test conducted on May 23, officials said that the HF-2 missiles were launched from the cutter off the coast of the Jiupeng Base and successfully hit a target ship that was located 62 miles off the coast of Lanyu, near Orchid Island. According to Taiwan’s Liberty Times Net reporter Zheng Jingyi, “this live ammunition firing specifically verifies the integration of the naval forces and sea cruisers under the ‘peace-to-war conversion.’”

This was a test and the missile launch equipment was removed immediately after the test. The launch and control was conducted by Taiwanese Navy personnel, temporarily assigned for the test.

Since the cutters are a version of a missile equipped Taiwanese Navy corvette, there would seem little reason to believe the test would not have been successful.

Reportedly twelve corvettes and twelve cutters are planned, but the prototype Navy corvette was commissioned in 2014, the second not until 2021, and none since. On the other hand four of the cutters have entered service beginning 2020 with two more under construction.

The normal armament of these and other Taiwanese cutters includes an unusual 42 round, remote controlled, “Zhenhai” 70mm/2.75″ rocket launcher. It is unclear if these rockets have a guidance system like APKWS. Photos below from Wikipedia.

Taiwan Anping-class offshore patrol vessel onboard multi-barrel Zhenhai rocket system

Anping-class offshore patrol vessel onboard 42-barrel Zhenhai rocket system, looking forward

Turkish Built OPVs

After a long history of importing warships, about three decades ago, Turkey began to develop their indigenous defense industry, first with European assistance but now increasingly they handle all phases from design to fitting out. They are currently building corvettes and frigates and an LHD with assistance from Spain’s Navantia. They plan to build destroyers in the near future.

Turkey has begun exporting defense products. Their armed drones have become famous in the conflict in Ukraine. They are exporting corvettes to Pakistan.

Naval News reports Turkey has begun a program to build ten offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the Turkish Navy (video above). While the illustrations show a heavily armed vessel, the actual armament is not reported and these ships will reportedly be fitted for but not with some of these systems. Key data:

  • Overall length: 99,56 meters (327 feet).
  • Beam: 14,42 meters (47.3 feet).
  • Draft: 3,77 meters (12.4 feet).
  • Maximum speed: 24 knots.
  • Displacement: 2300 tons.

Naval News reports that Turkey is expected to build six 283 foot, 2,000 ton Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Philippines. (video above)

The Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) 76 / From the official website of Dearsan Shipyard

In November 2021, Overt Defense reported, this contract with Nigeria.

According to a statement released by the Nigerian Navy on November 3, a contract was struck with the Turkish Dearsan Shipyard for the purchase of two OPV 76 Class Offshore Patrol Vessels to meet the Nigerian Navy’s needs…The Offshore Patrol Ship 76 has a length of 76.80m (252′–Chuck), a width of 11m and a draft of 2.9m. The OPV is equipped with a 76mm Leonardo Super Rapid Gun, a 40mm Leonardo Light Marine Gun, two 12.7mm Stabilized Automatic Machine Guns, two 12.7mm Manual Operation Machine Guns, and two SAM SIMBAD RC short-range, anti-air self defence systems, and has a top speed of 28 knots and a range of 3,000 nautical miles.

“ARGENTINA DEPLOYS NEW PATROL VESSELS TO COMBAT IUU FISHING” –CIMSEC

The former French Ship L’Adroit, now the Argentinian OPV, ARA Bouchard (P-51)

CIMSEC brings us a report on Argentina’s efforts to combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing.

The former L’Adroit and her three new construction ice-strengthened half-sisters are central to the story. I have long thought these ships epitomized a very disciplined approach to the design of an Offshore Patrol Vessel. Defense capabilities aside, they have everything you need in an OPV and nothing you don’t. They are the best example of my Cutter X concept. They are fast enough at 21 knots. They have enough seaworthiness and endurance (7,000-8,000 nmi at 12 knots). They have a helicopter deck and hangar. They have the boats they need. They have a small crew (30) but can accommodate 60.

That is not to say adding additional capabilities for defense does not make sense, but in affect they constitute a baseline for an OPV. When you start adding capabilities you could say, what is the cost/benefit compared to this baseline?

The post also includes an interesting proposal,

“Regional cooperation is vital to solving this security challenge, which can be achieved by modernizing the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Tratado Interamericano de Asistencia Recíproca: TIAR) into a 21st-century agreement that is also tasked with combating IUU fishing.”

NSC#9, USCGC Stone, Completes First Patrol Since Commissioning, Spends Time with Colombian Friend

Below is a news release from Atlantic Area reporting USCGC Stone’s return from a patrol in the Eastern Pacific. It seems to have been a successful but fairly routine EastPac with a couple of items of note. In addition to drug interdiction, this patrol put some emphasis on Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported (IUU) fishing.

While this was Stone’s first operational mission since commissioning, she had already completed an unusual South Atlantic mission before commissioning.

I also wanted to make sure you did not miss the photos of Colombia’s 80 meter Fassmer OPV that operated with Stone. (Some of the photos were found here.) The Fassmer OPV is also operated by Chile and a slightly longer (86 meter) version is operated by Germany. 

As can be seen, this 80.6 meter (264.4′) vesselp ca n operate and hangar a helicopter and has provision for three boats including one on a stern ramp. This one is armed with a medium caliber gun (76mm), what appears to up to 22 knots and have a range of 8,600 nautical miles (15,900 km). These are about the size of Bear class WMECs, and except for EW, equipment and capabilities sound similar to the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC). The Fassmer design, is probably not as capable of continuing to operate boats and helicopter in as severe weather and probably does not have as large a hangar. Also, the flight deck does not look as large, but the Colombian ship does include a stern boat ramp not included in the OPC.

Some of the Chilean ships of this class are ice-strengthened.

The crews of U.S. Coast Guard Legend-class national security cutter USCGC Stone (WMSL 758) and the Colombian navy OPV-80 offshore patrol vessel ARC Victoria (PZE-48) conduct passing exercises in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Dec. 4, 2021. The U.S. and Columbia have signed agreements on trade, environmental protection, asset sharing, chemical control, ship-boardings, renewable and clean energy, science and technology, and civil aviation. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Shannon Kearney)

U.S. Coast Guard, Colombian navy conduct exercises, personnel transfers in Eastern Pacific Ocean

U.S. Coast Guard, Colombian navy conduct exercises, personnel transfers in Eastern Pacific Ocean

U.S. Coast Guard, Colombian navy conduct exercises, personnel transfers in Eastern Pacific Ocean

U.S. Coast Guard, Colombian navy conduct exercises, personnel transfers in Eastern Pacific Ocean

U.S. Coast Guard, Colombian navy conduct exercises, personnel transfers in Eastern Pacific Ocean

U.S. Coast Guard, Colombian navy conduct exercises, personnel transfers in Eastern Pacific Ocean

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area

USCGC Stone returns to homeport after 61-day patrol working with partners

USCGC Stone partners with US, Panamanian, Costa Rican representatives, fishery experts to conduct Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated fishing patrols U.S. Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration attend International Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated Fishing Symposium in Ecuador USCGC Stone (WMSL 758) and the Colombian navy OPV-80 offshore patrol vessel ARC Victoria (PZE-48) 

Editors’ Note: To view more or download high-resolution imagery, click on the photos above.

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — USCGC Stone (WMSL 758) returned to their homeport in Charleston following a 61-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Joint Interagency Task Force South, and the U.S. Coast Guard Eleventh District.

Stone’s crew successfully interdicted two suspected drug smuggling vessels, recovering approximately 2,246 pounds of cocaine and 4,870 pounds of marijuana with an estimated combined street value of $57.1 million. The cutter’s crew subsequently transferred 20 suspected narcotics smugglers to the Seventh Coast Guard District and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration personnel, signaling the culmination of a successful joint interagency effort in the Eastern Pacific.

The Stone embarked observers from Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to perform joint operations to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUUF) and conduct counter-drug operations off the coast of South America.

An embarked MH-65 helicopter aircrew from the U.S. Coast Guard’s Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron was integral in counter-drug operations. Interagency partners provided additional aerial surveillance and reconnaissance support throughout the patrol.

During the cutter’s port call in Manta, Ecuador, Stone’s commanding officer, Capt. Clinton Carlson, attended an international IUUF symposium with Arthur Young, the embarked National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration enforcement officer, to share experiences and increase awareness of the regional issue. The crew of the Stone also participated in a friendly soccer match with Cuerpo de Guardacostas de la Armada personnel from the local coast guard station while in Manta.

“This is our crew’s first patrol outside of their initial shakedown cruise, and I am extremely proud of the dedication and pride they have shown toward getting qualified to conduct the missions expected of a national security cutter crew,” said Carlson. “Throughout these past months, everyone aboard displayed enthusiasm during the drills we’ve run every week and have proven that through teamwork and a shared understanding of the mission, we can accomplish even the most difficult tasks. I am honored to lead this impressive crew of Coast Guard women and men.”

The fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions for these interdictions by United States Attorney’s Offices from the Middle District of Florida, the Southern District of Florida and the Southern District of California. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted under the authority of the Eleventh Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by U.S. Coast Guard members.

The Stone is the ninth Legend-class national security cutter in the Coast Guard fleet and currently homeports in Charleston, South Carolina. The national security cutters can execute the most challenging national security missions, including support to U.S. combatant commanders.

The Charleston-based Legend-class cutters fall under the command of the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area. Based in Portsmouth, Virginia, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area oversees all Coast Guard operations east of the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf. In addition to surge operations, they also allocate ships to work with partner commands and deploy to the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific to combat transnational organized crime and illicit maritime activity.

“First Images Of New Inlay Class Warship For Myanmar Navy” –Covert Shores

Myanmar UMS Inlay (54), 12 March 2018, Indian Navy Photo

Covert Shores reports sighting of a second Inlay class, a locally built offshore patrol vessel. This prompted a look at this class and the Myanmar Navy, which turns out to be surprisingly strong, with an apparently capable domestic shipbuilding capability.

Myanmar seems to have been in the news a lot lately, and it has not been “good news.” Like many other nations in Asia, particularly SE Asia, they have been building Offshore Patrol Vessels. Reportedly the Myanmar Coast Guard was established only months ago, in Oct. 2021, but it appears these OPVs will serve with their Navy. Myanmar Coast Guard floating units appear to be limited to four very old patrol boats.

Reportedly these Inlay class Offshore Patrol Vessels displace 1500 tons, but I suspect that is not their full load displacement. They are similar in size to the 1.800 ton 270 foot WMECs, slightly shorter, 265’9′ (81 meters vs 82.3) and a bit broader of beam (41′ vs 38’/12.5 vs 11.6 meters). Speed is essentially the same at 20 knots. The bridge does seem surprisingly large.

Reportedly the Myanmar vessels can hangar a Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin, that is essential the same as an H-65. Also, reportedly there is a launch ramp for a RIB in the stern. There might be a boat davit on the starboard side, but I have not seen a good photo of the starboard side. There is a large opening on the starboard side superstructure aft, that mirrors the one visible on the port side.

Apparently, the weapon forward of the bridge is a Soviet era twin 57mm. The weapon might be ancient, but it is probably still very effective at short ranges.

The Myanmar Navy is more impressive than I would have expected, and many of their ships are built locally. As noted in the headline post, they just got their second submarine, one Russian built via India and now one from China. They have a 12,400 ton S. Korean built LPD. They are building their fourth domestically built frigate, to add to two overage Chinese built frigates. They have three domestically built 1,100 ton corvettes. They have twenty vessels similar in size to the Webber class but much more heavily armed, including five armed with Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles, and two slightly larger, 500 ton Fast Attack Craft also armed with ASCMs. These are in addition to six older Chinese built Houxin class missile boats.

All total, they appear to have 21 surface combatants armed with Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles, primarily the Chinese made C-802, which is roughly equivalent to the US made Harpoon.

Myanmar has also begun to build 600 ton, 63 meter, high speed “sub chasers” to replace eight, now overage, Chinese built Hainan class. The new ships are equipped with the same twin 57mm mount that also equips the new OPVs.

 

Naval News Coverage of Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI), Sept. 14-17. 2021

Below I have provided the Naval News coverage of DSEI 2021. There are a few segments in particular that may be of interest.

In the Day 1 coverage:

  • 07:25 – VARD 7 115 Next Generation OPV. I think you can see the similarity to the Offshore Patrol Cutter design which is a VARD 7 110.
  • 10:09 – OMT’s MPV-80/12:52 – SH Defence “The Cube” modular mission module. The Danes have been making modular naval systems for decades and this is modularity on steroids. “The Cube” is a proposed system of standard container-sized modules. The MPV-80 is a modular OPV with 32 positions for “The Cube” modules.  

In the Day 3 coverage:

  • 00:47 – Royal Navy’s NavyPODS is another container-sized module proposal. Sounds like the Royal Navy may be considering using these on their River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels. 
  • 06:46 – AEUK SeaSense variable depth sonar. This is another ASW sensor that could be deployed on very small vessels. 
  • 07:27 – BAE Systems Bofors 40Mk4 naval gun system. This would make a good choice to arm smaller cutters or for use as a secondary on larger cutters. Right now, it’s not in the USN inventory and there is no integral fire control system, so. at least an Electro-Optic system would be required. The ammunition uses the same 3P fuse used on the 57mm Mk110 gun. For decades the Italians used 40mm guns for their CIWS. Most recently they have been using 76mm guns. The Royal Navy has recently adopted this mount to use as a secondary weapon and CIWS on the Type 31 class frigate

In the Day 4 coverage:

  • 04:55 – MSI Defence Ltd Seahawk 30mm naval gun system. We talked about this gun mount earlier, since it appears it will be the USN Mk38 Mod4. It is the reason I posted this video earlier. 

Day 1 at DSEI 2021 in London, UK. We focused on new anti-ship missiles, the Sea Breaker by Rafael, the Sea Serpent by IAI and Thales UK. We then take a look at two new OPV designs: The VARD 7 115 NGOPV and the MPV 80 by OMT. We then discuss with SH Defence about “The Cube” modular mission module.

  • 00:50 – Rafael’s Sea Breaker
  • 05:03 – IAI’s Sea Serpent
  • 07:25 – VARD 7 115 Next Generation OPV
  • 10:09 – OMT’s MPV-80
  • 12:52 – SH Defence “The Cube” modular mission module.

Day 2 at DSEI 2021 in London, UK. We focused on Naval Strike Missile (NSM) with Raytheon, the new Quadome 3D radar by Hensoldt, UAS integration with Thales and the MMCM program with Thales.

  • 00:15 – Intro
  • 00:53 – Raytheon’s NSM for SSGW
  • 04:12 – Hensoldt launches new Quadome 3D radar
  • 05:30 – Thales’ Unmanned wide area surveillance
  • 07:28 – Thales MMCM program

Day 3 at DSEI 2021 in London, UK. We talked to the Royal Navy about their NavyPODS concept. We then focused on mine warfare, talking to Patria and its acoustic sweep, and Atlas Elektronik UK (AEUK) ARCIMS and its payloads. We then talked to BAE Systems Bofors to get an update on the 40Mk4 naval gun program and learn about the T-650 heavy lift UAS which can carry a lightweight torpedo.

  • 00:12 – Introduction
  • 00:47 – Royal Navy’s NavyPODS
  • 02:53 – Patria’s acoustic sweep
  • 05:17 – Atlas Elektronik UK ARCIMS
  • 06:46 – AEUK SeaSense variable depth sonar
  • 07:27 – BAE Systems Bofors 40Mk4 naval gun system
  • 09:16 – BAE Systems T-650 heavy lift UAS

Final day at DSEI 2021 in London, UK. Naval News’ Editor-in-Chief, Xavier Vavasseur, takes you around the show floor and comments some of the new systems on display. We start with MBDA who was showcasing its future missile concepts (related to FCASW) as well as current portfolio of anti-ship missiles (SPEAR, SPEAR EW, Exocet, Marte, Sea Venom and Maritime Brimstone) and naval air defense solutions (Dragonfire, Aster B1 NT and CAMM / Sea Ceptor). We then take a close look at a scale model of the XLUUV on the TKMS stand and the MSI Defence Systems’ Seahawk 30mm naval gun system which was recently selected by the US Navy. Finally we talked to IAI’s Malcolm McKenzie to learn more details about Sea Serpent.

  • 00:47 – MBDA concept missiles for FCASW
  • 01:34 – MBDA SPEAR and SPEAR EW
  • 01:57 – MBDA Exocet MM40 Block 3C
  • 02:22 – MBDA Marte ER
  • 02:38 – MBDA Sea Venom
  • 02:48 – MBDA Maritime Brimstone
  • 03:08 – MBDA Dragonfire laser weapon system
  • 03:20 – MBDA Aster 30 B1 NT
  • 03:25 – MBDA CAMM / Sea Ceptor
  • 03:45 – TKMS XLUUV
  • 04:55 – MSI Defence Ltd Seahawk 30mm naval gun system
  • 05:26 – IAI Sea Serpent anti-ship missile

 

 

 

“New Royal Canadian Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel Visits Norfolk After Circumnavigating North America” –USNI

HMCS Harry DeWolf in ice (6-8 second exposure)

We have talked about the Canadian Navy’s Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) before (more here). It is, in many ways an Offshore Patrol Vessel, that would seem right at home in the US Coast Guard. In fact, in addition to the six being built for the Royal Canadian Navy, two are being built for the Canadian Coast Guard.

I would not be surprised if the US Coast Guard opts to build something similar. This US Naval Institute News Service story provides a bit more insight into its operations and how it is being used.

The AOPS, like the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC), is a VARD design. It is based on the Norwegian Coast Guard Cutter Svalbard, that was capable enough to reach the North Pole on 21 August 2019. Svalbard also completed a scientific mission for the US in the Beuford Sea in 2020, when CGC Healy had a fire in one of its main propulsion motors and was unable to recover data contained in buoys she had deployed earlier.

Most surprising for me were the comments the ship’s use of containers,

At the briefing to press in Norfolk, which was broadcast online, he noted that sea-shipping containers aboard Harry DeWolf, not usually carried on warships, can be used as laboratories for science and researchers studying changes in the Arctic.

Gleason added that at all times the ship will have two containers loaded for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to respond to emergencies when called upon.

Gleason said early on there was a key training scenario of responding in a mass casualty scenario. In it Harry De Wolf  worked with the U.S. and Canadian coast guards and naval vessels in treating and evacuating the injured aboard and taking them ashore.

On this mission to the North, Gleason said the containers had a real-time military mission. They “were used as underwater listening devices” for submarines. “Fortunately, we didn’t find any.”

I suspect the “underwater listening devices” for submarines was the Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar, TRAPS system, (more here).

Up-Gunning the China Coast Guard–Add 22 New Type 056 Corvettes

Type 056 corvette, credit 樱井千一

We have a report from Defence.PK, that 22 PLAN Type 056 corvettes are being transferred to the China Coast Guard. These ships are the early models that were completed without the more sophisticated anti-submarine warfare capabilities of the Type 056A. Rather than upgrade them, the Chinese Navy will build 22 additional Type 054A Frigates.

Reportedly they are adding a LED billboard and the missiles are being removed. Probably the torpedoes as well. But that still leaves a 120 round/minute 76 mm gun and a pair of 4,000 round/minute 30mm Gatling Guns.

The China Coast Guard already has more large cutters than the US Coast Guard, despite of the fact that their EEZ is less than 20% that of the US, even if all their outrageous claims were accepted. But most of these cutters have no guns of 20mm or larger. 22 AK-176 76mm guns and 44 AK-630 30mm Gatling Guns will substantially increase the China Coast Guard’s firepower.

These 1500 ton 25 knot ships are a handy size for an area like the South China Sea.

Unlike the US Coast Guard, the China Coast Guard tends to operate their cutters in groups. Three of these, snuggled up to you, at close range, could be very intimidating even to a DDG like those the US Navy uses for Freedom of Navigation Exercises. For relatively unarmed Asian Coast Guard cutters, it would be much more so.

Chinese Naval Forces don’t have a lot of naval victories in their past so the Battle of Paracel Islands, where they defeated the Vietnamese by opening fire at very close range, must assume outsized importance in their imagination.

Image

I note, the cutters China used when they recently turned back a Philippine resupply effort in the South China Sea, included at least one armed with a 76mm gun.

In case you missed it, below is a statement from the US Ambassador to the Philippines (and to China).

“VESSEL REVIEW | KOLACHI – NEW LARGE PATROL VESSEL FOR PAKISTAN MARITIME SECURITY AGENCY” –Baird Maritime

Photo: PMSA

Baird Maritime reports delivery of a Chinese designed Offshore Patrol Vessel to the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), the maritime safety and law enforcement arm of the Pakistan Navy. This second ship was reportedly built in Pakistan while the first was produced in China.

This ship may look a bit familiar. It appears to be a variant of the Type 056 corvette. 72 of the corvettes were inducted into the Chinese PLA Navy between 2013 and 2019. Variants of the class also serve with the Bangladeshi and Nigerian Navies and the China Coast Guard.

There is a Pakistani Coast Guards distinct from the PMSA, but it falls under the authority of the Pakistani Army and functions more like Customs and Border Protection and its Air and Marine Unit, being limited to operations on shore and within the 12 mile limit.