Coast Guard Compass is “the official blog of the U. S. Coast Guard,” but the Compass is broken. While it appears to welcome comments, in fact they do not seem to work. Over the past three weeks I have attempted to comment three times on two different stories, but they never showed up. All the stories currently visible on the blog end with the notation, “no comments.”
NavyRecognition is reporting that China is building an over 10,000 ton cutter for their Maritime Safety Administration (MSA). MSA is the only one of the five Chinese Maritime coast guard like organizations that was not incorporated into the China Coast Guard.
“According to information published by the Guangdong Maritime Safety Administration, the new cutter will have a total length of 165 meters, a width of 20.6 meters, a depth of 9.5 meters, and a displacement of 10,700 tons.”
That is 541 feet in length, 67.6 feet of beam, and 31.2 feet of draft. The displacement is probably light displacement rather than full load.
The China MSA appears less militant than the China Coast Guard. No weapons are evident, but that does not mean they don’t have a plan of how to use the ship in wartime. Like some of the large China Coast Guard cutters, this looks like it could be used as an attack transport.
Why two nations that should be allies cannot get along.
Baird Maritime has a short feature on the background of the dispute between Korea (both North and South) and Japan over 0.072415 square miles of rocks in the Sea of Japan. Also known as the Liancourt Rocks, they are Dokdo to the Koreans and Takeshima to the Japanese. The post also talks about other sources of bad feeling.
The US would very much like to see more defense cooperation between the two, but history and pride keep getting in the way. As an indicator of how strongly the South Koreans feel about this, they named their largest warship Dakdo after the island group.
Japan should take their case to the international tribunal and then accept the result.
A typical day on the Imperial Star Destroyer Kimball. (stolen from Kimball’s Facebook page)
Austal Limited is pleased to announce that Austal Australia has been awarded an A$324 million contract to design and construct six evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats (CCPBs) for the Royal Australian Navy.
This is the information we had on the class earlier, compared to the Webber class.
- Displacement about twice as large: 700 tons vice 353
- Length: 57.8 m (190 ft) vice 46.8 m (154 ft)
- Beam: 10.3 m (34 ft) vice 8.11 m (26.6 ft)
- Draft: 3 m (9.8 ft) vice 2.9 m (9.5 ft)
- HP, less: 6,772 vice 11,600
- Speed, slower: 25 vice 28
- Crew, smaller: 18 vice 24
- Boats: two on davits vice one in stern ramp
- Range: greater, 4000 vice 2500 nautical miles
- Endurance: greater, 28 vice 5 days
These new ships will have some upgrades including accommodation for 32.
I was a little surprised by this procurement. Not too long ago, Australian Navy’s patrol force consisted of only thirteen 300 ton Armidale class patrol boats. These are being replaced by twelve 80 meter OPVs. None of these larger vessels have been completed so far. In the interim they leased two of these Cape Class. Now they are getting six more, improved versions. Presumably they will retain these even after the larger OPVs are completed, giving them 20 vessels.
The Navy has announced that the contract for the first of the new FFG(X) class frigates has been awarded to Marinette Marine.
“Navy awarded a contract to design and produce the next generation small surface combatant, the Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) today. The contract for detail design and construction (DD&C) of up to 10 Guided Missile Frigates (consisting of one base ship and nine option ships) was awarded to Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) of Marinette, Wisconsin, officials announced. “
One of the arguments for continuing the construction of the National Security Cutters (NSC) has been that it kept a production line open that might roll into production of the FFG(X). That is now no longer the case. The argument that we are replacing 12 ships, so we should build 12 is still valid to a degree.
Currently eleven NSCs are seen as replacing 12 WHECs, but we have yet to hear that 25 OPCs are not enough to replace 32 WMECs: 13 WMEC 270s, 16 WMEC210s, Alex Haley, Acushnet, and Storis. Maybe what we need is 33 OPCs, to make up for the shortfall in replacing both 12 WHECs and 32 WMECs, 44 ships to replace 44.
Thanks to Secundius for bringing this to my attention.
Naval News reports that the Korea Coast Guard will be receiving two new cutters. These are reported to displace 4,200 tons full load, meaning they are slightly smaller, but considerably longer than the 418 foot 4500 ton National Security Cutters and 360 foot Offshore Patrol Cutters of similar displacement.
There is no indication of the speed of the new cutters, but the earlier similar sized cutters, hull numbers 3009, 3010, and 3011 were reportedly capable of 28 knots. Armament seems be being standardized at a twin 40mm mount and 20mm Sea Vulcan Gatling Guns, both locally produced.
The Korean Coast Guard currently has 36 cutters of more than 1500 tons full load, including two of 6,500 tons full load, only one of the 36 is over 26 years old. Their Exclusive Economic Zone is less than 2.7% that of the US, but it is complicated by the proximity of North Korea, China, Russia, and Japan.