Just thought I would post this as reminder to some who may have forgotten, what heavy weather looks like. Beside it is pretty. The ship is Latouche-Treville of the French Navy, D646, 4580 tons full load, a ship essentially the same size as a Bertholf class and significantly larger than a 378 or the planned OPC.
Ryan Erickson has published the Arctic SAR boundaries on the Naval Institute Blog. Looking at this chart got me thinking about ice capable ships. That of course lead to looking for similar information on Antarctica, so this is going to be a survey of What nations are interested in the Polar regions? and What do their ice capable fleets look like?
Numbers of course, are not the whole story. The US fleet is, by tonnage, far in excess of any competitor. The relatively strong allied fleets of Japan and South Korea are not included. The US still far outspends most of the rest of the world and most of the top ten navies of the world are our allies.
Still the decline of the Russian (Soviet) Navy and the continued growth of the Chinese Navy are clear. China’s rapidly improving quality including ships comparable to Aegis destroyers is not.
Source: Combat Fleets of the World here.
“Australia and France will step up patrols for illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean under a new agreement signed by the two countries…French patrols will also include Australian fisheries officers, and Australian vessels will carry French officers so that each country is able to apply the laws of the other to offenders.”
France and Australia have the second and third largest EEZs in the world after the US.
Thanks to Mike Colombaro at http://combatfleetoftheworld.blogspot.com/ for the link.
The two ships are FS Mistral, a 21,300 ton amphibious assault ship (LPH), and FS Forbin, a 7,050 ton AAW missile frigate. The Mistral class have gained some ill fame lately because the Russians are buying four of them, two to be built in France and two to be built in Russia with French help and technology transfer.
If you haven’t seen it there is also a small virtual tour of the Great Lakes icebreaker Mackinaw.
French shipbuilder DCNS apparently has designs on our Offshore Patrol Cutter Project. The picture is pretty, but the text is in French. Translation anyone?