Thought some of you might find this article interesting. It touches on a number of items that might be interesting.
The Typhoon gun mount, now being equipped with the Spike ER missile system, is the same mount planned for installation on the Fast Response Cutter under the US designation Mk 38 Mod 2. This mount has lots of interesting non-military potential as a search, survaillance, and navigation aid as well. I would think we would want in on the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC).
It discusses how the Israelis are dealing with the threat of booby trapped fishing vessels that have been used in three attacks on boarding vessels.
It talks about development of a persistent, radar equipped maritime version of their Heron high altitude UAV. This might be an alternative for the CG.
It reports how the Israelis are using kits to convert RHIBs to unmanned armed surveillance craft.
It also notes that the Israelis are in the market for a ship about the same size as the Offshore Patrol Cutter, and because the money will likely be provided by the US, there is a good chance it will have to be built in the US. There might be an opportunity for cooperation here.
Nice to see some life in American shipbuilding. These 63 meter (208 ft) craft are being built for the Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships, Auxiliary Ships, Small Boats and Craft Program Office (PMS 325) on behalf of the Egyptians.
The German government apparently intends to prosecute pirates recently taken in custody by the Dutch frigate Tromp, after Dutch Marines fast-roped down from her helicopter to retake the ship.
Actually prosecuting pirates has been rare. In most cases they are released after apprehension. The problem has been finding a venue for the trials, compounded by the difficulty of getting witness to the trial site to testify. Kenya had agreed to provide a venue, but they have a backlog, and are now refusing to accept any more cases. There is currently a resolution before the UN, presented by the Russians, asking the UN to review the situation and make recommendations so that there will actually be some consequences to the crime, beside a good meal and medical treatment before being freed to try again.
Here is a tidbit about a navy program looking at ships of Coast Guard size. It appears they are looking to tap into Finish/German expertise on Aluminum hulled ships, and find out a bit more about how they age and how damage resistant they are. As part of the research they are going to do a SINKEX on two Finish Fast Attack Craft (FAC).
From U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs, “EASTERN PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) — During a routine test flight, a MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) supported its first drug interdiction with USS McInerney (FFG 8) and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (USCG LEDET) Apr. 3.” Read the rest of the story here.
Looks like UAVs are starting to show what they can do. UAVs flying from the Seychelles, in this case Air Force MQ-9s Reapers, are also having some success looking for pirates.
Hope we start seeing some Coast Guard use of these assets soon.
Found a bit of history with a CG slant, that I was not aware of. It starts in 1935 and involves Guano, Amelia Earhart, politically connected Pan American Airways founder, Juan Trippe, and several Coast Guard cutters in an effort to grab islands on the air route from Hawaii to New Zealand before the British could claim them. In 1979 these islands were ceded to the newly formed nation of Kiribati.
As reported here there is more news on the 123 WPB legal fight:
“Yesterday the United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division denied a motion to dismiss Deepwater whistleblower Michael DeKort’s false claims act suit against Integrated Coast Guard Systems LLC (ICGS) and Lockheed Martin Corporation. The court has not prevented the case from moving forward, finding that DeKort’s allegations to be true, ‘well-pleaded factual allegations.'”…