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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Defence News

Image: Rauma Marine Constructions

Finnish Navy Orders 4 New Vessels at Rauma

The Finnish shipbuilder Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) won the contract from the Finnish Ministry of Defence for the construction of four new Pohjanmaa-class naval vessels, for the total cost of EUR 1.3 billion.The design phase will resume with immediate effect and construction of the first vessel will start at the shipyard in 2022. The Finnish Government approved the procurement, valued at approximately EUR 700 million, yesterday, September 19, 2019.Rauma Marine Constructions…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Taras

Marad: Send Gulf Transit Plans in Advance

The U.S. maritime agency has told U.S.-flagged commercial vessels they should send transit plans in advance to American and British naval authorities if they intend to sail in Gulf waters following several incidents over tankers involving Iran.The seizure of commercial vessels and attacks on tankers near the Strait of Hormuz have unsettled shipping lanes that link Middle Eastern oil producers to global markets.The United States, which has increased its military forces in the region…

File Image: A Chinese Naval Frigate underway. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Vanderwolf

China Mulls Hormuz Naval Escort Role

China might escort Chinese commercial vessels in Gulf waters under a U.S. proposal for a maritime coalition to secure oil shipping lanes following attacks on tankers, its envoy to the United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday."If there happens to be a very unsafe situation we will consider having our navy escort our commercial vessels," Ambassador Ni Jian told Reuters in Abu Dhabi."We are studying the U.S. proposal on Gulf escort arrangements," China's embassy later said in a text…

A UK Naval warship on patrol. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Peter Cripps

Denmark backs Britain's Hormuz Naval Plan

Denmark said on Friday it welcomed a British government proposal for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz and would consider a military maritime contribution.Britain has sought to assemble the mission in Hormuz, used by tankers carrying about a fifth of the world's oil, following Iran's seizure of a British-flagged ship in what London said was an act of "state piracy".The initiative won initial support from Denmark, France and Italy…

Image: BMT Group

Canadian Navy Awards ELMS2 Contract to BMT

BMT Group  (previously British Maritime Technology) announced that it has been awarded the Engineering, Logistics, and Management Support 2 (ELMS2) contract by the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND).According to the provider of focused solutions to projects in the energy, ports, mining, defense and transport fields, the services will directly support the Director General Maritime Equipment Program Management (DGMEPM) and the Director General Major Project Delivery (DGMPD) (Sea).Under this contract…

File Image of the Stena Impero (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © Erwin Willemse

Iran: British-flagged Tanker Seized in Gulf

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Friday they had captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf after Britain seized an Iranian vessel earlier this month, further raising tensions along a vital international oil shipping route.Britain said it was urgently seeking information about the Stena Impero after the tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia, suddenly changed course after passing through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.The Revolutionary…

“The maritime industry is just not prepared for terrorists to use ships in the same way that they were able to infiltrate the civil aviation sector,” said Itai Sela, Naval Dome’s CEO. “As a $4 trillion industry responsible for transporting 80% of the world’s energy, commodities and goods, any activity that disrupts global trade will have far reaching consequences.” Photo: Naval Dome

"A Maritime Disaster Waiting to Happen"

Since the founding in 2016, cyber defence company Naval Dome has won awards for its Endpoint cyber defense system and achieved the highest level of security certification from classification society DNV GL, helping to protect merchant ships, cruise ships and yachts from cyber-attack.In 2019, Naval Dome optimized Endpoint with a “Dashboard” App, providing maritime users with  a clear picture of the cyber status of all critical systems on board the ship, designed to allow users…

File Image: M/T "Grace 1" / credit MarineTraffic.com

Iran: UK Tanker Detention a 'threatening act'

Britain's detention of an Iranian tanker last week was a threatening and incorrect action, Iran's Defence Minister Amir Hatami said on Monday in a speech broadcast live on state television.Royal Marines seized the tanker on Thursday for trying to take oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions, a dramatic intervention that sparked Tehran’s fury and could escalate its confrontation with the West.Gibraltar received permission from its supreme court to hold the tanker for 14 days…

Pic: BMT

BMT CEO Sarah Kenny Appointed OBE

BMT Group Ltd (previously British Maritime Technology) said that Sarah Kenny, Chief Executive of BMT has been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours.The accolade, for services to the Maritime Industry, and Diversity, reflects her long-standing commitment and contribution to supporting and promoting the United Kingdom’s maritime industries, in addition to her work on STEM and promoting the importance and value of diversity in the sector.Sir John Hood…

Photo: European Commission

EC Launches Blue Economy Report

European Commission launches the second edition of its Blue Economy Report during the 2019 European Maritime Day conference in Lisbon.Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “Coastal regions are home to 214 million people and generate 43% of EU GDP. Today’s report confirms the blue economy’s role as an exciting growth sector, with opportunities both in established sectors like tourism and shipbuilding, and in emerging areas like ocean energy…

Photo: WiseTech Global

WiseTech Global Acquires Xware

Global logistics software group, WiseTech Global has announced the acquisition of Xware, a messaging integration solutions provider in Sweden.Xware’s secure, interoperable messaging solution, xTrade, is designed to link organisations to their suppliers and partners, allowing them to safely share information across application to application, business to business, managed file transfers, business process management and IoT ̶  essential for real-time messaging, queued business flows and data integration.

Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute

A SmallSat AUV Network

There’s more to a global network than satellite links, and yet sat-linked remote operations experts can heap huge scientific and technological gains on the world. That’s what’s happening in the background — a smallish network of the best scientists from around the world are orchestrating the communications and robotics that’ll yield groundbreaking achievement in the networked use of autonomous underwater vehicles, or AUVs.If you contact Professor Kanna Rajan, as we did, he’ll tell you he’s not the world’s foremost “drone” researcher…

Pic: King Abdullah Port

King Abdullah Port Inaugurated

Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Defence Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud inaugurated the King Abdullah Port in Rabigh.The Saudi Arabia’s State News Agency (SPA) reported that Saudi Arabia moved one step closer to its goal of becoming a global logistics hub with launch of the King Abdullah Port.The port, part of King Abdullah Economic City, will make the Kingdom “a linking point of three continents, Asia, Europe and Africa,” the crown prince said at the launch.Minister of Transport Nabil Al Amoudi said the port…

(Photo: Coast Guard Netherlands)

Chemicals Found on Dutch Beach after Container Spill

A load of dangerous chemicals that fell off one of the world's largest container ships into the North Sea washed up on a Dutch beach on Thursday, and more debris was expected to land overnight, officials said.The Dutch Defence Ministry said the loss of 270 containers from the freighter MSC Zoe on Wednesday, some of them thought to contain hazardous chemicals, was one of the biggest incidents of its kind, they said.It was unclear how many of the containers sank to the sea bottom…

 Rear Admiral Tim Lowe CBE (Photo: UK Hydrographic Office)

UK Hydrographic Office Taps Lowe as Chief Executive

The U.K. Hydrographic Office has announced the appointment of Rear Admiral Tim Lowe CBE, the current U.K. National Hydrographer and Deputy Chief Executive, to the position of Acting Chief Executive and Accounting Officer. Rear Admiral Lowe will fill the role whilst a permanent replacement is sought for John Humphrey, the current Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of the UKHO, who will leave at the end of January 2019.Lowe is a Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy and joined the UKHO as UK National Hydrographer and Deputy Chief Executive in 2015.

© Uwe Heimhold / MarineTraffic.com

Ferry with 335 People on Board Powerless in Baltic Sea

A Lithuanian-flagged ferry carrying 335 people is powerless in the Baltic Sea but no one is reported injured, a spokesman for Danish ferry company DFDS told Reuters."There was vibration and there was smoke, but no fire was noticed," the spokesman said, contradicting earlier reports from the Lithuanian military of a fire on board the vessel.He could not say whether the passengers and crew were in any danger and said the ferry would have to be towed to port.The company said the ferry would be towed to the Lithuanian port town of Klaipeda, where it was heading from Kiel in Germany when it experie

Photo: Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd

UK Satellites Launched to Track Illegal Shipping Activity

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has confirmed the successful launch of two satellites, NovaSAR-1, a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite, and SSTL S1-4, a high resolution optical Earth Observation satellite. The two satellites were launched into a 580km sun-synchronous orbit on board the PSLV launch vehicle from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India on 16 September at UTC 16:38 by Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation.Sir Martin Sweeting…

Tom Vecchiolla was named the new President & CEO of VT Systems.

Vecchiolla Takes the Helm at VT Systems

ST Engineering announced the appointment of Tom Vecchiolla as President & CEO (Designate) of its US Headquarters, VT Systems. He will take over as President & CEO from General (Ret.) John Coburn on 1 December 2018, who will relinquish his CEO position but remain as non-executive Chairman of VT Systems.Gen. Coburn has been at the helm VT Systems for 17 years since it was set up in 2001 to support the Group’s overseas expansion. Today, the US is the Group’s single largest market outside of Singapore…

Photo by official Chinese media, China News Service

China Launches New Marine Satellite

China successfully launched a new marine satellite into orbit yesterday (Friday) to help improve understanding of maritime waters and study the impact of climate change, Xinhua reported.A Long March-2C rocket carrying the HY-1C satellite took off at 11:15 a.m. from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province.The satellite will assist in monitoring ocean colour and water temperatures, providing basic data for research on the global oceanic environment, reports Xinhua…

Image: Steamship Mutual

Hong Kong Grants Licence to Steamship Mutual

Protection and indemnity club Steamship Mutual P&I Club has been given a licence in Hong Kong by Hong Kong Insurance Authority , its third in the Far East after Singapore and Tokyo."Hong Kong Insurance Authority has formally authorised the Club to establish a Branch in Hong Kong from 17 August 2018," said a press statement.Steamship Mutual is the first P&I Club to gain authorisation from the independent statutory authority, which commenced operation in 2017.The Club has maintained a presence in Hong Kong for almost 30 years…

Image: Damen Shipyards

Damen Shipyards Galati Celebrates 125th Anniversary

Damen Shipyards Galati has delivered over 1,300 vessels during proud history! On 15th August, Galati yard held a party for the annual celebration of Ziua Navalistului – Shipbuilder’s Day.This year the party was larger than usual as it incorporated a celebration of 100 years since Romanian unification and Damen Shipyard Galati’s 125th anniversary.In total around 7,000 people attended the event, including employees and former employees of the yard and their families, Galati city officials…

Two Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels docked at the Outer Coaling Pier and the Deep Water Berth, with Queen’s Pier in the background.

Intermarine UK Investment Boosts Portland Port Activities

UK-based Portland Port leverages new fabrication and welding facility to win a bigger share of ship repair, refit, conversion and shipbuilding markets.Polish-owned maritime engineering company Intermarine UK has unveiled major growth plans after investing a six-figure sum in a new 2,400 square meter (26,000 sq ft) fabrication and welding facility at Portland Port in Dorset, UK. The move will create up to 60 new jobs in the area over the next two years. Along the way, the company has signed a 20-year lease and moved its UK head office from Bridgend to Portland Port…

Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter. Photo: Coltraco Ltd.

Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter Joins Board of Trustees at RINA

Coltraco Ultrasonics Chief Executive, Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter, has been welcomed onto the Board of Trustees at The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), an internationally renowned professional institute at the heart of surface and sub-surface ship design.Formed in 1860 and established by Royal Warrant RINA occupies a central and essential role at the heart of British and global maritime with 70% overseas members and Consultative Status at the International Maritime Organisation.Commenting on the appointment…

© Dmitry V. Petrenko / Adobe Stock

What Can Beijing Do if China-US Trade Row Worsens?

China and the United States sank into a deepening trade conflict that roiled financial markets Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese products, prompting Beijing to accuse Washington of starting a trade war.Trump said Monday his threat was retaliation for China's decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. goods over the weekend, a move that itself was in response to additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese…

Photo: BAE Systems

BAE Systems, Flinders University to Train Shipbuilding Workforce

A new agreement between BAE Systems Australia and Flinders University will see students and industry working together to develop new ways to provide Australia’s defence force with the evolving capability it needs and train the shipbuilding workforce of the future. BAE Systems is one of three companies bidding to build nine Anti-Submarine Warships for the Royal Australian Navy. The company is proposing an Australian variant of the Global Combat Ship currently being manufactured in the UK for the Royal Navy.

(File photo courtesy of OW Bunker)

Former OW Bunker Manager Gets 18 Months in Jail

A Danish court on Wednesday sentenced the former manager of OW Bunker's Singapore subsidiary to 18 months in prison after he was found guilty of granting credit outside his mandate, contributing to the bankruptcy of the marine fuel oil supplier.The 2014 bankruptcy of OW Bunker, then the world's leading supplier of marine fuel oil with a 7 percent market share, sent shockwaves through the global shipping industry and left investors and business partners scrambling to cover their losses.The city court of Aalborg said it found Lars Moller…