CAVASSHIPS Podcast [Jul 07, ’23] Ep: 102 Preview of DSEI


Welcome to the CavasShips Podcast with Christopher P. Cavas and Chris Servello…a weekly podcast looking at naval and maritime events and issues of the day – in the US, across the seas and around the world. This week…we take an early look at one of the largest shows  – The United Kingdom Defense and Securities Export exhibition or DSEI, held every two years in London. Joining us to preview the show and discuss international maritime issues that will shape the discussion is retired Royal Navy Rear Admiral Jon Pentreath, DSEI’s Senior Naval and Land Advisor.

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This Week’s Naval Round Up:

The US destroyer McFAUL disrupted attempts by the Iranian Navy on July 5 to seize two merchant oil tankers in international waters in the Gulf of Oman, just outside the Persian Gulf. The tankers TRF MOSS, registered in the Marshall Islands, and the Bahamas-registered RICHMOND VOYAGER each broadcast distress signals when they were approached by Iranian warships. The McFAUL was operating in the area and responded, as did US aircraft including a P-8A Poseidon patrol plane and an MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft. The Iranian corvette BAYANDOR was one of the ships involved and, according to US Naval Forces Central Command, opened fire with small-caliber weapons as it approached the RICHMOND VOYAGER, hitting the tanker’s superstructure near crew living spaces. The BAYANDOR withdrew as the McFAUL approached. US and other partner nations have increased naval patrols in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz as Iranian forces have become more aggressive over the past year in trying to interfere with merchant shipping movements. For its part, Iran has claimed – as it did with the RICHMOND VOYAGER – that the targeted merchant ship was involved in collision with an Iranian vessel. Chevron, the US oil company that manages the RICHMOND VOYAGER, told the Reuters news agency July 7 that the ship was not involved in any collision and the company had received no legal notifications,

A fire broke out in the early evening of June 29 aboard the big-deck amphibious assault ship BOUGAINVILLE under construction at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The fire in the island superstructure is suspected to have been caused by a welding accident. Six workers were treated for smoke inhalation, Ingalls said, and the fire was extinguished after a short time. The company said damage to the ship “was largely limited to the affected compartments” and no damage was incurred to the rest of the ship. BOUGAINVILLE is still scheduled for launch later this year, Ingalls said July 7.

 The Chinese Navy’s hospital ship DAISHANDAO, or PEACE ARK, left Zhoushan July 3 to begin a humanitarian medical mission to Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and East Timor. 126 medical staffers are aboard. The mission is similar to those carried out by the US Navy’s hospital ships MERCY and COMFORT. Meanwhile, the three ships of the Chinese Navy’s 43rd Escort Force – destroyer NANNING, frigate SANYA and support ship WEISHANHU — continued their visit to west Africa, arriving in Lagos, Nigeria July 3 after visiting Cote d’Ivorie and Ghana.

The Russian Navy has canceled further production of the Project 20386 Merkury corvette, leaving DERZKY as the sole completed unit, the TASS news agency said July 6. Construction of the 3,400-ton ship at Severnaya Werft in Saint Petersburg was considerably prolonged. The ship, armed with anti-ship cruise missiles and with a large flight deck and hangar, were originally intended for the Black Sea Fleet.

The former US Coast Guard Island-class cutters AQUIDNECK and ADAK arrived at Perama, Greece July 3 for modernization and reactivation. The two cutters, along with MONOMOY and WRANGELL, have all been transferred to Greece after Persian Gulf service, where they were replaced by new Fast Response Cutters.

And the US Navy announced July 7 that the first three Royal Australian Navy officers to enter the US Navy’s Nuclear Power School have graduated – a significant step in Australia’s goal to operate nuclear-powered attack submarines. The three RAN officers – two lieutenant commanders and a lieutenant – will next report to Nuclear Prototype Training Unit Charleston to complete Engineering Officer of the Watch training, which will conclude in late 2023 or early 2024. Following NPTU, the officers will go through Submarine Officer Basic Course for approximately 2.5 months in Groton, Connecticut and then be assigned to a Virginia-class SSN to continue their training and qualifications.

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