Shaila’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘navy

HOUSTON: A decommissioned Navy warship USNS General Hoyt S Vandenberg has been intentionally sunk off the Florida Keys to create the world’s second largest artificial reef which will serve as a long-term habitat for several marine fish species.

The 17,250-tonne ship USNS Vandenberg sank in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary on Wednesday in less than two minutes, said Andy Newman, spokesman for the Florida Keys Tourism Council.

“It went down like a rock,” Newman was quoted as saying by CNN. “Everything looked very, very smooth.”

The goal of the $8.6 million project is to divert fishing and diving pressure away from natural reefs, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The Vandenberg was built in 1943. It was commissioned as a World War II troop transport ship. After Japan surrendered, the Vandenberg was the first Navy ship to return to New York Harbour.

During the 1950s, the ship was used to transport refugees from Europe and Australia to America. In the 1960s the Air Force used the Vandenberg to track missiles. It also was used to track rockets and early space shuttle launches.

The ship, which was decommissioned in 1986, featured in the 1999 movie Virus, starring Donald Sutherland and Jamie Lee Curtis.

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China is staging a military parade to celebrate its navy’s 60th anniversary – and show the world its latest warships.

A least one of the country’s nuclear-powered submarines is on display at the naval parade, being held in the port city of Qingdao.


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Twenty-one foreign naval vessels from 14 countries are also taking part, including the US, France and Russia.

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Military analysts say the event will allow the rest of the world to see how China has developed its naval forces.

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The military parade to mark the 60th anniversary of China’s navy is not just a chance for the Chinese to celebrate.

It is also a reminder that China is now an important naval power – and will become more important in the future.

Its military leaders openly admit that they want to build bigger, better warships for missions far away from the country’s coastal waters.

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There is no doubt that China has been building up its navy to cope with new threats and a changing political landscape.

China used to focus its military spending on its land forces, to counter potential problems from Russia, India and Vietnam.

As those land-based threats have receded, new areas of possible conflict have emerged at sea.


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A helicopter of the Chinese naval fleet attends a landing exercise at night on Dec. 28, 2008, while the Chinese naval fleet heads for the Gulf of Aden. The Chinese naval fleet including two destroyers and a supply ship set off on Dec. 26 for waters off Somalia for an escort mission against piracy.

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Sanya Submarine Base, Hainan Island, China


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The mission of the Chinese armed forces is not only to be prepared to fight wars, but also to deter or prevent their outbreak.

The Russian Navy or VMFR (Russian: Военно-Морской Флот (ВМФ) России- Voyenno-Morskoy Flot Rossii (VMF) or literally Military Maritime Fleet of the Russian Federation) is the naval arm of the Russian Armed Forces. The international designation of Russian naval vessels is “RFS” – “Russian Federation Ship”.

The Russian Navy possesses the vast majority of the former Soviet naval forces and currently comprises the Northern Fleet, the Russian Pacific Fleet, the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Russian Baltic Fleet, the Russian Caspian Flotilla, Naval Aviation, Naval Infantry (marines) and coastal artillery.

Broadly speaking, the navy’s role is to provide sea-based nuclear deterrence and to support Russia’s wider interests. Roughly one-third of naval personnel serve on the high seas, with other concerns being naval aviation, training, coastal defence, shore support, communications and maritime border duties.


While the SSBN fleet is contracting – perhaps to a force of 25-30 vessels – there is considerable effort in developing the SSN fleet, with the `Akula II’ and Severodvinsk classes replacing dated `Victor I’ and `II’ class submarines. The construction of surface vessels, by contrast, is slow and largely limited to smaller combatants, notably the Neustrashimy class frigate and Sovremenny II destroyer.


There is a realisation among Russian policy makers of the need to maintain a credible naval capability. Speaking in November 1999 Prime Minister Putin announced that a decree on the modernisation of the fleet was to be drafted and that the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was to be deployed to the Mediterranean in 2000. This marks a pattern of increasing Russian naval activity that has seen attack submarines operate in the Cold War stamping grounds of the Mediterranean and Eastern Pacific, carrying out simulated attacks on US naval forces. According to senior US intelligence analysts the Russian Navy is operating in a manner very similar to that of the Soviet fleet during the Cold War. Crucially however, Russian naval strength has seriously declined, with only 20 first class attack submarines in operating condition.


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