Ukraine Steps Up Frigate Program
By AMI INTERNATIONAL INC.
The Ukrainian Navy (UKN) will be moving ahead with its
plans for a new surface combatant
in 2010, about two years ahead of
its initially reported schedule.
Based on this timeline, Nikolaev
Shipbuilding Plant could receive a
sole-source construction contract
from the Ukrainian government by
late this year or early 2010.
The new class of ship, identified
by the UKN as a corvette, is actually
a frigate. According to Vice Adm.
Igor Tenjuh, commander in chief of
the Navy, the vessel will displace
2,500 to 3,000 tons. The original
order will consist of four ships with
options for six additional units.
Technical drawings for the new
class have been completed and technical design work is under way, with
$5.2 million being allocated for the
process. This included securing contracts for sensor and weapon systems from potential suppliers. The
hull will be of a Ukrainian design
and likely powered by two Zorya-Mashproekt gas turbine engines.
A cost per unit of approximately
$210 million is anticipated. The
new frigate will be equipped with a
medium-caliber gun, eight surface-to-surface missiles, a short-range
surface-to-air missile system and
lightweight antisubmarine torpe-does. It also will be equipped with
a hangar and flight deck for one
The new frigates will replace the
three Grisha-class corvettes as well
as all three classes of UKN fast-attack craft, consisting of six total
units. Provided the new schedule
holds, unit one will begin construction in 2010 and be commissioned
in 2013. If all options are exercised,
the 10 units will be commissioned at
a rate of one every 16 months
Taiwan OPV Plans
Continue to Slide
Plans for a new class of large offshore
patrol vessels (OPVs) for the Republic of China Coast Guard (ROCCG)
continue to be delayed. The ROCCG
has been planning to build two
3,000-ton OPVs, as well as smaller
patrol boats, since 2001. With the
first large OPVs now scheduled to
enter service by 2017, construction is
not likely to start until 2014.
Although considered a priority
for the ROCCG, funding has been
hard to attain with only smaller
500-ton patrol boats being funded
over the long term and all other
projects being put on hold. Part of
the problem is that the ROCCG
currently is part of the Coast Guard
Administration and answers to the
Ministry of Defense, which has
more pressing priorities.
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou
recently called for the development
of a new Ocean Ministry to encompass the Coast Guard and other
law enforcement agencies. The
increase in stature may help the
ROCCG in attaining funding for its
Ma has not proposed a time table
for forming the new department, but
the government currently is preparing a restructuring of the Executive
Yuan that will result in the abolition
and merger of several commissions,
according the Taiwan News.
Following the reorganization, the
Ocean Ministry likely would push
the 3,000-ton OPV program, which
may move up the 2014 start date.
Kuwaiti Navy Orders
Ten MK V Patrol Boats
The Kuwaiti Navy had ordered 10
advanced MK V patrol boats from
United States Marine Inc. (USMI),
Gulfport, Miss., through the U.S.
Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The firm, fixed-price contract
is worth $65.1 million and includes
the 10 patrol boats and associated
equipment and services. The first
unit is expected to be delivered to the
Kuwaiti Navy by 2011, with all 10
units of the class delivered by 2013.
The construction contract follows the June 2006 U.S. Naval Sea
Systems Command (NAVSEA) presolicitation notice on behalf of the
Kuwaiti Navy for the vessels. In the
notice, NAVSEA stated that it
intended to acquire the boats from
USMI on a sole-source basis
through the FMS program.
The MK V design is owned by
USMI and VT Halter Marine,
Pascagoula, Miss. However, VT
Halter Marine declined to participate in the program, thus making
USMI the sole source.
UNITED STATES MARINE INC.
The Kuwaiti Navy has ordered 10
MK V patrol boats, seen at top of
photo, through the U.S. Foreign
Military Sales program.
SEAPOWER / AUGUST 2009