Daily Archives: May 15, 2013

Singapore and Australia sign submarine rescue arrangement

RAN's Chief of Navy Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs (left) and RSN's Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Ng Chee Peng (right) at the signing the Submarine Rescue Arrangement on board the RSN’s submarine rescue and support vessel, MV Swift Rescue.

RAN’s Chief of Navy Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs (left) and RSN’s Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Ng Chee Peng (right) at the signing the Submarine Rescue Arrangement on board the RSN’s submarine rescue and support vessel, MV Swift Rescue.

SINGAPORE – The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)’s Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Ng Chee Peng signed the Submarine Rescue Arrangement with Royal Australian Navy (RAN)’s Chief of Navy Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs earlier today.

The agreement was signed on board the RSN’s submarine rescue and support vessel, MV Swift Rescue.

The Submarine Rescue Arrangement establishes a framework between the RSN and RAN in the area of submarine rescue support and cooperation. Under the arrangement, the RSN will make available to the RAN MV Swift Rescue and other resources to render support and assistance in the event of an RAN submarine incident.

The Ministry of Defence said that the Submarine Rescue Arrangement reaffirms the close and long-standing bilateral defence relationship between Singapore and Australia, where both armed forces interact frequently through exercises, visits, professional exchanges and military courses.

Source – Asia One

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Japan – Military to respond to submarines entering territorial waters, PM Abe warns

Military to respond to submarines entering territorial waters, PM Abe warns

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has once again issued a warning against any intrusion into Japan’s territorial waters, this time referring to foreign submarines that will attempt to pass through underwater. This is in response to the Defense Ministry’s report that a foreign submarine was spotted just outside the contiguous zone, south of Kumejima Island in Okinawa Prefecture on Tuesday.

The contiguous zone is a 12 nautical mile strip outside territorial waters so the submarine still did not violate any international laws. Rules state that vessels can pass freely through the waters given that their intentions are peaceful. Submarines are required to surface and display their national flags if they are already navigating in territorial waters. There is still no indication from what country the spotted vessel was but Ministry officials have said that they probably belong to the Chinese Navy.

Abe told the parliament that submarines entering territorial waters is a “serious issue” and would require maritime security action. This indicates that the Ministry could direct Japan’s Self Defense Forces to move if there would be any confirmed intrusion. This incident, while not violating any laws, is too close to reports of three Chinese government ships that were near the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands last Monday. The Japanese Coast Guard says that this is the 43rd incident of Chinese ships entering Japanese waters since September 2012.

While observers do not believe that China would mount any actual attack or military move on the waters, it is just further proof of them boasting their naval and military capabilities. They have been criticized for showing off an aggressive stance against countries that have a territorial dispute with them, particularly Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan.

Foreign submarine  spotted near Japanese territorial waters

Foreign submarine spotted near Japanese territorial watersA foreign submarine was detected in a contiguous zone just outside Japanese territorial waters south of Kumejima Island in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan’s Defense Ministry revealed on Tuesday. Ministry officials did not elaborate on the submarine vessel’s country of origin, but a government source revealed that the sub likely belonged to the Chinese Navy.

“I was prepared to order ‘maritime security operations’ immediately upon getting approval from the Prime Minister (Shinzo Abe), if the submarine entered Japan’s territorial waters,” Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters on May 13. Under the current Self-Defense Forces Law, Onodera has the authority to order Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) units to conduct whatever was necessary to protect Japanese lives and property at risk, and to maintain the nation’s security at sea. These circumstances, often termed as “maritime security operations,” allow the SDF to use weapons in lawful self-defense and emergency evacuation of citizens. The last time such an order was made was in November 2004, when a Chinese submarine entered Japan’s territorial waters – the area around the Sakishima island chain in Okinawa Prefecture. The latest case did not involve any incursion into Japanese territorial waters, but Onodera is believed to have mentioned such information as a stern warning to any country that may have been involved.

It is known that international law does not prohibit submarines from entering contiguous zones such as in this incident. It is a calculated tact by Japan’s Defense Ministry to make the latest incident public because of the fact that the passage through the contiguous zone was over a prolonged period of time, which made it very unusual. Tense maritime situations have been par for the course with China and Japan as the territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu island chain continues to drag on. On Monday, three Chinese maritime surface ships broke the 12-nautical-mile rule and approached one of the islands, which according to the Japanese Coast Guard was the 43rd incident where Chinese ships in the area entered Japanese territorial waters since September 2012. This incident, including the submarine issue, is causing further tension in an already escalating situation.

Source – JDP

UK – Periscopes Are Returned To WW2 Submarine In Gosport

Periscopes

The periscopes of the historic HMS Alliance were returned by a giant crane today as part of a £7m conservation project to restore the only surviving WW2 era A-class submarine sited at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hampshire.  The periscopes have been conserved by the Babcock International Group at the submarine base Faslane in Scotland.

HMS Alliance was equipped with two 40ft periscopes, one for general use and one for attack. The Attack scope is made of bronze and dates from the submarine’s construction in 1945. Both periscopes were removed last year for restoration. The returned periscopes will be fully functional and allow visitors to HMS Alliance, the opportunity to view Portsmouth Harbour where the historic submarine is based.

Bob Mealings, Curator at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum said, “Before the restoration visitors on-board HMS Alliance could not use either periscope. Now they will for be able to look through the scopes for the first time in thirty years. The views will be amazing.”

The Museum’s restoration contractor ML UK Ltd, based in Portsmouth, will be using two large cranes to re position the historic periscopes. The periscopes will then be set for the best view in elevation and power.

The conservation project to restore HMS Alliance will be completed in Spring 2014, meanwhile the Submarine Museum is open to visitors, however HMS Alliance will be temporarily closed while the periscopes are refitted.  HMS Alliance will reopen Tuesday 21 May.

For more information on the Saving HMS Alliance Project, visit www.submarine-museum.co.uk

Source – About My Area