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FLOATING STEEL
Future NZ navy ship to feature Saab communications system
by Richard Tomkins
Washington (UPI) Oct 1, 2017


Metal Shark wins Navy contract for patrol boats
Washington (UPI) Oct 1, 2017 - Metal Shark boats of Louisiana is to build as many as 50 PB(X) patrol boats for the U.S. Navy under a contract with a potential value of $90 million.

The craft are to replace the Navy's Expeditionary Combat Command's Coastal Riverine Forces vessels.

In addition to the boats, Metal Shark is to supply the Navy with boat trailers, spares parts, training packages and technical support.

"PB(X) was one of the most challenging and most sought-after U.S. military boat procurement opportunities in recent history; the result of a years-long process pitting Metal Shark's engineering and manufacturing capabilities against multiple leading U.S. naval architect firms and nearly all of our competitors," said Metal Shark's Chief Executive Officer Chris Allard. "The award of PB(X) to Metal Shark is the result of a tremendous team effort and I couldn't be more proud of our people."

Metal Shark said the contract is the culmination of a multi-year process by the Navy to select the replacement for the fleet of force protection boats. The Navy intends to replace about 100 to 160 of its existing 25-foot and 34-foot CRF patrol boats over the next 15 years.

Metal Shark's PB(X) design is a 40-foot, welded-aluminum pilothouse patrol boat. It is powered by twin diesel inboards and water jets, and can achieve speeds of more than 35 knots.

The PB(X) features ballistic protection, and can be equipped with both crew-served and remotely operated weapons systems.

The boats will be constructed at Metal Shark's Jeanerette, La., production facility.

The future replenishment vessel of the Royal New Zealand Navy will feature a tactical communications network from Saab of Sweden.

The system, called TactiCall, interconnects communication technologies regardless of radio band, frequency or hardware.

Saab said support for the system chosen by the navy for the future HMNZS Aotearoa, will receive in-service support from Electronic Navigation Ltd, Saab's partner in New Zealand.

"This is our first sale in the region for a newly-built naval ship," Saab's Ellen Molin, head of the company's Support and Business area, said in a news release. "The cooperation and strong partnership with ENL solidifies our presence in New Zealand."

The future HMNZS Aotearoa will supply defense forces with fuel, fresh water, equipment and ammunition. It will also be ice-strengthened and "winterized" for operations in Antarctica.

The replenishment ship is being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea and is scheduled for delivery to New Zealand's navy in 2020.

"This [sale to New Zealand] marks our second sale of our multi-level secure version of TactiCall, which recently won NATO's innovation award, the NITEC17 Defence Innovation Challenge," Molin said.

FLOATING STEEL
More officers relieved of duty following deadly U.S. Navy collisions
Washington DC (UPI) Sep 18, 2017
Two more U.S. Navy officers have been relieved of duty following the collisions of the USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald with civilian ships that led to the deaths of 17 Navy sailors. Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of U.S. Seventh Fleet, ordered the relief of the commander of Task Force 70, Rear Adm. Charles Williams, and the commander of Destroyer Squadron 15, Capt. Jeffrey Benne ... read more

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