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Collated by Curtis Hand

Elbit Systems Ltd. announced that it completed acceptance tests for the combat suites and new patrol vessels for the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG). In March 2019, the Company reported that it was awarded a contract from Cantiere Navale Vittoria SpA to supply combat suites and perform systems’ integration for the new patrol vessels of the HCG.

Hellenic Coast Guard new patrol vessels equipped with Elbit Systems combat suites – Image: Elbit Systems

The acceptance tests were conducted in the Aegean maritime arena and included integration level tests of the combat systems and sub-systems onboard the vessels as well as live firing tests from the onboard RCWS. The combat suit is designed to support future “plug and play” integration of aerial and surface unmanned systems that will enable expansion of the operational envelop of the patrol vessels far beyond line of sight.
Source: Elbit Limited

USS San Antonio arrived at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport for Maintenance and Logistics.  The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) arrived at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport (HMNB Devonport) for a maintenance and logistics stop, 18 April 2021.  The ship made its stop after several weeks at sea. In Devonport the ship is conducting maintenance.

The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) transits the Atlantic Ocean. San Antonio is deployed as part of the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group supporting maritime security operations in the US 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. (Image: US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky/Released)

San Antonio is operating in the Atlantic Ocean in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security in order to ensure access, deter aggression, and defend US, allied, and partner interests.  Amphibious ready groups and larger amphibious task forces provide military commanders a wide range of flexible capabilities including maritime security operations, expeditionary power projection, strike operations, forward naval presence, crisis response, sea control, deterrence, counter-terrorism, information operations, security cooperation and counter proliferation, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The US Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance US national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
Source: US Navy

Astute Submarine Anson is Launched as the fifth of seven Astute class attack submarines being built for the Royal Navy, was launched at a BAE site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. The 7,400-tonne nuclear-powered submarine, officially named at a ceremony in December, emerged from the Devonshire Dock Hall and entered the water for the first time earlier today. The launch was a special moment for the Barrow shipyard, which is celebrating its 150th year and a long and proud relationship with the Royal Navy.

Image: UK MOD

Anson will now begin the next phase of its test and commissioning programme, before leaving Barrow for sea trials with the Royal Navy next year.
The Astute class boats are the largest and most advanced attack submarines ever built for the Royal Navy. Measuring 97 metres in length, the boats can circumnavigate the globe submerged, producing their own oxygen and drinking water. Working alongside the Submarine Delivery Agency and Rolls-Royce, BAE is also a member of the Dreadnought Alliance and helps to deliver the UK’s next class of nuclear deterrent submarines. Two of the four submarines are under construction, with the first submarine due to enter service in the early 2030s.
Circa 10,000 people work on the Dreadnought and Astute programmes at the Barrow site. During the next five years, BAE expects to recruit more than 200 graduates and 1,500 apprentices.
Source: BAE Systems PLC

Italian Aircraft Carrier ITS Cavour Departs Norfolk, Completing F-35B Certification
The Italian Navy flagship, the aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550), departed Naval Station Norfolk on 16 April after Joint Force operations with US military forces in the Atlantic Ocean. ITS Cavour participated in a sequence of operations with US assets and the F-35 joint programme office delivered a flight clearance recommendation to the Italian Navy for the safe operation of fifth generation F-35B fighter aircraft.
An F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) test team embarked on ITS Cavour to conduct sea trials, a series of tests and functional activities to create a safe flight operating envelope for the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the 5th generation aircraft aboard the recently upgraded ship.

Image: Italian Navy

The F-35 Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) team from Naval Air Station Patuxent River comprises almost 200 people with the engineering and test pilot expertise and experience to conduct F-35B envelope expansion flight test, two specially instrumented developmental flight test aircraft, and support equipment. Also while operating in the western Atlantic, ITS Cavour collaborated with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55). They conducted a three-day interoperability exercise with support from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 and Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 11.
ITS Cavour departed Norfolk prior to completing the necessary preparation to undertake the last phases of the Ready for Operations campaign before returning to Italy.
Source: US Navy

NOTE:  MSD issue 03/2021 (June) will host an extensive article on the ITS Cavour and its F35B capabilities.