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2015:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL

January 2014 Issue

Italian Navy Starts Shipbuilding Program
Following an announcement earlier this year by the Italian Navy's chief admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi, the service's head of ship design, prepared to elaborate on plans and partnership potential at the annual Surface Warships conference held in the U.K. in January.

The Surface Warships delegation includes international military officers and program managers, as well as private industry professionals looking for the chance to network directly with those making decisions for future surface combatant requirements.

Italy's aging destroyers, frigates, patrol ships and corvettes are all in need of urgent replacement. The Italian Navy is currently working to start a shipbuilding program, which would include different types of platforms, including multirole patrol vessels, a multirole amphibious ship, a logistic support vessel and a multirole submarine support vessel.

Italy has recently been a world leader in modern surface warship design, having been part of the multinational design and delivery of the FREMM vessel program first commissioned by the French Navy in 2012.

Near Collision Between China, U.S. Vessels in South China Sea
A Chinese Navy vessel and a U.S. warship narrowly avoided a collision in the South China Sea in December.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel condemned China's behavior in the incident. 'That action by the Chinese, cutting their ship 100 yards out in front of the Cowpens, was not a responsible action. It was unhelpful. It was irresponsible,' Hagel said.

China said its ship was on normal patrol duty and accused the U.S. of provoking the near collision.

This represents the most serious maritime incident between the two countries since 2009 in the contentious South China Sea, Reuters reported.

Hagel called the incident 'incendiary' and called for a mechanism to defuse such issues in the region.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the U.S. constantly remains 'alert for changes in the environment.

'There are times that are more sensitive than others and we're in a heightened period of sensitivity.'

US Fifth LCS Launched Into Menominee River
The Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, Maryland)-led industry team launched the U.S.'s fifth littoral combat ship (LCS), Milwaukee, into the Menominee River at the Marinette Marine Corp. (Marinette, Wisconsin) shipyard in December.

Following christening and launch, Milwaukee will continue to undergo outfitting and testing before delivery to the Navy in 2015.

The U.S. Navy awarded the contract to construct Milwaukee in December 2010. The ship is one of four LCSs currently under construction at Marinette Marine.

The Lockheed Martin-led team designed and built USS Freedom (LCS-1) and USS Fort Worth (LCS-3). USS Freedom recently departed from the U.S. 7th Fleet following successful multinational maritime exercises during her deployment to Southeast Asia. USS Fort Worth has completed her scheduled maintenance period and is currently in her San Diego homeport. Detroit (LCS-7), Little Rock (LCS-9) and Sioux City (LCS-11) are in various stages of construction at Marinette Marine.

Wichita (LCS-13) and Billings (LCS-15) are in the early stages of material procurement.

Proteus, DigitalGlobe Partner for UK-France Military Exercise
Proteus FZC (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) delivered accurate bathymetric and seafloor classification maps for a joint U.K.-France amphibious military exercise on the Island of Corsica. In the pilot managed by the U.K. Hydrographic Office (UKHO), Proteus partnered with DigitalGlobe (Longmont, Colorado) to derive accurate bathymetric measurements and identify four seabed types to a depth of 12 meters from multispectral satellite imagery without ground control.

For the joint military operation, the British and French armed forces requested detailed information about water depth and the submerged seabed along specific sections of the Corsican coastline so that amphibious military vehicles could be launched from larger vessels anchored offshore and safely landed on the island's beaches. The custom maps created by Proteus were used by the military to select precisely where the landings would occur.

Since 2011, Proteus has been producing seafloor survey and seabed classification projects using multispectral satellite imagery.

2015:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL

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