Tuesday, 17 January 2017

NAVAL FORCES #10: Evolution of European Naval Capabilities and the Hellenic Navy - Propositions to meet future needs

This is the introduction to the second article, written by me (D-Mitch) and fox2, about the Hellenic Navy (Πολεμικό Ναυτικό).  The first article titled ΝΑΥΤΙΚΕΣ ΕΞΕΛΙΞΕΙΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΑΝΑΤΟΛΙΚΗ ΜΕΣΟΓΕΙΟ (English: Naval Developments in the Eastern Mediterranean), published on November 24, 2015, marked my cooperation with fox2 through his blog Enjoy a long article (in Greek) that describes in brief the evolution of European naval capabilities (based on the much detailed article The major surface combatants of the most powerful European Navies in 2030) as well as some propositions to the Hellenic Navy in order to meet future needs and to follow the rest European Navies. You can read the new article here!

Photoshopped image of a Hydra class frigate of the Hellenic Navy after an upgrade programme (minimum)
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Thursday, 12 January 2017

Jason class landing ships of the Hellenic Navy

Written by D-Mitch

HS Rodos (L177), final vessel of the Jason class LST
The Jason class Landing Ships Tank (LST) of the Hellenic Navy (Greek: Πολεμικό Ναυτικό) consists of five (5) ship in service. It is worth mentioning that all ships in the class were built and designed by the Greek Elefsis Shipyard in cooperation with the National Technical University of Athens and the Hellenic Navy. The class was ordered to Elefsis Shipyards in 1986. The keel for the first vessel, Chios (L173), was laid down in April 1987. It was launched in December 1988 and commissioned in May 1996. The second vessel, Samos (L174), was laid down in September 1987, launched in April 1989 and commissioned in May 1994, two years earlier than the first vessel in the class. Construction of all the ships was originally scheduled to be completed by September 1990. However, all the vessels, in particular the last three, were delayed due to a financial crisis faced by the shipyard. Privatization of the shipyard in October 1997 resulted in steady progress of the construction. A sixth ship was added to the programme in 2000, but cancelled before construction began.

Landing ships Chios and Lesvos in a amphibious landing exercise

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Friday, 6 January 2017

Existing and Future Naval Analyses for 2017-18

In the following image, I have included all those warships or classes that I have analyzed until today (in black font), after approximately two years and six months from the creation of this blog, as well as the articles I am currently working on (in blue font) in order to publish them this year and the first months of the next one. I just hope for one thing only: to have enough free time and therefore to be more productive than 2016 (which by the way I had very limited amount of time). This year my main goal is to analyze more Russian and Asian designs and also for the first time I am planning to write a detailed article about a battleship or a class of battleships. Of course, there will be posts about Fleets, Infographics, History, Facts & Trivia and Photo Galleries, etc. too. So, go ahead, take a careful look at the following picture and feel free to propose adjustments and suggestions or even anything you would like to read about such as your favorite class or warship of the past! I thank you all for your constant support!

Existing and future analyses for 2017-18. High resolution image here.
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Saturday, 31 December 2016

INFOGRAPHICS #23: U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG)

Ships from the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group simulate
a strait transit in the Atlantic Ocean on Dec 10, 2013. Photo
by Justin Wolpert, U.S. Navy
A carrier strike group (CSG) is an operational formation of the United States Navy. It is composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, a nuclear-powered super-carrier (Nimitz class), which is the centerpiece of the strike group and also serves as the flagship for the CSG Commander and respective staff, at least one cruiser (Ticonderoga class), a destroyer squadron of at least two-three destroyers (Arleigh Burke class) and/or two-three frigates (currently the U.S. Navy does not operate any frigates, thus more destroyers in the group), a carrier air wing of about 70 aircraft (typically up to nine squadrons) and up to two nuclear-powered attack submarines (Los Angeles class, Virginia class), used to screen the strike group against hostile surface ships and submarines, but which also carry cruise missiles for long-range strike capability. A carrier strike group also, on occasion, includes attached logistics ships and a supply ship. CSGs are not restricted to a specific composition and can be modified depending on expected threats, roles, or missions expected during a deployment, and one may be different from another. The Navy states that "there really is no real definition of a strike group. Strike groups are formed and disestablished on an as needed basis, and one may be different from another. However, they all are comprised of similar types of ships."

The U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group. An illustration by Austin Rooney for the United States Navy. High resolution image.
Carrier Air Wing. High resolution image here.
The carrier strike group commander operationally reports to the commander of the numbered fleet, who is operationally responsible for the area of waters in which the carrier strike group is operating. Carrier strike groups comprise a principal element of U.S. power projection capability. Previously referred to as Carrier Battle Groups (a term still used by other nations; the change in nomenclature from 'Battle' to 'Strike' appears to have been connected with an increasing emphasis on projecting air power ashore), they are often referred to by the carrier they are associated with (e.g., Enterprise Strike Group). As of March 2016 there are ten (10) carrier strike groups. The carrier strike group is a flexible naval force that can operate in confined waters or in the open ocean, during day and night, in all weather conditions. The principal role of the carrier and its air wing within the carrier strike group is to provide the primary offensive firepower, while the other ships provide defense and support. These roles are not exclusive, however. Other ships in the strike group sometimes undertake offensive operations (launching cruise missiles, for instance) and the carrier's air wing contributes to the strike group's defense (through combat air patrols and airborne anti-submarine efforts). Thus, from a command and control perspective, carrier strike groups are combat organized by mission rather than by platform.

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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

WARSHIPS OF THE PAST: Elli cruiser of the Royal Hellenic Navy

 Written by D-Mitch

Elli, cruiser of the Royal Hellenic Navy (1951)
In 1947, Greece accepted from Italy the cruiser Eugenio di Savoia, a Condottieri class light cruiser of the Italian Navy (Regia Marina,  the Navy of the Kingdom of Italy) as a World War II reparation for Greece. The new warship renamed Elli, to honor the Elli light cruiser that was sunk by the Italian submarine Delfino while the cruiser sat at anchor near the Greek island Tinos, before the outbreak of the Greco-Italian War on 15 August 1940. The ship was commissioned into the Royal Hellenic Navy (Βασιλικό Πολεμικό Ναυτικό) in 1951 and had a very short career. The 186-meter cruiser was the longest warship ever served with the Hellenic Navy and the largest surface combatant after WWII. However, the largest ever Greek warships were the two per-dreadnought battleships of the Mississippi class, Kilkis and Limnos, that had a full displacement approximately 14,500tons at full load. It should be mentioned that today's Hellenic Navy largest warship is the logistic support ship Prometheus that has a displacement of about 14,000tons and length of 146 meters.

Elli, cruiser of Royal Hellenic Navy in 1951
Elli, during her official commission (1951)
Elli, during her official commission (1951)
The article contains more than 70 (!) photos and the most accurate and complete information about the ship, which in Greek service, very little is known about its equipment and history. Unfortunately, the photos are not of high resolution, so it was really difficult to distinguish the equipment on the vessel and to analyze it better. Moreover, this article was another example where the researcher should be responsible for evaluating all his sources with criticism, and to not rely entirely on the online sources, but to report only the credible information based on careful judgment of the reliability of information. Yet, despite all these issues, I hope I did a good job and you will enjoy the article!

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

FACTS & TRIVIA #3: HMS Hood, HMS Agincourt, Jean Bart, Gorz and surpercarriers

Enjoy the third part of a new category of articles where all the significant and interesting facts in naval history as well as "strange" and unique features of naval combattants' equipment, are described in brief. 

1. HMS Hood, the last battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy

HMS Hood, 17 March 1924
HMS Hood
HMS Hood
HMS Hood was a fast and very beautiful warship, a steel giant of 262m, about 47,000tons displacement and armed with eight 15in guns, but with serious design limitations. She was the pride of Royal Navy for more than two decades. As one of the largest and most powerful warships in the world, her prestige was reflected in her nickname ‘The Mighty Hood’. On 24 May, 1941 Hood with the newly commissioned Prince of Wales intercepted the German battleship Bismarck, one of the largest battleships ever built, and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the Denmark Strait. The pride of Royal Navy was lost quickly that day. The fifth salvo of the German battleship Bismarck sank the mighty Hood splitting the ship in two; the ship sank in three minutes! In only eight minutes of firing, Hood had disappeared, taking all but three of her crew of 1,419 men with her...

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

FACTS & TRIVIA #2: 21st century cruisers, Ise class hybrid battleship-carriers, British 18in naval gun, Valmy and HS Vasilissa Olga

Written by D-Mitch

This is the second part of a new category of articles where all the significant and interesting facts in naval history as well as "strange" and unique features of naval combattants' equipment, will be described in brief. Enjoy!

1.  21st century cruisers

There are very few navies in the world today that have cruisers in their inventories. Two of the world's superpowers, as somebody could expected, the USA and Russia, have such warships in their fleets, ships that exceed the 10,000tons displacement and of length greater than 170 meters.

  • Ticonderoga class cruisers of the United States Navy
USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55), a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser

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