Time for another weekly Across The Water international navies update â€¦
From China:Â warships to fight piracy
With so much piracy news floating around the web lately, itâ€™s easy to overlook the international significance of Chinaâ€™sÂ decision to send warships to the Horn of Africa region. The Financial Times hasÂ pointedÂ outÂ that theÂ deployment marks China’s, “first significant long-range naval combat mission since the 15th century.” A Chinese source recently informed me that the decision was not taken lightly and was only arrived at following much internal debate among government, military and academic officials. The source alsoÂ informed me that the warships will come from Chinaâ€™s South Sea Fleet, and that officers and sailors are already lining up to volunteer for the anti-piracy missions.
On 17 December, China acknowledged the successfulÂ rescue of a Chinese ship and its crew byÂ members of the multi-national anti-piracy force.
This past week in South Korea theYoon Young Ha entered service. Commissioned on 17 December, this vessel is the first of a new class of guided missile patrol boats toÂ join the South Korean fleet. Launched on 28 June 2007 the warship isÂ named for a South Korean patrol boat commander who was killed six years ago whileÂ fighting against North Korean naval forcesÂ in the Yellow Sea. The 450-ton (full load)Â vesselsÂ are also known in naval circles as theÂ Gumdoksuri or PKM X-class.
Â Additional information on the class wasÂ detailed here after the ship’sÂ 2007 launch.
Â And finally, our international photo of the week …Â You might have missed this one a few monthâ€™s back, but hereâ€™s a photo of the firstÂ South African Navy helicopter to landÂ aboard a U.S. Navy carrier. Photo credit goes to the U.S. Navy and Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John M. Stratton. Enjoy!