Time for another weekly Across The Water international navies update …
From China: warships to fight piracy
With so much piracy news floating around the web lately, it’s easy to overlook the international significance of China’s decision to send warships to the Horn of Africa region. The Financial Times has pointed out that the 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 also informed me that the warships will come from China’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 successful rescue of a Chinese ship and its crew by 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 to join the South Korean fleet. Launched on 28 June 2007 the warship is named for a South Korean patrol boat commander who was killed six years ago while fighting against North Korean naval forces in the Yellow Sea. The 450-ton (full load) vessels are also known in naval circles as the Gumdoksuri or PKM X-class.
Additional information on the class was detailed here after the ship’s 2007 launch.
And finally, our international photo of the week … You might have missed this one a few month’s back, but here’s a photo of the first South African Navy helicopter to land aboard a U.S. Navy carrier. Photo credit goes to the U.S. Navy and Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John M. Stratton. Enjoy!