Zoe Glasson, Sophie Qin, Madeleine Nyst and Patrick Kennedy
The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force’s second helicopter carrier, the Kaga, entered service last week. The warship is expected to embark Mitsubishi-Sikorsky SH-60K Seahawk anti-submarine warfare helicopters and AgustaWestland/Kawasaki MCH-101 aircraft for mine-countermeasures. That commission takes Japan’s deployment capability another step forward (see last week’s Sea State). There’s little doubt where the ship’s resources will be directed—Japan’s Vice Minister of Defence said at Kaga’s ceremony that China is ‘raising security concerns,’ and by exerting pressure ‘is altering the status quo’ in the South China Sea. And Japan isn’t the only one setting sail. Last week, the Philippine Navy sent the BRP Ramon Alcaraz to patrol Benham Rise, an underwater plateau in the Philippine’s extended continental shelf, after Chinese survey vessels performed oceanographic research in the area.
There was an interesting read in Foreign Affairs last week on ‘Why Europe is Floating Egypt’s Navy’. Egypt is being increasingly sought out as a military partner against security threats in the Mediterranean, including sea-faring terrorists and migrants.
The US Office of Naval Research posted a video last week, showing a test fire of BAE’s electromagnetic cannon. The Navy’s railgun project has been in the works since 2005, and is reportedly still expected to be in service by 2025. This article from The Drive talks pros and cons of the experimental weapon. (ASPI’s James Mugg has some views too.)