Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Royal Navy Stands Down from MH370 Black Box Search 
HMS Echo has joined HMS Tireless in standing down from the search for the signal from the black box of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. The decision comes after the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that the search for the missing Malaysian aircraft is now moving into a new phase (Pundits see terminology as expressing the "hopeless" or "unlikelihood" of locating the aircraft - ed.)


Survey ship HMS Echo and submarine HMS Tireless played an important role in the hunt for the black box signal by using their specialist sonar capabilities.


But with the Australian command assessing that there is no prospect of further acoustic detections associated with the aircraft’s black box, HMS Tireless and HMS Echo have both been stood down.


The UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “The search for the black box signal has been an extremely challenging operation and, while we all hoped for a faster and more conclusive result, I am very proud of the contribution British forces have been able to make as part of this complex international effort. HMS Tireless and HMS Echo will be withdrawn, but we remain ready to provide further appropriate assistance as and when required.”


The commanding officer of HMS Echo, Commander Phillip Newell, said: “The search for MH370 has required my ship and her company to work 24/7 in order to assist with the international effort


“We have faced numerous challenges, not least the sheer size of the search area and the environmental conditions of the southern Indian Ocean.


“As the search moves into the next phase, we sincerely hope that the autonomous underwater vehicles being used by our colleagues are able to provide concrete results in the search for answers as to the fate of the plane.”
Source: Royal Navy, May 2, 2014




Astinave Hires Damen for Ecuadorian CG’s Fourth Patrol Vessel


Astilleros Navales Ecuatorianos (Astinave EP) has recently awarded Damen Shipyards Group the contract for a fourth Patrol Vessel of the Damen Stan Patrol 2606 type.
Astinave Hires Damen for Ecuadorian CG's Fourth Patrol Vessel
This contract represents the last of this SPa 2606 series for the Ecuadorian Coastguard to be built locally.


In Guayaquil, Damen will deliver the detailed engineering of the vessel together with a complete material package. The Ecuadorian Coastguard presently operates three Damen Stan Patrols 2606, all of them having a length of 26.50 m (87 ft), outfitted with state of the art equipment and reaching 30 knots.


Considering Astinave’s experience, gained in the previous projects, in building these kinds of constructions, it will not be necessary to make use of on-site technical assistance from Damen for this project. This signifies the fact that a real transfer of knowledge and technology has taken place, a process which started more than 10 years ago when the Strategic Alliance Framework Agreement was signed between Damen and Astinave.


In the last few years Astinave has built a great number of vessels in cooperation with Damen, including tugs, cutter suction dredgers, fast crew suppliers and patrol vessels.


In addition, Damen organised the process in such a way that Astinave actively expanded its shipbuilding knowledge, including building ships according to the Damen Standard. The company’s personnel received theoretical and practical training at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem (Damen’s HQ in the Netherlands) and other locations in order to mutually achieve a high level of quality in present and future projects.
Source:  Damen, May 2, 2014







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