Israel's second German-built IKL Type 800 submarine, the Leviathan , on the ship-lift at Howaldtswerke, Kiel, this June for painting and hull maintenance; note that no anechoic coating is visible on the hull. She and sister Dolphin were paid for by the German government, and the $300 million cost of the third unit, the Tekuma (launched 9 July), was shared equally with Israel. The 1,720-metric-ton (submerged displacement), 188-foot trio have an unsupported endurance of 60 days, a range of up to 14,000 nm at 4 knots on snorkel (8,000 at 8 knots), and can sustain 20 knots submerged for more than an hour. Armament includes 16 wire-guided torpedoes and UGM-84C Harpoon missiles, launched from ten bow tubes. Six officers and 24 enlisted operate each boat.
On 24 September 1997, France and Turkey agreed on the sale of all five of the French Navy's quarter-century-old Circe -class mine hunters. Seen here is the Edincuk (ex-Cybele), which was formally commissioned in Turkey on 24 July after a refit and installation of an updated Thomson-Marconi DUBM-21D minehunting sonar, a new tactical data system, two PAP-Plus remote-controlled minehunting and disposal submersibles, and a pinpoint navigational system. The 508-ton, 167-foot ships, built of laminated wood, are in outstanding condition and carry the latest European minehunting technology.
British Royal Fleet Auxiliary vehicle landing ship Sir Bedivere , at Portsmouth this July, shortly after completing a modernization begun in November 1994. The modifications, which proved so expensive and time-consuming that similar refits to two sister ships were canceled, included inserting a complete new mid-body that lengthened the ship by 43 feet, re-engining, reconfiguration of the superstructure and stern and amidships helicopter platforms, and providing refurbished facilities to transport 440 troops. Sisters Sir Geraint and Sir Percivale now are to be replaced by 2005 by two new vessels (although their condition is such that they may have to be retired sooner), and under this summer's comprehensive Strategic Defense Review, four additional vehicle carriers are to be chartered to join the 21,000-ton Sea Centurion and Sea Chieftain , which are entering service this year as sealift providers for Britain's Joint Rapid Deployment Force.