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Among the victims of the further drastic cuts to Great Britain’s Royal Navy announced in the white paper of 5 July 1993 were all four of the brand-new Upholder-class diesel-electric submarines. The newest, HMS Unicorn, had been commissioned less than two weeks earlier, on 25 June. The deactivation by 1995 of the quartet, plus the last three of the Oberon- class diesel boats this year, will reduce the British submarine fleet to its lowest level in nine decades: four ballistic missile submarines and a dozen attack boats, all nuclear-powered. Other cuts announced will result in the reduction of the Royal Navy destroyer-frigate force to 32 ships
Seen here fitting out at the Almaz Dekabristov Shipyard, St. Petersburg, earlier this year is the eighth Zubr- class (Project 1232) surface effect amphibious landing craft, pennant 618. Dubbed the Pomornik class by NATO, at 550 tons full load, the Zubrs are the world’s largest military air-cushion vehicles. The 63-knot craft, which can transport ten armored personnel carriers or three main battle tanks and 360 troops, also are built at Ukraine’s Yuzhnaya Tochka yard at Feodosiya in the Crimea, where another new unit has been taken over for the nascent Ukrainian Navy as the Donets in the
110 by mid-1994 and cut the active mine countermeasures ship force level nearly in half, although some of the River-class minesweepers will be given patrol duties. The Upholders are reported to have been offered to
When Pakistan was forced by the terms of the Pressler Amendment to return to U.S. Navy control the four Brooke (FFG-1)- and four Garcia (FF-1040)-class frigates leased at the end of the 1980s, it quickly had to find another source of major combatants for its aging navy. The solution resided in the Royal Navy’s mid- 1970s-vintage Amazon-class frigates, which are being retired. Between June 1993 and spring 1994, all six of the 3,360-ton, gas turbine-powered ships are being purchased, for a reported $10 million to $12 million apiece. The Ambuscade, the first to be handed over, is seen here flying her Royal
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Saudi Arabia on lease with British crews and also have been offered for sale to Canada; a decision on the latter possibility will have to await the results of the November 1993 Canadian general election.
Navy “paying-off” pennant on 28 M*' 1993. More than a decade newer tha11 the U.S. Navy frigates, the Amazons require far smaller crews, are simple to maintain, and are superior in surface warfare by virtue of their four MM 38 Exocet missiles and excellent Vickers 114-mm Mk-8 gun. Their an1' submarine warfare capabilities, however, are minimal, and their equally weak air defenses are to be augment by replacing the obsolescent Sea Cat surface-to-air missile system with U^' Phalanx 20-mm close-in weapon systems removed from decommissioned Pakistani destroyers of the British County and U.S. Gearing classes. ✓
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Proceedings / September