Shown in April 1995, shorn of her 130-mm guns and major radar antennas while laid up in technical reserve, is the second of 17 Sovremennyy-class guided-missile destroyers built for the Soviet and Russian navies since 1981, the Northern Fleet’s Otchayannyy. According to a September 1995 article in Morskoi sbornik, an overhaul was to have been begun in 1987 but was delayed until 1992, at which point she could make barely 18 knots. Shrinking resources then were diverted to her sister Sovremennyy, which had commenced overhaul in 1988 and was still in the yard as of last fall. On 30 November 1994, the leaking Otchayannyy was ignominiously towed back to her base at Severmorsk and now is manned by a skeleton crew assigned to pump her out periodically to prevent her from foundering. Barring a major reversal in the budgetary fortunes of the Russian military, the Otchayannyy is deemed unlikely to steam again.
Pictured is the 1969-vintage Swedish Sjoormen-class diesel attack submarine Sjobjornen in February being readied for transfer to the Singapore Navy in April 1996 as training and submarine operations evaluation boat. The 1,400-ton (submerged) boat will conduct initial familiarization and crew-training activities in the Baltic and then reportedly will transfer to Singaporean waters next year for further evaluations before a decision is made whether to acquire additional, new-built submarines. The Swedish Navy’s submarine force now is to be cut to 9 units from 12, freeing the recently modernized Sjolejonet and Sjohunden for possible transfer to Finland, which has not operated submarines since World War II. Also to be retired by the end of the decade is one of the trio of Nacken-class submarines completed in 1980-81.
The heavily subsidized former East German Peenewerft yard at Wolgast delivered four 263-ton, 24.3-knot Grauna-class patrol craft to the Brazilian Navy during 1995. The craft are intended for exclusive economic zone patrol and have an endurance of 2,200 nautical miles at 12 knots. Four earlier units were delivered in 1994 by the Rio de Janeiro Naval Dockyard; additional units may be built in Germany or Brazil—or both. Shown here is the final unit of the German quartet, the Gurupi, fitting out in October 1995.
Launched on 15 December 1995, this is the second Royal Australian Navy Collins-class submarine, the Farncomb. Note the prominent coverings over the three passive-ranging hydrophone arrays on the side of the casing; these will be faired in when an Australian-developed anechoic coating is added during the submarine’s fitting-out period. The idea of purchasing two additional units beyond the six on order was raised again in November 1995 (well after an earlier contractual option to build them had expired) as a means of continuing employment at the Australian Submarine Corporation’s Adelaide facilities, which are facing bleak prospects after delivery of the last Collins in late 1999; more popular with politicians than with the navy, the scheme may not have survived the recent Australian election.
The radically reconfigured Military Sealift Command Large Medium-Speed Roll-on/Roll-off vehicle cargo ship Shughart (T-AKR-295) is shown nearing completion of her conversion from the commercial containership Laura Maersk at National Steel and Shipbuilding, San Diego, in January 1996. The 54,315-ton full load, 885- foot, 24-knot Shughart and sisters Yano (T-AKR-297) and Soderman (T-AKR-299), leased from Maersk Lines in 1993, will be operated by Bay Ship Management until January 1999 as transports for U.S. Army vehicles and equipment. Alterations to the class include adding a slewing ramp aft and side ramps to serve six new vehicle decks and installation of two slewing cranes forward.
Two-thirds of the Fijian Navy are seen nested at the Suva base in January 1996. In the foreground are two of the four former Israeli Navy Dabur-class patrol boats transferred in 1991, including the Saqa (304). Beyond them are the U.S.-built former oilfield crew boats Levuka (101) and Lantoka, both purchased in 1987. Nearly hidden behind the Lantoka are two of the three Australian “Pacific Forum,” ASI-315-class patrol craft delivered new in 1995, and beyond them is the darker hulk of the former U.S. Navy Redwing- class minesweeper Kiro [ex-Warbler [MSC-206]), stricken in May 1995 and the last of a trio transferred in 1975. Fijian Navy units are now armed with one or two 20-mm Oerlikon guns and, in some, 7.62-mm machine guns as well.