North Dakota submarine construction delay...drone sub delivery?

an underwater launch of a a small Switchblade unmanned aerial vehicle. 
Problems with a new kind of missile launcher will delay the commissioning of the attack submarine North Dakota. The primary issue was the new “Virginia Payload Tubes,” or VPTs. These are a new way to carry Tomahawk cruise missiles. Block III submarines, of which North Dakota is the first and farthest along, will have two much bigger tubes, each capable of carrying six Tomahawks — or a smaller number of some larger future missile, or even potentially an unmanned mini-submarine. The VPM concept also has the flexibility to accommodate an unprecedented variety of payloads;such as swimmer delivery vehicles for special operations. Earlier “Block I” and “Block II” Virginia submarines have 12 conventional Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes in the bow, each VLS holding one Tomahawk. But the Block III submarines, of which North Dakota is the first and farthest along, will have two much bigger tubes, each capable of carrying six Tomahawks — or a smaller number of some larger future missile, or even potentially an unmanned mini-submarine. 

 Military scientists have concluded submarine sailors, who traditionally begin a new workday every 18 hours, show less fatigue on a 24-hour schedule, and the Navy has endorsed the findings for any skippers who want to make the switch. The first submarine to try the new schedule on a full deployment was the USS Scranton, led by Cmdr. Seth Burton, a cancer survivor. He said the illness he experienced as a junior officer helped convince him of the health benefits of keeping a sleep pattern in line with the body's natural rhythm. "I know that there's lots of medical side effects to just not having a good, regular sleep pattern," said USS Scranton Cmdr. Seth Burton, 41, of Huntsville, Ala. A submarine sailor's day is generally divided equally into three periods: Time on watch, off time that is devoted partly to training and drills, and sleep. Under the new schedule, those time blocks are stretched from six to eight hours.

[March 9]

JROC moved the Virginia-class submarines in February 2013 from the Prompt Strike budget to the main Navy shipbuilding account. Will these silent propulsion pumpjet boats get a boost from the Ukrainian chill?

China’s navy is developing a land-attack cruise missile capability, most likely with the Type-095 SSGN  according to a forthcoming report by a US congressional commission on China.   The Russian navy has invested an estimated 54 billion roubles (£1bn) to fund the SSGN Severodvinsk K-329, and sources say delivery is expected imminently, since the delivery acceptance certificate was signed on 30 December. The K-329 was commissioned in 1993 and originally scheduled for delivery in 1998. The project has been beset by problems and repeated delays.
USS Ohio in 2008 [SSGN-726]

On July 16, a submarine left Bremerton, accompanied by a couple of Coast Guard cutters. The Navy declined to identify it, saying it doesn't discuss specific submarine operations.

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard's Intermediate Maintenance Facility completed its most expansive major maintenance period July 11 with USS Ohio's certification for unrestricted operation

A maritime source working in the Suez Canal reported on June 27 the passage of a nuclear submarine alongside two 'destroyers', both belonging to the United States supposedly headed to the Persian Gulf.

The maritime source added that the nuclear submarine – USS Florida SSGN 728 – and the destroyers –  USS JAMES E. WILLIAMS (DDG 95). and [? USNS Supply (T-AOE 6)] – were accompanied by tugboats belonging to the Canal during their 14-hour trip.

The destroyers and submarines were reported to be headed to the Persian Gulf in order to complete missions in the region.

YOKOSUKA, Japan (June 13, 2012) The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) is moored at Fleet Activities Yokosuka as part of its deployment to the Western Pacific.

The sending more equipment to the Gulf region is in the context of the efforts of U.S. Central Command to strengthen the U.S. military presence in the region for Iranian threats to close the Strait "of Hormuz.
During Operation Odyssey Dawn, Florida (SSGN 728) launched 93 Tomahawk missiles, with 90 effective, out of her total magazine of about 160 missiles.


Summer Wind: "I'm going to get you" said the captain, maybe.

Kirby claims the collision of Liberian-flag bulker Summer Wind with Kirby barges 27706 and 27705 and tugboat M/V Miss Susan has cost it more than $10 million in losses, damages, and expenses, and it is seeking a warrant of seizure and the sale of M/V Summer Wind to pay for damages, interest, attorney's fees, and court fees.   Kirby filed the suit in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas and is being represented by the Houston law firm Stepp & Sullivan PC.
Local news outlet KPRC Texas reported that the captains of both the Summer Wind and the Miss Susan were in communication about five minutes before the collision, and quoted the Summer Wind captain saying "If you keep on coming, I'm going to get you." Kirby Inland Marine LP (Kirby) has filed a lawsuit over last month's Houston Ship Channel collision seeking more than $10 million against bulk carrier M/V Summer Wind, its owner, Sea Galaxy S.A., and its operator, Cleopatra Shipping Agency Ltd.,

[March 25]
Penoyer said the investigation into what caused the collision has not determined who was at fault. “(The) investigation will take an extended amount of time to determine all of the factors that went into the cause ... It’s vastly premature to discuss any assessment beyond that.”

A search of the Coast Guard's accident investigation reports over the past ten years shows The Kirby Inland Marine-owned tugboat has been involved in eighteen incidents or accidents. Six of those were collisions with other vessels, docks and bridges.    The tugboat Miss Susan has also run aground and experienced mechanical failures, including loss of power or steering eleven times. 

[March 24]
 Apparently , a  Bulk Carrier departing from the port of Houston collided.
The ship was a 585-foot bulk carrier named the Summer Wind, IMO: 9114139. After the collision with a barge carrying bunker oil., the ship turned around and berthed at an anchorage at the Bolivar Peninsula. It remained there March 22.   manager CLEOPATRA SHIPPING AGENCY LTD, Greece.   Flag: Liberia


Big boxships too expensive to lay up

15 publicly traded container carriers in 2013 were at “a higher risk of financial distress than since the start of the financial crisis.” Carriers’ profits are now almost solely the result of cost-cutting. (Such as they are. The world’s top 15 container lines lost an estimated $1.1 billion between 2007 and 2012.)The average size of the modern-day containership is growing, with the largest vessels able to carry the equivalent of 9,000 forty-foot containers on a single voyage.Such behemoths are proving too expensive to lay up, resulting in fewer service withdrawals in 2013.

[March 13 2010]
Liberia flagged.E.R. Lübeck, IMO 9222467, ex CSCL_Fuzhou.ex ER Fuzhou. ex ER evaded pirate attack in the Somali Basin some 450 nautical miles NE of the Seychelles in the late hours of 11th, stretching into the early hours of 12 March.

The Lübeck was en route to Salalah when it was attacked from the rear of the ship, with pirates opening fire with automatic weapons. The ship sustained some minor small arms fire damage to the funnel and crane forward of the ship’s bridge. All personnel are reported to be safe and well.

Erck Rickmers, chairman and chief executive officer of Nordcapital and of E.R Schiffahrt GmbH & Cie KG (both located in Hamburg) has continued a family tradition that stretches back five generations.

Nordcapital started its activities in 1992 and has since become one of the leading German KG ship financing institutions. In 2001 it became market leader, with approximately Euro205m equity raised. Erck Rickmers explains We do not use Nordcapital for raising finance for E.R. Schiffahrt alone; we have also realised projects with eight different German shipowners (involving some 48 ships), including Bernhardt Schulte and Klaus Oldendorff, though E.R. Schiffahrt has become the main partner of Nordcapital in building up our current fleet of 39 containerships.
Ships in this category can be deployed flexibly all over the world. Their own loading gear makes them largely independent of shore-based loading and unloading facilities.


Grand Fortune 1: Mongolia-flagged DPRK cargo ship sunk

PYONGYANG, April 5 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had urged concerning parties to rescue its sunken cargo ship and help survivors return home.   Three crew members and two bodies were repatriated.

The Mongolia-flagged cargo ship Grand Fortune 1 sank in the waters off Jeju Island at dawn on Friday, with crew members of Korea Kunhae Co Ltd, Pyongyang, Korea (North)under the DPRK's Maritime Administration, while sailing to Shanghai, China. The 4,300-ton cargo ship, which ran aground at around 1:19 am on April 4, was heading to China from the DPRK city of Chongjin, carrying heavy oil and steel products.

Grand Fortune 1, Former names: Shinchang 2,- Sunjoo Pluto (Until 2006 Jun),- Beaver Ii (Until 2005 Jun),- Rigel (Until 1996 Mar)
IMO 8611805
Korea Kunhae Co. Ltd. 5423764  Pyongyang ;Sai Nal, Sai Nal 2, Sai Nal 3, Sin Pho, Wang Jong, Mun Su San, Kum Gang San (or Kumgangsan) 

According to Lloyd’s, the DPRK Government is the beneficial owner of 152 vessels, commercial operator of 30 vessels, registered owner of 12 vessls.

The accident took place in international waters some 43 kilometers away from South Korean waters, according to officials, adding that the route is frequented by North Korean vessels.