Surface Forces: September 28, 1999


Civilianized Aircraft Carriers: After World War II, many warships were converted to civilian uses. For example, many of the sight seeing ships that circle New York City's Manhattan island are converted landing ships. The end of the Cold War brought some similar conversions, but on a much grander scale. The Soviet Union was, through the 1980s, building a fleet of aircraft carrier fleet. When the Cold War ended, there was no longer a need, nor available funds, for these ships. So Russia has been trying to sell them off. Nations considering purchasing these ships for military use were put off by the cost of upgrading (or finishing) them and the enormous expense of running the ships and their aircraft. With no military sales in sight, Russia has sold one of its carriers to a South Korean firm, which will convert it into a floating entertainment center. The party carrier will be based in Guangdong, China. Another Russia carrier, as yet unconverted, is berthed in Macao, where tours are offered. Macao, a Portuguese colony, reverts to Chinese control in late 1999.

Sweden has ordered two more Visby-class stealth frigates, bringing total orders to six. (Original plans for a class of 10 will not survive recent budget cuts, and the class will stop at six.) The Visbys are stealth frigates, with extensive design features designed to reduce radar, thermal, acoustic, magnetic, hydrodynamic, visual, and electronic signatures. The Visbys mount a 57mm cannon, four tubes for 400mm anti-submarine torpedoes, and an ALECTO multi-role rocket launcher. They have a complete Mine Counter Measures system, but this can be removed and replaced by four RBS15-II anti-ship missiles. The Visbys are 72m long and displace 600 tons. Their hulls are made almost entirely out of fiber-reinforced plastic. The first Visby will launch next year; all six will be in service by 2008.--Stephen V Cole

South Korea has commissioned the second KDX1 destroyer, the Ulchimunduk. The first of these ships is undergoing sea trials and the third was launched last year.--Stephen V Cole


Article Archive

Surface Forces : Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close