Latest News
Drug Bust – US Forces caught Cocaine filled Submarine in Atlantic Ocean – 22.03.2024

Last Friday 22nd March, a specialized U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) law enforcement unit embarked the Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USS LEYTE GULF CG 55, successfully intercepted and seized a semi-submersible vessel carrying thousands of pounds of cocaine in the U.S. Southern Command’s operational area. Members of the U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) […]

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Naval News – Royal Thai Navy Corvette CO criticised for actions to the loss of naval unit in bad weather – April 2024

Officials of the Royal Thai Navy said the commanding officer of a naval ship that sank in bad weather in late 2022 had taken “imprudent” actions that resulted in the ship’s loss along with at least 24 of its crew. An investigation revealed that Captain Phichitchai Thueannadee, commanding officer of the corvette HTMS SUKHOTHAI FS 442 […]

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Casualties – USCGC SEA DOG WPB 87373 damaged – 25.03.2024

On Monday 25th March, 2024 the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Protector Class cutter USCGC SEA DOG WPB 87373 was damaged while returning from sea to the St. Marys River on the border between Florida and Georgia. She was able to safely moor at Fernandina Beach, Fla., with assistance from other Coast Guard vessels and […]

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Malta Naval Visits – March 2024

Saturday 2nd March.  The Marina Militare Italiana (Italian Navy) Cassiopeia Class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) – ITS CASSIOPEIA P401 left Malta passing breakwaters at 1927 hrs from DWQ 2 Wharf though her diplomatic clearance was extended for another 24 hors. She was also due to shifting few bollards astern to DWQ 1 from Bollards 3 to 9 […]

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Passer By – Tug VB HISPANIA towing RFA DILIGENCE for scrap – 02.04.2024

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Forward Repair Ship RFA DILIGENCE A 132 towed by the 2011 built Spanish anchor handling tug (aht) VB HISPANIA passed by Malta today Tuesday 2nd April, 2024. Built in Landskrona, Sweden, as the offshore support vessel STENA INSPECTOR, she was chartered by the British government during the critical months of […]

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Russia-Ukraine War – 2 More Russian Navy Ships Hit – 26.03.2024

On Tuesday 26th March, 2024 Ukraine has claimed yet another successful strike on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (BSF),  that another Ropucha Class landing ship KONSTANTIN OLSHANSKY  had been hit by a Neptune R-360 anti-ship missile. The inactive Ropucha class landing ship was captured from Ukraine during Russia’s unlawful annexation of Crimea in 2014 by the Russian […]

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Russia-Ukraine War – Ukraine hit 2 Russian navy Landing Ships – 24.03.2024

On Sunday 24th March, 2024 Ukraine stated that it hit 2 two Russian Navy Ropucha Class/Project 775 III landing ships RFS AZOV and RFS YAMAL  along with a communications center and several other facilities belonging to the Black Sea Fleet, in a huge overnight attack on the Crimean port of Sevastopol. There has been no […]

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Naval Ships – HS HERACLES A 472

One of the Norwegian built ships that was built as a civilian and now in naval use is the Hellenic Navy Atlas Class Logistics Support Ship HS HERACLES A 472.  She was built in Norway by Soviknes Verft AS (now VARD Soviknes) as the offshore supply ship HIGHLAND NAVIGATOR for Gulf Offshore at Aberdeen, Scotland […]

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Gaza-Israel War – US Army aid ship leave USA bound to Gaza after Biden promises to build pier – 10.03.2024

The US Army dispatched a  logistics support vessel to send humanitarian aid to Gaza, Central Command (CENTCOM) stated yesterday Sunday 10th February, 2024, days after President Joe Biden vowed to build a temporary pier to supply the besieged enclave. USAV GENERAL FRANK S. BESSON LSV 1 left Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia “less than 36 […]

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Maltese Fortifications – Saint Anthony’s Battery at Qala, Gozo

One of only two surviving batteries on Gozo that was built by the Order of Saint John between 1731 and 1732 as one of a series of coastal fortifications around the coasts of the Maltese Islands is the SAINT ANTHONY’S BATTERY at Qala. It was built by the Order of Saint John on the eastern […]

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Naval News – German Navy Frigate FGS HESSEN F 221 involved in drone shooting at the Red Sea – 27.02.2024

Last Tuesday 27th February, 2024 the German Navy Type 124 Sachsen class frigate FGS HESSEN F 221 has downed two Houthi drones at close range while operating in the Red Sea. In addition, the frigate accidentally fired on an American MQ-9 Reaper drone while confused as to its identity. This spate of action comes just a […]

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Aviation – Farewell to the AB 212 Helicopter by the Italian Air Force – 22.02.2024

After 40 years of excellent service the last HH-212 (as the AB212 is designated in accordance with the Italian MOD Mission Design Series) of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Airforce), made its final flight from its homebase at Grazzanise, Italy, last Thursday 22nd February during a phase out ceremony that celebrated the 40 years of activity […]

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Naval News – Italian Navy Destroyer ITS CAIO DUILIO D 554 Shoots Down Drone In Red Sea – 03.03.2024

On Sunday 3rd March, 2024 the Marina Militare Italiana (Italian Navy) Horizon Class Destroyer ITS CAIO DUILIO D 554  shot down a drone in the Red Sea using her  Oto Melara 76 mm gun. The drone bearing similar characteristics to those already used in previous attacks, was around 6 kilometers from the Italian ship, heading […]

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Malta Naval Visits – February 2024

Friday 2nd February.  Year 2024 was started with an interesting naval movement  and the maiden call of the French Navy Mistral Class Amphibious Assault & Command Ship (Bâtiment de Projection et de Commandement / BPC) FS DIXMUDE L 9015. She passed breakwaters at 0817 hrs coming from Egypt after she was being used as a […]

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Naval News – Turkish Navy decommissions TCG SOKULLU MEHMET PASA A 577 – 24.02.2024

On Saturday 24th February, the Turkish Naval Forces (Turk Deniz Kuvvetleri) or Turkish Navy announced that the Rhein class training ship TCG SOKULLU MEHMET PASA A 577 will be decommissioned. She was built in Schlichting Shipyard in Travemunde, Germany as FGS DONAU A 69 and commissioned to the German Navy on 23rd May 1964 after she […]

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Passer By – Tug VB HISPANIA towing RFA DILIGENCE for scrap – 02.04.2024

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Forward Repair Ship RFA DILIGENCE A 132 towed by the 2011 built Spanish anchor handling tug (aht) VB HISPANIA passed by Malta today Tuesday 2nd April, 2024. Built in Landskrona, Sweden, as the offshore support vessel STENA INSPECTOR, she was chartered by the British government during the critical months of […]

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Maltese Fortifications – Fort Saint Elmo at Valletta Part 1

One of the Fortifications full of never ending history around the Maltese Islands is FORT SAINT ELMO (in Maltese as FORTI SANT’ IERMU) , situated at Valletta. Building it started in 1552 and it stands on the seaward shore of the Sciberras Peninsula that divides Marsamxett Harbour from Grand Harbour, and commands the entrances to both harbours along with Fort […]

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Virtu Ferries – High Speed Craft GOZO EXPRESS arrival – 11.04.2022

On Monday 11th April, 2022 the Incat Crowther 42 High Speed Craft GOZO EXPRESS arrived at Grand Harbour, Malta as a deck cargo aboard the 2014 built mpp vessel EEMSLIFT DAFNE after she passed the Suez Canal on Thursday 7th April. GOZO EXPRESS arrived as EXCELLENCE OF MAJESTIC homeported at Singapore (SGP) with 42.2 metres […]

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Virtu Ferries – MARIA DOLORES at Mgarr Harbour, Gozo – 22.03.2022.

Two years after the largest catamaran operating in the Mediterranean and the second largest in the world SAINT JOHN PAUL II entered Mgarr Harbour, Gozo last Monday 2nd March, 2020 it was the turn for the Austal built 68.4 metres long High Speed Craft MARIA DOLORES to enter Mgarr Harbour, preparations for the Pope Francis Apostolic Visit […]

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Hijacking – Special Forces detain 7 stowaways with 22 crew safe after 10 hour ordeal at sea – 25.10.2020

7 stowaways believed to be Nigerian, who threatened the lives of 22 crew members on board the tanker NAVE ANDROMEDA are being questioned by authorities following last Sunday 25th October rescue mission off the coast of the Isle of Wight. The UK’s elite Special Boat Service was drafted in after the Home Secretary Pritti Patel […]

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Drug Bust – Colombian Navy seized 1,080 pounds of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean – 07.04.2018.

Colombia’s navy has intercepted 14 semi-submersible vessels, known as “narco subs,” in the Pacific Ocean in 2018, more than triple what it seized all last year, and the uptick comes as the country grapples with a sustained increase in cocaine production. Together with United States Coast Guard (USCG), Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine […]

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Research/Survey Vessel – KOMMANDOR STUART

An approved DP1 survey vessel with a proven track record in the North Sea and Arctic is the 1976 built KOMMANDOR STUART owned by Hays Ships, UK . She was built in Norway at Sterkoder Mekaniske Verksted in Kristiansund as yard no 58 as the Icelandic Ferry HERJOLFUR trading until Sepember 1993. Then she was […]

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Malta Naval Ships – USNS LCPL ROY M WHEAT T-AK 3016

Strategic sealift ships are part of the United States Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) prepositioning program. Currently there are around 50 ships in the program, strategically positioned around the world to support the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Defense Logistics Agency. Most are named after Medal of Honor recipients from the service they support. The Prepositioning Ships (PREPO) in each squadron have sufficient equipment, […]

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Maltese Fortifications – Fort Leonardo – 22.04.2020

FORT LEONARDO also known as Fort San Leonardo or Fort San Anard, is a polygonal fort (no bastions) in Żabbar, Malta. It was built between 1872 and 1878 by the British between the villages of San Leonardo and Żonqor above the shore east of Grand Harbour as part of a program of improvements to Malta’s fortifications. The fort was to be called Fort […]

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Maltese Islands – Sound Mirror (il-Widna) at Maghtab

Believed to be the only sound mirror outside England it is known locally as “il widna”, Maltese for “the ear”. The construction of early warning sound mirrors was proposed in the early 1930s to help protect the key imperial locations of Gibraltar, Malta and Singapore. Four sites were identified in Gibraltar, but there were concerns […]

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Drug Bust – US Forces caught Cocaine filled Submarine in Atlantic Ocean – 22.03.2024

Last Friday 22nd March, a specialized U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) law enforcement unit embarked the Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USS LEYTE GULF CG 55, successfully intercepted and seized a semi-submersible vessel carrying thousands of pounds of cocaine in the U.S. Southern Command’s operational area. Members of the U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) […]

READ MORE
Naval News – Royal Thai Navy Corvette CO criticised for actions to the loss of naval unit in bad weather – April 2024

Officials of the Royal Thai Navy said the commanding officer of a naval ship that sank in bad weather in late 2022 had taken “imprudent” actions that resulted in the ship’s loss along with at least 24 of its crew. An investigation revealed that Captain Phichitchai Thueannadee, commanding officer of the corvette HTMS SUKHOTHAI FS 442 […]

READ MORE
Casualties – USCGC SEA DOG WPB 87373 damaged – 25.03.2024

On Monday 25th March, 2024 the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Protector Class cutter USCGC SEA DOG WPB 87373 was damaged while returning from sea to the St. Marys River on the border between Florida and Georgia. She was able to safely moor at Fernandina Beach, Fla., with assistance from other Coast Guard vessels and […]

READ MORE
Malta Naval Visits – March 2024

Saturday 2nd March.  The Marina Militare Italiana (Italian Navy) Cassiopeia Class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) – ITS CASSIOPEIA P401 left Malta passing breakwaters at 1927 hrs from DWQ 2 Wharf though her diplomatic clearance was extended for another 24 hors. She was also due to shifting few bollards astern to DWQ 1 from Bollards 3 to 9 […]

READ MORE
Passer By – Tug VB HISPANIA towing RFA DILIGENCE for scrap – 02.04.2024

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Forward Repair Ship RFA DILIGENCE A 132 towed by the 2011 built Spanish anchor handling tug (aht) VB HISPANIA passed by Malta today Tuesday 2nd April, 2024. Built in Landskrona, Sweden, as the offshore support vessel STENA INSPECTOR, she was chartered by the British government during the critical months of […]

READ MORE
Russia-Ukraine War – 2 More Russian Navy Ships Hit – 26.03.2024

On Tuesday 26th March, 2024 Ukraine has claimed yet another successful strike on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (BSF),  that another Ropucha Class landing ship KONSTANTIN OLSHANSKY  had been hit by a Neptune R-360 anti-ship missile. The inactive Ropucha class landing ship was captured from Ukraine during Russia’s unlawful annexation of Crimea in 2014 by the Russian […]

READ MORE
Russia-Ukraine War – Ukraine hit 2 Russian navy Landing Ships – 24.03.2024

On Sunday 24th March, 2024 Ukraine stated that it hit 2 two Russian Navy Ropucha Class/Project 775 III landing ships RFS AZOV and RFS YAMAL  along with a communications center and several other facilities belonging to the Black Sea Fleet, in a huge overnight attack on the Crimean port of Sevastopol. There has been no […]

READ MORE
Naval Ships – HS HERACLES A 472

One of the Norwegian built ships that was built as a civilian and now in naval use is the Hellenic Navy Atlas Class Logistics Support Ship HS HERACLES A 472.  She was built in Norway by Soviknes Verft AS (now VARD Soviknes) as the offshore supply ship HIGHLAND NAVIGATOR for Gulf Offshore at Aberdeen, Scotland […]

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Gaza-Israel War – US Army aid ship leave USA bound to Gaza after Biden promises to build pier – 10.03.2024

The US Army dispatched a  logistics support vessel to send humanitarian aid to Gaza, Central Command (CENTCOM) stated yesterday Sunday 10th February, 2024, days after President Joe Biden vowed to build a temporary pier to supply the besieged enclave. USAV GENERAL FRANK S. BESSON LSV 1 left Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia “less than 36 […]

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Maltese Fortifications – Saint Anthony’s Battery at Qala, Gozo

One of only two surviving batteries on Gozo that was built by the Order of Saint John between 1731 and 1732 as one of a series of coastal fortifications around the coasts of the Maltese Islands is the SAINT ANTHONY’S BATTERY at Qala. It was built by the Order of Saint John on the eastern […]

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Naval News – German Navy Frigate FGS HESSEN F 221 involved in drone shooting at the Red Sea – 27.02.2024

Last Tuesday 27th February, 2024 the German Navy Type 124 Sachsen class frigate FGS HESSEN F 221 has downed two Houthi drones at close range while operating in the Red Sea. In addition, the frigate accidentally fired on an American MQ-9 Reaper drone while confused as to its identity. This spate of action comes just a […]

READ MORE
Aviation – Farewell to the AB 212 Helicopter by the Italian Air Force – 22.02.2024

After 40 years of excellent service the last HH-212 (as the AB212 is designated in accordance with the Italian MOD Mission Design Series) of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Airforce), made its final flight from its homebase at Grazzanise, Italy, last Thursday 22nd February during a phase out ceremony that celebrated the 40 years of activity […]

READ MORE
Naval News – Italian Navy Destroyer ITS CAIO DUILIO D 554 Shoots Down Drone In Red Sea – 03.03.2024

On Sunday 3rd March, 2024 the Marina Militare Italiana (Italian Navy) Horizon Class Destroyer ITS CAIO DUILIO D 554  shot down a drone in the Red Sea using her  Oto Melara 76 mm gun. The drone bearing similar characteristics to those already used in previous attacks, was around 6 kilometers from the Italian ship, heading […]

READ MORE
Malta Naval Visits – February 2024

Friday 2nd February.  Year 2024 was started with an interesting naval movement  and the maiden call of the French Navy Mistral Class Amphibious Assault & Command Ship (Bâtiment de Projection et de Commandement / BPC) FS DIXMUDE L 9015. She passed breakwaters at 0817 hrs coming from Egypt after she was being used as a […]

READ MORE
Naval News – Turkish Navy decommissions TCG SOKULLU MEHMET PASA A 577 – 24.02.2024

On Saturday 24th February, the Turkish Naval Forces (Turk Deniz Kuvvetleri) or Turkish Navy announced that the Rhein class training ship TCG SOKULLU MEHMET PASA A 577 will be decommissioned. She was built in Schlichting Shipyard in Travemunde, Germany as FGS DONAU A 69 and commissioned to the German Navy on 23rd May 1964 after she […]

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Research – Underwater volcanoes and shipwreck discovered in the Mediterranean Sea – August 2023

3 large underwater volcanoes and a 100 metre shipwreck have been discovered off Sicily’s south-west coast by a team of researchers that included scientists from the University of Malta (UOM) The volcanoes are at least six kilometres wide and extend up to 150 metres above the seabed. They share the area with several smaller volcanoes […]

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Scuttling Operation – COMINOLAND and KARWELA – 12.08.2006

On Saturday 12th August 2006, 2  short sea ferryboats COMINOLAND and KARWELA were towed from Cassar Ship Repair Yard, Marsa to Ras il-Hobz, Gozo that is a submerged pinnacle also known as the Middle Finger, to be scuttled by the Gozo Tourism Association. The Pinnacle  is one of the most breathtaking dives in Gozo. The top of this pinnacle […]

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Wrecks – Chinese Ship suspected of looting WWII wrecks – May 2023

Malaysia’s maritime authorities on Monday 29th May, 2023 said cannon shells believed to be from World War Two have been found on the 2014 built Chinese dredger CHUAN HONG 68  detained at the weekend for anchoring in its territorial waters without permission. The discovery came amid reports that scavengers have targeted two British World War […]

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Offshore – Offshore Support Vessel THE PERFORMER at Malta – April 2002.
Offshore – Offshore Support Vessel THE PERFORMER at Malta – April 2002.

One of the Norwegian built offshore vessels was the 1977 built Diving Maintenance Support Vessel THE PERFORMER. She was built by Nylands Verksted in Oslo, Norway with yard number 784 as the ARCTIC SEAL with red hull trading until January 1987, then as V.S.O PERFORMER until 1989; VSO PERFORMER for few months and with her […]

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Casualties – MFA 384 PEPPINA at Marsalforn Bay, Gozo – 13.11.2021
Casualties – MFA 384 PEPPINA at Marsalforn Bay, Gozo – 13.11.2021

On Saturday 13th November, 2021 thanks to Alldive Ltd Personnel together with TugMalta Personnel saved the 12.65 metre fishing vessel MFA 384 PEPPINA from sinking though her stern was already underwater at Marsalforn Bay, Gozo. Normally MFA 384 PEPPINA is moored at the Menqa in Marsalforn Bay of which last June she was spotted there […]

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Bunkering – Offshore Convoy at Malta – 19.10.2021.
Bunkering – Offshore Convoy at Malta – 19.10.2021.

On Tuesday 19th October, 2021 the convoy of the 1984 built offshore tug/supply ship ARTEMIS together with the 2008 built cable layer ATALANTI though both entered separate with different harbour pilot aboard. First to enter was the ARTEMIS at 1046 hrs berthing starboard side alongside Pinto 4 Wharf. This was her second call this year […]

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Towage – MACISTONE escorting ALK to Malta – 18.10.2021
Towage – MACISTONE escorting ALK to Malta – 18.10.2021

On Monday 18th October, 2021 the 1982 built tug MACISTONE was seen again for the second time this year escorting the 1965 built NLD flag diving support yacht ALK at 0720 hrs. At 0924 hrs ALK was handed over to tug GOZZO for further assistance and to moor at Manoel Island Marina. Of which was […]

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Ship of the Week – FALCON originally SOUTHLEIGH

One of the Lowestoft trawlers that was seen in Malta was the diving support vessel FALCON that was seen both at Sliema Creek, Marsamxett Harbour and at Grand Harbour in 1997. She was built in Lowestoft by the Shipyard of Richards Iron Works Ltd as Yard Number 417 for Small and Co Ltd of Lowestoft […]

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Local Shipping – Submersible Exploration Ship U BOAT NAVIGATOR.

One of the converted fishing vessels around is the 2008 built U BOAT NAVIGATOR. She was built at Cinar Tersanecilik Ltd, Gemlik in Turkey as the fishing vessel ESAT KOCALI and in 2012 she was converted after being acquired by the submarine pilots and expert diving instructors father-and-son duo Eugene and Dmitry Tomashov. In fact […]

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Maltese Islands – Mgarr Ix-Xini at Gozo

MGARR IX-XINI, is a very picturesque bay set within a creek and a steep sided natural valley. It is close to Għajnsielem, Xewkija and Sannat on the island of Gozo. During the Order of Saint John it was apparently an occasional hiding place for the Knights galleys and was also used by the invading Turks to load captive Gozitans onto their ships […]

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Offshore – Egyptian supply vessel MARIDIVE 703
Offshore – Egyptian supply vessel MARIDIVE 703

One of the first anchor handling tug/supply (AHTS) responder to EVER GIVEN aground accident in the Suez Canal on Tuesday 23rd March, 2021 was the 150 tons bollard pull AHTS MARIDIVE 703. She was built in China by Jiangsu Zhenjiang Shipyard at Zhenjiang in 2011 and homeported in Belize City (BLZ Flag). She’s 71 metres […]

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Tugboat – Singapore Built THOR SERVER
Tugboat – Singapore Built THOR SERVER

One of the Faroe Islands operated vessel that was a regular visitor in Malta was the tug THOR SERVER that was used as a guard/chase boat with seismic operations. She was built in 1978 by Marine Builders Pte Ltd at Singapore as yard number 1016 named as AL JUBAIL VIII trading until 1985 where she […]

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Casualties – VOLGO-BALT 179 sinks with fatalities – 11.03.2021
Casualties – VOLGO-BALT 179 sinks with fatalities – 11.03.2021

On Thursday 11th March, 2021 around 0440 hrs local time the vessel VOLGO-BALT 179 with 13 crew sent out a distress call while she was on her way to Constanta, Romania from Russia in a storm with 4 metres swell. One of the vessels that deployed in response to the call was the diving support […]

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Accidents – Yacht DARNICE III distress call at Malta – 03.09.2020

On Thursday 3rd September, 2020 the 1984 built 60 metre superyacht DARNICE III called Valletta VTS stating that while she’s underway to Tunisia from Turkey. water ingress is coming into her hull while she’s around 4 miles east off Grand Harbour, Malta. She was built by Benetti on Italy delivered to her owner in 1984 […]

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Casualties – Monohull ISOLA DI CAPRAIA aground – 24.05.2020

On Sunday 24th May 2020, the 1999 built monohull high speed craft ISOLA DI CAPRAIA ran aground in the Adriatic Sea at San Nicola Port, the Isole Tremiti archipelago near eastern Italy’s Apulia region.  As soon as she was entering, technical failure happened with the result that vessel lost control.  Both anchors were used, but the HSC […]

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Scuttling Operation – COMINOLAND and KARWELA – 12.08.2006

On Saturday 12th August 2006, 2  short sea ferryboats COMINOLAND and KARWELA were towed from Cassar Ship Repair Yard, Marsa to Ras il-Hobz, Gozo that is a submerged pinnacle also known as the Middle Finger, to be scuttled by the Gozo Tourism Association. The Pinnacle  is one of the most breathtaking dives in Gozo. The top of this pinnacle […]

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Local Shipping – Passenger Ship LA VALETTE

One of the first from 3 German Customs Patrol Craft donated to Malta to be part of the 1st Maritime Battery of the Armed Forces of Malta, now known as Maritime Squadron was the 1952 built 29 metre craft BRUNSBUTTEL who arrived in Malta as deck cargo with 2 others (nowadays both broken up) aboard […]

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AFM – Arrival of P 71 , largest Patrol Vessel for Malta – 07.11.2022

On Monday 7th November, 2022 at 0751 hrs the 74.8 metres Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) P 71 as C 890 entered Grand Harbour, Malta during her delivery voyage coming from Chioggia, Italy. She berthed port side alongside at Ras Hanzir Dolphins (RHD). With a full load displacement of over 2,000 tonnes, 74.8 metres as length […]

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Dredging – Haywharf Dredging – July/August 2022

During July and August 2022 Dredging Operations of Inert Material was carried out at the AFM Maritime Squadron Base at Haywharf at Marsamxett Harbour with the Ports & Yachting Directorate of Transport Malta issued Local Notice of Mariners – 091 dated 21st June, 2022 and Amendment – 118 dated 14th July 2022 . Vessels engaged […]

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Virtu Ferries – High Speed Craft GOZO EXPRESS arrival – 11.04.2022

On Monday 11th April, 2022 the Incat Crowther 42 High Speed Craft GOZO EXPRESS arrived at Grand Harbour, Malta as a deck cargo aboard the 2014 built mpp vessel EEMSLIFT DAFNE after she passed the Suez Canal on Thursday 7th April. GOZO EXPRESS arrived as EXCELLENCE OF MAJESTIC homeported at Singapore (SGP) with 42.2 metres […]

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Virtu Ferries – MARIA DOLORES with His Holiness Pope Francis – 02.04.2022

On Saturday 2nd April, 2022 His Holiness Pope Francis during his Apostolic visit to Malta crossed to the sister island of Gozo by the High Speed Craft MARIA DOLORES. After leaving the Apostolic Nunciature, Rabat , Malta the entourage proceeded to DWQ 5 to board the Virtu Ferries High Speed Craft MARIA DOLORES to cross […]

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Virtu Ferries – MARIA DOLORES at Mgarr Harbour, Gozo – 22.03.2022.

Two years after the largest catamaran operating in the Mediterranean and the second largest in the world SAINT JOHN PAUL II entered Mgarr Harbour, Gozo last Monday 2nd March, 2020 it was the turn for the Austal built 68.4 metres long High Speed Craft MARIA DOLORES to enter Mgarr Harbour, preparations for the Pope Francis Apostolic Visit […]

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Former Military – Maltese Fishing Vessel MADONNA TA POMPEI F 14
Former Military – Maltese Fishing Vessel MADONNA TA POMPEI F 14

One of the former British Forces vessels left in Malta and acquired for various services was the Harbour Defence Motor Launch (HDML) ML 1271 built in 1943 by and used as the fishing vessel MADONNA TA POMPEI F 14. As HDML’s their numbers were from ML 1001 to ML 1600, designed by the Admiralty and […]

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Local Shipping – PRINCESS DIANA & PRINCESS ELIZABETH
Local Shipping – PRINCESS DIANA & PRINCESS ELIZABETH

Two boats that were former Libyan Customs and Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) Patrol Craft and were never used as short sea passenger boats were the 31.4 metres craft PRINCESS DIANA and PRINCESS ELIZABETH. PRINCESS DIANA was built in 1963 for the Libyan Customs by Brodogradiliste Kraljevica in Hrvatska at Yugoslavia as ARRAID and on […]

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Local Shipping – XMUN (II)

A 61 year old lady delivered in 1959 , currently at Malta is the water tanker XMUN (II). Started her life as HSwMS FRYKEN A 217 with the Swedish Navy she was delivered on 24th November, 1959 supporting the navy with fresh water. She was built by Marinteknik Verkstads AB of which in 1972, the […]

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Former Military – GHM 1.

One of the two former military bridge erection boat 1691 was used for sometime at Grand Harbour Marina as GHM 1 to assist yachting matters at the Marina in Malta. She was powered by 1 engine with a Schottel rudderpropeller Type 100 with manufacture no as 894 and she was built in 1983. Above images […]

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Local Shipping – XLENDI

One of the ferries that use to be run by Gozo Channel Line was the 1955 built XLENDI. Built in 1955 originally a Danish passenger/car/train ferry HELSINGØR as Yard no 321 at Helsingør Skibs. & Msk. in Helsingør, Danmark she was 80 meters long and a beam of 12 meters with 1,123 GRT trading until […]

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Local Shipping – GOLDEN BAY

One of the local tankers that is no longer with us is the 1959 built MLT flag and owned bunkering tanker GOLDEN BAY. Vessel arrived in Malta in 2003 as ELDAREN after she was bought from Swedish Navy surplus and run by a local company as bunkering tanker. She was built as the BROTANK and […]

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Ship of the Week – HATHERLEIGH

The HATHERLEIGH  was originally named SUFFOLK PUNCH (LT 395) and was built in Lowestoft by the Shipyard of Richards Iron Works Ltd as Yard Number 461. She was launched on 4th March 1961. She was owned by Small and Co. The SUFFOLK PUNCH was one of five sister ships all of very similar design and […]

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Maltese Fortifications – Saint Anthony’s Battery at Qala, Gozo

One of only two surviving batteries on Gozo that was built by the Order of Saint John between 1731 and 1732 as one of a series of coastal fortifications around the coasts of the Maltese Islands is the SAINT ANTHONY’S BATTERY at Qala. It was built by the Order of Saint John on the eastern […]

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Maltese Islands – Ta’ Kenuna Tower, Gozo

One of the buildings anyone will spot once you approach the sister island of Malta – Gozo , from Mgarr Harbour side is no doubt the Ta ‘Kenuna Tower. It is a semaphore tower on the cliffs of Nadur and it was built by the British in 1848, as one of three semaphore towers in Malta. The tower was […]

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Maltese Islands – Live Crib at Lija during Festive Season

Christmas cribs form a great part of the Malta’s tradition. Maltese Christmas would not be the same without the traditional presepju (crib) and pasturi (nativity figures). Cribs are positively everywhere, from private houses, garages, small chapels to large churches. Visiting cribs is actually a popular activity at Christmas time. Many locals and tourists alike spend […]

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Military Nostalgia – Gay Class Gunboats stationed at Malta used for Adverts

The third advert in the series featured Coastal Forces , follows a flotilla of small boats in action, destroying a hulk somewhere off the coast. The narrator describes the action as the MTBs and MGBs separate to carry out attacks on the hulk, which is left sinking whilst the officers break out the tobacco. After […]

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Maltese Fortifications – Fort Saint Elmo at Valletta Part 1

One of the Fortifications full of never ending history around the Maltese Islands is FORT SAINT ELMO (in Maltese as FORTI SANT’ IERMU) , situated at Valletta. Building it started in 1552 and it stands on the seaward shore of the Sciberras Peninsula that divides Marsamxett Harbour from Grand Harbour, and commands the entrances to both harbours along with Fort […]

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Military Nostalgia – Dark Class Gunboats at Malta

A total of 27 Dark Class Fast Attack Craft were ordered for the Royal Navy between December 1951 and January 1952 , but only 18 were completed, the remainder being cancelled in 1955. Fitted with 2 shaft Napier Deltic 16 cylinder diesels, the Dark Class were the first diesel engined fast patrol boats, the earlier […]

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Scuttling Operation – COMINOLAND and KARWELA – 12.08.2006

On Saturday 12th August 2006, 2  short sea ferryboats COMINOLAND and KARWELA were towed from Cassar Ship Repair Yard, Marsa to Ras il-Hobz, Gozo that is a submerged pinnacle also known as the Middle Finger, to be scuttled by the Gozo Tourism Association. The Pinnacle  is one of the most breathtaking dives in Gozo. The top of this pinnacle […]

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Maltese Islands – Tunnara Museum at Mellieha

One of the gems around the Maltese Islands is the TUNNARA MUSEUM which is housed in Westreme Battery, also known as ir-Rasus Battery or Mellieħa Right Battery, at the Northern Part of Malta – Mellieha. Westreme Battery was built between 1715 and 1716 as part of the Order of Saint John’s first building program of […]

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Maiden Call – Cruise Liner RESILIENT LADY – 03.12.2022

On Saturday 3rd December, 2022 the 2021 built cruise liner RESILIENT LADY called at Grand Harbour, Malta during her maiden call and the first liner from Virgin Voyages passing breakwaters at 0715 hrs and berthing at Pinto 1 and 2 wharves, at the Valletta Cruise Port. She’s the third ship in Virgin Voyages Fleet and […]

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Maiden Call – Cruise Liner CARNIVAL PRIDE – 24.10.2022

One of the Spirit Class Cruise Ships operated by Carnival Cruise Line (CCL), the 2001 built cruise liner CARNIVAL PRIDE made a maiden call to Grand Harbour, Malta on Monday 24th October. She passed breakwaters at 0639 hrs coming from Messina, Sicily. She was built in Finland by Kvaerner Masa Yards as yard number 500 […]

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Yachting – 2017 built 110.01m yacht KAOS at Malta – September 2022

The largest yacht ever built at Oceanco and the largest yacht ever built in the Netherlands , KAOS was spotted in the Maltese Territorial Waters during the first days of September, 2022. She was built in 2017 to the Passenger Yacht Code standard, which added extra layers of requirements and complexity.  She was built for Sheikh […]

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AFM – Clearing Fort St.Angelo Bastions – 16.09.1994

During the annual Clean Up the World Campaign, the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) always take part. Back to September 1994 , 62 AFM Personnel of the 1st Regiment Charlie Company embarked on a 3 day exercise which included abseiling clearing weeds, shrubs on the bastion walls. The President at that time Dr. Ugo Mifsud […]

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Tall Ships – 3 masted frigate replica ETOILE DU ROY at Malta for filming NAPOLEON by Ridley Scott – April/May 2022

The 1997 launched 46 metres long 3 masted sixth rate frigate built in Marmaris, Turkey, the ETOILE DU ROY entered Grand Harbour, Malta on Saturday 9th April berthing at DWQ 4, part of Valletta Gateway Terminals (VGT). Her purpose of call was to be part of Ridley Scott historical Film Shooting called NAPOLEON of which […]

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Fire – Grass Fire at Wied il-Ghomor, Malta – 30.05.2022

On Monday 30th May, 2022 a grass fire broke out around 1315 hrs at Wied il-Ghomor which spread quickly, fanned by a strong wind spreading from San Gwann to Ibrag under the former Halland Hotel site. Civil Protection Department (CPD) deployed several fire appliances from all fire stations and it was fully controlled by 2330 […]

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Port Closure – Grand Harbour, Marsamxett & Marsaxlokk Harbour Closed due to fog and no visibility – 17.05.2022

On Tuesday 17th May, 2022 early morning from around 0500 hrs Valletta VTS decided to close Grand Harbour, Marsamxett & Marsaxlokk Harbour due to heavy fog with no visibility. This resulted with the grounding of the workboat RUSAND for few minutes with no injuries and very slight damage at Taqtiegha ta Delimara, few metres away […]

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Drug Bust – US Forces caught Cocaine filled Submarine in Atlantic Ocean – 22.03.2024

Last Friday 22nd March, a specialized U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) law enforcement unit embarked the Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USS LEYTE GULF CG 55, successfully intercepted and seized a semi-submersible vessel carrying thousands of pounds of cocaine in the U.S. Southern Command’s operational area. Members of the U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) […]

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Naval News – Royal Thai Navy Corvette CO criticised for actions to the loss of naval unit in bad weather – April 2024

Officials of the Royal Thai Navy said the commanding officer of a naval ship that sank in bad weather in late 2022 had taken “imprudent” actions that resulted in the ship’s loss along with at least 24 of its crew. An investigation revealed that Captain Phichitchai Thueannadee, commanding officer of the corvette HTMS SUKHOTHAI FS 442 […]

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Casualties – USCGC SEA DOG WPB 87373 damaged – 25.03.2024

On Monday 25th March, 2024 the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Protector Class cutter USCGC SEA DOG WPB 87373 was damaged while returning from sea to the St. Marys River on the border between Florida and Georgia. She was able to safely moor at Fernandina Beach, Fla., with assistance from other Coast Guard vessels and […]

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Malta Naval Visits – March 2024

Saturday 2nd March.  The Marina Militare Italiana (Italian Navy) Cassiopeia Class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) – ITS CASSIOPEIA P401 left Malta passing breakwaters at 1927 hrs from DWQ 2 Wharf though her diplomatic clearance was extended for another 24 hors. She was also due to shifting few bollards astern to DWQ 1 from Bollards 3 to 9 […]

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Passer By – Tug VB HISPANIA towing RFA DILIGENCE for scrap – 02.04.2024

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Forward Repair Ship RFA DILIGENCE A 132 towed by the 2011 built Spanish anchor handling tug (aht) VB HISPANIA passed by Malta today Tuesday 2nd April, 2024. Built in Landskrona, Sweden, as the offshore support vessel STENA INSPECTOR, she was chartered by the British government during the critical months of […]

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Russia-Ukraine War – 2 More Russian Navy Ships Hit – 26.03.2024

On Tuesday 26th March, 2024 Ukraine has claimed yet another successful strike on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (BSF),  that another Ropucha Class landing ship KONSTANTIN OLSHANSKY  had been hit by a Neptune R-360 anti-ship missile. The inactive Ropucha class landing ship was captured from Ukraine during Russia’s unlawful annexation of Crimea in 2014 by the Russian […]

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Russia-Ukraine War – Ukraine hit 2 Russian navy Landing Ships – 24.03.2024

On Sunday 24th March, 2024 Ukraine stated that it hit 2 two Russian Navy Ropucha Class/Project 775 III landing ships RFS AZOV and RFS YAMAL  along with a communications center and several other facilities belonging to the Black Sea Fleet, in a huge overnight attack on the Crimean port of Sevastopol. There has been no […]

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Naval Ships – HS HERACLES A 472

One of the Norwegian built ships that was built as a civilian and now in naval use is the Hellenic Navy Atlas Class Logistics Support Ship HS HERACLES A 472.  She was built in Norway by Soviknes Verft AS (now VARD Soviknes) as the offshore supply ship HIGHLAND NAVIGATOR for Gulf Offshore at Aberdeen, Scotland […]

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Gaza-Israel War – US Army aid ship leave USA bound to Gaza after Biden promises to build pier – 10.03.2024

The US Army dispatched a  logistics support vessel to send humanitarian aid to Gaza, Central Command (CENTCOM) stated yesterday Sunday 10th February, 2024, days after President Joe Biden vowed to build a temporary pier to supply the besieged enclave. USAV GENERAL FRANK S. BESSON LSV 1 left Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia “less than 36 […]

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Naval News – German Navy Frigate FGS HESSEN F 221 involved in drone shooting at the Red Sea – 27.02.2024

Last Tuesday 27th February, 2024 the German Navy Type 124 Sachsen class frigate FGS HESSEN F 221 has downed two Houthi drones at close range while operating in the Red Sea. In addition, the frigate accidentally fired on an American MQ-9 Reaper drone while confused as to its identity. This spate of action comes just a […]

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Aviation – Farewell to the AB 212 Helicopter by the Italian Air Force – 22.02.2024

After 40 years of excellent service the last HH-212 (as the AB212 is designated in accordance with the Italian MOD Mission Design Series) of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Airforce), made its final flight from its homebase at Grazzanise, Italy, last Thursday 22nd February during a phase out ceremony that celebrated the 40 years of activity […]

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Naval News – Italian Navy Destroyer ITS CAIO DUILIO D 554 Shoots Down Drone In Red Sea – 03.03.2024

On Sunday 3rd March, 2024 the Marina Militare Italiana (Italian Navy) Horizon Class Destroyer ITS CAIO DUILIO D 554  shot down a drone in the Red Sea using her  Oto Melara 76 mm gun. The drone bearing similar characteristics to those already used in previous attacks, was around 6 kilometers from the Italian ship, heading […]

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Malta Naval Visits – February 2024

Friday 2nd February.  Year 2024 was started with an interesting naval movement  and the maiden call of the French Navy Mistral Class Amphibious Assault & Command Ship (Bâtiment de Projection et de Commandement / BPC) FS DIXMUDE L 9015. She passed breakwaters at 0817 hrs coming from Egypt after she was being used as a […]

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Naval News – Turkish Navy decommissions TCG SOKULLU MEHMET PASA A 577 – 24.02.2024

On Saturday 24th February, the Turkish Naval Forces (Turk Deniz Kuvvetleri) or Turkish Navy announced that the Rhein class training ship TCG SOKULLU MEHMET PASA A 577 will be decommissioned. She was built in Schlichting Shipyard in Travemunde, Germany as FGS DONAU A 69 and commissioned to the German Navy on 23rd May 1964 after she […]

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Russia-Ukraine War – Ukraine sunk another Russian Navy Warship – 14.02.2024

With 13 days apart Ukrainian Forces sunk another Russian Navy Warship that belonged to the Black Sea Fleet on Wednesday 14th February, 2024 , the Ropucha Class landing ship RFS TSEZAR KUNIKOV (BDK-64). She was built in Poland at Stocznia Polnocna at Gdansk and commissioned on 30th October 1986 she was  a Project 775 (NATO reporting […]

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