TAX CONFERENCE

The recently enacted "American Jobs Creation Act" gives significant tax breaks to a number of U.S. industries--including shipping.

MARINE LOG and BLANK ROME will present a senior level seminar CHANGES IN U.S. TAXATION OF SHIPPING INCOME in Stamford, Conn. on April 5 & 6, 2004

Make sure you know how the new tax rules work!

New OPV for Falklands patrol

February 25, 2005

New OPV for Falklands waters

The U.K. Ministry of Defense is using an innovative charter and logistic support contract to acquire a new offshore patrol vessel to protect the waters around the Falkland Islands.

The UKP 30 million (about US$57.5 million) contract for a a new 80 meter Offshore Patrol Vessel (Helicopter) for the Royal Navy has been awarded VT Group plc, which will build it at its shipbuilding facility in Portsmouth.

The ship will be built to VT's account, with production starting in June. It will be handed over to the Royal Navy in fall 2006, entering service, after the completion of trials, in spring 2007.

The ship will be chartered to the MoD for an initial period until March 2012. Though the program is expected to be worth an initial total of around UKP 30 million, under a public-private partnership arrangement, there is the potential for this to increase if the charter is extended.

The ship, based on the VT-built River Class currently under charter to the MoD, will replace two existing Castle Class offshore patrol vessels and will carry out the role of Falkland Islands Patrol Vessel.

It will be manned and operated by the Royal Navy but VT will be responsible for providing a full Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) service to maintain the vessel so that it is available for sea for more than 300 days a year.

VT says that by utilizing modern automated equipment and commercial maintenance practices, it will guarantee the required availability with a single ship, compared to the two currently needed to provide the same availability.

The new OPV will have a crew of 34 (compared with 51 for the Castle class ships) and will be armed with a single 30 mm gun. The "Batch 2" River Class design will be enhanced with a helicopter deck capable of accepting helicopters up to the size of the new Merlin aircraft, increased accommodation to cater for an embarked force, a bigger gun, higher levels of survivability and surveillance radar

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