Seaforth World Naval Review 2011 Hardcover – Abridged, Audiobook, Box set
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The Seaforth review, edited by Conrad Waters, has been written by an impressive group of contributors including Norman Friedman and David Hobbs. After a brief overview, by way of introduction, the book is divided into three basic parts, the first provides reviews of the world's navies on a regional basis, this is followed by an in depth consideration of key modern ships and then completed by technological reviews. The regional reviews in the first section cover events in the different areas such as the rise of piracy in the Indian Ocean and the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in the Asia and Pacific section.
The review gives a balanced coverage of the world's navies and this inevitably reduces the space devoted to any one single navy. For those interested primarily in the British Navy, the review section devotes only two pages in the overview of Europe and Russia to the Royal Navy, even though it states that the "...Read more ›
This means that the book will not focus on one specific aspect, being neither a definitive volume on all the ship types in operation, nor an authority on doctrinal matters. At the same time the blend gives you the most significant news of the year in an easily digestible format, and does so at a price, which is very palatable for what you get.
There is rich photographic material included (largely in B/W). The individual types covered - the British Astute SSN, the Indian Project 15 destroyers, the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen Aegis frigates and the American USS Independence LCS - get good coverage, with a description of the overall history of the projects, as well as the capabilities and envisaged use. These sections could be partially seen as advertorials but are still solidly written. A similar format is used for the navies in focus - here the Turkish and South African ones - which, just like the ships, seem to revolve year by year.
Overall I think you get excellent value from the book, which is easy to navigate, and a pretty good read. It is a good complement to the 2010 edition (Seaforth World Naval Review 2010) and I will certainly be buying the subsequent editions and can - at this point - definitely envisage getting one every year.
As before, there are highlights of economic and political factors, but the main focus is on the hardware. The review is nice and up to date, with lots and lots of good photos, the occasional plan, lots of tables of, for instance, principal navy units per national fleet; and highlighted details on new ship types and concepts.
The main sections are:
1. World fleet reviews by region - dealing with political and financial implicatios as well, and interesting sub-sections on the expansion of the Indian Navy, the South Korean Navy and the South African Navy.
2. Significant ships: the Astute Class subs of the Royal Navy (no more periscopes! Brilliant construction hall shots! 2nd one launched this month!); Delhi Class destroyers of the Indian Navy; Fridtjof Nansen Class destroyers of the Norwegian Navy; and the LCS-2 Littoral Combat ship of the US Navy (the really classy USS Independence, yay)
3. Technological reviews: 3.1 on naval multifunction radar, especially AEGIS, so good that I actually understood quite a lot of it; 3.2 world naval aviation, not just fighter-bombers, but also UAV, Hawkeye and helicopters; The 2010 publication date means that the sad ditching of the Harrier was not known to the writers. 3.3 UK warship support - the refit of HMS Edinburgh, mainly.
Here and there some excessive jargon, as can only be expected... "the intercept array transducer Hull Outfit 51R"; but in the main, quite understandable to a general reader like me - at least most of it!
All in all, a good and useful overview of the World's 2010 navies.
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