Babcock’s Duqm Naval Dockyard in Oman and its key strategic advantage
While at Sea Air Space 2018, MONCh sat down with a spokesperson from Babcock to discuss the Duqm Naval Dockyard (DND), an Oman Drydock Company (ODC) and Babcock joint venture in Oman, and its strategic position in a very complex region where Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) missions are becoming crucial.
As the article in the latest issue of Naval Forces II/2018 (‘Choke Points – Anti-Submarine Warfare’) indicates, the Indian Ocean is becoming a crucial hot spot to watch for. The increase in the number of submarines patrolling the waters, combined with the tensions that are animating the region (between Pakistan and Indian, for instance, but also with the increased presence of China in the Ocean and the conflict raging in Yemen), are turning certain regional ports and shipyards into key strategic locations for navies involved in the region.
In this context, in November 2016 Babcock International Group and the ODC established the DND, a facility located strategically on the southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula outside the Strait of Hormuz to provide dedicated and secure naval support to international navies and auxiliary vessels. Thus far, ships and submarines from the Royal Navy of Oman, the UK Royal Navy (RN), the US Navy (USN) and the US Military Sealift Command have already been enjoying DND’s engineering support.
“The RN is looking at using the DND as a strategic facility for staging the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier; as such it will be ideal for launching operations with the ship into the Indian Ocean. This should happen within the near future,” said a Babcock spokesperson. MONCh also understood that the USN has reached a government to government framework agreement with Oman to use the DND as logistics, which will include ASW.