HMS Queen Elizabeth Portsmouth Capability Insertion Period

HMS Queen Elizabeth – preparing to operate fast jets

HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently in Portsmouth with the islands encased in scaffolding and tents covering parts of the flight deck. After commissioning, and having spent a few weeks at sea, some have wondered why the ship is alongside for so long and needs further engineering work. Here we examine how the ship is being readied for the critical next phase of her introduction into service.

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Regele Ferdinand ex HMS Coventry

Sailing under a different flag – former Royal Navy vessels serving with other navies

With the recent sale of HMS Ocean to Brazil, we take this opportunity to examine the considerable number of RN and RFA vessels that have been sold on for further service with foreign navies and are still operational today.

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Royal Navy sailors commissioning ceremony White Ensign

Five priorities for the Modernising Defence Programme 2018

The MoD is now running a public consultation for its on-going defence review, now named the “Modernising Defence Programme” (MDP). The MDP will consist of four ‘work streams’. This is our submission for consideration, primarily focused on the naval aspects of the most critical Defence policy, outputs and military capability work stream (Although some principles may also be applicable to the Army and RAF).  

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Risks or rewards? The Royal Navy in the South China Sea

HMS Sutherland, currently in Australia and on a tour of the Western Pacific, will conduct a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea at some point before she returns home. Sister ship HMS Argyll, will also be sent to the region in the later part of 2018. Here we examine the context and motives for these deployments.

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Should HMS Queen Elizabeth be fitted with her own missile defences?

In an earlier article, we considered how the RN would use layered defence to protect the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers. There has been particular concern about the lack of defensive missiles fitted to the ship themselves and here we focus on the advantages and disadvantages of fitting the CAMM(M) Sea Ceptor system.

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HMS Artful Devonshire Dock Hall

One of our submarine orders is missing

There is deepening concern that the funds for the completion of the seventh and final Astute class submarine are not available. Failure to build this vessel would not only be damaging to the Barrow construction yard and its supply chain, but also to the protection of the UK, at a time when the undersea threat is increasing.

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Russian Kilo class submarine Krasnodar in the English Channel

Understanding and responding to the Russian naval threat

Russian naval activity is now at its highest levels since the Cold War. This threat posed to Britain and NATO is often counter-balanced by those who say that the Russian Navy is actually in decline, hampered by budget problems and shipyards struggling to deliver new vessels. With the head of the British Army publicly admitting this week that we are ill-matched to counter the Russian threat on land, it is also instructive to consider what threat they pose at sea.

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Type 31e frigate Arrowhead concept

Should the Type 31e frigate be reclassified as a corvette?

Plymouth MP, Luke Pollard, suggested last week in Parliament that “the debate around the Type 31e Frigate could be resolved simply if we renamed if from a frigate to a corvette“. This proposal is unlikely to be welcomed by the Navy, the MoD or industrial partners but does raises questions about the Type 31’s capabilities and results from the general confusion over how surface combatants are to be classified.

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