HMS Queen Elizabeth

Aircraft Carriers

Aircraft Carrier – Large flat-topped vessel that can carry aircraft and is the centrepiece of a navy task group. With the decommissioning of HMS Illustrious, the RN has no aircraft carriers (only HMS Ocean a helicopter assault ship) until HMS Queen Elizabeth is operational.

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HMS Daring

Destroyers

Destroyer – Traditionally larger than frigates and usually more associated with air defence, the RN now has just 6 modern Type 45 destroyers.

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Type 26 Frigate

Frigates

Frigates – Small to medium-sized surface escort ships (approx 4,000 tons) and general ‘workhorses’ of the fleet. Used to be primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare but are increasingly used in general purpose roles. The RN now has just 13 Type 23 frigates. 

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HMS Bulwark

Assault Ships

Assault ships provide an ‘amphibious’ capability – the landing of troops and equipment from sea via helicopters or by landing craft onto the shore. 

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HMS Brocklesby, Minehunter

Mine Warfare Vessels

Mine Countermeasures Vessels (MCMV) – combine mine hunting with mine disposal using sophisticated sonar, divers and remotely operated submersibles.

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HMS Protector

Patrol Ships

The RN has a handful of lightly-armed patrol vessels for specialist tasks.

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HMS Echo

Hydrographic Survey Ships

The RN has 3 ships that conduct hydrographic surveys of the ocean, the seabed and coastal features. The data they collect is used to produce the Admiralty charts issued by the UK Hydrographic office which are sold to mariners worldwide. 

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