The warship preservation scene

The state of warship preservation in the UK is a very mixed. Established naval museums are thriving, benefitting from significant investment while more recent attempts to save naval vessels have failed miserably. Preserving our naval heritage is important as a ‘living history’ to remind us of past sacrifice, endeavour and achievements. Many lessons from Britain’s extraordinary naval history remain applicable to the Royal Navy and the exercise of sea power today.

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HMS Illustrious enters Portsmouth for the final time

Farewell HMS Illustrious good & faithful servant

On 22nd July HMS Illustrious entered Portsmouth for the final time flying her paying off pennant and formally decommissions on 28th August after 32 years service. The passing of this ship marks a significant moment for the RN. It is always sad when a warship that has served the nation for so long is retired but it also marks the start of a ‘rock bottom’ period. 2014 – 2020 will see the RN in a deep trough of major ‘capability gaps’ mainly stemming from the decisions of the 2010 defence review.

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Air power from the sea – the case for aircraft carriers

The Issue

Current air operations in Afghanistan, emphasising the under-resourcing of helicopters, obscures the continuing dependency of the UK on the sea and sea-based air power. The historic and future dependence of the UK’s economy on the maritime environment drives the long-term requirement for the UK to have a flexible and proportionate global reach. This is not currently receiving the attention it deserves.

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