Russsian Corvette fires Kalibr Missile

A gap in the shield – the cruise missile threat to the UK

There is a growing conventional threat to the UK mainland that has received little attention and for which there is very limited defence. Adversaries are increasing cruise missile numbers and capabilities. Air and surface-launched missiles would be difficult to counter but submarine-launched cruise missiles are particularly potent. Here we consider the threat and how the UK could respond.

Read More
RAF Poseidon Migrants English Channel

Calling in the military to monitor migrants in the English Channel

For the second time in 18 months, the Home Secretary formally requested assistance from the MoD to deal with migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats. Here we look at the background, recent actions and available options for government planners.

Read More
UK Carrier Strike Group

UK Carrier Strike Group – heading for the South China Sea?

In the first part of this article, we summarised at the political situation and strategic balance in the South China Sea. Here we untangle the confusing statements about whether the UK will send its carrier strike group to the area and take a balanced view about the risks and reward that could accompany such a deployment.

Read More

The South China Sea – welcome to the most disputed waters on the planet

The UK Carrier Strike group will set sail in May 2021 for a 5 or 6-month deployment. It has not been finally confirmed by government as yet but it seems likely the ships will operate for some of the time in the South China Sea. In this 2-part article, we look at the current situation in the region and examine some of the arguments for and against British re-engagement in the Far East

Read More
HMS Albion

Royal Navy amphibious warfare capability in flux

It is an uncertain time for the Royal Navy’s amphibious warfare capability (now called ‘Littoral Strike’). A changing battlefield environment is driving a significant evolution of operating doctrine while at the same time, the Royal Marines and their amphibious platforms are potentially under threat from looming defence cuts.

Read More

Counting down to the UK Carrier Strike Group 2021 deployment

In May 2021 the UK Carrier Strike Group will set sail on its first operational deployment. Here we look at the programme for the next 10 months to prepare the many participants involved in this landmark for UK defence capability.

Read More
Royal Navy aircraft Carrier Strike progress

A pale imitation of Carrier Strike?

On 24 June 2020, the National Audit Office published their report “Carrier Strike – Preparing for deployment”. Their thorough examination presents a mixed picture of a project that is broadly on track but in many aspects is struggling with funding issues that threaten to drastically curtail the UK aircraft carriers’ full potential.

Read More
Fleet Solid Support Ship Harland & Wolff

British-Spanish team bid to build the Fleet Solid Support ship

This week ‘Team Resolute’ went public. This is a new partnership between Spanish shipbuilder, Navantia, Belfast shipyard, Harland & Wolff and naval architects, BMT to bid for the Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ship contract. Here we consider this partnership and summarise the story of FSS so far.

Read More
Multi Role Vessel Royal Navy

Multi-Role Support Ships for the Royal Navy – one size fits all?

During an internal briefing in mid-March, its was revealed that the RN could be planning to dispense with the Fleet Solid Support ship (FSS) and Littoral Strike Ship (LSS) concepts and standardise on a single hull known as the Multi-Role Support Ship (MRSS). In this speculative piece, we look at the background and the potential options.

Read More