MSubs Manta S201 XLUUV

Manta – the Royal Navy gets its first extra-large autonomous submarine

In early March this year, the First Sea Lord revealed that the RN will receive its first large unmanned submarine. Here we look at the background to this project and how the platform will be used to test technologies and develop doctrine.

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The electro-optical director – eyes of the Royal Navy fleet

Electro-optical director (EOD) mounts provide important situational awareness, visual tracking and gunnery fire control. Here we take brief look at the history and capabilities of these systems in RN service.

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Astute class submarine

The future of Royal Navy attack submarines

On 6th February the Minister for Defence Procurement confirmed in Parliament that all 7 Astute class submarines would be completed by the end of 2026, despite the serious delay to the delivery of HMS Audacious. Here we look at the submarine programme in the medium-long term.

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Type 31 frigate in the ship module hall Rosyth

Britain gets a new frigate factory

As part of their successful bid to build 5 Type 31 frigates for the RN, Babcock is constructing a new module hall to assemble the ships at their Rosyth yard. Here we examine the new facility and the implications of this investment.

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Type 26 v Type 31 frigates

Only seven years to wait until the Royal Navy gets a new frigate

Head of the Ministry of Defence, Stephen Lovegrove recently wrote another confessional letter, this time to the Public Accounts Committee admitting that the first Type 31 frigate will not be in service until May 2027. Back in the halcyon days of 2017, the First Sea Lord was expecting the lead ship to be in service fully 4 years earlier, by 2023.

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Rivers class OPV Batch II additional weapons

Enhancing the Royal Navy’s batch II OPVs

Speaking at DSEI in September 2019, RN Commander Operations, Rear Admiral Paul Halton said: “We are thinking about how we might enhance the lethality of the Batch II OPVs”. In this article, we consider some of the options and implications for upgrading these vessels.

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SDSR 2020 – which direction for the Royal Navy?

The new government elected in December 2019 has promised “the biggest review of our defence, security and foreign policy since the end of the Cold War”. In this speculative piece, we examine some of the threats and opportunities for the RN in the coming 2020 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

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Captain Angus Essenhigh

Commanding the carrier – a brief history of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s captains

In January 2020 the 4th seagoing captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth was appointed. As the ship has only been in commission for just over two years and is not yet operational there was some surprise at the high turnover of commanding officers. Here we provide some background and context to the most high profile job in the navy.

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