Aircraft carriers, dinosaurs and Max Hastings

In yet another broadside published in The Times from the Royal Navy’s most opinionated critic, Max Hastings has described the new aircraft carriers as “dinosaurs… expensive, impractical and alarmingly vulnerable”. Here we examine Hastings’ pontifications and provide a more balanced view.

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HMS Dauntless Portsmouth

Maintenance problems for the Royal Navy mount up

The delivery of the RN’s second aircraft carrier has deservedly been celebrated as a great success for British industry but behind the scenes, in the naval bases and shipyards, all is not well. 2019 has seen a number of important maintenance projects stalled or delayed. Here we summarise the situation.

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Portsmouth Naval Base – ready to support two aircraft carriers

This week HMS Queen Elizabeth returned home from the Westlant 19 deployment to the US. She joined her sister HMS Prince of Wales alongside in Portsmouth together for the first time. Here we look at the new facilities that will support both aircraft carriers.

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Boris Johnson Royal Navy

Election 2019: In search of the Royal Navy’s political friends

Predictably, serious discussion of defence policy has been almost absent from an Election campaign dominated by Brexit and the NHS. Here we analyse the manifesto promises of the main political parties in regards to defence and the RN in particular.
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Type 31 Frigate

When will the first Royal Navy Type 31 frigate enter service?

The schedule to build five Type 31 frigates for the Royal Navy by the mid-2020s has been described as ‘aggressive’. Here we examine the timeline for the delivery these ships and the challenges that have to be overcome

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Minister tells head of the Royal Navy to make increasing warship availability a priority

Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace made his first appearance before the House of Commons Defence Select Committee on Wednesday 23rd October. In a generally impressive and honest performance, he answered a wide range of questions, mainly about naval matters.

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Aircraft Carriers – what are they for?

Right now there is plenty of imagery and media coverage of the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier project. Discussion is mostly focussed on their size and design, their aircraft, their price and the politics of their construction but often a basic explanation of their function has been lacking. Here we outline the purpose and value of an aircraft carrier.

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Navantia BMT Fleet Solid Support ship

Spanish-led partnership reveal details of their Fleet Solid Support Ship proposal

Spanish shipbuilder Navantia and UK naval engineering specialists, BMT have formed a partnership to bid for the contract to build the Fleet Solid Support ships (FSS). At DSEI this week they released more details of their design.

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RFA Tidespring – another refit behind schedule?

RFA Tidespring arrived on Merseyside on 8th February for her inaugural docking. A Cammell Laird press release at the time said this new vessel would undergo a planned 4-month inspection and maintenance period. Nearly 7 months has passed and the ship has not left the yard.

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