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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The new First Sea Lord and his vision for the Royal Navy’s future

Tony Radakin was appointed First Sea Lord (1SL) and Chief of the Naval Staff in June 2019. He is seen as a reformer who is keen to accelerate change within the Royal Navy. Here we examine the issues he may face in his three-year tenure and what his priorities for the Naval Service may be.

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HMS Vanguard at Devonport

Critical Royal Navy submarine refit running late

The oldest of the Royal Navy’s ballistic missile submarines, HMS Vanguard is currently in Devonport undergoing major refit and refuelling. There are strong indications the project is in trouble and she will be unable to return to service at the start of 2020 as originally scheduled, with knock-on effects for the 3 remaining boats that maintain the nuclear deterrent.

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Iran’s illegal seizure of a British tanker – a failure by the Royal Navy or a failure of strategy?

Late in the afternoon of 19th July, in the Straits of Hormuz, Iran sized the unescorted British-owned tanker MV Stena Impero and it remains in their hands. Many have criticised the RN for failure to protect the ship when in fact the blame lies with its political masters.

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The Royal Navy and escalating tensions in the Arabian Gulf

Following a series of attacks on four commercial vessels in the Gulf in May, two more tankers were targeted on 13th June. Here we provide a brief analysis of events and the implications for Royal Navy involvement in the region.

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Royal Navy hosts integrated air and missile defence exercise Formidable Shield 2019

Exercise Formidable Shield 2019 (FS19) has been underway off Scotland during the past two weeks. This was a live-fire integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) exercise designed to test NATO warships response to conventional and ballistic missile attacks.

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