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.

Read More
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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More
F-35B HMS Queen Eliabeth

Looking ahead – US Marine Corps aircraft to embark on board HMS Queen Elizabeth

Last week the US Marine Corps formally announced what had been known for some time, that their F-35B jets will join the 2021 Carrier Strike Group (CSG21) operational deployment on board HMS Queen Elizabeth. Here we look at the implications and benefits of this joint operating arrangement.

Read More

The Royal Navy and Maritime Autonomous Systems – better late than never

Despite pioneering an unmanned mine-hunting system used in the Gulf War as far back as 2003, the RN has since made very little progress in deploying Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS) operationally. There has been a recent increase in development initiatives but integration of MAS into the core activities and operating doctrine of the fleet seems some way off.

Read More
HMS Albion

The Royal Navy and NATO continue to rehearse and evolve amphibious capability

The latest iteration of NATO multi-national exercise Joint Warrior is currently underway. We went aboard the RN Fleet Flagship, HMS Albion, at sea off the Scottish coast and spoke with the commanders of the amphibious phase of the exercise.

Read More