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.

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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.

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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.

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In focus – the MEKO A-200 Type 31e frigate candidate

The Atlas Elektronik UK bid for the Type 31e frigate programme is based on the MEKO A-200 frigate. Although perhaps seen as the outsider of the 3 candidates, the A-200 design has several unique and innovative features that make it a very credible contender for the Royal Navy’s requirements. Without going into the unknowns of weapon and sensor fit, here we examine the pedigree and design of the A-200 platform.

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Has the Royal Navy solved its manpower problems?

In bullish mood last week, the First Sea Lord told the Portsmouth News “we are through with relegating frigates and destroyers to training vessels due to a shortage of sailors”. This is an encouraging sign and here we examine the context and true extent of the improvement in RN personnel numbers.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth F-35

A year in review – the Royal Navy in 2018

In broad terms, 2018 was a positive year for the naval service, in many ways an improvement on 2017. The navy has been able to deliver a higher operational tempo than last year and despite initial indications to the contrary, has escaped further cuts.

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Serco tugs assist HMS Queen Elizabeth

Supporting the fleet – Serco services for the Royal Navy

Serco Maritime Services operate the tugs that are commonly seen assisting RN vessels to leave and return to harbour. Serco also provides a diverse range of other marine services, that support warships and submarines. In this article we examine another of the key enablers that the RN could not sail without.

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F-35 over HMS Queen Elizabeth

RAF plan for F-35 split-buy undermines aircraft carrier programme

Deborah Haynes, foreign affairs editor at Sky News has reported that, behind the scenes, the RAF is arguing hard to split the UK purchase of F-35 aircraft into two variants. The F-35B is the only fixed-wing aircraft able to operate from the new QEC aircraft carriers but it’s no secret that the RAF harbours the ambition to procure F-35As as a direct replacement for its land-based Tornado force.

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Next generation computing technology for the Royal Navy

BAE Systems supply and integrate many of the combat systems currently in service with the RN. Working closely with the navy, the company is funding ‘Project Dragonfly’, a £20 million investment in new technologies to ensure the warships of the future harness the rapid developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).

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