RFA Argus sails for the Caribbean today ready to provide medical support if needed

RFA Argus sailed from Plymouth this afternoon on a long-planned deployment to the Caribbean. Equipped with a 100-bed medical facility she may be called upon to assist British Overseas Territories dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. French, and possibly Dutch vessels are also being sent to the region to support their territories. Co-ordination between the naval forces is likely but this is not a formal joint, EU or NATO operation.

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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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HMS Dragon Type 45 Destroyer Royal Navy

Type 45 destroyer availability improving

Poor availability of the Type 45 destroyers has been a source of frustration for the navy and attracted plenty of negative, and often ill-informed media coverage over the last decade. Measures to remedy the complex issues have been on-going for several years and there are now real signs of progress. The Defence Secretary has announced that from 2021, four of the six ships will be available for tasking and the varying levels of readiness will continue to improve.

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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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