Counting chickens before they hatch… 8th Type 26 Frigate to be named HMS London

Earlier this week our embattled Prime Minister, speaking at the Lord Mayor’s banquet in the capital announced the 8th and final Type 26 frigate will bear the name HMS London. The government may be desperate for some good news stories, but this is scraping the bottom of the PR barrel. The MoD is unable to say when she will be ordered or even approximately which year she will be in service. Projecting from the current glacial rate of construction, this ship could be at least 18 years away from joining the fleet.

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Why do peacetime naval accidents keep happening?

2017 was an especially bad year for fatal naval accidents. Then last week the Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad collided with an oil tanker and is was run onto rocks in a vain attempt to prevent her sinking. There have always been serious accidents involving warships and submarines during peacetime operations but with the advent of modern navigation technologies, there is some surprise that these incidents keep happening. Here we look briefly at the circumstances of some of the accidents and what might be learned from them.

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Remembrance 2018. One hundred years since the end of the First World War

With good reason, it is the stoic soldiers who faced the mud and slaughter of the trenches who come to mind when we think of First World War. The scale of fighting, suffering and dying on the battlefields of France was a magnitude greater than the conflict at sea, but the sacrifice of sailors and the critical role of the navy should not be forgotten.

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Poppy and beret

Wear a poppy or don’t wear a poppy. Many have died for your freedom of personal choice.

Remembrance is a time for reflection on our history and the sacrifice of others. It is intended to bring us together in a mood of reflection and reconciliation. Two divisive and misguided views threaten to undermine this period of commemoration. ‘Poppy fascism’ has been a recent source of controversy with celebrities unfairly targeted for not wearing a poppy. At the other end of the spectrum, the ‘white poppy’ movement has been gaining influence.

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A relief for the submarine service – HMS Victorious does not need nuclear refuelling

In March 2014 the MoD admitted there was a minor concern about the integrity of the nuclear reactors which power Vanguard class submarines. As a precaution, HMS Vanguard currently in refit at Devonport has been given a second new reactor core. This week the government quietly announced that technical assessments have now concluded this procedure will not be necessary for the other three boats.  

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Float out of Irish Naval Service OPV Appledore shipyard

Another Royal Navy supplier goes under – the closure of Appledore shipyard

Unable to follow up their success building OPVs for export, and with no other orders forthcoming, last week Babcock made the sad announcement that the Appledore shipyard will close in March 2019. Here we examine the background and potential impacts of this decision.

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Chancellor's budget - good news for defence but don't break out the Champagne

Chancellor’s budget – good news for defence but don’t break out the champagne

Yesterday the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and a former defence secretary, Philip Hammond, announced he would provide the MoD an additional “£1Bn to cover the end of this year and the next”. Any new money for defence is to be welcome and it is right to celebrate rare good news but this modest sum must be seen in the perspective of a bigger financial crisis.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth Upper Bay, New York

HMS Queen Elizabeth – making an impression in New York. Westlant 18 deployment – Part 5

HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived in New York on the 19th October. Besides offering a great photo opportunity and a good run ashore, the visit demonstrated that beyond her obvious hard-power capabilities, how she can serve as a platform to promote Britain’s diplomatic and trade interests.

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Costs, controversy and context. Update on the Royal Navy’s new OPVs

Like most warship building projects, the Batch II River class OPVs being built for the Royal Navy have proved to be politically sensitive and controversial. In this article, we will provide some more context and an update on the progress of the five ships.

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Good news for the Royal Navy and UK Plc – Type 26 frigate design wins in Canada

Hot on the heels of the Type 26 winning the Australian SEA 5000 frigate competition in June, the Canadian government has announced they have selected the Type 26 for their Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) competition.

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