Minister tells head of the Royal Navy to make increasing warship availability a priority

Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace made his first appearance before the House of Commons Defence Select Committee on Wednesday 23rd October. In a generally impressive and honest performance, he answered a wide range of questions, mainly about naval matters.

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HMS Audacious rolled out of the build hall Barrow 2017

Delivery of HMS Audacious to the Royal Navy delayed by another 17 months

On 16th October the head of the MoD Stephen Lovegrove formally approved a revised schedule for the delivery of the 4th Astute class submarine HMS Audacious. Writing to the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee he admitted publicly for the first time that Audacious will not be handed over to the RN until January 2021.

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F-35C catches arrestor wire

Cats, traps and claptrap. Why the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers operate VSTOL aircraft

There is a consistently held view that the Royal Navy was mistaken when it chose to adopt Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (VSTOL) aircraft carriers. In this long read we look at the convoluted history of the issue and review the arguments both for and against.

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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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Photo essay: First British jets land onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth – Westlant 19 deployment – Part 3

On 13th October the first British-owned jets landed on HMS Queen Elizabeth off the eastern coast of the US. This photo essay covers the arrival of the 4 jets from 17 Squadron and 617 Squadron.

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Photo essay: HMS Queen Elizabeth Westlant 19 deployment – Part 2

After departing Halifax on 16th September, HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Dragon and RFA Tideforce headed south towards the Florida coast and were joined by HMS Northumberland. They exercised off the eastern seaboard of the US before the aircraft carrier arrived at Naval Station Mayport on 4th October.

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Royal Navy begins initiative to maintain its anti-submarine edge

The RN is unlikely to see an increase in its major anti-submarine platforms in the near future. Recognising the danger posed by the continually evolving underwater threat, it has launched ASW Spearhead, an initiative to maximise the effectiveness of the assets its already has. There will be some new hardware, in the form of new sonars but much of the focus is on improving software, building sensor networks and giving the operators new decision-making tools.

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Type 26 frigate

Powering the stealthy submarine hunter – Type 26 frigate propulsion system in focus

The Type 26 frigate is widely accepted as the best anti-submarine warship design available in the world right now. The quiet propulsion system that limits noise radiated from the ship is a key part of its ability to detect submarines. Here we take an overview of this very technical subject.

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HMS Prince of Wales leaveS Rosyth

The Royal Navy becomes a two-carrier navy – HMS Prince of Wales sails for the first time

Today the second of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers, HMS Prince of Wales left the dockyard in Rosyth for the first time. The word “milestone” has been used excessively to describe important moments the carrier project but today is another big step forward for a ship that many expected never to see service with the RN.

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Photo essay: HMS Queen Elizabeth Westlant 19 deployment – Part 1

HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed from Portsmouth on the 30th August in company with RFA Tideforce. After some final operational sea training off the coast of North Cornwall, the ships were joined by HMS Dragon and crossed the Atlantic to Canada. This photo and video essay documents the initial part of the Westlant 19 deployment.

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