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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HMS Duncan

HMS Duncan buzzed by 17 Russian jets in the Black Sea

The first part of the Channel 5 documentary “Warship Life at Sea” has just been broadcast and documents HMS Duncan leading a NATO deployment to the Black Sea in the first half of 2018. There have been several TV documentaries showing life on board RN warships made in the last few years but the latest series offers a rare and close-up view of navy delivering at the operational sharp end.

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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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HMS Tyne HMS Mersey HMS Severn

Amongst a series of good news stories, Royal Navy ship numbers to be increased

This website has been covering the challenges faced by the Royal Navy since 2007 but it is hard to remember a time when there were so many positive developments in such a short period. There are still fundamental weaknesses in the fleet but there is now a little more substance in the claim that we have a ‘growing Royal Navy’.

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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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