HMS Iron Duke and HMS St Albans

Bahrain or bust – Type 23 frigate to be permanently based in the Gulf

This week the Defence Secretary announced a Type 23 frigate will be permanently ‘forward deployed’ in Bahrain. This presence in the Gulf region and the global reach of the fleet, is certainly an asset to Britain but is the expanding portfolio of demands on the Navy workable and sustainable?

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Australian SEA 5000 competition climax- can the Type 26 frigate achieve export success?

Sometime in June, the Australian government will announce which of the three contenders has won the competition for the programme to construct 9 anti-submarine frigates. Should BAE Systems’ bid be successful, it would be the most significant naval export success for the UK for decades with benefits for the Royal Navy.

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RFA Fort Victoria refit at Cammel Laird

RFA Fort Victoria modified to support the aircraft carriers

RFA Fort Victoria is currently mid-way through a major refit at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead. The usual maintenance and machinery overhauls are being conducted but she is also being modified to provide solid stores replenishment to the aircraft carriers.

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Type 26 Frigate

Why will the Royal Navy not have its first Type 26 frigate operational until 2027?

Defence Procurement Minister, Guto Bebb stated in Parliament on 23rd April that the first Type 26 frigate, HMS Glasgow is due to be accepted from the builders in the summer of 2025. Eighteen months of further trials and training should see her become operational in 2027. Here we ask why the navy must tolerate such a leisurely eight-year construction schedule.
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HMS Queen Elizabeth Portsmouth Capability Insertion Period

HMS Queen Elizabeth – preparing to operate fast jets

HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently in Portsmouth with the islands encased in scaffolding and tents covering parts of the flight deck. After commissioning, and having spent a few weeks at sea, some have wondered why the ship is alongside for so long and needs further engineering work. Here we examine how the ship is being readied for the critical next phase of her introduction into service.

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Regele Ferdinand ex HMS Coventry

Sailing under a different flag – former Royal Navy vessels serving with other navies

With the recent sale of HMS Ocean to Brazil, we take this opportunity to examine the considerable number of RN and RFA vessels that have been sold on for further service with foreign navies and are still operational today.

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Royal Navy sailors commissioning ceremony White Ensign

Five priorities for the Modernising Defence Programme 2018

The MoD is now running a public consultation for its on-going defence review, now named the “Modernising Defence Programme” (MDP). The MDP will consist of four ‘work streams’. This is our submission for consideration, primarily focused on the naval aspects of the most critical Defence policy, outputs and military capability work stream (Although some principles may also be applicable to the Army and RAF).  

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Risks or rewards? The Royal Navy in the South China Sea

HMS Sutherland, currently in Australia and on a tour of the Western Pacific, will conduct a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea at some point before she returns home. Sister ship HMS Argyll, will also be sent to the region in the later part of 2018. Here we examine the context and motives for these deployments.

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