Royal Marine band - HMS Queen Elizabeth enters Mayport Florida

HMS Queen Elizabeth Westlant 18 deployment – Part 1

HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed from Portsmouth on the 18th August and arrived at Naval Sation Mayport, Florida for her first visit to the United States on 5th September. This photo and video essay documents the initial part of her Westlant 18 deployment.

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F-35 HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth sails for the United States – here’s the plan

Just over a year since HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived in Portsmouth for the first time, she will sail for her longest and most significant deployment yet. Known as Westlant 18, the primary purpose of the trip is for QE to conduct the first of class flying trials (FOCFT) with the F-35B Lightning II. (Some of the aviation aspects are discussed in more detail in our earlier article).

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HMS Defender

HMS Defender returns to the fleet fitted for intelligence gathering

Last week HMS Defender was accepted back into the fleet by Commodore Wood, Commander of the Portsmouth Flotilla after successful completion of post-refit sea trials. HMS Defender deployed to the Gulf for nine months in 2015 after which, she entered an 18-month major refit in Portsmouth conducted by BAE Systems.

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HMS Tyne and HMS Forth in Portsmouth

HMS Tyne returns to service after being paid off in May

In the recent image above HMS Tyne can be seen flying the White Ensign, with HMS Forth under repair in the background. The MoD says HMS Tyne was never formally decommissioned, although this had certainly been the plan. Instead, she held a ‘paying off’ in a ceremony on 23rd May but in an unusual turn of events, the ship is going back into service.

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Leander - Type 31e frigate candiate

Royal Navy Type 31e Frigate programme suspension – no cause for panic

The revelation on 24th July that the Type 31e frigate programme had been abruptly halted has given rise to intense and largely inaccurate speculation about why this has happened. Further investigation strongly suggests the hold up is purely a technicality in the bidding procedure, rather than anything more serious.

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Arrowhead 140 Type 31e frigate candidate

Royal Navy Type 31e frigate programme abruptly suspended – but not dead in the water

on 20th July the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) agency informed UK industry that it has halted the Type 31e frigate programme. Although the objectives were always recognised as being highly challenging, there was growing enthusiasm across UK industry to be involved in the project and this sudden announcement is something of a shock.

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