HMS Tyne

The Royal Navy and the growing importance of securing UK home waters

The seas and ports around our coast are vital to our economy and require policing for our safety and to ensure international law, treaties and agreements are upheld. With 17,820 Km of coastline and the world’s 5th largest Exclusive Economic Zone, one of the UK’s greatest natural resources and environmental responsibilities, is the sea. While high-profile controversies about aircraft carriers are important, the RN’s less glamorous but key role in UK maritime protection should not be forgotten.

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The shape of things to come – video of F35B on trials

This is an F35B on shipboard trials, prototype of the aircraft that is now planned to fly from the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers from sometime around 2018.

As a non-aviation specialist, first impressions are that this £100 million contraption looks incredibly complicated, masses of moving parts hydraulics, hinges, doors levers etc all which all must function properly for a safe landing. Surely a huge maintenance challenge and vulnerable to even minor battle damage? When the plane takes off and is ‘cleaned up’ it has a certain 21st century beauty but seems to lack the elegance of the much simpler Harrier. However it does represent an exciting step up in capability if it works as advertised. FLY NAVY!

Useful web links about the looming decision on aircraft carriers ‘cats and traps’ and F35B or C

As we await the the decision by government on whether the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers currently building will be fitted with ‘cats and traps’, there is much debate and discussion about the issue. Here are a selection of some of the most informative online articles on this complex and politically charged argument.

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An F/A-18E Super Hornet prepares to launch during a test of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS)

Failure of political strategy, lack of vision and poor planning leaves the aircraft carrier project facing more problems

It has just been revealed that fitting catapults to the new aircraft carriers has been costed at around 1.8 £Billion and the Minister of Defence considers this ‘unaffordable’. Reverting to the F-35B vertical take-off aircraft is being considered.

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HMS Dauntless

HMS Dauntless’ routine deployment underlines Britain’s right to defend the Falkland Islands

In 1982 foolish cuts to the Royal Navy by a Conservative government were seen as a green light by the Argentines to invade the Falklands. 2012 is the 30th anniversary of a short but bloody war that had a big impact on British history.

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HMS Daring

Trying to keep up our guard: too much ocean, not enough ships

HMS Daring departs from Portsmouth on 11th January for a ‘routine’ deployment to the Arabian Gulf. At at time of heightened tension with Iran, the maiden deployment of the first £Billion Type 45 destroyer, will ensure much attention and expectation focussed on her.

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