Maiden flight for Crowsnest – the Royal Navy’s eye in the sky

The regeneration of RN carrier strike capability took another small step forward on 28th March when a Merlin HM2 fitted with the Crowsnest Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC) system completed the first test flight from Yeovil Aerodrome. Here we examine progress on the Crowsnest project.

Read More

MPs debate Carrier Strike strategy amidst rumours HMS Prince of Wales could be mothballed

On 28 February, Robert Courts MP led a Parliamentary debate held in Westminster Hall to “consider carrier strike strategy and its contribution to UK defence”. Here we look at the highlights of this constructive two and a half hour discussion held by a small cross-party group of MPs.

Read More
HMS Prince of Wales Rosyth

Dry docking the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers – what are the options?

The two Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carriers will require dry-docking periodically throughout their lives. The dry docks at Portsmouth and Devonport naval bases are not large enough to accommodate them so the RN must choose between a very limited selection of other UK facilities. Here we examine some of the options.

Read More
HMS Queen Elizabeth F-35

A year in review – the Royal Navy in 2018

In broad terms, 2018 was a positive year for the naval service, in many ways an improvement on 2017. The navy has been able to deliver a higher operational tempo than last year and despite initial indications to the contrary, has escaped further cuts.

Read More
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.

Read More
HMS Queen Elizabeth Upper Bay, New York

HMS Queen Elizabeth – making an impression in New York. Westlant 18 deployment – Part 5

HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived in New York on the 19th October. Besides offering a great photo opportunity and a good run ashore, the visit demonstrated that beyond her obvious hard-power capabilities, how she can serve as a platform to promote Britain’s diplomatic and trade interests.

Read More

F-35 flight trials continue. HMS Queen Elizabeth Westlant 18 deployment – Part 4

Since the first F-35 arrived on board HMS Queen Elizabeth on 25th September the flight trials programme has continued at pace. There has been a great deal activity on board the ship and this period has been an eventful period for the F-35 programme as a whole. This photo and video essay covers the highlights of the Westlant 18 deployment from the past few weeks.

Read More