HMS Dauntless Portsmouth

Maintenance problems for the Royal Navy mount up

The delivery of the RN’s second aircraft carrier has deservedly been celebrated as a great success for British industry but behind the scenes, in the naval bases and shipyards, all is not well. 2019 has seen a number of important maintenance projects stalled or delayed. Here we summarise the situation.

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Minister tells head of the Royal Navy to make increasing warship availability a priority

Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace made his first appearance before the House of Commons Defence Select Committee on Wednesday 23rd October. In a generally impressive and honest performance, he answered a wide range of questions, mainly about naval matters.

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HMS Vanguard at Devonport

Critical Royal Navy submarine refit running late

The oldest of the Royal Navy’s ballistic missile submarines, HMS Vanguard is currently in Devonport undergoing major refit and refuelling. There are strong indications the project is in trouble and she will be unable to return to service at the start of 2020 as originally scheduled, with knock-on effects for the 3 remaining boats that maintain the nuclear deterrent.

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HMS Argyll Plymouth Breakwater

The Royal Navy’s oldest frigate completes a memorable global deployment

Type 23 frigate, HMS Argyll returned home to a warm welcome today after 9 months in the Gulf and Far East, having sailed 37,329 nautical miles. Selected highlights are covered in this photo and video essay.

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Serco tugs assist HMS Queen Elizabeth

Supporting the fleet – Serco services for the Royal Navy

Serco Maritime Services operate the tugs that are commonly seen assisting RN vessels to leave and return to harbour. Serco also provides a diverse range of other marine services, that support warships and submarines. In this article we examine another of the key enablers that the RN could not sail without.

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A relief for the submarine service – HMS Victorious does not need nuclear refuelling

In March 2014 the MoD admitted there was a minor concern about the integrity of the nuclear reactors which power Vanguard class submarines. As a precaution, HMS Vanguard currently in refit at Devonport has been given a second new reactor core. This week the government quietly announced that technical assessments have now concluded this procedure will not be necessary for the other three boats.  

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HMS Dragon Upper Harbour Ammunitioning Facility Portsmouth

Arming the fleet – the network that supplies munitions to the Royal Navy

Without munitions, the Navy would be toothless and of limited value. To fully arm the fleet requires a lengthy logistic chain of specialists and bespoke facilities. In this, the second of a 2-part article looking at naval support infrastructure, we examine the system that provides conventional munitions to the RN.

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