What does the closure of Harland and Wolff shipyard mean for the Royal Navy?

Having not constructed a warship for 50 years, the announcement that Harland & Wolff in Belfast had gone into administration this week might seem to be of little consequence to the Royal Navy. The company’s involvement in bids for the Type 31e frigate programme had provided a glimmer of hope for the yard’s future and potential re-engagement as a naval supplier. Obviously distressing for the workers in Belfast, but also seen from a wider perspective, the dwindling number of shipyards in the UK cannot be good news for the RN or British sovereign naval construction capability.

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Royal Navy Vanguard class submarine

Trouble ahead for the UK nuclear programme?

Yesterday the Nuclear Information Service published their report “Trouble ahead risks and rising Costs in the UK nuclear weapons programme”. This is a brief response to some of the points and recommendations made in the report.

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Advanced Induction Motor HMS Queen Elizabeth

Closure of GE Rugby electric motor plant threatens supply of Royal Navy propulsion systems

In November 2018 GE announced it plans to close its Power Conversion plant in Rugby and move operations to France by the end of 2019. What may appear to be just another industrial rationalisation by a multi-national corporation has potentially very serious implications for the Royal Navy and is a situation that demands government intervention.

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