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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Iran’s illegal seizure of a British tanker – a failure by the Royal Navy or a failure of strategy?

Late in the afternoon of 19th July, in the Straits of Hormuz, Iran sized the unescorted British-owned tanker MV Stena Impero and it remains in their hands. Many have criticised the RN for failure to protect the ship when in fact the blame lies with its political masters.

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HMS Duncan sent to strengthen the slender Royal Navy presence in the Gulf

The Ministry of Defence has announced that HMS Duncan is being sent to join HMS Montrose protecting merchant shipping in the Arabian Gulf. Here we take a look at how events in the Middle East that have placed a spotlight on the strength of Royal Navy.

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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.

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Future Logistic Support Ship

Defence Secretary delivers radical vision for Royal Navy posture but raises more questions than answers

Speaking today at the Royal United Services Institute, the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson made a series of announcements about his vision for the future of UK defence. The role of the RN was front and centre of a positive and bold piece that focussed on innovations and increased global deployment.

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HMS Tyne HMS Mersey HMS Severn

Amongst a series of good news stories, Royal Navy ship numbers to be increased

This website has been covering the challenges faced by the Royal Navy since 2007 but it is hard to remember a time when there were so many positive developments in such a short period. There are still fundamental weaknesses in the fleet but there is now a little more substance in the claim that we have a ‘growing Royal Navy’.

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Chancellor's budget - good news for defence but don't break out the Champagne

Chancellor’s budget – good news for defence but don’t break out the champagne

Yesterday the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and a former defence secretary, Philip Hammond, announced he would provide the MoD an additional “£1Bn to cover the end of this year and the next”. Any new money for defence is to be welcome and it is right to celebrate rare good news but this modest sum must be seen in the perspective of a bigger financial crisis.

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