Today it became clear that the BAE Systems Type 26 design has won the Australian SEA 5000 frigate competition. As we argued in a previous article, Type 26 was the best of the three candidates for the ASW needs of the Australian navy and any potential obstacles to selection would only be political and industrial. Victory in this competition is significant for the Royal Navy, industry and the UK as a whole and here we look at why.
Originally designed with a service life of around 18 years, the RN’s Type 23 Frigates will now have to serve for around 30 years. All 13 frigates are undergoing life extension (LIFEX) refits and an important component of these upgrades is the Power Generation Machinery Upgrade (PGMU) to replace the ships’ four diesel generator sets.
HMS Queen Elizabeth conducted her first Replenishment at Sea (RAS) with RFA Tidespring this week. While the main purpose of her current deployment is to conduct helicopter flight trials in the Eastern Atlantic, the opportunity was taken to prove her RAS capability.
As we reported in April, significant defects have been found aboard HMS Forth which was delivered to the RN in February. Initial assessments were that the problems would be remedied in a couple of weeks but this has not proved to be the case.More
Astute Class Nuclear Submarine – Owners Workshop Manual is the third in a trio of engrossing submarine-themed books published in 2018. Using the well established Haynes technical manual format, Jonathan Gates has written a detailed and comprehensive guide that explains the design, construction and operation of the RN’s newest submarines.
At the SNP conference last weekend, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted she was “more certain than ever before” of achieving her dream of Scottish Independence. For now she urged members to focus on “winning the argument” rather than pushing too soon for another vote. Here we look at how Nicola’s ‘dream’ would actually be a nightmare for UK security as a whole. The RN would arguably be the single British institution to suffer most, with both its main submarine base and shipyards under threat.
HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed from Portsmouth this morning to conduct a second set of rotary-wing flying trials. Her sailing had been delayed by a few days after a defect with the power system emerged. This was quickly rectified and the delay will not affect her overall programme for this year.
On 6th June, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, Luke Pollard opened a Westminster Hall Parliamentary debate on the base-porting of Type 26 frigates. A cloud of uncertainty hangs over the future of Devonport and the MoD is under pressure to make an early decision on the basing arrangements for the Type 26 and Type 31 frigates.
After sensibly postponing the trip for 24 hours due to bad weather, yesterday the first four UK-owned F-35Bs touched down at RAF Marham after a trans-Atlantic flight from the United States. Despite the postponement, the jets have arrived two months ahead of the original schedule and those involved in the programme deserve to be congratulated. These aircraft of 617 Squadron will form part of the initial main armament for the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and will be the cornerstone of the UK carrier strike capability. The MoD has provided some outstanding imagery and video which tells the story of their arrival.