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.
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2018 has seen the release of 3 separate new titles with a big focus on Royal Navy submarines. After The Deadly Trade comes On Her Majesty’s Nuclear Service, a fascinating personal memoir from Eric Thompson, a submarine engineer officer who served from 1961-1998.
Today Babcock unveiled the Arrowhead 140, a revised design as their candidate for the Type 31e frigate competition. This new concept reduces some of the potential programme risks as it is based on the Iver Huitfeldt hull form, currently in-service with the Royal Danish Navy.More
This week the Defence Secretary announced a Type 23 frigate will be permanently ‘forward deployed’ in Bahrain. This presence in the Gulf region and the global reach of the fleet, is certainly an asset to Britain but is the expanding portfolio of demands on the Navy workable and sustainable?
Sometime in June, the Australian government will announce which of the three contenders has won the competition for the programme to construct 9 anti-submarine frigates. Should BAE Systems’ bid be successful, it would be the most significant naval export success for the UK for decades with benefits for the Royal Navy.More
RFA Fort Victoria is currently mid-way through a major refit at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead. The usual maintenance and machinery overhauls are being conducted but she is also being modified to provide solid stores replenishment to the aircraft carriers.More
The ATLAS Remote Combined Influence Minesweeping System (ARCIMS), which provides an autonomous minesweeping capability was handed over to the Royal Navy this week.
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5 years after the compeleting Hunter Killers which revealed exploits of Royal Navy submarines during the Cold War, respected naval author Iain Ballantyne has published The Deadly Trade. This epic 729-page tome is an ambitious attempt to chronicle the entire history of submarine warfare until the present day.
First of the new batch II River class OPVs, HMS Forth was accepted by the Royal Navy in February 2018 and formally commissioned on 13 April. After suffering a major electrical problem, she is currently alongside in Portsmouth without power. Discovery of a small number of missing, stripped and snapped bolts (marine fixings) that secure various items throughout the ship is also being addressed.More