Despite pioneering an unmanned mine-hunting system used in the Gulf War as far back as 2003, the RN has since made very little progress in deploying Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS) operationally. There has been a recent increase in development initiatives but integration of MAS into the core activities and operating doctrine of the fleet seems some way off.
The latest iteration of NATO multi-national exercise Joint Warrior is currently underway. We went aboard the RN Fleet Flagship, HMS Albion, at sea off the Scottish coast and spoke with the commanders of the amphibious phase of the exercise.
The Atlas Elektronik UK bid for the Type 31e frigate programme is based on the MEKO A-200 frigate. Although perhaps seen as the outsider of the 3 candidates, the A-200 design has several unique and innovative features that make it a very credible contender for the Royal Navy’s requirements. Without going into the unknowns of weapon and sensor fit, here we examine the pedigree and design of the A-200 platform.
In bullish mood last week, the First Sea Lord told the Portsmouth News “we are through with relegating frigates and destroyers to training vessels due to a shortage of sailors”. This is an encouraging sign and here we examine the context and true extent of the improvement in RN personnel numbers.
In June 2018, we reported on how the Type 23 frigates are receiving engine upgrades and life extension refits. Here we review the state of the frigate fleet and progress on their refits.
At one time British shipbuilding dominated the world. As late as the 1950s, a quarter of all ships sailing the seven seas were built in Britain. Now, sixty years later, that figure is less than 1%. In this guest article, Will Green argues greater government intervention could improve this situation.
Back in 2014, we published an article suggesting that a small portion of the generous overseas aid budget be used to construct and operate a British hospital ship. The idea received a very positive response and after some work behind the scenes, now has the support of Penny Mordaunt, the Secretary of State for International Development. Here we take a more nuanced and updated look at some of the options and benefits of the proposal.
In broad terms, 2018 was a positive year for the naval service, in many ways an improvement on 2017. The navy has been able to deliver a higher operational tempo than last year and despite initial indications to the contrary, has escaped further cuts. More
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.