On 23rd October, HMS Sutherland returned to Devonport for the last time before entering major refit. Although just one of 13 similar vessels in service with the RN, the activities of this ship in the last three years provides an informative snapshot of the hard-run Type 23 frigates at work.
The programme of LIFEX refits to upgrade and repair the ageing Type 23 frigates fit for service beyond their 30th birthdays continues. While delivering an important capability boost, the work has mostly taken longer than expected and here we look at progress to date.
HMS Kent is currently operating in the Barents Sea with US Navy warships conducting maritime security operations. This is a significant deployment as officially the US Navy says it has not sent surface ships to the area since the mid-1980s.More
The Thales TACTICOS Combat Management System (CMS) will be a critical aspect of the Type 31 programme. In this article, we look at the project to develop and integrate the fighting heart of the frigate.
The delivery of the RN’s second aircraft carrier has deservedly been celebrated as a great success for British industry but behind the scenes, in the naval bases and shipyards, all is not well. 2019 has seen a number of important maintenance projects stalled or delayed. Here we summarise the situation.More
Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace made his first appearance before the House of Commons Defence Select Committee on Wednesday 23rd October. In a generally impressive and honest performance, he answered a wide range of questions, mainly about naval matters.
After departing Halifax on 16th September, HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Dragon and RFA Tideforce headed south towards the Florida coast and were joined by HMS Northumberland. They exercised off the eastern seaboard of the US before the aircraft carrier arrived at Naval Station Mayport on 4th October.
The RN is unlikely to see an increase in its major anti-submarine platforms in the near future. Recognising the danger posed by the continually evolving underwater threat, it has launched ASW Spearhead, an initiative to maximise the effectiveness of the assets its already has. There will be some new hardware, in the form of new sonars but much of the focus is on improving software, building sensor networks and giving the operators new decision-making tools.More
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. More