Britain to bolster Arctic defense, military drills to counter Russian presence

Defense News – Britain is beefing up its commitment to defense of the Arctic and the High North regions.

Royal Navy Lands 1st F-35B on New Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

Breaking Defense – For the first time, a Royal Navy pilot has taken off and landed an F-35B on a British aircraft carrier, eight years after the UK retired its last generation of aircraft carriers.

‘Washington’s sharksucker’: Chinese media fires at Britain over South China Sea

Guardian – China Daily decries ‘reckless actions’ after HMS Albion sails close to disputed Parcel islands.

Mauritius takes UK to court over Chagos Islands sovereignty

Guardian – International court to hear testimony from 22 countries over Indian Ocean archipelago.

The UK’s giant aircraft carriers

BBC – A century ago the UK started work on the world’s first purpose-built aircraft carrier. Soon the first jets will fly off the massive deck of her latest successor – the giant HMS Queen Elizabeth. Along with her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, they’re the largest warships ever to be built for the Royal Navy.

UK restarts frigate competition – but will anyone take part?

Defense News – Britain’s Ministry of Defence is restarting its contest to build five general purpose frigates for the Royal Navy after it terminated the original competition due to insufficient interest from industry.

United Kingdom Maritime Strategy

CIMSEC – A conversation with Dr. Eric Grove on the UK’s maritime strategy, the evolution of its national security strategy in the post-9/11 era, and force structure debates in the current era.

Failure to Provide U.K. Royal Navy Escorts for New Carriers is ‘Potentially Dangerous,’ Warn Lawmakers

USNI News – The U.K.’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers should be able to conduct warfighting missions without support from allied forces, an influential parliamentary committee insisted last week. The regeneration of fading anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities, the retention of amphibious shipping and the acquisition of a surface ship-launched land attack missile must also be top priorities for a cash-strapped Royal Navy, according to the House of Commons’ Defence Committee (HCDC).

The £6 billion Royal Navy fleet that hardly ever went to sea: Warships that can’t sail in the heat spent 80 per cent of the year in dock

Daily Mail – The British Royal Navy’s six Type 45 £1 billion destroyers barely ever leave their docks.

Britain to send frigate to the Gulf in most serious naval deployment since 1971

Daily Telegraph – The UK is to send a frigate to be “an enduring presence” in the Gulf, in the most serious naval deployment to the region in more than 40 years, the Defence Secretary has announced in a show of support for Nato. A Royal Navy Type-23 Frigate will be based from the UK’s new £40 million National Support Facility at Mina Salman in Bahrain.

U.K. Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth Set for U.S. Visit, F-35B Trials

USNI News – Earlier this month, Britain’s national security adviser declared that the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers would be unlikely to ever deploy on high-end combat missions without support from friendly forces.

British warship to help police North Korean sanctions

Reuters – A British warship “changed its deployment” and arrived in Japan on Wednesday to join efforts to police U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

UK hires team to stop destroyers from breaking down at sea

Army Times – An industry team led by BAE Systems has secured a £160 million (U.S. $224 million) deal with the British Ministry of Defence to help fix long-running propulsion problems that have blighted the reliability of the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer fleet.

British Type 26 frigates to get Lockheed missile launcher

Defense News – Britain’s Royal Navy is to equip it’s new Type 26 frigate fleet with Lockheed Martin’s Mk 41 Vertical Launching System for missiles.

MoD sells Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean to Brazil for £84m

Daily Telegraph – The Ministry of Defence has sold the Royal Navy flagship, HMS Ocean, to Brazil for around £84m, in a bid to plug a major funding black hole in its accounts.

HMS Albion to lead bold new NATO mission – despite uncertainty over future

Plymouth Herald – Under-threat amphibious warship HMS Albion is to head up an international task group that will play a crucial role in defending allies in the Mediterranean.

Britain’s Nuclear Deterrent Isn’t a Military Asset and Shouldn’t be Funded as One

War on the Rocks – The United Kingdom’s nuclear weapons are currently funded out of the overstretched defense budget even though, especially in the post-Cold War era, they are more a political asset than a military one. So why are genuine military assets like regiments, ships, and aircraft being sacrificed in its name?

Sheffield’s Ghost Provides Lessons

US Naval Institute Proceedings – Analysis of the Falklands Campaign was a substantial section of the Joint Professional Military Education Phase I curriculum of the 1990s. It was even part of the Phase II course of instruction a decade later. Rather than the resounding and brilliant British victory portrayed in the limited 1982 news cycle, decades of independent analysis after the campaign have shown that the British forces were unprepared for the full range of Argentine military responses.

HMS St Albans: UK frigate shadows Russian warship in North Sea

BBC – A British frigate shadowed a Russian warship through the North Sea near UK waters on Christmas Day.

Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers Have Woefully Inadequate Close-In Air Defense Capabilities

The War Zone – The Ministry of Defense seems to have skimped on the carriers’ ability to fend off anti-ship cruise missile barrages.

Almost All of the UK’s Surface Combatants Are in Port While Germany Has No Working Subs

War Zone -These already worrying developments reflect poor readiness overall and other larger issues within both of these NATO navies.

How to Save (Or Destroy) the Royal Navy

National Interest – James Holmes on what happens when saving money takes precedence over strategic effectiveness.

Britain moves to restore carrier strike capability with warship commissioning

Defense News – Britain moved a step closer to restoring it’s carrier strike capability Thursday when the 65,000-ton aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth was formally commissioned during a ceremony at the Royal Navy base at Portsmouth, southern England.

HMS Vigilant: Nine sailors fired after failing drugs tests

BBC – Nine sailors from a nuclear missile submarine have been dismissed from the Royal Navy after failing drug tests, the Ministry of Defence has said.

Cost of Type 45 Destroyer fix revealed

UK Defence Journal – The cost of fixing the propulsion issues on the Type 45 Destroyer fleet has been revealed.