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.

First Sea Lord suggests Type 31 Frigates may be based in South East Asia

UK Defence Journal – The information regarding plans for the Type 31 frigate comes to light in a speech by Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, delivered at DSEI 2017.

Revealed: catalogue of failings that sank Falklands warship HMS Sheffield

The Guardian – The catalogue of errors and failings that ended in the sinking of a Royal Navy destroyer during the Falklands war has been disclosed after being covered up for 35 years.

Royal Navy could lose its two amphibious assault ships in cuts

The Guardian – HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark could be taken out of service, leaving the navy with no way to attack enemy-held beaches.

Royal Navy chief looks east to forge new trade partnerships

Defense News – British naval forces will need to return to the Asia-Pacific region on a regular basis if the country is to forge new trading partnerships in the area, according to the Royal Navy’s first sea lord, Adm. Sir Philip Jones.

The Royal Navy and Freedom of Navigation Operations

CIMSEC – In July, two major announcements were made renewing the Royal Navy’s commitment to the principle of freedom of navigation in the coming years. Firstly, the Secretary of State for Defence, the Right Honourable Michael Fallon, told Reuters that Britain was intending to send a warship to the South China Sea in 2018. The Defence Secretary explicitly stated that, “we have the right of freedom of navigation and we will exercise it.” In a direct reference to China, he added, “we won’t be constrained by China from sailing through the South China Sea.” Shortly afterward, the Foreign Secretary, the Right Honourable Boris Johnson, announced that the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers (the first of which is currently undergoing sea trials in UK waters) would deploy to the Pacific region to conduct freedom of navigation operations “to vindicate our belief in the rules-based international system and in the freedom of navigations through those waterways which are absolutely vital for world trade.”

The Royal Navy’s oldest ship has a new mission as the UK looks to grow its fleet

Defense News – The Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate Argyll is heading back to the fleet after two years in overhaul, and it’s being used as a test and integration platform for new systems intended for the new Type 26 frigate under construction.

The Royal Navy may have to trim platforms to pay for tech surge

Defense News – The British Royal Navy is on a technology drive to rapidly increase capability, but may have to pay the price with the removal of platforms.

Navy Poised to Order Second Vessel for ACTUV Sea Hunter Test Program

USNI News – The U.S. Navy is preparing to take full control of the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program and procure a second craft. A third might also be built as the Office of Naval Research (ONR) starts to evaluate additional roles for the autonomous wave-piercing trimaran design.

The Royal Navy’s New Ship Plans Have a Serious Flaw

National Interest – In 2023, the Royal Navy hopes the first of its new Type 31 frigates will hit the waves to replace HMS Argyll, the first of 13 Type 23 frigates scheduled to begin retiring that year, with another to retire every year until 2035. The new vessels will add desperately needed modern warships to the United Kingdom’s depleted fleet. However, that’s the hope. It’s not realistic, according to program officials cited in a report from Defense News. The compressed timetable will likely delay the Type 31, and worse — tight budgets are forcing compromises with the vessel’s weapons and capabilities. The result will be a Royal Navy adopting a smaller, less combat-capable ship than the Type 23, which has served since the 1980s as the backbone of Britain’s submarine hunting fleet.

British Aircraft Carriers Return

Proceedings of the US Naval Institute – The first of Great Britain’s two new aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth, began sea trials in May. She and her sister ship, Prince of Wales, represent the revival of Royal Navy fixed-wing aviation. The last of Britain’s earlier fixed-wing, carrier-based airplanes, the Sea Harrier fighter, was retired in 2006, and the last of three Invincible-class light aircraft carriers—HMS Illustrious—was decommissioned in 2014. Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales, displacing some 70,000 tons each, are by far the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy.

Inside HMS Queen Elizabeth – in pictures

The Guardian – HMS Queen Elizabeth, sitting in Rosyth dockyard in Scotland, is ready to head out to sea for its first trials this summer. The milestone will mark significant progress in delivering HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest and most powerful surface warship ever built for the Royal Navy.