– UK Defence Journal – The cost of fixing the propulsion issues on the Type 45 Destroyer fleet has been revealed.
– 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.
– 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.
– The Guardian – HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark could be taken out of service, leaving the navy with no way to attack enemy-held beaches.
– 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.
– 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.”
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– War Zone – The Royal Navy’s new supercarrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and her escorts are about to finish a series of multi-national training exercises off the coast of Scotland. Notably, the flattop joined the U.S. Navy’s USS George H.W. Bush and members of her own Carrier Strike Group Two (CSG-2) to practice what may become a model for future combined operations between the two navies.
– War Zone – This new method of landing could unlock new possibilities for the F-35B.
– The Guardian – Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson commits ‘colossal’ carriers to embarking on freedom of navigation exercises in pointed remarks.
– Reuters – Britain plans to send a warship to the disputed South China Sea next year to conduct freedom of navigation exercises, Defence Minister Michael Fallon said on Thursday, a move likely to anger Beijing.
– War Zone – Pass or fail, the ship’s sea trials still won’t answer more serious questions about plans for its air wing and the fiscal viability of its sister ship, the HMS Prince of Wales.
– Daily Mail – What a glorious photo opportunity: the new pride and joy of British sea power, HMS Queen Elizabeth, largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy, this week sailed from the Firth of Forth for sea trials. Here is a 21st-century ‘castle of steel’ to strike terror into the nation’s enemies. Except the ship is nothing of the sort. HMS QE and its half-built sister, Prince of Wales, are giant embarrassments. They are symbols of almost everything that is wrong with British defence policy.
– War Zone – The new ships will be key components of the service’s future carrier battle groups, among other missions.
– The Economist – An isolated island battles to hang on to its outpost at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
– Daily Telegraph – he Navy’s delayed new aircraft carrier is facing a morale crisis, it has been claimed, as sailors ‘abandon ship’ because they are bored. In the last few weeks, around 21 sailors have quit aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth – the largest and most powerful warship ever built for the Royal Navy – amid claims morale has dropped “to an all-time low”
– The Guardian – The UK’s Trident submarine fleet is vulnerable to a “catastrophic” cyber-attack that could render Britain’s nuclear weapons useless, according to a report by a London-based thinktank.
– USNI News – Naval leaders from the U.K., France and the U.S. have signed a trilateral cooperation agreement that will allow the three navies to work more closely together – especially in the realms of submarine warfare and carrier operations.
– RUSI – The chairman of the independent review into Britain’s National Ship Building Strategy is advocating a ‘cheap and cheerful’ Royal Navy. However, Sir John Parker is unlikely to face action on the unsuitable ships he is proposing.
– Daily Express – A cracked nuclear reactor has led to more than half of the Royal Navy’s frontline attack submarines being taken out of service.