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.

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.