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[*] posted on 27-3-2018 at 08:04 PM


Royal Navy Prepares for Future UK Fishery Patrols

(Source: Royal Navy; posted March 22, 2018)



The Royal Navy is preparing to support the monitoring and protection of UK fisheries after Britain leaves the EU, having taken delivery of the first of five next-generation Offshore Patrol ships for the fleet.

HMS Forth is the first of five state-of-the-art Royal Navy vessels designed for fishery protection, as well as counter-piracy, anti-smuggling, border patrol, counter terrorism and maritime defence duties.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The Royal Navy has a proud tradition of protecting the UK’s coastline and keeping a close eye on our fishing waters. With these state-of-the-art, vastly capable ships we stand ready to protect our fisheries once Britain leaves the EU.”

The River-class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) production line is moving apace with the £116m ships emerging at around six-month intervals.

The Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron is expecting a further two ships – HMS Medway and Trent – to be handed over later this year, with the remaining two – HMS Tamar and Spey – expected to arrive in Portsmouth by 2020. Just last week HMS Trent was formally named at the Glasgow shipyard where she was built.

They will become the Royal Navy’s eyes and ears around the UK, helping to safeguard fishing stocks. They will also assist in reassuring and protecting the Falkland Islands and are capable of deploying to the Mediterranean and Caribbean to uphold UK interests around the world.

Last week the Treasury announced that the MOD will receive a portion of a £12.7m fund from the Government’s Brexit preparation allocation to support work with DEFRA on maintaining the UK’s fisheries. The MOD is working closely with other government departments like DEFRA to determine the optimum deployment of these extremely flexible vessels.

Designed for a total crew of around 58, but requiring only 34 to go to sea, they can spend up to 320 days a year on operations. The larger crew allows a rotation of personnel to ensure they get to spend time at home or on training.

The new OPVs can move four knots faster than their predecessors at 24 knots, have an increased range of 5,500 nautical miles, have a 30mm automatic cannon as their main armament instead of a 20mm gun, two Miniguns, four machine-guns and are equipped with two Pacific 24 sea boats.

Each ship has an extended flight deck to operate up to Merlin size helicopters and accommodation for up to 50 embarked Royal Marines for boarding and supporting operations ashore if required.

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[*] posted on 27-3-2018 at 08:09 PM


Preparing for F-35 Sea Trials

(Source: BAE Systems Air; posted March 20, 2018)

By Dr Steve Hodge



Later this year, HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of the UK's new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, will head out to the east coast of the United States to operate with the F-35 Lightning aircraft for the first time.

This will be a historic moment for the UK and a major step towards delivering carrier enabled power projection as these two remarkable pieces of engineering, the QEC carrier and the F-35, work together.

From a small corner of Lancashire, our specialist team of engineers will be looking on from our world-class simulation facility, observing the action with intense interest.

The facility is unique. We have replicated the cockpit of an F-35 and linked it to a simulation of FLYCO, the flight control tower on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, to allow pilots from the RAF, Royal Navy, the United States armed forces and test pilots from both BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for the F-35 programme, to 'fly' onto the carrier deck.

Over the past 12 months, the team has simulated thousands of landings using the facility to make sure that the real-life flight trials later this year are as safe and as effective as possible.

This month, we have members of the Royal Navy team joining us in the facility as they continue to develop the way pilots, Landing Signal Officers (LSO), and the rest of the FLYCO team will operate for generations to come.

What makes this simulator even more special is the application of highly specialised engineering that allows us to model the air wake – essentially the way air moves around HMS Queen Elizabeth flight deck.

When you take a ship to sea and operate aircraft from it, the turbulence caused by airflow moving across the deck and around the ship is something you have to be particularly aware of.

In order to create this, we took real data from the ship and modelled it using computational fluid dynamics.

We fed this data into the simulator to replicate the disturbances that an aircraft would experience, meaning that when a pilot lands an F-35 in our simulator, they feel the motions that they would feel in real life.

This is a hugely exciting function, which the UK has never been able to accurately simulate before.

All these preparations help significantly de-risk the trials and ensure that when it comes to the real thing, the flight tests we are planning can be conducted safely.

All of this work contributes to the UK's ultimate goal of declaring Initial Operating Capability for the F-35 at sea by 2020.

When this milestone is reached, our people and our technology will have played a major part in achieving it.

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[*] posted on 27-3-2018 at 09:02 PM


Thales in anti-submarine warfare sonar trials with Royal Navy

Posted On Tuesday, 27 March 2018 09:29

Thales has been liaising with the Navy in recent trials to assess if investments made in submarine sonar systems could deliver additional benefits for frontline sailors in surface ships such as the Type 23.


The Type 23 frigate anti-submarine warfare fleet is fitted with Sonar 2087

Sonar 2076 is the Royal Navy’s major sonar platform on all submarines, while the Type 23 frigate anti-submarine warfare fleet is fitted with Sonar 2087. These powerful Thales sonar systems are recognised as cutting edge maritime sensors in their specialist fields.

What links these two sonars together is their software. Novus is the name for a collection of passive sonar algorithms and human computer interface developments already in service with 2076 on board UK submarines.

There is a high degree of commonality with the major sonar 2087 fitted to the Type 23 frigates, meaning that significant advantages reported in submarines can be trialled in surface ships.

Drawn from 2076, the software is ‘oven ready’ for 2087, with a high level of innovation in that it could be ‘fast to adopt’ if Novus benefits were deemed to warrant full funding for delivery into service or ‘fast to fail’ if only marginal.

Following the MOD’s investment in the deployment to the fleet of Sonar 2087 technical refresh, the Navy has been able to rapidly deploy Thales-developed trial software while in Australia.

This demonstrates a tangible step forward towards understanding the future requirement of sonars. It has also involved close liaison between Navy Command, Defence Equipment & Support and Thales.

During DSEi, the First Sea Lord, the Navy’s most senior operational officer, outlined a vision to look beyond the platforms, weapon systems, sensors and other technologies to keep the Royal Navy at the forefront of capability for decades to come.

The Open Architecture, common to both sonars 2076 and 2087, is also the core of the new submarine sonar training facility (Venturer) recently opened at HM Naval Base Clyde.

The Thales-supplied Rapidly Reconfigurable Training Technology (RRTT) system has been designed so that it can easily be reconfigured to future upgrades to provide high fidelity hands on training. This will ensure that individual sonar operators train on the right configuration to support specific missions and boats.

Thales says that in time, it could easily be applied to other naval training, such as naval communications, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures.
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[*] posted on 29-3-2018 at 09:35 AM


Third Tide-Class Tanker Arrives in UK

(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued March 27, 2018)


Built in South Korea, RFA Tidesurge, the third of four new Royal Navy support tankers, has arrived in the UK and will be customized and tested before entering service. (RN photo)

The third of four new support tankers to be delivered to the UK has arrived in Cornwall for customisation and trials before entering service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and being deployed on operations with the Royal Navy.

The arrival of RFA Tidesurge comes just weeks after her sister ship, RFA Tidespring, met up at sea with aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time.

The 39,000-tonne tankers can carry up to 19,000 cubic metres of fuel and 1,400 cubic metres of fresh water in support of Royal Navy operations all over the world.

The detailed customisation work to prepare RFA Tidesurge and her sister ships for operations is being undertaken at the A&P shipyard in Falmouth, sustaining around 300 jobs.

Minister for Defence Procurement Guto Bebb said: “The arrival of RFA Tidesurge in Cornwall marks another key milestone in the Tide Class programme. Tidesurge will soon join her sister ships in providing the integral support which powers our warships and helps our Royal Navy maintain a truly global presence.”

While in Falmouth RFA Tidesurge will be fitted with UK specific armour, self-defence weaponry and communications systems, with the total UK work content, including A&P, in the Tide Class programme worth around £150 million and sustaining further jobs at 27 UK-based companies.

The customisation work is expected to take around four months after which RFA Tidesurge will begin final sea trials before entering service in Autumn this year.

Meanwhile, RFA Tidespring, which was preparing to conduct a Replenishment at Sea (RAS) refuelling when it met with HMS Queen Elizabeth in February, is currently acting as the training tanker for the Navy’s Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) and will take part in exercise Joint Warrior in the Spring. RFA Tiderace, which is currently docked at A&P Falmouth, is undergoing preparations for her capability trials which are expected to commence in early April.

Sir Simon Bollom, Chief of Materiel (Ships) at Defence Equipment and Support, the MOD’s procurement organisation, said: “I’m proud to say that the delivery of the tanker programme will provide vital support for the Royal Navy, providing it with fuel and fresh water, while also being able to undertake a wide range of maritime operations, including humanitarian relief.”

The fourth of the Tide Class vessels - RFA Tideforce - is expected to be delivered later this year.

A&P Group has held the contract to support and maintain RFA ships at home and abroad since 2008. Under the Cluster Support Programme, A&P Group provides maintenance support to groups of MOD vessels, which include RFA Argus and the RFA Bay Class vessels Mounts Bay, Cardigan Bay and Lyme Bay.

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[*] posted on 30-3-2018 at 02:03 PM


How far behind schedule are they? I know they were late, but some within Defence in Australia were pushing for a Korean solution rather than Navantia due to their ability to deliver on time.



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[*] posted on 30-3-2018 at 02:48 PM


*COUGH* *SPLUTTER* Did you just say "Korean" and "their ability to deliver on time" in the same breath?

The Koreans couldn't deliver ON TIME to save their lives, never have, and the way things are going in their ship-building, NEVER EVER WILL.............

They are utterly incapable of delivering Oil & Gas facilities, platforms, semi-subs or FPSO's even close to the year never mind the month or day.................this covers the last 15 years or so............EVERY project, no exceptions!

The UK MARS AOR/Tankers are running between 12-24+ months late albeit they "may" complete this year?

The Norwegian AOR/Tanker is running at least 12-18+ months late.......

The Indonesian submarines, agaain 18-24+ months late for an existing design they have built multiple times previously!!!



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[*] posted on 30-3-2018 at 05:40 PM


Third Tide-Class Tanker Arrives in UK

(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued March 27, 2018)



The third of four new support tankers to be delivered to the UK has arrived in Cornwall for customisation and trials before entering service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and being deployed on operations with the Royal Navy.

The arrival of RFA Tidesurge comes just weeks after her sister ship, RFA Tidespring, met up at sea with aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time.

The 39,000-tonne tankers can carry up to 19,000 cubic metres of fuel and 1,400 cubic metres of fresh water in support of Royal Navy operations all over the world.

The detailed customisation work to prepare RFA Tidesurge and her sister ships for operations is being undertaken at the A&P shipyard in Falmouth, sustaining around 300 jobs.

Minister for Defence Procurement Guto Bebb said: “The arrival of RFA Tidesurge in Cornwall marks another key milestone in the Tide Class programme. Tidesurge will soon join her sister ships in providing the integral support which powers our warships and helps our Royal Navy maintain a truly global presence.”

While in Falmouth RFA Tidesurge will be fitted with UK specific armour, self-defence weaponry and communications systems, with the total UK work content, including A&P, in the Tide Class programme worth around £150 million and sustaining further jobs at 27 UK-based companies.

The customisation work is expected to take around four months after which RFA Tidesurge will begin final sea trials before entering service in Autumn this year.

Meanwhile, RFA Tidespring, which was preparing to conduct a Replenishment at Sea (RAS) refuelling when it met with HMS Queen Elizabeth in February, is currently acting as the training tanker for the Navy’s Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) and will take part in exercise Joint Warrior in the Spring. RFA Tiderace, which is currently docked at A&P Falmouth, is undergoing preparations for her capability trials which are expected to commence in early April.

Sir Simon Bollom, Chief of Materiel (Ships) at Defence Equipment and Support, the MOD’s procurement organisation, said: “I’m proud to say that the delivery of the tanker programme will provide vital support for the Royal Navy, providing it with fuel and fresh water, while also being able to undertake a wide range of maritime operations, including humanitarian relief.”

The fourth of the Tide Class vessels - RFA Tideforce - is expected to be delivered later this year.

A&P Group has held the contract to support and maintain RFA ships at home and abroad since 2008. Under the Cluster Support Programme, A&P Group provides maintenance support to groups of MOD vessels, which include RFA Argus and the RFA Bay Class vessels Mounts Bay, Cardigan Bay and Lyme Bay.

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[*] posted on 30-3-2018 at 05:42 PM


F-35 Pilots Get Ready to Land on HMS Queen Elizabeth

(Source: British Forces News; issued March 27, 2018)

Training is taking place at BAE Systems using simulators to rehearse the process of getting the F-35 aircraft safely on and off Britain's new aircraft carriers.

The two new mammoth warships, equipped with a fleet of F-35s, will form the backbone of the UK's defence in the upcoming years.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has recently undergone trials with both Merlin and Chinook helicopters.

But this autumn the UK's first F-35 stealth fighters will land on her decks.

With just six months until that happens for real, the Flyco team, which is responsible for controlling air operations, is making sure it understands the full process with simulation trials.

Commander Nathan Grey said: "The aircraft carrier is purpose-built for the F-35 and I don't know any other carrier in the world that's been specifically built for a specific aircraft type.

"It makes the whole environment safer but it also makes it more efficient and when we combine the two together it makes a truly potent fighting force."

The cost of both the carriers and the F-35s is around £14 billion - making it essential that the two work together, which includes rehearsing a manoeuvre that only the UK will perform.

Commander James Blackmore explains how they plan to land the aircraft: "Traditionally people remember how the Harrier used to land on the aircraft carrier, from a hover and a vertical landing - that will still be done with the F-35.

"The aircraft will fly towards the stern of the ship, with forward speed on and then land from a rolling vertical landing and roll down the deck to a stop.

"It allows us to bring back more weapons and fuel which makes us more efficient in the way we deliver the aviation."

The simulator uses realistic imagery and settings, giving the team a better chance of understanding the full process.

"When you walk into the Flyco simulator and you see the landscape around you with the sea going in motion with the ship - you get that knot in your stomach like you're truly at sea."

The training in Lancashire has now completed and in June, HMS Queen Elizabeth will sail to the eastern seaboard, where she will begin the landing tests for real.

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[*] posted on 6-4-2018 at 06:15 PM


RN carrier team prepares for F-35B trials

Richard Scott, Warton, UK - Jane's Navy International

05 April 2018


Test pilot commander Nathan Gray ‘on the deck’ in the F-35B simulator. Source: Richard Scott/NAVYPIX

UK Royal Navy (RN) personnel have completed a first period of simulator-based training and operational development ahead of F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter flight trials from aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth scheduled for later this year.

Undertaken at BAE Systems’ ship/air integration facility at Warton in northwest England in mid-March, the week long trial was intended to mature standard operating procedures ahead of fixed-wing first of class flying trials (FOCFT) planned for the last quarter of 2018. As well as key members of Queen Elizabeth ’s air department, the trial also involved RN pilots drawn from No 17(R) Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES) at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, and an RN test pilot from the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

Designed to de-risk ship/air integration for the F-35B and the Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) ships, the simulation facility at Warton integrates two components. It takes a fully representative F-35 cockpit mounted on a six-axis electric motion system housed inside a fixed radius dome featuring a high-fidelity model of the QEC carrier together with a realistic and dynamic sea-surface and mates it with an adjacent facility which simulates the environment within the flying control (FLYCO) office housed in the carrier’s aft island superstructure.

The latter, fully integrated with the piloted simulator, includes a replica of the landing signals officer (LSO) workstation and a widescreen projection system showing the outside world scene, including a selection of prerecorded takeoffs/recoveries or ‘live’ flight being conducted by the pilot in the flight simulator.

(282 of 620 words)
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[*] posted on 20-4-2018 at 11:30 AM


Row erupts over expected international tender for UK FSS programme

19th April 2018 - 14:15 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London



Amid a growing row over the impending decision to offer a £1 billion ($1.4 billion) Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ship programme to international suppliers, the UK MoD has moved to defend its record in naval shipbuilding.

The FSS vessels will support the UK Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class carriers and the wider strike group once in service with the RFA, which also operates the Tide-class fleet tankers (pictured) and Bay-class Landing Ship Docks.

In a release issued on 19 April, UK shipbuilding union GMB argued that the FSS class were military vessels and thus should fall under the guidelines set by the National Shipbuilding Strategy to keep all naval warship manufacture inside the country.

The GMB release stated that the FSS order will go out to full international tender on 30 April, adding that shipbuilding companies from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea and Spain attended a recent MoD-organised industry day on the FSS programme.

The latest of the RFA’s new Tide-class tankers – RFA Tidesurge – is currently in Falmouth undergoing outfitting ahead of entry into service. The four-ship £450 million programme was won in 2012 by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and experienced a series of delivery delays and cost overruns.

In response to the GMB statements, an MoD spokesperson said that all of the UK’s warships are built in the UK, with the Type 26 frigate programme focused on BAE Systems facilities in the Clyde and the Type 31 light frigate destined for other UK shipyards.

‘We are launching a competition for three new Fleet Solid Support ships this year and strongly encourage British yards to take part,’ the spokesperson added.

However, UK yards are hampered through a combination of lack of capacity to accommodate such a large programme and the likelihood that foreign competitors will be able to undercut any bid due to state subsidies and other governmental backing. Shipyards in the UK receive no such support when competing in the international market.

In 2017 a row erupted between France and Italy after the French government nixed an attempted takeover of STX by Fincantieri. The decision by France to exercise pre-emption rights on STX’s shares of STX France effectively brought the company under state control, with the Italian government at the time that it ‘deeply regretted’.

Subsequent negotiations saw the French and Italian governments gaining equal shares in the company.

Meanwhile a ground-breaking ceremony will take place on the new £132 million facility in Lossiemouth, UK, that will become the home of the RAF’s P-8 Poseidon MPAs.
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[*] posted on 20-4-2018 at 11:34 AM


They haven't got the Yards to build this with all of the other RN stuff going on, yet want to bitch about it being Internationally tendered?

That makes sense...........NOT!

No doubt that Russo-phile Corbyn and his fascist acolytes are to the forefront of the bitching, which is massively ironic considering the Labour Party in the UK were the PRIME reason why the UK Shipbuilding industry was shattered back in the 1960's/1970's....................a classic case of Nationalisation destroying what was once effective and to the forefront of industry.
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[*] posted on 20-4-2018 at 12:33 PM


It's a bit like the complaints from South Australia and the unions about the construction of HMA Ships Supply and Stalwart in Spain.



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[*] posted on 21-4-2018 at 11:10 AM


Exactly.............
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[*] posted on 21-4-2018 at 11:33 AM


UK amphibious headquarters to disappear in merger

Tim Ripley, London - Jane's Navy International

20 April 2018

The UK’s standalone two-star amphibious headquarters is to be lost in a shake-up of maritime command and control organisations by the Royal Navy (RN), which controls the country’s amphibious shipping and the Royal Marines landing forces.

The Commander UK Amphibious Forces (COMUKAMPHIBFOR) Headquarters is to be folded into a revamped Maritime Battle Staff (MBS) later this year, according to a briefing document for Royal Marines personnel seen by Jane’s . Naval sources have claimed that the re-organisation would free up navy and marine staff officers to be redeployed to expand the one-star Carrier Strike Group headquarters supporting operations by the new carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales .

(135 of 525 words)
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[*] posted on 23-4-2018 at 04:29 PM


Defence Secretary Visits Glasgow to View Progress of the First City Class Type 26

(Source: BAE Systems; issued April 19, 2018)

Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Defence, visited BAE Systems’ Clyde shipyards today to gain an insight into the Company’s next generation digital ship design approach for the Type 26 frigates, before viewing the first fully constructed units of the first of class, Glasgow.

In a fully digital 3D virtual environment, the Defence Secretary walked through decks and stood on the bridge of the 149m long Type 26 design before touring the site to see how construction of the first vessel is progressing.

The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be a world-class anti-submarine warfare ship and will replace the Type 23 anti-submarine frigates. Globally deployable, it will be capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group.

Together with the UK’s new fleet of submarine hunting P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft fleet, the City Class Type 26 will protect the UK’s submarine-deployed nuclear deterrent and the nation’s two new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers.

The hull takes shape

Construction of the first Type 26 frigate started in July 2017 and the hull is already taking shape with the first two completed hull sections now connected. The units contain the machinery space, aviation stores for embarked helicopters and a recreational area.

Iain Stevenson, BAE Systems Naval Ships Managing Director, said: “Today we have been able to demonstrate how the latest digital technologies help us work with our customer and suppliers to create a comprehensive and mature complex warship design for the UK Royal Navy. From the positioning of key equipment and cutting-edge combat systems, through to the design and outfit of recreational areas, we use this technology to develop and prove the design alongside our customer.

“Nearly a year into production it’s a proud moment to see the first two units joined together and we are already seeing GLASGOW take shape at our facilities here on the Clyde. It’s a great opportunity for our apprentices to learn new skills and play a part in such an important programme.”

The digital ship design approach for the Type 26 platform has also helped to demonstrate the adaptability of the designs proposed for the Australian Government’s anti-submarine warfare frigate programme and the Canadian Surface Combatant programme.

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[*] posted on 25-4-2018 at 08:53 PM


Defence Secretary Marks Major Step Forward for UK’s Nuclear Submarine Capability

(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued April 23, 2018)

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has today announced a major step forward for Britain’s new nuclear submarines.

In a move that signals the UK’s commitment to a continuous-at-sea deterrent, the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) was today officially launched.

The announcement comes after an extra £800 million was secured by the Ministry of Defence - £600 million of which will ensure the UK is protected by the new Dreadnought submarine fleet into the 2030s and beyond.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Our nuclear deterrent is our ultimate defence from the most extreme threats while our attack submarines are busier than ever providing unprecedented levels of protection across the world.

“A Royal Navy submarine is on patrol 24 hours a day, every day of the year, protecting our way of life. These advanced and complex vessels are more important than ever as the world becomes an increasingly dangerous place and establishing this new Agency sends a clear signal of our commitment to continue deterring conflict and protecting the nation.”

The stand-up of the SDA marks the delivery of a milestone set out in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review that strengthens arrangements to support the UK’s submarine capability.

The Executive Agency will lead on the procurement, in-service support and decommissioning of all UK nuclear submarines.

The SDA will procure and project manage the construction of future Royal Navy submarines, and support those in-service, working with Navy Command and the newly established Defence Nuclear Organisation.

The vision of the SDA is to lead a high-performing industrial enterprise to deliver and support the UK’s submarine capability safely, securely and more effectively and cost efficiently.

Headed by Chief Executive Officer Ian Booth - who has a wealth of experience in delivering complex private and public-sector procurement programmes - the SDA employs around 1,300 people and already has a talented and extremely knowledgeable workforce, including some of the nation’s most experienced nuclear experts.

The Agency will have the authority and freedom to recruit and retain the best people to manage the Submarine Enterprise. The majority of SDA staff will be based in Bristol, with other colleagues located at sites such as Barrow, Derby, Devonport, Rosyth and Faslane.

Chief Executive Officer of the Submarine Delivery Agency, Ian Booth said: “The SDA is to lead a high-performing industrial enterprise that is committed to strengthening the safety, availability, reliability and security of UK submarines, including our Continuous At Sea Deterrent. The Agency will draw on best practice from both the public and private sectors with a focus on cost effective and timely delivery to achieve the best possible outcomes for Defence.

The SDA has learnt from other successful programmes of a similar scale and complexity such as the 2012 Olympics and Crossrail. It will maintain vital links with industry and public-sector partners to preserve the UK’s technology advantage and skills-base and to ensure submarine manufacturing and maintenance capability is sufficient to support the UK’s submarine requirements.

A key facet of the SDA is to manage the Dreadnought and Astute nuclear submarine programmes to time and budget, alongside providing day-to-day support to the in-service fleet of Trafalgar, Astute and Vanguard Class submarines. As a responsible nuclear operator, the organisation will also manage the decommissioning and disposal of submarines in a safe and environmentally sound way.

-- Click here for the Submarine Delivery Agency framework document (21 PDF pages), which sets out SDA's purpose, role, governance, policy and financial parameters that guide its day to day operations.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachm...

-- Click here for the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA): Corporate plan for financial year 2018 to 2019 (17 PDF pages) which sets out the strategic objectives for the SDA over the first year of operation of the SDA for the financial year 2018 to 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachm...

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[*] posted on 26-4-2018 at 07:39 PM


Build £1 Billion RFA's In UK: Sending £1 Billion Royal Navy Support Ship Order Overseas ‘Betrayal of May’s Red, White And Blue Brexit’ Says GMB

(Source: GMB Trade Union; issued April 24, 2018)

Shipyards in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea and Spain now eyeing up critical defence contract, GMB investigation reveals.

GMB, the union for shipbuilding workers, today said in the aftermath of the blue passports fiasco, Ministers must reverse their decision to put a crucial £1 billion order for three new military support ships out to non-UK bidders.

New Fleet Solid Support ships are needed to service the UK’s £6.3 billion Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and their strike force of new F-35 fighter planes. The Ministry of Defence has said that the order will go out to full international tender on 30 April 2018.

GMB research, published today, shows that up to 6,700 jobs could be created or secured in the UK if the order went to a domestic shipbuilder – including 1,800 much needed shipyard jobs.

A further 4,700 jobs could be secured in the wider supply chain – including in the steel industry.

The union estimates that £285 million would also be returned to the taxpayer through income tax, national insurance contributions and lower welfare payments.

Exclusive Survation polling, commissioned by GMB, found that 74 per cent of people want the new Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships built in the UK. GMB maintains that RFA ships are military vessels that are crucial to the UK’s defence capabilities.

Leave voters were also significantly more likely to support a general policy of retaining defence manufacturing orders in the UK than Remain voters (by 64 per cent to 52 per cent).

The Government’s current policy is to build all Royal Navy warships in the UK but orders for RFA ships are put out to international tender.

Shipbuilding companies from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea and Spain attended a recent Ministry of Defence industry day on the Fleet Solid Support order according to documents obtained by GMB under the Freedom of Information Act.

The last contract that went overseas was the MARS Tide Class tanker order, which was awarded to South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering in 2012. The order has been hit by cost overruns and delays.

Shipbuilding and ship repair employment in Great Britain has fallen from an estimated 122,200 in 1981 to under 32,000 in 2016 – threatening the UK’s sovereign defence manufacturing capability [see the notes for regional breakdowns of shipbuilding jobs].

Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer for Shipbuilding, said: “The Government looks set to repeat the blue passports fiasco by putting another order of national significance out to tender abroad.

“Ministers are not bound by normal EU rules on competitive tendering when it comes to military ships. There really can be no excuse for sending our shipbuilding contracts overseas.

“We have a highly skilled shipbuilding workforce in the UK that is more than capable of making these ships at a fair market price. We face being sold down the river if the work goes to artificially subsidised international competitor shipyards instead.

“At a time when global tensions are rising, the Government should use this order to ‘buy for Britain’ and rebuild our defence shipbuilding manufacturing capabilities.

“Shipbuilding workers are disillusioned by orders flowing overseas while highly skilled jobs at UK shipyards are being cut.

“It would be a gross betrayal of the spirit of the ‘red, white and blue Brexit’ that Theresa May promised if this crucial contract is awarded outside of the UK and jobs here are lost as a result.”

BACKGROUND NOTES:

[1] All figures and tables are taken from the GMB’s new research report, Turning the Tide: Rebuilding the UK’s defence shipbuilding industry and the Fleet Solid Support Order, which is published today [???]. The report can be found at http.www.gmb.org.uk/turning-the-tide.pdf

GMB has raised concerns about heavy subsidies paid to some international shipbuilders that are not available to UK employers.

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[*] posted on 26-4-2018 at 07:51 PM


New Survey Ship HMS Magpie on Sea Trials

(Source: Royal Navy; issued April 24, 2018)



The Royal Navy’s newest vessel HMS Magpie has been in action already undergoing rough weather sea trials in the Irish Sea less than a month after being launched.

HMS Magpie is the newest addition to the RN’s hydrographic squadron, replacing veteran survey launch Gleaner which paid off earlier this year in Plymouth after 35 years’ under the White Ensign in HM Naval Base Devonport.

Lieutenant Commander William Alexander, Magpie’s new commanding officer and Gleaner’s last, said, “Magpie will help lead the way in modernising the Royal Navy’s survey and underwater surveillance capabilities.

“Her primary role will be in maintaining the integrity of coastal waters, ensuring safety of navigation and resilience of key national infrastructure in UK ports. And with an enduring presence around the UK, she will also contribute to national security at sea.”

Cork shipbuilder Safehaven has delivered a replacement, an 18-metre catamaran based on the firm’s Wildcat 60 craft. Magpie is due to be formally handed over to the RN next month and be ceremonially commissioned into the Navy early in the summer. She will then join the rest of the hydrographic squadron in Devonport.

Magpie – named after the Duke of Edinburgh’s only command – is bigger than Gleaner, can stay at sea much longer (she has two messes/accommodation compartments for up to 12 crew and a galley which can meet the sailors’ needs for up to seven days), and is much more resilient in rough seas.

The Royal Navy expects Magpie to be able to maintain 20 knots in a Sea State Four with waves up to 2½ metres high.

She’s due to make the journey from Cork to Portland in Dorset for military/hydrographic equipment fitting out, equipment which is a marked improvement on what was installed on Gleaner, such as the latest high-resolution shallow-water multi-beam echo sounder and side-scan sonar. Magpie will also be able to launch remote-controlled underwater devices to search wide areas of seabed for obstructions or mines.

Otherwise, Magpie’s role is largely the same as Gleaners ensuring the approaches to the UK’s ports are safe by scanning the seabed, updating charts and generally acting as another pair of eyes and ears into events in home waters.

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[*] posted on 1-5-2018 at 09:21 AM


ANALYSIS: UK gets ready to rejoin aircraft carrier elite

30 April, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com

Back in November 2010, then-Lt Cdr James Blackmore became the last pilot of a BAE Systems Harrier to launch from the flightdeck of the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, bringing to an end three decades of shipborne short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) operations from the service's three Invincible-class carriers.

In a circuitous arc, now Cdr Blackmore will in five months oversee the re-birth of fixed-wing aviation in the RN, as HMS Queen Elizabeth – the first of its two new 65,000t aircraft carriers – begins first of class flying trials (FOCFT) with STOVL aircraft of an altogether different kind.

Two fully instrumented Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II development aircraft from the Integrated Test Force (ITF) at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, will join the ship off the eastern seaboard of the USA for two development test periods – dubbed DT-1 and DT-2 – running through October and November.

The purpose of the FOCFT activity is to validate design modelling and support the production of the full ship/air integration release. To achieve these objectives necessitates operating the aircraft and ship in a wide range of load, motion, wind and environmental conditions, using instrumentation to capture detailed trials data. These individual test points are used to define the limits of the safe operating envelope.


The 65,000t HMS Queen Elizabeth has already performed operational trials with helicopters aboard: its next arrival will be the Lightning II
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As Commander Air – a role that sees him in overall control of aviation operations in, on and around the carrier – Blackmore and his air department will manage the FOCFT flying programme from the flying control (FLYCO) office extending out from Queen Elizabeth’s aft island.

"This ship is over three times the size of our previous aircraft carriers, and the flightdeck is two-and-a-half times bigger," he tells FlightGlobal. "So we’ve got much more area to park and operate helicopters and jets. And while the ship is a little smaller than a US Navy carrier, the deck area we’ve got is roughly similar."

FLYCO is the focal point for aviation control. "That’s what's happening on the flightdeck and in the hangars and into the airspace around the ship itself," says Blackmore. "We’ve got full visibility across the deck, plus all the sensor feeds displayed on various screens, so we have massive situational awareness."

Also housed in FLYCO is the landing signals officer (LSO): a qualified fixed-wing aviator trained to assist pilots to safely recover to the carrier.

Already through rotary-wing flight trials, Queen Elizabeth will set sail from Portsmouth in August to begin the four-month WESTLANT 18 deployment. But while the embarkation of ITF development aircraft BF-04 and BF-05 will mark the first time that the F-35B has operated from the carrier, a nucleus of RN personnel is already familiar with the operation of the aircraft, thanks to a unique ship/air simulation environment built by BAE at its Warton site in Lancashire, northwest England.

Previously used to de-risk the integration of the F-35B and the Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) carriers, the simulator facility has more recently been employed to develop standard operating procedures for aviation operations on board.

INTEGRATION

Bringing the F-35B and vessels together presents both a unique opportunity and a complex challenge. The fact that the aircraft and ship are both new means it has been possible, to a greater extent, to optimise the carrier design to operate and support the STOVL variant of the fifth-generation Lightning II.

At the same time, a number of uncertainties have necessarily arisen from the fact that design, development and demonstration activities for the F-35B and new RN ships have effectively been run in parallel, albeit with some excursions en route.

Piloted flight simulation has played a major part in identifying and assessing integration issues well ahead of FOCFT. In 2007, BAE established an F-35/QEC integration facility in Warton as a tool to help characterise and de-risk the ship/air interface.

This facility, which adapted an existing motion dome simulator, was used to test the capabilities of both the aircraft and ship aviation systems, allowing integration issues to be ironed out early, informing options and choices, and enabling design changes to be implemented at a stage when their cost and programme impact was relatively small.

Having begun as a piloted flight simulation environment, the facility was enhanced in 2011 by the addition of a simulation of the LSO workstation. Networking these two entities provided for a realistic simulation of pilot and LSO interaction to allow for a more rigorous assessment of the capabilities of the aircraft and ship systems.

While the original simulation facility made a valuable contribution to F-35/QEC integration, it was recognised that it had some inherent limitations with regard to pilot field of view, motion response and cockpit fidelity. As a result, BAE took the decision in 2014 to invest in the development of a new and improved facility that could support ship/air integration through to FOCFT.

Commissioned last year, this updated simulation environment integrates two components: a fully representative F-35 cockpit mounted on a six-axis electric motion system inside a fixed-radius dome featuring a high-fidelity carrier model together with a dynamic sea surface; and an adjacent facility, fully integrated with the piloted simulator, that simulates the environment inside and "outside" FLYCO.

REALISTIC REPRESENTATION

The representative FLYCO space includes a replica of the LSO workstation looking aft. A widescreen projection system shows a realistic outside world scene: visuals can include a selection of pre-recorded take-offs/recoveries, and/or "live" flights being conducted by the pilot in the adjacent flight simulator.

The first use for the new facility was to support a series of pilot evaluations of the short rolling vertical landing (SRVL) recovery manoeuvre. Designed to significantly increase "bring-back" performance, an SRVL exploits the ability of the F-35B to use vectored thrust to maintain limited forward speed until after touchdown.

SRVL will be part of the forthcoming flying trials, says Blackmore. "It allows us to be more flexible with the way we use the deck, and more flexible in the way we bring our aircraft back because of the performance enhancements it brings."

Earlier this year, the focus of activities at Warton switched to initial preparations for FOCFT and supporting wider operational development. For a week in late March, personnel from Queen Elizabeth’s FLYCO worked together with a team of naval F-35B pilots from the UK's 17 Test and Evaluation Sqn (functioning as LSOs) and an ITF test pilot to develop and practise standard operating procedures for fixed-wing operations.

"This presented a first opportunity to train together and get ready to bring the aircraft on for real this autumn," Blackmore explains. "We plan to come back for a second period of simulator work in June, which will be a more structured ‘rehearsal’.

"This is a really good way of de-risking and understanding that process. In fact, we’ve gone beyond what we’re going to do in the autumn [and have] started to explore what operations will look like once we've fully delivered the capability – so, the ability to operate beyond four aircraft, multiple vertical landings, as well as bringing in the shipborne rolling vertical landing, which is a novel landing manoeuvre we are introducing with QEC.”

Cdr Nathan Gray offers a pilot’s perspective on the Warton simulator. A former Sea Harrier FA2 pilot who subsequently flew the Harrier GR7/9 and, on exchange, the US Marine Corps' Boeing AV-8B Harrier II, he currently serves as a developmental test pilot in the F-35 ITF, and is one of the three UK pilots assigned to the forthcoming FOCFT programme.


Test pilot Cdr Nathan Gray has prepared for future trials using BAE's advanced simulator
Richard Scott/Navypix

"We are just months away from landing the first F-35 on Queen Elizabeth, so it is critical now that we get procedures in place," says Gray. "Although these will be adapted as we go forward and gain a greater understanding of what capabilities we have, we still need that sound foundation of good practice, so we need to make sure that our initial decisions are the right decisions.
"That’s why this simulation facility is a tremendous asset to our programme. When you walk into FLYCO and you see the environment around you – the sea and the motion of the ship – as a maritime aviator, you get that knot in your stomach. You feel like you're at sea.

"From the aircraft standpoint, it's the most realistic simulator that I have ever flown, he says. "It's full motion, with the helmet and full symbology, a highly representative cockpit environment, and the 'outside world' graphics. This is the only simulator-unique facility in the world where we've combined the true F-35 air vehicle model with air wakes from computational fluid dynamics and with ship motion. All three have been brought together and then plugged in with a FLYCO simulator so we can run real-time motion."

BEYOND SIMULATION

Gray believes the UK is now as prepared as it can be to bring the F-35B on board Queen Elizabeth. "The aircraft development programme is complete, we've completed ski-jump testing at Pax River and we have all the learning from the simulation environment here. The test plan has been finalised, [and] we've got the evidence base so that we believe we know where the boundaries are. That said, simulator models can only be trusted so far. So we have to use our intelligent reasoning to slowly progress the flight trials, steadily working outwards from the centre of the envelope."

DT-1 and DT-2 will each amount to about three weeks of flying, with a week of downtime between. "There are going to be days when the weather doesn't support flight testing," notes Gray. “So we have to find very benign conditions in the initial stages, and then as the tests progress, we have to go and find the harsher conditions.

"The biggest constraint will probably be the weather, because it only gets so bad on the east coast. Our challenge will be to predict where those sea states are [and] where we believe we are going to get that ship motion and the wind conditions."

While FOCFT will establish ship clearances for the F-35B, further development and operational testing will be required ahead of the UK declaring initial operating capability (Maritime) at the end of December 2020. A first operational deployment will follow in 2021, with Queen Elizabeth to embark a USMC F-35B squadron alongside aircraft from the UK's Lightning Force.

"To be part of the Carrier Strike programme, and to know that this is our lasting legacy, is very exciting," says Gray. "We’ve got an aircraft and a carrier that will change the way we do business, and the way that the UK can project power."
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[*] posted on 8-5-2018 at 02:16 PM


Royal Navy Gets First Unmanned Minesweeping System

(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued May 05, 2018)


An autonomous minesweeper system that can safely clear sea lanes of mines has been handed over to the Royal Navy. (UK MoD photo)

An autonomous minesweeper system that can safely clear sea lanes of mines has been handed over to the Royal Navy, Defence Minister Guto Bebb has announced.

Following a period of successful trials, the demonstrator system could go on to be used by the Royal Navy in the future to defeat the threat of modern digital mines.

The system has been designed and manufactured by Atlas Elektronik UK in Dorset, under a £13 million contract with the Ministry of Defence which has sustained around 20 jobs and created 15 new jobs with the company.

Defence Minister Guto Bebb said: “This autonomous minesweeper takes us a step closer to taking our crews out of danger and allowing us to safely clear sea lanes of explosives, whether that’s supporting trade in global waters and around the British coastline, or protecting our ships and shores. Easily transported by road, sea and air, the high-tech design means a small team could put the system to use within hours of it arriving in theatre. We are investing millions in innovative technology now, to support our military of the future.”

The system’s innovative and modernised technology has the ability to defeat today’s digital sea mines which can detect and target military ships passing overhead. The sweeper system, which features a “sense and avoid” capability, could also work together with other similar autonomous systems for the common goal of making our waters safer.

The project also aims to demonstrate the viability of an unmanned system that can safely and successfully clear mines and which is designed to be operated from a land or ship-based control station and can be deployed from a suitable ship or port.

Over the last four months, the system has been put through its paces by Atlas Elektronik and Defence Equipment and Support team members and the Royal Navy’s Maritime Autonomous Systems Trials Team (MASTT).

The system was tested against a number of performance requirements, for example, how well it cleared mines, whether the autonomous system could successfully avoid obstacles and the overall system performance.

Brigadier Jim Morris Royal Marines - Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff in Maritime Capability, and Senior Responsible Officer for the Mine Counter Measures and Hydrographic Capability (MHC) programme said: “The Mine Countermeasures and Hydrographic Capability Combined Influence Minesweeping system is the Royal Navy’s first fully autonomous capability demonstrator and paves the way for the introduction of this technology across the full range of maritime capabilities.

“Combined Influence Minesweeping is a critical component of the Mine Countermeasures capability. This autonomous system will restore the Royal Navy’s sweep capability, enabling it to tackle modern digital mines that may not otherwise be discovered in challenging minehunting conditions.

“This autonomous sweep system represents a fundamental step in the Navy’s transition to autonomous offboard systems to counter the threat posed to international shipping by the sea mine; we look forward to commencing demonstration of the associated minehunting system in 2019.”

The handover of the system to the Royal Navy is a significant milestone for the Mine Countermeasures and Hydrographic Capability (MHC) programme, which aims to de-risk maritime autonomous systems and introduce these new technologies into the Royal Navy.

Director Ships Support Neal Lawson, of the MOD’s procurement organisation, Defence Equipment and Support, said: “The autonomous minesweeper offers a commander the ability to defeat mines that cannot be countered by current hunting techniques and significantly reduces the risk to crew members in pressured and time-constrained operations.

“The system can offer greater flexibility and upgradability, allowing the Royal Navy to respond better to the sea-mine threat in the long-term and operate more effectively around the world and I’m therefore delighted to be back here at Bincleaves, where I started my MOD career 29 years ago, to mark the handover of this critical programme.”

The system will now undergo a series of more detailed trials with the Royal Navy.

The Royal Navy has a proud history of minesweeping, dating from World War One when even the likes of fishing trawlers were converted for use, dragging a chain from the vessel to clear German mines. Today, with far more sophisticated equipment, the service is still called upon to clear the waters of ordnance and maintains a world-leading role in minehunting, training alongside allies in the Mediterranean and the Gulf.

The MOD has committed 1.2% of the £36bn defence budget, supported by a dedicated £800m Innovation Fund, to cutting-edge science and technology.

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[*] posted on 8-5-2018 at 02:20 PM


HMS Defender Returns to Portsmouth

(Source: Royal Navy; issued May 04, 2018)

HMS Defender has arrived back into Portsmouth after her first time back at sea following an 18-month refit.

The Type 45 destroyer put her systems and personnel to the test over the seven-day period following the major upkeep which saw two new gas turbines fitted along with new signals intelligence equipment and electronic surveillance kit.

The ship’s company were also put through a number of drills including dealing with fires and floods on board to retest their skills in combatting emergencies on board.

Commanding Officer of HMS Defender Commander Richard Hewitt said: “I am incredibly proud to have taken HMS Defender to sea for the first time in 18 months thanks to the hard work of Team Portsmouth, BAE Systems and my ship’s company.

“With a number of major capability upgrades, HMS Defender is now the most capable T45 in the Fleet. My crew and I look forward to the challenges of regenerating HMS Defender, in the last stage of the first T45 refit in the Royal Navy, in preparation for our Fleet Date later this year.” Fleet date marks the start of a return to operational duties for the ship.

HMS Defender’s return was also the first time at sea for many of the younger members of the ship’s company including Able Seaman Sarah McDonald, 17, one of the chefs on board.

“My first night at sea was good. I had the best sleep! The ship rocked me to sleep and my accommodation is bigger than I thought it would be even though I share with five other people,” she said.

“Joining the Navy has made me a better person. I used to be really, really quiet but since starting this job I have come out of my shell. It’s made me very positive and so much more confident. And I’ve made so many friends since joining this ship, friends for life.”

While out in the South West exercise areas HMS Defender saw her sister ships HMS Diamond and HMS Dragon – both of which were also out on various training serials and testing of equipment.

HMS Diamond has now also returned to Portsmouth while HMS Dragon is working under the Flag Officer Sea Training organisation in Devonport.

A fourth Type 45 destroyer - HMS Duncan is currently the Flagship for Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 and is shortly due to visit Constanta following a series of exercise with her NATO allies in the Black Sea.

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[*] posted on 14-5-2018 at 02:14 PM


Defence secretary gives go-ahead for £2.5bn spend on submarines

Gavin Williamson to announce contract to build the latest nuclear hunter-killer sub has been signed with BAE Systems

Ewen MacAskill

Mon 14 May 2018 09.01 AEST

Last modified on Mon 14 May 2018 09.03 AEST


HMS Astute, one of the British Royal Navy’s nuclear hunter killer submarines Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson is set to give the go-ahead for £2.5bn in spending on the UK’s submarine programme, including its nuclear fleet.

The work had already been agreed in principle but Williamson will confirm the Ministry of Defence has signed a £1.6bn contract with BAE Systems to build the seventh and last of the Astute hunter-killer submarines, to be named Agincourt. It is scheduled for handover to the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s.

He will also confirm that a further £960m worth of contracts has been signed for the next phase of construction of four Dreadnought submarines to replace the four Vanguard submarines that make up the UK’s nuclear fleet, carrying the Trident weapons system.

The contracts will cover work over the next 12 months.

The Dreadnoughts, work on the first of which began in October 2016, are not due to enter service until the 2030s, and are predicted to remain operational at least through to the 2060s.

The UK’s parliamentary spending watchdog, the public accounts committee, on Friday warned of a £21bn shortfall: in other words, the Ministry of Defence does not have enough money to buy all the equipment it says it needs. It singled out for criticism spending on the four Dreadnoughts.

In spite of the huge squeeze on the ministry’s budget, the nuclear deterrent and the rest of the submarine programme has been ring-fenced.

Williamson is scheduled to make the announcement at BAE Systems in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, where the Astute submarine is to be built.

Williamson will say: “Agincourt will complete the Royal Navy’s seven-strong fleet of hunter-killer attack subs, the most powerful to ever enter British service, whilst our nuclear deterrent is the ultimate defence against the most extreme dangers we could possibly face.”

Cliff Robson, BAE Systems submarines managing director, said: “Securing this latest funding for our submarines programmes is excellent news for BAE Systems and the 8,700 employees in our submarines business, as well as our local community in Barrow and the thousands of people across our UK supply chain who help deliver these nationally important programmes for the Royal Navy.”
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[*] posted on 14-5-2018 at 02:45 PM


If we had our choice, as some of the idiot readers comments made in the pages of our newspapers seem to suggest we did, to buy nuclear subs instead of Shortfin Barracuda's, which of the three would you pick?

Virginia, Astute or Barracuda?

The RNs nuke fleet is well regarded but the Virginia's are in a class of their own (and both are expensive).

On the other hand the Barracudas are smaller and less expensive.

Naturally we'd be buying off their production line, not building here at home.




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[*] posted on 14-5-2018 at 03:14 PM


Quote: Originally posted by unicorn  
If we had our choice, as some of the idiot readers comments made in the pages of our newspapers seem to suggest we did, to buy nuclear subs instead of Shortfin Barracuda's, which of the three would you pick?

Virginia, Astute or Barracuda?

The RNs nuke fleet is well regarded but the Virginia's are in a class of their own (and both are expensive).

On the other hand the Barracudas are smaller and less expensive.

Naturally we'd be buying off their production line, not building here at home.


No, we couldn't possibly build one here. After all we are not nearly as technologically advanced as Brazil. Interestingly they have chosen to develop a reactor for same submarine in-country, apparently without French assistance. I would call that a "bold and courageous decision" Minister.:no:

Really, I would love to think that we could flip the Shortfin Barracuda to Barracuda at some point through the program if required.
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[*] posted on 14-5-2018 at 07:49 PM


I meant not build it here because of the cost of the Australian building premium, not technological reasons.

We are at close to the top of the list for nuclear precursor states for a reason




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