Tag: United Kingdom

Movement to Poland success for Wolfpack

The 3rd Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment convoy crosses the border into Poland, Oct. 12, 2017. The convoy is currently en route from Rose Barracks, Germany to Orzysz, Poland where they are scheduled to relieve 2nd Squadron, 2CR of their responsibilities at the Battle Group Poland. (Photo Credit: 1st Lt. Ellen Brabo)

ORZYSZ, Poland — For the second time this year, the 2d Cavalry Regiment deployed a Squadron of soldiers to the Battle Group Poland in support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s enhanced Forward Presence initiative. The 2nd Sqdn., 2CR deployed to the BGP in March 2017 and will be replaced by the 3rd Sqdn., 2CR later this month.

The Wolfpack Sqdn. began their forward deployment from Rose Barracks, Germany to Orzysz, Poland, Oct. 9, 2017. The Sqdn. traveled in two serials along separate routes along with the British Army Light Dragoons Element.

Along the route, refuel on the move sights were identified for the convoy element to stop. These sights allowed for the soldiers to refuel their assigned vehicles, conduct maintenance operations and reset for the remainder of the drive.

US Army Stryker Armoured Combat Vehicle, The IAV (Interim Armored Vehicle) Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled[8] armored fighting vehicles derived from the Canadian LAV III and based on the Swiss Piranha III 8×8. Stryker v,
“My mission today is to ensure that all military vehicles get put where they are needed at each stop,” said Spc. Adan Castillo, 3/2CR ROM site road guard. “The first chalk comes in, they pull up and I ground guide them to where they need to go so the military vehicles can fuel up and do whatever they need to do.”

Each night, the Wolfpack Sqdn. stopped at an identified rest over night point. These locations were selected through coordination with the NATO Forces Integration Unit and ensured the soldiers met the required amount of rest hours before continuing on to their next assigned RON sight.

En route to their final destination, soldiers from Lightning Troop, 3/2CR stopped in Bydgoszcz, Poland to participate in NATO Day with the local community, Oct. 14. The engagement team provided static displays of weapon systems and military vehicles. The soldiers had the opportunity to interact with the local community throughout the day.

Soldiers from the 3rd Squadron, 2d Cavalry regiment participate in NATO Day in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Oct. 14, 2017. The Wolfpack Squadron provided static displays of weapon systems and military vehicles for the local community. (Photo Credit: 1st Lt. Ellen C Brabo (2nd CR))

“We are just training here in Poland to show our support for the Polish military, show them how we train and just to support NATO and NATO efforts while we’re here,” said Capt. Russell Tabolt, Lightning Troop, 3/2CR commander.

The following day, soldiers from the Kronos Troop, 3/2CR, provided similar displays for the community of Elblag, Poland. In addition to seeing the inside of the Strykers and interacting with the American soldiers, children were able to have their faces camouflaged throughout the event.

Soldiers from the 3rd Squadron, 2d Cavalry regiment participate in an engagement in Elblag, Poland, Oct. 14, 2017. The Wolfpack Squadron provided static displays of weapon systems and military vehicles for the local community. (Photo Credit: 1st Lt. Ellen C Brabo (2nd CR))

“Our Squadron was tasked to maintain the [Battle Group] Poland and our task for the next months is to establish and continue training with our multinational coalition partners,” said Capt. Yevgen Gutman, Kronos Troop, 3/2CR commander.

After more than 1,100 kilometers of travel, the Wolfpack Sqdn. arrived to the Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Oct. 15.

“Our formation, which includes soldiers from Croatia, Romania, the United Kingdom, as well as soldiers from the United States, will show [sic.] the opportunity for us to highlight our NATO resolve and the NATO alliance,” said Lt. Col. Scott Cheney, the incoming BGP commander.

Cheney will assume command of the battle group from Lt. Col. Christopher L’Heureux during the transfer of authority scheduled for Oct. 20, 2017.

Powstanie Warszawskie,
Nigdy Nie zapomnij.

Formidable Shield 2017 concludes with supersonic target engagement

HNLMS Tromp launches an ESSM during an earlier evolution as part of FS 17. Photo: Dutch Navy

Europe’s premier integrated air and missile defense drill Formidable Shield concluded October 17 with ally ships engaging a supersonic target off the coast of Scotland.

The US Navy-led exercise began September 24 and saw the participation of warships from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and US.

During the closing collective self-defense scenario, Dutch frigate HNLMS Tromp (F803) fired a Standard Missile (SM) 2 and an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) against the supersonic target.

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons from 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy, were designated as “opposition forces” and fired the supersonic target during this exercise scenario.

The two missiles fired against the supersonic target Oct. 17 occurred during the third live-fire event of FS17. During FS17, four nations conducted a total of 11 successful missile launches.

During the first live-fire event Oct. 7, the Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal (FFH 336) fired three Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) fired two SM-2s at four incoming anti-ship cruise missiles.

The second live-fire event took place on Oct. 15, with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) firing one SM-3 Block IB guided missile against a medium-range ballistic missile target. Also on Oct. 15, the Spanish frigate SPS Alvaro de Bazan (F101) fired one ESSM against an incoming anti-ship cruise missile while Tromp fired two ESSMs against a pair of incoming anti-ship cruise missiles.

Notable ‘firsts’ that occurred during FS17 include: the first time NATO’s smart defense concept was demonstrated with ships serving as air defense units protecting naval ballistic missile defense units; the first no-notice launch of anti-ship cruise missiles as part of an IAMD scenario; and the first time a NATO IAMD task group was exercised at sea.

 

UK F-35Bs ready for take off from HMS Queen Elizabeth

A Royal Navy Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II

UK’s F-35B fighter jets are now cleared for take-off from the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth after they passed land-based ski-ramp trials.

This was announced by UK defence minister Harriett Baldwin who spoke on Tuesday before the House of Commons Defence Select Committee.

“Successful ski-ramp trials mean the F-35 is cleared to fly from the carrier as the momentum continues for this game-changing jet,” Baldwin said. “This milestone comes as our pilots and planes prepare to return from the States, ready for next year’s unforgettable flight trials from the deck of the nation’s new flagship.”

One of the other questions addressed at the Defence Select Committee were concerns raised in a Times report which said the UK F-35Bs would be too heavy to land vertically on HMS Queen Elizabeth under full load. During the hearing, Lockheed Martin UK CEO, Peter Ruddock assured MPs that the F-35B was capable of landing vertically with a full internal weapon and fuel load.

The UK currently has 12 F-35 jets out in the United States where they are being tested ahead of flight trials from the Royal Navy’s 65,000 tonne carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, next year. Two more aircraft are set to be delivered by the end of the year.

During today’s Select Committee session, the Defence Minister announced that the  Integrated Test Force,, has now successfully completed ski ramp trials. That milestone clears the aircraft for take-off from the deck of the Carrier.

Speaking about the jet, Squadron Leader Andy Edgell, part of the F-35 Integrated Test Force which includes five British pilots, said: “The launch of the F35s from the HMS Queen Elizabeth is a once in a generation historical event. To be the first to fly off the carrier, to have a front row seat, would be an absolute privilege. It wouldn’t just be about the pilot – there are hundreds of people who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make this happen and the honour will be theirs too.”

There are already 150 UK personnel out in the US working with the jets.

The new home of 617 squadron, RAF Marham, continues to build towards the arrival of the jets next year, moving a step closer earlier this month when the runway intersection resurfacing was completed. 617 Squadron will be the first operational British F-35 unit.

 

Boeing is the “king of corporate welfare” or Boeing has never received subsidies – you decide

Boeing has accused Bombardier of selling its C-Series passenger liners to U.S.-based Delta Airlines at an unfairly low price with help from government subsidies in Canada.

Another day and another article about Boeing’s dispute with Bombardier and the Canadian government.

As readers are well aware, Boeing complained earlier this year to the U.S. about what it has labelled as subsidies provided to Bombardier by Canadian governments. As a result, the Trump administration has hit the Canadian company with a penalty of almost 300 per cent in duties on its C-Series civilian passenger aircraft.

In an article today about the ongoing dispute I had this line near the end of the story: “Boeing’s critics point out it receives billions of dollars of subsidies from the U.S. government.”

That has prompted a rebuke from Boeing spokesman Scott Day, who accused me of “spreading false information.”

According to Boeing it hasn’t received any subsidies. Day noted that, “U.S. Export-Import Bank financing does not go to Boeing. Boeing doesn’t receive a single penny in funds or financing from the Export-Import Bank.”

Bombardier C Series CS300

He also added that “the World Trade Organization has dismissed the vast majority of subsidy claims against Boeing.”

For starters, reporting accurately what Boeing’s critics are saying isn’t “spreading false information.”

Boeing’s critics, both in Canada and around the world, have indeed repeatedly pointed out that the company receives billions of dollars of subsidies from U.S. governments at the federal, municipal and state levels.

The U.S. watchdog group Good Jobs First has continually reported on the billions of dollars that it says Boeing receives in government subsidies. In 2015, the St. Louis Business Journal, citing a Good Jobs First study, noted that Boeing is the nation’s largest winner of state and local tax incentives, receiving in excess of $13 billion U.S.. Most of that was related to Boeing’s commercial aircraft manufacturing, the newspaper noted.

In the article, I also quoted Marc Allen, Boeing’s president of international business, who stated the company took its action against Bombardier to ensure a level playing field in the aerospace industry and Boeing believes that global trade only works if everyone plays by the same rules.

Boeing’s critics say that isn’t true and Boeing is really out to destroy it competitor Bombardier and significantly hurt Canada’s aerospace industry. They too could accuse me of “spreading false information” by reporting on Boeing’s view, although they haven’t yet. Maybe that email is to come.

Interestingly, Day’s email arrived just as Bloomberg TV was reporting that the United Kingdom’s Labour Party has now labelled Boeing the “king of corporate welfare.”

Labour’s trade spokesman Barry Gardiner accused the U.S. aerospace giant of “egregious hypocrisy” in pursuing the illegal-subsidies claim against Bombardier Inc.

Boeing has been denounced by many in the UK government and opposition MPs for putting thousands of UK jobs at risk with its action (the wings for C-Series aircraft are built in Northern Ireland).

Gardiner told Bloomberg that “no aircraft these days comes to market without support from government,” including those produced by Boeing.

“Boeing has absolutely been sucking at the milk of corporate welfare in America for far too long,” Gardiner said on Bloomberg TV. “They need to understand that the way in which they are playing this does not sit well with U.K. parliamentarians.”

But according to Boeing executives the 300 per cent duty now tacked on to Bombardier aircraft being sold in the U.S. is about all about “following trade rules” and not about punishing its competitors. “This trade case is about fairness,” Day noted. “Taking government subsidies and using them to offer below-production-cost pricing on aircraft is a violation in the U.S., and the laws are well-known.”

Both sides have their view.

But it is becoming clearer now that Boeing’s actions could have serious consequences in its ability to sell defence related products to Canada and the United Kingdom.

Government officials in both countries have suggested that is the case.

Whether that comes about still has to be seen though.

F-22s Deployed back to RAF Lakenheath, England, Yesterday

F-22 media briefing at RAF Lakenheath.

By 48th Fighter Wing Staff Reports, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs / Published October 08, 2017 .

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England — The U.S. Air Force has deployed F-22 Raptors, Airmen and associated equipment to Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, for a flying training deployment to conduct air training with other Europe-based U.S. aircraft and NATO allies.

The aircraft arrived in Europe on Oct. 8, 2017 and are from the 1st Fighter Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

While in the European theater, the F-22s will also forward deploy from the United Kingdom to other NATO bases to maximize training opportunities, demonstrate our steadfast commitment to NATO allies and deter any actions that destabilize regional security.

This FTD is funded fully by the European Deterrence Initiative.

Click on Image

UK-led international exercise Joint Warrior begins

Albion-class amphibious transport dock (L-15) HMS Bulwark

Warships taking part in the UK-hosted multinational drill Joint Warrior got underway on October 1 for a fortnight of exercises off the coast of Scotland.

This is the second time this year the biannual drill is being held.

The first one took place in March and featured or incorporated Information Warrior, an event aimed at demonstrating and developing information warfare.

The fall edition of the drill will focus on inter-operability development and standard evolutions.

Joint Warrior is designed and led by the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) in the United Kingdom.

35 ships and a number of aircraft from 14 nations are set to take part in the drill.

The Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS De Ruyter F804, will be taking part in Exercise Joint Warrior

The Exercise will feature:

  • Thirty-five naval units from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US, supported by 11 rotary wing aircraft.
  • RAF Lossiemouth and HMS Gannet in Prestwick hosting international aircraft from Canada, France, Norway, the UK and US.
  • Cape Wrath Weapons Range in the North of Scotland being used for joint fires activity.

Exercise Joint Warrior will also incorporate elements of another major exercise, the ballistic missile defence drill Formidable Shield, running from September 21 to October 18.

 

US first lady to Invictus athletes: ‘Bring home the gold’

 

The First Lady of the United States and HRH Prince Harry hold a bilateral meeting ahead of the start of the 2017 Invictus Games, in Toronto, Canada, yesterday. Danny Lawson/PA VIP AP

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE | Associated Press | Published: September 23, 2017

TORONTO — U.S. first lady Melania Trump on Saturday encouraged the American team participating in an Olympic-style competition for wounded service members and veterans to take their “fighting spirit” and “bring home the gold.”

During the opening ceremonies Saturday night, Mrs. Trump joined Prince Harry in a VIP box and stood and applauded when Team USA was introduced. She also stood for Canada’s team.

Earlier, the first lady shook hands with some of the athletes and posed for photos before she departed for a reunion with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose country is hosting the games; his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau; and two of the couple’s three children. Mrs. Trump had seen Trudeau this week in New York during the U.N. General Assembly.

Her first piece of business after arriving earlier Saturday was to visit with Prince Harry.

Mrs. Trump also applauded the team members for their contributions, calling them “our heroes.”

“On behalf of my husband and our entire country, I want to thank you and your families for all you have sacrificed to keep us safe,” she said at a reception at a downtown Toronto hotel for the nearly 100 U.S. athletes competing in the Invictus Games, a creation of Britain’s Prince Harry.

“I also want to wish you good luck, though I know you won’t need it in these games,” Mrs. Trump said. “Take that fighting spirit that I know you have and bring

Mrs. Trump was heard telling the prince, whom she was meeting for the first time, that she had just arrived on a flight from Washington. President Donald Trump was spending the weekend at his golf club in central New Jersey.

“Nice to meet you,” Harry said as they were introduced and shook hands. They stood together and smiled for the British and American news media before sitting in adjoining club chairs placed in front of their countries’ respective flags.

Harry remarked on how busy the first lady has been. She was in New York this week for Trump’s address at the U.N., delivered an address of her own at a U.N. luncheon, and on Friday joined children to plant, harvest and wash vegetables grown in a garden on the White House lawn.

“Yes, very busy,” she said, before offering a compliment in return. “You’re doing a fantastic job,” she said.

Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Trump, said the first lady and Prince Harry chatted about the competition during their approximately 20-minute meeting and joshed about which country would take home the most medals. She also invited him to the White House the next time he visits Washington.

Mrs. Trump led a U.S. delegation to the third annual games that included Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, professional golfer Nancy Lopez and entertainer Wayne Newton, a celebrity spokesman for a memorial to honor American Indian and Alaska Native veterans.

Grisham said the first lady feels strongly that service members, veterans and their families should be honored daily and that her decision to lead the delegation reflected her “utmost respect” for their hard work, courage and sacrifices.Mrs. Trump also has “great admiration” for how the games help empower those who have been injured in service.

Prince Harry, a military veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, established the Invictus Games in 2014 for sick and wounded service members and veterans from around the globe. More than 550 people from 17 countries are expected to compete in various sports, ranging from cycling to wheelchair tennis to sitting volleyball, during the weeklong competition.

London was the setting for the inaugural event in 2015, followed by Orlando, Florida, last year.

Mrs. Trump’s participation continues White House involvement with the games, which began during President Barack Obama’s tenure.

Jill Biden, wife of then-Vice President Joe Biden, led the U.S. delegation to London as part of a military initiative undertaken with then-first lady Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama helped open last year’s competition in Florida.

 

 

Countdown to flight trials

The UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to bring the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II on board for trials for the first time towards the end of next year.

Fixed-wing First Of Class Flight Trials (FOCFT) are planned to begin off the US eastern seaboard in October 2018. It is expected that two fully instrumented F-35B development aircraft will embark on the ship for two embarked periods each lasting approximately four weeks.

FOCFT test points are intended to define the safe envelope for the operation of the F-35B from Queen Elizabeth and sister ship HMS Prince of Wales. Test planning for FOCFT is already well underway using BAE System’s F-35B/QEC integration facility at Warton.

A Royal Navy Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II

As well as ski-jump launches and vertical landings, it is expected that next year’s trials will include the first executions of a new manoeuvre known as a shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL).

An SRVL exploits the ability of the short takeoff vertical landing F-35B to use vectored thrust to slow the speed of the aircraft approach to about 35kt of closure relative to the carrier while still gaining the benefit of wingborne lift. The primary benefit of an SRVL is a significant increase in payload ‘bring back’ compared with a ‘standard’ vertical landing.

Queen Elizabeth is currently alongside in Portsmouth following arrival at her base port on 16 August. The ship is expected to resume trials in October, with handover to the RN before the end of the year.

 

Lockheed Martin, Elbit join forces on Royal Navy electronic warfare project

Lockheed Martin and Elbit join forces on Royal Navy electronic-warfare project. (RN Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Diamond shown)

UK branches of Lockheed Martin and Elbit Systems signed a teaming agreement to work together on the Royal Navy’s Maritime Electronic Warfare Programme (MEWP).

The MEWP is a project aimed at providing the Royal Navy with improved electronic warfare capabilities.

Delivered in increments, the upgraded system will be fielded on the Royal Navy’s frigates, destroyers and amphibious assault ships, with the program expanding to the wider fleet including submarines in due course.

The partnership between the two companies was announced at DSEI in London.

“By working together, both companies can use their extensive experience in maritime technology and systems integration to provide a highly capable, proven and value for money solution to address the immediate and evolving need for an upgraded Maritime Electronic Warfare capability for the UK’s Royal Navy,” said Paul Livingston, vice president of Lockheed Martin UK Integrated Systems.

“We are delighted to be working with Lockheed Martin to offer an innovative and comprehensive proposal to meet the Royal Navy’s future requirements, using our complementary skills and experience we believe we are a strong team able to propose a highly attractive solution to meet the program needs,” Martin Fausset of Elbit Systems UK Ltd said

 

Duchess of Rothesay names HMS Prince of Wales

Duchess of Rothesay names HMS Prince of Wales

The Duchess of Rothesay today pressed a button to formally name the UK’s second new carrier.

The ship’s sponsor – better known south of the border as the Duchess of Cornwall – triggered the launch of a ten-year-old bottle of whisky from the Laphroaig distillery on the Isle of Islay and 65,000-tonne HMS Prince of Wales was officially named.

During an hour-long ceremony in Rosyth, where the leviathan has been pieced together like her older sister HMS Queen Elizabeth, the efforts of the 10,000 souls involved in building the ship were praised; the construction of the carrier has been among the greatest engineering challenges British industry has risen to.

“Wherever Prince of Wales travels – at home or overseas – she will draw crowds to the water’s edge where they will marvel at your achievement,” First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones declared.

The ship, which will not be floated out of the gigantic No.1 dock at Rosyth until next spring, comprises more than 17 million parts. To date, construction the two ships have devoured 51 million man hours – enough to keep one person occupied for more than 5,800 years…

Hoping to take Prince of Wales to sea rather sooner than that is her very first Commanding Officer, announced this week, Captain Steve Moorhouse, who’s previously been in charge of helicopter carrier Ocean and frigate Lancaster.

Capt Moorhouse said, “Seeing our sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth make her debut in Portsmouth last month was an amazing sight and I look forward to one day bringing HMS Prince of Wales home to the same warm welcome.

“Until then the ship’s company in Rosyth will continue to grow and they have much to be proud of in all the work they have done so far, working with our civilian industry partners to bring this ship to life,” he continued.

The 900ft ship will be the eighth in the Royal Navy to bear the name HMS Prince of Wales; it was most recently carried by a King George V-class battleship whose life was brief, eventful, tragic.

In an active career lasting not seven months, she was badly damaged while tackling Hitler’s flagship Bismarck, took Prime Minister Churchill across the Atlantic to meet President Roosevelt, and was sunk in December 1941 in company with battle-cruiser HMS Repulse in a failed bid to thwart Japanese aggression in the Far East.

Only a handful of men are still alive from that fateful encounter; one is Christopher Peacey from Alverstoke, Gosport, now 93 and one of the VIP guests at today’s ceremony who conceded he never thought he would see another vessel to bear his old ship’s name.

But he did – and the fact that he did was, said the First Sea Lord, a signal that Britain was committed to remaining a key player on the world stage.

“If building one carrier is a statement of national ambition; then building two is an unmistakable sign of commitment, to our own defence and that of our allies,” Admiral Jones continued.

“Alone, either one of these vessels would be a formidable expression of military might. But together, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales send a powerful message to friend and foe alike.

“We may live in uncertain times, but the United Kingdom has lost none of its famous resolve. We will protect our interests, we will support our allies, and we will shoulder our responsibilities, wherever in the world they are at stake.”

 

Ambitious future for Naval Shipbuilding in the UK

The second Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales under construction at Rosyth Dockyard

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has unveiled an ambitious new National Shipbuilding Strategy which meets the challenge set by Sir John Parker last November and sets out plans for the first batch of Type 31e frigates.

Sir John Parker’s independent report into British naval shipbuilding proposed far-reaching recommendations to transform the UK maritime industry and boost the prosperity of regions, shipyards and maritime supply chains across the country.

Today’s Strategy sees the Government accept Sir John’s recommendations and step up to what he called a prospective ‘renaissance’ in British shipbuilding. Building on the Government’s industrial strategy, it outlines an ambition to transform the procurement of naval ships, make the UK’s maritime industry more competitive, grow the Royal Navy fleet by the 2030s, export British ships overseas, and boost innovation, skills, jobs, and productivity across the UK.

It announces the government’s plan to procure new Type 31e General Purpose Frigates. A price cap has been set of no more than £250M each for the first batch of five frigates. In line with standing UK policy on warships they will be built in the UK. They could be built in a way which could see them shared between yards and assembled at a central hub. The first ships are set to be in service by 2023. Shipyards will be encouraged to work with global partners to ensure the vessel is competitive on the export market.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

This new approach will lead to more cutting-edge ships for the growing Royal Navy that will be designed to maximise exports and be attractive to navies around the world.

Backed up by a commitment to spend billions on new ships, our plan will help boost jobs, skills, and growth in shipyards and the supply chain across the UK.

The Strategy sets out the government’s commitment to work with industry to reinvigorate and maximise export success. The Type 31e will be designed to meet the needs of the Royal Navy and with the export market in mind from the beginning. This could see industry’s customer become not only the Royal Navy but for the navies of Britain’s allies and partners.

A computer generated image of one of the proposed designs for the Royal Navy’s Type 31e frigate

The MOD is committed to new ships for the Royal Navy through its rising budget and £178bn equipment plan. In July, at BAE’s Govan shipyard, the Defence Secretary cut steel for the first of eight Type 26 frigates, HMS Glasgow. The £3.7 billion contract for the first three, the largest for naval ships this decade, will secure hundreds of high skilled jobs on the Clyde until 2035 and hundreds more in the supply chain across the UK.

Sir John Parker said:

I am very impressed by the courage that the Secretary of State has shown – and the Government – in adopting my recommendations, which were very extensive, and will change the shape of naval shipbuilding over the country in the future.

The next challenge is to come up with a world-leading design; one that can satisfy the needs of the Royal Navy and the export market. We have the capability to do that, the will is there and it is a tremendous opportunity for UK shipbuilding. I see no reason why industry will not rise to that challenge. There is an incredible keenness from around the country, from Scotland to Merseyside, to the South West and over to Belfast.

The option to build the Type 31e frigates in blocks reflects how the biggest ship ever built for the Royal Navy, the 65,000-tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth, was constructed. The aircraft carrier was built in blocks by over 10,000 people in six main British cities. She was then assembled in Rosyth, before commencing sea trials in June and arriving in her home port of Portsmouth last month.

Her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales, built in the same way, is also now structurally complete and will be officially named in a ceremony on 8 September. This method has also been tried and tested on the UK’s new polar research ship, RRS Sir David Attenborough, with shipyards across the country collaborating in the block build.

The Strategy is an important part of the government’s broader industrial strategy that focuses on increasing economic growth across the country and investing in a more skilled workforce.

The Government will work together with industry to provide the certainty and support the need to become internationally competitive. Such a move will not only boost the British economy and jobs, but it will also help to create a more stable and well-protected world.

 

Political and Military News Distribution Service