UK Royal Navy: News & Discussions


Team StratFront
Dec 1, 2017
Hyderabad, India
A dedicated thread for updates, images & discussions regarding the RN.

@BMD @Vergennes @Abingdonboy @Blue Marlin

The HMS Queen Elizabeth has arrived at Gibraltar on her first overseas visit: In photos: HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Gibraltar





More images here: IN PHOTOS: HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Somerset arrive in Gibraltar

The Chinook Mk.5 (RAF) undergoing trials on the QEC's aircraft lifts:



Chinooks & Merlins in hangar:




British Type 26 frigates to get Lockheed missile launcher


LONDON — Britain’s Royal Navy is to equip it’s new Type 26 frigate fleet with Lockheed Martin’s Mk 41 Vertical Launching System for missiles.

Warship-builder BAE Systems has signed up Lockheed Martin to deliver Mk 41s for the first three of the anti-submarine warfare frigates it has under contract.

The Royal Navy is currently slated to operate a fleet of eight Type 26 frigates, with the first of the warships being handed over in the middle of the next decade to replace Type 23 frigates. The deal brings to 13 the number of navies operating the Mk 46. The U.S., Australia, Germany and Japan are among the users of the system, however, it’s the first time the Royal Navy has purchased the system.

The Type 45 anti-air destroyers operated by the British use the Sylver vertical launch system, built by France’s Naval Group, to fire its MBDA-developed Aster missiles.

Each of the Type 26 frigates will be equipped with three eight-cell MK 41 VLS modules. BAE’s initial order includes nine MK 41 modules, sufficient for the first three ships of the class. The Ministry of Defence mandated the Mk 41 buy as part of a single-soure deal.


A rendering of BAE Systems' Type 26 Global Combat Ship. (BAE Systems)

Nadia Savage, director of the Type 26 program at BAE, said the “vertical launching system contributes to our overall combat management system and will further enhance platform flexibility and capability, which are core to the design of the Type 26.”

The British have yet to publicly specify the missile types to be deployed in the Mk 41, but the launcher system has the flexibility to simultaneously operate anti-surface, land-attack, anti-air and anti-submarine weapons.

MBDA’s new Sea Ceptor anti-air missile — destined to be fitted to the warship — has already been test-fired from the Mk 41, but the weapon is expected to have its own dedicated launcher on the Type 26. The Sea Captor work was part of wider cooperation announced in 2013 by Lockheed Martin and MBDA to offer missiles developed by the latter available on the Mk 41 and the smaller ExLS family of launchers

Adm. Philip Jones, first sea lord, said last year the Type 26’s firepower will also be “bolstered by the future offensive surface weapon — the missile currently being developed to replace the Harpoon.”

The problem is the British had planned to withdraw the Harpoon from service this year; whereas the Anglo-French initiative to develop the future cruise/anti-ship weapon won’t be ready to deploy until around 2030. The plan to ditch Harpoon and leave anti-surface capability in the hands of the warships’ deployed helicopters for a decade or so has now been temporarily shelved while the Royal Navy reconsiders its options after it ran into a storm of opposition over the original decision.

The Mk 41 deal with BAE could open the door to further Type 26-related orders. Australia and Canada are both considering the warship to meet future frigate requirements. A decision by the Australian government is expected in the second quarter of this year.

The deal with Lockheed Martin is the latest in a string of supply chain contracts for the Type 26 awarded by BAE as the build program progresses. Rolls-Royce recently announced it had secured a deal to supply low-noise propellers and mission bay handling technology for the warship. The company is already delivering the majority of the propulsion system as a result of earlier contracts for MT30 gas turbines and MTU Series 4000 diesel generators.

As of November, BAE had 44 companies supplying equipment and materials for the Type 26 program.

BAE cut the first metal on the program in mid-2017 under a £3.7 billion (U.S. $5.1 billion) deal with the MoD to build three warships and provide infrastructure and other support capabilities for the program. The warships, being built at BAE’s shipyards in Glasgow, Scotland, will be known as the City class. The first warship will be called HMS Glasgow.

BAE recently said it had started production work on a second zone of the warship. The zone houses the main machinery space, aviation stores for embarked helicopters and a recreational area for the ships’ 59 senior rates.

British Type 26 frigates to get Lockheed missile launcher

@BMD @Vergennes @Abingdonboy @randomradio
A Guide to the Type 26 ‘City class’ Frigate
By George Allison
March 1, 2018
The Type 26 frigate represents the future backbone of the Royal Navy and a massive leap forward in terms of flexibility of surface vessels enjoyed by the service.

The City class will replace 8 of the 13 Type 23 frigates of the Royal Navy and export orders are being sought after by BAE. The programme has been underway since 1998, initially under the name ‘Future Surface Combatant’. The programme was brought forward in the 2008 budget at the expense of Type 45 destroyers 7 and 8.


The original working model for the ship put the length at 141 metres long and gave a displacement close to 7,000 tonnes. In late 2010 it was reported that the specifications had been reduced in order to bring down the cost from £500m to £250-350m per ship. By 2011 new specification details began to emerge of a 5,400 tonne ship emphasising flexibility and modularity. The new design is believed to be 149m long, a top speed of more than 26 knots and accommodation for up to 200 people. It is expected to have 60 days endurance and have a range of 7,000 miles at 15 knots.

The propulsion system of the RN ships will have a gas turbine and four high speed diesel generators driving two electric motors in a ‘CODLOG’ arrangement, ‘CODLOG’ simply stands for Combined diesel-electric or gas.

In 2012 Rolls Royce redesigned the well known MT30 used in the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers to enable its usage in smaller ships, such as Type 26. It is now known that the vessels will use the MT30. From what I learned at a RINA presentation, BAE believe that some potential customers would prefer to lose a few knots by opting to use cheaper engines. No foreign customers are forthcoming yet however.


It’s no secret that the Type 26 is designed with modularity and flexibility in mind to enhance versatility across a wide range of operations ranging from counter piracy and disaster relief operations to high intensity warfighting. The latest BAE design has a large amidships mission bay instead of the stern well deck featured in previous designs. BAE have commented regarding the mission bay:

“A key feature is the ship’s flexible mission space, which can accommodate up to four 12 metre sea boats, a range of manned and unmanned air, surface or underwater vehicles or up to 11 20ft containers or ‘capability modules’, and the most advanced sensors available to the fleet.”

The relocation of the bay amidships from stern could possibly mean a decrease in the volume of space available to the equipment carried but the new design would seem to have space enough for a few large boats or other large-scale systems and material.


An interesting bit of information I learned at the presentation was that they’re planning the Type 26 to comfortably be able to deploy SDV’s (swimmer delivery vehicles) for the deployment of special forces, this would make sense given that they have also upped the accommodation facilities on the ship to take around 200 people.

The Type 26 will use the Type 997 Artisan 3D search radar, Sonar 2087 (towed array sonar) and Sea Ceptor (CAMM, common anti-air modular missile) air-defence missiles launched via a vertical launching system (VLS).

The ship is expected to be armed with BAE’s 5″/54 calibre Mark 45 main gun. It will also be armed with two Phalanx CIWS (close in weapons system), two 30mm DS30M Mark 2’s and the standard complement of miniguns and general-purpose machine guns.

The Type 26 will have Sea Ceptor silo’s on the bow and at the funnel of the vessel. Additionally, it will carry a 16 cell MK 41 VLS positioned behind the Sea Ceptor silo’s. It will also house yet to be developed anti-ship missiles in the “main strike” VLS it has been suggested by various sources.

Typically, the Merlin HM2 will normally be carried by the Type 26 although mission requirements may see it hosting the naval Wildcat helicopter or a Chinook, it must however be noted that the Chinook would not fit in the hangar but it would fit on deck.

It stands to reason that crewing requirements will also be determined by the various unmanned systems that the ship will one day be expected to operate.


Assuming unmanned air systems will fly intelligence missions from the Type 26, decisions would have to be made on whether processing of the information will occur onboard or on land.

According to ‘Naval Drones International’:

“A final design consideration will be the proper mix of manned to unmanned vehicles each frigate will embark. In the case of LCS’ aviation systems, a ratio of three Fire Scouts to one manned helo was chosen to allow for 24 hour air coverage based on approximately seven hours of endurance for Fire Scout and three hours of endurance for the MH-60.

The manned/unmanned ratio must also take into account factors such as the payloads and sensors required for each mission set, and the need for a man on the scene in certain operations such as search and rescue.
Because the Type 26 has excess design capacity and flexibility, these operational decisions can be made prior to each deployment.”

In conclusion, it is my belief that the frigates will certainly meet and even exceed the next generation mission requirements of the Royal Navy and also be available for export, though sadly no country has yet expressed any significant interest in ordering the vessel.

The Type 26 will be an adaptable, powerful and flexible frigate with a wide array of cutting edge sensors and weapons designed to help it effectively and efficiently meet the evolving mission requirements inherent to modern warfare.

The first three will be HMS Glasgow, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast.

A Guide to the Type 26 'City class' Frigate

@BMD @Abingdonboy @Vergennes @randomradio
Correction, 24 cell strike length VLS (not 16), as shown in image.
  • Informative
Reactions: Parthu
Reader's question: how to distinguish between the different aircraft carriers?
It's very simple, when there are F-18s, it's an American; when there are Rafales, it's French; when there's nothing, it's English...:cool:
  • Love
Reactions: Bon Plan
Reader's question: how to distinguish between the different aircraft carriers?
It's very simple, when there are F-18s, it's an American; when there are Rafales, it's French; when there's nothing, it's English...:cool:
You are too severe.
On english carrier you can find some helos. And, sometime, some US F35. But only sometime.
You're right, you can find some helos and some F 35 at times. only fuel is missing.
For the F-35, it may be increasingly rare.

Royal Navy and RAF locked in dogfight over new jets that cannot fly from warships

Sources tell Sky News that senior RAF officers are pushing for a version of a supersonic warplane that can only fly from land. 20:57, UK,Friday 30 November 2018 By Deborah Haynes, foreign affairs editor

Britain risks reducing the fighting power of two new aircraft carriers and damaging ties with the United States because of a row over jets, defence sources have warned.

Two sources, who are close to the Royal Navy, accused senior Royal Air Force officers of privately pushing for a version of a supersonic warplane that can only fly from the land to be included in an initial purchase of 48 F-35 Lightning II jets, instead of them all being able to operate from ships at sea.

They said any cut in the number of next generation F-35 aircraft that can take off and land from HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales would be a huge mistake, shrinking the size of the squadrons each £3bn carrier will be equipped to carry in the coming years.

"This will completely undermine … the whole carrier programme," one source told Sky News.

"There is no operational reason whatsoever for the RAF to have the A [land-based] variant [of the F-35]. If it can't fly from an aircraft carrier it shouldn't be purchased."

The source continued: "The navy is angry but more to the point the navy cannot believe that the RAF would put its self-serving agenda above what is best for the nation….

"It is an absolute disgrace and it should not be allowed to happen and it has to be stopped here and it has to be stopped now."

The Ministry of Defence insisted its policy remained for the first 48 F-35 jets - more than a third of which have already been delivered, with the rest coming online by 2025 - to be the carrier-capable B variant.

The UK plans to buy a total of 138 of the Lockheed Martin aircraft, without stating which variant, over the lifetime of the US-led programme.

An RAF source dismissed the sources' claims as feeling like rumour "from the ill-informed".

However, the sources - who have knowledge of the discussions taking place about the compilation of the F-35 fleet - said a final decision on the last batch of 13 jets out of the first 48 does not formally have to be made until the back end of next year.

They said any switch to the land-variant would anger the US, which has helped the UK to rebuild its ability to launch warships from the sea after the armed forces were forced to take a pause on carrier-operations in 2010 to save money.

The US Marine Corps is also buying and operating the F-35B.

"What people don't understand is the potential damage this will do to US-UK relations," one of the sources said.

"The United States regard the Royal Navy as the one and only peer navy able to operate aircraft carriers. But aircraft carriers need to be able to operate with combat aircraft. The clue is in the name.

"If the British turn up to an operational theatre without combat aircraft it will completely undermine their military capability. To the US this is a really big deal.

"If the RAF go for the A variant at the expense of the carriers, which is effectively what they are saying, this will be perceived by the US as a major betrayal."

At an official cost of £90m per jet for the B-model and £70m for the A variant, few defence insiders believe the MoD will ever buy all 138 F-35 jets despite its stated aim.

Senior officers in the RAF are understood to be keen for a mix of carrier-capable and land-based F-35s among whatever number is ultimately purchased. They note that the A-model is cheaper than the B, can fly further and carry more weapons.

The two sources, however, claimed that some RAF officers were in favour of the land-based jet because they did not want the service's future tied to operating aircraft from the sea.

Away from the inter-service rivalry, Francis Tusa, a defence expert and editor of Defence Analysis, said the UK cannot afford to run what would amount to two different F-35 fleets.

He said the equipment used to refuel the land version of the jet mid-flight is not compatible with the carrier-model; weapons would have to be recertified; and a different line of spare-parts established - all increasing the cost.

"If money was no object fine, Britain could afford it," Mr Tusa said.
"We don't have the money. The priority is carrier operations. The RAF don't see that and don't want to see it."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "Our first 48 jets will be the F-35B, offering a game-changing capability for our RAF and Royal Navy for decades to come."

Royal Navy and RAF locked in dogfight over new jets that cannot fly from warships