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2 NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2008
HMS Dasher
HMS Pursuer
HMS Mersey
HMS Illustrious
814 NAS
Vikings/846 NAS/FSMASU
HMS Sabre/Scimitar
539 ASRM/EOD Team
HMS Somerset
HMS Richmond
RFA Wave Ruler HMS Westminster
HMS Manchester
HMS Chatham
HMS Edinburgh
HMS Ramsey
HMS Blyth
HMS Atherstone
HMS Chiddingfold
857 NAS
RFA Argus
RFA Cardigan Bay
FASLANE
ROSYTH
HMS Iron Duke HMS Trafalgar
HMS GANNET
HMS Grimsby RFA Wave Night
RFA Fort Austin
HMS Bulwark
800/801 NAS/01N
AS
HMS Middleton
HMS Endurance
HMS Clyde
YEOVILYEOVI
TON
Plus one ballistic missile submarine on patrol somewhere beneath the Seven Seas
CULDROSE
PORTSMOUTH
DEVONPORT
FFleet Focusleet Focus
Carriers get
green light
REMEMBER NATO? Yes, the Cold War might be long
AFTER months of speculation,
since gone, but the military force which was the Allied rumour and doubt, the
sword for 40 years lives on. Government has committed to
And in its post-September 11 role, it’s a very different beast, as the Navy’s future carrier project.
HMS Somerset are finding on their Mediterranean deployment. It has signed a deal with
We joined them for a week (see pages 25-28). shipbuilders to begin work on
Further east in the Med, HMS Illustrious was treated to an Her Majesty’s Ships Queen
impromptu display from the Red Arrows, practising over Cyprus Elizabeth and Prince of Wales,
while Lusty re-supplied (see page 7). much bigger and more potent
Lusty was heading for Istanbul to meet the Queen having led replacements for the existing
Britain’s involvement in Exercise Konkan08. carriers.
The war games run by the Indian Navy saw HMS Westminster, Although orders have been
814 NAS, and Illustrious pit their wits against HMS Trafalgar placed for various systems and
and an Indian submarine, while RFAs Wave Knight and Fort machinery for the two vessels,
Victoria provided logistical support (see pages 8-9). including the hydraulic lifts to
Westminster has since broken away from the Orion 08 task raise aircraft from the hangar to
force and remains on stand-by off Burma following the country’s the flight deck, rumours have
devastating cyclone (see page 5). persisted that the Government
Also detached from the group is HMS Edinburgh, currently in would pull the plug on the
Singapore for multi-national war games (see page 9). project.
Orion 08 has bagged much of the media attention this spring, Defence Procurement Minister
but the principal concentration of RN effort and forces remains Baroness Taylor announced,
the Arabian Gulf. however, that Whitehall would
HMS Manchester continues to guard the carrier USS Harry sign the deal with industry, giving
S Truman, which received an usual visitor in the shape of a the green light to the two 65,000-
‘Bagger’ Sea King from 857 NAS (see page 4). ton leviathans.
At the tip of the Gulf, HMS Chatham has replaced her sister As with the Type 45 destroyers,
Campbeltown ensuring no harm comes to Iraq’s oil platforms the carriers will be built in
(see page 6). segments by BAE Systems in
No harm should come to any tankers filling their holds Barrow and on the Clyde, by VT
at the platforms, either, thanks to the efforts of a multi-
national minehunting force including HM Ships Chiddingfold,
Atherstone, Ramsey and Blyth (see pages 14-15).
And also helping to safeguard Iraq’s future is an RN-led ‘The guns, thank
in Portsmouth, and by Babcock
in Devon.
The contract means that
the shipbuilding arms of VT
Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, currently ridding the and BAE will effectively merge
country of illegal weapons and ammunition (see opposite).
Half a world away, and several degrees Celsius cooler, HMS
Endurance is undergoing some TLC in the Falklands after her
exertions around the ice, giving her sailors the chance to explore
God, the guns...’
to pool their resources and
expertise.
The gigantic ‘jigsaw’ will be
pieced together by Babcock in
the islands (see page 13). Rosyth, where work has already
Right, that’s enough about cool waters. Time to return to the begun altering the yard so these
warmth. HMS Richmond visited Miami ahead of sonar trials in NOW this is something you warfare section of the Flag Officer which has been loosing a few ships can fit in.
the Bahamas (see page 7). couldn’t do on fi shery patrol... Sea Training. rounds at sea. As things stand, the carriers
Carrier HMS Ark Royal has left the US behind and returned to AB(MW) ‘RF’ Fay blasts away FOST for minehunters is pretty Returning home from exercising will be around 280m (918ft)
Portsmouth, but not before testing her guns in the mid-Atlantic with HMS Ledbury’s 30mm main much the same as it is for their with the US Navy and Marine long and 70m (229ft) wide
(see right). gun during a gunnery serial in larger cousins: fire, floods, all Corps off the Eastern Seaboard, and displace more than three
HMS Ledbury didn’t need to go that far to blast away with her Scotland. manner of breakdrowns and other Ark Royal used the broad expanse times the tonnage of Ark Royal,
30mm. She’s gearing up for a NATO deployment with extensive Normally, it wouldn’t look quite spanners thrown in the works by of the Atlantic to test her close- Invincible and Illustrious from
training in Scotland (see right). as dramatic as this... those FOSTie gremlins. defence weaponry. which they will take over.
A proverbial stone’s throw from Ledbury, HMS Daring has ... but some left-over grease And because she’s a minehunter, After spending the daytime Each ship will carry up to 40
once again been wowing allcomers as she conducts her second ignited as the first round left the there’s some mines to deal checking their guns, the gunnery aircraft, a mix of Sea King and
series of trials around the Firth of Clyde (see pages 20-21). barrel, hence this rather impressive with, littering the seas off those team donned their night vision Merlin helicopters and Joint
Daring will one day replace HMS Exeter, but don’t write off sheet of flame emerging from the perennially-bickering nations goggles as darkness descended on Strike Fighter jets.
the old lady of the Fleet just yet. She’s our ship of the month gun. Brownia and Mustardia. the ocean, while the operations “These ships will transform the
(see page 12). Even more impressive was the “So far Ledbury’s put an awful room ensured a range was cleared UK’s defence capabilities when
And it’s not just destroyers which can deal with an air fact that the junior rating hit the lot of effort into this training and in the Atlantic. they enter service, delivering air
threat. Frigate HMS Lancaster is the latest Type 23 to test the target with his first shot, earning the ship’s company are getting lots And then all hell let loose as a power in support of the full range
effectiveness of her Seawolf missiles (see page 5). him the distinction of ‘ship’s of benefit out of it,” said CO Lt number of rounds were fi red by of future operations at sea, in the
Her sister Iron Duke has been in Hull on a hometown visit, as hawkeye’. Cdr Paul Russell.
four aimers.
air and on land,” said a delighted
have HMS Middleton and HMS Grimsby which have called on The Portsmouth-based Hunt- “It’s great to see advancements
“These fi rings are essential
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir
their affiliated towns (see page 11). class warship finally lowered the being made across the board.”
so that Ark can protect herself
Jonathon Band.
The movements of all these ships – and many more – Fishery Protection Squadron’s For good measure, the ship’s
during the day and night from
Upwards of 10,000 people will
are directed by the Commander-in-Chief Fleet. The current standard this spring, allowing bridge team earned their WECDIS
fast inshore attack craft threat
be involved in construction of the
incumbent of the post, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, gives us an her to return to her core duty: spurs, allowing the ship to sail
when she closes in on land in her
sisters at the peak of production.
overview of the state of the Royal Navy in 2009 (see page 10). minehunting. using her electronic charts.
current amphibious role,” said Lt
The ships will join the Fleet
And finally, hats off to the men and women of the RN And so upon returning to sea She’ll soon be doing that. She
Cdr Nick Palethorpe, the carrier’s
in 2014 and 2016 (not 2012 and
Photographic Branch whose work is the mainstay of this paper. after Easter leave, the ship left joins a NATO minehunting force
Principal Warfare Offi cer (Air).
2015 as originally forecast) and
The very finest of their portfolio – the winning entries in the the Solent and headed to Faslane, later this summer.
Picture: AB(MW) ‘Rocksy’ Orr,
are expected to serve the nation
coveted Peregrine Trophy – can be seen on pages 18-19. home of the small ships and mine Ledbury’s not the only ship HMS Ledbury for up to 50 years.
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