Royal Navy flagship sails to lead international carrier strike group deployment
Britain’s flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth sails this week, 9th September 2023, from Portsmouth as she heads north to lead a Carrier Strike Group deployment alongside ships from partner nations.
The aircraft carrier, crewed by up to 900 sailors, with her F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters and Merlin helicopters will lead a mixed group of warships from various nations as they head to the Norwegian Sea and waters of northern Europe.
The UK Carrier Strike Group deployment comes just days after HMS Prince of Wales departed Portsmouth for the United States, where she will undergo trials and operate a multitude of aircraft and drones.
UK donation of hydrographic equipment keeps Ukrainian waters safe
The UK Hydrographic Office, an agency of the MoD, has donated £1.6 million worth of equipment to the State Hydrographic Service of Ukraine, helping to keep the seas around Ukraine safe and support commercial shipping amid ongoing Russian attacks.
The equipment – which includes two full Single Beam Echo Sounder systems and two Multibeam Echo Sounder systems – will be used to carry out hydrographic surveys.
These surveys collect accurate data of the seabed and marine environment. The data can then be processed and used to produce and maintain nautical charts and navigational information to support safer navigation in the area.
UK and Netherlands confirm future amphibious relationship
The UK and Netherlands agree to explore opportunities to develop a future littoral strike platform, providing future capability to both nations’ Commando Forces
Signed by UK Defence Minister James Cartlidge and Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren in Den Helder, on the 50th anniversary of the Joint Amphibious Force, both nations also agreed to further collaboration on amphibious exercises and training in future.
Future UK Multi Role Support Ships (MRSS) will be equipped with a sea to land strike capability, designed to operate in amphibious task groups – known as Littoral Response Groups – helping highly-trained Marines to deploy to crises globally, fully equipped with their vehicles, boats, aircraft, and weaponry.
Royal Navy ship deploys for hurricane season as Defence Minister reaffirms commitment to British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean
HMS Dauntless, the UK’s most advanced destroyer recently deployed to the region to support British Overseas Territories during hurricane season and counter drugs trafficking in the region.
The ship and her company will shortly begin patrols, providing a first-response capability during the coming hurricane season as well as working and exercising with local services and authorities in the region. She will also work with the US Coast Guard and other agencies to counter illicit trafficking in the Caribbean Sea.
Lump sum payment for war widows
A one-off payment of £87,500 for eligible spouses in recognition of those who forfeited their pensions prior to 2015.
Widows of serving personnel who forfeited their pensions prior to 2015 could be eligible for a one-off payment of £87,500 as part of the government’s continued support for the armed forces, their families and veterans.
The new joint initiative from the Ministry of Defence and the Treasury will address old rules in which a cohort of bereaved spouses, civil partners and eligible partners forfeited their pensions if they remarried or cohabited before 2015.
The scheme and one-off payment are designed to support those whose spouses’ death was attributable to service. The application window, open later this year, will remain open for two years with support for applicants provided by the Veterans UK Call Centre, and welfare support available through the Veterans Welfare Service for those who require emotional support during the process.
Sea Power Conference keynote speech
A speech by Admiral Sir Ben Key at the First Sea Lord’s Sea Power Conference, part of the London Sea Power Series. Link to full speech here
UK and Australian visit to British home of next-generation nuclear submarines
Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese and UK Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace have today visited the shipyard where the next generation of AUKUS nuclear submarines will be built for the Royal Navy.
Australia and the UK will both build the new submarines, known as ‘SSN-AUKUS’, to the world-leading British-led design, with construction of the UK’s submarines taking place in Barrow-in-Furness.
HMS Birmingham steel cut milestone supports thousands of UK jobs
Steel has been cut on the first of the second batch of Type 26 warships, following a £4.2 billion contract awarded to BAE Systems in November 2022.
The Minister for Defence Procurement, Alex Chalk KC, marked the occasion at the steel cutting ceremony, with HMS Birmingham becoming the fourth of eight anti-submarine warships being constructed for the Royal Navy at BAE Systems’ shipyard in Govan, Glasgow.
HMS Mersey in Estonia as all three UK Armed Services operating in support of Estonian security
Royal Navy ship HMS Mersey has been deployed to the Baltic Sea for the last week, operating with the Estonian Navy and Royal Air Force in support of the nations’ security as Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) partners. This follows Mersey’s recent engagements with Swedish and Finnish Navies.
10,000 organisations sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant
More than 10,000 organisations have committed to improving the lives of service people and their families, with John Lewis becoming the latest signatory to mark this major milestone.
The retailer is the latest in a long line of large and small organisations to confirm their pledge to our serving Armed Forces personnel and veterans, demonstrating a commitment to work with and for our personnel.
Royal Navy ship seizes weapons transiting in the Gulf
Royal Navy ship HMS Lancaster seized weapons from a vessel travelling south from Iran whilst on a routine maritime security patrol on 23 February 2023. A United States fixed-wing Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform detected a suspected smuggling vessel travelling at high speed in international waters in the Gulf of Oman during the hours of darkness.
The vessel was also tracked by HMS Lancaster’s Wildcat helicopter. The smugglers initially ignored hails from the Royal Navy and attempted to navigate to Iranian territorial waters but were apprehended before they could do so. In accordance with international law, a team of Royal Marines stopped and boarded the vessel. They discovered suspicious packages which were recovered to HMS Lancaster.
Review launched into welfare provision for veterans
A major review into the veteran welfare services for veterans has been announced today by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs and the Ministry of Defence
The review will focus on examining the effectiveness and efficiency of the range of welfare services for veterans and identify any duplication, or gaps in support.
HMS Anson departs Barrow-in-Furness