Royal Navy News

23 Mar 2020

Ocean Infinity’s Hunt for the Submarine San Juan

The San Juan, before she was lost. Source: Ocean Infinity

The search for the Argentinian submarine was like hunting for the proverbial needle in a hay stack, except that it was a piece of straw. Elaine Maslin reports. At 7.19am, local time, on November 15, 2017, the last message was received from the San Juan submarine. She belonged to the Argentinian navy and was on a routine mission from Ushuaia in the Patagonia region to Mar del Plata in Buenos Aires province when she lost contact with the military. Fifteen days later, neither the submarine nor any debris had been found and the crew of 44 sailors were presumed dead.

18 Mar 2020

Today in Maritime History: Grounding of the Supertanker Torrey Canyon

On the world stage, the grounding of the supertanker TORREY CANYON on Pollard’s Rock in the Seven Stones reef between Cornwall and the Scilly Isles is more significant than the 1989 EXXON VALDEZ oil spill. The TORREY CANYON was one of the first tankers large enough (120,000 tons capacity) to be designated a supertanker. It was also the first loaded supertanker to spill its entire cargo. After salvage efforts failed and the oil flow increased, the British Government decided to bomb the ship in an attempt to burn the oil. This was a radical decision because the wreck was outside the three-mile territorial sea limit prevalent at that time. The Royal Air Force had difficulty hitting the ship, so the Royal Navy sent its planes in.

12 Mar 2020

UK Royal Navy Testing Unmanned Equipment

(Photo: UK Royal Navy)

Operational trials of unmanned equipment in Norway offered a glimpse of the UK Royal Navy's autonomous future. Royal Marines small boat specialists 47 Commando have been working alongside HMS Albion, the Royal Navy’s autonomous accelerator NavyX and the Office for the Chief Technology Officer to see how the kit can be put to use in real world situations.Exercise Autonomous Advance Force put unmanned boat Mast 13, heavy lift drone from Malloy, remotely-piloted air system Puma and…

19 Feb 2020

In 2020 Boat Operators can Collide or Engage with the Future

Devices, apps and digital are coming fast at sea. As simple and cost effective technology solutions become available for boats, the NEXT GEN Shock Mitigation Workshop brings decision makers together to highlight the burning issues today and identify viable solutions for the future.Repetitive Shock and Whole Body Vibration (RS & WBV) has kept scientists busy in recent years. Boat operators need to understand the short and long term effects of impact and vibration on their crews and passengers.

18 Feb 2020

"Ghost Ship" Washes Up in Ireland

The 250-foot Tanzanian-flagged merchant ship Alta had been abandoned and adrift at sea for more than a year before running aground in Ireland earlier this week. (Photo: Irish Coast Guard)

An abandoned cargo ship landed on the coast of Ireland this week after more than a year drifting alone at sea.The Irish Coast Guard said it responded to a merchant vessel aground near Ballycotton, Cork on Sunday, only to discover there was no one was on board.It turns out that the mysterious vessel is the 250-foot Tanzanian-flagged Alta, which had been left crewless and adrift on the other side of the Atlantic when the U.S. Coast Guard rescued all 10 crew members on board after the vessel lost power while en route from Greece to Haiti in September 2018.At the time of the rescue, the U.S.

09 Jan 2020

HMS Prince of Wales Completes Sea Trial

Image: GE Power

HMS Prince of Wales, the second of the U.K.’s Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, has recently completed a successful sea trial in Scottish waters.The ships are the largest ever built for the Royal Navy and the carriers are powered by GE’s energy-efficient, integrated full-electric propulsion system.As part of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, GE’s Power Conversion business has provided the HV Distribution system, HV Drives and Propulsion Motors as well as the Electrical Power Control and Management system.GE also supplied the HV Generators to support generating power for the entire carrier.

27 Dec 2019

British Warship Stalks Russian Vessel Near UK Waters

(Photo: UK Royal Navy)

The UK Royal Navy deployed its patrol ship HMS Tyne to shadow a Russian vessel as it passed close to UK territorial waters on Christmas Day.The Portsmouth-based ship was called upon to keep watch on the Russian ship Smolnyy Perekov as it passed through the English Channel on Christmas Day.HMS Tyne remained at sea to monitor the Russian ship, keeping track of its activity in areas of national interest.The Royal Navy ship on Thursday returned alongside in Portsmouth and remains ready for short notice tasking over the rest of the holiday period.

23 Dec 2019

UK Navy Warship Captures $4 mln of Drugs in Gulf of Oman

Photo courtesy of Royal Navy

Britain's Royal Navy said on Monday one of its warships had helped to seize a batch of crystal meth worth more than 3.3 million pounds ($4.3 million) from smugglers in the Gulf of Oman.HMS Defender, a destroyer based at Portsmouth, southern England, sent a party to search a suspicious dhow as it conducted reconnaissance in the northern Arabian Sea.Royal marines discovered on the dhow 11 mailbag-sized sacks carrying drugs weighing 131 kg (288 lb) in total, the Royal Navy said in…

17 Nov 2019

Prince of Wales Maiden Visit to Home Port

Image: BAE Systems

Britain's newest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales sails into home port of Portsmouth Naval Base for the first time.The £3.1 billion warship left Rosyth dockyard, Scotland, where it was built in September before undergoing eight weeks of sea trials.The ship’s arrival into Portsmouth represents the culmination of 16 years of work by the ACA – a unique alliance relationship between BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales, and the UK Ministry of Defence.More than 10,000 people across the UK have been involved in the program to deliver the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers…

07 Nov 2019

UK Lowers Security Level for its Ships in Strait of Hormuz

© Wojciech Wrzesien / Adobe Stock

Britain lowered its security risk level for UK-flagged ships travelling through the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, more than a month after one of its tankers was finally released from detention by Iran.The Stena Impero was seized in July by Iran's Revolutionary Guards in the Strait, a major oil shipping route, for alleged marine violations two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar. The Iranian ship was released in August."UK-flagged ships will soon be able to transit the Strait of Hormuz without close Royal Naval accompaniment…

06 Oct 2019

Royal British Navy's New OPVs Named

Photo: BAE Systems.

The fifth and final new River Class patrol ship for the Royal British Navy was formally named as work on HMS Spey.The ceremony almost closes the chapter on a seven-year program which will give the Royal Navy a flotilla of brand-new patrol ships ready for deployment around the globe.Lady Johnstone, HMS SPEY’s sponsor, named the 2000 tonne vessel by releasing a bottle of special blend Spey whisky from Speyside Distillery that smashed against the ship’s hull.HMS SPEY is the last in a class of five vessels that have been built in Glasgow.

16 Sep 2019

BAE Systems Demonstrates Robotic Boat

Image: BAE Systems

BAE Systems has demonstrated for the first time how Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs) can be fully integrated with operational Royal Navy warships to extend their reach beyond the horizon and reduce sailors’ exposure to danger.The unmanned Pacific 24 Rigid Inflatable Boat (P24 RIB) is integrated with the combat system of HMS Argyll, a Type 23 frigate, in a series of waterborne demonstrations in London’s Docklands at DSEI 2019, the international defence and security event.At 7.8 metres long…

13 Sep 2019

New Type 31 Royal Navy Frigates To Be Built In The UK

Boost for Royal Navy operations: five new vessels on order for delivery by year-end 2028.

(Photo © Adobe Stock / Wojciech Wrzesien)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that work will commence before the end of the year on the first of a series of new Type 31 frigates as part of the UK Government’s planned expansion of the Royal Navy fleet over the next 20 years. The new ships will replace Type 23 frigates currently in service and the construction of the first of these will be completed by 2023.The £1.25 billion contract for the new ships will be awarded later this year, supporting 2,500 jobs that include at least 150 new technical apprenticeships.

11 Sep 2019

Royal Navy taps Autonomous Vehicles

Photo: L3Harris Technologies

L3Harris Technologies delivered a new class of Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) with advanced capabilities to serve the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy.The Maritime Autonomy Surface Testbed (MAST) 13 is a 13-meter (41-ft.) long high-speed system capable of fully autonomous navigation. The ASV uses L3Harris’ ASView proprietary autonomous control system and advanced algorithms developed for the U.K.’s Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).Designed, built and commissioned by L3Harris’ Unmanned Maritime Systems team based on the south coast of the UK…

05 Sep 2019

Bahamians Struggle in Dorian's Devastating Wake

A file image of Equinor's South Riding Point storage terminal (CREDIT: Equinor)

Stunned residents of the Bahamas surveyed the wreckage of their homes and officials struggled to assess the number killed by Hurricane Dorian, as the storm bore down on the South Carolina coast, threatening record flooding on Thursday.The United Nations said 70,000 people in the Bahamas needed immediate humanitarian relief after the most damaging storm ever to hit the island nation.Aerial video of the worst-hit Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas showed widespread devastation…

23 Aug 2019

Futuristic Training Ship to be Built in Britain

Image by Britannia Maritime Aid

Ambitious plans are being launched for a $184 million training and disaster relief ship with cutting-edge British technology.Britannia Maritime Aid (BMA), a registered charity, aims to build the futuristic vessel in Britain. It is officially launching its plans at the UK Chamber of Shipping on Monday September 9 during London International Shipping Week.Maritime professionals and training experts have joined forces for project with backing from former First Sea Lords, the Lord West of Spithead and Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh.Others supporters include members of the Houses of Lords and Commons…

19 Aug 2019

INS Tarkash Makes Port Call at Cadiz

Pic: Press Information Bureau

Indian Naval Ship Tarkash made a port call at Cadiz, Spain for a three days visit in continuation of the Indian Navy’s overseas deployment to Africa, Europe and Russia.The port call by INS Tarkash at Cadiz is a demonstration of India’s warm ties with Spain and its commitment to enhance operational reach, maritime security and its solidarity with friendly nations.INS Tarkash had participated in bilateral exercise KONKAN-19 with Royal Navy ship HMS Defender prior entering Cadiz harbour.INS Tarkash commanded by Captain Sathish Vasudev…

15 Aug 2019

First Steel Cut for HMS Cardiff

Photo: BAE Systems

The first steel to be used in Britain's HMS Cardiff, an anti-submarine frigate, was ceremonially cut at BAE Systems' shipyard at Govan, Scotland."We have cut steel for the second Type 26 Global Combat Ship, HMS CARDIFF, marking an important milestone in the program to deliver the most advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability to the Royal Navy," said a press release from the British multinational defence company.BAE Systems employees and representatives from the Royal Navy…

14 Aug 2019

HRH The Princess Royal becomes Patron of BOAM Campaign

PQ-17 Arctic Convoy, June-July 1942. The covering forces of the PQ-17 Convoy (British and American ships) at anchor in the harbor at Hvalfjord, Iceland, May 1942 (Photo: BOAM)

The charity behind the campaign to build the UK’s national memorial to the Battle of the Atlantic in Liverpool has announced that HRH The Princess Royal, has become its Patron.In a letter to the campaign Her Royal Highness said:“The Battle of the Atlantic, a six-year long campaign, was enormous in its scale, both geographically and logistically. In total over 100,000 people lost their lives in this epic struggle between the convoys and the U Boat packs. It required the combined efforts of huge numbers of men and women of many nationalities across their navies, air forces and merchant navies.

05 Aug 2019

UK joins U.S. in Gulf Maritime Security Mission

A UK Naval Warship on Patrol (File Image / AdobeStock / © Peter Cripps)

Britain on Monday joined the United States in a maritime security mission in the Gulf to protect merchant vessels travelling through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran seized a British-flagged vessel.British officials stressed that there was no change to London's policy on Iran but joining the United States is the most significant non-Brexit foreign policy move to date of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's 12-day-old government.Just two weeks ago, Britain was calling for a European-led naval mission. Now, it has joined what it said was a U.S.-led "international maritime security mission".

25 Jul 2019

Royal Navy to Protect UK Ships in Strait of Hormuz

File Image: A UK Warship on patrol. CREDIT AdobeStock / © Peter Cripps

The British government said on Thursday its navy will accompany British-flagged vessels through the Strait of Hormuz to defend freedom of navigation, after previously saying it did not have the military resources to do so.Tensions have spiked between Iran and Britain since the Islamic Republic last Friday seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait.

22 Jul 2019

Strait of Hormuz: Ships urged to alert Navies before Sailing Through

A UH-1Y Venom helicopter assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 163 (Reinforced), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) during a strait transit. The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and the 11th MEU are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the wester

Shipping associations have called on ship owners to inform Britain's navy of their movements before sailing into the Middle East Gulf and Strait of Hormuz because of the escalating international crisis in the region.About a fifth of the world's oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz and shipping companies are already deploying more unarmed security guards as an extra safeguard.However, in a joint note issued by the leading trade associations on Monday, ship captains were requested to register with the Royal Navy's liaison body…

22 Jul 2019

Britain Seeks to Thwart Iran's 'Piracy'

Britain will seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran seized a British-flagged vessel in what London said was an act of "state piracy".Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized the Stena Impero in the Strait on Friday. British Royal Marines seized an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar two weeks ago."Under international law Iran had no right to obstruct the ship's passage - let alone board her. It was therefore an act of state piracy," Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told parliament."We will now seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to support safe passage of both crew and cargo in this vital region…

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