UK Military News, Reports, Data, etc.

Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
Jeff I'm puzzled, as your article is dated
(soon after the RN press release:
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dated October 10)
Yes, and that just further punctuates the point against the other article that says only one is available.

so, could the HMS Ambush be sent to for example the GUIK gap like today or tomorrow? (maybe yes! )
Well, in April of this year, the Ambush was an active part of exercise Joint Warrior, which was Europe's largest naval war game in years.

Specifically, Ambush and the Royal Navy frigate Somerset joined US and Canadian warships in conducting ASW exercises during Joint Warrior.

Now, I do not know exactly what Ambush's current rotation state is. She may be in maintenance, she may be working up after maintenance, she may be out on patrol right now.

I do know this. Ambush was laid down on October 22, 2003, officially named on December 16, 2010, launched on January 4, 2011, completed the initial dive test on September 30, 2011, departed Barrow for sea trials on September 15, 2012, and was commissioned in March 1, 2013...over two years ago.

Since commissioning, she conducted exercises and training with RFA Diligence, went on to qualify in Tomahawk cruise missile and torpedo weapons in 2013, went on patrol and stopped in Brazil and Port Canaveral in 2014, and now, as stated, in 2015, participated in Joint Warrior.

She is a commissioned, active, operational nuclear attack submarine for the Royal Navy. If she was needed urgently, they would button her up and send her out wherever necessary.
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Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
in fact, Jeff, I'm a big fan of the Royal Navy (I spent a number of days, and several nights :) on reading about its history ... and I'm astonished by the low number of ships it operates now :-(
Yes...going down to six DDGs, seven SSNs, and thirteen FFGs, with their standard maintenance rotation schedules, means there will not be too much RN around the world at any given time.

But, what they do have is 1st rate, and their personnel are very squared away.


Junior Member
Great read about the results of the UK elections and the future of the UK nuclear deterrent.

U.K. Election Result Boosts Royal Navy Ballistic Missile Submarine Program
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May 11, 2015 1:31 PM
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Royal Navy submarine HMS Victorious departs HMNB Clyde. UK MoD Photo

Right up to the moment the polling stations closed at 10 p.m. last Thursday in the U.K., the political pundits were unwavering in their forecasts: neither Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives nor the opposition Labour Party wielded enough firepower for an outright win in Britain’s 2015 parliamentary elections.

Had Labour emerged with the most seats in the House of Commons, its hopes of forming a viable government would have required the support of the
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. This was a worrisome prospect for advocates of strategic nuclear deterrence, who feared that a weak Labour leadership would inevitably cave in to SNP demands and scrap plans to renew the U.K.’s submarine-based Trident ballistic missile force.

If on the other hand the Conservatives had remained the largest party in a hung parliament, the expectation was that they would seek to re-establish their coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, a party which has campaigned to replace the continuous at-sea deterrent (CASD) — requiring four nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) — with a part-time version employing nuclear-armed cruise missiles.

By the early hours of Friday morning, however, it was clear that an unexpected surge in the right-of-center vote had given Cameron a slender overall majority in the Commons and the keys to 10 Downing Street for five more years.

With the prime minister vowing to retain the Trident CASD and procure new strategic missile submarines to replace the existing Vanguard-class boats, it was the best possible result both for the Royal Navy and for shipbuilder BAE Systems, reactor plant provider Rolls-Royce, through-life support contractor Babcock and the 850-or-so other companies who are, or will be, involved in the renewal program.

In 2011 the then Conservative/Lib Dem coalition decided to invest $4.67 billion in a five-year assessment phase for the Successor SSBN program (the figure has since grown to $5.14 billion). Activities in 2015 include $389 million for advanced design work by BAE Systems and the finalizing of plans for new manufacturing facilities at its Barrow yard.

The so-called “main gate” investment decision is expected in early 2016, when the new government will announce its intention to replace the four Vanguards on a one-for-one basis or whether it believes CASD can be guaranteed with just three new boats.

Meanwhile the lifespan of the current SSBNs – which were commissioned into the Royal Navy between 1993 and 1999 – is being extended by nine years, allowing the in-service date for the first of the Successor submarines to be pushed back to 2028.

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An artist’s conception of the U.K.’s Successor-class future planned ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) released Tuesday. UK Ministry of Defense Photo

Aligning the procurement timescales for Successor and the U.S. Navy’s Ohio-class replacement has allowed the U.K. to exploit transatlantic collaboration in several areas, notably the design of the Common Missile Compartment (CMC) and the nuclear steam-raising plant, and the integration of sonar arrays and combat systems.

Britain is also participating in the U.S.-led life-extension program for the Trident II D5 missile, which is expected to prolong the Lockheed Martin-built air vehicle’s service career through to the 2040s.

The warheads – which are designed, built and maintained by the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, 50 miles west of central London – are expected to last well into the late 2030s and possibly beyond, so a decision on a replacement warhead has been deferred until 2019.

However, as a result of its Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010, the coalition administration decided to shrink Britain’s stockpile of nuclear warheads from 225 to 180 by the mid 2020s – a 65 percent reduction since the end of the Cold War – and cut the the number of operationally availble warheads from 160 to 120. The latter target was achieved by January this year.

In similar vein, the number of operational missile launch tubes in each Vanguard submarine has been cut from 12 to eight and the maximum number of warheads carried on a patrol from 48 to 40. Successor will also have eight tubes instead of the dozen originally planned.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the renewal program is expected to cost between $27.27 billion and $36.46 billion (at 2013/14 prices), including $20.1 billion to $25.5 billion for the submarines. In service, the Successor/Trident deterrent will account for 5 to 6 percent of Britain’s annual defense budget.

It’s a high-stakes game. Having withdrawn its air-dropped nuclear bombs from service in 1998, Britain is unique among the major nuclear weapons states in relying upon a single delivery platform. And with Russia again testing NATO’s readiness on several fronts, North Korea threatening nuclear missile strikes on the U.S., and Iran apparently trying to acquire a similar capability, now is probably not the time to consider further reductions in deterrent capability.

Air Force Brat

Super Moderator
Sad news Asif, was the aircraft departing or being recovered to the airfield, always possible that someone was flying a more aggressive departure???? or arrival. post details as they come available, this will be interesting?
I would add that I have seen some amazing displays of transport category aircraft, but the A-400 display borders on, well its just something else?