UK Military News, Reports, Data, etc.

asif iqbal

Quick update on UK defence matters

2015 SDSR lay out

9 x P-8 Poseidon aircraft confirmed with 3 due to be delivered before 2020

This was a direct purchase no competition held to be stationed at RAF Loosiemouth

24 x F35B confirmed to be flying from two carriers that's 12 a piece

Typhoons due to fly until 2040

More spy planes on order

Source Air Force monthly January issue 2016 page 5


Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Life of RAF Tornado squadron further extended to 2018

Further detail on the UK Ministry of Defence’s November Strategic Defence & Security Review (SDSR) has revealed the retirement of a Panavia Tornado GR4 squadron will be pushed back to 2018, from the previously announced 2017 date.

Last August, defence secretary Michael Fallon said a delayed retirement from 2016 until March 2017, of the Royal Air Force’s 12 Sqn, would allow the type to continue operating until the Eurofighter Typhoon was able to fully take over the ground-attack role in Iraq and Syria. However, the next retirement of a Tornado squadron has now been pushed back further, to 2018.

“We will extend the third Tornado ground-attack squadron in service until 2018 to continue the fight against Daesh [Islamic State] and be ready for other tasks, then retire the remaining two squadrons of Tornado in 2019,” an SDSR factsheet released by the MoD on 15 January says.

The Tornado is proving its worth against Islamic State militants in the Middle East and the demand for it is high; 12 Sqn was returned to service in January 2015 to join Operation Shader after originally disbanding in 2014 after the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Three squadrons are required to support the operation, with one deployed at any given time, one in a preparation role and another on stand down.

The recent SDSR also noted the UK will acquire the planned 138 Lockheed Martin F-35s over the life of the programme, and will “buy some of these aircraft more quickly than previously planned, creating an additional frontline squadron by 2023”, according to the factsheet.

The Tornado GR4’s replacement, the Typhoon, will also see an additional two frontline squadrons formed to support the type until 2040, with more investment into integrating an active electronically scanned array radar. With the integration of the MBDA Brimstone air-to-surface missile in 2017, the newer type should be able to begin adopting the ground-attack role of the Tornado, which began carrying the weapon in Syria this month.

The factsheet also confirms the UK’s commitment to developing unmanned combat air vehicle
technology, specifically in collaboration with France – the two nations are involved in the bilateral
Future Combat Air Systems programme – and the USA.

“We will work with France to develop an advanced Unmanned Combat Air System technology demonstrator, and with the United States to mature other high-end technologies,” it says. “Additionally, we will pursue a national technology programme to maintain the UK’s position as a global leader in this area.”

Under its Protector programme, the UK will see its fleet of armed UAVs doubled in the 2020 timeframe, from a capability currently provided by the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reaper.

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Actually : 8 Sqns : 5 on Typhoon and 3 on Tornado, combat sqns.
For 2019 : 8 Sqns : 7 on Typhoon and 1 on F-35B
For 2023 : 9/10 Sqns 7 on Typhoon and 2/3 on F-35B whose 1 RN.


Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Royal Navy’s HMS Defender has received a replenishment in stores and fuel during her deployment to the Arabian Gulf where she constitutes a part of the US Carrier Strike Group fighting against the Daesh.

In the complex scenario, the Type 45 destroyer was refueled with 500,000 litres from US tanker USNS Pecos at the same time as US aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman.

This means all three ships had to sail at the same speed of 14 knots and ensure they were less than 50 metres apart – a tough job when the carrier displaces 100,000 tonnes of water.

Adding to the mix was a transfer of 2,500 tonnes of stores by helicopter from the USNS Medgar Evers to the aircraft carrier.

HMS Defender’s Navigating Officer Lieutenant Barry Crosswood said: “Replenishing in an operational environment really focuses the mind, particularly when the task force is in such close proximity.”

In total six ships were involved in the replenishment: HMS Defender, USS Harry S Truman, USS Anzio, USS Ramage, USNS Pecos, and USNS Medgar Evers.

HMS Defender is on a nine month deployment, and will continue working with the American and French carrier strike groups to support their air campaigns against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

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RN have always an important number of units in this area,
1 Bay class used as mother ships for 4 MS homeported to Bahrain and regularly deployed 1 DDG or FFG sometimes 2, 1 SSN and a Supply ship.

Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
ObiWan, NavyReco and Forbin, do you guys know the exact status of the Artisan 3D Radar upgrade to the Type 23 Duke class frigates? I have the following for the Type 23 Artisan 3d Radar installation progress (date completed or planned completed)

HMS Iron Duke, F234 - 2013 (Complete)
HMS Argyle, F231 - 2014 (Complete)
HMS St. Albans, F83 - 2014 (Complete)
HMS Comerset, F82 - 2014 (Complete)
HMS Sutherland, F81 - 2015 (Complete)
HMS Monmouth, F235 - 2015 (Complete)
HMS Westminster, F237 - 2015 (Complete)
HMS Montrose, F236 - 2016 (Underway)

I had heard that HMS Northumberland, F238, had also been done, but cannot find any documentation of it. It's hard to come by...took a few hours of research to find and confirm the above.

In addition, I am relatively sure that at least one other, or perhaps two are also underway in terms of their Artisan upgrades as well. It's usually a 15 month process for the overall upgrade (which includes several other things).

Here's the HMS Monmouth, F235, with the Type 997 Artisan 3D Radar after completion in 2015:


I believe starting later this year the first The CAMM(M) upgrade to replace the Sea Wolf missiles will begin. With the 2087 sonar, the upgrade to use the AW101 Merlin, and with both the Artisan 3D radar and the CAMM(M) the Type 23 will remain very effective until replaced by the Type 26 vessels.

Obi Wan Russell

Jedi Master
VIP Professional
In addition to the Type 23s listed above HMS Ocean received Artisan at her last refit and it was also installed on HMS Queen Elizabeth a few months ago, I imagine when Ocean is decommissioned that unit will be recycled to another ship, possibly one of the amphibs?