A sailor forming part of a ceremonial guard stands to attention as HMS Dragon is launched in the background.

HMS Dragon was launched at BVT Surface Fleet Ltd Govan, Scotland to a fanfare of music and balloons in November 2008.

She now faces an extensive fitting out and acceptance trials period before entering service with the Royal Navy.

HMS Dragon is the second in the class of Type 45 destroyers, following HMS Daring. The air defence ships are amongst the most technologically advanced of their kind and will eventually replace Type 42 destroyers in the Fleet.

A report to inform National Shipbuilding Strategy

DS is pleased to be able to post Sir John Parker’s summary letter to the Secretary of State for Defence and Chief Secretary to the Treasury covering his findings, conclusions and recommendations for a UK  National Shipbuilding Strategy. On first reading, notwithstanding some reservations DS still holds over the terms of reference that confined Sir John, we congratulate him on producing a coherent and workable way ahead for MOD and UK industry that goes beyond just complex warships construction to include RFA vessels, employment and skill retention and operation and maintenance systems.
Read the Letter HERE
Read the full Report HERE
Read the Annex HERE
It now remains to be seen how MOD, or more importantly perhaps, HM Treasury, react and advise HM Government to proceed.
Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond is pictured firing her Harpoon anti-ship missile system.

Fitted to the Batch III Type 22 frigates and the Type 23 frigates, the Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) Harpoon is a sophisticated anti-ship missile using a combination of inertial guidance and active radar homing to attack targets out to a range of 130km. 

Cruising at Mach 0.9 and carrying a 227kg warhead it is powered by a lightweight turbojet, but is accelerated at launch by a booster rocket. A submarine launched version, known as Sub Harpoon, is also in service aboard the Swiftsure and Trafalgar class SSNs.

And the true statement is?

DS wonders if the Prime Minister is being briefed truthfully as to the state of the Armed Forces by the MOD’.  The herculean efforts being made by Service personnel with unreliable systems & equipment, terms & conditions in times of increasing threat are truly outstanding.

Prime Minister’s Questions 23rd November 2016

Wayne David (Caerphilly) (Lab):

“In these uncertain times we would all surely agree that Britain needs strong defence, so how can the Prime Minister justify her Government’s decision to scrap all the Navy’s heavyweight
surface-to-surface guided missiles without any replacement?”

The Prime Minister:

“I do not recognise the picture that the Honourable Gentleman presents of what the Government are doing in relation to the armed forces. We are investing billions of pounds in ensuring that our armed forces do have the missiles, the ships for the Royal Navy and the other pieces of equipment for the other armed forces. The picture that he presents is not the picture I recognise.”

 

Yet the the First Sea Lord has publicly stated in his recent speech…. (more…)

HMS DARING sailing into Gibraltar while vessels from the Gibraltar Royal Naval Squadron provides security while she is within the British Gibraltar territorial waters.

Pictured is HMS DARING, also alongside in Gibraltar is RFA Mounts Bay (L3008) and HMS DIAMOND (D34).

The two Fast Patrol Boats of the Royal Navy's Gibraltar Squadron, HMS Sabre and HMS Scimitar, watch over Gibraltar's shores and support ships in the Strait of Gibraltar. The two boats, along with three Pacific Rigid Inflatable Boats, support British exercises and operations in the area.

HMS Daring, the first Type 45, is at the forefront of the Royal Navy’s next generation of Area Air Defence Destroyers. At 151 metres long, weighing 8000 tonnes and packed with the latest in Air Warfare technology, Daring is a world leader and world beater.

Her highly trained complement of 190 Sailors is trained to act across the full spectrum of military activity; including such missions as Disaster Relief in the wake of a typhoon, Maritime Security operations to counter the threat from piracy, and when required, high intensity war fighting against the nation’s enemies.

DS Comment: Restoring the Fleet

DS has now had time to digest the House of Commons Defence Committee’s report ‘Restoring the Fleet’ and the immediate Ministry of Defence (MOD) response. Frankly the very idea postulated by the MOD that their procurement programme for the Royal Navy was ‘growing’ the fleet was greeted with incredulity. To then add insult to injury by, yet again, confusing the billions of pounds spent as a guage of how effective the RN is or will be, left us almost speechless. But not quite! Here is the DS response: (more…)

HMS DARING sailing into Gibraltar while HMS Scimitar from the Gibraltar Royal Naval Squadron provides security while she is within the British Gibraltar territorial waters.

The two Fast Patrol Boats of the Royal Navy's Gibraltar Squadron, HMS Sabre and HMS Scimitar, watch over Gibraltar's shores and support ships in the Strait of Gibraltar. The two boats, along with three Pacific Rigid Inflatable Boats, support British exercises and operations in the area.

HMS Daring, the first Type 45, is at the forefront of the Royal Navy’s next generation of Area Air Defence Destroyers. At 151 metres long, weighing 8000 tonnes and packed with the latest in Air Warfare technology, Daring is a world leader and world beater.

Her highly trained complement of 190 Sailors is trained to act across the full spectrum of military activity; including such missions as Disaster Relief in the wake of a typhoon, Maritime Security operations to counter the threat from piracy, and when required, high intensity war fighting against the nation’s enemies.

HCDC Report – Restoring the Fleet

DS is pleased to publish the recent House of Commons Defence Committee report – Restoring the Fleet. We agree in principle with the report but feel that it may fall short in certain aspects. For example, there is no overt mention of the cost (value for money) of current UK warship procurement only an intriguing reference to the Danish Absalom Class frigate which DS understands costs one third of the price of the proposed Type 26. We also worry that the report underplays the requirement for UK warship procurement to form part of a wider National Shipbuilding Strategy. Overall DS supports the conclusions reached. (more…)

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