“Life on an Ocean’s Wave”

Vayu’s UK cor­re­spon­dent Richard Gard­ner re­ports on the Royal Navy’s im­pend­ing resur­gence as a fixed­wing car­rier op­er­at­ing force

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Aviation Defence & News -

The UK Royal Navy’s new air­craft car­rier, HMS Queen El­iz­a­beth, made a spec­tac­u­lar en­trance to Portsmouth har­bour on 16 Au­gust 2017. Vayu’s UK cor­re­spon­dent Richard Gard­ner re­ports on the Royal Navy’s im­pend­ing resur­gence as a fixed- wing car­rier op­er­at­ing force.

The UK Royal Navy’s new air­craft car­rier, HMS Queen El­iz­a­beth, made a spec­tac­u­lar en­trance to Portsmouth har­bour on 16 Au­gust 2017, which is now her new home base. On this oc­ca­sion, which marks a ma­jor step in the RN’s am­bi­tious plan for the re­gen­er­a­tion of strike car­rier ca­pa­bil­ity, the UK Prime Min­is­ter, Theresa May and Ad­mi­ral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, un­der­lined the in­ten­tion to use the new car­ri­ers “to open a new era in global mar­itime power pro­jec­tion.”

Ad­mi­ral Jones said, “These ships and our con­tin­ued in­vest­ment in a strong Royal Navy send an un­mis­tak­able mes­sage to friend and foe alike–the UK has both the in­tent and means to pro­tect our in­ter­ests, shoul­der our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and ad­vance our am­bi­tions in an un­cer­tain world.

Then Sec­re­tary of State for De­fence, Sir Michael Fal­lon said, “As we look to life be­yond the Euro­pean Union, a global Bri­tain won’t be step­ping back; we’ll be step­ping up to de­fend our shores and fight for the global good.”

The Au­gust edi­tion of the RN’s Navy News car­ried a com­ment piece en­ti­tled, “East­ward, look, the land is bright”. It high­lighted the UK For­eign Sec­re­tary’s re­cent re­marks that Bri­tain is back East of the Suez and is con­cerned with mil­i­tary ex­pan­sion­ist ac­tiv­i­ties by China from Dji­bouti to the South China Sea and recog­nises that the Asia Pa­cific re­gion con­tains two of the world’s three largest economies and if the UK wishes to forge new part­ner­ships be­yond Eu­rope then this is where it must be. The new air­craft car­ri­ers will be at the cen­tre of a Car­rier Strike Group in­clud­ing es­cort sur­face ships, a sub­ma­rine and sup­ply ships, and will be ex­pected to de­ploy on a global ba­sis. New RN base fa­cil­i­ties in Bahrain and Oman will act as spring­boards for more fre­quent de­ploy­ments be­yond the Gulf and the re­gen­er­a­tion of a more glob­ally fo­cused fleet will help to de­velop closer UK links with al­lies in the re­gion. The Navy News com­men­tary sug­gests the Royal Navy will con­tinue to main­tain op­er­a­tions be­yond the Gulf in the In­dian Ocean, where for many years it has been part of the in­ter­na­tional ef­fort to pro­tect com­mer­cial ship­ping from pi­rate at­tacks. The avail­abil­ity, in the next decade, of a new Car­rier Strike Group will rep­re­sent a big in­crease in RN ca­pa­bil­ity for long-range de­ploy­ment which will have the sup­port re­sources to pro­vide a mo­bile for­ward air pres­ence,

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