Navy Ships – Invincible-class aircraft carrier

The Invincible class is a class of light aircraft carrier operated by the British Royal Navy. Three ships were constructed, HMS Invincible, HMS Illustrious and HMS Ark Royal. The vessels were built as aviation-capable anti-submarine warfare (ASW) platforms to counter the Cold War North Atlantic Soviet submarine threat, and initially embarked Sea Harrier aircraft and Sea King HAS.1 anti-submarine helicopters. With the cancellation of CVA-01, the three ships became the replacements for the Audacious and Centaur classes, and the Royal Navy’s sole class of aircraft carrier.

Invincible was decommissioned in 2005 and put in reserve in a low state of readiness. She was sold to a Turkish scrapyard in February 2011, and left Portsmouth under tow on 24 March 2011. Pursuant to the Strategic Defence and Security Review, 2010, Ark Royal followed, decommissioning on 13 March 2011. This leaves Illustrious as the sole remaining operational ship, serving as a helicopter carrier since 2011. The three vessels have seen service in a number of locations, including the South Atlantic during the Falklands War, the Adriatic during the Bosnian War, and in the Middle East for the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.

Navy Ships – Albion class landing platform dock

The Albion class landing platform dock (LPD) is the newest type of amphibious assault vessel in the Royal Navy. The class consists of two vessels, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, ordered in 1996 to replace the ageing Fearless class. Both ships were built by BAE Systems Marine at the former Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd yard in Barrow-in-Furness. Albion was commissioned in 2003 and Bulwarkin 2004.

Each of the ships has a crew of 325 and can accommodate up to 405 troops. Thirty-one large trucks and thirty-six smaller vehicles and main battle tanks can be carried inside the vehicle deck. To disembark troops and vehicles, the vessels are equipped with eight landing craft.

Navy Ships – Assault ships

The four ships which form the core of the Royal Navy’s amphibious fleet are helicopter carriers HMS Illustrious and Ocean and assault ships HMS Albion and Bulwark – the latter is also Britain’s flagship. With the exception of Portsmouth-based Illustrious, the amphibious force – which deploys as part of the UK’s Response Force Task Group – is concentrated in Devonport, close to many of the Royal Marines’ assault and raiding units, and the commandos’ training centre in Lympstone.

 

 

 

Royal Navy Ships

In total there are 79 commissioned ships in the navy. 19 of the commissioned vessels are major surface combatants (6 guided missile destroyers and 13 frigates) and 11 are nuclear powered submarines (4 ballistic missile submarines and 7 fleet submarines). In addition the Navy possesses an aircraft carrier, a helicopter carrier and 2 landing platform docks.

The 19 ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary are not included in this list or above figures; additionally there are the minor vessels (tugs, etc) of the (now privatised) Marine Services, and training vessels based at the various shore establishments.

Stay tuned for more information on each of the ships….

BFBS – British Forces Broadcasting Services

The Services Sound and Vision Corporation is a registered charity set up to entertain and inform Britain’s Armed Forces around the world. Its mission: To be the preferred provider of entertainment and information to Service personnel and their families worldwide.

Our work makes a considerable contribution to the maintenance of the efficiency and morale of the three Services. Our activities are carried out directly for the Ministry of Defence. Any profits are donated towards Forces’ welfare. The activities carried out by SSVC are:

  • BFBS Radio
  • BFBS Television
  • Combined Services Entertainment
  • SSVC Retail
  • SSVC Forces Cinemas
  • British Defence Film Library

Military Cut Backs

Throughout January to March there is going to be a large amount of cut backs throughout the Armed Forces. Each area of the Military will suffer great losses, as the Government make cuts in each area. The Armed Forces will lose 4,200 personnel in the biggest round of job losses in a decade.

Up to 2,900 members of the Army, 1,000 members of the Royal Air Force and 300 members of the Royal Navy will be sacked as the MOD tries to plug its £38 billion black hole in the defence budget.

One in six Air Commodores will lose their jobs in what some Air Force officers called a “night of the long knives” for commanders. The Forces are losing a large chunk of senior leadership with officers targeted across all three services as politicians expressed “deep concern” at the latest round of mass redundancies.

A third of the RAF redundancies will come from its leadership with 30 group captains, 40 wing commanders and 115 squadron leaders going. It is also understood that up to half-a-dozen of the 26 Air Vice Marshals will be axed. While no pilots will go the RAF losses will come from engineers, logistics, personnel and air traffic controllers.

With the Navy losing more than 50 per cent of its fleet in the last decade and going down to 30,000 personnel officers who commanded its warship are being dumped with five commodores and 15 captains sacked.

In addition to losing 400 Gurkha soldiers the Army has chosen to axe 500 infantry privates who have served for more than six years, the equivalent to an entire battalion. It will also lose 8 brigadiers and 60 lieutenant colonels, the rank at which officers command battalions.

While Royal Marines, who supply a third of special forces, are protected from cuts the commandos will lose 19 senior officers from the ranks of lieutenant colonel to brigadier.

One in eight Gurkhas will lose their jobs after the brigade expanded following a terms of service change that saw their contracts extend from 15 to 22 years.

The Unite union also warned that a further 2,500 MoD support staff such as vehicle fitters, electricians and plumbers could be axed as the Forces reduce.

What do you think of these Military Cut Backs?

Military Reservists Proudly Wear Their Uniforms to Work

Members of the Reserve Forces are today swapping their civilian clothes for military uniforms to celebrate ‘Wear Your Uniform To Work Day’, which highlights the crucial role played by Reservists in our country’s Armed Forces. There are some 38,000 Reservists in the UK Armed Forces and they have been deployed around 24,000 times since 2003 on operations around the globe, including Afghanistan and in support of the NATO mission in Libya.

Uniform to Work Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the role of the Reserves and to remind the public the Armed Forces are made up of people from all sections of the community, from office workers to taxi drivers.

Three London-based Reservists shown here cycling to work are Able Seaman Richie Wilkinson (Royal Navy Reserve) a Studio Manager for ITV who also serves as a Communication Warfare Technician at HMS President, Lance Corporal Mark Herbage (Territorial army) who is employed by the Royal British Legion in addition to being a Signaller in the Honourable Artillery Company and Flight Lieutenant James Morris (Royal Auxiliary Air Force) a Civil Servant working in the Department for International Development and a Royal Air Force Police Officer at No.3 Police Squadron, RAF Henlow.

Service Chiefs of Staff lent their support to Uniform to Work Day by joining Reservists who were wearing their uniform to work and hopping on public transport to the Ministry of Defence.

Army Chief General Sir Peter Wall met Lance Corporal Vergottini, a tube driver on the Northern Line. LCpl Vergottini spent six months in Afghanistan last year as part of the Counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Device) Task Force, providing infantry support for the specialist C-IED operators. LCpl Vergottini said:

“I’m proud of being part of the TA and all that I’ve achieved there and today is an opportunity for me to show the public that, behind my usual work clothes, I also serve my country. I completed a tour of Afghanistan last year, but most of the time I look like any other civilian. The support we get from the public and our employers on Uniform to Work Day is a huge boost to morale for me and my fellow TA soldiers.”

Forces Redundancy

The Army and the Royal Navy today released the details of their redundancy programme to their personnel. The specific trades and branches of each service which are affected by the first tranche of the redundancy programme, along with the numbers being sought from each area have been announced.

In October, following the SDSR the MOD announced that it would be reducing the number of military personnel by 17,000 across all three services; 7,000 from the Army, 5,000 from the Royal Navy and 5,000 from the RAF. While some of these reductions will be achieved through a decrease in recruiting and not replacing those who leave, there will still need to be around 11,000 redundancies. Each service will run a number of redundancy tranches over the next four years with reductions planned to be fully achieved by April 2015.

Although this is a compulsory programme, volunteers will be sought.

The Army has identified 150 redundancy fields by looking at where the Army is in surplus now and where it will still be in surplus in 2015. For this first tranche, there will be approximately 1,000 redundancies, half of which are expected to be volunteers. About 25% of those being made redundant in this tranche will be officers, but no one with less than 8 years experience will be made redundant.

The first tranche of redundancies for the Royal Navy will result in a total of around 1600 redundancies from across a variety of the Naval Service’s specialisations and branches, and will include ratings and officers up to the rank of Captain. Those selected will be Officers from the Engineering, Medical, Warfare and Logistics Branches as well as Junior Ratings and Senior Ratings from a variety of Branches.