The chairman of the independent review into Britain’s National Ship Building Strategy is advocating a ‘cheap and cheerful’ Royal Navy. However, Sir John Parker is unlikely to face action on the unsuitable ships he is proposing.
The Philippines' brash president, Rodrigo Duterte, is making overtures to China at the expense of a long-lasting alliance with the US. It remains to be seen whether Beijing will reciprocate given its own conflicts with Manila over fishing rights and freedom of navigation.
The deputy commander of the US Navy, Admiral Bill Moran, has announced that its thinking on unmanned systems had changed. The systems now no longer needed their own separate office and its areas of interest and responsibilities would now be absorbed within existing structures. It’s the American way.
The use of the sea remains fundamental to international security. At a time of increasing public spending constraints, what is the significance of naval force – and of the Royal Navy in particular – in supporting national and international defence and security.
With the recent publication of a Ministry of Defence (MoD) Green Paper and an upcoming Strategic Defence Review (SDR), the debate over future UK defence reform has been fierce. The international response to the Haitian disaster has proven to be a case study in how important high-end naval assets can be to a wide range of UK national interests.