Rumours abound that the Royal Navy is to gut its globally respected Operational Sea Training organisation in order to reallocate cash across defence. It is not simply the UK’s martial reputation that would be at stake; the evidence states that operational sea training is a crucial asset on which the Royal Navy should not skimp.
The launch this week of Britain’s national shipbuilding strategy, with an order of five vessels to be designed and built in English shipyards, sees the UK’s aspiration to compete in the global warship export market.
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 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.
Increased Russian naval activities in the North Atlantic have refocused Western military attention on Iceland’s geostrategic importance. But even if the US has resumed irregular Cold War-style maritime and anti-submarine patrols from Iceland, there are no plans to reopen the American military base on the island.
The Royal Australian Navy is leveraging the latest Aegis combat system, SM-6 interceptor missiles and its new Hobart-class destroyers to limit its vulnerability to proliferating ballistic and cruise missile threats in the Indo-Pacific region. This has implications for interoperability with allies and deterrence.