The US Navy’s variant of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter has successfully completed its first-ever landing on an aircraft carrier, marking a major milestone for the programme. Two F-35C aircraft landed on the USS Nimitz off the coast of San Diego, California, as part of the fifth-generation fighter’s initial at-sea testing phase.
This year has seen the Australian Government backtrack on its promise to build the navy’s next-generation submarines domestically. In the ongoing submarine saga, it looks increasingly likely that Australia will purchase Japanese submarines. We explore the reasons why and ask whether it spells the end for Australia’s shipbuilding industry.
Buying defence equipment such as tanks, ships and jets often comes down to a stark choice; do you want a highly capable platform but only in limited numbers because of cost, or a less capable platform which you can buy in greater numbers? It’s an age-old debate in defence, and one that still divides opinions among experts today.
The Royal Navy’s third Astute-class submarine has successfully completed her first dive, a major milestone for the vessel before it begins sea trials next year. The nuclear-powered submarine slipped beneath the waters in a series of tests carried out at the BAE Systems site in Barrow-in-Furness.
Australia’s troubled shipbuilding industry could be overhauled under radical proposals by the Canberra government, local media reports have indicated. Speculation is rife that British defence giant BAE Systems will be brought in to rescue the Navy’s long-delayed and over-budget Hobart-class air warfare destroyer (AWD) project.
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Boeing’s new Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) made its international debut at this year’s Farnborough Air Show, just two years after the concept was first announced at the show. We caught up with Boeing who told us more about the MSA programme and its recent progress.
The naming of HMS Queen Elizabeth was a chance to show off the Royal Navy’s newest flagship vessel and celebrate the achievements of thousands of British workers. But it was also an occasion to send a clear message to allies and adversaries alike – Britain is back as a maritime power.
The world’s largest naval exercise is currently underway in the Pacific. Rim of the Pacific – or RIMPAC – will see ships, submarines and aircraft from 22 nations train together for an intensive four week period. For the first time in RIMPAC’s 43-year history China and India will participate, while Thailand and Russia will both be absent in light of recent political events.
The Queen has officially named the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier at a ceremony in Scotland today. At 65,000 tonnes, the Queen Elizabeth will be three times the size of the carriers before her and the biggest ship ever to sail in the Royal Navy. With a complement of fifth-generation F-35B aircraft, she represents a quantum leap in maritime capabilities.
Britain’s arsenal of nuclear weapons should be retained to defend the country and prevent “nuclear blackmail”, says a long-awaited report into Trident renewal. The Trident Commission – made up of cross-party figures including former ministers, diplomats and generals – came to the conclusion after a three-year study.