2 NAVY NEWS, JULY 2009
HMS St Albans
RFA Largs Bay
Vikings/845 NAS/846 NAS/
Fleet FS(Air)/CPO Dean Steer
Taurus task group
HMS Chiddingfold HMS Echo
HMS Pembroke FDU2
RFA Wave Knight
RFA Lyme Bay
RFA Cardigan Bay
RFA Gold Rover
Plus one ballistic missile submarine on patrol somewhere beneath the Seven Seas
Fleet Fleet FocusFocus
GOOD day. Here is the news for vegetables. No Brussels
sprouts were involved in operations involving Britain’s
amphibious fl agship in Brunei.
Apologies for the faux Monty Python but only one naval story
seems to have really hit the headlines this past month.
Anyway, when not not eating sprouts (see the opinion piece,
page 28), the men and women of the Taurus task group –
Bulwark, Ocean, Somerset, Echo, RFA Wave Ruler, 820 and
847 NAS, 539 ASRM, 40 Commando – have been conducting
jungle and riverine operations in the sultanate (see pages 23-25).
Before taking part in Commando Rajah, HMS Ocean led British
involvement in Bersama Shield off the Malay peninsula (see page
22), and the Lynx of 847 NAS could be found flying over Kuala
Lumpur at the end of jungle training (see page 4).
Further west, HMS Portland thwarted a potential pirate attack
(and blasted a pirate ship out of the water) in one of her final
sweeps in the Gulf of Aden (see pages 18-19).
She has handed over anti-piracy duties to HMS Cumberland
● A shell casing falls away as Daring’s 30mm gun fi res during ● Sceptre closes in for the kill after capturing HMS Daring in her
(see page 6), although HMS Cornwall has also joined the fight
gunnery trials Picture: BVT sights
with a NATO task force now committed to the ever-growing
operation (see page 8).
In the Baltic, flagship Illustrious hosted the Naval Strike
Wing for air defence war games in Sweden (see opposite), while
HMS St Albans was reasonably nearby joining international war
games Baltops (also see opposite).
The hunter... ... the hunted
HMS Iron Duke is off to the Caribbean for six months tackling
drug runners and the after-effects of hurricanes (see page 6).
BECALMED seas = good. couldn’t have gone any better,” THIS is the newest warship in in 2010.
Also departing on lengthy tours of duty are HM Ships
Storms = bad. he said. the Royal Navy inventory in the Having successful completed
Gloucester (off to the Falklands to take over from HMS
Unless you’re HMS Daring. “Daring handles beautifully cross-hairs of the oldest. her sea safety training – the tick
Manchester – see pages 5 and 17), Kent (off to the northern
Britain’s newest warship has and we’ve great confidence in HMS Sceptre (commissioned in box from the team at the
Gulf to replace HMS Richmond – see page 17), and Enterprise,
been on the lookout for the very her – even in such potentially- 1978) has eyes on HMS Daring Flag Officer Sea Training which
bound for Africa on surveying duties (see page 5).
worst the gods can offer (and let’s dangerous situations.” (not yet commissioned) as the says ship and crew are fit for
Submarines HMS Turbulent and Talent have been enjoying
face it, in Britain that’s not too And talking of danger... The former conducts Operation sea – the FOSTies took the
breaks from operations, the former in Norway, the latter in the
hard) as she tested her ability to gunnery department let rip off Safety Training and the latter last of the Swiftsure-class fleet
UAE (see page 4), while Britain’s oldest active warship HMS
operate helicopters. Lulworth and the South Coast carries out a series of helicopter submarines to the next level by
Sceptre had the newest addition to the RN’s arsenal, HMS
As the first of the Type 45 ranges. The electro-optics control trials (see left). testing her combat ability.
Daring, in her sights during work-up (see right).
fleet, it’s Daring’s job to set the system was tested against air and “You can’t teach an old dog It’s not all fun and games with
Our oldest surface ship, HMS Exeter, the last Falklands
benchmark for her five sisters, ground targets using the 30mm new tricks, but you can give an Daring for the ship’s company
veteran, bowed out with a decommissioning service after a
laying down the very limits that and 4.5in main gun; the accuracy old dog something new to play with the FOSTies aboard.
the ship can operate in. and rate of fire of the latter with,” said Cdr Steve Waller, Those gremlins of the deep
career spanning three decades (see page 5).
It was the good fortune of a particularly impressed the Army Sceptre’s CO. decided to throw in lots of
Also in home waters, HMS Cattistock paid a rare visit to
Merlin crewed by experts from spotters at Lulworth. Everyone wants to play with action damage, breakdowns,
Northern Ireland (coinciding with the RNA annual conference –
the Empire Test Pilots’ School at After that it was up to Liverpool the first Type 45 destroyer – and damage control and other
see pages 10 and 31), while her sister Hurworth could be found
Boscombe Down to assist with the and Daring’s inaugural port visit. not just her ship’s company. challenges to keep the deeps
on Teesside (see page 10). A few miles down the east coast, HMS
‘helicopter operating limits’ data. Four thousand Liverpudlians For Sceptre, this was on their toes.
York called in on Hull as part of a hometown visit (see page 6).
It’s a series of tests which is a filed up the (quite steep) gangway a chance to covertly gather At first these failures
On the other side of the Pennines, HM Ships Ledbury,
precise science – which meant to tour the ship – the very first intelligence on a new type of and incidents all occurred
Charger and Biter negotiated the Manchester Ship Canal for a
the destroyer hung on the word members of the general public to ‘enemy’ warship, first tracking individually, but as the crew
visit to Salford (see page 6).
of the Fleet meteorologists as she enjoy that privilege. Daring from afar, then closing became more proficient, the
HMS Sutherland headed to Scotland for a home county visit,
sought the right wind, sea state, Pretty much the only thing yet in silently to take some close- FOSTies piled on the pressure.
then returned to Devonport to host a rock legend (find out who
temperatures and pressure. The to be tested on Britain’s most range images and collect At the height of the tests, the
on page 16).
ship’s company had hoped such advanced warship is her Sea Viper reams of technical data (Daring 116 submariners were coping
The Lynx of 702 NAS decamped to north-west Devon for a search would take them to the main missile system; more work may be cutting edge, state-of- with upwards of a dozen man-
some ‘over land’ training (see page 16). Azores... They got Ireland. on that is under way as we speak the-art and all that but she’s made crises simultaneously.
Other fliers ‘over land’ are the RN personnel attached to 39 There were also challenging in Portsmouth, where Daring’s designed for air defence, not And when you’re dealing with
Sqn RAF operating Reaper drones over Afghanistan (see page 9) waters off the South Coast as also conducting harbour trials. anti-submarine warfare which a 35-year-old warship (Sceptre
and 1419 Flight flying Merlins in Iraq (see page 7). Daring conducted replenishment The ship is open to the public made the submarine’s task was laid down in 1974) some
And you can’t get much further from the sea as a sailor than at sea with RFA Fort George with in her home city this month (18- easier). things do need fixing for real,
Kabul, where CPO Dean Steer offered us a unique insight into fuel and stores (the latter by heavy 19) for the RN Past and Present Sceptre is in the throes of which meant the odd break
training the Afghan National Army (see page 30). jackstay) transferred. event, and for Navy Days in a lengthy work-up following from training by popping into
And finally... A ‘BZ’ to the RN Photographic Branch whose That came in the very first week Plymouth on September 5-6. ten months of maintenance, Devonport. The work-up is now
images are the mainstay of this paper. Their eye for an image was as navigator for Lt Tom Knott. And in between there’s the small work which will carry the boat continuing ahead of Sceptre
rewarded with the annual Peregrine Trophy awards (see pages So no pressure... “It felt like a matter of Daring’s commissioning through to the end of her career deploying later this year.
20-21). No sprouts were involved...
baptism of fire, but actually it ceremony on July 23.
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