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● HMS Illustrious passes under the Forth railway bridge on her way to Crombie and Rosyth
Pictures: LA(Phot) JJ Massey
One in, one out
IT’S been a case of revolving Lloyds Naval Ship rules – an The reason? Well, aside from
doors on the Forth: one sleek
enhancement which will be fitted stretching sea legs, it allowed the
grey messenger departing the
to the remaining three Type 22s at ship to visit her affiliated town
famous estuary, another taking
their next upkeep. on the Kintyre Peninsula for a
Her ship’s company was weekend.
her place.
whittled down from the usual 250 As well as being an old, loyal
Leaving Rosyth after a multi-
to a mere 35 for much of the refit, friend, Campbeltown is home
million pound overhaul was HMS
but as the new decade opened the to the distillery of the year
Campbeltown… and sailing into
frigate was back to full strength. (Springbank, who also provide
the famous docks was HMS
● Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy, on board HMS Archer, watches Illustrious arrive at Rosyth
After a formal inspection the ship with her own private-
Illustrious, her flagship duties
from Capt Tom McBarnet, Capt labelled malt whisky) and one of operations, doing her duty, and scale – for one thing there’s no people at Rosyth working on the
handed over to her sister Ark
Surface Ships at Devonport, and the best surfing beaches in the that is where we want to be.” need to add a new mast like the two leviathans whose hulls will be
John Ridley from DE&S, the pair UK (Machrihanish) which both The 14 months work his team did during the 2003-04 refit pieced together in the yard.
Campbeltown spent 14 months
declared ship and ship’s company received visits from sailors – the ship provided for the Babcock – but that doesn’t mean the task Before she left Portsmouth on
north of the border undergoing
fit to return to the high seas. latter from hardier souls among engineers, electricians and isn’t daunting. her trip north there was one final
a thorough revamp in every
Which both promptly did, the ship’s company. shipwrights will be eclipsed by the There are 500 metres (1,640ft) ceremony to be held.
department: upgrades to comms
bound for their home port. “This visit was a bit of a ‘drive- year and a half they’ll be toiling of pipework to replace, plus 650 With the ship’s company
kit, weapons systems, sensors,
Rather than take the usual by’ while we were on sea trials, on Lusty. valves and all eight exhausts. gathered in the hangar, Rear
machinery, and accommodation
route (North Sea, Strait of Dover, and I hope we can return soon,” Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy New paint which allows the Admiral Mark Anderson presented
areas have all been performed Channel, Plymouth Sound), said CO Cdr Keri Harris.
sailed out to welcome the carrier ship to scythe through water more Illustrious with the Desmond
since she arrived at the Babcock Campbeltown has taken the long “Campbeltown may be a
as she passed under the Forth efficiently will be applied – 540,000 Wettern Fleet Media award for the
yard in late 2008. way home (North Sea, Pentland modest-sized town for a frigate’s
Bridges on her way to the jetty at litres (118,000 gallons) of it. second year running.
Beams have also been fitted to Firth, Outer Hebrides, Irish affiliation, but they share our pride
Crombie, where all ammunition Living quarters face an upgrade The admiral spoke of the
her hull to improve longitudinal Sea, Bristol Channel, Western in our ship and do their utmost to and stores were offloaded before and there will be safety checks appreciation of the Fleet for the
strength in the forward area Approaches, Channel, Plymouth provide a warm welcome and an she returned to Rosyth. on the carrier’s hull as well as ship’s efforts in maintaining the
of the ship in accordance with Sound). eventful visit.” Work refitting the 32-year-old essential equipment. momentum of the development of
More trials are lined up for his warship begins in earnest next The work is intended to help carrier operations.
ship once she’s back on the South month, and some £40m will Illustrious through to the end of Speaking of a busy year, with
Coast, followed ultimately by the be spent on the veteran carrier,
her service life by the end of this Lusty undertaking exercises as sole
rigours of BOST.
providing employment for around decade when her successor, HMS carrier while Ark Royal was in refi t,
“Upkeep is a long, but necessary,
300 workers on the Forth. Prince of Wales, joins the Fleet. Rear Admiral Anderson said: “If
process,” Cdr Harris added. “You
The revamp is the first Indeed, the reduced ship’s you had dropped the ball… it would
wouldn’t scrimp on servicing a
substantial package of work for company will be able to observe have caused us a huge problem.
Illustrious since she left refit in progress on the supercarriers “The fact that you did not drop
“Campbeltown’s now revving
Rosyth six years ago. during Lusty’s maintenance the ball is something we are hugely
up for her true role – on deployed
This work is not on the same period: there are already 400 grateful for.”
UK pilot fl ies new fi ghter
● HMS Campbeltown leaves Rosyth
THE first UK active-duty Service “An F-35 pilot will have an
pilot to fly the Joint Strike Fighter unprecedented level of situational
has taken to the skies. awareness about what’s going on
Sadly (for us here at Navy News) in the airspace around him or
he was a Crab, not a WAFU. her, and also on the battlefield or
But the F-35 Lightning II which ocean below.
Sqn Ldr Steve Long took aloft “Not only that, but the F-35
at the Patuxent River Naval Air will plug into coalition battlefield
Station in Maryland is an aircraft networks and be able to pass that
which will eventually become a picture on to all other players in
familiar sight in the pages of Navy the network.”
News (as well as RAF News – the Capable of operating from
aircraft will be operated by both carriers or rough-and-ready air
Services). strips, the F-35B can deploy
Taking off in conventional style closer to shore or near front lines,
from a runway, Sqn Ldr Long was shrinking distance and time to
flying BF-2’s 18th mission – the the target, increasing sortie rates
designation identifying the aircraft and greatly reducing the need for
as the second STOVL (short take support assets.
off/vertical landing) machine. The Lightning II’s sensor
The pilot took his charge to suite is the most powerful and
20,000ft during the 80-minute comprehensive of any fighter in
morning flight. history, and will combine with
“Flying the F-35 was exactly like an advanced networking capability
the simulators that I’ve been flying to give unparalleled situational
● The new F-35 takes off with Sqn Ldr Steve Long at the controls
for over 18 months now, which awareness.
Picture: Andy Wolfe (Senior Flight Test Photographer, Lockheed Martin)
gives you a lot of confidence in The UK has invested two billion
all the modelling and simulation dollars in the F-35’s development –
JSF programme’s upcoming operational and support costs.
work that has been done in all the the largest contribution among the
Operational Test and Evaluation Lockheed Martin is developing
other areas of the flight envelope,” programme’s eight partner nations.
phase. the aircraft with principal partners
said Sqn Ldr Long, adding that it The Joint Combat Aircraft
The F-35 Lightning II is a fifth- Northrop Grumman and BAE
was a “privilege” to fly the F-35. programme announced last
generation fighter, its builders Systems.
“What this aircraft really gives December that the UK received
claiming it boasts advanced stealth Two separate, interchangeable
the Royal Air Force and the financial approval to purchase
with fighter speed and agility, F-35 engines are under
Royal Navy is a quantum leap in its third F-35B operational test fully fused sensor information, development, the Pratt & Whitney
airborne capability because of the aircraft, reinforcing the nation’s network-enabled operations, F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce
sensor suite it carries. continued commitment to the advanced sustainment, and lower Fighter Engine Team F136.
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