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Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean is heading to the Caribbean to provide relief following a recent hurricane.

HMS Ocean has reportedly been diverted from her deployment in the Mediterranean after Hurricane Irma passed through the Caribbean.

RFA Mounts Bay is already in the region providing assistance.

HMS Ocean is a 22,000 tonne amphibious assault ship, the UK’s helicopter carrier and the fleet flagship of the Royal Navy. She is designed to support amphibious landing operations and to support the staff of Commander UK Amphibious Force and Commander UK Landing Force.

This comes as the rumoured purchase of HMS Ocean by the Brazilian Navy still has a few hurdles to overcome but they’ve already picked out a name.

We understand from Roberto Lopes via e-mail, the source who let us know that Brazil has already submitted a payment plan for the vessel, that the officers involved in the ship acquisition process are optimistic and are already discussing details beyond the technical and financial assessments that have been made, such as the name of the ship.

“Minas Gerais is the strongest designation at the time. Rio de Janeiro was ‘saved’ for the future aircraft carrier”, the source continued However, nothing definite. Only with the execution of the acquisition is that defined.”

According to someone we spoke to currently on-board the vessel, there are rumours that this is one of a number of possibilities:

“People have been talking about what will happen to the ship after 2018, there were rumours that the vessel might be sold to another navy but there’s been no mention of what navy that might be.”

The helicopter carrier was constructed in the mid-1990s and commissioned in September 1998.

In November 2015, the MoD confirmed that HMS Ocean is to be decommissioned in 2018 with no like-for-like replacement.

This comes as the Brazilian Navy have decided to abandon the refit of the  aircraft carrier Sao Paulo and decommission the vessel after a series of technical issues and accidents.

Rectification costs are understood to be a major factor in this decision.

The Sao Paulo is a Clemenceau class aircraft carrier commissioned in 1963 by the French Navy as Foch and was transferred in 2000 to Brazil, where she became the new flagship of the Brazilian Navy. The earlier intention of the navy was that the vessel would continue in active service until 2039, at which time the vessel would be nearly 80 years old.

IHS Janes reported that during its career with the Brazilian Navy, São Paulo has suffered from ‘serviceability issues and has never managed to operate for more than three months at a time without the need for repairs and maintenance’.

It is no surprise therefore that the navy have now announced, as reported by DefesaNet, that the ship will be ‘demobilised and subsequently decommissioned’.

 

18 COMMENTS

  1. The irony!! Deploying a ship we are just about to sell off for peanuts to Brazil…without replacement.
    HMS Ocean and the 21-25000 ton lph concept consistently proves her worth.
    we need a new HMS Ocean.

  2. John O’Connell, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “If we are ever going to balance the books then it is essential that a culture of delivering best value for money exists across the public sector and the MoD cannot be any different.”

    Two Royal Navy ships and battlefield training for thousands of troops will be cut to save money from the defence budget, The Times has learnt.

    A slowdown in the purchase of next-generation F-35 Lightning II warplanes from the United States is under consideration as military chiefs and mandarins struggle to find up to £30 billion in savings over the next decade. Twelve helicopters used by special forces will also be taken out of service.

    Couldn’t this ship be sailed directly to Brazil after relief work and handed over to save money wasted on bringing it back?

  3. TH I have dealt with the public sector in one form or another most of my working life and if you doubled the budget of all government departments they still wouldn’t have enough money and cuts would be required. These cuts are just another round of the same old sh-t.

    The purpose of the Taxpayers Alliance I can only applaud but HMG is a hopeless case. If the MOD was run properly and finances were tight they would not fund an aerobatic team, still have over 700 horses, finance private education or have such large numbers of senior officers. Money saved could of course then be spent on recruiting enough ratings for the navy we actually require. BTW please don’t me you are a member of the Taxpayers Alliance.

  4. Yes I have been an active supporter of the Taxpayers Alliance for quite a while. Too much of our taxes is utterly wasted, My late father was in the army. He was horrified at the waste and I continue to be. We should not expect to see our money wasted in such a way. The MOD wastes billions. Just who is this country trying to defend us from? The Empire has gone. We must face reality.

  5. I’m all for tax payer value for money so outline where the savings are.

    However, I simply don’t agree the world is a safe place – on the contrary, the world is a very dangerous place. Few people even consider a return to empire but if you want to keep the peace you’d better prepare for war.

    The list of countries and or leaders and their peoples who have vanished or become victims of genocide is endless and it did not stop in 1945 – Yazeedis being the latest.

    Then there’s trade – UK is neither food nor energy independent and operating a Just In Time supply model. Our energy comes in ships from Qatar.

    That you see none of this does not mean it is untrue.

    • Ian a great response but to be fair to TH there is huge waste in the Mod. What I find amazing is the top brass seem quite happy to have key capabilities cut or compromised but are not prepared to roll up their sleeves and find the savings elsewhere. We refit ships, planes and other equipment only to scrap them soon after. Then there is the CASD, which is a giant cuckoo in the nest. With our conventional forces becoming less credible with every cut when do we look at reducing our nuclear readiness and have three boats? We cannot continue as we are and the top brass should be telling our politicians this in no uncertain terms.

  6. One the up side when they chin off Ocean, Albions and only have a single Bay available no one will have to worry about QEC jet numbers, don’t need them on DfiD holidays.

    • I think DFID and the AID budget should pay for the APT(N) role and help fund the likes of Ocean for emergencies in the Caribbean.

      • I’d create a whole new naval branch. Manned & equipped from the Aid budget. 4 LPH to replace Ocean/Albions w/ own Tides, Bays, barges, helis, hospital beds. (Extended to other Services for transports etc)

        All with a secondary military role. Allowing funds freed up from defence for personnel/hulls.

        Very manageable and would offer a great deal for UK, her interests & those in need.

        Instead we’ll throw money at any old thing at the end of the year to meet an arbitrary amount while we fill the dole lines with potential service personnel and increase welfare.

  7. Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean is heading to the Caribbean to provide relief following a recent hurricane.
    Strange isnt it what that is not saying
    It is not saying yet again what base she is from ( Devonport by the way )
    If it was Portsmouth it would be Portsmouth this and portsmouth that
    Shows where ones loyalties are

  8. Good reason to keep Ocean, maybe transferred to the RFA alongside the Bay class and funded out of the Overseas Aid budget. Ideal for occasions such as this, and and all based at Devonport, which makes deployment much more straight forward. I agree with Gerard, but why not start now with existing ships?
    With regard to Taxpayers money, you could scrap the MOD and splash the cash on NHS/Education/Welfare and all the rest and they’d STILL be crying for more after 5 minutes – when has any government department ever said ‘ it’s ok, we’ve got plenty of money’ ?

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