HMS Prince of Wales has sailed from Portsmouth.

The aircraft carrier will be spending a few weeks at sea.

I reported previously that later in the year the ship will host 6 F-35Bs as part of training exercises.

HMS Prince of Wales to sail with F-35s later this year

The first F-35 landed on HMS Prince of Wales earlier this year. The Royal Navy said in a statement at the time:

“An F-35B Lightning aircraft has landed onboard the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, for the first time. Taking place off the south coast of England, the milestone marks a significant step towards the 65,000-tonne vessel reaching full operational capability. Operating together as part of Sea Acceptance Trials, it is the first time a fixed wing aircraft has landed onboard HMS Prince of Wales. The trials test the ship’s capability to receive and launch aircraft whilst maintaining continuous air operations.”

You can read more by following the link.

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Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago

As the news this week underlines, the U.K. must show willingness to defend its interests as it pleases. It might, if it does do so, attract the support of willing allies.

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Bit concerning that some people have marked you down there I notice. We are totally reliant on far spread parts of the world being free to sell technology to us and for goods that we import from wherever it originates, if that stops so do we in all aspects of or lives. If people think we can just look inwards or even simply to Europe then they are scarily naive.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

Thanks. I never bother with popularity. Most of the people who come here seem to belong to the ‘boys with toys’ part of defence blogs. An armed service is to promote and defend the wider interests of its own society and support those who are both like minded and will hopefully wade in where they can. Hence we had a Polish Army and Airforce here with us before Pearl Habor. We are the principle reason the idea of a free Europe even exists today. We must increase defence spending in areas where we excel, new technology and cyber, and I… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Yep. Agree Barry.

Ahms
Ahms
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

To be honest i think the UK government need to make a real investment in man power as well as vital equipment and new technologies. The issue ive always had is that politicians are always quick to wave the union jack and proclaim their love and support for our armed forces then in the next defense review make even larger manpower cuts and sell off equipment and assets that usually have just been upgraded just to save a few pounds. In my humble opinion I think the government should make a real investment in manpower for all services as I… Read more »

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago
Reply to  Ahms

I agree. An overlooked as aspect in all this is culture. We have institutionally embedded anti-white working class culture. Boys and girls in our schools are being indoctrinated to despise our society and all its manifestations. I sense a stubborn resistance in this group but no fundamental support from our politico-media-arts elites. I hated being told to ‘toughen up’ when a schoolchild but later saw the wisdom behind it. I sense there is no enthusiasm for that approach now and hence a decline in the attraction of the armed services, though I have met a few young people that want… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Ahms

Bang on Ahms. Do we want increasing dictatorship across the world or freedom & rule of law?

Gemma
Gemma
1 month ago
Reply to  Ahms

Brilliant Post & as ex military myself, I agree with your post. Tory Governments slash & Cuts to British Military over last 11 years has put our UK National security at dangerous Risk. No heavy 155mm state of the art Towed Artillery. Very little ground to air missile defence capability. very small in number outdated Tanks and APC. Navy has good kit but in very small numbers. RAF Regiment is a very small unit 1800 going down to 1500 soon apparently. 2 x Aircraft carriers ordered by a Labour Government. The Tory Party is not the party of and for… Read more »

Ahms
Ahms
1 month ago
Reply to  Gemma

I agree Gemma we need more of everything.Unfortunately rather than building up capability across all the services gradually consistently and logically our government would rather spend lots of money on the more eye catching vanity projects than invest in upgrading capability in things that are perhaps not so newsworthy but more useful. Artillery and armour wise we are completely outgunned by Russia and China. I’m not saying we should invest in thousands of Challenger 3 but the small amount of tanks we have would not last long and perhaps we should increase the numbers to an acceptable minimum as in… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

I thought we were increasing spending in cyber, UAVs and other new technologies. You don’t mention manpower and combat platforms? The army at little over 70,000 regulars will struggle to deploy more than one or two brigade combat teams for a non-enduring operation or to contend with 2 or more non-small, simultaneous enduring operations – and may be seriously embarrassed by their unmodernised AFVs in an engagement with peer or near-peer opponents.

Clive Scott
Clive Scott
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Army are still using 40 year old Bulldog Vehicles for their armoured ambulances which keep breaking down. Even though these vehicles are maintained regularly, they are wearing out. Lets hope that new armoured vehicles such as the Boxer variants come on stream soon.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

Hence, ‘Global Britain’. We really need a very strong Navy and an adequate army and Air force. I think we are slowly getting there with the RN since the ‘Year of the Navy’ in 2017, but the British Army is miles away from being strong and modernised.

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

I concur. However, a barking mad thought… I do wonder to what extent governments and the implementation of policies to develope national initiatives such as infrastructure, defence capabilities, key skills etc to support national interests and meaningful alliances are hampered by the relatively short parliamentary cycles of 4 + years. Those cycles may have been appropriate 150 years ago but these days a policy direction barely gets passed the planning / early implementation stage before the threat of u-turns and cancellations looms large post a general election. Would 6 or even 7 year cycles result in greater policy consistency, greater… Read more »

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

Thank you. Not at all ‘barking’ mad, more ‘bleeding obvious!’ as we used to say. Few equipment programmes are less than long term. We have been hampered in the last half century by debts piled up during the Second World War and consequent loss of self belief, feeling ‘left out’ internationally, when we have had a lot to shout about. We dodged the bullet of space exploration deciding instead to make most of the significant breakthroughs in astrophysics by staying put and thinking … The Biden disaster must galvanise this country like nothing since 1939. We have to invest more… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

You still hear people saying we can’t do this. Have both carriers operational at the same time. Plus the rest of the fleet is carrying on as normal. We couldn’t do something like the Falklands again. No we’d make a far better job of it.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

The lesson of the Falklands was if it matters defend it before anyone gets ideas.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

We had an escort fleet then over 50 ships, today it’s only 17 or 18. It was Tory cuts that caused the war, making the Argies think we would accept a coup-de-main. A blunder usually overlooked, but at the time plenty of experts were shouting about it.
While the Argentine forces are also a shadow of the 1980s, a modern equivellent would be most formidable.

Last edited 1 month ago by Frank62
maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago

Fantastic news and what an adventure for all onboard. The UK can be proud of its carriers, and will always support these vessels regardless of the cynical minority.  🙂 

Chris Gooding
Chris Gooding
1 month ago

The government needs to get there hand in pockets.. to operate 2 aircraft carriers at wartime scenarios we need to have at least 48 aircraft 24 on each.. we have only ordered 48 You would need to have at least another 24 aircraft in the training role. I know in peace 12 aircraft will go down to 8 per squadron.. Making 32.. even if we had all 48 operational without any loses.. We need them ordered this year at least 24 onto the 48.. accounting for losses, serviceability, minimum requirement would be 96 I know we can order 138 but… Read more »

Whiteblade
Whiteblade
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Gooding

Beyond the realities that shipbuilding does take a while, I do think that the current government is taking the first baby steps towards turning around our ever decreasing in size navy. Even if it’s only 5 frigates and the confirmation that we’re getting 3 FSSS, we have at least stopped cutting numbers. On another note, I still don’t understand why a FSSS costs £500m<

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Whiteblade

With shipbuilding time scales I can see the idea they want which is a continuous period of shipbuilding in the country, sadly thats going to take a decade at least to see the results of it, after that initial decade numbers will inherently start increasing, well I hope!

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Gooding

Chris , the MOD signaled their intent to order a further tranche (maybe in Q4?). Admiralty figures suggest a total buy of between 80-90. My money is on four operational squadrons evenly split RN/RAF.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Gooding

As has been said numerous times it was pointless ordering lots of early jets, we dont have the pilots trained to fly them and on top of that they are not fully capable yet.

Much better getting much more capable jets as capabilities increase and staffing is in place.

Heck in 5 years time we may have force multipliers operating in the form of drones who knows.

HansNL
HansNL
1 month ago
Reply to  James

A frightening thing about the F35 is that a “blank” aircraft was delivered to Israel, and that combined with the upgrades and changes made by Israel doesn’t bode very well.

Shaun
Shaun
1 month ago
Reply to  HansNL

?why is that frightening?

HansNL
HansNL
1 month ago
Reply to  Shaun

Now guess…..
There is, here and there, comments on the F35, Israel wanted the F35 but also the right to change anything, and now a blank one delivered?
If you don’t think that frightening, then what would make you think?

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Gooding

This month we have been together with our main ally humiliated by a Pakistan backed militia. We and the U.S. have studiously being payinga mint of money to the Pakistanis whilst they harboured and supplied our and the Afghan people’s enemies. The U.K. regularly pays Pakistan around half a billion a year,a country where an eight year old Christian child can be imprisoned for blasphemy. I could find a better use for that money; so I imagine could you.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

And a close PRC ally. Very dangerous times we’re living in.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Gooding

main issue is, Manning all these extras, manpower and Ex-Service personnel, currently more Ex-service than active. 3 x Invincible class built and in their service lives. how much combat active duty per year of service. maybe a more flexible Landing Class ship, but a hanger and a dock wastes space

Meirion x
Meirion x
1 month ago
Reply to  Johan

So are you saying, No pensions for ex-service personal? Or, do you mean we should kill off personal when they retire??

Of cause, we have a lot of ex-service personal, now receiving pensions, because our Armed Forces was much larger in the past!

The Invincible class carriers were built in 1970’s and early 80’s, and have been sold for scrap. They would be obsolete today!

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Gooding

I doubt we will buy the full 138 originally mooted. Don’t forget that RAF F-35s can operate from Land air bases.

Jason Hartley
Jason Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Gooding

Absolutely agree , the navy is far too small

Ryan Nair
Ryan Nair
1 month ago

When does it leave?