Type 23 Frigate HMS Richmond has docked in Haifa.

HMS Richmond is currently deployed as part of the Carrier Strike Group 21 deployment.

HMS Richmond is a Type 23 frigate and, say the Royal Navy, “part of the fleet that is considered to be central to our frontline operations. That includes disrupting the work of criminals, including smugglers, pirates and drug traffickers”.

“As one of the Royal Navy’s newest frigates, she’s been specially designed for versatility, meaning she can undertake a wide variety of operations, from combat and humanitarian aid to acting as a training vessel for the next generation of Royal Navy engineers. She has also played a key role in high profile ceremonial events.”

What is the UK Carrier Strike Group doing?

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the deployed flag ship for Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21), a deployment that will see the ship and her escorts sail to the Asia-Pacific and back.

The Carrier Strike Group includes ships from the United States Navy, the Dutch Navy, and Marines from the US Marine Corps. As well as British frigates, destroyers, a submarine, two RFA supply ships and air assets from 617 Sqn, 820 NAS, 815 NAS and 845 NAS.

The Carrier Strike Group.

CSG21 will see the ship along with the Strike Group work with over 40 countries from around the world. The Strike Group will operate and exercise with other countries Navies and Air Forces during the 7 month deployment.

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OldSchool
OldSchool
3 months ago

Speaking of the carrier deployment I didn’t realalise that the RAF is giving AWACS support to it even possibly in the Far East.

RAF E-3D AWACS supports UK carrier strike group in Mediterranean (janes.com)

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

That is very, very interesting.

Why not P8 – as that is supposed to be the maritime area surveillance aircraft?

Even odder as AWACS are scheduled to hit the scrap heap in the next few years when the Wedgetail enters service?

Maybe this is RAF pitching for more Wedgetails? Or drone analogues?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
3 months ago

It’s just standard tasking. An E3 will have been requested, and has,probably been in the planning for months. If they wanted P8 they would have asked for that capability. Not everything has an alternative motive.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Maybe.

CSG21 is the big defence news story. So not impossible that news stories are being tagged on.

But as GHF, below, and you point out it may be the most appropriate asset.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago

P8 is different role though. E-3D is probably there backing up Crowsnest which as we know isn’t fully developed yet. Particularly if we think Russia may be tempted to play silly buggers with aircraft out of Syria.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago

That is very true.

I did think, as I was posting, that it was the most likely reason.

CrowsNest wouldn’t have the range for the Cave / pickup truck takedowns?

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago

I doubt the E-3Ds are there for actions against IS, since we seem to regularly deploy Typhoons from Akrotiri for the same purpose without our E-3Ds being there. It’s probably more a case of being able to look down at Russian aircraft taking off from Khmeimim Air Base and tracking them after they do so, or tracking aircraft coming from any other direction. Then continue to track while they fly below the CSG ship based radar horizon. Crowsnest should be able to do that too, depending on where the CSG is in eastern Med, or pick up on the aircraft… Read more »

dan
dan
3 months ago

Even when Crowsnest is fully developed it has too many disadvantages as compared to something like a big AWACS or E-2D. The RN needs to think about getting something else to fill their CV long range airborne radar needs and soon.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  dan

They are. It was already stated some time back that Crowsnest is an interim solution. The current aspiration/expectation is a fixed wing AUS the RN has called Vixen to replace Crowsnest by 2030.

But the MOD is also holding a competition to explore alternatives, per following, “The current assumptions for a follow-on capability to Crowsnest are based around a single, large radar sensor mounted on a type of uncrewed air platform. The purpose of this competition is to investigate the potential of alternative solutions which are not based on this particular approach.”

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  dan

They have thought and the future is UAVs hence the short service life planned for Crowsnest and the push for UAV launch and recover systems on the Carriers.

Challenger
Challenger
3 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

2 Sentries operating out of Cyprus I see. How on Earth do they propose to have any sort of expeditionary capability with just 3 Wedgetails!

Perhaps the RAF are deploying them as much as possible to try and argue the case for more replacements.

Julian1
Julian1
3 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

I’m surprised that they even have enough serviceable to deploy 2. Does this mean there are none left for UK needs? Clearly raises question marks about the ability to deploy away from UK with just 3 wedgetail. Also, what does it say about Crowsneat?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian1

We don’t really need AEW in the UK unless tasked for a large scale exercise, or the Russians are invading. Crownsnest isn’t fully operational yet, and the true requirement for E3 capability we will never find out.

dan
dan
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

The RN needs a dedicated AEW aircraft for both land defense and also to protect their new CVs. There is no replacement for a high flying AEW aircraft in combat. They are leaps and bounds more effective than either ground based radars or helo AEW like the Crowsnest that lacks the altitude, range, on time station, ect.

dan
dan
3 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Yep. This shows that the heloborne AEW currently in use by the RN is woefully inadequate and no matter how good your ship radars are there is no replacement for a high flying AEW platform be it an E-2D or AWACS. Especially when going up against near peer threats.

Andy P
Andy P
3 months ago

Be an interesting run ashore, especially in ‘covid times’, Israel is one of the more ‘open for business’ parts of the world.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago

‘One of our newest Frigates’ well I suppose she is being only 25 years old but probably not something to boast about by the implications. I assume she is one of the most recent to have her mid term refit.

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago

Telegraph came up today with an article – with a clumsy title- about Trophy for Challenger.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/06/29/britains-new-tanks-will-blast-missiles-course-using-bullets/

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Is it wise to waste time on The Daily Telegraph.

Mark Harland
Mark Harland
3 months ago

DT is useless for defence news. Since the passing of Desmond Wettern you might as well read the Beano’

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
3 months ago

I’m not sure where the main quote comes from but it seems total gibberish. I mean, ‘a key role in high profile ceremonial events’.

Surely to goodness this cannot be an official statement.

But back in the real world, what we are seeing is that this cruise is going to involve a whole range of quite serious RN vessels meeting up with a lot of countries that have not called in for quite a long time. It will be good for our diplomacy.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago

Spot on.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago

And the world wide brewery industry.

David
David
3 months ago

This is like reading ‘1984’ at school where the Ministry release a statement of pure double-speak: old IS new!

Have the Civil Service now lost their integrity as much as the Government?

23s are worn out and need replacing with much needed T26 which would give a qualitive boost to the fleet, despite, the absurd cut in numbers and delayed introduction by the Cons.

Consider, the gestation of the 26s, IF, it had been expedited, might have seen a true commonwealth frigate purchased by the United States.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 months ago
Reply to  David

The 8 ASW T23’s will be replaced with T26. General purpose T23’s will be replaced with 5 T31. And at 250M a piece, will be far better value than T26, and much better chance of export orders. Fixed pricing of the T31 is somthing we should have done years ago. 5 T32’s will hopefully see the light of day, and expand the RN escort fleet. And T23’s are still one of the world’s most capable ASW Frigates.

Gemma
Gemma
3 months ago

Do I have this right?. HMS Richmond has no dedicated anti ship missile system? .

Frank62
Frank62
3 months ago
Reply to  Gemma

She should have 8 quite old & practically obsolescent Harpoon AShMs. Presumably older pics show her with them, but from this pic above it seems they’ve been removed. The RN currently is dragging its feet(or the treasury are) choosing an interim up-to-date AShM & the intended replacement, the Perseus is unlikely to be ready until c2030. It’s a typical MOD mess. All peer opponents & most smaller navies always have plenty of AShMs fitted on appropriate warships, this gapping of essential warfighting weaponry is a peculiar UK perversion. They’ll usually try to cover the appalling negilgence with some kind of… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Frank62
ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 months ago
Reply to  Gemma

Hi Gemma, From recent pictures I think HMS Kent is carrying Harpoon but Richard isn’t. As such I think there is only one ship in the CSG with a heavy anti-ship missile. It has been reported that at least some of the ships are equipped with Martlet and Sea Venom helicopter launched missiles. Both of these weapons are on the light side with Martlet having an anti-drone capability, as well as being suited to engaging light warships and fast attack craft. The Sea Venom is capable of hitting corvette sized vessels pretty hard and perhap achieving a ‘mission kill’ against… Read more »