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About The Royal Navy and What the Navy Does

Published: 18 Oct 2011

The Royal Navy has recently updated and revised its website.

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The pictures depict some aspects of Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm operations. From top left clockwise they are:

The Fleet Air Arm's MERLIN helicopters operate with US Navy forces:

The attack systems of MERLIN:



The Fleet Air Arm's MERLIN helicopter

The Royal Navy’s Merlin Helicopter Force is currently celebrating ten years of deploying Merlin Helicopters to serve on frontline operations. Royal Navy Merlins from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose have helped to ensure the safety of Gulf Oil Platforms, been responsible for the detainment of over 3000 persons involved in people trafficking, disrupted pirate missions in the Gulf since 2010 and aided in the seizure of drugs with a street value of over £28 million. Introduced into service in 1999, Royal Navy Merlin Helicopters have served on frontline operations since October 2001. The first Squadron to use the Merlin on the frontline was 814 Naval Air Squadron on Operation TELIC, providing crucial protection to the 17-ship Task Force on the run-up to and during the amphibious assault on the Al Faw Peninsula in the North Arabian Gulf. Since then the Merlin Force has seen wide ranging deployments from the South Atlantic to the Far East and has been engaged in a variety of Operations including Counter Narcotics, Maritime Interdiction and Maritime Surveillance. More recently, the Merlin Force has been tasked to areas including the Gulf, the Horn of Africa and the coast of Somalia to counter the threat of piracy and maritime terrorism and to ensure the safety of international transit routes and key trade links in the area. The Merlin Force Commander, Commander Kevin Dodd said: “The primary role of the Merlin is Anti-submarine warfare, however due to its size, speed and proven technological capability, this versatile aircraft is also used in a whole range of maritime security operations. The helicopter is large enough to carry Royal Marines for sniper operations and boarding via fast roping, both which are vital to counter the threat of pirates, and it is fitted with heavy duty machine guns and thermal imaging equipment. One of the emergent roles for Merlin, has been defending Iraqi oil shipping and offshore assets in the Gulf.”


HMS ST Albans conducts PASSEX with US Navy units 25-27/09/2011. HMS ST Albans and HMS Somerset were involved in a PASSEX for 3 days with the US Carrier USS George H W Bush and other smaller units USS's Mitscher, Gettysburg and Springfield. The exercise saw involvement in Air Defence Exercises, Surface threat Exercises and Anti submarine Warfare exercises. HMS ST Albans is deployed to the Middle East for 6 months where she is undertaking Counter Terrorism, Anti Narcotics and Anti Piracy operations. She is due to return to the UK in December. Image taken by LA(Phot) Simmo Simpson, FRPU(E), Royal Navy

As HMS ST Albans made passage en route to Kuwait, the ship took part in a Passex with Kuwaiti forces. The ship came under a simulated attack from Kuwaiti F18 Hornet jets prior to providing a Kuwaiti super Puma helicopter a platform to practice winching drills. An Apache attack helicopter made a further simulated attack on the type 23 Frigate before the afternoons boarding serial, teaching the Kuwaiti Coast Guard how to conduct board and search techniques. HMS St Albans is currently deployed to the Middle East for six months where she will carry out Counter-Terrorism, COUNTER-Narcotics and COUNTER-Piracy operations, working as part of combined maritime forces based in Bahrain. She is due to return to the UK in December. Image taken by LA(Phot) Simmo Simpson, FRPU(E), Royal Navy


HMS Bulwark is an Albion-class landing platform dock, the UK's newest class of amphibious assault warship and built in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.. Together with Albion, Ocean, and other amphibious ships, she provides a much-improved and potent amphibious capability for the Royal Navy.

[All images Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]


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