HMS Somerset strengthens her links with London
The Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate HMS Somerset arrived in the Pool of London on Wednesday 15th March to berth alongside HMS Belfast for a four-day visit. Commissioned in 1996, this will be the first time HMS Somerset has visited the capital.
Although the frigate maintains strong ties with the Duchy of Cornwall and Somerset county, she is also affiliated with a Livery Company of the City of London, the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, and her visit was intended to strengthen this link. Joining HMS Somerset on her passage up the Thames was the Master of the Apothecaries, Professor Brian Livesley. During the visit, members of the ship's company were welcomed to a special luncheon at Apothecaries Hall and to return their hospitality, HMS Somerset hosted the Society at a dinner onboard.
HMS Somerset also provided the venue for a luncheon hosted by the new First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, who took up his post in February. While onboard Admiral Band took the opportunity to present long service medals to four members of the ship's company with a total of 75 years service between them.
Visiting HMS Somerset from much further afield was another affiliation, the Massachusetts-based historical group The Ship's Company of HMS Somerset 1778. This society recreates sailors from the last HMS Somerset to serve in the Royal Navy during the American War of Independence. They got to know their modern day counter-parts on HMS Somerset and caught up on their historical roots at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich
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HMS Queen Elizabeth conducts vital system tests off the coast of Scotland
Pictured is an aerial view of HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Iron Duke (centre) and HMS Sutherland (right).
The carrier is shown conducting vital system tests off the coast of Scotland.
HMS Queen Elizabeth left Rosyth, where she has been under construction since 2014, to conduct sea trials.
Type 23 frigates Sutherland and Iron Duke joined the 65, 000-tonne aircraft carrier, along with Merlin Mk2 helicopters of the Fleet Air Arm, to guard the seas as the trials get under way.
The Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers are the biggest warships ever built for the Royal Navy - four acres of sovereign territory, deployable across the globe to serve the United Kingdom on operations for 50 years.
HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales will be the most advanced warships in the Royal Navy fleet.
They are the future flagships of the nation. Initially the ships will carry helicopters. The vast flight deck and hangar can accommodate any helicopter in Britains military inventory.
From 2020, however, our punch will be delivered by the F35 Lightning II, the worlds most advanced stealth fighter-bomber
HMS Iron Duke Fitted with Artisan Radar
Portsmouth-based HMS Iron Duke returns to sea after a 16-month upgrade and now boasts one of the most advanced radars in the world (top).
The Type 23 frigate is the first Royal Navy ship to be fitted with Artisan a 3D radar which is five times better than the old version it replaces.
She left the Naval Base today (Sunday) to begin an intensive few months of sea trials.
As part of a £100m programme Artisan will be fitted to all the Navy's 13 Type 23s as well as the two future aircraft carriers.
Artisan could also be the principal air radar of the Type 26 combat ship, successor to the 23s, which enter service next decade.
The radar boasts some impressive statistics. It can spot something as small as a cricket or tennis ball travelling at three times the speed of sound more than 25 kilometres (15 miles) away.
It's built out of the same lightweight carbon glass fibre materials found on a Formula 1 car and weighs just 700kg (1, 540lb).
It can track up to 800 targets simultaneously if theyre 200 metres from Iron Duke or 200 kilometres (125 miles) away.
Put another way Iron Duke could sit in her home base and simultaneously follow aircraft flying into Heathrow, Gatwick, Southampton, Stansted, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Birmingham airports.
On top of accuracy it's packed with anti-jamming features it isn't affected by interference from mobile phone signals and can pick out targets against a background of electronic noise and interference.
Iron Duke's upgrade carried out by BAE Systems in Portsmouth - also included work on her other weapons systems and combat computer. Improvements to her ventilation mean she is able to operate more efficiently in hot climates