The role of the RFA in providing essential support to the Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 2021

In this exclusive interview, Commodore Duncan Lamb, ACOS Afloat Support & Commodore, Royal Fleet Auxiliary discusses the role of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in supporting the deployment of the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in 2021, and outlines the elements that are driving requirements for the Royal Navy’s next support ships. He also shares insight on the future role of the Fleet Solid Support programme, which, despite being paused for the time being, will remain a vital component in the future carrier strike and blue water capability of the Royal Navy. 

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Key benefits of downloading the interview:

  • Understand the role of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in supporting the future deployment of the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier
  • Gain insider insight into what drives requirements for the Royal Navy’s future fleet of support ships, from Commodore Lamb who will attend Support Ships

In this interview, Commodore Lamb answers the following questions:

  • With the first operational deployment of the QNLZ Carrier anticipated in 2021, can you explain the role of the RFA in supporting the deployment, the challenges presented to the RFA, and the new capability that has come on tap to meet this challenge.
  • The Royal Navy is currently looking to replace the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s Fort Austin and Fort Rosalie. Could you explain what main requirements for the support fleet are currently driving the FSS programme?
  • The first vessel is expected to enter service in 2026. Could you go through the short, mid and long-term milestones of the FSS programme until then?

At Support Ships 2020, Commodore Lamb will deliver a keynote presentation on the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s role in a “New Navy” and will be joined on the speaker panel by The Right Honourable Ben Wallace MP, Secretary of State for Defence, HM Government, among others. To view the full speaker panel and session details, you can download the conference agenda here

Confirmed Attendees | Support Ships

With less than a month now to go until Support Ships (25 - 27 February) the confirmed attendee list is now available to view by submitting the form below. 

The 2020 summit has confirmed representatives from 18 nations, including:

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • United Kingdom
  • United States. 

Download the attendee list by submitting the form below:

Maintaining and supporting an aircraft carrier: The French Navy's Charles de Gaulle

In this exclusive interview conducted ahead of Support Ships 2020, Rear Admiral Jean-Mathieu Rey, Deputy Commander of the Support Service of the Fleet, French Navy discusses the Charles de Gaulles's recent maintenance and mid-life upgrade, the French Navy’s approach to designing support ships for an aircraft carrier, and preparing for carrier strike group deployments.

The French Navy has just completed an 18-month maintenance and mid-life upgrade period for its only aircraft carrier, which saw the digitization of the carrier’s networks, the replacement of the control room and the modernization of her telecommunication systems. This comes at a time where several major navies around the World are embarking on major procurement and capability enhancement programmes as they seek to build or maintain their carrier strike power.

Download the interview now >>

Benefits of downloading the interview:

  • Gain insider insight into the key takeaways from the maintenance of the Charles de Gaulle carrier, from representatives of the French Navy who will be present at Support Ships
  • Lean more about the capability needs for the FLOTLOG support ships, from representatives of the French Navy who will be present at Support Ships
  • Hear more on the key priorities for fleet support deployments from representatives of the French Navy who will be present at Support Ships

In this interview, Rear Admiral Rey answers the following questions:

  • Could you talk us through the French Navy’s approach in designing support ships for an aircraft carrier? What main lessons have been learned from conducting such an enterprise?
  • The Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier has just undergone an 18-month carrier maintenance period, which saw the digitization of the networks, the replacement of the control room and the modernization of the telecommunication systems. What were the implications of these maintenance works for the carrier’s support fleet, and how is the French Navy planning to integrate the new carrier systems with the existing support ships’?
  • Could you share the main key takeaways from this maintenance phase? What would you advise to anyone starting similar works?
  • As the French Navy looks to procure a new aircraft carrier, could you talk us through the thought process of creating requirements for the support fleet? Where do you see cutting-edge technologies and systems fit in them?
  • The UK is preparing for its first operational deployment of the new Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers in 2021. What were your key priorities as Chief of Staff of the French Carrier Strike Group relating to fleet support?

At Support Ships 2020, Rear Admiral Rey will share insight on the French Navy’s approach to predictive maintenance and support for carriers. To view who will join him on the panel of expert speakers, you can download the agenda here

Survey Vessels, Hydrographic Services and Ocean Systems 2018 Market Report

NATO and its partners are increasing their investment into ocean sciences into their defence budgets, not only for the enduring need for oceanographic and hydrographic survey to ensure safe navigation of international waters and the vast collection of commercial and ecological uses of environmental data, but also for navies to maintain their strategic relevance at sea. 

Support Ships Global Market Report 2019-2020

The naval support ships market is forecast at US$10 billion over the next ten years, as many navies are undertaking acquisition programmes to recapitalise their afloat replenishment and maritime logistics capabilities.

Ahead of the Support Ships 2020 conference, Defence IQ have compiled a market report outlining current global trends of the market, key ongoing programmes and requirements of navies from across the globe and support ships holdings. 

Download the report on the right >>

Key benefits of downloading the report:

  • Know top acquisition priorities from countries that will be present at Support Ships 
  • Develop business strategies by meeting the right people from countries having active programmes and key requirements at Support Ships
  • Gain insights into investment trends from your peers 

This report offers insights into the activity of nations that will be present at the Support Ships conference, such as:

  • Australia – update on the US$490 million contract for auxiliary oiler replenishment ships procured under Project SEA 1654 Phase 3 Maritime Operational Support Capability
  • France – EUR1.7 billion deal with Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Naval Group for four logistics support ships as part of the FLOTLOG programme
  • The Netherlands – update on the delivery of the Navy’s new combat support ship, HNLMS Den Helder
  • United Kingdom – plans to acquire two new vessels and an option for one more under the £1 billion Fleet Solid Stores ship programme put on hold
  • The U.S. – update on the construction of six new T-AO 205 John Lewis-class replenishment oilers valued at US$640.2 million

This report also features key requirements and ongoing programmes from Canada, India, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa and Turkey.

The Support Ships conference will take place on 25-27 February 2020 in London, UK and will feature presentations from a senior speaker panel from the naval community. To view the full agenda of the conference, please click here

The role of Military Sealift Command in supporting global U.S. operations

Ahead of this year's Support Ships Conference, we spoke exclusively to Rear Admiral Dee Mewbourne, Commander, Military Sealift Command about the role that MSC plays in supporting US operations and how innovations in fleet maintenance and the defence supply chain are having an impact on our community. 

This article will cover: 

  • How the support and auxiliary fleet will need to adapt from point of design
  • Insight on how MSC works with the UK and other NATO partners to address operational challenges 
  • How an evolving operational climate will affect the provision of sealift in the future 

To view this year's agenda, please click here