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Dear Member,

After a busy week last week, with a wealth of news of new programmes released at DSEI, this week has been very quiet, with all eyes on the outcome of the Supreme Court.

Britain's second carrier sets sail for sea trials 
Britain’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, has sailed from Rosyth Dockyard for the first time. Eight years after her first steel was cut, the 65,000 tonne warship will head under the iconic Forth Bridges in the coming week to begin her initial sea trials.

The carrier will conduct extensive sea trials off the coast of North East Scotland upon departing Rosyth before arriving at her home port of Portsmouth later this year.
Upon her entry to Portsmouth, she will be officially commissioned into the Royal Navy by her Lady Sponsor, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, and sit alongside her sister ship for the first time.  Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

Prince of Wales’ departure from Rosyth is a landmark moment for the carrier programme. As the ship takes the next step to becoming fully operational, she carries with her the story of Britain’s maritime might.
This tremendous achievement is a testament to the talent of British industry and I look forward to the moment we can welcome her into the Royal Navy family.

All Party Parliamentary Group for Shipbuilding and Ship Repair report
Based on evidence from experts in the field, the report calls on the Government to ensure domestic yards receive the Fleet Solid Support Ship Contract in order to retain the skills needed to construct, refit and upgrade complex warships in the future. The report states that the industry is already facing significant redundancies as the aircraft carrier programme runs down, with the subsequent loss of leading-edge skills. Once lost, the report argues, these skills cannot be quickly regained and the UK’s sovereign capability to produce complex warships will suffer accordingly, as will the UK’s ability to project naval power.  The APPG states that:

“it is the responsibility of the Government to ensure the Royal Navy receives its equipment from a leading-edge supply chain and support structure and is therefore able to maintain its operational advantage”.

The full report can be downloaded here 

There have been no Parliamentary questions this week.

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Blog / News / Make UK Defence