HMS Cumberland added to Navy Days

The Type 22 Frigate HMS Cumberland has been confirmed to appear at the Navy Days event in Portsmouth at the end of the month. Cumberland is normally based in Plymouth, so it will be a rare opportunity to take a look round a Type 22 Frigate in Portsmouth. It also goes some way to bolstering what is a rather weak-looking line-up.

Despite this new announcement the line-up for Navy Days is still looking decidedly anaemic. HMS Ark Royal, HMS Ocean, HMS Albion, HMS Liverpool, HMS Sutherland, RFA Fort George and RFA Largs Bay are all off the east coast of the US for the AURIGA deployment and are obviously unavailable. HMS Invincible is rusting in 3 Basin and in no condition to be on display, and HMS Illustrious is in deep refit at Rosyth. HMS Bulwark is in refit in Plymouth. As Portsmouth is the home port of the Type 42 Destroyers at least one of those should be on display, but perhaps the Navy is keen to emphasise the future where Destroyers are concerned. The survey ship HMS Echo is currently undergoing operational sea training and might be available, or how about the other survey ship, HMS Scott? Navy Days might also be an ideal opportunity for the Royal Navy to show off the new Astute submarine – even if visitors could not go onboard, it would be a PR coup to even be able to see her tied up alongside, and with some suitable displays about her next door.

There have been noticeably few announcements about foreign warships too. Apart from the French fishery patrol ship FS Cormoran Navy Days is looking like a solely British affair. The last Navy Days in Portsmouth had French, Danish, Chilean and Japanese ships on display. Hopefully we’ll get some announcements in the next couple of weeks – there was talk at one stage of an Italian warship, which would be great if it turned out to be one of the Italian Navy’s new Destroyers, which are almost identical to the Type 45′s and would make for an interesting comparison.

The Royal Navy has never been good at PR, even its own senior officers have dubbed it the ‘silent service’. Its not difficult to work out that poor PR makes you vulnerable when it comes to cuts, as politicians, civil servants and the public at large will be poorly-informed about who you are and what you do. The RAF, on the other hand, has a strong heritage of promoting itself – it has always had to, right from its early days. You can be it will not be wasting a single opportunity to emphasise what it does in these critical days while the Strategic Defence Review is ongoing.

Officials will cite ‘operational commitments’ for the poor showing at Navy Days, but in the case of exercises such as AURIGA would it not have been possible to either move the dates of Navy Days or scale down our involvement so at least one major ship might have been available? Of course it must be nice for Admirals to go on flag-waving exercises and to practice the rarity of fixed-wing flying on a UK Aircraft Carrier, but with bad PR this might end up being a thing of the past entirely.

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21 Comments

Filed under defence, Dockyard, event, Navy

21 responses to “HMS Cumberland added to Navy Days

  1. Well, that’s cutbacks for you. And who wouldn’t like a carrier with a deck full of Sea Harriers like the old days?

  2. David Bruce

    We have precious few war ships left, I am surprised we have thus many on display at Navy day….

  3. James Daly

    I’m still going to go, as its good just to have a look around and see ships up close and speak to the crews, but its not the same as Navy Days of old, even in my living memory.

    A major warship from a European or NATO navy would be great, but I guess thats not the point of Navy Days – in any case, a San Antonio or Mistral tied up on South Railways Jetty would overshadow the whole thing!

  4. Jeff

    Well Astute won’t be there, she’s in Scotland.

  5. James Daly

    I suspected she might be otherwise engaged – if she was going to be there you would have thought her presence would have been trumpeted pretty loudly. The problem is the RN does not publicise submarine deployments so its hard to see what would be available.

  6. James Daly

    I’ve just noticed that FS Cormoran and the mighty HMS Gleaner have withdrawn from Navy Days due to operational reasons…

  7. But the whole point of submarines is that they’re covert – so they can’t be publicised. They might be in a certain place – or might not….

    Actually the RN as a whole has a similar problem, as so many of its activities take place away from the attention of the public’s attention – that includes current operations.

  8. James Daly

    I agree about submarines being covert, it wouldn’t do to splash all over the internet where they are and what they are doing. I was just remarking on how that makes it difficult to pinpoint if any could be possible Navy Days additions in the same way that we would surface ships.

  9. criss

    considering mugs over dummies [MOD] is an expert at conning people, im surprised they have not arranged for say 10/15 rubber ships, or canvas ships that was used in WW2 sit them just of the bay, and people will think we have more ships, but on the other hand, if the MOD was truly honest it would Bann all foreign ships, so the people can see exactly what we have,
    Nelson once said, if we cant defend ourselves , we have no right defending anyone else, very soon we are all to find out if this government are lions, or really just cubs, thanks for listening.

  10. James Daly

    I wonder if we’ve kept the gear from Operation Fortitude in storage? And the dummy parachutists from Normandy… oh damm, not enough planes to drop them out of!

  11. James Daly

    hmmm, different I guess….

  12. criss

    dr foxy may consider 5 more carriers,
    1 super carrier 70,000 tons
    2,transport carriers 40-50,000 tons
    1 helicopter carrier to go with the other one 22,tons
    1 through carriers to help 20,000 tons
    8 more type 45s
    20 type 26s
    16 type 14s corvets
    25 patrol boats. to protect uk shores.
    2 turtle doves
    and a partridge in a pear tree .
    [well someone had to have a laugh]

  13. Still no submarines?

  14. James Daly

    Not that I know of, unless there are some last minute changes. This is shaping up to be a massive PR let down by the Royal Navy. They need their heads seeing to.

  15. criss

    subs can either be your best friend [in trouble]
    or your worst enemy [due to cost]
    unlike planes or guns, tanks, ect, a sub really can do and must do multi rolls, after all ,they are meant to be the silent service. but I think that in this day and age, only the stupid get caught, [are we ]
    the sub should be the guy that comes from nowhere, and destroys what is needed and then quietly disappears,
    this makes your enemy very weary and always on edge, [we] need say about 20 subs [+] from say 3, right up to 8, tons, speed of at least 30+nots, and carrying the latest missiles, cruise, and defence, torpedoes [the best] the missiles should be a very much smaller version of the trident missile,
    smaller, faster, easier to move around, from sea to shore, to plane, small but powerful enough to obliterate a distance of say 1 or 2 square miles,
    this means you can take out the following without killing all the people, [naval bases] [air force bases]
    [army bases] military installations, government head office, with a range of say 5 to 8 thousand miles,
    you could almost launch them from Portsmouth to the Falklands [well nearly] its only an idea, but i think most effective, and at least 10 times cheaper than trident, for years the government and military have argued for them to be put on subs [trident] and the say we cant afford them, then now is the time to try something totally different, now while we have to make a decision, why not now, [just an idea]

  16. criss

    Well here we go again. The tesurey will not pay for the nuclear sub trident, so the MOD [mugs over dummies ] will pay for it, now you lot will hear a load of crap from these incompentent idiots, a milion reasons why we cant have both [cant afford it] but cant or wont give one reason why we need it, [to save us all], so whats it to be, subs or ships, you cant have both, [one sub] and even that wont be at sea all the time, or a couple of ships,[rowing boats, if we can get a good deal] ive seen better incompetence in the icelantic navy [they dont have one]
    so this is what we all voted for [labour dressed up as conservatives] 13 years slagging of labour about defence, to get into power and destroy whats left,
    we have type 45 unarmed, the type 26 frigates , we are told will be reduced to shore patrol, we will only get about 5, if we are lucky, aparently that is why david camaron is in INDIA, to see if INDIA can provide a cheaper defence for the uk. if so they will privatise the lot, then sell it to india, and pass this of as a fantastic idea, and everyone will support it, what a xucking damnation and disgrace of this countrys leaders , and a direct insult to every militery person that [has died] [is dead] [and will die], to say SIMPLY WE CANT AFFORD IT, enough said,

  17. James Daly

    Hi criss, I’m working on an article about Trident right as we speak… I’m not sure if you have seen the RUSI paper on Trident earlier this week, it makes for very interesting reading, and is a lot more sensible and balanced than anything that comes from the CONservative party recently…

    • criss

      thank you James, i have just read your article on your home page, it was interesting,
      i to have been doing genealogy, and also have an interest in the military, especially the navy, i have cousins in Portsmouth who was in the navy in the 1980s,, i just feel the poor sods at the front need someone to keep banging, the politicians just don’t care, they say they do, but in reality they do not, i think their are enough conservatives in parliament, back benchers and others, that if they stuck together for the sake of the people, they could destroy this lib/con pact, that’s why i believe they should demand David keeps hi word, or ruin his government, the first duty of any government in the world [except uk] is to defend the homeland, we the British will defend anybody’s homeland except us, we are a disgrace, i truly believe, the removal of the uk, from Europe would return at a stroke, a total sum of more then 10/15 billion, where the problem, your country, or your subscription fee to Europe who would you choose] i was once told the following,
      There is nothing but nothing, the Europeans can give us. That our own government cant. And if our own government cant or wont give to us, then something is very badly wrong,
      thanks for listening
      criss

  18. criss

    no james i have not read this, can you provide the web page,, i think we need it,but both items, not one or the other, why cant polititions see past there bloody egoes, [thanks criss]

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