Restoring the Fleet: Naval Procurement and the National Shipbuilding Strategy Contents

Appendix 3: Standing commitments for the Royal Navy

Royal Navy Standing Commitments (also known as Fixed and Baseload Tasks)

UK and Home Waters Activity

(1) Continuous At Sea Deterrent (CASD)

The Continuous At Sea Deterrent (or Nuclear Deterrent) is provided by the Royal Navy’s four Vanguard-class submarines which deploy on a continuous basis around the globe.

(2) Fleet Ready Escort (FRE)/Towed Array Patrol Ship (TAPS)

The FRE/TAPS is a single frigate maintained at high-readiness in home waters, ready to react when required in support of homeland defence. This activity can include reactive anti-submarine patrol duties in support of the strategic nuclear deterrent.

(3) Marine Enforcement

In addition to assisting in the protection of the British fishing industry, the Fishery Protection Squadron also provides security to the oil and gas fields in the North Sea and other duties in the United Kingdom’s Exclusive Economic Zone. It consists of three Offshore Patrol Vessels: HMS TYNE, HMS SEVERN and HMS MERSEY.

(4) Mine Counter Measures (MCM) Support

Two MCM vessels are held in the UK at high readiness to ensure emergent issues in homeland waters, such as the discovery of unexploded ordnance, can be dealt with accordingly.

Overseas Activity

(5) Antarctic Patrol

Antarctic Patrol is undertaken by the Royal Navy’s Ice Patrol Ship, HMS PROTECTOR, in the South Atlantic Ocean. Her primary mission is to survey and gather data on the seas around Antarctica, as well as provide support to the British Antarctic Survey operation stationed in and around the British Antarctic Territory. Two Royal Research Ships of the Merchant Navy are also stationed in the region.

(6) Atlantic Patrol Tasking North (APT (N))

APT(N) is the Royal Navy’s commitment to secure and protect the interests of Great Britain and her Overseas Territories in the regions of the North Atlantic and the Caribbean. The deployment also conducts counter narcotics missions and provides humanitarian assistance during the hurricane season. The task is typically carried out by either an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) or Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA).

(7) Atlantic Patrol Tasking South (APT (S))

The Royal Navy maintains a regular presence in the South Atlantic and West Africa to provide reassurance to British interests, such as the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, while also supporting British Forces South Atlantic Islands. The commitment can be fulfilled by a frigate, destroyer or RFA vessel.

(8) Falkland Islands Patrol Task

The Falkland Islands Patrol Task consists of a single warship (an OPV) stationed around the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Falkland Islands. It forms part of British Forces South Atlantic Islands and aims to reassure the inhabitants of the region and maintain British sovereignty. HMS CLYDE is the current unit undertaking this task and uses the deep water naval base facilities of Mare Harbour, East Falkland.

(9) Gibraltar Squadron

The Gibraltar Squadron consists of two fast patrol boats; HMS SCIMITAR and HMS SABRE. They provide force protection for NATO or coalition warships entering the naval facilities of Gibraltar and conduct maritime security in the surrounding British territorial waters.

(10) Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime)

The Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime) (JEF (M)) is the Royal Navy’s contribution to the UK’s joint task force maintained at high-readiness and available at short notice to respond to unexpected global events. In addition to war-fighting or amphibious operations, the JEF (M) can undertake a diverse range of activities such as evacuation operations, disaster relief or humanitarian aid. The composition of the task group changes depending on its task and the range of available assets. However, it generally consists of several large amphibious warfare ships (both RN and RFA), guided-missile destroyers, frigates, replenishment ships from the RFA and sometimes a nuclear-powered fleet submarine.

(11) Gulf

The Royal Navy maintains a continued maritime presence in the Gulf and Indian Ocean regions to protect and secure the nations many political and commercial interests. The enduring commitment usually consists of an escort (a guided-missile destroyer or frigate), four mine countermeasure vessels and a supporting RFA Bay Class. As of 2015, the UK has a permanent operating base in the region, HMS JUFAIR, located in Bahrain.

The Royal Navy regularly contributes battle staff personnel to two multinational coalitions in the region; Combined Task Force 150 and Combined Task Force 151. Combined Task Force 150 is focused on maritime security and counter-terrorism; while Combined Task Force 151 is charged with anti-piracy missions. RN assets deployed to the region can be tasked to operate in support of these Task Forces.

(12) Standing NATO Response Force (NRF)

The Royal Navy regularly contributes assets to the four Standing NATO Naval Task Groups. Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 1 and Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group (SNMCMG) 1, which operate in the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea, and their corresponding Mediterranean Sea-based groups, SNMG2 and SNMCMG2.

(13) Royal Marines and Amphibious Capability

The Royal Marines provide a specialist infantry capability, with expertise in amphibious, arctic and mountain warfare as part of our high readiness forces able to be deployed by helicopter and landing craft. They can deploy with protected mobility, logistics and command and control support from a specialist landing and command ship and Landing Ship Docks.

(14) Operation ATALANTA

Operation ATALANTA is a European Union multinational task force charged to combat terrorism and piracy off the Horn of Africa and Somalia. Operational headquarters are located in the United Kingdom at Northwood Headquarters, London.

Source: Ministry of Defence (RNT0006)

17 November 2016