HMS Queen Elizabeth

Election Explained: How much do we spend on defence?
Ahead of the general election, BBC reporter Caroline Lewis takes a look at how much the UK spends on defence.

New carrier sets sail for jet trials

HMS Queen Elizabeth
HMS Queen Elizabeth and crowds

The Royal Navy's new £3bn aircraft carrier has left Portsmouth to take part in its first exercises involving British fighter jets.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will deploy the F35B Lightning jets during the joint trials with the US Navy.

The carrier is due to embark on its first full operational deployment in 2021.

Royal Navy Fleet Commander: 'We must be ready at all times'

Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd has outlined the importance for more warships.
The Fleet Commander of the Royal Navy has told BBC Radio Solent that ‘it’s absolutely critical to keep a broad spectrum of armed forces’ and to ‘invest in more warships’. Speaking at a ceremony to welcome the latest Royal Fleet Auxiliary, 'RFA Tideforce' into the fleet at Portland in Dorset, Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd stressed that the world is no longer a ‘happy clappy place’.

It's the first time a senior Royal Navy officer has spoken since heightened security concerns over British flagged tankers in the Persian Gulf. It follows mounting criticism about the depleted number of surface ships within the senior service. The chairman of the defence select committee, Dr Julian Lewis recently described the size of the Royal Navy's fleet of warships as 'pathetic.' 

Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd is the former Commanding Officer of the new aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth.