Type 45 destroyer
The Type 45 destroyer known as the D or Daring class, is a class of six guided missile destroyers built for the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. The class is designed for anti-aircraft and anti-missile warfare and is built around the PAAMS air-defence system utilizing the SAMPSON AESA and the S1850M long-range radars; the first three destroyers were assembled by BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions from prefabricated "blocks" built at different shipyards, the remaining three were built by BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships. The first ship in the Daring class, HMS Daring, was launched on 1 February 2006 and commissioned on 23 July 2009; the Type 45 destroyers were built to replace the Type 42 destroyers that had served during the Falklands War, with the last Type 42 being decommissioned in 2013. The National Audit Office reported that, during an "intensive attack", a single Type 45 could track and destroy more targets than five Type 42 destroyers operating together. After the launch of Daring on 1 February 2006 Admiral Sir Alan West, a former First Sea Lord, stated that it would be the Royal Navy's most capable destroyer as well as the world's best air-defence ship.
The reduction in the number to be procured from twelve to eight with only six confirmed was controversial. Another controversy arose when it was revealed that due to a design flaw on the Northrop Grumman intercooler which, when attached to the Rolls-Royce WR-21 gas turbines and functioning in the warm climate of the Persian Gulf power availability was diminished and it became apparent that the class was not operating as envisioned. A refit will take place from 2019-21 to resolve the problems with the six ships in the class; the UK had sought to procure a new class of air-defence guided missile destroyers in collaboration with seven other NATO nations under the NFR-90 project. The UK joined France and Italy in the Horizon-class frigate programme. On 23 November 1999 Marconi Electronic Systems was confirmed as prime contractor for the Type 45 project. Seven days MES and British Aerospace merged to form BAE Systems, making the latter the prime contractor; the Type 45 project has been criticised for rising costs and delays, with the six ships costing £6.46 billion, an increase of £1.5 billion on the original budget.
The first ship entered service in 2010, rather than 2007 as planned. In 2007, the Defence Select Committee expressed its disappointment that the Ministry of Defence and BAE had failed to control rising costs; the Type 45 destroyers take advantage of some Horizon development work and use the Sea Viper air-defence system and the SAMPSON radar. The ships are built by BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships created as BVT Surface Fleet by the merger of the surface shipbuilding arms of BAE Systems and VT Group; these two companies built the ships in collaboration. BAE's two Glasgow shipyards and single Portsmouth shipyard are responsible for different "blocks". BAE's Govan yard is responsible for Block A; the Scotstoun yard builds Blocks B/C and Block D. BAE's Portsmouth shipyard is responsible for Blocks E/F and the funnels and masts. For ships 2 to 6 blocks A-D were assembled in the Ships Block and Outfit Hall of the Govan shipyard, taken outfitted to the Scotstoun berth; the masts and funnels were fitted before launch.
For the first-of-class, Block A was assembled at Govan and moved to Scotstoun, where it was mated to Block B/C, fitted with the WR-21 turbines and machinery. Block D assembled at Scotstoun, was fitted to these three blocks; the bow sections were taken by barge to Scotstoun. These were the final blocks to be attached. At this point the hull was launched into the Clyde and towed to the Scotstoun Dry Dock where the masts and funnels were fitted. Once this is complete, the remaining equipment is fitted: radar arrays, bow-mounted sonar, missile equipment and 4.5-inch gun. This modular construction arrangement was agreed in February 2002. However, when the original contract for three ships was signed in July 2000, BAE Systems Marine was to build the first and third ships, Vosper Thornycroft was to build the second. By the end of 2010, all six Type 45 destroyers had been launched, with the first two in commission and the remainder fitting out. By 2012, all destroyers were structurally complete and the production lines had been closed.
Duncan, the last of the Type 45 destroyers, was commissioned at Portsmouth Naval Base on 26 September 2013, entered service in 2014 after trials and training. The Daring class are the largest escorts built for the Royal Navy in terms of displacement. In 2009 delivery of the ships' Aster missiles was delayed due to a failure during testing. A subsequent investigation revealed a manufacturing fault with a single batch of missiles, making delivery of the Aster 30 possible in 2010; the Type 45 destroyers are 152.4 m in length, with a beam of 21.2 m, a draught of 7.4 m. and a displacement of 8,500 tonnes. This makes them signi
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard–delta wing, multirole fighter. The Typhoon was designed as an air superiority fighter and is manufactured by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo that conducts the majority of the project through a joint holding company, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH formed in 1986. NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency is the prime customer; the aircraft's development began in 1983 with the Future European Fighter Aircraft programme, a multinational collaboration among the UK, France and Spain. Disagreements over design authority and operational requirements led France to leave the consortium to develop the Dassault Rafale independently. A technology demonstration aircraft, the British Aerospace EAP, first took flight on 6 August 1986; the aircraft's name, was adopted in September 1998. Political issues in the partner nations protracted the Typhoon's development; the Typhoon entered operational service in 2003. The air forces of Oman and Qatar are export customers, bringing the procurement total to 599 aircraft as of 2016.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a agile aircraft, designed to be a supremely effective dogfighter in combat. Production aircraft have been better equipped to undertake air-to-surface strike missions and to be compatible with an increasing number of different armaments and equipment, including Storm Shadow and the RAF's Brimstone; the Typhoon had its combat debut during the 2011 military intervention in Libya with the UK's Royal Air Force and the Italian Air Force, performing aerial reconnaissance and ground-strike missions. The type has taken primary responsibility for air-defence duties for the majority of customer nations; the UK had identified a requirement for a new fighter as early as 1971. The AST 403 specification, issued by the Air staff in 1972, led to the P.96 conventional "tailed" design presented in the late 1970s. While the design would have met the Air Staff's requirements, the UK air industry had reservations, as it appeared to be similar to the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, well advanced in its development.
The P.96 design had little potential for growth, when it entered production, it would secure few exports in a market in which the Hornet would be well established. However, the simultaneous West German requirement for a new fighter had led by 1979 to the development of the TKF-90 concept; this was a cranked delta wing design with forward close-coupled-canard controls and artificial stability. Although the British Aerospace designers rejected some of its advanced features such as engine vectoring nozzles and vented trailing edge controls, a form of boundary layer control, they agreed with the overall configuration. In 1979, Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm and British Aerospace presented a formal proposal to their respective governments for the ECF, the European Collaborative Fighter or European Combat Fighter. In October 1979 Dassault joined the ECF team for a tri-national study, which became known as the European Combat Aircraft, it was at this stage of development the Eurofighter name was first attached to the aircraft.
The development of different national prototypes continued. France produced the ACX; the UK produced two designs. The RAF rejected the P.106 concept on the grounds it had "half the effectiveness of the two-engined aircraft at two-thirds of the cost". West Germany continued to refine the TKF-90 concept; the ECA project collapsed in 1981 for several reasons, including differing requirements, Dassault's insistence on "design leadership" and the British preference for a new version of the RB199 to power the aircraft versus the French preference for the new Snecma M88. The Panavia partners launched the Agile Combat Aircraft programme in April 1982; the ACA was similar to the BAe P.110, having a cranked delta wing, canards and a twin tail. One major external difference was the replacement of the side-mounted engine intakes with a chin intake; the ACA was to be powered by a modified version of the RB199. The German and Italian governments withdrew funding, the UK Ministry of Defence agreed to fund 50% of the cost with the remaining 50% to be provided by industry.
MBB and Aeritalia signed up with the aim of producing two aircraft, one at Warton and one by MBB. In May 1983, BAe announced a contract with the MoD for the development and production of an ACA demonstrator, the Experimental Aircraft Programme. In 1983 Italy, France, the UK and Spain launched the "Future European Fighter Aircraft" programme; the aircraft was to have short take landing and beyond visual range capabilities. In 1984, France reiterated its requirement for a carrier-capable version and demanded a leading role. Italy, West Germany and the UK established a new EFA programme. In Turin on 2 August 1985, West Germany, the UK and Italy agreed to go ahead with the Eurofighter. Despite pressure from France, Spain rejoined the Eurofighter project in early September 1985. France withdrew from the project to pursue its own ACX project, t
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain; the RAF's mission is to support the objectives of the British Ministry of Defence, which are to "provide the capabilities needed to ensure the security and defence of the United Kingdom and overseas territories, including against terrorism. The RAF describes its mission statement as "... an agile and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission". The mission statement is supported by the RAF's definition of air power.
Air power is defined as "the ability to project power from the air and space to influence the behaviour of people or the course of events". Today the Royal Air Force maintains an operational fleet of various types of aircraft, described by the RAF as being "leading-edge" in terms of technology; this consists of fixed-wing aircraft, including: fighter and strike aircraft, airborne early warning and control aircraft, ISTAR and SIGINT aircraft, aerial refueling aircraft and strategic and tactical transport aircraft. The majority of the RAF's rotary-wing aircraft form part of the tri-service Joint Helicopter Command in support of ground forces. Most of the RAF's aircraft and personnel are based in the UK, with many others serving on operations or at long-established overseas bases. Although the RAF is the principal British air power arm, the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and the British Army's Army Air Corps deliver air power, integrated into the maritime and land environments. While the British were not the first to make use of heavier-than-air military aircraft, the RAF is the world's oldest independent air force: that is, the first air force to become independent of army or navy control.
Following publication of the "Smuts report" prepared by Jan Smuts the RAF was founded on 1 April 1918, with headquarters located in the former Hotel Cecil, during the First World War, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. At that time it was the largest air force in the world. After the war, the service was drastically cut and its inter-war years were quiet, with the RAF taking responsibility for the control of Iraq and executing a number of minor actions in other parts of the British Empire; the RAF's naval aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm, was founded in 1924 but handed over to Admiralty control on 24 May 1939. The RAF developed the doctrine of strategic bombing which led to the construction of long-range bombers and became its main bombing strategy in the Second World War; the RAF underwent rapid expansion prior to and during the Second World War. Under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of December 1939, the air forces of British Commonwealth countries trained and formed "Article XV squadrons" for service with RAF formations.
Many individual personnel from these countries, exiles from occupied Europe served with RAF squadrons. By the end of the war the Royal Canadian Air Force had contributed more than 30 squadrons to serve in RAF formations approximately a quarter of Bomber Command's personnel were Canadian. Additionally, the Royal Australian Air Force represented around nine percent of all RAF personnel who served in the European and Mediterranean theatres. In the Battle of Britain in 1940, the RAF defended the skies over Britain against the numerically superior German Luftwaffe. In what is the most prolonged and complicated air campaign in history, the Battle of Britain contributed to the delay and subsequent indefinite postponement of Hitler's plans for an invasion of the United Kingdom. In the House of Commons on 20 August, prompted by the ongoing efforts of the RAF, Prime Minister Winston Churchill eloquently made a speech to the nation, where he said "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".
The largest RAF effort during the war was the strategic bombing campaign against Germany by Bomber Command. While RAF bombing of Germany began immediately upon the outbreak of war, under the leadership of Air Chief Marshal Harris, these attacks became devastating from 1942 onward as new technology and greater numbers of superior aircraft became available; the RAF adopted night-time area bombing on German cities such as Hamburg and Dresden, developed precision bombing techniques for specific operations, such as the "Dambusters" raid by No. 617 Squadron, or the Amiens prison raid known as Operation Jericho. Following victory in the Second World War, the RAF underwent significant re-organisation, as technological advances in air warfare saw the arrival of jet fighters and bombers. During the early stages of the Cold War, one of the first major operations undertaken by the Royal Air Force was in 1948 and the Berlin Airlift, codenamed Operation Plainfire. Between 26 June and the lifting of the Russian blockade of the city on 2 May, the RAF provided 17% of the total supplies delivered du
The Corps of Royal Marines is the amphibious light infantry and one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy. The Royal Marines were formed in 1755 as the Royal Navy's infantry troops. However, the marines can trace their origins back to the formation of the English Army's "Duke of York and Albany's maritime regiment of Foot" at the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company on 28 October 1664; as a specialised and adaptable light infantry force, the Royal Marines are trained for rapid deployment worldwide and capable of dealing with a wide range of threats. The Royal Marines are organised into a light infantry brigade and a number of separate units, including 1 Assault Group Royal Marines, 43 Commando Royal Marines Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines, a company strength commitment to the Special Forces Support Group; the Corps operates in all environments and climates, though particular expertise and training is spent on amphibious warfare, arctic warfare, mountain warfare, expeditionary warfare, its commitment to the UK's Rapid Reaction Force.
Throughout its history, the Royal Marines have seen action in a number of major wars fighting beside the British Army – including the Seven Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War, World War I and World War II. In recent times the Corps has been deployed in expeditionary warfare roles such as the Falklands War, the Gulf War, the Bosnian War, the Kosovo War, the Sierra Leone Civil War, the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan; the Royal Marines have close international ties with allied marine forces the United States Marine Corps and the Netherlands Marine Corps. Today, the Royal Marines are an elite fighting force within the British Armed forces, having undergone many substantial changes over time; the Royal Marines traces its origins back to 28 October 1664 when at the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company "the Duke of York and Albany's maritime regiment of foot" was first formed. On 5 April 1755, His Majesty's Marine Forces, fifty Companies in three Divisions, headquartered at Chatham and Plymouth, were formed by Order of Council under Admiralty control.
All field officers were Royal Navy officers as the Royal Navy felt that the ranks of Marine field officers were honorary. This meant, it was not until 1771. This attitude persisted well into the 1800s. During the rest of the 18th century, they served in numerous landings all over the world, the most famous being the landing at Belle Île on the Brittany coast in 1761, they served in the American War of Independence, notably in the Battle of Bunker Hill led by Major John Pitcairn. In 1788 a detachment of four companies of marines, under Major Robert Ross, accompanied the First Fleet to protect a new colony at Botany Bay. Due to an error the Fleet left Portsmouth without its main supply of ammunition, were not resupplied until the Fleet docked in Rio de Janeiro midway through the voyage. Scholars such as Christopher Warren and Seth Carus argue that the Marines deliberately spread smallpox among Australia's indigenous population in order to protect the settlement and respond to an overwhelming strategic threat.
This incident does not appear in contemporaneous government records. Major Ross lost his papers during the shipwreck of HMS Sirius; some researchers associate the indigenous smallpox outbreak with other causes. In 1802 at the instigation of Admiral the Earl St Vincent, they were titled the Royal Marines by King George III; the Royal Marines Artillery was formed as a separate unit in 1804 to man the artillery in bomb ketches. These had been manned by the Army's Royal Regiment of Artillery, but a lawsuit by a Royal Artillery officer resulted in a court decision that Army officers were not subject to Naval orders; as RMA uniforms were the blue of the Royal Regiment of Artillery they were nicknamed the "Blue Marines" and the infantry element, who wore the scarlet uniforms of the British infantry, became known as the "Red Marines" given the semi-derogatory nickname "Lobsters" by sailors. A fourth division of the Royal Marines, headquartered at Woolwich, was formed in 1805. During the Napoleonic Wars the Royal Marines participated in every notable naval battle on board the Royal Navy's ships and took part in multiple amphibious actions.
Marines had a dual function aboard ships of the Royal Navy in this period. In the Caribbean theatre volunteers from freed French slaves on Marie-Galante were used to form Sir Alexander Cochrane's first Corps of Colonial Marines; these men bolstered the ranks. This practice was repeated during the War of 1812, where escaped American slaves were formed into Cochrane's second Corps of Colonial Marines; these men were commanded by Royal Marines officers and fought alongside their regular Royal Marines counterparts at the Battle of Bladensburg. Throughout the war Royal Marines units raided up and down the east coast of America including up the Penobscot River and in the Chesapeake Bay, they fought in the Battle of New Orleans and helped capture Fort Bowyer in Mobile Bay in what was the last action of the war. In 1855 the infantry forces were renamed the Royal Marines Light Infantry. During the Crimean War in 1854 and 1855, three Royal Marines earned the Victoria Cross, two in
Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14,200,000 square kilometres, it is the fifth-largest continent. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctica, on average, is the coldest and windiest continent, has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Most of Antarctica is a polar desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm along the coast and far less inland; the temperature in Antarctica has reached −89.2 °C, though the average for the third quarter is −63 °C. Anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at research stations scattered across the continent. Organisms native to Antarctica include many types of algae, fungi, plants and certain animals, such as mites, penguins and tardigrades.
Vegetation, where it occurs, is tundra. Antarctica is noted as the last region on Earth in recorded history to be discovered, unseen until 1820 when the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on Vostok and Mirny sighted the Fimbul ice shelf; the continent, remained neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of accessible resources, isolation. In 1895, the first confirmed. Antarctica is a de facto condominium, governed by parties to the Antarctic Treaty System that have consulting status. Twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, thirty-eight have signed it since then; the treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal, supports scientific research, protects the continent's ecozone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists from many nations; the name Antarctica is the romanised version of the Greek compound word ἀνταρκτική, feminine of ἀνταρκτικός, meaning "opposite to the Arctic", "opposite to the north".
Aristotle wrote in his book Meteorology about an Antarctic region in c. 350 BC Marinus of Tyre used the name in his unpreserved world map from the 2nd century CE. The Roman authors Hyginus and Apuleius used for the South Pole the romanised Greek name polus antarcticus, from which derived the Old French pole antartike attested in 1270, from there the Middle English pol antartik in a 1391 technical treatise by Geoffrey Chaucer. Before acquiring its present geographical connotations, the term was used for other locations that could be defined as "opposite to the north". For example, the short-lived French colony established in Brazil in the 16th century was called "France Antarctique"; the first formal use of the name "Antarctica" as a continental name in the 1890s is attributed to the Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew. The long-imagined south polar continent was called Terra Australis, sometimes shortened to'Australia' as seen in a woodcut illustration titled Sphere of the winds, contained in an astrological textbook published in Frankfurt in 1545.
Although the longer Latin phrase was better known, the shortened name Australia was used in Europe's scholarly circles. In the nineteenth century, the colonial authorities in Sydney removed the Dutch name from New Holland. Instead of inventing a new name to replace it, they took the name Australia from the south polar continent, leaving it nameless for some eighty years. During that period, geographers had to make do with clumsy phrases such as "the Antarctic Continent", they searched for a more poetic replacement, suggesting various names such as Antipodea. Antarctica was adopted in the 1890s. Antarctica has no indigenous population, there is no evidence that it was seen by humans until the 19th century. However, in February 1775, during his second voyage, Captain Cook called the existence of such a polar continent "probable" and in another copy of his journal he wrote:" believe it and it's more than probable that we have seen a part of it". However, belief in the existence of a Terra Australis—a vast continent in the far south of the globe to "balance" the northern lands of Europe and North Africa—had prevailed since the times of Ptolemy in the 1st century AD.
In the late 17th century, after explorers had found that South America and Australia were not part of the fabled "Antarctica", geographers believed that the continent was much larger than its actual size. Integral to the story of the origin of Antarctica's name is that it was not named Terra Australis—this name was given to Australia instead, because of the misconception that no significant landmass could exist further south. Explorer Matthew Flinders, in particular, has been credited with popularising the transfer of the name Terra Australis to Australia, he justified the titling of his book A Voyage to Terra Australis by writing in the introduction: There is no probability, that any other detached body of land, of nearly equal extent, will be found in a more southern latitude.
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed for air-to-air combat against other aircraft, as opposed to bombers and attack aircraft, whose main mission is to attack ground targets. The hallmarks of a fighter are its speed and small size relative to other combat aircraft. Many fighters have secondary ground-attack capabilities, some are designed as dual-purpose fighter-bombers; this may be for national security reasons, for advertising purposes, or other reasons. A fighter's main purpose is to establish air superiority over a battlefield. Since World War I, achieving and maintaining air superiority has been considered essential for victory in conventional warfare; the success or failure of a belligerent's efforts to gain air superiority hinges on several factors including the skill of its pilots, the tactical soundness of its doctrine for deploying its fighters, the numbers and performance of those fighters. Because of the importance of air superiority, since the early days of aerial combat armed forces have competed to develop technologically superior fighters and to deploy these fighters in greater numbers, fielding a viable fighter fleet consumes a substantial proportion of the defense budgets of modern armed forces.
The word "fighter" did not become the official English-language term for such aircraft until after World War I. In the British Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force these aircraft were referred to as "scouts" into the early 1920s; the U. S. Army called their fighters "pursuit" aircraft from 1916 until the late 1940s. In most languages a fighter aircraft is known as hunting aircraft. Exceptions include Russian, where a fighter is an "истребитель", meaning "exterminator", Hebrew where it is "matose krav"; as a part of military nomenclature, a letter is assigned to various types of aircraft to indicate their use, along with a number to indicate the specific aircraft. The letters used to designate a fighter differ in various countries – in the English-speaking world, "F" is now used to indicate a fighter, though when the pursuit designation was used in the US, they were "P" types. In Russia "I" was used, while the French continue to use "C". Although the term "fighter" specifies aircraft designed to shoot down other aircraft, such designs are also useful as multirole fighter-bombers, strike fighters, sometimes lighter, fighter-sized tactical ground-attack aircraft.
This has always been the case, for instance the Sopwith Camel and other "fighting scouts" of World War I performed a great deal of ground-attack work. In World War II, the USAAF and RAF favored fighters over dedicated light bombers or dive bombers, types such as the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and Hawker Hurricane that were no longer competitive as aerial combat fighters were relegated to ground attack. Several aircraft, such as the F-111 and F-117, have received fighter designations though they had no fighter capability due to political or other reasons; the F-111B variant was intended for a fighter role with the U. S. Navy, but it was cancelled; this blurring follows the use of fighters from their earliest days for "attack" or "strike" operations against ground targets by means of strafing or dropping small bombs and incendiaries. Versatile multirole fighter-bombers such as the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet are a less expensive option than having a range of specialized aircraft types; some of the most expensive fighters such as the US Grumman F-14 Tomcat, McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and Russian Sukhoi Su-27 were employed as all-weather interceptors as well as air superiority fighter aircraft, while developing air-to-ground roles late in their careers.
An interceptor is an aircraft intended to target bombers and so trades maneuverability for climb rate. Fighters were developed in World War I to deny enemy aircraft and dirigibles the ability to gather information by reconnaissance over the battlefield. Early fighters were small and armed by standards, most were biplanes built with a wooden frame covered with fabric, a maximum airspeed of about 100 mph; as control of the airspace over armies became important, all of the major powers developed fighters to support their military operations. Between the wars, wood was replaced in part or whole by metal tubing, aluminium stressed skin structures began to predominate. On 15 August 1914, Miodrag Tomić encountered an enemy plane while conducting a reconnaissance flight over Austria-Hungary; the Austro-Hungarian aviator waved at Tomić, who waved back. The enemy pilot took a revolver and began shooting at Tomić's plane. Tomić fired back, he swerved away from the Austro-Hungarian plane and the two aircraft parted ways.
It was considered the first exchange of fire between aircraft in history. Within weeks, all Serbian and Austro-Hungarian aircraft were armed; the Serbians equipped their planes with 8-millimetre Schwarzlose MG M.07/12 machine guns, six 100-round boxes of ammunition and several bombs. By World War II, most fighters were all-metal monoplanes armed with batteries of machine guns or cannons and some were capable of speeds approaching 400 mph. Most fighters up to this point had one engine.
River-class patrol vessel
The River class is a class of offshore patrol vessels built for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. A total of nine are planned for the Royal Navy; the Batch 1 ships of the class replaced the seven ships of the Island class and the two Castle-class patrol vessels. HTMS Krabi is a variation of the River design built in Thailand for the Royal Thai Navy; the three ships of the Amazonas-class corvette in service with the Brazilian Navy are a variation of the River design. In early 2001, the Ministry of Defence placed an order with Vosper Thornycroft for three River-class offshore patrol vessels to replace the Island class, it was understood that the higher availability rates of the River class, would enable the three new ships to perform the duties of the five ships they replaced. The Royal Navy chartered the ships under a five-year, £60 million contract from the builder VT; as part of the contract, VT would be responsible for all maintenance and support during the charter period. This contract was renewed in January 2007 for another five years at £52 million.
However, in September 2012, instead of renewing the contract again, it was announced by the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond that the Ministry of Defence had purchased the vessels for £39 million. The River class are larger than the Island-class vessels and have a large open deck aft allowing them to be fitted with equipment for a specific role, which can include fire-fighting, disaster relief and anti-pollution work. For this purpose, a 25 tonne capacity crane is fitted. In addition, the deck is strong enough for the transport of various tracked and wheeled light vehicles, or an LCVP; the class are used with the Fishery Protection Squadron and EEZ patrol. In 2009, the running costs for the River class were estimated at £20 million: "The average running cost... of River class is £20 million... These figures, based on the expenditure incurred by the Ministry of Defence in 2009–10, include maintenance, safety certification, military upgrades, inventory, satellite communication, fuel costs and depreciation."
In February 2005, the Ministry of Defence placed an order with VT for the charter of a fourth modified River-class offshore patrol vessel. This fourth ship, was constructed at Portsmouth Dockyard and replaced the two Castle-class patrol vessels for duties around the South Atlantic and the Falkland Islands. To fulfill this role, Clyde incorporates several modifications, including an extended length 81.5 m hull, a top speed of 21 kn, a 30 mm cannon, two miniguns and mountings for five general purpose machine guns. Clyde's elongated hull permits a 20-metre strengthened flight deck able to accommodate a Merlin-sized helicopter; the ship has a full load displacement between 2,000 tonnes. Clyde is capable of temporarily embarking up to 110 troops and their equipment and inserting them anywhere on the Falkland Islands. Clyde has a complement of 36. On 24 April 2017, in a written answer to a question raised by Sir Nicholas Soames, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence Harriet Baldwin stated Severn would be decommissioned in 2017, with Mersey and Clyde following in 2019.
Severn was decommissioned in a ceremony at Portsmouth on 27 October 2017, with Tyne due to follow in May 2018, the latter underwent reactivation due to defects with Forth. In March 2018, Baldwin's successor as Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence, Guto Bebb, revealed that £12.7M had been allocated from the EU Exit Preparedness Fund to maintain the three Batch 1 ships, should they be needed to control and enforce UK waters and fisheries following the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. On 22 November 2018, Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, formally announced that the first three Batch 1 River Class ships would be retained in service. Clyde, unlike the other three, is instead on lease. Once the ship is replaced by HMS Forth in the Falklands, it is planned that the Brazilian Navy will take over the lease of Clyde. On 6 November 2013 it was announced that the British Government had signed an Agreement in Principle to build three new offshore patrol vessels, based on the River-class design, at a fixed price of £348 million including spares and support for the Royal Navy.
In August 2014, BAE Systems signed the contract to build the ships at their BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships shipyards in Glasgow on the River Clyde. The Ministry of Defence stated that the Batch 2 ships are capable of being used for constabulary duties such as "counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations". According to BAE Systems, the vessels are designed to deploy globally, conducting anti-piracy, counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling tasks conducted by frigates and destroyers. Steel was cut on 10 October 2014 and they are expected to enter service starting 2017, with the last being delivered by the end of 2018; the ships are built at the BAE Systems Govan shipyard transferred to the BAE Systems Scotstoun shipyard for fitting out. The Batch 2 ships are fundamentally different in appearance and capabilities from the preceding Batch 1. Notable differences include the 90.5 metres long hull, a top speed of 24 knots, Merlin-capable flight deck, a displacement of around 2,000 tonnes and expanded capacity for accommodating troops.
The Batch 2 ships have a different superstructure, a fundamentally different above-water hullform shape. The class is fitted with the Kelvin Hughes SharpEye integrat