Royal Wellon Navy
By D Hebditch
This article was derived from David Wilkinson's original Wellon article, and is mostly consistent with it. Thanks to Andy Goddard for the ensign, and to those on the Etranger and Tirane lists for their ideas and concepts.
The Royal Wellon Navy has its roots from the Royal Navy units deployed to Tirane with the establishment of the first British settlement at New Camelot. The lessons of the Alpha Centauri War were still very fresh to the British and alongside British Army and Royal Marines units the Royal Navy was sent to Tirane. The RN took a variety of small but potent patrol craft that were assemble on world and used the mostly in a coast guard role and in patrolling the often treacherous Cam River.
This rather sedate role changed with the illegal immigration crisis in South Albion, the RN was required to build up a naval base near the Sterling Peninsular. This base supported small craft operations in support of the British Army and Wellon forces operating in the Southern Archipelago as well as blue ocean ships to stop the influx of refugees from the remaining Argentine territories. In fact relations dipped to such a low level that until Australia stepped in the RN Tirane Fleet was standing off the Neuvas Malvinas and actively supporting Brazilian operations in the area.
The Royal Wellon Navy came into existence proper in 2241 when the Dominion of Wellon was formed from the three existing Territories. The RWN was to gradually take over many of the RN's roles and most of its facilities as well as constructing its own eclipsing its parent. With the maturing of Wellon and its emergence as a Tiranean power in its own right, the RWN has become an increasingly powerful military and diplomatic force.
The Royal Wellon Navy has largely carried on the traditions of the Royal Navy from which it originated. Whilst the RWN has its own ensign (above) it continues to wear the insignia of the Royal Navy, with the addition of the usual 'Wellon' shoulder flash.
The RWN is organised into a number of Fleets and Flotillas whilst still having a vestigial Royal Navy squadron operating alongside and closely integrated with the RWN.
The Fleets are the RWN's prime power projection assets. They are each built around an aircraft carrier and cruiser as well as having destroyer, frigates and submarines attached although each Fleets composition varies slightly. Each Fleet also has a range of auxiliary tanker and support units under its command in order to support these units far from Wellon's shores. Each of the Fleets is commanded by a Rear Admiral.
The Arctic and Southern Flotillas are mostly composed of a variety of small craft. The Arctic Flotilla is quite small and dedicated to support of troops operating in the Wellon Arctic Territories and New Highland. The Southern Flotilla is similarly charged with supporting troops in the troubled Southern Archipelago and stopping what little piracy remains in those same islands. The Southern Flotilla has an array of small armed vessels, service on which made the reputations of most of the RWN's heroes and senior officers.
The Amphibious Flotilla is part of Wellon's long range power projection assets, it exists to deploy troops and logistics far from Wellon. It works primarily with Royal Wellon Marines 7 Commando Brigade, and occasionally with other Wellon Army units. The centrepiece of the Flotilla is the newly commissioned New Britannia, but the older Hermes is still in service alongside several logistics ships. Unfortunately the Flotilla lacks the shipping to carry the whole brigade in one lift without calling up merchant navy vessels.
The Royal Navy maintains a vestigial 'flag showing' presence on Tirane that frequently operates alongside the Eastern Fleet. It also insures the security of the equatorial Halfway Island (located between Wellon and NP) that remains under British sovereignty. During the 'exercise season' the Tirane Squadron commonly operates as an OPFOR for the RWN.
The RWN's ships are built primarily in three locations: New Glasgow, New Camelot and New Capetown with some small boats being constructed in Point Sterling. Most of the ships are constructed from British designs modified to Tiranean requirements. The exceptions being the Warrior class frigates and the New Britannia both of which were designed at the Bankside Yard, New Glasgow.
Most of the RWN's ships are quite old, inherited from the RN Tirane Fleet on that body's disbandment, or of old designs however recently constructed. However in recent years the RWN has gone through a large rearmament programme of advanced ships designed to bring itself up to an 'adequate' strength. However this has raised some disquiet in the other Tiranean nations, and an increase in naval spending in Nouvelle Provance especially.
Ocean is a quantum leap forward for the RWN, being constructed to provide the centre-piece for a large battle-group and coming into service in 2298.This large vessel is a multi-purpose weapon system as well as a flight deck, and has been modified for a greater disaster relief capability. Left wing parliamentarians have frequently decried the cost of this vessel and its possibly effect on defence spending throughout Tirane. She will operate primarily with the Southern Fleet.
Ocean's large air group includes five squadrons of fixed wing aircraft, and two squadrons of multi-purpose Tilt-Wing aircraft. The air-group is complemented by a range of AEW, EW and ASW drones.
The A-Class carriers have all been built in New Glasgow as a modification of the Anglo-French Sans Pareil class design. They represent the RWN's first real power projection assets and commenced production in 2280 with Achilles being delivered in 2282. This class have been designed with damage resistance in mind, as the survival of the French ship Mitterand after being attacked by German submarines off Brest during the Reunification War proved. They also have competent defence and medium range attack suites.
The air group for these vessels includes 3 fixed wing squadrons and one multi-purpose Tilt Wing squadron at full occupancy. However in RWN service one squadron is normally on shore undergoing training or maintenance.
Hermes is the last of the RN's big ships on Tirane. Built in 2167 she was handed over to the RWN in 2279, where she saw service as an escort carrier until the arrival of the second A-Class vessel. Laid up in 2187 she was reactivated two years later when it was realised that 7 Cdo Bde almost completely lacked amphibious support. Intended to be replaced by the New Britannia instead the old ship will soldier on for the foreseeable future.
Amphibious warfare ship
This ship is the newly commissioned assault ship for the Royal Wellon Marines, and is designed to carry a Commando Group of 800 marines. She is state-of-the-art and a huge advance on the ageing Hermes. The ship includes both a dock and flight-deck, as well as a new C4I centre that will be introduced on RN ships back on Earth. The New Britannia carries two Commando Tilt-Wing squadrons, as well as four large ACV's and four smaller assault ACV's.
These two ships represent the past of the Royal Navy on Tirane. They are old, but still potent platforms designed for littoral warfare. However their impressive profile and huge operational radius led them to be a common sight in foreign ports for flag-showing duties. Handed over to the RWN in 2279 and continuously modified since then, the 'kittens' remain hugely popular and are prestigious vessels to command. Live firing is conducted from these vessels every year in support of 7 Cdo Bde's exercises.
The battle cruisers are built around two large calibre gauss cannons designed to give high-rate, accurate fire to forces on shore. Long range cruise missiles are also available for inland bombardment missions. The ships also carry a respectable medium range anti-ship and anti-submarine missile armament, as well as recently modernised self-defence suite. Lastly the ships are very well armoured, with excellent damage control parties. These ships main weakness is their almost total lack of stealth characteristics.
This class of vessel is primarily an anti-aircraft platform with impressive secondary capabilities. They are generally found protecting aircraft carriers as part of a battle-group, although there are also impressive ships in their own right. The Northern Fleet has one of these vessels, whilst there are two with each of the other fleets.
The City Class destroyers are primarily littoral warfare assets, which can also make up a valuable part of a battle-group. The New Glasgow is currently the flagship of the Southern Flotilla. These vessels all carry one large calibre gauss cannon for the support of on-shore troops, in addition to the usual array of weapons found on a vessel of this nature. These vessels carry a pad for a small Hornet Tilt-Wing, as well as a range of drones.
The Warrior class frigates are the workhorse class of the RWN. The are maids of all work, but their primary tasking is in blue ocean operations as part of the outer screen of a battle-group. These frigates lack the powerful long-range armaments of other vessels but have good medium and close range weaponry. Like the City Class destroyers these ships carry a Hornet tilt-wing and a number of remote sensor drones.
The Hunt Class frigates are the most modern and sophisticated surface vessels in the RWN. They are optimised for sub-Surface warfare, with an emphasis on independent operations. Stealthy, fast and with excellent armaments and electronics these vessels represent a new trend in naval warship design. Their main change from previous designs is in the sophistication of their remote sensor drones, both above and below the surface.
There was some bad publicity over the introduction of these vessels into service, as some saw it as an escalation. However the participation of HMWS Merit in the FPK's large cetacean project has largely countered this trend within Wellon public opinion at least.
The U Class submarine is a deep-diving, hunter-killer submarine, built to the same plans as the RN's T Class submarines. Even more than with Ocean and the Hunt class ships the U Class boats have been the centre of controversy. The Tirane Party has been especially critical citing the lack of any enemies on Tirane to justify such expenditure. Nevertheless the U Class subs are the most potent individual units within the RWN.
The O Class boats have been inherited from the RN. They are used primarily for conventional operations in support of battle-groups, but also undertake more covert operations. The O Class boats are currently undergoing a rolling refit programme bringing some of their older systems up to modern standards.
The RWN Fleet Air Arm is an expanding branch which has been given a boost with the entry into service of the Ocean. The FAA has very high standards thanks to most of its advanced training being conducted at the Joint Air Warfare School at Colenso.
Aircraft employed by the RWN FAA include:
Sea Storm F.1.
Operated only by No. 1701 Naval Air Squadron from HMWS Ocean. The new Mitchell Aerospace Sea Storm F.1 is the latest fighter to come from that cutting-edge manufacturer. Short, stubby but with great speed and impressive stealth characteristics the Sea Storm is almost a prototype in RWN service for proving. Although carrying a smaller weapons load and having a smaller range than its older rival the Lightning, it is believed that should the Sea Storm prove itself in RWN service it will be procured by the RN on Earth.
Sea Fury F.3
Operated by 1700, 1705, 1708, 1709, 1714 and 1718 NAS, with two squadrons on the Ocean and one on each of the other carriers. The excellent MAe Sea Fury is the main air superiority fighter of the RWN, as it is for the RWAF, RN and RAF. The F.3 variant has the capacity to carry ASAT weaponry.
Sea Tempest FGR.1
In service with 1702, 1710, 1712 and 1716 NAS with two squadrons each on the Ajax and Ocean. The Vickers-Foss Sea Tempest is a navalised version of the modern VTOL ground attack in use with the RAF.
Sea Hunter FGR.5
Flown by 1703, 1704, 1706, 1711, 1715 and 1719 NAS from the Achilles, Agamemnon and Atlas. The VF Sea Hunter is an ageing ground attack fighter, that is mostly obsolete in a high threat environment. It is planned to re-equip these squadrons with Sea Tempest when sufficient funds become available.
This common aircraft is operated by 1730, 1731, 1732, 1733, 1736 and 1737 NAS from the various RWN carriers. Whilst 1734, 1735, 1738 and 1739 are designated Naval Air Squadron (Commando) and operate from the ships of the Amphibious Flotilla. The Osprey is a multi-role tilt-wing type aircraft, with a range of roles including anti-shipping, anti-submarine, transport and search and rescue. The NAS(C) Ospreys are armed with a variety of anti-surface weapons and concentrate on the transport role.
Although drones have replaced the small ship based tilt-wing or helicopter in most of its roles it retains however a liaison role. The small, four man, Hornet is the RWN's common light tilt-wing, and is operated by 1740 NAS which provides detachments to all of the ships that host a Hornet.
The RN Tirane squadron currently has five vessels.
Admiral Lord Roberts of Port Victoria, RWN DSO MC, 1st Sea Lord of Wellon, Commander in Chief of the Royal Wellon Navy
Lord Roberts is the dominating figure of the RWN as well as its commander. An assured technocrat, Roberts has been behind the recent armament policies of the RWN and its emergence into a quasi-diplomatic role. Lord Roberts is not above exploiting his excellent contacts in Parliament or his links with the Royal Family to gain what he wants.
George Roberts was born in the small New Scottish fishing town of Port Victoria in 2243 and was educated at Dartmoor Grammar School, Peel College at Cameron University and at Ashton University. An accomplished sailor and sportsman, the young Roberts gained his PhD at Ashton with a thesis contrasting the Anglo-German Naval race of the 1900s with the Exploration Race of the 2200's. Roberts entered Wellonia naval college in 2266 and graduated a year later serving in the Eastern and Northern Fleets as a non-specialist officer, before winning the Military Cross with the Southern Flotilla.
In the mid-2270's Roberts was transferred over to the Royal Navy on Earth, where he would command the destroyer HMS Sunderland. In his time on Earth he attended the rebuilt Naval staff college at Greenwich as well as studying with the US Navy. The last years of his service on Earth saw Roberts attached to the Royal Yacht HMS Osborne a prestigious appointment which helped his future career. Back with the RWN Roberts, then knighted, would rise to command the Eastern Fleet but whatever his abilities as a leader it is Roberts abilities as a staff officers that have made him the senior officer of the fleet. Lord Roberts was ennobled on becoming 1st Sea Lord in 2295. He is married with three children, two of whom have followed their father into the fleet.
Rear Admiral Donavon Bellamy, RWN, DSO, Commander Northern Fleet
Donavon Bellamy is the aggressive commander of the RWN's Northern Fleet. Born in Hamilton of Tiranian immigrant parents, he has retained much of his parents outlook on life. He is a fervent republican, turning down the knighthood that normally goes with his rank, but also despises the corporate style of colonisation that produced much of Tirania's early difficulties. Bellamy made his name with the Southern Flotilla, firstly in its ranks and then as its commander, where his abilities combined with aggressiveness in hunting down pirates and smugglers. However that very aggressiveness was deemed to be too much for some of the more sensitive fleet commands. Instead Bellamy was given the normally quiet Northern Fleet, but of late he has been pursuing border fishing infractions with overdue vigour increasing tensions with Tirania.
Rear Admiral Sir David Archer, RN, KB, FRGS, Commander RN Tirane Squadron
Sir David is the current commander of the RN's last ships on Tirane. An independently minded and often outspoken officer from the submarine service, it is common knowledge that he has been sent to Tirane to get him out of the hair of senior officers on Earth. Birmingham born Sir David is something of an explorer, having taken part in several expeditions whilst on sabbatical from the Senior Service. In his time so far on Tirane he has committed the squadron to making as many port calls as possible to increase its profile (and his own.) He has also used his ships to support various scientific missions that have taken his fancy.
Commodore Sjoert van Roekel, RWN, Commander Southern Flotilla
Sjoert van Roekel is the current and recently appointed commander of the Southern Flotilla. Van Roekel has increased the 'hearts and minds' element of his command's activities, which under previous commanders had become increasingly macho, alienating the populations in the Southern Archipelago. So far this policy has been attacked by conservatives in Parliament but has proved remarkably successful. Van Roekel is one of the increasing numbers of RWN personnel being recruited from the predominantly Dutch town of Doorn.
Wellonia Royal Naval College
Located up the river Cam in the New Camelot suburb of New Greenwich, Wellonia College is the genteel officer training facility for the Royal Wellon Navy. Originally the site of the Royal Navy's on world training facilities the site was handed over in 2241 with the formation of the Royal Wellon Navy, although the RN retains the use of an annex in the college.
Unlike the students at RMANC those at Wellonia come straight from civilian life and undergo a 12 month long training course before being commissioned into the RWN. The College has a wide range of facilities including a number of small training vessels, and educated potential officers from all branches of the RWN. Midshipmen at the college commonly serve for at least a month on board a RWN warship during their stay at Wellonia. Naturally the facility has all the sporting grounds and equipment one would expect at such an establishment.
Vectis Nova Naval Base
Vectis Nova (normally known as VN) is located on an island 5 kilometres south-east of the city of Point Sterling. The island was chosen as a naval base by the Royal Navy in 2179 because of its excellent deep harbour and position commanding the southern trading routes and also the access through the islands and reefs to the Great Bay. The base was to prove useful in hunting down the pirates that began to infest some of the southern islands around the turn of the century.
VN is currently home the RWN's Southern Fleet, including the newly completed fleet carrier HMWS Ocean, and the Southern Flotilla. Conditions on the island are now very comfortable, and due to the presence of the lively Point Sterling (VN has its own Metro station) is a plum posting in the RWN. VN regularly hosts visits from units from other navies, who's sailors similarly look forward to the 'delights' of Point Sterling.
Lion's Port Naval Base
Lion's Port is a small facility that nestles at the feet of the Cape Lion some 5km from the centre of New Capetown. Lion's Port is mostly a training facility, but is also in a good position to guard the northern shipping routes to Amaterasu. Lion's Port regularly hosts at least one of the RWN's carriers when their air groups are using the Air Force's Colenso facilities.
Princess Alexandra Naval Base
PA naval base is some 25 km north of Victoria and is the home of the Western Fleet. The base was established in 2200 when the RN began to operate larger vessels on Tirane and the original facilities close to Victoria were seen to be inadequate. PA is host to several of the most important RWN establishments, including the Submarine Service and the Corps of Royal Wellon Marines.
New Kelvinside Naval Base
New Kelvinside is the primary repair facility for the RWN and is collocated with the New Glasgow ship yards that produce most of the RWN's larger warships.
Dartmoor Naval Base
Dartmoor is one of the two main ports of the Northern Fleet, the other being Knightsbridge. Dartmoor is renowned for its appalling weather throughout the year.
New Scapa Naval Base
New Scapa is located on an island some 15 kilometres to the south of Knightsbridge and commands the approach to that city along Haakon's Fjord. Linked to the city by metro New Scapa is a surprisingly popular posting. The base is the summer home to the Northern Fleet, and hosts the Arctic Flotilla.
Camport Naval Base
Camport is on the mouth of the Cam downstream from New Camelot. It is the home of the powerful Eastern Fleet, and of the RWN as a whole.
Wellon Defence Forces 2300 AD