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Key decisions await RN (Opinion)

20th December 2021 - 12:36 GMT | by The Clarence in London

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HMS Queen Elizabeth returned to Portsmouth on 9 December following its maiden deployment in Carrier Strike Group 21. (Photo: UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

Perhaps the most important part of Adm Sir Ben Key’s tenure as First Sea Lord will not be the immediate RN of today, but setting the conditions for the navy of the future.

As the new head of the RN, First Sea Lord (FSL) Adm Sir Ben Key inherits a force that, on paper, has undergone significant transformation and appears well placed to deliver maritime force on behalf of the UK government.

With new ships, a strong building programme and stable funding in place, in theory his tenure in the role should be straightforward. Look deeper, though, and there appear to be a range of potentially significant challenges ahead, all of which could cause real disruption.

The defining buzzword of his predecessor Adm Sir Tony Radakin (now Chief of the Defence Staff) during

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