ROYAL NAVY & ROYAL FLEET AUXILIARY AIRCRAFT OPERATING SHIPS
The Fleet Air Arm squadrons and flights operate from most ships in service with the Royal Navy (RN) and all the current Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships – these are merchant supply ships operated for and on behalf of the Royal Navy. Most of the ships have both hangarage and servicing facilities including workshops to allow the aircraft and helicopters to operate as part of the ships weaponry systems.
The current Royal Navy Fleet operate the following ships:
Two Queen Elizabeth Class ships operating all FAA aircraft and helicopters in service with the RAF. These are the RN’s principal strike and command assets.
HMS Albion and Bulwark operating FAA and RAF helicopters with the ability to operate vertical take-off aircraft if necessary. Used to support amphibious operations with land forces such as the Royal Marine Brigades. They can also act as command ships.
Six Daring Class ships capable of operating Wildcat and Merlin helicopters
Twelve Duke Class ships also operating Wildcat and Merlin Helicopters
40 smaller ships many of which can operate small helicopters but without servicing and hangarage facilities.
The current Royal Fleet Auxiliary fleet
Three Bay Class ships capable of operating helicopters and embarked Royal Marines operating as part of an amphibious assault group with the two assault ships. They are also capable of operating as independent units with embarked land forces and Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.
Four Tide Class large tankers used to refuel ships at sea with Merlin or Wildcat helicopters embarked.
Currently only RFA Fort Victoria is in service however six multirole support ships are on order for service capable of supporting the fleet with supplies with the capability of embarking Merlin and Wildcat helicopters and a detachment of land forces.
CASUALTY RECEPTION AND TRAINING CARRIER
RFA Argus is currently in service (until 2024) with a role of training aircraft carrier capable of operating FAA & RAF helicopters and vertical take-off aircraft if necessary. It is also the Fleets hospital ship.