Iain Ballantyne

Iain Ballantyne


Iain’s writing assignments have taken him flying over the Norwegian Arctic with the UK’s Commando Helicopter Force, on patrols with the Royal Marines in Ulster’s so-called Bandit Country (during the Troubles) and into sea minefields off war-torn Kuwait and even into the Bosnian war zone.

Winner of a British Maritime Charitable Foundation (BMCF) Special Recognition Award for his ‘consistent and unwavering contribution to raising maritime awareness over the years’, as a journalist Iain Ballantyne covered the front line activities of navies around the world.

Aside from being one of the few writers to voyage beneath the waves in a Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine, he has also visited closed zones in Russia, including Murmansk, Kronstadt and the Crimea.

When it comes to writing on naval history Iain’s action-packed account of WW2 sea combat, ‘Killing the Bismarck’, garnered a Mountbatten Maritime Award Certificate of Merit while his ground-breaking ‘Hunter Killers’ was the first book to tell the truth behind several dangerous episodes in the Cold War under the sea.

A one-time London-based defence and diplomatic correspondent for a national news agency, Iain has contributed to coverage of naval and defence issues in The Sunday Telegraph, Western Morning News and Scotland-on-Sunday, as well as prestigious publications published on behalf of NATO and the Royal Navy.

In addition to being founding (and current) Editor of the global naval news magazine ‘WARSHIPS International Fleet Review’ Iain also produces HPC Publishing’s popular ‘Guide to the Royal Navy’.

Aside from regularly commentating on geo-political naval affairs and maritime history for regional television and radio, Iain’s other varied pursuits in the past have included movie reviewing (for newspapers, magazines and radio) and co-devising a six-part wine game show (broadcast on the UK’s Channel 4). Iain also for some years worked on numerous projects for London-based Grosvenor Film, both in project conceptualization and script-writing.

Iain’s public speaking engagements have included giving a talk on the pursuit and destruction of battleship Bismarck at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and, most recently, a very well received talk on the same topic at the Naval & Military Club, St James’s. Earlier this year (2016) he spoke on issues surrounding renewal of the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent to the Defence Society of Westminster School.

Iain Ballantyne @IBallantyn

Russia lays down its rules for foreign submarines using the NSR. During the Cold War some non-Russian submarines did the same transit but were not visible at the time.

Congratulations to @Warship_78 on concluding her maiden deployment & returning to home port. Here are the Danish, German, Dutch, & Spanish navy liaisons pictured onboard during the ship’s visit to @portofhalifax. @WarshipsIFR @IBallantyn @USNavy

Significant sections of Blocks 2 and 3 of the Future Commando programme remain unfunded

NAO also notes the Type 45 destroyers supposed to be replaced between 2035 and 2038. Although Type 83 still in the concept phase, the Equipment Plan does not include allocated funding which needs to begin before 2032.

Type 45s will almost certainly be extended in service.

T32 and MRSS remain in the official Equipment Plan but effectively the promised 18 frigates by the late 2030s is now in a fight for funding.

Failure to replace 2 x LPDs, 3 x Bay Class and RFA Argus with the 6 x MRSS would be the end of UK amphibious capability

NAO report into MoD Equipment Plan says In July 2022 Navy Command withdrew its initial plans for Type 32 frigates and Multi-Role Support Ships (MRSS) because of concerns about unaffordability.

The revised costing profile is likely to be "significantly higher".

What do you do when you are scared? On a wartime voyage across the Atlantic with her family, 7 year old Nancy cuddled her toy lion - named Fido as she thought he was a dog!
Fido now greets visitors in our Lusitania gallery https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/lusitania
📷 © @petecarr

Extensive FEPOW diary typed by Rev F Mowat while at sea on SS Umtali Dec 1945 written from his POW notes. He escaped from Changi Gaol & spent weeks on the run (see map) until caught. Faith and comradeship sustained him until liberation.
#ww2 #fepow #changi #escape #faith

The future #HMCSWilliamHall being towed back to @IrvingShipbuild after launch on Sunday. This is the 4th of 6 #AOPVs to launch from the yard. @WarshipsIFR @IBallantyn @CDNShipbuilders #shipsinpics @RoyalCanNavy @RCN_MARLANT

A fine little video of big Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan exiting Plymouth today, presumably for a spell of @FOST
A ship named after Scottish admiral Adam Duncan.

With the first of the BAE Systems-built Type 26 ASW frigates going in the water on the west coast of Scotland, on the east coast, at Rosyth, Babcock is building 5 Type 31 general-purpose frigates. Here's a video of the Danish Navy vessel that provides a basis for the UK vessel.

To counter a more active Russian Navy - especially submarines - in the N. Atlantic, including off UK, the US Navy revived its Second Fleet, a vital support to NATO ops. For an inside perspective from the 2nd Fleet boss, try our 'Guide to the US Navy 2023' https://bit.ly/gusn2023

Honoured to be included in this group!

It was indeed great to have you on Warships Pod @WarshipsIFR for some top chat about Dunkirk and those little ships!
#podcast #naval #history

Homeward bound after quite a while East of Suez.

#OTD in 1944, the crew of USS Intrepid (CV-11) buried 69 of their shipmates at sea. The men had been killed in a kamikaze attack the previous day during operations in the Philippines.

#ВМФ🇷🇺#Russian #Navy The RFS 456 'Admiral Golovko', a frigate of the project 22350 (Admiral Gorshkov Class) went on to the sea trials, today on November 26,2022.Frigates of this Project carry the Kalibr-NK cruise missile system as their basic strike weapon. Photos from ©Curious

#OnThisDay 1978 @RoyalNavy ceased steam catapult launches from Aircraft Carriers when the last ever Plane, an F4K Phantom, was launched from HMS ARK ROYAL. A few hours earlier the last Buccaneer was launched too. @FAA_RN

R4 this morning reported that Russia is replacing nuclear warheads with conventional on missiles as they are running out of missile bodies. One hopes that the checks on warhead type before firing are thorough. @TPNW2017 @nfuglobal @bealejonathan