‘Insufficient’ Ship Numbers

Former first sea lord and Labour peer Lord West of Spithead criticised the current number of ships in the Royal Navy, deeming the figure “insufficient”.

Royal Navy ‘insufficient’ ship numbers, says peer

Former first sea lord and Labour peer Lord West of Spithead criticised the current number of ships in the Royal Navy, deeming the figure “insufficient”.

“We have insufficient escort hulls and we need more. Nineteen is simply insufficient for our nation. The paying off of four Type 22 escorts in the Strategic Defence and Security Review since when £12bn of under spend has been created was a terrible error,” he said.

He asked Defence Minister Lord Astor of Hever, on 17 June 2013, if he agreed that the “£250m per annum we will be paying BAE Systems not to build warships could perhaps be used to build escorts”.

Escort ships are designed and operated as escorts for naval convoys.

Liberal Democrat Lord Lee of Trafford also criticised the number of escort ships as “the pressure is increasing with Russia reviving its nuclear submarine patrols to the South Pole and China determined to become a major maritime power to support its growing overseas interests”.

Lord Astor told peers: “The Strategic Defence and Security Review set out how the government was going to secure Britain in an age of uncertainty and central to that was maintaining trade routes and access to resources and protecting UK citizens and trade from terrorism, piracy and unlawful restrictions on freedom of navigation.”

He added: “We are introducing six new Type 45 destroyers, seven astute class submarines. In addition the first of the type class royal fleet auxiliary tankers will enter service in 2016. We are rebuilding our strike capability through the Queen Elizabeth class carriers and with the Type 26 combat ships we have a new programme to develop more flexible frigates of the future.”

Source: BBC.

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