British Royal Navy Has ‘Woefully Low’ Number of Ships – Report

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As the parliamentary Defense Committee revealed, a total number of ships of the British Royal Navy that can be deployed abroad is “woefully low.”

British Royal Navy Has ‘Woefully Low’ Number of Ships – Report

Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS St Albans (right), hands over responsibilities to HMS Argyll (left) in the Middle East following her successful deployment to the area (Photo: Royal Navy / FRPU(E) / Simmo Simpson)

According to the parliamentary Defense Committee, modern vessels that the British Royal Navy should use for replacement of the aging fleet have too many problems with their design and engines, while a “woefully low” number of ships that can be deployed abroad are available for the fleet.

As the latest report of the Defense Committee revealed, the 19 frigates and destroyers, which are currently operated by the Royal Navy fleet, are “way below the critical mass required for the many tasks which could confront it.”

According to the report, all the 13 Type 23 frigates of the Royal Navy will be decommissioned between 2023 and 2035, and it is still unclear which vessels will replace them. The first Type 23 entered in service in 1989, while British Navy received the last one HMS St. Albans in 2002.

It is planned that replacement of the old frigates with the Type 26 Global Combat Ship should be started in 2021. However, MPs have great doubts about this, as the country’s Ministry of Defense has no clear timetable for the replacements.

The Defense Ministry also was criticized for its “extraordinary mistakes” during the design of six modern Type 45 destroyers, the price of each of which is £1 billion (about $1.23 billion). In January, it was announced that the Type 45s will be reequipped due to repeated breakdowns. In 2014, an engine failure made HMS Dauntless to leave its training mission, in 2009, HMS Daring lost propulsion in the middle of the Atlantic, during its first trip to America, the same happened with the ship in Kuwait in 2012.

Later, it became known that the Type 45s was not able to operate in warm waters, such as the Persian Gulf. According to military, Rolls-Royce WR-21 gas turbines of the destroyers would be replaced with diesel generators.

“The United Kingdom will then lack the maritime strength to deal with the threats we face right now, let alone in the future. We are putting the MoD [UK Defense Ministry] on notice that it must not let this happen,” chairman of the Defense Committee, Dr Julian Lewis, concluded.

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