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Photo credits can be found here.
This shows the rapid dismemberment of the Royal Navy since the coalition government came to power in May 2010. Of course many of the problems can be traced back to the Blair/Brown governments who failed to fund enough new vessels but the 2010 “Strategic Defence Review” dramatically accelerated the shrinking of an already threadbare fleet.
HMS Ark Royal commissioned in 1985 but was refitted in 2009 and was capable of at least another 5 years service. HMS Trafalgar was scheduled to de-commission being nominally replaced by HMS Astute. However HMS Astute’s entry into the fleet has been long-delayed and sea trials plagued with problems. Type 42 destroyers, HMS Manchester & Gloucester are old ships and were due for retirement. However there were once 12 type 42s and they are being replaced by just 6 Type 45s (including HMS Dauntless & Diamond). The 4 highly capable Type 22 frigates were built in the 1980s but have been well maintained. (HMS Campbeltown was refitted as recently as Jan 2010) and were good for another 5-10 years service. HMS Walney was 19 years old and capable of at least another 10 years service. (Actually cut along with HMS Roebuck by the Brown government as a ‘light appetiser’ before Cameron’s ‘main course’ of cuts). The Royal Fleet Auxiliary has not received any new ships since RFA Lyme Bay in 2007 and does not have any new ships on order or being constructed. The decommissioned RFA Largs bay was only 5 years old and Fort George 20 years old. Both could have been expected to serve for at least 25-30 years. HMS Protector is a replacement for Antarctic patrol vessel HMS Endurance damaged beyond economical repair by a flooding incident off Chile in 2008).
- Navy chief: Britain cannot keep up its role in Libya air war due to cuts (telegraph.co.uk)
- Reversing the defence cuts is one U-turn Cameron should take (telegraph.co.uk)
- Admiral Warns Govt Of Tough Libya Decisions (news.sky.com)
- Cameron slaps down Royal Navy chief over Libya comments (guardian.co.uk)
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