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John barrow

Having read your report , and have served , I consider that our navy is under strength , a shadow of its past , we live in very dangerous times , rather than down sizing , we really should be rearming , many governments have cut defence spending , thus weakening our navy ( the best in a he world ) but I feel we can not cope with the work load of deployments around the world ? Come on uk wake up more ships soldiers Air Force rearm now , before its to late .

Ron Higgins

I doubt very much UK politicians are listening about rearming. So much pressure is needed to at least make them pay attention. The Royal Navy is now smaller than the French and I think Italian navy. I think gone is the concept and policy when the UK had to have a navy as big or larger than the next two leading European powers. Well the world has changed and Britain’s geo political position and power in it. But much pressure is going to have to be brought to bare on those who make decisions about the Royal Navy to keep it from falling into insignificance and protect it’s proud history.

Michael Rostant

Nothing much wrong with the 45s when you consider the significant maintenance issues which plagued other classes in the distant past, for example, Tribal Frigates which routinely were stuck in port due to gearbox and Gas Turbine issues. I served 3 times on Tribals and it became normal to have sailing dates moved at short notice.

Adrian Palmer

What proportion of the Royal Navyescort force were the tribals? If they were all out of action what would the impact have been?
The Type 45s are quality at the expense of numbers – 100% of the Air Defence force and 6/19 of the entire escort force.
Deployment-wise nothing changes, the navy is expected to be on call for hot spots anywhere

Michael Rostant

There were 7 Tribals out of a total Frigate/Destroyer force of about 50-60. I am not qualified to speculate on the effect of all of the Tribals being out of action at one time. I assume it would have been significant.


I think it’s right to celebrate the ongoing achievements of the RN, but it is crucial that the shortcomings and challenges facing the Service are highlighted and this website does a good job of that.
It is worthy of note that the vast majority of capability & financial decisions are now made by the RN themselves in Portsmouth as opposed to by the MOD in Whitehall (read Lord Levene’s Defence Reform Report of 2011 for more detail plus the annual report of Nov 15
Clearly the RN can only operate within the budget allocated to it by the MOD, but how this budget is spent is entirely within the RN’s control. I frequently see people blaming the MOD or Govt for decisions on ship numbers or capabilities, but these decisions are now made in Leach Building, not MOD Main Building.
My view is that the principle failing of the RN is in trying to continue to deliver its directed outputs with inadequate funding which inevitably leads to disappointment, frustration & failure; it’s time for a little less ‘can do’ and a little more ‘can’t do’.


I want to take this opportunity to thank those behind the SAVE THE ROYAL NAVY for the work they do ,,, rather than me spout uninformed fantasy ideas [which I can easily do i grant you] can i ask, what would be the 5 priorities you would advocate for the Royal Navy, given the budget, and acknowledging what Anonymous states, that ‘the vast majority of capability & financial decisions are now made by the RN themselves ‘ …
[ps… i wrote to my local MP immediately after the ‘The continuing neglect of our Royal Navy’ article and have had no reply…]


I just wanted to make a few points on the click bait “Slow death of the RN” article:
1) “It can barely patrol the UK’s own waters, much less project influence aboard” –
I guess he has not heard of the Cougar/RFTG deployments to the Med and Gulf, or the four
Type 45s that have operated with US CSGs since the start of the intervention against ISIL,
or the TLAM capable SSN on patrol east of Suez, the Type 23s deployed on patrol in the Baltic etc.
2) “The RN possesses just 89 ships… comparison the USN has roughly 400 vessels” –
Talk about not comparing like with like, try comparing the RN with the Marine Nationale.
3) “Britain could do little to help in the fight against ISIL” –
Well, aside from an EAW of 40 aircraft (including ISR platforms & Reapers) deployed to
Cyprus and the Gulf, over a thousand airstrikes conducted, 2,000 weapons released,
20,000 Iraqi and Kurdish troops trained, SF deployed, Type 45s operating with US CVNs etc.
It’s worth adding that the UK has conducted far more airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq
and Syria than the French have, even though they have the advantage of carrier strike, but
then CdG is a lemon that can only launch an average of 11 sorties per day, and she
will be out of action until 2018.
4) “12 Type 42s replaced by 6 Type 45s” – And the Marine National only has
two horizon class ships to protect CdG and the Mistral-class LHDs.
Articles should be balanced, not hatchet jobs.

Some excellent comments above – and I am definitely in the Sisyphus category of “interested layperson” – but there is one thing that marks out the Royal Navy from “the rest”. If it’s set a task or given a job it will do it regardless of the state or lack of personnel or ships. In the Napoleonic Wars it was expected that a RN ship would beat any French or Spanish Warship regardless of comparative size. Captains were expected to best any opposition and woe betide them if they failed. That tradition remains and in conversation with any current RN Ship crew member of any rank you will find pride, professionalism and the same “we can do” attitude. I just wish politicians would stop relying on these men and women to produce miracles when they themselves can only offer rhetoric and talk about how much more ” powerful” ships of today are. Those ships have one common strength – the people who serve in them. Time to give them the tools to do the job. If Russia ever decides to sail over our horizon it will be those same people who will hoist the battle flag and sail towards them to save those politicians and the rest of us. Sobering thought that should be constantly in the minds of politicians.


As a parent of a new recruit into the Navy,it does not go down well,the fact that people are always having a go.Lets think of the morale of these new matelots and give some encouragement as we need as many as we can to enlist.

B T Kilbride,



As an ex 22 year Pongo, I am worried about the the state of our RN. I have great respect for the senior service and know that like the other services you have your problems with funding and tech problems with new equipment, we all heard of the problems with Challenger engine leading up to the gulf war? Once the engines where used constantly they became more reliable than the Abrahams A1!!
I am very proud of our armed forces!!!


For me… the Service Personnel in the Navy are ones who are holding it all together. Any criticism I have has never been about them…infact I salute them for carrying the Service. Like with the other Armed Forces there will be a point where all the neglect will cost these men and women their lives..that is what annoys the hell out of me.


They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defenses; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war…And do not suppose that this is the end……This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bittter cup which will be preferred to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor we arise again and take our stand for freedom.
Does this sound familiar to any of