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David Stephen

Why in gods name should it take until 2019 to start to rectify the engines on HMS Dauntless? We could build another ship in that time! Surley it has to be seen as an absoulute priority to get all Type 45s fixed quickly. Yes it is a kick in the teeth to have to cut her open and basically rengine her but leaving it 3 years before you start only makes the problem worse. This is a £1 billion peice of taxpayers equipment that is being wasted. I can understand leaving Lancaster in mothballs as she has not yet recieved Artisan and has no type 2087 but the Type 45s are crucial to the fleet going forward. Its harsh medicine but it needs to be swallowed and the refit to Dauntless begun immediatly not in 3 years. If these ships have a life of 30-35 years then this hiatus would cost between £90-£120 million (lost service). Remember it wont have an extra 3 years life at the end as its replacment will be coming, which will eat up the crew and systems (probably). So not only are we down to 5 destroyers in the meantime we will loose more money than the new engines and fitting them would cost. (no way repairs cost more than £100 million. This is a poor decision in regards to Dauntless. I also think that this highlights again the fact that shipbuilding has to be kept well away from BAE. Nationalize the yard at govan if neccessary or force them to sell to Ferguson at a discount and never again allow them near a complex warship.

tuvsudpmss

You’re right, this is a pitiful example of government procurement. They have bought a billion pound dinghy from BAE whom I can only assume have all the contractual might and have told HM Gov to poke it. How inept can the MOD be whereas they are prepared to leave billion pound assets floating in the harbour for upwards of four years?

Dave

Do you read what the owners of the group put up here, if you did you would see this problem has nothing to do with Bae. More like the last Labour government. Perhaps someone would be so kind to point Tuvsudpmss in the right direction

Stuart Dangerfield

I understand your resentment and I agree that the Royal Navy is getting a bum deal, all our service branches are but in the case of the Type 45 destroyer except for the engine issues which unfortunately count as one of the teething problems common to all sorts of high tech military equipment BAE actually constructed a very fine class of warships. In fact it is considered by most (and that includes our American allies!!) naval experts as the finest vessel of its type in the world. It would only require a small number of upgrades too become a truly multi role warship in the vein of the USS Arleigh Burke class. Now that we understand the issues with the engines I believe that we should stop all the faffing about for new frigates (which we do need) and new destroyers not specialised to the air defence role and simply order more of this now proven type with modified engines and the addition of a towed array and perhaps a slightly different missile loadout to fulfil the desperately needed mid sized, multi role warship requirement. Those we already have could be upgraded too or retained in their current air defence version as escorts for the new Carrier Battle Groups we should be deploying soon. For me a multi role vessel capable of superb fleet air defence and able to also operate in the ASW role as well as be deployed on good will missions and all those other deployments for which the RN needs a single capable medium sized multi role vessel would be inherently more useful to the RN than an admittedly capable single role platform. Surely the benefits of a common platform and one that is proven in all area’s (except the issue with the engines which will obviously be addressed in any future builds) makes sense, especially in this environment of low manpower and hard to come by skillsets. Massive changes need to be made to attract and retain the right personnel and to reverse the damage done to all the service branches by our culture of Strategic Defence Reviews. However the Type 45 is over all a success story and with very little effort could become the backbone of the navy for the next half a century.

Darren Pyper

I would suggest sell the yard to Blohm & Voss or Damen or another experienced warship builder

Mike

And that will really help with this! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35931968

AR

speaking of a destroyer shortage, why not dry dock bristol, rebuild her from the inside out?

Shoreumup

Good idea re HMS Bristol – maybe then rename her HMS Nothing.

tuvsudpmss

This must have a pretty miserable effect on working ships expected to pick up the slack?

TheGinge

I am sorry this even more reinforces my view that however much they don’t want to they need to use these two ships as training mules and then fly crews out to meet ships deployed. It makes no sense having Crew deployed for 9 months as HMS Defender is at the moment with pre deployment training meaning people are away for over a year. Park in the UAE train the crew on Dauntless and then fly them out for 6mth deployments.
I know it has problems with each ship being differant but you have to be radical to retain your staff. Waisting time with ships doing long transits for deployment is pointless. In the longterm look to creat T45/T26 ships and simulators based on land when these two are either scrapped or rejoin the fleet. maximum 6mth deployed with at least a 3 week fly home break. Yes I know 100yrs ago sailors used to leave and come back 18mths later, but this is the modern world and unless you pay mountains of money trained enginers and flight staff will just walk away in to jobs where they might actualy get to see their kids grow up.

AR

as anoying as many things may be the solution is staring us in the face, the brazillian, pakistani and indian navys are bigger than ours because they’re better shoppers! they buy modern capable warship from other navy’s we, on the other hand do not. our governments stand by and watch wholesale parts of the fleet simply sail away under a new flag then mothball or scrap perfectly good ships. the us navy has 4 times as many modern ships in mothballs than are available to the R.N. including two super carriers, the j.f.kconstellation,,and the kitty hawk held at the bremerton inactive ships facility(worth a google at . the jfk is on hold foR DONATION AS A MUSEUM!A WHOLE CLASS OF TICONDAROGA CRUISE MISSILE CAPABLE SHIPS WILL SOON JOIN THEM.WE SHOULD DO OUR SHOPPING ABROAD BUYING QUALITYAND NO SIMPLY WAIT FOR THE NEXT B.A.E screwup.

Mike

Buying abroad of course that works brilliantly doesn’t it. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35931968
You may wish to spend your money abroad, I don’t!

Fedaykin

I would slightly reappraise your list there:
Brazil: Mixed fleet consisting of many elderly second hand vessels from the UK and other sources. They have modernized some vessels and procured some new OPV and Submarines but also have unfinished plans to buy new corvettes. They are currently trying to maintain in service a French carrier that should of been scrapped years ago.
Pakistan: Elderly fleet of surplus T21 and one Perry class frigates. Four new Sword class destroyers (really a frigate) with weapon and sensors that would of been regarded as hardly cutting edge in the 1980’s let alone now.
India: When I draw up my global top ten for worst bungling and prevarication when it comes to defence procurement India is near the top (along with Canada). They have some cool new ships certainly but they also have a large number of elderly vessels as well, the new vessels often have problems and are not fully up to the projected specification. They have many programs that are delayed for all sorts of reasons and a number fatal incidents to boot.

AR

japan and korea are bigger too

Darren Pyper

And yet we are about to hand more money over to BaE to build the Type 26!!! I wonder if the costs of the rectification work will be met by them or from “reserves” I suspect neither it’ll come from the navy vote. And if Its BaE carrying out the work stand by for cost escalation. I wonder if Type 31 is now in any way viable!

4thwatch

Truely crazy. How come it take 20 years to develop the type 26. Delay it for 4 years or so & cut the numbers in half! Then as if that’s not enough you START designing the next (type 31). As I’ve said before, its an absolute shambles.
Shades of Nimrod- and who benefitted from that- BAE of course.

AR

BAE get too much of the services business and never delivers on time, so much for competition

Anonymous

The 45s have their problems which can’t be undone in a hurry (dauntless in particular has had major snags) but a solution is at least being put into place. Major hold up is as always money, 45 availability isn’t helped by Babcock having the contract for refits but BAE having a work round of basically having docking periods during fleet time (throwing sea to shore ratios out the window! Answer anyone unfortunate enough to remain during docking now has it classed as shore time for all ships). The bottom line however isn’t a technical one its manpower! The navy is trying its best with FRIs, NEM pay scales, army, Fleet air arm techs, French and US coastguard personnel, direct entry POs and early EC but with limited resources it’s not having much effect. 1% pay rises (although generally with a pay increment as well), 9 month deployments and the pension arnt helping young recruits just dont seem to want to stay much past the 4-6 year point. The engineering crisis has been well covered (again as said before can earn same/more outside and unless the majority of kids can be persuaded to study engineering for the next 15 years that’s not going to change) but seaman specs and chefs are becoming thin on the ground. Even fully manned in all the right cadres (total trained strength is misleading) manning the fleet with the carriers would be extremely difficult. As it is it’s impossible, reduced manning on ships still actually running hasn’t been mentioned. It’s basically a mess, borderline/ is hollowed out and as the manpower numbers come out every year I’m becoming more convinced that it’s getting to the point of no return. Sorry to be gloomy!

Anonymous

Well the Navy has gotta make sure they have enough money to pay all those captains and admirals. Would someone care to share why on earth the head honcho at BAE hasn’t been presented to parliament and made to explain why warships that we more than paid through the nose for to the tune of 1.1 billion each are on the bones of their arses already?

navylookout

The RN is reducing officer numbers by 300 in order to employ 600 new ratings.
Technically BAES are not the main culprits for the propulsion problems as the decision to go with the more riskier WR-21 GT option was taken at ministerial level back in 2000. See previous post on T45s

AR

my son told me that dragon is fine

RN

Apologies, but this story is complete and utter rubbish. Please post facts not dockyard dits. ..

Anonymous

RN
Instead of just telling us its rubbish, why dont you tell us why with facts and evidence. From what I hear from serving matelots the situation is still bleak and may still be getting worse. And the vast majority of the time this site gets it right.
So why are they wrong now?

AR

t 45 problems are media driven rumours to sell more newspapers the t 45 is a brilliant design, we should be proud to be able to produce quality instead of deriding things that don’ t measure up to our armchair admiral expectations

navylookout

This post is based on information from multiple sources. If you can confirm that Lancaster and Dauntless will be fully operational again soon then we’d love to hear it.

4thwatch

Silence then from RN.
Tow Lancaster down to the Falklands if need be. Ask the Chileans if she could be maintained alongside their type 26’s. Think laterally.
I suspect this disarmament is a Foreign Office ploy. Them what lost us the Falklands back then and had to be taken back at such cost.
Where is Admiral ‘Jackie’ Fisher when you want him?

AR

lancaster should recieve the necessary tlc, upgrades and a return to service as a priority above getting one t26 built

Anonymous

To be fair BAE also recommend American gas turbines, it was a MOD decision to go with the wr21s. That’s not saying BAE arnt making a killing from poorly written contracts and this re engining will be mainly at public expense, hence the delay! As said above though dauntless would still be limping on whatever her faults if there were sailors to man her. Let’s remember 4 ships are currently in upkeep with minimal manning, at least 2 ships are running with reduced manning levels, the carriers are sucking the life out of the surface fleet. I also believe there is another 23 in the same position as Lancaster. The reason manning is at this level isn’t because they are all shore side with the navy trying to help retention, they simply arnt there.

Anonymous

Many people who have commented here have never served in procurement and had to operate under the financial and commercial constraints imposed by the government. This makes it extremely difficult to procure equipment which the man-on-the-ground would want to operate/maintain.
The main reason these ships are laid-up is to ease the manning short-fall. Yes this is an MOD or RN issue and only gets worse with each person that puts their notice in. All personnel could get “paid more” outside, but one reason to work for the RN is to make a difference and there are fringe benefits which are often discounted by disgruntled personnel.
Can anyone offer a solution (apart from purely financial) to keep people in?

Anonymous

Yes mate here is one people in the services are expected to do dangerous and technical jobs in challenging places and yet most of them recieve only basic just enough to get by training because the attitude is if we get you qualified youll just leave now bearing in mind most people who serve the maximum time leave with no formal qualifications
Proper accredited quals spaced out over a reasonable number of years (not nvqs they are rubbish) will aid retention
Im sure training organsations ie nebosh for xample will be happy to be in partnerships with the RN for prestige and PR reasons.
More qualifications more knowledge to fix maintain and design our own ships more pride in the job more personnel will be retained

4thwatch

An impossible thought of what to do with 300 surplus officers. In the real world if you have too many managers you make them reapply for their jobs. If they aren’t top class you sometimes make them an offer to apply for the job below their previous grade at the top pay rate for that lower grade- at which they often shine.

Anonymous

I will never understand why the Royal Navy made me redundant as a Communications and Electronics Warfare Artificer since there seems to be resourcing problems now.

AR

does BAE stand for botched and expensive?

Shoreumup

You were sacked to make sure that training establishments are kept in work

Darren Pyper

this does make me wonder if the carriers were ever meant to happen? would a returned Brown government have cancelled or was Gordon hoping the incoming conservative government would cancel them to give labour capital on the Conservative’s comittment to defence. All in all there looks like there has been little or no long term planning for their introduction into service.

AR

i often wonder if the t26 programme has ever really existed or is it a giant hoax like 12 type 45’s? or other cancelled projects

Anonymous

I keep saying this and it’s not just manpower that’s the problem. If working conditions improved, people would stay – fact!
All is engineers want to be able to do is our job. People gripe about lack of harmony time etc, but the overriding issue is that we don’t have the resources, funding, contracts and procurement power to be able to fix our shit.
In the case of the 45’s, this is a bloody travesty. With all the brass on procurement and design boards and majority of those are civilian staff now, the processes in place are a joke and outdated. Having spent 2 1/2 years on a technical desk at ABW, working closely with procurement teams, contract teams and safety cases, I can say I was 100% of the time, the most junior member of the meeting and that’s at CPO level, having just come from front line units and fully up to speed on current issues. I was only there because I put myself forward to be to try to make change. High ranking civilian staff are even more petrified to make procedural and design change than officers! If things are going to improve, it needs to start here at the root.
45’s were supposed to be gas generator driven, so RR made a lovely engine that fitted the RN’s outdated and largely unnecessary requirements. This engine was put to tender to meet legal rules and the RN’s brass rejected all other proposals from GE, P&W etc. NO ONE else in the world wanted the RR engine so RR scrapped build lines and RN bought all existing engines at reduced price. Funny old thing, they were crap, unreliable and due to supply chain being stopped, once we ran out of donor engines we ran into problems.
From then on, the 45’s emergency generator was used for propulsion, where it was operated outside of its design window. Now they are all largely tits too and we are in the problem we are in now with re-engining the generators.
No amount of FRI will retain the people we need to retain, we need to be able to have stored when we need stores, fix shit when we need to fix shit and bloody well do our job with the correct tools and support. That makes for happy engineers and those people stay!

Darren Pyper

yes but the government don’t want highly experienced and competent engineers in the services they want them in industry where they can be making profits and paying higher taxes! Same goes with any of the technical sides of the services.

Anonymous

cynic!!!

Fedaykin

HMS Lancaster is an interesting issue, she has already had her mid-life refit but it has preceded the program to fit Artisan, Sea Ceptor and a whole host of our system/electronic upgrades. Combined with the lack or a towed sonar and her age it begs the question is it even worth the effort of another mid-life update to put the new stuff on.
To me she looks a prime candidate to put up for sale, with her projected OSD of 2024, a recent-ish refit and the fact that most potential customers would not be globally it the same as us that could be stretched. Chile is a logical customer as they already operate T23 in a similar configuration. There are some other navies where it might be attractive as well, the Philippines that already operate ex RN Peacock class and have just procured the AW159 Wildcat might find it a very attractive buy.

AR

why spend a billion on a t45 and never see it built when we have perfectly good ships sitting idle, the t23 is an excellent asw platform and as such, is of more use to the u.k than an opv@popgun toy we sold counties to chile and they never left harbour i was on antrim, she had years of service left in her replacement of seaslug with sea dart would have been a better idea than almost ‘giving them away.

CJH

Sadly I am old enough to remember when shipbuilding was measured in “Months” not Decades and the uproar when in the 1980’s it was proposed to reduce the escort fleet to 40…. yes 40 – which is double what it is now.
I know how parlous the state of the Argentine Military is but with Putin’s Russia once again supporting its surrogates and proxies – Assad in Syria for one – the possibility of supplying Argentina with reasonably modern kit is a scary thought. There was talk last year of supplying aircraft.
As an interested layperson in military matters I am sick to my hind teeth listening to our politicians talk big about 2% of GDP spent on defence and re-announcing time after time the plans for the QE Carriers,F35’s,Type 26/31 and OPV’s when the reality is they are still years away and in the case of the Type 26’s not even laid down yet!
I have always been a staunch supporter of British built equipment but for crying out loud this isn’t just about jobs – which seems to be the main aim of our politicians – and when the prime UK Company, BAEs, owns shipyards in the USA, owns Bofors and SAAB in Sweden and myriad other ‘interests’ around the world and they have sold our nuclear energy to China and France these claims are abject hypocrisy.
Value for money, an adequate long term planned and resourced equipment procurement system , properly supported and paid personnel and a genuine Defence Policy built around our national need to keep sea lanes open with an expeditionary capability makes sense to my ears.
Why not our politicians?

Anonymous

The good old days ay? When the RN would knock out 10 ships a year, have 30 tied up in guzz and Pompey knowing another 30 were out at sea

4thwatch

The link is between the collapse of Steel production and the Jam-Tomorrow- Ship Type 26 (or whatever) and the soft thinking of our politicians. Shades of Alice-in-Wonderland.
UK almost uniquely has progressed into a dreamworld where everything is ‘reality’. Hard power is a dirty word. Instead everything is about soft this and soft that. This is borne out by our foreign aid budget which is over 1/3 of our defence budget.
I am also struck by how UK annually privately invests 37bn GBP in buy-to let homes and yet wriggles at the prospect of subsidising the 365m GBP cost of keeping Port Talbot running until we can rethink our madhouse cost of energy and lack of protection for key industries.

AR

the drednaught battleship was built in pompey in just less than 12 months the yards in scotland should be told, get the orders built quickly or the contracts will go elsewhere

AR

the u.k imports 83% of its goods by sea, so a fleet the size of the current one can’t protect the sea lanes which are as important now as they’ve ever been, and why aren’t bae referred to the monopolies commission?

David Stephen

Could we possibly remove the A50 VLS module from Dauntless and fit it to Lancaster instead of the sea Ceptor upgrade. Even without the Sampson radar she has good engines and could act as auxiliary magazine for the Type 45 protecting whatever task force is deployed. Would need to fit CEC to at least Lancaster and 1 or more Type 45 so might be cheaper and more effective to fit the Sampson radar as well. Assuming the weight can be incorporated this would get the destroyer fleet back to 6. It’s a compromise and would have issues I’m sure, the lower radar horizon and such but it’s better than letting Dauntless rot, which is what I fear will happen. 6 destroyers and 12 frigates is better than 5 destroyers and 13 frigates ( 5 of which don’t have TAS ). Refitted as a destroyer Lancaster could offer a task force everything a Type 23 (without TAS) does now (gun, helicopter) but also fulfill the AAW role, or at least augment it.

Mike e

We need the dauntless back in seaworthiness babe designed them they should put it right immediately

The GInge

The problem is BAe didn’t choose the Turbine the MOD did and RR built it. If the MOD had gone with Pratt & Witney or GE designs that BAe recommneded we might be looking at a differant position.
BAe were very clear that they were giving no guarentee on the RR design, you could argue that RR should bear the cost but the Government decided to take on board the Risk, thus the Government have to pay the cost of recitfying it.

The Ginge

Just reading the points above. Since we are down to 5 T45’s it appears for sometime the reality is that will probably generate you 2 ships on Station each year. That means that with QE/PoW available every year plus some form of Amphibous battle group that the T45 fleet are going to be tied up on Escort Duty.
Add in at least 1 if not 2 T23 for ASW would it not make sense at their mid life refitts to upgrade their Anit Air capability for the 5 GP T23’s and give them a network node to combine with the T45’s Radar and AEW Merlins. IE making the 5 T23’s GP’s more escort usuful. So you would have 2 Escort pods of
T45 x 1 / T23 GP Modified x 1 / T23 ASW x 2 for the Aircraft Carriers.
T45 x 1 / T23 GP Modified x 1 / T23 ASW x 1 for Amphibous Group
This does not mean those Frigates/Destroyers can not do other tasks whilst deployed or could not be replaced by French/US resources (although unlikely as the RN supplies the US with cover in the Gulf for the very reason the US is short of Arleigh Burkes) but rely on the River OPV’s to do everything else with suitable RFA support ?
The fact being to deply 8 out of 17 availabe “Escort” ships doing what they are designed to do “Escort” seems logical. I just can not see the point of tying up 5 T23’s going General Purpose roles when we are short of Escort ships. Do what you need most and only do other stuff when you can ? Having those 5 T23’s GP Ships go through midlife refitts without having the ability to tweek it to be more useful by fitting differant Anit Air missiles seems short sighted. We really have got to make the most of what we’ve got because we really have not got a lot. With the T45 problems as reported we really have got to get another fighting platform to partner up with them to provide proper coverage.
An OPV with a decent Gun a, retractable Hanger and Helicopter can do interdiction at sea of Yemen or the Horn of Africa or Caribean Patrol just as well as 180 People in a T23.

Anonymous

What a shambles the once great RN has become, wrens in the silent service, borrowing stokers from foreign navies, no navy in the world has caused destruction on this level to the RN just leave it to a bunch of sell out treachourous bastard politicians, it makes my blood boil, we used to set the standard for the world now we can barely set sail from port, get a class along the lines of the Leander’s, one modern hull fitted for various roles, general purpose, ASW, AAW, 10 of each batch equals 30 hulls, the overall cost saving for that would be great due to the increased order volume, and how about 10 SSN’s too

H Nelson

Not sure of the relevance of your “wrens in the silent service” comment?? Care to expand??????

David Stephen

I don’t think he has too. Its just a bad idea. You are right that its probably not relevant to the state of the readiness or number of ships available but lets be honest, wrens on subs is political correctness gone mad. Let me be clear, this is not a sexist view it is just acceptance of the fact that women are unsuited to front line combat positions. There are many studies which confirm this. Check the problems the USMC have had with the same issue. That’s not to say that women are not suited to any military role (they are) and have performed those roles in the past with distinction. None of these roles however should be at the tip of the spear. If I was forced to elaborate the main reasons in my opinion would be that “on average” women are not as physically strong and durable as men and that female casualties impact the morale of male front line personnel to a greater degree than other male casualties do. I think we have to remember that the military is a special case, it is not a vehicle for equal opportunities but a service charged with FIGHTING to protect the civilian population of the UK. Anything that makes it less effective at doing so should not be tolerated. P.S I am now fearfully awaiting a massive backlash.

H Nelson

They already serve on frontline ships, the step “up” to submarines, once the domestics are sorted, shouldn’t be too great. Having served on surface ships with “Wrens” the vast majority are conscientious and hard working.

Anonymous

Wouldn’t you get better numbers by mothballing/scrapping HMS Ocean early? That’s 300 crew (say 250 at reduced running) that can go into the standing pot for the QE and PoW. A moot point, of course, given that that’s not what has happened.
Four River OPV’s fully manned for every T23 crew released. I’d not be at all surprised to see the RN looking into what extra levels of automation can be added to the T26/31 to account for vastly reduced manpower.
The Khareef corvette (easily call that a light frigate) runs with 100. Should be able to knock that down by 15 or 20, and there you go, a 2-1 manning ratio compared to the T23. BMT Venator 110 states a crew of 85.
Which sort of highlights, for all that I love the carriers, that the manning requirement for them is vastly out of step with where the RN currently finds itself. Which figures of course, given they were first penned a couple of SDSRs ago.

JUPITER

When I joined the RN in the 60s it was made very clear to me, that I may at some point have to put my life on the line and also I could potentially be away from the UK for long periods of time. I cannot have any sympathy for those that drip about either. Life in a blue suit. If you don’t agree with them, DON’T JOIN!

Anonymous

Its great saying that mate and all things being equal i would agree. However recruitment is very low at the moment and retention levels are poor.
These are a reflection of the times and the Andrew needs to ackowledge it and deal with it considering the competition for skills is out there.
Rather than making unrealistic promises which end being broken this the 60s anymore look at what has changed since then ie women are much more career minded (quite rightly) so the domestic side of life needs to be shared.
Just a thought.

AR

the series ‘sailing’ in the 1970’s about the old ark royal prompted a surge in manpower. the government has never promoted life in the r.n r.a.f, army and this is the result

Jack Flash

The 45’s for their size should of been a general purpose cruiser not a AAW destroyer but penny pinching politicians made it into a modern 42 because let’s face it that’s all it is, same concept just different weapons besides phalanx, if I was spending a billion a ship I’d want a hell of a lot more for my money than what I have now, corvettes are a good idea from whoever posted about them above, but let’s face it they’ll only replace bigger ships so we’d probably be left with 6 45’s 8 26’s and a handful of corvettes if it ever got into service, if we could get a heavily armed corvette with a core crew of around 100 for under 200 million a unit we’d be laughing and could easily put into service 20, something like the German Braunschweig class, around 2000 tons, a deck gun, get 16 VLS silos with a mix of anti ship and and anti air missiles and fit a phalanx in somewhere plus a hanger for UAV

Anonymous

This Tory government is running all three arms of the services into the ground simply for take over by the EU in due course, providing that is that Cameron wins his referendum. He has already started playing dirty because he’s losing the electorates vote and BREXIT becomes likely? However that will not stop hip running down the services after Brexit? A Labour government under Corbyn, would destroy Britain’s armed services so that leaves only one viable alternative party to vote for who’s manifesto clearly states that it will rebuild Britain’s regular Armed Forces up to a level that we can sustain and do all the jobs we need to do including the defence of British protectorates like Gibraltar and the Falklands Islands. That Party is UKIP who have predicted correctly everything that has happened so far and have been completely honest with the people of Britain.

David Stephen

The problem with that is that many of my fellow scots are stupid. If we do as you suggest the horrible sickness of “Scottish socialism” will ensure the break up of the U.K. This would be a disaster and hammer the final nail in to the navy’s coffin. I would also caution against leaving the EU for the same reason. We first have to ensure the toxic SNP don’t get any further ammunition. Sad as it is they are holding us hostage on both votes at the moment (EU referendum & general election).

Mike

David. Totally agree. This referendum could not have been timed more badly. I personally could not bear to see the self inflicted madness of a break up of the UK. The SNP need time to fail as they inevitably will.

Ian L

Interesting content in the last paragraph of the report made by the BBC news website on the change of First Sea Lord (8/4/2016 UK section).This might explain why a destroyer and frigate are “along side” at the present time.

H Nelson

I see LANCASTER going outboard of DAUNTLESS in the basin according to Portsmouth QHM shipping!

David Stirling

SNP will inevitably fail? They are in their 3rd term and run our country far more effectively than Westminster did. Our NHS is not in crisis, our junior doctors do not feel the need to strike, we have free prescriptions and eye tests and there have been no council tax rises for years.
The Royal Navy is in the state it’s in because of Westminster not Holyrood.And Mr Stephen to call your fellow Scots stupid because a large proportion of them wish to leave a UK run by inept self interest rich Tories in my mind makes you the stupid one. Scottish Socialists??? Are you seeing the same election results as I am? Labour were destroyed in the elections again because they are inept and only exist for their own agenda and not for the working people. Now that I have dared moaned about your precious UK no doubt I will get the same old lies about England subsidising us wicked ungrateful Scots. Heard it all before. What exactly should we be grateful for because all you do is insult and lie about us.

ronnie

Is the snp not by definition socialist ? The stupidity belongs to the snp. Howling at the moon for independence and in the next breath stating determination to join/rejoin the bankrupt EU complete with its collapsing currency. Why is that? When does independence not mean independence from any and all oversight ? When it’s snp ersatz independence. Free prescriptions was welcome but an easy and cheap stunt. U/16 and O/ 65 didn’t pay. There is a long list of conditions/ailments which also give exemption with the number actually paying being a minority. If you truly believe the nhs is not in crisis then I hope you or yours do not require to avail yourselves of its facilities anytime soon. You’d be in for a huge shock. The staff always give of their best but are thwarted in their efforts by sheer lack of numbers.
The education system is no better with stressed and demoralised staff leaving making the job even more difficult for those who remain. Books are in short supply and parents are asked to fund the shortfall.
In conclusion, the snp have been fixated on separation (can’t call it independence) for so long they’ve dropped the ball when it comes to running the country.

John Simms

Think of it this way, if it takes x amount of time to build a sub standard piece of war machine, then any future war will be sub standard too, the planes will take off, but by the time the F35 is ready the Fairy Swordfish will be on it’s way back looking for HMS Queen Elizabeth in the Naval extended readiness section of the manual, and don’t worry about amphibious warfare, as the Royal Marines have just procured their new waders from the local fishing tackle shop. The Royal Air Force have just announced a mid life upgrade package to there fleet “of 1” Lancaster bomber. Breaking news HMS Victory is to undergo sea trials as the new Royal Navy Carrier,

albertz11

Sad state of affairs. The arse is hanging out the “fleet” if you can still call it that. The armed forces in general have had appealing value for money for decades. Buy British ?? Yes but not at all costs. until Bae etc come under threat of losing out if not the best equipment for the right price then nothing will change.
For the money we spend we should have a lot more on the water and in the air. And yes previous governments have a lot to answer for along with the services themselves for constant spec changes.

AR

why build a new dedicated hospital ship? a bay class would be easily convertable,a massive flight deck a dock for large numbers of casualties is available too, we waste too much on ppie in the sky dreams, not enough destroyers? pull H.M.S bristol into a dry dock, rebuild her from the inside out. faster, cheaper to get into service than another t45 its not rocket science, just plain old common sense. illustrious for ocean? buying an almost complete mistral from france too makes real sense as well.

AR

my son is on dragon and they have no propulsion issues whatsoever

AR

pure media driven hype.

AR

the whole long term future of the royal navy should be the subject of a public enquiry. THE BAE monopoly of contracts, the fixation for scottish shipyards just a polital sap to the SNP

Muriel Barrett

The problem is there is no one in government who have any idea about the role of the navy, I watched a house of commons programme on the t.v for something to do the other day, and all they were worried about was MP’s buying sex toys etc., a load of rubbish. no one stood up and commented on the state of our navy. we are going to be the laughing stock of England soon. 2 warships gone how many more its about time they got rid of some of all those soldiers in London……
knocked down the barracks and built houses like they are doing in our city…….
they have taken away the Royal Marines at Stonehouse so as to change their barracks into houses and flats. they are talking about taking away 29cdo and doing the same with their bks… we are supposed to be a garrison city…!!!!!!!!!!
you dont hear them saying take away the horse brigade of london, and change the stables into flats… etc.,
No and the reason being all they know about in London is the army…..
well thats my opinion

Alan

All the debate about ship numbers is all well and good, but the main issue is rating retention and recruitment to man the ship’s that we’ve got, the main problem is that we don’t have sufficient training facilities anymore, in the 60’s and 70’s we had Raleigh, Ganges and St Vincent for new entries, now only Raliegh left, plus part 2 training bases for their specialist training like Mercury, Dryad, Vernon etc, all these have been closed down to save money, and subsequently sold off to the private sector, so now all specialist part 2 training goes through Collingwood, which is why there is a 12to18 + month delay from being accepted into the RN and actually starting training at Raliegh. Some recruits, not surprisingly loose interest in joining up with such a long waiting time and get a settled civvy job. It’s like the old saying You can’t squeeze a quart into a pint pot, they need to increase the resource in the training infrastructure to enable more new recruits to be trained faster, at least then we would be able to man our current and future billets.