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shark bait

I think we all can agree our modern ships are vastly superior to their predecessors, and I think that does go some way to make up for the lack of numbers. However that along can not mitigate the shortfalls with the current fleet for the reasons the author mentioned.
Right now with 19 ships I believe the royal navy is teetering on the edge of credibility. Right now, in favourable conditions, we could deploy a strong force alone. However should those conditions be less favourable and we have one less ship available, then the navy starts to fall into the valley of uncertainty, and will struggle with its credibility.
I think the current fleet has to be increased, however I cannot get on board with the 2 tier fleet concept. I don’t see the point bulking up on something that lacks credibility. Small frigates are to small to be multi-purpose powerhouse demanded by a modern surface combatant so lack survivability. If your ships aren’t survivable they lack credibility and therefore is not worth spending the money on.
We could crew 20 T26’s without a change in sailor numbers from out T23 frigates, so lets do that!


I think most people agree that our surface fleet is two small with the exception of the government. But if we insist in getting involved in conflicts around the world . It doesn’t take a genius without the ships and man power we cant be every where at once. Mr Cameron needs to listen to his admirals a lot more as he would do to Mr Osborne about his nations finances .

Lt. Cdr. Omar

Dear sir, good morning. I have read your article
& found very rich for futire guidance. By the way I am a retired Naval officer of Bangladesh Navy. I want to communicate with Disposal UNIT OF RN. We will appreciate if you kindly help me giving e. Mail address of a concerned person of disposal unit of RN. My e.mail address .
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Lt. Cdr. Omar ( rtd.) BN.




What the Royal Navy needs is a high/lo mix of ships. Such as Light frigates that can protect their commonwealth territories such as the Falklands. Even OPV’s to protect their Home front as well. That’s why I think the Royal Navy should build 4 to 6 River class OPV and should be outfitted to Corvette standards. I’m all for the Royal Navy getting a Light Frigate such as the US Coast Guard’s National security cutter and arming them to a Light Frigate standard. That way they can be put in their territories and be used as a Guard ship.

Alan Cartwright

Always remember a quote saying all ships are expendable but frigates are more expendable than others. That wouldn’t be the case in a modern day sea conflict and as a result the Royal Navy would need to change its centuries old philosophy that ships are there to e fought

Douglas Potter

it is shameful that we can’t get ONE in 50 years, well that is no true but you try upgrading the Canadian Navy with Modern and Active and Useful fighting SHIPS. the HARPER government, is a traitor, to our NATIONAL DEFENCE. We have nothing, No NAVY , No AIRFORCE, No ARMY. We are now the laughing stock of the world. WE can’t even serve our NATO duties. This is SHAMEFUL , this is a NATIONAL DISASTER.


Er you do know that this is a uk royal navy site!

Canada is in a much worse position than us in defence procurement matters, although none of their army regiments have been amalgamated unlike ours.


their procurement methods are better


to be fair they do have ‘Royal Navy’ in their title as well


Whilst the article raises important points, yet again i need to point out that the most important thing is being missed MANPOWER!
The navy needs 4000 people Before 2017 and has annouced a plan to recruit from eu countries this is a disgrace, surely now a parliamentary backed enquiry into how our armed forces is ran and how it treats its most important resource people yourselves at Save the navy needs to call for this now!

Stephen Barratt

As I say, our latest ships are fitted “For, and not with”, which seems to include a full ships company…….

Michael McGuffin

I agree completely. I have read a number of articles regarding Royal Navy ships deploying without full compliment. The Royal Navy deserves better.

Stephen Barratt

There is a case to have 2nd tier capability, especially SSK diesel / electric subs as well as surface frigates. But this can’t happen at the expense of 1st Tier platforms such as SSN’s and T45 Destroyers! And I rather suspect it would! Remember our 1st tier platforms are fitted “for, but not with” which effectively makes then 2nd tier platforms anyway…. The worst example of this will be the carriers fitted “for, but not with” a full, worked up air wing each!

Michael McGuffin

The Royal Navy matters. The UK needs to step-up and contribute to fighting the ever growing threat from global terrorists and ensure global shipping lanes are open. While the US Navy is still the only global force, there is a need for Europe and particularly the UK to expand its naval presence. The UK has proven itself very capable, always at the bleeding edge of technology; second to none in training and capability. The UK needs to build six more Type 45 destroyers and build at least 20 of the Type 26 frigates. In addition the Type 45 destroyers need to be fully fitted out to meet any contingency…not just missiles, but torpedoes as well. Also…32K personnel in the Royal Navy…get serious. Recruit, expand….make sure ships have a full complement when deployed. As an American I admire the Royal Navy. The US Navy wouldn’t be the naval force we are without the Royal Navy. Note the US Marine Corps will use HMS Queen Elizabeth carriers when they’re available.


using the u.s.m.c to make the q.e worth having is a total disgrace why build carriers you can’t fully equipif the rag heads ever got savvy and started attacking commercial shipping at sea or port then we’d see a real change in policy and attitude to the sea are too proud to buy 2nd hand?.

Aaron Darkwood

As much as I concur with Michael above, and 6 more type 45’s and 20 type 26s would be a dream, where is the money coming from? With the carriers in the latter stages of completion, I imagine that £6billion has pretty much kept everything else on hold.
On the manpower front we have recruiting ads on TV daily for the Navy, they just can’t get the intake, especially engineers.
The two tier ships idea is something I can appreciate. For the most part, our forces are not at war or under missile or submarine threat. Our South Atlantic patrol, Caribbean antidrugs patrol, Gulf/antipirate patrol could all be run by lesser ships if the type 31 category. The upgraded Khareef class would be more than capable.


The navy is no longer a force to be reckoned with. Nobody has learnt from history. The politics and bean counters have to be pulled back from the brink. Defence of the UK can no longer be trusted to bean counters. With the brexit vote nobody has any idea what it means. Will we have to go to the rescue of Europe again.

Robert Fenton

Remember the south Atlantic war. Would Argentina have move on the Falklands had the Royal Navy had more of a visible presence?

Aaron Darkwood

Argentina know that we would go after them were they to try that again. Sending a Daring class and a Submarine would keep the island secure. No plan could fly within range and no ship could approach. Two vessels would do the work of the entire task force. Tomahawks would take out any land targets and invasion forces.
People are often living in the 20th century, we don’t need large forces to tackle the same jobs we once did, and although I agree a large capital unit cant be in three places at once, they are far better equipped. Other navies are also having the same problem with wanting so many frigates and then the order dropping by a third or half when costed, even the United States arent getting everything they want.
There is no money to buy the expensive things we want, and if a penny on tax or money was found anywhere, then the health budget followed by education, housing and immigration would all get a slice before the military would.


the navyhasgone techno snobbish, they want so many expensive systems the ships become unafordable. as for the clyde i’d like them telling we want 2 ships per year, or we’ll go elsewhere pompey dockyard built the drednaught battleship in under a year. THATS SHIPBUILDING

Aaron Darkwood

Nature of the beast. Our harpoon missiles have come to the end of their life. Yes we could keep them but why when any CIWS worth its name can shoot them down with 100% hit rate.
Same for all other ship systems. It does seem that we could use two fleets, one for everyday use in pirate control, smuggling, disaster and patrol, which could all gave basic shop systems a catapult and and helicopter. Then a couple of ships for war fighting against against tial combat vessels.


two fleets ffs we haven’t got one!!!


I think the Navy ideally need 12 destroyers and 20+ frigates


That’s £27 billion you’re looking at, half the defence budget for a year and more. Hundreds more sailors required and each capital unit then has an annual running cost which couldn’t be sustained.

colin rogers

cnt afford the navy but can afford billions on people who should not be here and killing us from within political class need to grow up and smell the roses lets hope when the mess its the fan we have a lord nelson waiting in the wings


“Killing us from within” is really going over the top don’t you think. Terrorism in this country is only an issue because the media love a good story. 1700 are killed by cars in this country each year, or 107,000 people dying from smoking related illnesses, yet less than a dozen deaths from lone wolf attacks with no connection to but wanting to impress Isis take the news, cause vast costs in unnecessary deployments of police and soldiers, which in itself is a vanity exercise to pasify the public and state “we are doing something”. The greatest combat would be to not report it. Deny the media excitement.

J burden

Well said


Good article. It takes weeks for conflicts to brew, and how long to build a ship capable of finding, hunting and defeating a Kilo, Yasen etc? Just 8 anti sub frigates makes them a centre of gravity…sink them and we’re stuffed. Numbers mean a lot.