The Defence Committee welcomes the news that amphibious assault ships HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark will remain in service well into the 2030s, as confirmed by Ministers in the House of Commons Chamber.

As a result of these assurances, the Committee has decided to postpone its session, planned for next week, on UK amphibious capabilities and the Royal Marines.

Chair of the Defence Committee, Sir Jeremy Quin MP, said:

“I and my colleagues on the Defence Committee welcome the Government’s clear and unequivocal assurances that neither HMS Albion nor HMS Bulwark will be mothballed or scrapped before their out-of-service dates in 2033-34. We had called next week’s evidence session because this vital capability seemed to be under imminent threat. It’s right for us now to postpone the session. We are seeking further information from the Secretary of State for Defence and will not hesitate to return to this issue if it becomes necessary again. We look forward to seeing the direction of the First Sea Lord’s plan for the Royal Marines and will continue to monitor broader concerns around recruitment and retention.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago

Any chance on reporting what was said in the chamber?

Also any info on what the issue is that is keeping Bulwark in dock?

It has to be a prime mover issue…..hard to think of anything else…..were they waiting to STOROB Albion due to part costs/NLA/lead times?

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago

A bit more on this on a debate last week ( the 23rd I think). Foreign Office Minister Andrew Mitchell assured MPs that both ships would remain in service until their planned out-of-service dates in the early 2030s. As MPs were given the opportunity in Parliament to debate the UK’s airstrikes on Yemen-based Houthi rebels, Mr Mitchell confirmed the fate of the two ships. Responding to questions about the ships, he said: “He [Sir Julian Lewis] asked me about the two LPDs, the landing platform dock Albion and Bulwark, and he asked for an undertaking that they will not be scrapped. “I… Read more »

Jim
Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Another example of the verbal diarrhoea that spews from grant Shapps mouth, even if it was true why would you make the announcement months before a general election you have zero chance of winning to balance a budget next year that you have zero chance of running.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim

None of us are fond of Shapps Jim so give it a rest, there’s a good chap.😉

Mark B
Mark B
2 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Well said

Ian M
Ian M
2 months ago

So, not scrapped, not mothballed but sold?

Mark B
Mark B
2 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Nah that would be misleading the house. I suspect the current Government intend on keeping as many RN assets as possible until the mid 2030s when there should be a few newer ships available.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Brazil will buy them, they’ve already got half of what was the fleet

Geoffi
Geoffi
2 months ago

Not mothballed or scrapped, but they will never go to sea again under the White ensign.

maurice10
maurice10
2 months ago

The way the World is going at the moment these ships could be back at sea earlier than we might think. The rapidly deteriorating global peace will need to show signs that matters are improving in the following areas; North and South Korea, Ukraine v Russia, Isreal v Hamas, Red Sea v Free World shipping, US land bases across the Middle East……….plus any other destabilising factors.

Mark B
Mark B
2 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

True. Crewed by conscripts maybe.

Knight7572
Knight7572
2 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

More likely reservists

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
2 months ago

The only sailing fleet we seem to have these days are rubber dinghies coming to the UK….maybe this flotilla could defeat Russia and China.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

They’re certainly well-experienced at beach landings!

Martyn Heale
Martyn Heale
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Saw a government agency video yesterday from DESA showing all the MCM’s currently in the Gulf, those based in UK waters too (I think they were advertising 5 Hunt Class and 2 Sandown Class), as well as three Batch 1 OPV’s all up for sale. A fine video suggesting these were some of the best warships in the world. They wereboffering ex-HMS Enterprise too. A bit sad really.

Martyn Heale
Martyn Heale
2 months ago
Reply to  Martyn Heale

offering not boffering!

DC647
DC647
2 months ago

Glad to hear commonsense has won out. At least now we can get over 500 marines and 4 challengers where they are need till the early 2030s. Now they just need to take one of the aircraft carriers out of operational status and concentrate on having one fully and one fully protected strike group. Till crew and equipment becomes available. Dare I say even look at the non operational carrier to do a feasibility study to implement the Ark Royal project on it.

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago
Reply to  DC647

If you want a carrier operational most of the time, you need two!

DC647
DC647
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

We don’t have the personnel, surface ships, aircraft or budget to operate two carrier groups. We’ve managed for a long time without any. France only operate one aircraft carrier plus smaller helo carriers. You say we need two please explain what are the Royal Navy going to give up having type 45s and type 23s operating independently. What you are saying is tie up these ships on carrier duty which have limited operational practicality you not going to send a carrier group on drug enforcement, submarine hunting, humanitarian roles, even at the moment in the Red Sea the type 45… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago
Reply to  DC647

Hi DC647, my point is that in order to have a single carrier available much of the time you need two, so when one is OOS under maintainance/refit/repair, the other is usually available. Usually in naval circles they plan for 3 vessels to enable the readiness of 1, so two carriers is an expense, obviously,(Notices italics, sorry!) it is pretty reasonable, indeed the reason we actually have two carriers. We haven’t “managed” without carriers, but gapped an essential capability. That folly was proven for those who know the score as soon as the Libyan strikes were required, when the “saving”… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Frank62
Meirion X
Meirion X
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

👍Exactly!

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  DC647

We don’t have a policy of running two carrier groups..never have..we have two so one is available..sometimes because of schedule and work up we may have two operational but that is not the norm and will not be the normal…in the future for most of the time one will either be in bits or working up to take over from the other that will then be taken apart..if you only have one carrier then for half the time you don’t have any Carrier…the French have big multi year gaps where they have no carrier….your opponent will always pick the time… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Jonathan
Meirion X
Meirion X
2 months ago
Reply to  DC647

The RN has only got one CSG, not two. A carrier will interchange into the CSG when operationally available.
PoW will become Flag Ship of CSG next year, instead of QE, which will go into refit.

Last edited 2 months ago by Meirion X
Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago

So, a load of fuss about nothing then. Possible cuts like this are often “leaked” to test the water. And then nothing happens, and we carry on as normal.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Agree Generally speaking things like this are purposely briefed and leaked for a reason.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

👍

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago

That it was ever in question is just another example of the defence illiteracy of this abysmal government.
If you’re stupid enough to reduce our forces to dangerously low levels, you should at least retain the very best, most useful & flexable of them, of whom the RM & all the kit that enables them are essential.

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Im sure we would have a much more capable force if Corbyn had got into power those years ago…….

What exactly is Starmers policy on defence? Can we look forward to a drastic improvement in the situation or will he be too busy deciding to wear the Blue Suit that day or his other Blue Suit instead?

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  James

That is called the “well we are proven to be shite” but without any evidence “we know you will be more shite” defence, which is without merit as it’s basically an argument without any evidence to support it….Labour actually have a pretty respectable defence policy that you can look up and read…it’s very clear around increase industrial capacity in the military industrial complex..which means a bigger armed forces and more investment.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 months ago

Maybe time to put the nations reservists on a stand by stance?

Last edited 2 months ago by Andy reeves
James
James
2 months ago

At long last the obvious degradation of our armed forces is appalling economy at the risk
of international attacks is unforgivable.

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
2 months ago

Press speculation (based on “balloon floating” leaks) that the two Albion class LPD’s will be sold, and subsequent official denials after the resulting storm of protest has been the norm every few years since 2009 – when they were still almost new! But there is a strong case that the RN should have sacrificed these in the SDSR in return for retaining RFA Largs Bay and a mid-life updated HMS Ocean, these were far more versatile ships. The LPD’s are optimised for commanding major amphibious landings, and no one has done that in combat for nearly 42 years, not even… Read more »