Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster’s refit and future status have sparked queries in the House of Commons, with John Healey, the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, seeking clarification.

In September 2022, HMS Westminster played a notable role in Operation Atlantic Thunder 22, discharging two Harpoon missiles in collaboration with US forces, leading to the sinking of the decommissioned US frigate, USS Boone.

John Healey posed the question: “To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the status of HMS Westminster is; and whether his Department has made a decision on modernisation.”

James Cartlidge, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded, “HMS Westminster remains in Devonport dockyard and is part of a modernisation programme being implemented to all Type 23s that are in upkeep. We do not disclose the fine detail of forward availability forecasts to preserve the operational security of the Fleet.”

Adding context, HMS Westminster was recently moved from the Frigate Support Centre to 4 Basin in Devonport, likely for a long-term lay-up, signalling a possible decision on its disposal.

This action followed reports from 2023 suggesting that the ship’s intended two-year refit, started in October 2022 to extend its service until 2028-29, was abandoned due to prohibitive costs and the deteriorating condition of the vessel.

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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JamesF
JamesF (@guest_751424)
8 months ago

I suspect this may be a trade-off for accelerating the delivery of T31 and T26. If so much work is needed that it approaches the cost and timescale of building a new frigate to undertake LIFEX then, sadly, the optimum decision is to not proceed – as RN will only get around 5 more years out of a rebuilt hull. These are very old ships and would not have been extended if we had not dithered about building their replacements.

Last edited 8 months ago by JamesF
FieldLander
FieldLander (@guest_751815)
8 months ago
Reply to  JamesF

No evidence that T36 and T31 will be accelerated. Indeed much suggests the opposite.

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall (@guest_752122)
8 months ago
Reply to  FieldLander

Like what? I assume you mean T26

FieldLander
FieldLander (@guest_752130)
8 months ago

Yep, typo, The T36 is a paper project somewhere.

James Fennell
James Fennell (@guest_752171)
8 months ago
Reply to  FieldLander

What is this ‘much’? All 5 T31 are due by 2028, sub-contracting underway for both types (to yards in Scotland, Poland and on the Tyne), unusually litte dilly dallying by MOD, and BAE’s new hall will allow two T26 to be built side by side. They are moving fast.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_778907)
4 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

2028? are you having a joke??? We’ll be lucky if w even have two of them by then

david anthony simpson
david anthony simpson (@guest_754698)
8 months ago
Reply to  FieldLander

What suggests the opposite – do clarify!

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_778903)
4 months ago
Reply to  FieldLander

Ships should only be retired on a one for one entering service

Andy
Andy (@guest_751429)
8 months ago

I cannot see the point of spending money on a ship that is well knackered..when new ships hopefully are not to far off incoming, yes it’s ship less at present , and if governments had got their fingers out and built ships when they should have done instead of messing around, we would probably not even needed to spend so much on LIFEX but what do i know I am just a simple ex soldier taxpayer who knows nothing?

Jon
Jon (@guest_751813)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy

Hope all you like. It will be another decade before the new ships come to our rescue. Prior to that, when a new ship comes, another old one will be taken out of service. Is a decade “not too far away”?

Cameron-Osborne austerity needs to be paid for this decade, one way or the other.

R W
R W (@guest_751436)
8 months ago

Everyone complains that the new defence secretary has no military background, but it’s quite obvious to me that he served at RAF Luton at some point.
Of course this would not appear in any records for security reasons.

Last edited 8 months ago by R W
JJS
JJS (@guest_751501)
8 months ago
Reply to  R W

RAF Luton?? No such place.

Chubb
Chubb (@guest_751743)
8 months ago
Reply to  JJS

Google raf Luton! It’s the name used for sarcastic or mythical military events!

Ken Smith
Ken Smith (@guest_751812)
8 months ago
Reply to  JJS

Look up on Twitter.

Nobby
Nobby (@guest_751826)
8 months ago
Reply to  JJS

Think about it !!!!!

JJS
JJS (@guest_751829)
8 months ago
Reply to  Nobby

Sorry, too obscure for me.

Nobby
Nobby (@guest_751880)
8 months ago
Reply to  JJS

(RAF. Luton ) maybe just a little touch of sarcasm !!!!.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_751887)
8 months ago
Reply to  JJS

It is a joke. RAF Luton is a fictional RAF base.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon (@guest_751958)
8 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Christ, Alex the Joke(r) goes even further. His alleged forte is that beloved by all PMs – alongside the Official Secrets Act of course – that of spin doctor. he clearly failed the ‘med-exams’; he’s a quack.

JJS
JJS (@guest_752332)
8 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Calm down dears! I geddit now, thanks to the General Office Of Getting Life Explained.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_752177)
8 months ago
Reply to  JJS

But from a Canberra…

Challenger
Challenger (@guest_751455)
8 months ago

Oh dear! With Westminster out of the picture and Lancaster permanently deployed in The Gulf you’re talking about just 7 ASW frigates and Argyll / Iron Duke with limited general purpose utility. But at the same time £100+ million and a couple of years in refit to keep a vessel around until 2029 is a pretty poor trade off. There needs to be an honest appreciation that the T23’s really are on their last legs and rather than hoping they can all do 30-35 years of hard service T26 and T31 need to be accelerated from their glacial pace to… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_751534)
8 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

I suspect the T26 and T31 builds are ( now) being progressed ‘at pace’ as the saying goes.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_751718)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Unfortunately you can only go so quickly with the first in class…still got to do all the first in class trials……you cannot go back in time and stop what the dithering is costing us now.

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_751810)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Agreed.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_751758)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

An extra one of each would be useful while prices are low… Lol 😁

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_751814)
8 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Possibly. T31 was the best decision at the time but ASW technology is moving very fast. Interesting to read the posts on the Vard 125m littoral OPV. T32 with uuv drones might well be the asset we need to counter coastal subs and mines; ocesn going Hunt and Sandown class.The Russians’ use of cheap mines has been decisive this year in Ukraine.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_751869)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Maybe for one T26, you might get three T31s, so chose the later. If the T23s are getting progressively knackered why not put some NSMs straight on the T31s as they roll off and any of course the better T23s and all the T45s. The Australian and Canadian T26s will also have cannister Ed 2*4 NSMs saving the MK41s for other missiles.

Last edited 8 months ago by Quentin D63
Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_751881)
8 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Agree, fitting NSM from the get go is an obvious move. The early T31s probably won’t get Mk41 until 1st refit.

Darryl
Darryl (@guest_751461)
8 months ago

Cut the losses if the costs are too much , the navy needs all the money and ships in can get so to speed up the delivery of t26 and t31s makes more sense .

Barry Larking
Barry Larking (@guest_751530)
8 months ago
Reply to  Darryl

I imagine most around here would agree the new Types should be brought into service fast, but how Darryl?

Darryl
Darryl (@guest_751560)
8 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Better minds than mine need to square that circle . Let’s hope lesson have been learned and we aren’t in this situation in the future . A rolling programme of building ships needs to be agreed by all parties . The new frigate factories are almost up and running , let’s nots waste the opportunities they offer

Barry Larking
Barry Larking (@guest_751699)
8 months ago
Reply to  Darryl

Thanks Darryl for that considered reply. I want someone’s nose rubbed in this but they are far away in some boardroom coining it by now.

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_751696)
8 months ago
Reply to  Darryl

The T26 frigate builds are being held up at moment because two halfs of a T26 ship has to be built separately, because the present build halls were Not built large enough to begin with, to accommodate the warships of the size of T26! You would of thought that they have built large enough not only to fit the whole T26 ship, but also for two at time in build of various stages of being built?

There are lot of buildings at Govan that should be elsewhere to make way for large build hall originally.

Last edited 8 months ago by Meirion X
James Fennell
James Fennell (@guest_752172)
8 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Agreed. but a whole new hall capable of supporting two T26 in build now – so build time will accellerate.

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_752399)
8 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Yes, about time, at last!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_751469)
8 months ago

If it’s a wreck then leave it unrefitted. If the costs are huge and the time scale is also huge there’s not much point for a few years further service. The navy could instead bring the LPDs back into service, survey vessels, even a ship from trade. Getting type 31 in the water is really needed ASAP. Even though type 26 has hit the water it still has a lot to do and would probably require a lot more trials etc. Getting some of the RFA vessels back into service even if they need navy crew and using the ships… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_751545)
8 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Agree, if the Lifex does not happen then pragmatic best endeavours are the order of the day.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_751575)
8 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Makes sense 👍 but to our government 🤔

Barry Larking
Barry Larking (@guest_751701)
8 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Yes to all your points Ms.

Geo
Geo (@guest_751490)
8 months ago

So as we all suspected the T23s have been flogged to death and now LifeEx is probably a waste of money. The T26s are still a way off and taking too long. Need to get T31s in as soon as possible

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_751700)
8 months ago
Reply to  Geo

No T31 ASW variant developed yet.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_751798)
8 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I thought I read somewhere where (maybe in Navy Lookout? ) that there is some ASW study work going on with Babcock and a ASW T31/32 with Norway?
On a side note, like to seem them try and sell the T26 /T31 to India, even a licence build.

Last edited 8 months ago by Quentin D63
Jon
Jon (@guest_751805)
8 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Yes. Babcock are working on several variants of the Arrowhead 140 including ASW, ice hardended, etc.

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_752405)
8 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

It is unlikely that the UK will sell sensitive, classified technology
of the T26 to India. They are not part of Five-eyes.

Tom
Tom (@guest_751508)
8 months ago

Just a question to those far more knowledgeable than I on this subject matter…
Do warship hulls have a life expectancy?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_751623)
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Yes. Depending on a number of factors like materials used, how much the ship is used and in what sea states.
The type 23 were originally designed with a 18 year life span. Now if that was actually still expected when they were built I don’t know.
Operating in the ocean in high sea states creates a lot of stress on the ships.
HMS Somerset had to have over 500 hull strengthening added in the latest refit.
Im no ship builder or expert so don’t have the engineer answers.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_751747)
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom

They have but if you take care of them you can keep patching them.

There are still in service the Dutch derived Leander (steam propulsion replaced by diesel) build 1968 – so more than 50 years in service.
In Indonesian Navy. one recently launched SS-26 Yakhont supersonic SSM from their VLS cells.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_752178)
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Lot of factors affect LIFEX. here is a long thread! Internally equipment obsolescence is manageable by upgrades or replacing old kit (Valves, Fans etc) with new equipment that is equal in fit, form and function. Basically does the same job and fits on the same mounting bracket with minimal alterations. (it rarely does, and you always need to alter stuff!) Hull life is dependent on stress from use (Heavy seas, Towed array), Hull preservation, cathodic protection, quality of steel used and design. (Avoid moisture traps and areas that cannot be easily preserved is still a basic but forgotten rule ignored… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_752732)
8 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Just the expert I was hoping to come along.
Theoretically a ship can last for many years. How much of that original warship is left after 100 years is probably not much.
Folks say look at these old warships countries operate. Pakistan for example. Until I read that the PNS Tariq was in service for 30 years and spent 830 days at sea sailing over 1 million miles. I didn’t think that was much compared to the RN.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_752735)
8 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Actually I looked into it and Montrose sailed 400k miles since 1992 according to a website.
So I think the million miles is wrong. That would be 1,000,000 \ 830 = 1204.8 miles every day she was at sea. Adds up to a constant speed of 50+MPH every hour of those 830 days!
Perhaps it’s a million miles including RN service.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts (@guest_751512)
8 months ago

HMS Somerset is also back in dry dock for more rudder repairs. Shame because she is all kitted up to recieve NSM.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_751759)
8 months ago

You’d think they would have chosen a ship that was more seaworthy before jigging it up for NSM. Why not find another ship now, even a T45?

Last edited 8 months ago by Quentin D63
Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_751520)
8 months ago

Westminster to be scrapped……we can only hope 😉

Last edited 8 months ago by Paul.P
Tommo
Tommo (@guest_751550)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Let her go with dignity, take the place of the late Bristol and become Harbour training ship for all CCF schools that gain experience from living on a warship boat work and dinghy sailing, seamanship I’ll get my coat Paul

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_751563)
8 months ago
Reply to  Tommo

Meant the Houses of Parliament :-)….but you are right. We can manage by juggling RFAs, Rivers and commercial hires if necessary.

Tommo
Tommo (@guest_751597)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Whoops !!!!!!!! I’ll get my coat

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_751705)
8 months ago
Reply to  Tommo

A lot of Her equipment can be use elsewhere, like radar, TSA, Sea Ceptor canisters, Not the mushroom tubes!

Tommo
Tommo (@guest_751708)
8 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Just like the Bristol she was stripped of all reusable equipment those compartments were then turned into classrooms and req spaces Meirion

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_751650)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

If you don’t get deleted once in a while you’re not trying 🙂

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_751524)
8 months ago

Fo quote Mr Modi…one world, one family, one future…..where have I heard that before?

farouk
farouk (@guest_751541)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The Uk Gov is currently trying to broker a trade deal with India. The problem is, New Delhi is demanding that Indians who relocate to the Uk pay less tax, in return they will cut the tax on whiskey
https://i.postimg.cc/13fvt1SN/Opera-Snapshot-2023-09-09-155405-www-thetimes-co-uk.png

Last edited 8 months ago by farouk
Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_751556)
8 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Desperate measures from a government that has run out of ideas. Apparently Modi is offering zero tariffs on goods from the UK in exchange for more UK visas for Indians, who would be taking the university places and then jobs of our own youngsters. There’s a word for what we are doing to ourselves and its not used in polite circles. And why would Indian middle and upper classes buy UK goods when they can get BMWs,Neff ovens, Bosch electrics and French planes from the EU who are big enough to negotiate as good or better trade deal? The whole… Read more »

Dave Petter
Dave Petter (@guest_751732)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Ive got an idea… your point of the EU being big enough to negotiate decent deals based on its size… Im thinking why cant we think of joining a club like that…? That sounds like an obvious winner to me…

Jim
Jim (@guest_751768)
8 months ago
Reply to  Dave Petter

That’s a great idea, there is just such a club located 20 miles of our cost with the largest market in the world. It’s one that we were the guiding member off and we’re set to dominate in the coming years with the fading of the Franco German alliance and the rise of Eastern Europe.

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_751819)
8 months ago
Reply to  Dave Petter

Ha ha. As the saying goes we are where we are. The EU was working fine at 9 members. With 27 decision making became paralysed and sub optimal. Even the US with a decent constitution and a president is struggling…because interest groups are probing its wesknesses and working with sophistry to undermine the spirit of the constitution…cultural 5th columnists. Worldwide the existing ‘rules based order’ is being undermined by authoritarian regimes, 3rd world debt, ethnic conflict and climate change. If a new world order is emerging what do you want it to be based on; Maoism, Trotsky, Islam, Hindu nationalism?… Read more »

Ben Coe
Ben Coe (@guest_751684)
8 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Is that concession for Sunak’s wife?

Jim
Jim (@guest_751766)
8 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Currently scotch whisky sells so fast around the world there is no way for Scotland to easily increase capacity so not much point in this.

Jim
Jim (@guest_751772)
8 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Interesting that a country that hates us so much, to the point that they are re writing their history through movies right now inventing atrocities committed by the British army, inventing a war for independence that never happened, would be so keen to get visas for their kids to live and work here.

Paul Barrett
Paul Barrett (@guest_751806)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Of course what attracts them to the HK is a very generous welfare system and free NHS.

That alone js worth hundreds of thousands kf £

Barry Larking
Barry Larking (@guest_751528)
8 months ago

The consequences of 2010 have come home to roost. We now have more admirals than ships. Throwing money at these clapped out work horses is futile and wasteful. Face some facts.

Pete Atkinson
Pete Atkinson (@guest_751568)
8 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

We’ve had more Admirals than ships for
many a year since the Leanders were taken out.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking (@guest_751703)
8 months ago
Reply to  Pete Atkinson

More in the 18th century too so I believe; but not so few ships. Humiliating.

Ben Coe
Ben Coe (@guest_751686)
8 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Yes should stop throwing money at Admirals and repair some ships!

Barry Larking
Barry Larking (@guest_751704)
8 months ago
Reply to  Ben Coe

I think A couple or few blokes around here have it right. Scrap and then make do until the new stuff arrives. Navy Lookout piece on H.M.S. Somerset says it all.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_751799)
8 months ago
Reply to  Ben Coe

Or, build more new ones!

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo (@guest_751565)
8 months ago

As she is planned to be decommissioned on 2028, repairing her with £100M and putting her to active use in 2025-2028, 3 years, is not a good option, I agree.

As already noted, I think her 180 strong crew (who should have come back to man her on 2025) must be fully utilized.

  • Move RFA Argus to RN. Totally man her with 80 more RN crew. mini-LPH shall better be with RN, not RFA.
  • With the 80 RFA souls from Argus, re-activate For Victoria.

Using remaining 100 crew, what can be done? Actually, many options in both RN and RFA.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo (@guest_751577)
8 months ago

Another option.

If Westminster cannot come back to sea, how about “double crewing” one of the T23ASW? Like KIPION T23GP, this will increase the sea-going days of the T23ASW?

If needed, Westminster could be a “shore-side training ship”. She is still equipped with top-class CMS, with good armaments.

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_751709)
8 months ago

The problem with double crewing a T23, would be that particular one’s hull will be stressed out, requiring another LIFEX again, well before OSD.
That may of happened with Hms Montrose.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo (@guest_751779)
8 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

There will be such risk. But, situation of hulls may differ a lot, depending on the tasks and ship condition. And, RN must know what tasks is putting more stress on T23 hull.

So, it is a risk, but not necessarily a problem.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_752181)
8 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Montrose was well maintained over her time on Kipion. I did a lot of 4 + week maintenance periods and emergent defect repairs on her over the years she was out here. Availability for tasking (OC) was massive, far higher than other T23s because she was in constant use. It’s an oxymoron but true. Kit is more reliable if you leave it running and don’t turn it off and on all the time. At the end she was knackered. That was more to do with the Lloyds requirement for a 5 A drydocking being deferred. The docking wasn’t going to… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell (@guest_752173)
8 months ago

All RN warships are dual crewed these days, learning from KIPION. It was an innovation brought in by CDS when he was 1SL and included in the 2021 Defence Command Paper.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_751580)
8 months ago

Need to get Type 31s ,26s in the water .Overtime for the workers pockets 🤑 sure we can achieve something 🙄

700 Glengarried Men
700 Glengarried Men (@guest_751584)
8 months ago

Sell it to ukraine for £1 with them to pay for refit , British workers get jobs they get a decent vessel for Black sea work , They could form a Squadron with P50u boats being built at Rosyth

Baddlesmere
Baddlesmere (@guest_751603)
8 months ago

Type 23’s have been good ships but in the words of a Devonport friend… ‘they are just worn out’ penny wise, pound foolish. Do we really need another HMS Somerset LIFEX trauma?
Thirty years of ‘Peace dividends’ have destroyed sovereign capability and left the nations security in a parlous state. Now we have Grant Shapps to sort it out???? REALLY? we must be a laughing stock – We need to increase our rate of production of new ships….and, ensure they are properly armed for defence & Offensive operations

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_751711)
8 months ago
Reply to  Baddlesmere

👍

Deebee
Deebee (@guest_751605)
8 months ago

How did it come to this, the UK with the 6th biggest defense on earth, yet now the once feared & admired RN is bearley capable of policing it’s own shores, pathetic.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_751631)
8 months ago
Reply to  Deebee

Shrinking defence budget for many years, a couple of costly land wars, defence inflation much higher than normal inflation and the goal to always get more expensive better kit in smaller numbers.
Some fancy budgeting moving items into the defence budget that weren’t previously there.
The nuclear deterrent replacement and the warhead replacement/sustainment is costly and comes from defence budget now.
So while it is a big budget it doesn’t go far.
£320m for puma helicopters to operate for 3 years.

Deebee
Deebee (@guest_751665)
8 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

You’re right, especially when it comes to Trident, which is a superpower weapon for superpower countries, of which we are no longer, I’d be happy to have a compromise such as nuclear armed cruise missiles and use the money saved on much larger conventional forces.

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_751712)
8 months ago
Reply to  Deebee

That issue has been debated here before. Maybe do a search on the issue here?

Deebee
Deebee (@guest_751725)
8 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Yes I’m aware of the previous debates, none of which seem credible

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_751757)
8 months ago

Scrap or sell her & order. an extra T31. Thougha GP T23 due to be scrapped this year has been reprieved to cover Westminster’s absence.

Jon
Jon (@guest_752088)
8 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Montrose was decommissioned in April. There has not been any news of her being recommissioned that I’ve read. Nor were any other T23s due to be decommissioned before 2027 (at least not after the rejigging of dates a couple of years ago).

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_752162)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Hi Jon. HMS Argyll was due to be decommisioned this year, but that has been put back to 2025 now after Westminster was found to be in too poor a state to be worth refitting.

Jon
Jon (@guest_752380)
8 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Thanks Frank. My understanding is that Adm. Radakin when 1SL in 2021 altered the OOS dates for Montrose, Monmouth, Argyl, Iron Duke and Lancaster. The first two were taken out of service early, while the other three were to carry on later, the implication being at least two of them would carry on past 2027 (I’m not so sure about Lancaster). Argyll was already undergoing maintenance for, I hope, another five years of operation before Westminster was surveyed and found wanting. I don’t know where the 2025 date has come from. I’d be interested in reading the source for that… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_752441)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jon

The OOS dates are from Navy Books 2023 British Warships & Auxilliaries by Steve Bush. The adjustments revising Argyll’s OOS date extension in view of Westminster being found too far gone was either from this website or from “Warship World” magazine also published by Navy Books.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_751796)
8 months ago

Wasn’t there some talk a while back about the RN somehow having more ships available while using less ships? Well it now looks like simply less ships period. Seriously, with T23 numbers dropping, if the prices are low, surely an extra T26 & T31 would be a sensible purchase right now? New subs, T32, T83 all being a way off. Would be a bit of a morale boost too. More ships, more patrols, more capability, more deterrence, more flying the flag, more global presence and importantly, more support for the alliance. Kind of needed nowish, not in 5-10-15 years time.

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_753545)
8 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

An extra T26 would still not be operational until mid 2030’s.

Jon
Jon (@guest_751811)
8 months ago

A decision needs to be made on Westminster. If it can be fixed for 5 years more use, it should be. If it can’t, thought should be given right now as to how its loss can be mitigated. Perhaps whether HMS Argyll or Iron Duke can be upgraded back to ASW. I wonder if Westminster could be fixed to a lower standard. Forget the idea of an ocean-going ASW escort and instead fix it to be the Fleet Ready Escort, with local tasking in home waters for the next 5 years. As long as Westminster sits there with no decision… Read more »

Cygnet261
Cygnet261 (@guest_752082)
8 months ago

Blair, Brown, Cameron, Osborne. All champagne socialists who cared nothing for UK defence. Take in rhe illegals and spend nothing on defending the nation. Meanwhile, boat people get luxury hotels and ex service personnel are left to rot.

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall (@guest_752120)
8 months ago

“We do not disclose the fine detail of forward availability forecasts to preserve the operational security of the Fleet.” The smaller the RN gets, the greater the secrecy. In the 1950’s and 60’s, Navy News detailed every ship that would commission/recommission in the next 12 months, with a summary of its expected employment thereafter. Even in the 1970’s and 80’s it’s “Swap Draft” section was a mine of information. It’s ironic that the end of Cold War marked a major shift to more secrecy – often under the umbrella of privacy and data protection. A landmark moment occurred in 2013… Read more »

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall (@guest_752129)
8 months ago

SDSR2010 was a horror story that RN still hasn’t recovered from. But one its often forgotten bad decisions was the scrapping of the four Type 22 Batch 3 frigates for a trivial saving of about £65 million a year, or perhaps £130m including refits & upgrades. These were fantastic warships, roomy, well equipped, well armed, very reliable, and far better suited to a LIFEX than the smaller T23’s with their shorter design life. They also had intel gathering capabilities (look at all the aerials in photos of them in the 2000’s) and unlike the T23’s had the C3 capacity to… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_752183)
8 months ago

Manpower intensive. Guzzled fuel. Old equipment inside of the same era as the T42s which by then were costing a fortune to keep going. Couldn’t easily be updated. They could not have put Sea Ceptor on them there simply wasnt the depth in the hull for a silo without major structural alterations. Goalkeeper was on the way out. Tyne engines where on their last legs. lets not even start on donkey boilers, CPP, DG Sets, AC Plants, Hydraulic Ring mains and no capacity left on the power margin for systems.

Stc
Stc (@guest_752752)
8 months ago

Reading these comments I get a little laugh. Many years ago a cartoon depicting the late Queen standing on the deck of Britannia with the 1st Sea Lord looking down from the deck to five Admirals sitting in pedalos in the sea. Caption: ” Of course ma’am they are not all ours we hired three from Butlins”! Nowt much as changed.

Phil Chadwick
Phil Chadwick (@guest_754726)
8 months ago

If Westminster has been found to be in such a state that it would take a much more extensive and costly refit to get her operational again the MOD will almost certainly pay her off for disposal. The blame for all of this lies squarely at Number 10, and the ramifications of poor decision making to save money are coming home to roost. Type 23’s are starting to fall apart. That’s three less now including Monmouth and Montrose, and HMS Somerset is a disaster as well. So the others that aren’t still in refit are being asked to work longer… Read more »

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_778902)
4 months ago

To be a warship your need to be able to float move and fight if these old ships can still do that, they should be kept.