The Ministry of Defence have confirmed that of the 12 Type 23 frigates in service in the Royal Navy, 8 are operationally available.
The information came to light via a Parliamentary question.
Tobias Ellwood, Member of Parliment for Bournemouth East Commons, asked via a Parliamentary written question:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish details of (a) the Type 23 Frigates in service in the Royal Navy and (b) the current status of those frigates in relation to (i) operational availability, (ii) training and (iii) maintenance.”
Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded:
“As of 31 August 2021, of the 12 Type 23 frigates in service in the Royal Navy, eight are operationally available.”
Hold on, weren’t there 13 Type 23 Frigates?
Recently, we reported that the long laid-up Type 23 Frigate HMS Monmouth had left the fleet leaving the Royal Navy with 12 frigates.
By the end of 2020 the ship was reported to have been stripped of weapons and sensors and laid up. In March this year it was announced that Monmouth as well as sister ship Montrose would be decommissioned earlier than planned as part of the Ministry of Defence’s Integrated Review.
“The Royal Navy will focus investment on improving the sustainability, lethality and availability of the fleet and delivering a more modern, high tech and automated Navy. To enable this, the Royal Navy will retire legacy capabilities including two of our oldest T23 frigates.”
We reported at the time that two of the oldest Type 23 Frigates were to be retired earlier than previously planned in order to fund other projects.