James Heappey MP, Armed Forces Minister, has called on Royal Navy ships to be armed in a more lethal way.
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey gave the keynote Sir Henry Leach memorial lecture at the IISS First Sea Lord’s Sea Power Conference today, the following is an excerpt.
“I also want to see the Royal Navy lead the way in lethality. I thought that Andrew’s predecessor Jerry Kyd, in his haul-down letter, wrote some really persuasive things about the importance of the lethality. And I think it is quite interesting when the US and the UK send ships into the Barents Sea it is the American DDGs that attract attention because of their lethality and their ability to project power from the maritime to the land domain. Our frigates clearly have an important role in protecting those destroyers so our presence was very necessary. But prickly, more lethal naval platforms that pose adversaries challenge at sea and from the sea to land, I think are conversations that we need be having ourselves and challenging ourselves to get right.
I also think that we need to rediscover and all these people with beards who spend their life beneath the ocean or deep in bunkers at Northwood are effusive about this, but we’ve got to listen to them, that the submarine domain is less well understood than space. And we have to invest in the advantage that you can find beneath the oceans because I continue to believe that it is a place from which you can do all manner of stuff in a way that your adversaries don’t get a say in what so ever.”
You can read his full speech here.
I recently reported that former First Sea Lord Tony Radakin stated that the Type 31 Frigates will be ‘fitted for but not with’ the MK41 VLS missile launcher should the warships be required to operate the new surface-to-surface missile system.
During a session of the Defence Committee today, the First Sea Lord said:
“Part of the debate that we’re having is that it’s going to be ‘fitted for’ MK41 launchers but not ‘with’ at the moment. That starts to become part of our lethality debate, particularly around a surface-to-surface weapon and do we extend that programme to include the Type 31.”
Who knows what else might happen in the pursuit of this aim?