Despite having done so previously, and in the midst of concern over frigate numbers, the Ministry of Defence is citing spurious security reasons for not giving the number of frigates to be operated by the Royal Navy.

This marked departure from their routine transparency efforts in often providing this information was brought to light after a written parliamentary question from John Healey MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence.

The question comes after the decision to scrap two of the Royal Navy’s frigates, HMS Argyll and HMS Westminster, causing concern over the dwindling size of the UK’s frigate fleet.

John Healey MP (Labour – Wentworth and Dearne) asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) frigates and (b) destroyers the Royal Navy plans to field in (i) 2024, (ii) 2025 and (iii) 2026.”

James Cartlidge, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence), replied:

“While we do not disclose the fine detail of forward availability forecasts to preserve the operational security of the Fleet, the Royal Navy (RN) will continue to have the destroyers and frigates it needs to deliver on its operational commitments until 2026 and beyond.

The coming years will see the Royal Navy carefully managing the transition between the current fleet to its new ships, maintaining operational commitments while ensuring value for money as the Type 26 and Type 31 Frigates begin entering service in the second half of this decade. I am committed to looking at the future of the Surface Fleet in the round and making tough but necessary decisions to ensure this transition is a success.”

The sudden refusal by the Ministry of Defence to disclose the number of operational vessels in the Royal Navy, particularly in the context of decommissioning significant assets such as HMS Argyll and HMS Westminster, has led to considerable speculation.

Critics argue that the insistence on OPSEC in this context seems disproportionate to the potential risk posed by disclosing fleet numbers, a level of information that is generally understood not to be highly sensitive and is often shared by other nations without apparent detriment to their security. Right now, you can see how many ships and of what type are ins service on the ROyal Navy website.

Therefore, I believe the real impetus may be a reluctance to confront the implications of a shrinking Royal Navy publicly. In this view, withholding information may be seen as a strategy to manage the narrative and avoid igniting public concern or debate about the future direction and readiness of the naval forces, but I could be wrong.

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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
1 month ago

It isn’t that hard to spot a frigate on Rotten Row with no Artisan in top of it?

I’m sure the Chinese and Russians have had a few ‘tourists’ on the way from checking the clock in Salisbury pop round to Guz and take a few holiday snaps?

This is a bit crazy as it is keeping bad news from the public. TBH this is insane as others would be more pressure on government to increase funding.

Russ
Russ
1 month ago

What he said. I think someones embarrased!

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Russ

They should be

Jim
Jim
1 month ago

It’s hard to see staffing shortages from space

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Monmouth and Montrose would be great hulks for the over crowded prisons we could tow them to Murmansk and just dump them there

Jon
Jon
1 month ago

We mostly know what’s going on. Even if a decision to refit Westminster was made it wouldn’t be in service by 2026. Similary HMS Northumberland and Kent will have to be taken off the active list this year either for refit or decommissioning, and again wouldn’t likely be back in service before 2027 (although we may be really fortunate). HMS Lancaster won’t be refitted and will probably be decomissioned next year. So what don’t we know? I haven’t heard about the state of HMS Sutherland and when it’s likely to come out of refit. I don’t know exactly when HMS… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Not quite.

Whist T31 and T26 are coming into service we are taking these frigates out of service far faster.

Yup, they may not be back in service till 2027 but some of T26 are not due in service to mid 2030’s and that assumes they are rapidly worked up and all accepted.

That is very dangerous as there is gun to head to accept mission critical systems…..due to pressure…..

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

The Spanish are speeding up building their new F110 Frigates… I read this morning that the the latest is some 4 months ahead of schedule.

Last edited 1 month ago by Frank
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

T26 is being speeded up.

Whether T31 can be speeded up I’m dubious about…..given the first one’s poor level of pre outfitting.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

I’ve not seen anything about the T26’s other than the obvious new build Factory…. What was the report please, It would be interesting to see the new Build dates/Schedule. Will Glasgow be ready much sooner than planned ? I hope so, I would also like to think e could add to the planned numbers.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Hello Frank, the last I heard was 2026 and 2027 for the first Type 31e. I’m not sure if this timeline still stands.

Frank
Frank
30 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I hope so….. but why do I feel a tad pessimistic ?

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Because you’re used to constantly negativity that surrounds the navy we’ve become immune to it.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Is venturer ready for floating out yet?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
27 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Hi Andy,

Not to my knowledge.

“It’s official, HMS Venturer is on Twitter. Follow us as the First in the Class of Type 31 Frigates progresses through build, testing and commissioning and acceptance into Service with the Royal Navy.”

“As of 2023, planning envisages Venturer being launched in 2024 and entering service by 2025. The entire class is to be in service by February 2030. First steel was cut for the new ship on 23 September 2021 signalling the start of construction. The keel of the ship was ceremonially laid down in April 2022.”

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Not good enough for the navy, or the nation.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Not good enough, I doubt that other nations would accept the rate of production from the British yards.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
26 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

2030 seems to be the in-service date for many things we might require before then.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Frank

What’s the latest on Cardiff getting her feet wet?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

Why can’t they just add a few more T31s to the run? Cheap and cheerful and very useful. Hope the UK wins some more export orders for it or its variants as well as for the RN.

Hugo
Hugo
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Well they don’t have the funding for it.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

The goings on in the red sea might change that.

Hugo
Hugo
27 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Zero mention from either party of more defense spending, just words

Rob Young
Rob Young
27 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

They don’t have the crews…

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

Yet

Rob Young
Rob Young
26 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

🙂

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
30 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Three more wouldn’t break the bank…or would it? There is always talk of a bigger navy but I would settle for a fully equipped and updated escort fleet being brought into being as quickly as possible, by which I mean 2030.

Steve
Steve
30 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Where would the crew come from if they can’t crew the ships they currently have, which is less than they plan to currently have?

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Press gangs and the prisons those migrants who want to be us should be made to serve us.or as I’ve said before, those Nepalese15,000+ who went for the 400 places in the British army. Should be offered a job in the navy even a small percentage could provide enough bodies to take some of the shortfall off. Name a ship Gurkha. And give it a trained Nepalese crew. Easy, and won’t need a rocket scientist to organise it

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

We should be ambitious and push for a fleet of 50 ships not including the ‘fanny boat archers which should be transformed to the border force.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Cancel the imaginary type 32. Double the T31 Order.

Hugo
Hugo
27 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

I mean its not imaginary, there are other roles that need fulfilled and so throwing more t31 at it wont solve the issue. At least some modification is required, before you even take into account the costs of more ships

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

T32 won’t happen. Full stop.

Hugo
Hugo
26 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Then neither will more T31

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I think the T31 Will be a big success.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
30 days ago

The T23s have been worked hard. 13 frigates have done the job of 26. They are worn out. Refits more like Lifex sound excessively expensive but what other option do we have unless we purchase foreign warships in, although all allied nations have woken from slumber and are rebuilding their fleets for the inevitable war in 2-5 years time. We need type 31 and 26 sped up urgently and 2-3 more type 26 hills squeezed out of the programme and at least another batch of 5 more type 31s. The RN needs a fleet of 26 escort warships as a… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
30 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Well, there’s:-
Shapps’ Aspiration; Hunt’s Possible Tax Cuts; Tata Steel’s retrenchment.
We’re getting there…..

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Pie in the sky?

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
27 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

And if we’re still not convinced, there’s always the PM’s ‘deeply committed’ alongside ‘we’re with you for the’.
Not trying to continually down our politicians, but some strategic meat filling, not just bites would be appreciated.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

And not eventually

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Take the freedom ships off the Americans. A if the class have had the gearing upgrade there are 4 decommissioned. The class are performing well with me 4th and 5th fleets, completing long deployments and could be rapidly filled to the RN needs. A d best of all, they are already the T45 had an awful start, But the RN sorted it out. If anyone can get the best out of the freedom ships it’s the RN. Get two now and another two every year for the next t years, plus the new builds and the picture could be very… Read more »

Hugo
Hugo
27 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Its definitely not possible to commission 12 frigates in 2 years.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

The Chinese are pretty close to it.ships of the USN don’t take years fitting out they build the most ship and get it into the fleet quickly and so should we.

Hugo
Hugo
26 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

You cannot even compare our frankly half dead ship building to the US or China. We are only assembling 3 frigates rn and fitting out one.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I drive a foreign car and I watch a foreign television, why shouldn’t we buy second hand ships? If we approached the Americans and bou5 the retiring freedom class ships I’d expect that we could secure 3 or so, chea than a T31.the problems w the gea has been addressed, and over two thirds of the class have received the upgrades and are performing well with the 4th and 5th fleets. The lethality issue can be addressed by. Transfering weapons fr the T23’s.

Hugo
Hugo
26 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

So apart from the non existent space on a freedom class for more weapons. There is no point in wasting the cost and introducing a vessel we don’t want, just so the situation on paper looks better. Plus both Labour and Conservatives have a policy against buying foreign warships.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago

The fitting out of the internal pipework should be done during the actual hull build. Especially the firemai and cabling ductings, prewet systemse.t.c.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
27 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

It is very hard to fit the major pipework once the hull is closed up.

These sections of pipework need to be inserted before the hull is closed up at the block stage.

The comment that I and others keep making is that we cannot see the ends of any pipes or ducts emerging from the blocks.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago

.ajor pipework CAn be installed earlier,, it’s just not part of the thought process to d IT galls me that other nations have a ‘can dobatitude, but we think we can’t think that way it’s about matching ambition with deeds

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago

The fitting out of the whole order schedul newds looking at. In nwartime would we accept that much needed equipment was not available because of the lightbulbs no5 been fitted? no.and even because we’re not actually at war with the Russians, the whole issue needs to be sorted out. The country needs those ships now, not eventually.

Jim
Jim
1 month ago

Seems you are smarter than the defence secretary 😀

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

A particularly low bar..

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Who isn’t?

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago

And we’ll STILL be WAITING FOR THE GLASGOW

Last edited 27 days ago by Andy reeves
Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago

Glasgow will be out of date before the last of the class is commissioned.

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Richmond came out of LIFEX in 2020 rejoined fleet 2021. The question is, will she continue in service post 2030?

Frank
Frank
30 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I doubt it…. we will lose at least one more this year, or so it seems, Who knows what will happen in the next 6 years ? …. 6 Years was the total length of time that the entire WW2 lasted…. We are in a pretty desperate state either way you look at it……

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Frank

In the sea power site ,t’s being reported that the USN will lose 48 vessels by 2026! The American navy is being pinched by the treasury and numbers cut, several yards have gone and the spiral of decline, the RN suffered is begging, while our potential foes getting stronger.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

If she can, she shou

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

She might have to.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Westminster was a fully functional ship before the refit started where possible all ships should be kept operational. If only to take the load off the rest of the fleet. Monmouth and Montrose DID NOT HAVE TO BE RETIRED. as long as a ship can operate without becoming a risk to the crew and their safe, they should be kept in service. When I was on the Blake, she’d been laid down during WW2 she was ancient, but still did a hell of a good job and was kept in service until she and her 600+ crew were needed to… Read more »

Steve
Steve
30 days ago

Chinese and Russian spy services will have lots of people in their pockets reporting back on classified information. They will know full details of availability of not only the vessels but also the crews and ammo. The only people that don’t are the general public.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Because they don’t know how bad it is or the implications of the situation.but with all this red sea business going on that could change. Especially we lost a ship

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Sink the archers and claim on t insurance 😁

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
30 days ago

As here mentioned, this is utilising OSA to cover political embarrassment. They think that somehow alludes the public? Both here and among allies? Shapps ridiculously trying to tell a knowledgeable audience at Lancaster House that the Peace Dividend was over – you don’t say? There is thus an aspiration to extend GDP by 0.5% above the current 2% level, that has itself proven insufficient to maintain peacetime &/or insurrection security requirements actually Demanded by these Politicians. The fruits of this ‘Strategy’ appear clear:- reduced essential infrastructure required to build and equally important maintain what are otherwise highly competent, post-Falklands refined… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
30 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

“ Yet all of the Flight 1 are still in existence – and would view our remaining T23s as somewhat young-in-the-tooth”

T23 was designed with every expense spared.

It was designed for a very short hull life to save £££…..and I’m afraid that welds and plates are EoL it gets to a point where you start cutting back and keep going trying to find something sound to connect to.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
29 days ago

I’ll bow to your knowledge over hull life, which I presume references type & quality of matetials, since these vessels came on line after I left RN, but that I’ve have struggled to fully take ‘onboard’🤔. Understood that was the original, pre-Falklands brief, but knew T23 grew significantly in cost, complexity & capabilty – and presumably quality steel, after lessons drawn i.e. as did Arleigh Burkes (difference between them and the now more troublesome part-aluminium Ticonderogas, I believe). So, seemed to me, that main difference would come down to degree to which vessels were ‘flogged’ between, and the frequency of,… Read more »

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

I saw on the sea power site, that the am5 expect to retire 48 vessels before 2026 unbelievable.so much for the planned300+ could be a few bargains to be had there.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

The budget could go up to 5 percent and nothing would change. Without the capacity to produce at a high rate, we’ll stand still.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago

The artisans .main guns and Ds30′ from Montrose and Monmouth are in storage in the buildings around fountain lake jetty in Portsmouth.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
27 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

I’d be surprised if they were left on the hulls. They are a valuable source of spares!

andy reeves
andy reeves
25 days ago

the chinese and russians don’t fear us enough to bother looking montrose and monmouth won’t be there long, the bottoms will drop off and the ships will be gone as well

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
25 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

I think the Russians are quite afraid of Harpoonski……it did increase their surface to submarine conversion rate. We are getting rid of that and getting something newer and better.

So I think the Russians know that their rusting junk is a lot worse than ours.

They have nothing even vaguely like T45 or as sensitive as T23 sonar or P8….their electronics tech has proved to be proper rubbish.

I never rated them that highly but I’ve been amazed at how incompetent they have turned out to be.

Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine
1 month ago

I watched a very good and well-researched piece on YouTube yesterday. It showed the known locations of US warships and their placing to ensure there’s sufficient coverage in the Pacific and Gulf to dissuade China from acting on an invasion of Taiwan and putting sufficient military hardware to give Iran two thoughts before starting anything with her neighbours. When analysing the current issue with the Houthis in Yemen and the lopping of missiles at shipping in the Red Sea the end. The analyst pointed out that the US was now way overstretched and needed at least a dozen warships to… Read more »

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

My Thoughts ? Yes….. We need to build more Ships, we need to recruit more Crews, We need to get real about the World and all it’s threats.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Build more ships? Where though? We can’t do it. All of the infrastructure cash went to the Clyde, it could have been put into the yard at Sunderland. Then we’d have had another yard.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

If it’s that bad then the UK’s politicians, MoD and decision makers need to get seriously more serious about RN fleet numbers and if what they’re producing and upgrading at the moment is going far and fast enough.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Wed all know that the MOD IS not fit for purpose and that all the expensive old crusty admirals cluttering the place, should have been off-loaded years ago. The curtains should be closed, the lights turned off, the doors bolted and a fresh organisation put in place

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

Old Trump may not be everyone’s cup of tea so to speak(certainly not mine, but then, nor is sleepy Joe), but one issue he is most correct on, is the European part of NATO(not all) getting a free ride on the coat tails of the US military. The USA doesn’t need to defend the RedSea/Suez as it doesn’t get most of its trade via this route. But there it is with a large task force deployed. Where is the European response, those natio s that actually do rely on trade via this route? I think that Europe has to take… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
30 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Hi Deep32, Unfortunately and fairly I don’t agree with you part of your reply “The USA doesn’t need to defend the Red Sea / Suez as it doesn’t get most of its Trade via this Route”. The USA relies on Globalised Free Trade, these days a Recession in Europe causes a Recession in the US and that could lead to China going into recession. At present the Panama Canal is hamstrung due to the worst drought they have ever had (you need a very large reservoir at the highest point to feed the locks. That and the issues in the… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

👍Yes, certainly Europe should be spending 2.5%!

Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine
25 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

We, the UK needs to be spending 3%. Why? The rolling in of the nuclear deterrent and pensions into the MOD budget just e\ate too much of the budget when it was outside the MOD annual spend and it should return back to the Treasury along with the pensions black hole. There was an interesting article in the Times asking whether the UK is to get serious with defence or climate change. My response would be that if we don’t get serious with defence, the Russians could force the harshest sort of climate change upon us all. Some 3,000c of… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
30 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Evening mate, totally get ur point about Globalised free trade et al, but trade with the US wise this area is a backwater. US trade with the EU goes straight across the NA, US trade with the Far East etc goes across the Pacific, which is where the majority of the US off shore trade is. Understand the issue with the Panama canal, but, the US has big West coast ports that can handle the flow of goods. What the US are doing in the Red sea/Suez is assisting Israell/averting the spread of an escalation throughout the middle east and… Read more »

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

DITTO

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Amazing how we hear of all the multinational exercises happening here and another there, but we baulk at the idea of a. Single European forces.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Likewise we depend on the airfield that is Cyprus even though we now have two state of the art carriers We’re not using them to do exactly what they were designed for.why, perhaps we don’t need a navy after all, have maybe ask the south Africans why they don’t do more of the policing around the cape? Give us basing rights at simonstown, and keep assets there?

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

The UK would not have the capacity to build more T26’s than one more. The present number of T23’s is only just half of that were ordered in the mid 80’s, for the ASW role. The Russian sub threat is only a fraction of what is was in 85.
It is AAW/AAD vessels the UK is in need of, shown by the recent Gulf Crisis.

Last edited 30 days ago by Meirion X
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
30 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I agree we need more slightly better specced GP frigates with some AAW / AAD capability.

With Mk41 T31 can actually launch a range of missiles so that bit is done. All it needs is a radar to go with it.

Cue T31B2 or T32 with a slightly better outfitting level and I think that is more than adequate.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago

Type 32 won’t happen, I’m sure of it. We’re already suffering overstretch because we can’t deliver what we need quickly enough. Congress in America and the navy itself are concerned that the production capacity has fallen too far.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
30 days ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

I don’t think T31 is a green water vessel. Yes, they have capable small boat defence, but that also applies to missile defence. They have capacity for a decent crop of CAMM alongside a bunch of ASMs. In addition, it has been decided that they should have the speed and range to deploy quickly to cross oceans.
I think the aim with T31 is as a general purpose escort in the most likely new types of warfare; both the green water asymmetric fight and the Great Ocean Battle where the threat of subs is low and missiles high.

Donaldson
Donaldson
30 days ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

Can you link that video please mate?

Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine
30 days ago
Reply to  Donaldson

https://youtu.be/XXn8yBknK40?si=a04rfNGYRNjtxVvX If the link doesn’t work, Real Life Lore (Yemen and Iran analysis) YouTube.

Last edited 30 days ago by Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine
30 days ago
Reply to  Donaldson

Real Life Lore Yemen and Iran analysis on YouTube hopefully the mods don’t delete my post.

Frank62
Frank62
30 days ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

The UK has very much dropped the ball in terms of military force commeasurate with a permanent member of the UNSC & main naval power within Europe/NATO. It will be a very long time before we return to what we need to be even if HMG woke up tomorrow & begun a crash building program. All our enemies know that very well 7 have little to worry about. It’s as though our leaders have been doing our enemies job for them!

Sleepwalking into the next world war.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

You can’t have a crash building project if you’re unable to do it. The whole national infrastructure as regards to defence appears to be none. Existant.

Jonathan
Jonathan
27 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

This is one of the big problems the west faces in regards to the challenge from china and why china (in the minds of a number of people who know china ) thinks it can win a prolonged world war against the west…when china has 250 times the ship building capacity of the USA ( 100,000 tons a year vs 24million tons a year)..that’s not an industrial gap you can overcome…..china can put the equivalent of a large European navy in the water every year ( and does) just with its peacetime building program…if it turned its entire ship building… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
27 days ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

The simple fact is the PLAN can now go toe to toe with the entire USN and the US would be unlikely to get much of its navy back..the PLAN is also not the Green water navy everyone thinks it is…it’s now got a permanent squadron of around 6 major surface vessels in the western Indian Ocean…a navel base in Cambodia ( covering the major choke point between the pacific and Indian Ocean, a base building in the Gulf and a very large base off the gulf of Aden ( able to dock and service a 100,000 ton carrier and… Read more »

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

Need a dozen more, retire twice that amount are we running their navy as well?

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

We should strive for the number of around 59 ships no including the ‘fanny boat archers.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago

Typical of a minister always bluff there way through questions 😏

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Always have always Will.

Hermes
Hermes
1 month ago

It’s just as effective as the new French ‘strategy’ of not officially saying which ship is at sea…

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Clearly this is simply a way to hide the problem from the electorate….china is going to know how many operational frigates we have but the population of this open liberal democracy will not know how well the UK government is protecting the UK….just at the point the public are starting to wake up and realise the world is becoming deadly and we may not be safe….

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I want to see the real plan that the definite in coming government will beenacting and how they will stick to it. I’d hope that the already ordered T26 to stand. Ditto the T31. The T32, frankly I don’t think Will actually happen. It’s too much for the yards we have to engage in producing another type of ship the T83 brothers me a lot if a souped up type 26 to operate as a destroyer, for me is the best way to go about it. The infrastructure and building experience in building the 26 is already in place. Just… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by Andy reeves
George Amery
George Amery
1 month ago

Hi folks hope all is well. Very strange as I thought we are now global Britain! Where are the ships and numbers then? Although it could be there’s details that are not made public for a serious issue that we are not aware of? After all one of the best forms of defence is an element of surprise, your enemy thinking you are lacking in all areas. However, do agree that it’s a bit strange and not in keeping with the tradition of publicly publishing numbers. On a broader note, it’s disturbing that the UK military is low in numbers… Read more »

Adrian
Adrian
30 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

One of the reasons I suspect is not telling Iran / Houthis how long we can sustain the red sea presence. Hiding the fact that it’s not very long before we run out of ships, the hiding it from the electorate is a secondary bonus.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
30 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

I am afraid that I agree.

Iran will know as China will know as anyone with a pair of binos and a digital camera will know…..

Adrian
Adrian
30 days ago

Iran will almost certainly come to the same conclusion as we have, but it’s very different to announce it as Iran will then have confidence in there knowledge. We all have an idea that there no type 45s available but for all we know one might roll out of refit next month

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
30 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

The third one is due out very soon so that could well be true.

Last edited 30 days ago by Supportive Bloke
Meirion X
Meirion X
29 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

Hms Darling would need to conduct sea trials and work-up of a new crew, first before a real deployment. The RN could recall Hms Defender’s crew, which went into refit last year, to crew newly refitted Hms Dauntless. Ideally, some T45’s need to be double crewed, I mean with a relief crew so they can be redeployed again quickly. With the relief crew taking over after return of vessel from a long deployment.

Last edited 29 days ago by Meirion X
Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

But we know that it would never happen

Chris
Chris
24 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Recall to go back out on another boat? You might get a real life mutiny. The staffing situation has no excuse. Needs to be handled yesterday.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

Or get sunk

Frank62
Frank62
30 days ago

It’s all there in open sources, so the Minister is just being needlessly obstructive.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago

Time to deal with Iran once and for all they’re the reason many of today’s issues exist.

Frank62
Frank62
30 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

So where’s the deployment of other European vessels to replace ours while they recover? French, German, Spanish, Italian etc. If the US would get a rocket under LM we might get more F35b’s quicker & be able to deploy a CSG, or the Charles de Gaule CSG.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

The British CSG is a joke 12 F 35 and a few tomahawks lobbed from a submarine, wouldn’t bother the Belgians

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
26 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Seeing as the UK is the only tier 1 participant in the F 35 project, we don’t appear be getting the preferential treatment perhaps we should have.

Chris
Chris
23 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Uh yeah, not even the biggest customer in Europe. Hard to take it serious when “Tier 1” isn’t even 50 airplanes.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

For th government not us. The one’s that they are answerable to.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

Global Britain? Just yuppie media speak utter b******s. Words for words sake.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

The problem is utter miss management and money saving has lead to the fact we are heading to a set of deadly conflicts ( possibly even a world war) with a completely inadequate and shrinking escort and suppport fleet and it cannot be rectified because it takes years to commission new ships and build up the workforce you have lost…that’s before you even consider regenerating industrial capability loss…the simple and very concerning truth is that 2030 and beyond is now utterly irrelevant to the geopolitical situation and geostrategic decisions around war that will be made by our enemies over the… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Very well summarized Jonathan, I could not agree more. And when you add in the dates for FOC across the board the dilemma we face becomes even more apparent.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The short-term solution with additional orders for JSM, MATRE ER, and Additional Typhoons. Japan signed a deal with the United States on Thursday to purchase up to 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles as part of its ongoing military build-up in response to increased regional threats. In November, the US approved a £1.85 billion sale of two types of Tomahawks: 200 Block IV missiles and 200 upgraded Block V versions. They can be launched from warships and hit targets 1,000 miles away, officials said. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government has pledged to double its annual defence spending to about 10 trillion yen… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

£53bn on defence, is only a little ahead of us on about £51bn! Japan could even afford more than that figure!

Last edited 30 days ago by Meirion X
Jonathan
Jonathan
30 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

True, but the Japanese defence budget is not distorted by the CASD and global infrastructure…it’s a highly focused regional defence budget..so they get a lot more kinetic bang for their buck than we do.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
30 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

So, that extra £2Bn was well spent on Tomahawk with the V able to hit moving targets at sea! Typhon would give both them and us a very useful and flexible land-based mobile launcher. “The US Army plans to deploy its new Mid-Range Capability (MRC) long-range launcher in the Indo-Pacific next year, according to a four-star general. Also known as Typhon the service designed the land-based system to launch Raytheon’s existing SM-6 missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit targets between the Precision Strike Missile’s (PrSM’s) planned 500-kilometer range and the 2,776-kilometer reach of the future Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW)… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
30 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Would anyone know if a ship-based version of this is possible as a soft kill countermeasure? Leonardo upgrades BriteCloud EAD with ‘smart’ features 18 January 2024 “The UK-based electronic warfare (EW) business of Leonardo has upgraded the large aircraft variant of its BriteCloud expendable active decoy (EAD) to meet the latest NATO STANAG-4871 self-protection standard and offer compatibility with new ‘smart’ countermeasure dispenser systems. Announcing the development on 18 January the company revealed that the latest BriteCloud 55-T variant will also be able to exchange data with the host aircraft’s onboard self-protection system to maximise performance of the expendable in… Read more »

Last edited 30 days ago by Nigel Collins
ABCRodney
ABCRodney
30 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I call 2024”The Chickens came home to roost”.

25 straight years of cuts, Reviews(bigger cute), projects delayed or reduced, strategic Industries allowed to due off, recruitment and retention ignored.

Paul.P
Paul.P
30 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“Our leaders wilfully misread…” incompetence..no excuses. They knew the Mayan calendar predicted the end of the world 21st Dec 2012 🙂

Jonathan
Jonathan
30 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

So that was the problem they decided the world was going to end so there was no point in investing in defence……just spend the money on on parties…

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
30 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It is more the crewing that is the pressing issue. RN have 13 new frigates on order right now – fact. We cannot crew the 9 (or whatever the number is now) – fact. We are allegedly mothballing two big grey war canoes due to lack of crew Sad fact but…… I’d love to see T32 ordered pronto and if T26 is being accelerated then something needs to fill that gap before T83 so that will be another small bath of T26. But then how do you crew them? My solution would be to revert to the old BP link… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
30 days ago

Hi supportive, as I said I don’t really think their is any real way to dig ourselves out properly…this is about a decade of refusing to see the geopolitical nightmare we were heading for..because to admit it would have required government to have admitted it needed to be working up to a 5% defence budget… But I actually think the manpower issue may be easier to manage…industrial capacity and putting more hulls in the water is not something we can do much about in the medium term…But manpower…that’s as much about the application of money in a creative way as… Read more »

Last edited 30 days ago by Jonathan
Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Agree with the manpower view, it’s as old as the hills. So where does cutting assets to fit the number of people currently wanting to sign on become priority. Peacetime, possibly – the Irish solution; but not with what’s waiting around the corner for European Nato. We have not in the past, and do not now, lack the ability to resume defence manufacture and logistic infrastructure capacity. But we need to see Government open the debate, not close it down under OSA or any other excuse. Want to save some public money, i.e. to show willing? Stop the Hogfest that… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
30 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

And over that period Russia & China made lots of donations to our political parties.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

As an Avid follower and frequent visitor of HMS Warriors Live Web Cam, I’m always amazed just how easy it is to view this Military port live….. same with many other places….. ( Plymouth Sound Webcam is great for Ship movements ) It’s not that difficult for anyone to see just what Ships and other Equipment is where in the UK….. Also, Site’s like this one provide all the Info of movements and developments in detail almost 24/7……. quite why an MP needs to be a bit Vague in this day and age is beyond me….. does he not know… Read more »

Tom
Tom
30 days ago

Last one out of the RN canteen… don’t forget to switch off the lights.

Is it not time to remove defence spending from… well I’m not sure to be honest (help someone please) and just go for 2.95 of GDP every year for the next 5 years or so?

In 5 Years review the ‘situation’, then go from there?

ChrisLondon
ChrisLondon
30 days ago
Reply to  Tom

‘Day to day party politics’ perhaps? In Australia they have managed to build a cross party consensus on defence spending levels and priorities. This may seem impossible for the UK but we have a shared political history/culture so worth a try. While I think we took too big a peace dividend in the 90’s a further problem has been the stop/start nature of spending since then and changing priorities. A more public debate about these things and long term public commitments from the main parties would combine making long term planning easier with sending a strong international message to friends… Read more »

Jim
Jim
30 days ago
Reply to  ChrisLondon

The UK has a cross party consensus on defence spending which is the same target as Australia’s. 2% of GDP.

Paul.P
Paul.P
30 days ago
Reply to  ChrisLondon

Agree. Parliamentary games. The opposition’s job is to attack government weak points; to embarrass them and harry them out of office. We shouldn’t be in this situation but we are where we are. The T23 Lifex lifeboat is sinking. Head for the batch 2 River life rafts.

Wasp snorter
Wasp snorter
30 days ago

Why avoid a narrative on the effectiveness gap and a dwindling Navy, surely it’s an opportunity to get the message out that the Navy is in a mess, to put pressure on politicians especially with an imminent election. Don’t need to be political just the truth. It’s not in the MOD interest to become more insignificant and less effective, so why be so worried about saying this. Why not confirm 2 frigates are now gone due to a succession gap… this is a rhetorical ‘why’, no answer needed.

Last edited 30 days ago by Wasp snorter
John Williams
John Williams
30 days ago

I think that it is no secret that open war with Russia is not that far off, Maybe the T26 build has been speeded up. As for decommissioning two frigates, a bad idea.

Jonathan
Jonathan
30 days ago
Reply to  John Williams

As well as china and Iran…I bet you would see North Korea take advantage as well..one will snowball the next…if a conflict with Russia kicked off china would pretty much immediately launch an attack in the western pacific, Iran would use the opportunity to seek regional supremacy and why the hell would North Korea not kick off the war again when the rest of the world was completely distracted by other wars….the axis of WW2 was not some grand alliance like the Warsaw pact but instead a group of nations that gradually joined in to take advantage..of the power shift… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
30 days ago

How quickly could Poland build us a T31?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
30 days ago

Total. Utter. Cobblers. MoD.

Frank62
Frank62
30 days ago

If they’re really concerned about security, don’t cut escorts to just 19 vessels & then let them wither further to 13 or 14 before any replacements start being delivered.
They’ve been rushing headlong to diminish all our forces for so long I don’t think they can see the irony.

Martin
Martin
30 days ago

Bluffing and deflecting because we have not enough and not enough crew to man them if we did get more. What a shambles. And no working Fleet resupply ship. You could not make this farce up, its embarrassing. More Admirals than ships.

Gareth
Gareth
30 days ago

“In this view, withholding information may be seen as a strategy to manage the narrative and avoid igniting public concern or debate about the future direction and readiness of the naval forces, but I could be wrong.”

There’s also an election looming and the government’s position is looking somewhat bleak if the opinion polls are anything to go by. Hence they’re likely to be over sensitive to bad news at the moment.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
27 days ago

These T23’s, as old and worn as they are can still do a job bett than many I. The seas if they can float move and fight, then everything that that can be done, must be done the T23′ may be oldl’, they may be worn
, but they are still the back bone in the fleet

Stc
Stc
26 days ago

Russ is spot on. Typical government trick using security to cover up embarrassment. Back in 2009, financial crisis etc all depts had to reduce spending. Fair enough. The MOD had 500 million unspent after it over cut. Hindsight it maybe, but that money could have bought an extra frigate, which would now be coming into service. Well done the Treasury. The most anti- British institution on the planet. The UK needs to learn minimum deterrent strategic or not is not something we can afford. Maximum deterrent strategic and conventional is what we can afford only !

andy reeves
andy reeves
25 days ago

its easier, when theres none to talk about.

stevie
stevie
23 days ago

The MOD never gets it right we pay off a ship but have to wait 2/3 years before a replacement comes into service ,and we our short now for escorts for our carriers , deployments . many of the escorts are looking worse for wear worn out before their time.because of cuts to numbers which was started y cameron in 2010 , Still good new the Bulwark and Albion will now remain in service untill 2030,s as given out inthe news today