Late last year, some reported that Chile had been given notice of “potential availability” of Royal Navy warships.

Most notably reported by IHS Jane’s Navy International, it has been claimed by the outlet that Brazil and Chile have “quietly been given notice of the potential availability of RN frigates and amphibious ships”.

Janes reported that UK officials have “discreetly advised” that some of the frigate fleet in addition to the two Albion class landing platform docks could become available due to budget cuts.

Douglas Chapman, Shadow SNP Spokesperson, asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Government has concluded a deal to sell any Royal Navy frigates to the Chilean Government.”

Guto Bebb, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, replied:

“There are no negotiations with the Chilean Government about the sale of Royal Navy Frigates.”

An MoD spokesperson said:

“We can categorically confirm that there has been no engagement with either Chile or Brazil in respect of early sale of Type 23 Frigates or the two LPDs.”


  1. I don’t understand why they would want them. Far better to put their money into newer more relevant assets such as MEKO class or even the T31e. Does either country really need an ASW frigate or pretty old GPF?

    • Maybe they understand the principle of having a viable navy, something the British MOD mandarins appear not to.

      • Horses for courses. We are a member of NATO, have overseas territories, commitments in the Gulf, and need ASW frigates to keep an eye on our Russian friends.

        I’m not sure Chile or Brazil really need the same types of ships we do.

        Anyway, this should be a non-issue as I cannot fathom how the MOD can justify a reduction in frigate numbers.

        • Rob wrote:
          I’m not sure Chile or Brazil really need the same types of ships we do.
          I’nm sure they don’t

          Currently Chile is embroiled in a land issue with Bolivia which is backed by Peru. The last time these three went to war , Chile came out on top and the the other two lost a lot of land. Currently Peru operates 6 German Subs. Unlike the British, it appears that Chile likes to be prepared for any future outcome however unforeseen.

      • every other nation on the planet buys warships from other nations, why not us a couple of u.s ticonderoga missile cruisers would be a very good acquisition designed and used as carrier escorts, they’d be quicker into R.N service than waiting for newbuild type 26 or the mythical type 31.

        • Sorry that just a totally inaccurate statement, every nation that wants to be a great power either builds their own complex warships or has been doing its level best to ensure it get the capability to do so.

    • Chile already operates T23 so they are an obvious potential customer for more. Chilian T23 are currently going through an upgrade.

      • They may still be marketable once the first Type 26’s enter Service even if just for spares for the Chilean Navy

      • the refits are being called ‘life extension operations to enable the chilleans to keep their t23’s in service until 2030

  2. I wonder what they will say after MDP…

    Until then I consider this stay of execution another Williamson win.

      • as usual the taxpayers are the last to know its an ongoing insult to people who care, which, they patently don’t. if chile say they can operate their t23’s until 2030, why can’t we? the t26 will be produced too slowly, and the t31 is still being designed on the back of a fag packet.

        • do you think they give two shits about the tax payer? or defence for that matter?
          In the age of the information super highway, the single serving politician has been exposed and yet people bury their heads still.
          we voted these greasy palmed, unpatriotic spinsters into power to represent us, we’re reaping what we sewed.

        • There is a real problem with the MOD and Public Trust. I have a feeling the MOD is not under proper control and sets its Own Agenda. In fact it is the Tail wagging the Dog.
          This is the problem and Williamson needs to fix it and also get control of the Treasury; another organisation continually underfunding our Armed forces.
          That said Spreadsheet Phil has a case to answer regarding funding.
          Importantly the Slush Fund that is the Overseas Aid budget needs to be delegislated from its 0.7% of GDP.
          What a way to run a country?! Give absolute and unique priority to foreigners and their interests over interests of the British people. Unbelievable.

  3. “We can categorically confirm that there has been no engagement with either Chile or Brazil in respect of early sale of Type 23 Frigates or the two LPDs.”


  4. Good ships with lots of life left in them at a bargain price. What’s there not to like? The Chileans have previous in this. County class DLGs, Leanders, T23s and Kortnaer class frigates from the Dutch. The Brazilians too. And I have seen how these ships are maintained once they take them into service: immaculately. We can’t blame them for benefiting from our short-sightedness and stupidity…

  5. Afternoon all
    The Royal Navy has 19 frigates and destroyers but can only realistically arm and deploy 16 of them.
    Fleets are no longer managed by the numbers we have but the rate we can deploy platforms to fulfill specific tasking at specific times.
    If you look at the way the RN talk about carrier capability they talk not about the number of aircraft (40+) but the number of sorties that can be generated in a day (110).
    As I have explained in other posts on this site, the mentality is moving away from the number of platforms we have to fulfilling tasking as deaignated by HMG. Fleets role is to maintain enough capability to do that.
    We will see more vessels being escorted through the channel by patrol ships as there is no reason to deploy a frigate or destroyer – there is no threat and if their was we have an Air Force at 5/15/60 QRA.

    A denial in parliament means its going to happen. MDP doesn’t finish until the end of the year.
    Statements are made based on current positions.
    Sounding are taken based on future positions.
    Soundings are being taken, T23 GD platforms are being touted – and maybe a single LPD.

    Over the coming months the language coming out of MoD will change, some will not like it, some will argue the fleet will be too small to do all asked of it but it is pointless having a large fleet of you cannot man it and you cannot arm it, then they are just grey tubs rusting on the shore line.
    The Royal Navy doesn’t want that and they will make sure they have the tools that they need to do the job.
    If they don’t get the tools or the manpower they should do a “Boyce” and sit next to the Sec Def (TCH) and say so – harms your continuing employment prospects though.

    • In fairness Lee, they are justifying the lack of numbers and masking real underlying issues. I was watching the D-Day programme on BBC4 last night and there was a tank commander stating that they needed 1200 tanks to maintain 150 in the field.

      We have been fairly lucky with losses in the near past, but in the Falklands our losses were substantial (Atlantic conveyor alone would be terminal to us now).

      We need scale of force as well as the ability to generate tempo. Interestingly we don’t probably have enough munitions to generate 110 sorties a day for 7 days.

      Looks good on paper – but remember a patrol boat(Yemen) and 2 tankers have taken Arleigh Burkes out of action in recent years, so you don’t need exquisite equipment to be effective.

      I just don’t subscribe to the argument – a single saturation attack would probably do for our fleet as it doesn’t have CEC for instance.

      Anyway moan over… but beware of false arguments, when the Cold War was on and we had all those force at our disposal it was common wisdom that we would be over run and the best we could do is slow them down until the re-inforcement came – now we don’t have any re-inforcements and hardly enough for a front line.

  6. I thought the idea was to rip the weapons and sensors out of them and move them to the new ships. Who is going to want a military ship with all it’s hardware removed.

    • Well yes, but it’s only the 8 towed array sonar systems that are going to the T26s. The T31s will likely get Sea Ceptors, Artisan radars and possibly upgraded Mk8 guns and lighter guns, but currently only 5 planned.
      That means we could have up to 8 fully equipped non-TA hulls to either sell or put in reserve, rest could be sold for spares.

  7. Maybe the Chileans will buy them as they leave RN service as per the plan now. In which case it becomes a non-issue as long as t26/31 is on track

  8. Reminds me when the USN sold / scrapped / SINKEX’d all of our Spruance Class DDG’s almost 2 decades early. 24 of them completely refurbished with 61 cell VLS… They could have served till 2019 easily. For just a 28 million dollar a year savings… I’m sure the USN is instituationally kicking themselves in the posterior. Very fine ships that live on in the hulls of the Tico Class.


    • Helions – yes that was a strange decision to retire the Spruance’s too early but wasn’t that tied to the LCS coming into service ?

      • I think it was a way to protect the Flight 1 AB’s coming online. The Spruances were primarily ASW hulls but with the VLS installed and their relative youth, they were a threat to the procurement of the AB’s the USN wanted despite not having the Aegis radar. Admittedly, having a primarily ASW mission, they weren’t doing to much hunting the Russian Navy and the PLAN wasn’t a concern then. Still, a foolish and shortsighted move IMHO


  9. Let’s be honest the 23s have been worked hard, if we can work it so a couple of the unmodernised examples can be sold off in a time frame that does not impact on deployments (remember a third of theses ships are going into or coming out of refit) so we could sell a couple of 23s say around 2020 instead if scrapping them a year or two later. Get some cash, make friends don’t need to worry about disposal……

  10. This was put out at the height of the Review scaremongering. I took it with a pinch of salt then and continue to do so now.

  11. We need every T23 we’ve got. 19 escorts. That’s it folks. No T26 or 31 on the horizon for years. 13 T23’s to be replaced on a one for one basis. That’s the best we can hope for. 16 or even 19 frigates in the future fully armed to the teeth ready for any threat? Not a chance!

  12. This again!!! Its been confirmed that Albion / Bulwark are (or have ever been) put up for sale! Wish people would stop stating this! !!!

  13. HMS Northumberland has recently completed a refit to give her Sea Ceptor and new diesel generators. Montrose, Argyll and Westminster already have Sea Ceptor ( and Artisan). We are well into the Type 23 life-ex program, which I think includes sand blasting superstructure, improved water chilling, living quarters, galleys and anti fouling paint. Seems to me once we are half way through the fleet we ought to be seeing Type 31 builds replace Type 23 refits. Time is running short.

    • HMS Kent refit must be completed shortly too -will make 5 Sea Ceptor equipped ships which is good progress to me.

  14. We should cease all life extensions with immediate effect and put the money into get more T31’s.

    Lets face it – we’ve waited this long, these ships can go on for a little bit longer as is. At £15-30m a pop these refits are not cheap and the money and new equipment is better spent/placed on the newer T31 platforms in my opinion.

  15. mark, im chilean and the idea of the chilean navy is to have all those systems of the type 23 for the future vessels, chile is paiyng attention to the type 26 program, and some of the systems in type 23 are going to be installed in the new vessels in 2030, for example the aesa hensoldt radars, the sea ceptor missiles, the harpoons block 2 and 3, (but chile choosed the newest exocet block 3C of france for their M class frigates, and the exocet could replace the harpoon in the whole fleet to standarize weapon systems to optimize resources, thats the plan of chilean navy to adquire modern and actual systems to use them for a near future, the actual former vessels of chile (type 23) are going to be in active for the next 10 years after the MLU of 600 USD millions, (200 usd millions each frigate), i have to be honest it is one of the alternatives that chile manages in this moment but, alike the navy wants to tart up its fleet and the adelaide class, the tye 23 class, and the halifax class (potential sellers and friends of chile are offering their ships BUT those give 10 more years to the navy to AGAIN going for newest frigates, then the most convenient choice for the navy is to set to build new vessels, eitherway the chilean armed forces have 17.500 USD millions to spend in new weapons because the rent of the 10% of the chilean coooper industry gives that amount only for armed forces and weapons, if the navy and the defense ministery were intelligents as well, they will choose a new class of vessels to replace the M class anti aereal frigates with a new capability to operate the SM2, the jacob van hemsckerk class operates right now the SM1, but US will stop the support of those missiles for the NATO allies in 2024


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