- Reaction score
The fleet will continue to suffer from well documented problems with several key assets for at least the next few years:
- Delays to crucial procurement programmes mean that old ships are becoming increasingly challenging to maintain and spend too long unavailable for operations.
- Even for newer ships maintenance projects take too long. At one point in July 2021 only one of six Type 45 destroyers was not undergoing maintenance: three vessels were in refit; one was in planned maintenance; and one was “experiencing technical issues” (in layman’s English, it broke down).
- The budget for operations and maintenance is tight and will likely lead to yet more ships sitting in port, failing to deter our increasingly emboldened adversaries.
- “When ships do get to sea they act like porcupines - well defended herbivores with limited offensive capabilities”. What offensive capabilities these ships do have will be reduced even further in three years' time when the Government retires the Harpoon anti-ship missile without a planned replacement.
- Three important vessels - RFA Argus, RFA Fort Victoria and HMS Scott - will also retire without replacements: the Navy will likely lose its current ability to provide medical care, replenish vessels at sea, and monitor the sea bed.
- The fleet is increasingly reliant on allies for many capabilities, with a limited scope to act independently, and the Government needs to do more at the political level to ensure this support will be provided when needed.
<p>The Defence Committee publishes its report “We’re going to need a bigger Navy” following the Committee’s inquiry into The Navy: purpose and procurement.</p>