British Navy must build more warships for future threats, MPs say

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A successor to Royal Yacht Britannia will bring no benefit to Britain’s navy, MPs have warned, as a report urged the UK to build more warships to protect the country from an “increasingly hostile and unpredictable international environment”.

A report released Tuesday by the Commons Defense Committee found that at some point last year only one of six Type 45 destroyers was out of maintenance.

And he warned that a new £ 250million ($ 330million) ‘national flagship’, which is expected to replace the Royal Yacht Britannia, would add “continuous pressure on an already constrained naval budget”.

“Overall, our navy needs more ships, armed with deadliest weapons and the latest technology,” said former minister Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the committee.

“We have the shipyards and the know-how to build them. The government just needs to take the lead and give UK shipbuilding the commitment and confidence it needs to deliver on its promises.

The report said budget cuts resulted in slow procurement, and then when the ships were built and set out to sea, they acted “like porcupines – well-defended herbivores with limited offensive capabilities.”

And he said the UK is increasingly relying on allies to support its capabilities.

Experts had warned the committee that the navy might be needed in the future to fight for control of the sea, or to deny adversaries access to British waters.

But MPs said the navy was “too small and too specialized” to deal with threats that will be exerted over the next 20 years, especially from Russia and China.

“The Royal Navy will be called upon to do even more with even less,” the report said. “It’s a clear risk, which those beyond these coasts can calculate as easily as we can.”

He said MPs had received “no evidence of the benefit to the Royal Navy of acquiring the national flagship” and that the initial cost of £ 200million to £ 250million, combined with costs operating from £ 20-30million per year and providing a crew, would put additional strain on the force.

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in July he hoped to announce the successful bidder in the competitive bidding process to build the ship this month.

At the time, he said part of the government’s ambition for the ship was for it to be a “floating embassy,” which was fabricated and designed through a “prestigious showcase for skills and UK expertise ”, and was also the“ Greener Ship of It’s Kind ”.

The report also warned that in its current state, the Navy would not be able to meet the goals of the government’s foreign policy change in the Integrated Review released this year, in which it has a “potentially leading role. “.

“The Navy cannot fully realize the ambition of the integrated review with its current fleet,” the report said.

“It needs lower-end and adaptable ships like the planned Type 31 frigate, to fulfill the planned presence operations.”

And he said that compared to his peers and opponents, the Royal Navy was not as well equipped in weaponry.

“The Royal Navy has a long and proud history of protecting our nation at sea,” said Mr. Ellwood. “To maintain our position as one of the world’s premier navies, the government must implement a rapid program of modernization and growth.

“The next 10 years will be a test for our naval fleet.

“The UK faces an increasingly hostile and unpredictable international environment, but the government continues to cut funding, withdraw capabilities and ask the navy to rely on increasingly older ships for the next five years until the arrival of new vessels.

“The rapid delivery of these new ships is crucial to plugging the hole in our naval capabilities. However, the Department of Defense has a poor track record of projects like this one.

“We need a firm hand on the helm to steer us through the next decade. Of all the services, the government is the most ambitious for the Navy.

“However, if the government does not provide the ships and capabilities the Navy needs, that ambition will be dug below the waterline.”

A representative from the Department of Defense said: “We are well on our way to becoming Europe’s premier naval power – a deployment of aircraft carriers and ships operating in multiple oceans showcase the best of global Britain.

“This report rightly identifies the judgments that the service must make to deliver new classes of ships, submarines, weapons systems and innovative technologies.

“The Royal Navy’s shipbuilding investments will double over the life of this Parliament to over £ 1.7 billion. As a result, the Royal Navy’s tonnage is expected to increase by more than 40% between 2015 and 2030.

“We will review the committee report and respond to it in due course.” “

Update: December 14, 2021, 12:01 am


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