Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Where Will This End?

The budget battles in regards to the Royal Navy are just difficult to watch. The discussion of late has shifted to base closures, but that is just a distraction from the retreat from the oceans by Great Britain. While observing some of the most recent commentary, I found these statistics depressing.

Since 1987 the Royal Navy has, under both Tory and Labour governments, suffered cuts that have reduced it by 42 per cent.

Put another way, the Navy has lost 54 per cent of its frigates and destroyers (down from 54 in 1987 to 25 today and soon just 20) plus 66 per cent of its submarines (down from 38 nuclear-powered and conventional boats in 1987 to just 13 attack boats and Trident submarines today).

The Royal Navy is about to further reduce surface combatant force by 20% in a single year by removing four Type 22 frigates and one Type 23 frigate from the existing fleet. This will be in addition to the reduction of total Type 45s to only 6 ships, and the reduction in total SSNs built.

Does anyone honestly believe these will be the last of the cuts? I'm starting to think the CVF will not be built, and the delay is simply a way to push the option to cut the program into the next fiscal year.

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