Royal Navy — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:35 am on 5th November 2015.

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Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Labour 11:35 am, 5th November 2015

I thank the noble Earl for his Answer. In 1998, we decided to have only 30 destroyers and frigates. We realised more were needed, but we said we would take the risk. Since then, the world has become more chaotic, as the Prime Minister has recently said, and we now have 19 destroyers and frigates, which I am on record as saying I believe is a national disgrace for a great maritime nation. Of those 19, six are the Type 45 destroyer, a brilliant anti-air warfare ship with fantastic capability, but there is a major main propulsion problem with those ships, so in reality today we have 13 escorts to do all the tasks required for our nation. Do we have a method in place now to resolve this problem with the Type 45’s main propulsion? When will they all be available for full operation, or will we be looking after this nation with only 13 escorts?