The Future of the Royal Navy
By Taylor Marvin
The UK continues to cut military spending in an effort to balance its massive budget shortfall. The Royal Navy’s getting the worst of it- the core of the British fleet will be reduced to non-carrier 19 surface ships, a cut that will definitively end the Britain’s status as an expeditionary naval power, probably forever. Whether you agree with the wisdom of these cuts or not it it’s obvious that they will have major implications for the balance of world naval power. War is Boring has a good older post on their significance.
“Under current plans, the Royal Navy circa 2020 will be a very strange force. There will be just six high-end warships to protect two 65,000-ton super-carriers, plus a mixed flotilla of old Type 23s and FSCs numbering just over a dozen. It’ll be a top-heavy force with too few destroyers to escort the carriers into a shooting war, and too few frigates to perform day-to-day patrolling during peacetime. It’s a fleet optimized for nothing.”