Are the new UK RN OPVs a waste?

News to me and the author makes a very valid point at the end

Today, BAE Systems announced the beginning of the construction of three new 90m-long Offshore Patrol Vessels that will be delivered from 2017 and there has been much praise for going ahead with this acquisition.

Unfortunately it seems to be a big smokescreen as these are being built to serve an industrial purpose not Royal Navy requirements. Although some might see nothing wrong with that as we do need to preserve the UK’s naval shipbuilding capacity and skills, other countries do the same (think France with additional Mistrals and Gowind OPVs).

RS17176_CS044514.01.02_still_sea_defused

Let’s put it like this, the 90m OPV design being used to build the Forth, Medway and Trent is similar to that BAE used to build three ships for Trinidad and Tobago. They did not want the ships and BAE managed to sell all three to the Brazilian Navy at a nice knock-down price of £133million (about £44million each) although…

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