British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has told the media that the Conservative Party’s defence budget will mean a bigger Royal Navy thus reversing the apparent trend of downsizing the fleet that has been happening for over 20 years. As well as the high profile carrier project he also made reference to a number of smaller support vessels and surface combatants that his government has outlined in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015.
Mr Fallon told the BBC;
Through the defence review, defence spending is going to go up every April for the rest of this parliament. We have said we will maintain a minimum fleet of 19 destroyers and frigates, but as the older frigates are retired we also hope to add a lighter frigate between the offshore patrol vessel and Type 26 and to build more of those as well.
He made the comments while signing a £13.5m contract to construct up to 60 new Pacific 24 rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) which will be used for patrol and security duties around the UK’s naval ports as well as supporting the fleet on deployments such as anti-piracy or anti-narcotics missions. The contract was signed with BAE Systems who are also celebrating the Royal Navy formally taking delivery of the third Astute-class nuclear submarine, HMS Artful.