London sent one frigate, the HMS Montrose, to protect British commercial vessels after the capture of an oil tanker under the British flag by the Iranian military. It is expected that it will join destroyer of the Royal Navy, but their joint mission will last only a few weeks.
In an interview with the British broadcasting company “Sky News” the Chairman of the special Committee on defence, Julian Lewis sounded the alarm that British forces lack the financial resources that may affect the military potential of the country.
“And that means we are not able to put together a range of options to protect yourself, that’s fine, until there is no threat and potentially catastrophic if a conflict, like most conflicts — sudden and unpredictable,” he said.
According to the expert, the Royal Navy had to reduce the number of destroyers and frigates only in order to afford two new aircraft carriers. According to him, the size of the British fleet is now pathetic.
“To ensure the carriers, it was decided that we will reduce the number of frigates and destroyers from 35 to 32 units. No one can’t imagine that we can go down to a mere number in 13 frigates and 6 destroyers,” explained Lewis.
Military analyst urged the newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson to recognize the importance of defense and return to the spending levels observed in the 1990-ies.
According to Sky News, the size of the British fleet has declined over the past three decades.
Since 1982 the number of frigates fell from 43 to 13, while the number of destroyers had been halved, and the UK now has only six. There are also only 10 submarines instead of the 16 that were in the Royal Navy in the 1980s. in addition, the British Navy lacks aircraft carriers, because the newest aircraft carrier “Queen Elizabeth” is still on repair.