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Warships

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contingency plans have been prepared for further reductions in the number of Royal Navy vessels available for service; and whether it is intended that any should be mothballed. (109278)

[holding answer 18 December 2006]: As part of the Department’s present planning round, we are examining a range of proposals for the defence programme, both to enhance investment in certain areas and to reduce investment in areas of lower priority. Ministerial decisions on the forward defence programme will be taken in the first quarter of 2007 and appropriate announcements will be made in that timeframe.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 6 December 2006, Official Report, column 447W, on Royal Navy ships, which types of warship are at extended readiness; and if he will make a statement. (110086)

I am withholding the details of the types of warship and their state of readiness as this could enable deductions to be made that could be prejudicial to national security.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 6 December 2006, Official Report, column 447W, what assessment he has made of the implications for the ability of the Royal Navy to meet its commitments of the number of warships on (a) reduced readiness and (b) extended readiness; and if he will make a statement. (110175)

The Royal Navy remains fully capable of meeting all ongoing overseas and domestic commitments, as well as retaining forces at sufficient readiness to mount a contingent medium-scale overseas deployment.