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Navy: Vessels

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which naval vessels have been sold by the Royal Navy in the last five years; what the (a) vessel type, (b) service cost and (c) destination country was in each case; and if he will estimate the (i) original costs of each vessel and (ii) financial gains accrued to public funds as a result of each sale. (137565)

[holding answer 16 May 2007]: The information is provided in the following table:

Type

Country

Service cost

Original cost (£)

Sale price (£)

2002-03

HMS Beagle

Bulldog Class Hydrographical Survey Ship

1

2

353 million

750,000

HMS London

T22 Frigate

Romania

2

4156million

116 million

HMS Coventry

4147 million

HMS Shetland

Island Class Offshore Patrol Vehicles

Bangladesh

2

353 million each

8 million

HMS Aldernay

HMS Anglesey

HMS Lindisfarne

HMS Guernsey

HMS Sheffield

Type 22 Frigate

Chile

2

4151 million

27 million

2003-04

HMS Unseen

Upholder Class Submarine

Canada

5

5

6

HMS Scylla

Leader Class Frigate

7

5

5

2004-05

RFA Sir Geraint

Round Table Landing Ship Logistical

8

5

5

300,000

2005-06

HMS Marlborough

Type 23 Frigate

Chile

2

4120 million

134 million

HMS Norfolk

4142 million

HMS Grafton

479 million

2006-07

HMS Sandown

Sandown Class Mine Hunter

Estonia

2

353 million each

32 million

HMS Inverness

HMS Bridport

1 Records not kept beyond point of sale.

2 This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

3 Information concerning original cost is not held. Average cost has been estimated at 2007 prices and includes Government furnished equipment.

4 Original cost of vessels not held. Original build cost provided but does not include other costs such as Ministry supplied material and equipment.

5 No records held.

6 Leased to Canada in 1998, with an option to purchase, which was exercised in 2003. It is impossible to calculate exact value for this submarine as lease covered four submarines, remaining three still under lease. Total value of lease is Canadian $360 million for all four submarines.

7 Sunk as artificial reef.

8 Records not kept beyond point of sale—ultimately dismantled in Pakistan.

These figures are rounded and those in the “sale price” column reflect the total sales revenue.

It is standard practice for sales of surplus warships to foreign Governments to include a package of modernisation and regeneration work provided by industry. It is not possible to provide figures relating to industry costs or the subsequent detailed financial returns to the UK defence budget and British taxpayer, without incurring disproportionate costs. Moreover, any such figures would be commercially sensitive, and could not be released.

In many cases the only alternative to a sale of these surplus warships would have been recycling, potentially at a cost to the British taxpayer. The benefits of these sales extend beyond the capital return, as they provide a defence diplomacy impact and enhance British industrial participation. It is not possible to quantify these benefits; however, in each case, the sale represented the best available outcome.