I maintain that a £250m T31 is a dangerous compromise but a £375m T31 is credible and would be a lot more use to RN in a conflict scenario. However, for basic maritime security tasks even a £250m T31 is OTT, especially if it's forward based.ArmChairCivvy wrote:but I guess you said so, too, in your concluding sentence?
Going forward mundane maritime security tasks are going to be increasingly common and do not require £1bn Frigates and Destroyers to perform them. In a conflict scenario OPV's are largely useless and to increase RN mass we need to ensure that all RN vessels can add something even if only in lower threat minor roles.
This is why I would like to see the T31 programme transition into a maritime security vessel programme whilst maintaining the £1.25bn budget. Five or Six basic 105m Leanders would be perfect and should be achievable for the budget available.
That would allow HMG/MOD/RN to take a breath and come up with a fully funded programme to build 12 or 13 credible Frigates.
Carrying on with current planning makes little sense either financially or strategically which is why I would like to see our new Defense Secretary push the reset button and give RN the 24 credible escorts that are really needed.
The reason this isn't happening is because it will require an additional £2bn-£3bn to sort it out. Personally I think that's a pretty modest sum to sort out the RN escort fleet for the next thirty years.