Whoever wrote the Telegraph piece knows even less than do I and readers of this blog about changes to the fisheries protection squadron. In fact, it's unlikely that any of the five batch 2s coming into commission between now and 2020 will undertake FP duties, at least until new frigates come into commission that can cover the Falklands, Gibraltar, Bahrain and the Caribbean.
That didn't stop the intern journo who probably penned the piece repeating Williamson's porkies;
"The Royal Navy has a proud tradition of protecting the UK’s coastline and keeping a close eye on our fishing waters. With these state-of-the-art, vastly capable ships we stand ready to protect our fisheries once Britain leaves the EU."What's needed is a commitment to maintain the Batch 1s as the heart of the FP squadron - those in the know advise that these vessels have at least another 15 years of sea life, and are only destined for the scrapyard because the Navy can't afford to crew them.
We only flagged on Saturday that this was likely to happen - force multiplication doesn't mean that HMS Forth can be both berthed in Port Stanley and on patrol in the North Sea at the same time, whatever they've told Buzz.
|HMS Tyne - a batch 1 OPV good for another 15 years|