UK Navy Refutes Allegations of Poor Defense Due to Lack of Deployed Warships

© AFP 2023 / ADAM JANA UK Marine stands guard aboard the Royal Fleet Auxiliary forward repair ship Diligence ducked near to UK Royal Navy's destroyer Cardiff D108
A UK Marine stands guard aboard the Royal Fleet Auxiliary forward repair ship Diligence ducked near to UK Royal Navy's destroyer Cardiff D108 - Sputnik International
LONDON (Sputnik) - The UK Royal Navy (RN) has various capabilities at its disposal other than frigates and destroyers, an RN spokesperson told Sputnik on Thursday, following allegations of the country's defense suffering because no major warships were deployed overseas.

On Wednesday, Vice Adm. John McAnally, national president of the Royal Naval Association, told The Times newspaper that the fact that all six of the RN's Type 45 destroyers and 12 out of 13 Type 23 frigates were in domestic ports was "unprecedented" and alarming. Other media also expressed fear that the United Kingdom might not be prepared for a potential outbreak of war.

"There is much more to the Navy than frigates and destroyers. The hugely capable RFA Mounts Bay [landing ship dock] proved her worth following Hurricane Irma, and she is still there. HMS Protector [patrol ship] provided specialist support to the search for the missing Argentine submarine San Juan, and she is still in the south Atlantic," the spokesperson said.

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According to the RN, six ships are in the Persian Gulf and two are in the Mediterranean Sea. The types of ships were not specified by the Navy.

"The continuous at-sea deterrent is exactly that – continuous. We also have a frigate and patrol boat poised to operate in UK waters throughout the Christmas period – as we always do," the spokesperson said.

The Royal Navy maintained that any lull in ships' deployments was most likely due to routine maintenance and the training of additional crew.

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, left, inspects the guard before he presents medals to Navy personnel involved in the UK's response to the Ebola crisis, in Portsmouth, England, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015. - Sputnik International
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"We do not routinely comment on the reasons for individual ships being alongside, but this could be a maintenance period [after] having returned from operations or in preparation for her next deployment," an RN spokesperson told Sputnik.

The UK Navy faced another controversy earlier this month, as the HMS Queen Elizabeth, recently formally accepted into the fleet, was found to have a problem with a shaft seal, which reportedly resulted in leakage.

An RN spokesperson told Sputnik earlier this week that the issue was not major and would not prevent the HMS Queen Elizabeth from further sea trials.

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