Lord Sheikh asked Her Majesty’s Government:
- Why they chose to reduce the total of frigates and destroyers from the 32 referred to in the Strategic Defence Review to 25; and whether they propose any further reduction. [HL4983]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): The reasons the department decided to make the reductions to the destroyer and frigate fleet are clearly set out in the White Paper Delivering Security in a Changing World: Future Capabilities (CM 6269), presented to Parliament in July 2004. This explained that a reduced conventional threat, revised planning assumptions and improved technology meant that we required fewer destroyers and frigates than before. It judged that our future requirements could be met by a fleet of 25 of these ships. No further reductions to the fleet are currently planned.