Navy says it has no ships left to defend UK shores
London, Nov.2 (ANI): Britain has been without a single warship to defend its shores for a month because of defence cuts and operations in Libya, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
A frigate or destroyer is usually allocated to the Fleet Ready Escort (FRE) role, and remains in port or in UK waters to respond to any emergency at home or abroad.
But following the Strategic Defence and Security Review the Navy surface fleet was reduced from 24 to 19 ships - and with 10 allocated to operations off Libya none were available for the FRE role, Sky News reports.
Former First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord Alan West, described the situation as "worrying" and "very unsatisfactory".
He said: "What it shows is that the number of frigates and destroyers we have now is insufficient. We need more ships as a matter of urgency."
Speaking to the Portsmouth Evening News, which first broke the story, Lord West said: "If there was a terrorism incident in UK waters this would historically be the ship sent in to deal with it. It is a big problem. If we haven't got a ship ready to do this role then it is worrying. It is a very unsatisfactory position to be in."
However, the Ministry of Defence has pointed out that FREs were not always on patrol and were often in dock, and that ships close to Britain's shores could have been reallocated at short notice were they needed. (ANI)
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