14 Feb 2017

Setting out a vision for the Royal Navy

The First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones spoke at the Founders’ Day dinner at the Navy Club in London on 2 February 2017. Here are some of the highlights from his speech.

“You will be familiar with much of the recent coverage of the Type 45 destroyers, which in many ways is emblematic of the challenges we face more widely.

“This was the first new destroyer type in over 30 years.

“Last year, HMS Defender spent over 100 days protecting US and French carrier groups in the Middle East without losing a single day of tasking to machinery defects.

“Meanwhile, following attacks on coalition vessels by Houthi rebels, HMS Daring was quietly deployed to the coast of Yemen.

“Her ship’s company spent 39 days in Defence Watches and over 97 hours at Action Stations as they accompanied 650,000 tonnes of coalition shipping through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait at the height of the threat.

“Where it matters most, the Type 45 has proved itself to be one of the most capable air defence destroyers in the world, and the escort of choice for our most important, and demanding, coalition partners.

“The financial constraints we face are shared across the public sector, and the scrutiny, regulation and efficiency challenges by our partner navies.

“Yet despite these challenges, the Royal Navy retains a position of global leadership, as evidenced by the international success of FOST and BRNC, and our permanent leadership roles in NATO and the Middle East.

“The Government has stated, repeatedly, its intention to increase the overall size of the Navy by the 2030s, and now the Type 31e programme is in train to do just that.

“So, the vision for the Navy is clear: the equipment is on its way, and the possibilities are growing – what is required now is the sustained focus and effort to reach out and grasp the opportunity.”

Image: © Crown Copyright


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