Author attacks government on cuts to navy

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An author has blasted the government for leaving the Royal Navy in a 'dire state' after the defence cuts.

Steve Bush, editor of the 2011 edition of British Warships and Auxiliaries by Maritime Books, says the Royal Navy has to 'fight its corner' more in the future to avoid more deep cuts to the fleet.

His annual guide lists all the fighting ships and auxiliary supply ships in the navy, which are getting increasingly fewer in number as time goes on.

Mr Bush, who served in the navy, said decisions, including the scrapping of carriers, Harrier jump jets and maritime reconnaissance aircraft Nimrod by the Government to save cash, is a serious blow to Royal Navy capability.

He writes: 'In the current economic climate, I would not be surprised if more pain were to come. These are dire times for the Royal Navy and, if it is to fend off further cuts, it is going to have to vocally fight its corner, because it cannot rely on public support.

'As ever it is out of sight, out of mind.'

The government maintains the defence review leaves the navy capable to defend national interests; that Afghanistan is the main priority until 2015 and Harrier jets were no longer required; and two new carriers will be built by 2020.