‘Significant investment’ to extend frigates’ life

Detectorist Chris Belcher-Banes with the dog tag lost over 70 years ago during World War II that he found buried in a field Picture: Solent News & Photo Agency
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Detectorist reunites family with dog tags lost durung the war

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DELAYS in replacing the Royal Navy’s frigate fleet would hit the pockets of the Senior Service, MPs have said.

The fleet of 13 frigates – six of which are based in Portsmouth – are due to be replaced, like for like, by the new Type 26.

The first of the ageing Type 23s to be decommissioned will be HMS Argyll in 2023.

But MPs have questioned whether the new frigates will be in place before this date.

First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones said there was potential to change an out-of-service date to extend a ship’s life but that it would cost ‘significant investment’.

‘At the moment there is no plan to extend them and no money in the programme to extend them so we are anticipating a solution emerging from the National Shipbuilding Strategy,’ the First Sea Lord said.

Chairman Dr Julian Lewis said: ‘So if you were delaying the build of the Type 26 in order to save money we wouldn’t save money because we would have to spend the money we save on extending the life of the Type 23s.’