Questions raised over where the Royal Navy’s new fleet of littoral strike ships will be based when in Britain

A POLITICIAN from Plymouth is vying to have a new fleet of Royal Navy assault ships based in Devonport.

Friday, 29th March 2019, 2:23 pm
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 2:26 pm

Labour MP Luke Pollard wants to see the navy’s planned batch of littoral assault ships based in the western naval city.

Making a demand to the Ministry of Defence, the politician asked whether the new vessels would be based in Devonport when not deployed abroad.

Defence procurement minister, Stuart Andrew – who is in charge of buying all of Britain’s military gear and vehicles – said it was too early to confirm any details.

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‘At this time, no decisions have been made regarding procurement strategy, in-service dates, basing or manning levels,’ said the Tory minister.

The ships, once built, would operate as a platform to deploy amphibious troops. Two would be built and forward-deployed, with one based to the east of Suez in the Indo-Pacific and one to the west of Suez in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Baltic.

The warship’s main roles would be to transport Royal Marines and troops into battle.

But they could also be capable of carrying everything from helicopters and fast boats to underwater automated vehicles and huge numbers of troops and able to sail close to land.

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson revealed the plans to invest in the two new ships last month.

Speaking of their role, he said: ‘These globally deployable, multi-role vessels would be able to conduct a wide range of operations from crisis support to war fighting.

‘They would support our future Commando force, our world renowned Royal Marines – they will be forward-deployed at exceptionally high readiness and able to respond at a moment's notice, and bringing the fight from the sea to land.’