The Royal Navy is to decommission HMS Ark Royal, leaving it with 19 frigates and destroyers, according to the latest Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) released by UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
The frigates and destroyers will include six new Type 45 destroyers and new Type 26 frigates.
HMS Ark Royal will be decommissioned immediately, whilst decisions to decommission either the helicopter landing ship HMS Ocean or HMS Illustrious will be put on hold. Four frigates and a Bay Class amphibious support ship will also be decommissioned.
The new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier will have 12 joint strike fighters and helicopters to carry out a broad range of missions, the review said.
The navy will retain the seven new Astute Class submarines to protect the country’s nuclear deterrent and naval task groups.
The Royal Navy is set to have a number of capabilities, including the Trident Force, based around the four Vanguard Class submarines, one of which is always on patrol.
The navy personnel will be reduced by around 5,000 to a total of about 30,000 by 2015, assuming a requirement of about 29,000 by 2020.