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UK plans to boost naval capabilities under 2021 Integrated Review

23 Mar 2021 (Last Updated March 23rd, 2021 12:37)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled plans to enhance the British Royal Navy’s capabilities under the '2021 Integrated Review' to better respond to opportunities and threats.

UK plans to boost naval capabilities under 2021 Integrated Review
The Carrier Strike Group at sea off Scotland. Credit: Royal Navy.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled plans to enhance the British Royal Navy’s capabilities under the ‘2021 Integrated Review’ to better respond to opportunities and threats.

The review will lead to an increase in the size and reach of the Royal Navy with the addition of new ships, submarines, weapons, technologies and missions.

Defence will make significant investments in the submarine service, surface fleet, mine warfare, procurement of missiles, fighter jets and more.

The UK Government has decided to operate both of its aircraft carriers simultaneously with plans to deploy more F-35 jets.

New support ships will be built to ‘accompany the task groups’ on their worldwide deployments.

Permanent deployment of green berets to overseas in two new ‘Littoral Response Groups’ in northern Europe and the Indian Ocean.

The transformation of Royal Marines into the Future Commando Force will see an investment of an additional £200m and £50m to convert a Bay-class vessel.

In addition, the Royal Navy aims to operate more than 20 frigates and destroyers by the beginning of the 2030s, with plans to increase the size to 24.

The Royal Navy will also develop a new Multi Role Ocean Surveillance ship to gather information on potential threats by 2024.

Investments in Wildcat and Merlin helicopters will continue alongside the upgrade of Sea Viper air defence missiles and building their stockpiles.

Next year, the service plans to deploy automated and autonomous mine hunting systems worldwide as part of a £1bn investment in mine warfare.

Furthermore, the replacement of the Sandown-class MCMVs and the Hunts will be carried out by the end of the 2020s.

First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin said: “The review is the most wide-ranging for a generation and it sets out the government’s priorities for defence.

“The secretary of state wants us to respond better to the threats we face. We will. The prime minister wants us to be the foremost navy in Europe. We will be.

“The White Ensign will fly in all the places where we are now, but also further afield and more persistently.

“All of us now have a new responsibility to deliver a global navy for a global Britain.”

Last week, the UK Government published its long-awaited Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.