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Royal Navy could be forced to ‘rent ships’ to expand fleet | UK | News


Royal Navy could be forced to 'rent ships' to expand fleet | UK | News


The Royal Navy could be forced to lease or buy new ships to expand its fleet, according to a new report.

The report, written by William Freer and Dr Emma Salisbury under the title ‘A More Lethal Royal Navy: Sharpening Britain’s Naval Power’ sets out both how Britain’s naval forces could be improved and assesses the state they’re in right now.

One of the areas the report says the Royal Navy needs to improve on is its replenishment capability, that is its ability to refuel and restock ships with fuel, fresh water, food, and ammunition for example.

One of the recommendations in the report is that in the short term, some ships could be leased whilst vessels designed for the purpose are completed.

The document said the Royal Navy could assess “options for short-term solid-store replenishment capability” to cover the time before news ships are brought online reported the UK Defence Journal.

The latest suggestion into how the Royal Navy could be improved comes as Britain tries to rebuild its armed forces after years of cuts in preparation for a potential global conflict in the future.

Earlier this year, members of the RFA voted in a landmark decision to strike over pay, they were able to do so as rather than members of the armed forces, they are employed as civil servants.

Speaking to Sky News about the dispute in April, director of organising at the Nautilus International Union Martyn Gray, said: “For this group of professionals to have reached a point that they feel their only option is to vote for strike action, it should be a huge red flag that something needs to be done.”

Soon after the dispute, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps suggested that people working for the RFA – which has seen its sailor numbers decline in recent years – may have to relinquish their right to strike.

Mr Shapps told the Telegraph: “We can’t have a military fighting machine subject to the ordinary rules of industrial relations. It just doesn’t work. That’s why the Armed Forces are not able to strike.

“We do need to look at that. It is not satisfactory to have armed forces, or even armed forces auxiliaries in support, who are subject to ordinary employment laws, for obvious reasons.”

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