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“Due to Budgetary Constraints, Missile Spaces Now Converted into Gym Facilities”

While the Royal Navy's Type 45 destroyers are equipped with Mark 41 cruise missile launcher systems, the lack of funds has led to the conversion of space for these systems into exercise areas, featuring treadmills and other gym equipment.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Due to budgetary constraints, spaces intended for the Tomahawk cruise missile launcher systems on British Navy’s Type 45 destroyers are now being repurposed as gyms for the use of the ship’s crews, inviting widespread criticism and mockery from the British public and the country’s defence establishments.

Recent reports from British newspapers indicate that the Royal Navy is unable to procure Tomahawk cruise missiles due to budgetary limitations.

The lack of weapons such as Tomahawk cruise missiles, on the fleet of Type 45 destroyers, valued at 6 billion pounds (RM36 billion), has raised concerns among observers that the British Navy is falling behind compared to the United States Navy.

While the Type 45 destroyers are equipped with Mark 41 cruise missile launcher systems, the lack of funds has led to the conversion of space for these systems into exercise areas, featuring treadmills and other gym equipment.

According to The Telegraph, the space originally designed for Tomahawk cruise missile launchers is now used as a gym because the British Navy cannot afford these weapons due to their high costs.

British
“The space allocated for the Tomahawk cruise missile launcher system on the British Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer is currently repurposed as a gym.”

 

Last month, U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro emphasized the importance of investing in the British Navy, considering the shared threats faced by the United States and Britain.

Recently, the British Navy had to decommission two of its Type 23 frigates, HMS Argyll and HMS Westminster, due to a shortage of personnel to operate these warships.

This decision reduces the number of Type 23 frigates in the Royal Navy from 11 to just nine. The British Navy plans to retire all 11 Type 23 frigates by 2035 and replace them with Type 26 frigates.

The decision to decommission both warships occurs at a time when the British Navy needs more operational warships to defend the country’s interests, such as in the Red Sea.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the decision to decommission the two Type 23 frigates was due to a shortage of personnel, despite HMS Argyll and HMS Westminster undergoing upgrades in 2017 at a cost of US$70 million each.

“We have to take personnel from one place in the navy and put them somewhere new,” stated an unnamed military official quoted by the newspaper.

Type 45

 Each Type 23 frigate can accommodate a crew of approximately 180 personnel, including officers and enlisted military members.

According to statistics released by the British Ministry of Defence, between March 2022 and March 2023, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines experienced a significant 22 percent decline in recruitment.

This drop in recruitment for service in the British Navy and Royal Marines is more drastic compared to the 16.6 percent and 14.6 percent declines experienced by the British Air Force and British Army, respectively.

Former Chairman of the British Parliament’s Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood, noted that during the Gulf War, the Royal Navy had 51 frigates and destroyers in its fleet.

However, in the coming years, the British Navy is expected to have only 16 frigates and destroyers, making the current situation the worst in the navy’s history since 1945. — DSA

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