British navy cutbacks mean self-defence missiles on two Royal Navy destroyers get left at home

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British navy cutbacks mean self-defence missiles on two Royal Navy destroyers get left at home

The Royal navy create two big floating targets by removing their Sea Dart missile system.

Two Royal Navy destroyers could not fire their missiles if they came under attack - because they have been removed to save cash.

Type 42s HMS Exeter and HMS Southampton have been working without their Sea Dart guided missile system since Christmas, it was revealed today.

To go with the cutbacks, at least half a dozen operating crew have been transferred to other ships.

The missiles, used to protect the destroyers and larger aircraft carriers against air attack, have been stored away even though HMS Exeter has sailed to the Mediterranean twice and joined a NATO-led operation in that time.

It has provoked anger from defence sources who claim the navy is suffering from short-term cost cutting.

Rear Admiral David Bawtree, the former Commander of Portsmouth Naval Base, said:
... Quote:
It seems to be a sign of the times that there is a lack of willingness to spend money.

It is surprising that the destroyers are sailing without their primary defence, though I would add they still have lesser gun defences.

But you only have to look at the comments in the media about Army pay to see there is disgruntlement, and spending is much, much lower now than during my time.
Sea Dart - first used successfully in the Falklands War in 1982 - will be phased out as the new Type 45 Daring class destroyers come into service.

But Southampton and Exeter are still supposed to be fully operational until 2009.

Even the Navy website for HMS Southampton advertises that Sea Dart is her primary armament.

Former naval officer and editor of Warship World, Mike Critchley, said:
... Quote:
You cannot claim to have ships doing a job before the Type 45s come in when in fact they are missing vital abilities.

As a taxpayer it is not reassuring to see an expensive destroyer like Exeter engaged in not much more than a PR tour.


Much more on the link

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...
By netchicken: posted on 10-6-2008








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