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    In this picture taken Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, an unidentified British sailor works aboard the British Royal Navy's HMS Atherstone in the Persian Gulf. More than 30 nations are participating in an exercise responding to simulated sea-mine attacks in international waters _ a demonstration of international resolve to ensure maritime security in the strategic but volatile region.

    UK Parliament Urges Royal Navy to Present Plans on Replacing Aging Frigates

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    Military & Intelligence
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    Members of the UK parliamentary Defense Committee called on the Royal Navy to provide details on how it would replace its aging frigates between 2023 and 2035, a report issued by the committee on Monday showed.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The specific measures proposed by the report include setting out a definite timeline for delivering new vessels, a comprehensive assessment of the potential to build a new complex warship every two years and criteria, against which the expansion of the UK's share of the export market in warships will be taken into consideration.

    "The Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, to be announced shortly, will set out the framework within which these ships [two types of new frigates] will be delivered … The National Shipbuilding Strategy must provide industry with the certainty it needs to plan and develop a stable, sustainable and highly skilled workforce. If it is to be more than a statement of aspirations, the Strategy should set out clear, timed production schedules for the delivery of both classes of frigate," the report’s summary said.

    The Royal Navy is going to replace 13 existing Type 23 frigates with eight Type 26 and at least five Type 31 General Purpose frigates in 2023 – 2035 at the rate of one per year.

    "For decades, the numbers of Royal Navy escort vessels have been severely in decline. The Fleet is now way below the critical mass required for the many tasks which could confront it, if the international scene continues to deteriorate," Julian Lewis, the Defense Committee's chairman and one of the report’s authors, said emphasizing the need for a comprehensive strategy.

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