A review by Sir John Parker, a mining expert from the Ministry of Defense (MoD), into the Royal Navy shipbuilding has blasted the UK government for creating a ‘vicious cycle' in which ships are being ordered too late, thus increasing the costs over the long term.
The report, published November 29, sets out far-reaching recommendations to transform the United Kingdom's shipbuilding industry and boost the prosperity of shipyards and supply chains across the country, according to the UK MoD press statement.
Within the report, Sir Parker also highlights the uncertainty surrounding the qualifications of MoD employees, stating that he was unsure if they had staff with sufficient commercial expertise to handle the contracts with defense, security and aerospace company, BAE systems.
"It is not clear that Defense has sufficient and sufficiently expert project contract managers, with suitable commercial expertise, to manage the sophisticated warship contracts with BAE," Sir Parker said within his report.
He calls on the MoD to start looking at the way Scotland have revolutionized their fleet of warships, by using cutting edge technology that allowed ship components to be produced across the UK before being assembled at a central hub.
"The build of the Royal Navy's largest ever warships, the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers, has already demonstrated the success of such an approach, with multiple shipyards and hundreds of companies across the UK working together and benefiting from the aircraft carrier build," Sir Parker said.
This report comes at a crucial time for the MoD, recently one of their warships had to be towed back to port after suffering a technical malfunction two days after it set sail. The navy Type 45 Destroyer had to be towed back after suffering a total propulsion failure while taking part in NATO exercises.
In November the MoD also confirmed that some of their warships would be left without an anti-ship missile due to financial concerns. This led to criticism from politicians, such as Douglas Chapman, MP from the Scottish National Party (SNP), who said that the navy would now be left defenseless.
"Not only does the Royal Navy find itself with a historic low of 17 usable frigates and destroyers," he continued, "we now find that these warships will be left defenseless in a way that surely no other major modern navy would consider acceptable."
The MoD is under immense pressure to deliver on keeping the nation safe. However, with a series of chaotic stumbling blocks it has been made to look like a failing department in need of desperate help. Sir Parker's report highlights that there is still a lot of work to be done.