Ministry of Defence
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MoD announces the way forward for Naval bases

MoD announces the way forward for Naval bases

MINISTRY OF DEFENCE News Release (097/2009) issued by COI News Distribution Service on 6 May 2009

Each of the UK's three naval bases will continue to play a vital role in supporting the Royal Navy, Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth said today as he announced the results of a review to seek ways to optimise the services they provide.

The review was undertaken to ensure that the Royal Navy has the best infrastructure in place to support its ships, submarines and new aircraft carriers. The principal decisions of the review are:

* Faslane Naval Base will become the dedicated home for the Royal Navy's fleet of nuclear-powered submarines - including the Future Deterrent - with the last attack submarine leaving Devonport in around 2017 on current plans;

* The first and most complex war fighting variant of the Royal Navy's planned next generation of frigates, named the Future Surface Combatant, will be based in Portsmouth from entry into service to maximise the benefits of basing them alongside the Type 45 destroyers and Aircraft Carriers;

* Devonport is the dedicated home of the amphibious fleet and survey vessels and subject to final approval a force of Royal Marines' landing craft and the associated RM personnel will transfer there. It will retain its world class sea training capability, Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST);

* Subject to commercial negotiations the majority of surface ship major refits will go to Devonport once work on the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers starts to increase. Some major refit work will occasionally be done at Portsmouth to retain skills;

Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth said:

"Each of our naval bases has a strong future under the plans we have laid out today. We have undertaken an extensive review to ensure that we match the infrastructure in place at the Naval Bases to the needs of the Royal Navy of the future. The review has identified changes that will align the way in which we provide that support, reducing overheads and excess infrastructure by developing the specialisations at each of the bases - and we're confident these changes will lead to savings of several hundreds of millions of pounds.

"We hope that today's announcement provides clarity and removes uncertainty for our people, our industrial partners and the wider community. We are committed to giving our service personnel adequate notice of any relocation, therefore no base porting changes will take place for five years."

Vice Admiral Andy Mathews, Chief of Materiel Fleet at MOD Defence Equipment and Support said:

"We need to optimise the support provided in all three naval bases to meet the Royal Navy's current and future operational needs. We are working closely with our industrial partners to develop plans that will ensure stability for naval personnel, civil servants, our industrial partners and for the broader communities, while delivering the best value for money for defence."

The entire Royal Navy fleet of more than 80 warships and submarines are based at three UK naval bases: the Clyde in Scotland, Portsmouth in Hampshire and Devonport in Plymouth.

Notes to Editors:
1. These decisions have been taken as part of a review; the evolution of the Naval Base Review which concluded in 2007 that all three Naval Bases should be retained yet optimised.

2. The youngest three Trafalgar class submarines, HMS Trenchant, HMS Talent and HMS Triumph, will relocate to Faslane incrementally, while the remaining four submarines of the class will continue to be base ported in Devonport until the end of their service lives.

3. The entire Royal Navy fleet of more than 80 warships and submarines are based at three UK naval bases: the Clyde in Scotland, Portsmouth in Hampshire and Devonport in Plymouth.

4. MOD will look carefully at further less complex variants of the FSC and consider the optimal base porting for these vessels taking into account similarities with existing classes. This work will inform the decision about whether there is any case to change the base porting of the Type 23 frigates.

5. No decisions on the location of submarine dismantling work will be taken until a Strategic Environmental Assessment and public consultation have been completed later this year.

6. For more information please contact Hannah Fletcher in the MoD press office on 020 7218 7924 / Hannah.Fletcher359@mod.uk

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