Submitted by Taps Coogan on the 2nd of February 2018 to The Sounding Line.
The following infographic from Statista.com shows the precipitous reduction in the manpower of the UK’s Royal Navy. As Statista notes:
“The recent commissioning of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s largest ever warship, certainly made waves. Much has been made of the state of the art vessel which will bring a massive leap in capability to the fleet. However, redundancies have left the Royal Navy with only 29,280 personnel and that lack of manpower has created a serious dent in its strength and readiness.”
“It recently emerged that a trio of Russian naval vessels transiting the English Channel were intercepted by a British minehunter rather than one of the fleet’s frigates, due to a shortage in vessels and personnel. The British Ministry of Defense usually publishes details of such events but on this occasion, HMS Cattistock’s Russian rendezvous was kept away from the headlines.”
“Today, the service has 73 commissioned ships, 20 of which are major surface combatants, along with 10 submarines. Its 29,000 personnel pales with numbers historically. In 1945 at the end of Second World War, the Royal Navy has 861,000 personnel, a number that fell to 128,000 in 1955 and 62,000 in 1991 when the Berlin Wall came down. By 2000, naval manpower shrunk to 38,880 before reaching today’s historic low.”
In addition to a lack of personnel and ships, Britain’s new aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, is expected to have only 17 F-35B jets available by 2022 due to the extreme cost of the planes, slow production, and continued technical problems. The F-35B will likely be the only modern jet that can take off from the HMS Queen Elizabeth due to a decision to scrap the Catapult Assisted Take Off Barrier Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) system amid increasing costs. Furthermore, questions have arisen as to whether the Royal Navy has enough support ships to protect its new aircraft carrier, likely meaning it will need to rely on French frigates for escort.
You will find more statistics at Statista
P.S. We have added email distribution for The Sounding Line. If you would like to be updated via email when we post a new article, please click here. It’s free and we won’t send any promotional materials.