Tag: Daquan

first_imgIt is designed to provide repairs and maintenance for warships operating away from their home ports in the UK. Equipped with cranes, engineering workshops and power and water for ships alongside, it can be used to repair frigates, destroyers, submarines and minesweepers. The ship has also been used for monitoring shipping in the Gulf.Lord West, a former First Sea Lord, said the decision to scrap it without a replacement was an “error”.He said the ability to repair ships far from home would become particularly important once the new aircraft carriers began operating.The ship had been “extremely valuable” when he had commanded a Navy group in the Far East in the mid-1990s, he said.He said: “I had 22 ships with me, and she was invaluable. That sort of floating maintenance capacity is very, very useful.“It’s yet again a diminution of our Naval capability, particularly our of area capability. With the carriers coming along, that’s really what the Navy needs.”A Navy source said the cost of keeping the ageing ship running when it was the only one of its kind had proven too high.Both the Navy and Royal Fleet Auxilliary are also suffering from a critical shortage of sailors, particularly highly skilled technical trades, to man their ships. Naval chiefs had told the MoD last year that they needed 2,500 more sailors, but were given only a few hundred in last year’s defence review.A spokesman said: “We can confirm that the out-of-service date for RFA Diligence has been brought forward to the end of 2016.“The Royal Fleet Auxiliary continues to have a strong future and looks forward to welcoming four new tankers into the flotilla. The RFA remains integral to the Royal Navy’s deployments and global presence and an important element of the wider Naval service.” A former First Sea Lord last night said the cut was yet another “diminution” of the Royal Navy and that the service was losing an “invaluable” vessel.The sale is the latest cut to the Navy as admirals complain of a dangerous shortage of sailors, an overstretched fleet and delays in starting a ship-building programme to replace its ageing frigates.The 367ft vessel was built in 1981 as a commercial support ship for North Sea rigs, but was chartered by the then government for the Falklands War and spent the campaign repairing warships damaged by Argentine air attacks.The ship was then bought outright for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in 1983. RFA Diligence RFA Diligence was an oil rig support ship before being bought for the NavyCredit:LA(Phot) Abbie Gadd/Crown Copyrightlast_img read more

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