Navy ships' design attacked: Expert blames cost cuts for 'built-in overcrowding' on helicopter carrier
The attack on the Ministry of Defence and successive defence ministers in the journal Navy International comes from Ewen Southby-Tailyour, who has just retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Marines, and was central to the recapture of the Falkland Islands.
Lt Col Southby-Tailyour says that in order to reduce costs the new commando helicopter carrier is only designed to carry 500 troops instead of the full 800 in an amphibious group, but there are plans to pack the extra 300 on board with camp beds.
'To actually design-in discomfort and overcrowding is a very poor show indeed, is not the way to treat the embarked force and smacks of financially driven sharp practice,' he says in the article.
The contract for building Ocean was awarded to Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering and Kvaerner Govan last May. It will not be in service before 1998, although it was due in 1997.
And the other ships - known as LPDs (landing platform docks) - 'will now only meet a hotchpotch of criteria that has been added to and reduced over the last years in a haphazard manner to satisfy the whim of successive ministerial cost reviews', Lt Col Southby-Tailyour says.
All three amphibious ships were originally designed to convey forces a short distance to reinforce Nato's northern flank in Norway. But the changed world situation means that they could have to travel further. Yet, rather than being made bigger, they have been made smaller.
Lt Col Southby-Tailyour says 'prevarication' over the ships' design, attempts to save money and delays were self-defeating, with more than pounds 40m swallowed up as old ships had to be run on.
The LPDs to replace Fearless and Intrepid are unlikely to be in service before 2002, Lt Col Southby-Tailyour says. This means Fearless 'will need at least two more pounds 100m refits'.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Bali Nine executions in Indonesia: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£24000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Situated in the heart of Bradfo...
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This busy local Joinery company...
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...