First Sea Lord's message on Integrated Review

Topic: PeopleSenior leaders

First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin talks about the impact on the Royal Navy of the Integrated Review after the release of the Defence Command Paper from Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace.

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The speech reads:

"I am speaking to you from HMS Tamar as the ship prepares to deploy to the Indo-Pacific.

I am here to talk about the Government’s Integrated Security and Foreign Policy Review.

The review is the most wide-ranging for a generation. It sets out the Government’s priorities for Defence.

It speaks to how the nation is going to go out into the world after leaving the EU.

Staying strong with Allies. Securing trade partners. Driving science and technology.

And responding better to the threats that we face.

That means changes. It means changes to how we operate. It means investments but some tough choices too.

Ditching some of the old to pay for the new.

Defence underpinned by digital and data, more cyber, more proactive forces.

An Air Force that reaches into space. An Army that is more deployed with better kit.

And a Navy that is growing in size and reach.

The white ensign will fly in all the places where we are now but also further afield and more persistently.

In big handfuls that means: much more investment in nuclear submarines.

We will run on two of the Trafalgar-class submarines.

More money will go into the nuclear deterrent, for Dreadnought and the warhead.

We will get a new lightweight torpedo and we will get new ships to protect our underwater cables.

As the world becomes more transparent, underwater, as a place to hide and dominate, becomes even more important.

We have an advantage and we’re going to keep it that way.

We will operate both carriers, buy more F-35 jets and sort out the support shipping for the carriers.

That links with the amazing deployment that heads east at the end of May, taking in over 40 countries and 70 visits.

Our carriers are the best design in the world. Our jets are the best in the world.

We’re going to use them in NATO and around the world to protect our allies, our interests and our trade.

Our Royal Marine Commandos are going to get even better.

Inspired by their past, they are going to respond to the rapidly emerging future.

Same quality people. Same mindset. But now enabled by the latest tech; teamed with machines and much more lethal.

And working more with Special Forces and intelligence agencies.

More will also be permanently deployed; a Littoral Response Group in northern Europe working with the JEF nations.

And then a second group in the Indian Ocean.

We will convert the LSDAs and then build new ships specifically for Littoral Strike.

And we are going to have more frigates to help us deliver global Britain.

That means we grow from 19 frigates and destroyers now to up to 24 in the early 2030s with the new Type 32 class, in addition to the new Type 26 and 31 classes.

This is all part of a huge national shipbuilding programme.

Over the next decade there will be seven new classes of ships in build – frigates, submarines and support ships.

We will dip in numbers a little as we retire two of our oldest Type 23s.

The same with our support ships – retiring the very old Fort Rosalie-class before we get the new solid support and multi-role ships.

But overall, we are growing in size and lethality.

We will replace the Harpoon missile. We will increase our Sea Viper stockpiles.

We will continue to invest in Wildcat, Merlin and Crowsnest helicopters.

And we will stay the best minehunters in the world by starting to swap ships for drones. First the Sandown and then the Hunt-class.

The new systems find mines, even in the worst conditions, five to 10 times faster than our current ships do.

But as we make these adjustments, and with increasing technology and automation, we will continue to reform ourselves, with a whole force approach, to reduce the size of our shore headquarters and make the frontline the best place to serve.

I said this was a big announcement, it really is. We will send out the details, everyone will be briefed.

Our Secretary of State wants us to respond better to the threats we face, we will.

The Prime Minister wants us to be the foremost Navy in Europe, we will be.

More than that, where we now find ourselves is a direct reflection of your hard work, delivering on the frontline, delivering through Covid and delivering change all across the Royal Navy. Thank you.

All of us now have a new responsibility, to deliver a global Navy for global Britain."

First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin

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