Shipping fears

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Angus Young (Letters, 31 July) is deluding himself if he thinks the Royal Navy is a world-class navy. It would struggle to make the top ten. We don’t have the capability to provide air cover for the fleet.

Even our latest T45 ships would be unable to counter the Sunburn or Yakhonts anti-ship missiles which arrive at Mach 4.5 (nearly 3,500mph) and if detected can tend to strike before the close-in weapons system can react. The new Indian BrahMos-II anti-ship is reputed to reach Mach 7 (5,000mph) so it is even more difficult to counter. In addition to Russia, China and India countries like Iran and Syria have access to these missiles.

The new Type 26 might not even be built as the Ministry of Defence still has not found a significant financial partner to share the cost. Even if they are built it is likely only five or six would be commissioned.

While the major defence forces of the world are investing in drones and other unmanned units, we are building two white elephant aircraft carriers with JSF35B interceptors at great expense while still running a deficit budget.

Since it has was discovered the vertical landing fan of the JSF35B is susceptible to ground fire it looks like their aircraft might be greatly restricted in use. These ships cannot be used to provide Scottish coastal defence.

On the other hand, a Scottish Defence Force would concentrate on home defence which requires smaller, simpler ships which would give Scottish shipyards plenty of work.

The Force Projection policy of the MoD is more likely to make air raid sirens sound and when they do it would be followed by the sound of 5,000 mph missiles scrapping Royal Navy ships.

Bruce D Skivington


Wester Ross