HC Deb 07 March 1962 vol 655 cc388-9
26. Captain Litchfield

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty whether he will give details about the two replenishment tankers now under construction.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

Yes, Sir. These two ships, being built by Hawthorn Leslie, Hebburn-on-Tyne, will be of 13,100 tons gross and have a speed of 17 knots, the same as the existing "Tide" Class. They will, however. have improvements including a helicopter platform and up-to-date replenishment arrangements. These ships reinforce our seaborne capability under the strategy outlined in this year's Defence White Paper.

Captain Litchfield

Does not my hon. Friend feel that a speed of 17 knots is a little slow for modern ships accompanying a fleet?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

We must balance the amount of money that we have with our desire for extra speed. However, we hope that future tankers will have a speed rather higher than 17 knots.