§ 25. Mr. Soames
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of the Royal Navy.
§ Mr. Ian Stewart
The Government remain committed to a modern, effective and well-balanced Royal Navy. Since 1979 we have ordered no fewer than 61 ships and submarines worth over £6 billion at 1986–87 prices; these include seven new and highly capable classes of vessel. We also continue to pursue a substantial programme of enhancements to existing weapons and sensor systems and purchases of new ones to update our capabilities and to ensure that the effectiveness of the Royal Navy is maintained.