§ Ms Rachel Squire
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of the River class minesweepers.
§ Mr. Hanley
The Royal Navy's River class vessels retain only a very limited mine countermeasures capability as a result of significant advances in mine technology. Consequently, over the last year, these vessels have been either re-roled or withdrawn from service as surplus to requirements. Under current plans, five River class vessels will remain in operational service with the Royal Navy, four as patrol craft and one as a training ship. The remaining seven vessels in the class will be sold.