New Royal Navy ‘Frigate’ Is Undersized, Underpowered
Britain announced plans to build a new frigate on September 7. Yet the new Type 31e frigate probably won’t be a frigate. It will be a less sizable, less powerful ship with a “frigate” label stuck on it.
The announcement is just the latest in a series of setbacks for Britain’s “senior service,” as the Royal Navy is known, because of its vital role in the defense of the island nation.
Early designs indicate that Type 31e vessels will not measure up to the warships that they are supposed to replace. They will be smaller, and they will lack traditional frigate capabilities including anti-submarine weapons and close-range sonars. Depending on the design selected, they may actually resemble overgrown patrol vessels more than battle-ready frigates.
Meanwhile, China, the up-and-coming naval power, is moving in the other direction. Its latest coast guard vessels are more powerful than the destroyers of other nations.
The other issue for Britain is time. The Navy wants the first of these ships completed by 2023. Some United Kingdom analysts say that this timeline is unrealistic. The warships will either be ready for service later than planned or they will be built using inferior designs to meet the deadline.
In 2018, the Royal Navy will retire its current anti-ship missiles. Replacements for those missiles will not arrive until “around 2030.” Until then, Britain’s warships will have no missile capability, meaning they will struggle with the one major task that defense vessels are designed to perform: sinking enemy ships.
The Navy’s submarine fleet and helicopters can help out if the vessels are threatened. But the helicopters will not be equipped with anti-ship missiles until 2020. This means the Royal Navy will have no missile capability whatsoever for two years.
A former First Sea Lord told the Telegraph, “This is just another example of where the lack of money is squeezing and making the nation less safe. We will have this gap of several years without missiles. Well, that’s fine if you don’t have to fight anybody in the meantime.”
A source in the Navy said that not having missiles on Royal Navy ships is “like Nelson deciding to get rid of his cannons and go back to muskets.” This is another example of how weak Britain is today. Britannia once ruled the waves. Today, its naval force has shrunk to a fraction of its former size. Britain is following the example of the United States, whose strength is being spent in vain on its own navy.
As an island country, the Navy is arguably Britain’s most important asset. The country is slowly dismantling its main defense. Rear Adm. Chris Parry told the Telegraph that not having missiles on Britain’s warships will create “a significant capability gap …. It just shows that our warships are for the shop window and not for fighting.”
The world as we know it is spiraling toward war. In this climate of escalating tensions, Britain is letting its main defense waste away. The United States’ naval power is also declining, although it still possesses the greatest navy in the world. As these two once-great powers weaken, nations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia are militarizing rapidly.
Peter Roberts of the Royal United Services Institute said this year, “A resurgent Russia, an unapologetic and belligerent China, and a strident Iran are all challenging the world order at sea with sophisticated and well-armed ships and submarines. Meeting these with offshore patrol vessels and underequipped corvettes hardly seems prudent.”
Britain’s leadership is not taking this issue seriously. But the danger is real. If Britain were forced into combat tomorrow, its navy would not be battle-ready.
The Bible predicted the end-time military decline of Britain and America. In Leviticus 26, God warned the end-time nations of Israel that because of their sins, “I will break the pride of your power …” (verse 19). That is what we see today. America still has that power, but it does not have the will to use it. Britain used to have that power, but it has allowed it to crumble.
In The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Herbert. W Armstrong wrote about the decline of the United States and Britain today:
So now, if 20th-century Ephraim and Manasseh—Britain and America—refuse to turn to God in obedience—refuse to live the way that causes, retains, and increases blessings, God will punish them in a manner far more intense—and even strip entirely from them this colossal, unprecedented national blessing—returning them to captivity and slavery—as continuing verses of this prophecy show.
Do you think so great a fall could not come to so great powers as Britain and America? Do you say, “It can’t happen here?” Do you think the great God who was able to give them such unprecedented world leadership and power and wealth is not able to take it away from them and throw them, like their ancient forefathers, back into slavery?
You need to open your eyes to the fact that Britain’s sun already has set! You need to wake up to the fact that the United States, even still possessing unmatched power, is afraid—fears—to use it, just as God said: “I will break the pride of your power”; that the United States has stopped winning wars—that America was unable, with all its vast power, to conquer little North Vietnam! The United States is fast riding to the greatest fall that ever befell any nation!
The handwriting is on the wall!
Hosea 7:11 calls modern-day Ephraim “a silly dove, without sense” (New King James Version). This perfectly describes the state of Britain today. The decisions that Britain’s government are making about its defense are truly “without sense.” Verse 11 also reveals that Britain’s “silly dove” policies will force it to look to Germany for help! We are seeing the preliminary stages of that right now. Instead of ruling the waves, Britain’s once-mighty Navy can no longer even protect itself, let alone its homeland. Britain has made itself defenseless—just like the Bible prophesied it would.
For more on the imminent future of Britain and where these “silly dove” policies are leading the island nation, request your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy.