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Decline

This page documents the sad decline in strength and size of the Royal Navy since 1975.

Source for most material: UK Defence Statistics 2000, DASA, Ministry of Defence.

Formation of the Royal Navy

At 1 April on Year:-

1975

1980

1985

1990

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

Front Line Units

                     

Royal Navy

                     

Trident/Polaris   [SSBN]

4

4

4

4

4

4

3

3

3

3

4

Patrol/Fleet [SSN/SSK] (Note 1)

28

28

29

29

17

12

12

12

12

12

12

Total Submarines (1)

32

32

33

33

23

16

15

15

15

15

16

Aircraft Carriers  [CV/CVS/LHA]

3

3

4

3

3

3

3

3

3

4

4

Assault Ships [LPD]

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

Cruisers

2

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Destroyers

10

13

15

14

12

12

12

12

12

12

11

Frigates

60

53

41

35

25

23

24

23

23

23

21

Mine Counter Measure Vessels

43

36

45

41

18

18

18

19

19

20

21

Patrol Ships and Craft

14

22

32

34

34

32

32

34

28

24

23

Fixed Wing Aircraft Squadrons

3

2

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

2

Helicopters Squadrons

13

14

18

17

17

15

15

15

12

12

10

Royal Marines Commandos

4

4

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

Support Units

                     

Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service

                     

Support Ships

8

9

10

8

1

1

1

1

-

-

-

Survey Ships

13

13

9

8

6

6

6

6

5

6

6

Ice Patrol.Ship

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Tankers (2)

. .

15

14

13

9

9

9

9

9

9

7

Fleet Replenishment Ships (2)

. .

4

4

4

5

5

5

5

4

4

4

Aviation Training Ship (2)

. .

. .

-

-

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Landing Ships (2)

. .

6

7

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Forward Repair Ship (2)

. .

-

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Royal Marines

                     

Logistic Unit Regiment

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Notes:

  1. Before 1995, all vessels are counted; thereafter only active vessels have been included.
  2. Ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service.

 

Personnel Strength of the Royal Navy (thousands)

At 1 April on Year:-

1975

1980

1985

1990

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

Total

76.2

71.9

70.4

63.2

55.8

50.9

48.3

45.1

44.5

43.7

42.8

Trained

68.9

63.7

64.2

56.7

52.4

48.2

45.5

41.7

40.4

39.1

38.3

Officers

9.1

8.5

8.4

8.3

7.8

7.7

7.5

7.0

6.8

6.6

6.6

Other Ranks

59.8

55.2

55.8

48.4

44.6

40.5

38.1

34.7

33.6

32.5

31.7

Untrained

7.3

8.2

6.2

6.5

3.4

2.7

2.8

3.5

4.1

4.6

4.6

Officers

1.4

1.6

1.5

1.8

1.3

1.1

0.9

1.0

1.0

1.1

1.1

Other Ranks

5.9

6.6

4.7

4.7

2.0

1.6

1.9

2.5

3.2

3.5

3.5

 

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decline2.gif (6735 bytes)

Last revised: 30 September, 2000

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  2004-13 Richard Beedall unless otherwise indicated.