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HSC evidence cited in House of Commons Defence Committee report on UK amphibious forces

February 7, 2018

The House of Commons Defence Committee has published its report on the future of the UK’s Royal Marines and amphibious forces. Sunset for the Royal Marines? The Royal Marines and UK amphibious capability:

  • Raises concerns about proposals to further reduce the strength of 3 Commando Brigade
  • Demands clarity on plans for future Royal Marine training exercises
  • Notes the contribution of the Royal Marines to UK Special Forces
  • Opposes the withdrawal of the amphibious landing ships HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark
  • Highlights the issues with using the new aircraft carriers as amphibious landing platforms

Issues raised by the HSC and highlighted in the report included the limited capability offered by the Bay class landing ships, the importance of being able to land heavy equipment as part of an operation, and the necessity of landing craft. The HSC’s full evidence can be viewed here.

Dr Rowan Allport, HSC Senior Fellow and head of the Security and Defence team, said:

“Although it is important that we not see amphibious forces as a capability that can never evolve, we must also avoid falling for the siren song of modernisation without the necessary funding. If we opt to reduce our amphibious force now, there is no financially plausible route to delivering a similar or replacement effect. Until the MoD is adequately resourced, any talk of restructuring must be seen for what it is: a ploy to deliver savings regardless of the potential harm to national or global security.”

Image: MoD/Crown Copyright

About Rowan Allport

Dr Rowan Allport is a Deputy Director who leads the HSC's Security and Defence team. Rowan holds a PhD in Politics and a MA in Conflict, Governance and Development from the University of York, as well as a BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Hull. Specialising in strategic analysis and international security, Rowan's primary areas of interest lie in the defence issues in and around the NATO region, interstate conflict and US foreign policy discourse. He is also the lead author of HSC's recent ‘Fire and Ice: A New Maritime Strategy for NATO’s Northern Flank’ report. Rowan's publication credits include articles and commentary in Foreign Policy, The Diplomat, The Hill, DefenseOne, RealClearDefense, The Strategist, UK Defence Journal, Politics.co.uk and The National Interest. He has previously worked as a lobbyist for the Whitehouse Consultancy in Westminster, and as a Senior Analyst for RAND Europe's Security, Defence and Infrastructure team.