New Forest East

DEFENCE – AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIPS [14771] - 20 February 2024

DEFENCE – AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIPS [14771] - 20 February 2024

Sir Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his oral reply of 19 February 2024 to the Rt hon Member for New Forest East on HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, Official Report, column 458, whether his assurance that one of those ships will always be being made ready to sail means that neither will be mothballed.  [14771]

[Due for Answer on 23 February. Answered on 26 February.]


The Minister of State for Defence Procurement (James Cartlidge): I can confirm that neither HMS Albion nor HMS Bulwark will be scrapped or mothballed before their planned out of service dates in 2033 and 2034 respectively. As has been the case since 2010, one Landing Platform Dock ship will be held in extended readiness such that she will be capable of being regenerated if we have strategic notice that she will be needed.

As such, HMS Albion will take HMS Bulwark’s place in extended readiness. While you would not expect me to reveal the fine detail of readiness forecasts for security reasons, I can confirm HMS Bulwark will be regenerated from extended readiness and maintained so that she can be ready to deliver defence outputs if required.