Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Early retirement for survey ship

HMS Roebuck
HMS Roebuck is one of the oldest survey vessels in the Royal Navy

A Devonport-based Royal Navy survey ship is to be removed from service as part of the cuts announced by Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth.

HMS Roebuck will be retired from the fleet in 2010 - four years earlier than had been planned.

It is one of four hydrographic ships currently based at the Plymouth port.

Money saved by the cuts will go towards buying 22 new Chinook helicopters and other equipment for British troops serving in Afghanistan.

Mr Ainsworth told the House of Commons on Tuesday that the pressure on public finances meant the government had to match the defence programme to available resources.

A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said HMS Roebuck, which came into service in 1986, was one of the Navy's oldest survey vessels.

The MoD admitted its withdrawal would reduce the Royal Navy's mine warfare and survey capabilities, but said the measure was necessary in order to "increase investment in those capabilities that are presently needed for current operations".

Print Sponsor

Cuts made to boost Afghan mission
15 Dec 09 |  UK Politics
Royal Navy survey ship returning
02 Dec 08 |  Devon

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Exeter Express and Echo City-based ship is axed to save cash - 7 hrs ago
Portsmouth Today Navy's fleet is cut in defence shake-up but carriers stay - 19 hrs ago
Defence Management MoD names ships cut from Navy - 21 hrs ago
Central FM 103.1 Troops Get Copters But RAF Station To Close - 22 hrs ago
Telegraph Raid on MoD cash to pay for Afghan conflict - 28 hrs ago

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific