§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the operational strengths of the Royal Navy and of other former South-East Asia Treaty Organisation countries.673W
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
The Royal Navy currently has three aircraft carriers, an escort fleet which is reducing to around 40 destroyers and frigates, two assault ships and other specialist amphibious shipping, and a substantial flotilla of smaller warships including mine countermeasures vessels and offshore patrol vessels. In addition to the four Polaris boats, we currently have fifteen nuclear-powered submarines and six diesel electric submarines. It is not our policy to comment on the strengths of other countries' armed forces.