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Navy's amphibious ships won't be scrapped or sold

By Alistair Bunkall, defence and security correspondent
The UK's two amphibious ships, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, won't be scrapped or sold, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced.
Speculation that the Ministry of Defence would get rid of one or both of the ships to save money was controversial and resulted in a widespread media campaign led by senior veterans.
It even drew criticism from senior US officers worried about the loss of this key capability.The ships act as a floating command platform for the Royal Navy's Amphibious Task Force.The Royal Navy describes their role as delivering "the punch of the Royal Marines ashore by air and by sea, with boats from the landing dock in the belly of the ship and by assault helicopter from the two-spot flight deck".Although it had been speculated they would be spared cuts, Mr Williamson confirmed the news in his speech to the 2018 Conservative Party Conference on Sunday.
Navy's amphibious ships won't be scrapped or sold

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HMS Bulwark (pictured) was also feared to be at risk of being scrapped or sold
He said: "To deliver what seems impossible, the Royal Marines need to be able to bring the fight from the sea to the land. As such, I am happy to announce today that I am protecting their vital landing platforms HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark."Between them the ships have deployed on a range of missions including securing Iraqi oil platforms, tackling piracy in the Horn of Africa, playing a key role in migrant search and rescue operations and evacuating British citizens from war zones in Libya and the Ivory Coast.Although the news will be welcome to the armed forces, the government has still not set out how it will make defence savings of up to €5bn a year.
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