Surface Forces: November 12, 2002


The Royal Navy, which a century ago had the largest fleet on the planet, now numbers only 36 surface warships. But because of scheduled maintenance, accidents, budget cuts and a fireman's strike, half of them will be unavailable for operations. Seven warships will be out of actions because their crews are on alert to fill in for 52,000 firemen who are threatening a nationwide strike if they don't get a 40 percent pay hike. 




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