A group of Conservative MPs and a few others (calling themselves First Defence) have recently published a paper called The Desperate State of the Royal Navy. The summary of the paper's position is below. Is there much hope a conservative government would right what this lot sees as wrong ? [hr] SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT Eight years after emerging apparently victorious from the 1998 Strategic Defence Review,the Royal Navy is bloodied, battered and on the ropes. An initial sacrifice of three frigates and two submarines has turned into the devastating loss of 14 major frontline vessels â€“ with a prospect of even more being run down or mothballed. There is a serious prospect of 19 destroyers and frigates having to do the work of 30. These reckless reductions have been based on the strategic falsehood â€“ the â€˜Hoon Excuseâ€™ â€“ that numbers no longer matter in an era of more capable ships. The reluctant acquiescence of the Admirals has been bought by the promise â€“ as yet unfulfilled â€“ that two Future Aircraft Carriers will be ordered. In the meantime, their target in-service dates of 2012 and 2015 have been abandoned in all but name. Having admitted that the Armed Forces are involved in more complex and more numerous operations than were anticipated in the Strategic Defence Review, the Government have betrayed the Royal Navy by inflicting massive damage to the front line instead of augmenting it. The next step in this betrayal is a threat to close one of the United Kingdomâ€™s only three Naval Bases. The Type 45 destroyer-building programme has been slashed from 12 to eight; only six of these have been ordered; and none is to be fitted with the Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles requested by the Naval Staff. The final size of the future submarine fleet is uncertain, but seems likely to consist of only eight, or for a period just seven, boats â€“ apart from those carrying the nuclear deterrent. This whole sorry saga has provoked a level of concern at the top of the Service unprecedented since the East of Suez controversy in the 1960s, and has led to a degree of public criticism by the former First Sea Lord which it would be perilous to ignore.