I note that a letter from ACNS has appeared in the Daily Mail (Letters 5 Feb 07). I can't find a link on the website, but the text of the letter is as follows: No claim that 19 RN Ships have been decommissioned and 11 sold since the Falklands conflict (Mail) is complete without mention of the awesome power of the ships that have replaced them. The Navy is currently benefiting from a Â£14 billion investment package - the largest warship building programme in 20 years. In the past decade, 28 ships and one submarine have been put into service, including the new helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, two Albion Class amphibious assault ships, four Bay class amphibious logistic support ships and three River Class patrol vessels. We look forward to the arrival of new Astute Class attack submarines, Daring class destroyers and two new aircraft carriers - the largest warships ever constructed in the UK. The fleet today is designed to meet the demands we face in 2007, not those of 25 years ago. To claim we could not now prevail in a conflict such as the Falklands is wrong. The RN has the strength, not least in a greatly enhanced amphibious capability, that sees it well prepared to respond to any emerging threat. anyone who might tangle with today's RN would come off worse. R Adm Alan Massey Asst Chief to the Naval Staff, MoD Although it's good to see a senior officer respond in the press, albeit with Ministerial permission, and would agree with his comments that the climate has changed since 1982, a couple of points should be noted: 1. Cost is not an indicator of capability - if a weapons programme doubles in cost, it doesn't mean it is twice as effective. 2. He doesn't say how many Astutes and Darings we will eventually get, nor that we will definitely get the carriers. 3. I'm trying to figure out the 28 new ships - does this include RFA and P2000? If so, then his figures would seem to add up, but a P2000 (whilst it can perform a vital role) cannot be compared with a T23. Edite - Once again, sorry for no electronic link, but you'll have to buy it yourselves! However, he does write a stirring and optimistic letter!