Type 45 programme

Notwithstanding the general consensus that it's likely the RN will only get 6 T45s, does anyone know what the latest decisions are with regard to hulls number 7 and 8? I seem to recall that a decision was to have been made by the end of this year (or was it early '08??), but amid all the fanfare of the launch of Diamond, all is still quiet on the Western front regarding the last two hulls. All I can find in Hansard is Bob Ainsworth as usual deflecting all of the questions from Julian Lewis.

Any other T45 goss would also be of interest. Many thanks.
Saudi is rumoured to be in the frame for hulls 7 & 8 and possibly two more units.

Some cynics suggest our beloved government may offer to sell 5 & 6 to them off the stocks to sweeten the deal with an early delivery date and push back the buy of 'our' 5 & 6 to the next parliament.
Have found the original Independent article which was the paper that apparently first broke this story.

Still undecided on whether a sale to Saudi of two or three T45s would be a good thing. On the one hand it would boost the UK defence industry and (hopefully) reduce overall unit costs. However, on the other selling them hulls 5 and 6 would delay even further the introduction of the class and as such adequate air defence for the Fleet. At worst, it may provide the Government with a much needed political and financial get out clause not to provide the RN with all 8 45s, leaving us with 6 or even worse 4!!


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