Army and Navy clash over ships The carriers will be the Royal Navy's largest vessels The head of the Royal Navy has defended the commissioning of two new aircraft carriers, rejecting claims that they were outdated "Cold War relics". Admiral Sir Jonathon Band warned that Britain would always need "higher end capabilities" in the future. His speech was seen as a riposte to Army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt, who said many new equipment programmes were "irrelevant" to modern warfare. Admiral Sir Jonathon Band Speaking last month, Sir Richard said that forces had been guilty of clinging to "the Cold War paradigm of interstate industrial war" for too long. He said future defence procurement needed to reflect that Britain's troops were now more involved in counter-insurgency operations, such as in Afghanistan. ut Admiral Band insisted that the Navy still needed the ability to mount the full range of maritime operations - from air-sea rescue and anti-drugs patrols to full scale military interventions. "I am not volunteering for the second division," he said. "While Afghanistan is rightly our priority it is not the only show in town." He warned of a growing "sea blindness" towards the importance of naval power, and insisted Britain needed a Navy "big enough to have a meaningful presence, whether to deter or defeat an enemy". 'Higher end' While frigates and destroyers were important, he said that "when it comes to the push" they needed to be backed up by "higher end capabilities" like the new carriers.