T HERE is a public perception that the Royal Navy has been cut back to the bone and the days when Britannia ruled the waves are long gone. As a result of government cuts the Royal Navy is a shadow of its former self with a force of just 19 frigates and destroyers compared to 50 during the Falklands war in 1982. Armchair admirals are often critical of the major defence cuts which have been introduced and it is often said that Britain would be unable to mount a repeat of the Falklands Task Force. At this moment in time they are right to say this. But what they don´t tell you is that in the space of two years Britain will have one of the most capable navies in the world easily able to mount a Falklands style Task Force. Next year the first of the two aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy will be launched. They are three times bigger than the Invincible class aircraft carriers they replace and can carry up to 40 jets. Not since 1979 will be the Royal Navy have such large and capable ships. In some ways the Royal Navy will be back in business again. While armchair admirals may complain they forget to mention the Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales along with the six state of the art new destroyers which have recently joined the fleet and the seven new hunter killer nuclear powered submarines. The fleet may be smaller but it packs a considerable punch. The new carriers are in a class of their own and the Royal Navy has returned to be a big ship Navy again.