The British government proclaimed 2017 as the year of the Royal Navy which caused an outcry from some armchair admirals who complained that the navy has never been smaller. But you can see some examples of why the government is so upbeat. In Portsmouth the new aircraft carrier, Queen Elizabeth, docked in its new home port on Wednesday and Britain’s latest and most expensive destroyer, Duncan, moored in Palma yesterday.

Duncan is an exceptionally capable vessel which cost almost one billion pounds and its Sea Viper missiles can destroy aircraft and missiles at long range. The Royal Navy invested heavily in Duncan and sister ships and they are often proclaimed as some of the most powerful warships afloat. But the six Type 45 destroyers have been plagued by propulsion problems and it had been claimed that their engines were more likely to break down in warm waters such as the Gulf, one of the major operational areas for the Royal Navy.

But this allegation has been proved to be false, with various Type 45 destroyers serving in the area, and the Royal Navy has recently announced a special programme to overcome the Type 45s problems. One of the roles of the Type 45 destroyers will be to help protect the new aircraft carriers. The Royal Navy may be smaller but it certainly has some capable vessels such as the Duncan and of course the crews are first rate.

2017 marks a turning point for the Royal Navy; leaner but perhaps fitter.