– National Interest – In 2023, the Royal Navy hopes the first of its new Type 31 frigates will hit the waves to replace HMS Argyll, the first of 13 Type 23 frigates scheduled to begin retiring that year, with another to retire every year until 2035. The new vessels will add desperately needed modern warships to the United Kingdom’s depleted fleet. However, that’s the hope. It’s not realistic, according to program officials cited in a report from Defense News. The compressed timetable will likely delay the Type 31, and worse — tight budgets are forcing compromises with the vessel’s weapons and capabilities. The result will be a Royal Navy adopting a smaller, less combat-capable ship than the Type 23, which has served since the 1980s as the backbone of Britain’s submarine hunting fleet.