Britain Quitting NATO Frigate Project
Great Britain said Friday that it is pulling out of a major multinational project to build a new NATO naval frigate for the 1990s.
The Ministry of Defense said it was withdrawing from the $13-billion program because deadlines were not being met and there seemed little prospect of achieving a common design for the warships.
“Taking account of the reduced prospects for achieving a common design, the government has concluded that the timetable does not meet the conditions which it sought,” it said.
Britain had exercised its right to pull out of the project at the first review stage. “It’s still very much a paper exercise at this stage,” a ministry spokesman said.
The frigate project, called NFR 90, is supported by the United States, Canada, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. It was launched by NATO in 1983, but Britain delayed joining until January of last year.
About 50 frigates were due to be built and Britain had been expected to order 12 to replace its Type 42 destroyers.
The ministry said a decision on how best to replace the 12 Type 42 destroyers, which will be phased out at the turn of the century, would be announced in due course.