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|Navy unveils new P&O-class frigate
28 Oct 2002
The Royal Navy unveiled the first of its new fleet of warships today at a ceremony in Portsmouth. The new P&O-class frigate, which was successfully tested yesterday, will go into service from next year and would be available for use in any war against Iraq almost immediately.
Boasting en-suite cabins, a shopping centre and several casinos, HMS Milton Keynes is unlike any of the Navy's existing ships. "We really had to think outside the box on this one," explained the ship's leader designer, Gregory T Mullet. "At first we thought let's have big weapons, hard bunks and all the usual trimmings, but then we thought no – what's the point? Do we really need all these things? And the answer was: no, we don't."
Surprisingly, the only weapons the new ships have are a pair of antique swords and an authentic American Civil War musket, both of which are displayed behind glass in the on-board museum. Instead, attacks will be carried out by ramming into other vessels head-on. Justifying the new strategy, Admiral Sir Douglas Ramsbottom-Pompanby told DeadBrain that it "worked in the trenches in the First World War, so it can bloody well work again".
Whereas existing ships are painted a "rather dull" grey, P&O frigates will be brightly coloured and feature logos along their sides; metal furniture and bunks will be replaced with a selection of furnishings from the latest IKEA catalogue; and mess halls will be dropped in favour of on-board outlets of Bunger King.
In a test of the new technology yesterday, a prototype of the new ship charged one of the Navy's existing ships in Portsmouth harbour causing massive damage. "This is exactly what we hoped for!" shouted an excited Peter Snow look-alike who may or may not have had something to do with the test. "The new ship just rammed straight into the old one and look at all the damage it has done! There's hardly a scratch on our girl, brilliant or what?!"
Despite the "promising" results of yesterday's mock attack, though, the new ship still has a major weakness in that it cannot attack land-based targets. In a previous test, an early prototype of the new class of ship mounted an attack on Lord Howe Island off the coast of Australia with disastrous consequences. "I admit the results of that attack were a little disappointing," confessed Mr Mullet. "Obviously, nearly sinking the ship and carting it home in complete embarrassment isn't the ideal outcome of any test… but I think we salvaged our reputation for building strong and sturdy ships yesterday."