Two of my colleagues have used this forum recently to comment on the need for a naval combat force. Both have useful insights to make, but neither gets to the root of the issue.
Professor Robert Ayson assumes that because we do not have ships readily available today because they are being upgraded (and we seem to be surviving as a country without them) a future government may well decide that the cost of a warship capability might better be directed elsewhere. Perhaps so, but this seems to me to be hypothetical and drawing from a single data point.
In contrast, Lance Beath argues that a naval combatant capability is essential, but that the real answer lies in an integrated single combat service for the armed forces. That is, however, to discuss structure rather than capability and to assume the context of the domains within which future operations will be conducted.