Five new billion pound Royal Navy frigates will be built in Britain in bid to ‘bring shipbuilding home’, says Boris Johnson
- The Type 31 should enter service in 2020 and the fleet will expand 10 years after
- Boris Johnson will declare which company has won £1.3bn to build the fleet
- He hopes to ‘restore’ British ‘influence and excellence’ across the world’s oceans
- First ships will be ready by 2023 and the programme will support 2,500 jobs
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that five new Royal Navy warships are to be built
Boris Johnson has pledged to ‘bring shipbuilding home’ by announcing that five new Royal Navy warships will be made in Britain.
He will declare today which company has won a £1.3billion contract to build Type 31 frigates.
The announcement is part of a pledge to regenerate shipbuilding and to strengthen the Royal Navy.
The programme is expected to support more than 2,500 jobs across the UK, with different elements of the frigates being assembled and built at British shipyards.
He looks forward to ‘bring(ing) shipbuilding home’. The Type 31 (pictured) is a planned class of frigate for the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy
At least 150 of these jobs will be for new technical apprenticeships. The ships will be built exclusively in the UK, the Government stressed.
Mr Johnson has appointed Defence Secretary Ben Wallace as his Shipbuilding Tsar, and the Department for International Trade will this week launch a new Maritime Trade and Investment Plan.
The Government has pledged to maintain a surface fleet of at least 19 frigates and destroyers and to expand this fleet in the 2030s.
He said he looked forward to ‘the restoration of British influence and excellence across the world’s oceans’ by developing this model which intends to enter service in the 2020s
Mr Johnson said: ‘The UK is an outward-looking island nation, and we need a shipbuilding industry and Royal Navy that reflect the importance of the seas to our security and prosperity.
‘This is an industry with a deep and visceral connection to so many parts of the UK and to the Union itself. My government will do all it can to develop this aspect of our heritage and the men and women who make up its workforce – from apprentices embarking on a long career, to those families who have worked in shipyards for generations.
‘I look forward to the restoration of British influence and excellence across the world’s oceans.
Royal Navy warship HMS Defender (pictured at front) with other NATO members warships off the coast of Scotland, 19 May 2019. The new models will be built with ‘cutting edge’ technology and can operate with Merlin or Wildcat helicopters
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (pictured) said the ships are ‘key to the Royal Navy’s fleet to keeping peace’
‘I am convinced that by working together we will see a renaissance in this industry which is so much part of our island story – so let’s bring shipbuilding home.’
Mr Wallace added: ‘The Type 31 frigate will be a fast, agile and versatile warship, projecting power and influence across the globe.
‘The ships will be key to the Royal Navy’s fleet to keeping peace, providing life-saving humanitarian aid and safeguarding the economy across the world from the North Atlantic, to the Gulf, and in the Asia Pacific.’
The Type 31 frigates will be fitted with advanced weapons including the Sea Ceptor missile system and cutting edge radar, and will be able to operate with Merlin or Wildcat helicopters.
Work on the vessels will start before the end of the year, with the first ships ready by 2023.