The new National Shipbuilding Strategy will see warships built in the UK with the hope they will be ‘delivered to time and to cost’, while giving industry strategic direction.
The Government say that they will be investing billions over the next 30 years helping boost a renaissance that is happening in UK shipbuilding.
The option to build the ships in blocks reflects how the biggest ships ever built for the Royal Navy, the Carriers, were constructed.
“We are buying eight Type 26 Global Combat Ships and launching a competition to design and build a new class of general purpose frigates, the Type 31e, five of which will be built in the first batch. We are also investing in Fleet Solid Support vessels to support our carriers and deployed forces.
The Strategy is an important part of our broader industrial strategy that focuses on increasing economic growth across the country and investing in a more skilled workforce.”
The government say that the maritime industries employ 111,000 people, in 6,800 companies, contributing £13 billion to the economy. The UK is one of the largest exporters of maritime equipment and systems.
“We are partnering with industry to enable them to build a modern and efficient shipbuilding sector capable of meeting the country’s future defence and security needs.
We are committed to increasing skills, exports and prosperity across the UK while also creating a more stable and well-protected world that will keep Britain safe.”
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
“This new approach will lead to more cutting-edge ships for the growing Royal Navy that will be designed to maximise exports and be attractive to navies around the world.
Backed up by a commitment to spend billions on new ships, our plan will help boost jobs, skills, and growth in shipyards and the supply chain across the UK.”
The Strategy sets out the government’s commitment to work with industry to reinvigorate and maximise export success. The Type 31e will be designed to meet the needs of the Royal Navy and with the export market in mind from the beginning. This could see industry’s customer become not only the Royal Navy but for the navies of Britain’s allies and partners.
Sir John Parker said:
“I am very impressed by the courage that the Secretary of State has shown – and the Government – in adopting my recommendations, which were very extensive, and will change the shape of naval shipbuilding over the country in the future.
The next challenge is to come up with a world-leading design; one that can satisfy the needs of the Royal Navy and the export market. We have the capability to do that, the will is there and it is a tremendous opportunity for UK shipbuilding. I see no reason why industry will not rise to that challenge.
There is an incredible keenness from around the country, from Scotland to Merseyside, to the South West and over to Belfast.”
The first ships are set to be in service by 2023. Shipyards will be encouraged to work with global partners to ensure the vessel is competitive on the export market.