The total number of warships to be built in Scottish shipyards post-referendum up to 2035 now stands at 24, more than the 13 ‘promised’ by politicians.
In addition to the now built 5 Offshore Patrol Vessels, there are plans for 8 Type 26 Frigates, 5 Type 31 Frigates, 5 Type 32 Frigates and 1 Ukrainian warship to be built in Scotland.
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Despite the above, as you read this there are 13 warships in build or being procured at Scottish shipyards. However, there are thousands of real people on social media that would promise you that no ships are being built – but why? Well, I try to answer that here.
Jonathan Chartier, a defence commentator, also took a detailed look at this phenomenon.
Anyway, for an idea of what’s to be built where, click the below table.
Currently, 13 of the above 24 ships have been built or are in build, with the rest following. In fact, there was recently confirmation of the next batch of Type 26 Frigates being budgeted for and long lead items procured for.
A Ukrainian warship?
Ukraine previously signed a memorandum with the UK to secure £1.25 billion in funding to build new military vessels for the Ukrainian Navy, the first ship will be constructed in the UK and the remaining 7 vessels will be built in Ukraine.
The new Type 32 Frigate will be built in addition to the Type 26 and Type 31 Frigates in the hopes of bringing the escort fleet up to 24 vessels from its current 19.
The Defence Secretary previously confirmed that Rosyth will be building more vessels than previously planned, with the Type 32 Frigate going into built at the yard after the Type 31 Frigate build finishes.
Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, recently stated that Rosyth would be building Tytpe 32 Frigates in addition to Type 31 Frigates.
“We are committed to building the Type 26 in the United Kingdom; it is under construction on the Clyde. In Rosyth, work is ongoing to build the facility needed to build the Type 31s and the subsequent Type 32s. He also knows that I recently recategorised the future Fleet Solid Support ship as a warship. I intend to make sure that, if not entirely, there is a considerable degree of UK build in that process, subject to tender. I have to be cautious about the contract, because the competition is to begin soon—very soon.”
According to the recently released ‘Defence Command Paper’, the Type 32 frigates will be designed to protect territorial waters, to provide persistent presence overseas and to support Littoral Response Groups.
The first mention of a new Type 32 frigate came in the Prime Minister’s 19 November statement. He said: “We are going to develop the next generation of warships, including multi-role research vessels and Type 32 frigates.”
The Defence Command Paper, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’, describes the planned programme:
“Type 32 frigates, designed to protect territorial waters, provide persistent presence overseas and support our Littoral Response Groups.”
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Well, if all is so good why am I writing this? Because despite this information being easily verifiable and heavily reported, people seem unaware of it. A good example would be the comments under any shipbuilding article we publish. Even in response to articles detailing which ship will be built where, when the contract was signed, what type it is etc we’ll still get comments claiming that no shipbuilding is being done for the Royal Navy in Scotland, so here we are.