One key issue that has had significant influence over the often torrid debate when it comes to military ship building in Scotland is the reduction of the Type 26 procurement from thirteen to eight vessels.

The often passionate arguments from those who support and oppose Scottish independence makes a balanced view of military ship building in Scotland and its future difficult as it can often end up with people shouting their ‘prefered’ facts at each other over social media rather then examining the issues.


This article is a fact checking article, if you believe we’ve made an error you can submit a correction in line with our correction policy.


With the change from 13 Type 26 Frigates to 8 Type 26 Frigates and 5 Type 31 Frigates (plus some Offshore Patrol vessels), there was the perception in some corners that work had been cut for Scotland, what actually happened?

What happened after the independence referendum was the five-yearly occurrence known as a defence review, this time called the ‘Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015’. The initial Type 26 Frigate order had been cut back from 13 to 8 in order to fund more of the immediate spending outlined in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

As a result of Type 26 being reduced to 8 ships, it was announced that five general purpose frigates were to be designed and ordered. These became the the Type 31 Frigates and they were ordered from Babcock at Rosyth. Part of the reason for this change was understood to be that the MoD is hoping to reduce its reliance on BAE and cut the costs of procurement.

There are plans for 8 Type 26 Frigates and 5 Type 31 frigates to be built in Scotland, 5 River class Offshore Patrol Vessels have been launched. The original plan was for 13 Type 26 Frigates at one yard, years later the plan is now 18 vessels of three types sustaining work at three yards.

Jonathan Chartier, a defence commentator working in Government and local government IT services, explains the issue.

“Traditionally the Royal Navy has purchased ship classes from multiple yards and in distinct batches, this not only spreads programme costs but also allows for changes and improvements to the base design plus rectification work as well as keep shipyards open with a constant steady stream of work. Certainly for famous classes like the Type 12I Leander this batch production was necessary just to keep up with the radical changes seen in electronics and systems over their extensive career.

So whilst the Royal Navy would have a projected number to be built it was not unusual for the number of batches to be reduced or on some occasion increased as needed without comment by the wider general public to satisfy the requirements of the Admiralty and always lurking in the background Treasury. This practice continued through to the Type 23 class which was built by competing yards Marconi Marine (YSL), Scotstoun and Swan Hunter, Wallsend. It is actually possible to tell where an individual Type 23 was built by inspecting its internal pipe fittings. With warship construction consolidated on the Clyde Type 26 was projected to be a build of thirteen vessels again through multiple batches in keeping with common practice, for those familiar with military ship building the thirteen projected was at best a placeholder subject to change.

Certainly it was well known in the period after the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security review it was clear that the equipment programme was again coming under extreme financial pressure again. In that circumstance it was unfortunate with a Scottish Independence referendum in the running David Cameron and the Better Together campaign unwisely turned routine procurement that could be subject to change into a political football by making it a direct promise to Scotland; thirteen Type 26 Frigates would be built on the Clyde alongside a new ‘Frigate Factory’.

The Labour Party exacerbated the situation with a leaflet spelling out that if Scotland remained in the Union it would get 13 Type 26 frigates. The Prime Minister and other Ministers plus representatives of the Better Together Campaign regularly spelled out that a Scotland in the Union would be getting thirteen Type 26.”

Fact check: Sturgeon's shipbuilding 'broken promises' claim is Mostly True
A leaflet from Labour.

So when the referendum was over and won for Better Together, the reality that Thirteen Type 26 was not deliverable within the allocated budget set in.

“A few months after cast iron guarantees for thirteen Type 26, the order was cut to eight as part of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security with a compensatory order for five General Purpose frigates proffered and some Offshore Patrol vessels ordered in their place. Considering what was promised in very clear terms by the Prime Minister, Better Together and other Parties including Labour it is understandable why Scottish Nationalists have fixated on it as a totemic issue. Put simply thirteen Type 26 was a core promise by Better Together in the Independence campaign that has been, technically, broken.

Of course the more nuanced point to be considered is that Scotland gained five River class Batch II Offshore Patrol Vessels and five Type 31 Frigates (plus a ‘frigate factory’ in Rosyth) as compensation for the loss.”

You can read more on this from Jonathan Chartier by following the link below.

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Jacko
Jacko
5 months ago

Well if they go for independence they won’t be building any!

michael
michael
5 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

I dunno about that. Scottish shipbuilding is almost totaly dependent on the UK MOD for orders. When the cold facts of independence hits home, and the skilled jobs are completely decimated, I can see some sort of compromise being reached.
Faslane stays within UK control and the SSBN’s remain there, and Scotland keeps its yards and jobs and allowed to build rUK warships.
Just a thought.

Jacko
Jacko
5 months ago
Reply to  michael

Don’t think that can happen as all the licenses for the kit inside will become void as Scotland will not be a UK nation and subject to the usual security checks etc.

dan
dan
5 months ago
Reply to  michael

They might be able to keep Faslane but the UK taxpayers will have to cough up a big sum of money to lease or rent the base because Scotland will be desperate for revenue. The RN will move shipbuilding out of Scotland as soon as they can.

Adrian
Adrian
5 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

As a non-Brit. I would have thought placating the Scots would be amongst the highest of priorities. The Union of the kingdom itself is at state, how is there any benefit to creating 2 independent countries on that small island??
Sounds like a political and logistical nightmare.

Jacko
Jacko
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian

No benefit whatsoever as I can see but you have a political party brainwashing Scotland that everything is England’s fault.
I honestly hope that the average Scot can see through this but in the end it will be down to them.

The Artist Formerly Known as Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known as Los Pollos Chicken
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian

It’s not a small island it’s actually quite large as far as islands go infact it’s the worlds 9th largest.

it’s only the bbc that would have you thinking otherwise

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧

Robert1
Robert1
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian

Independence would certainly be a nightmare at first, long term it’d work out. This is the problem I think a lot of Unionists struggle with (saying this as someone largely pro the Union). The arguments for Independence don’t have to be based purely in objective measures. Scotland and England are two of the oldest nation states in the Europe, there are deep lying feelings of nation and culture. It is the same reason that a lot of people were pro-Brexit, they knew there were financial & logistical challenges, but they had a feeling of Britishness (me using this word isn’t… Read more »

Nic
Nic
5 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

If they go for independence not only will they not be building ships for the Royal Navy. Military resources may be pulled out and moved to other base s in England Wales and Northern Ireland or further a field.
it will also impact on the outside supply chain.

Jon
Jon
5 months ago

The Brexit debate split the country, but it’s time to heal divisions and move forward. We still don’t seem to be able to see past the fact that politicians on both sides lied, to the more important fact that politicians are still lying. Instead we increasingly accept that as inevitable. We need to stop looking for historic blame and focus on how to stop journalists and politicians continuing to lie over matters of plain fact. Who cares which side of the debate politicised it first, much less which politicial party within that side? It is not acceptable behaviour just because… Read more »

Herodotus
Herodotus
5 months ago
Reply to  Jon

I’m afraid that it is part of the ‘new world order’ (apologies to Frankie Boyle)…..lying is now somehow acceptable. In extremis….look at Trump…didn’t matter what he said!

Paul.P
Paul.P
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

The ‘new world order’ is the rebirth of England. This process has been underway since Richard III was re-interred in Leicester, close to the de Montford origins of parliament. We are rebuilding the Royal Navy. The Jenner Institute in Oxford ( site of the last valid parliament) has just followed its covid vaccine with the world’s first effective vaccine for malaria. We have left the EU. French fishermen have gone into a huff …ha ha. I have no doubts we will throw off the invitation of detractors to descend into a guilt complex about Empire…New world order? Bring in on!… Read more »

Herodotus
Herodotus
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

A bit dodgy Paul, but I completely agree that St George’s day should be a national holiday…it is a disgrace that it isn’t!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Disgraceful that I did not realise it was yesterday – apparently.

Herodotus
Herodotus
5 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

I assume that you are a Scot….so why should you know?

Herodotus
Herodotus
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

I might add, that such clever remarks should not run out of road so quickly…..if they are to be clever!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Good evening, Hero. Remind me again how clever you are ……?

Herodotus
Herodotus
5 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

I have never said that my remarks are clever…I’m merely pointing out that yours wasn’t. A fair comment I think! By the way….let’s stick to criticising the remarks and not the person please!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Your assumptions aren’t scoring highly, H.

a) I’m not a Scot b) I did not realise yesterday was St George’s Day c) I was advised in passing d) I’ve seen no promulgation, not having actively searched for same. e) humour is a modus operani, but that does not make the above remark clever or otherwise in this instance, or indeed imply that yours are.

f) So, yes, St George’s Day should receive higher priority – evidently.

Kind Regards!

heroic
heroic
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

No one ever thought they were.

Herodotus
Herodotus
5 months ago
Reply to  heroic

Then why mention it 😁?

John Clark
John Clark
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

All part of a re-education process that started 50 years ago H. The ‘Great’ was squeezed out of Great Britain, we became the rather grey United Kingdom. We totally lost our confidence and our way as a proud country and became apologists for being British! Many criticise Mrs Thatcher’s years in government, she made mistakes with Thatcherism, no doubt there…. The trickle down wealth effect of moving from industry to financial services, simply didn’t happen and some areas of the country, once dependant on heavy industry simply withered…. The plus points of Thatcherism, was Britain finding its feet again and… Read more »

Herodotus
Herodotus
5 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

We ought to be celebrating our culture….everyone else celebrates theirs. As Michael Balcon said ‘there is only one form of nationalism that is worth a damn and that is cultural nationalism’. The BBC seems more than a little confused by this!

Jon
Jon
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

We can’t rebuild the Royal Navy effectively without paying. When core defence spending figures (shorn of Osborne’s pensions and Home Office accretions) rise back to 3% of GDP, maybe we can have a military fit for the peacetime purpose of deterrence. Until then, we are mostly buying into rhetoric, and the Navy will not be quite as depleted as it would have been. We can be relieved at that, perhaps, but hardly exultant.

Paul.P
Paul.P
5 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Well then, I’m relieved that both carriers and the LPDs have been retained, that 2 new frigate classes are in build, that there is a commitment to increase frigate numbers by 5 presumably as the R2s return to home waters when the R1s retire, that 3 new solid supply ships will be ordered in the UK and that 48 is a minimum number of F-35B and that requests for quotations have been issued for heavy drone catapults. I am upbeat.

dan
dan
5 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Brexit was close because of Social Media. With no social media influencing first time voters Brexit would have won in a landslide. Same thing happened in the last American election. Social media elected a corrupt dude that can’t even complete a sentence without help because of the avalanche of anti Trump influence from the likes of Twitter, Fakebook, Hollywood, ect. They basically told all the social media drones they must vote for Joe or American cities would continue to see rioting, looting, ect.

dave12
dave12
5 months ago
Reply to  dan

Fox news dan, just to remind you this is a UK website ,so the majority of people here will laugh at what you trumpski supporters are trying peddle, suggest you save it for your QAnon buddies they think the moon landing was faked lol.

Pete
Pete
5 months ago
Reply to  dan

What was the cartoon character…oh yea. Desperate Dan….reality is Dan the majority of all political hype these days is built on playing to people’s ideological fears. Many politicians will divert stories towards their truthful agendas and ignore the truthful agendas of others. Some however…simply lie and even worse just open their mouths and talk crap without any knowledge or competency…like how to treat COVID.

Highlighting someone’s speech impediment as being a reason for them not to be considered competant is really sad…and actually counter productive. It’s makes those making the statements appear defensive, fearful and childlike.

dave12
dave12
5 months ago

Support for independence is decreasing according to latest polls, and considering polls results in the past have been the only case for SNP drive for independence they don’t have a leg to stand on.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
5 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Unless the SNP and Greens manage an outright majority in Hollyrood. I’d be devastated to see the Scots go but a majority in Hollyrood pro-independence is hard to ignore

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
5 months ago

Hi Levi But I think there is an misunderstanding – we are voting in Scotland on May 6th for the Holyrood parliament. Voting new MSPs into office to exercise the powers devolved to a Scottish administration by the UK government. We are not taking part in a second independence referendum. These devolved powers to Holyrood include health, education, transport etc – they do not include the constitution. The constitution is a reserved matter for the UK parliament (which includes Scottish MPs). Those supporting independence/separatism/secession (delete as applicable) may “huff-and-puff” if they wish – but this election is about domestic issues,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Morning Alan.

Always pleased and also encouraged reading your posts on this issue. It worries me greatly and good someone cuts through the media spin and states realities.

Keep safe.

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
5 months ago

Many thanks my friend, it’s always good value reading your own comments on this forum.
I’d also recommend the opinions of fellow Scot, Andy P, on the independence question …………

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Hi again Alan, “I certainly wouldn’t take Ms Sturgeon’s pronouncements seriously – her central policy is in disarray since Brexit. “Independence” this time is about getting her core-diehards out to vote, and distracting the electorate from her woeful lack of achievements while in office.” Agree that she’s trying to get all her disparate factions to back her including the more ‘out there’ indy fans. They seem to be becoming more demanding about a referendum, even a Catalonia style one so she kind of has to push for it to keep them onside. As it stands, she’s kind of relying on… Read more »

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Hi Andy, Yeah – I think there is a “gradualist” and a “fundamentalist” wing of the separatist movement. Until recently, both Sturgeon and Salmond where in the former camp – although with the formation of Alba, Salmond now appears a fundamentalist. For many diehard separatists, there now seems a boiling over of impatience/frustration with Sturgeon – a politician adept at power-point presentation, but not very good at policy formation or delivery. However annoying she may be to those on this forum, Sturgeon is the “establishment” separatist – she plays by their rules. From a fundamentalist perspective, the UK government was… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Some interesting ideas there Alan, a redrawing of the Act of Union is something that had never crossed my mind. That’s got me thinking….. 🤔 Yes, the SNP under Salmond and then Sturgeon have done things by the book and its been working for them largely. The more ‘out there’ fringe definitely aren’t happy though, I’ve been doing a bit of reading of things like ‘Wings over Scotland’ (not recommended) and the anger towards Wee Jimmy is pretty intense. It speaks volumes of Salmond that he is willing to take advantage of this, he really does come across as an… Read more »

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Hi Andy, I think “Wings” has been pretty vile in the past – but I feel the site has been doggedly principled about the recent Salmond rape case – and the activities of those close to the office of the First Minister. I would argue that if your missus’s mate hates the SNP so much – there’s no point under Holyrood’s d’Hondt proportional voting system casting both votes for Labour. Her second Regional vote will be wasted. The Regional vote favours smaller parties – to build up their representation in the parliament. That’s what Alba is all about – SNP… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Hi Alan, yeah, I looked at where she stays and for both her and us, Labour was second place in the seat so the most likely to challenge. For regional the Tories work best for us as they benefitted from the most regional seats last time, however for her pal who lives in a different area, it works out best for her to vote Labour in the Regional vote. I’ll have a look at Alliance for Unity but I’m wary of ‘fringe’ parties, the catch 22 being that they’ll remain fringe until more people buy into them. I was quite… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Hi Alan, just been going through the All for Unity manifesto and I baulk at no. 1. While it works for my preheld views, its hardly democratic to insist that all those eligible to vote should be the mandate for change. Next is no. 2. All Jocks get to vote even if they live in England…. Its just a bunch of reasons why people who want the Union can ‘fix’ things to get their way. I’m against that as I am the SNP trying to tweak things like lowering the age of voting to try and tweak things their way.… Read more »

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Hi Andy The thing I find most appealing about A4U is that they promote co-operation between the pro-UK parties in Scotland – and are pushing hard the need for tactical voting. I think they also have some interesting candidates. Plus they support a Clarity Act – and a review of how devolution is working. I think the Manifesto states a new referendum should have a majority of the Scottish electorate in favour – ie 50.1% of an electorate of 4M. As opposed to only 50.1% of the meagre 2M Scots who tend to vote in Holyrood elections. That doesn’t seem… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Evening Alan, while I normally agree with you, I can’t agree on this bit. “I think the Manifesto states a new referendum should have a majority of the Scottish electorate in favour – ie 50.1% of an electorate of 4M. As opposed to only 50.1% of the meagre 2M Scots who tend to vote in Holyrood elections. That doesn’t seem an unreasonable concept when even some bowling clubs might demand a 2/3rds majority for change to its constitution!” Now if that was the way we voted for parliaments or in referendums (or at least recent referendums) then fine. But its… Read more »

TrevorH
TrevorH
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

It’s clear they are a disreputable group. There is a massive stink of corruption in Scotland, as well as a massive dose of incompetence. The Scottish civil service and its legal system and its parliamentary system are not fit for purpose. Nor is it’s media. If it were as it is now as an independent country it would be worse than Zimbabwe, and heading towards North Korea.

Is anybody really going to say that our independent nuclear deterrent and the building of the royal navy could be put in the thrall of such a government…!!?

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Trevor, I’m not convinced that the politicians, journalists or even Civil Service in Scotland is any worse than the rest of the UK never mind Zimbabwe. The SNP have been in power for too long here and for ANY party that can lead to the risk of abuse of power. While I think the SNP are in that position, its fair to say its the same with the Tories in Westminster, there seems to be a merging of protocol and ‘whatsapp government’. Civil Service, you had a boy moonlighting for Greensill in Westminster. I’m starting to see why the Yanks… Read more »

TrevorH
TrevorH
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

No. The judiciary and the civil service are highly politicised under the SNP. The very structure is inadequate for a start. Clearly thete is no accountability. It’s all become warped. It stinks.

The management is appalling. But then again, may be I am wrong, or as Sturgeon would say, “I took the ball off that, I made a mistake, I did not mean to say it like that, what day is it, is it Tuesday. Please look away.”

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Totally agree that there are blurred lines between the SNP and the judiciary/Civil Service in Scotland. I’m refuting your assertion that somehow Scotland is on the same level of ‘dodginess’ as Zimbabwe. Or if Scotland is then the UK as a whole is too. Westminster is in a similar (but not identical) situation with the Civil Service and the current government playing ‘free and easy’ with protocol. Again I’ll say they’ve both been in power too long and have basically become ‘the establishment’. I’m not trying to turn it into a pissing competition between the two parliaments, they’re both shit… Read more »

TrevorH
TrevorH
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

I would have thought my comparison was intended to be spurious. (but not by much) But my analogy and point was apposite.

The Westminster parliament and judiciary are far far more fit for purpose than the half baked scottish one … or though Bercow did his best to disprove that.

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Yeah sure mate, are you sure you weren’t just being a bit snidey about the Scottish parlie. Seemed that way to me.

I’ve agreed that the SNP have shown incompetence/borderline corruption but I really don’t see Westminster as any better.

You’ve only started giving it the “I wasn’t being serious” when you’ve been called out on it. Hey, if you want to sit on the sideline and throw shit then fair do’s, its a cornerstone of the internet but at least be big enough to admit it rather than try and wheedle your way out of your initial post.

TrevorH
TrevorH
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

If you are just going to call me lies and are incapable of following allegory then it’s a waste of time bothering with you.

Except that you calling the SNP govt ‘borderline’ corruption is a misnomer of the century. (that BTW was me going slightly over the top)

Paul.P
Paul.P
5 months ago

I can’t see the Scots going completely independent. They are not daft. All sorts of practical economic issues; currency, budget deficit, trade balance, subsidies from England, EU ‘Catalonia’ precedent…. But if the Scottish parliament votes by a majority to hold a referendum this will put pressure on Westminster to start an open discussion on UK constitutional reform. Issues like an English parliament, an elected upper chamber, a new Bill of Rights and review of the Acts of Settlement and Union all come into the frame. The primary driver for leaving the EU in my opinion was English nationalism. Some chiropractic… Read more »

Leslie Leveson
5 months ago

It is good to see the Royal Navy getting the ships needed to operate in an ever changing political climate
On the other end of the scale Comrade Ras Putin has built up his navy for many years under secrecy, in a way looks to some kind of confrontation to show the bears strength.
If Scotland were to get its i dependance God forbid, where does it leave the navy.Would they kick it out of Faslane and Rosyth, lease the facilities out to some foreign country)

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 months ago
Reply to  Leslie Leveson

A very good point, what facilities do we currently have to continue building warships of this size south of the border? or the skilled workers to build them? Independence could open up a whole can of worms and damage the Scottish economy in the process. Personally, I hope we don’t find ourselves in this situation. I think we have enough problems to deal with at present, both at home and abroad! It’s also interesting to see how Russia is changing its Naval strategy, particularly with what is currently occurring in the waters off the coast of Ukraine. “The Russian fleet,… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
5 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Two facilities immediately come to mind regarding large escort shipbuilding south of the border, Cammell Laird, Liverpool and BAES, Portsmouth. CL is still building ships, most recently RRS Sir David Attenborough, and of course undertaking maintenance and refits on RFA and RN vessels. BAES Portsmouth last built modules for the QEC program and now does ship maintenance in the ship hall. But the ship hall might be returned to full shipbuilding if required for T26. It might even be large enough to build a 160-170 metre T83 undercover, should something that size eventuate, without having to split the build into… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 months ago

It’s useful to know that we still have facilities available as and when required, thank you!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
5 months ago
Reply to  Leslie Leveson

Hence there would be an accommodation, at least in the medium term. But much simpler – just stay together. See what transpires during that same medium term, at least.

Grant
Grant
5 months ago

How many RN frigates are being built in Scotland? Answer: too many

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
5 months ago
Reply to  Grant

Not enough, surely, Grant.
Are you sure you’re on the right forum!?!

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Grant

I’m assuming you mean some should be built a across the rest of the country to de-risk loss of ship building capacity in case of Scotland becoming independent ?

Grant
Grant
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

They should be built across the whole country before you even get into the independence considerations.

Grant
Grant
5 months ago
Reply to  Grant

Although I do still think ‘too many’. 10 fully armed T26s with mission bays stuffed full of UUVs and USVs would be far better then 8 FFBNW t26s and 10 t31/32s which are largely a job creation scheme (and dare I say it a bit of a bribe)

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
5 months ago
Reply to  Grant

Hi Grant, But I’m really surprised at your follow-up comment. Naval construction is indeed spread across our UK. What about Barrow-in-Furness where Astute/Dreadnought/SSN(R) programmes are being designed/constructed? That site receives a lot more of the nation’s largesse than does the Clyde or Rosyth. Or if you look at defence more widely: the Warton/Salmesbury sites where UK combat jet aircraft are produced, or Broughton where the wings for the Atlas are made, or Rolls-Royce at Derby – home of UK jet engine production? I could go on ……….. As UK military expenditure has declined, we have seen the contraction of industry… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Morning Alan and nicely put. While its sometimes hard to keep up with who you’re ‘talking to’ on here, your logic of the share out of defence work has been gone over a few times before. I’ll paraphrase you by saying leave it to the separatists and knicker wetters to get all shouty about it. In the (I think unlikely in the short term) event of Wee Jimmy getting her referendum and then succeeding in it, its still going to take a number of years to untangle hundreds of years of Union, while maybe not on the scale of Brexit… Read more »

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Hi Andy, I think so – the Navy really needs new ships now. In the unlikely event of GB breaking-up, the Scottish yards would probably be safe in the short/medium term – but there would be no long-term future in their current form. And I do think, if agreeable to the UK government, there would be an accommodation to be struck on the future of all those nuclear warheads cosily nestling under the hills around Coulport. Of course, hypothetically, a UK government could decide to cut an independent Scotland loose from Day1 – suck up our share of national debt,… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

“Cause there’s only one thing a Scottish nationalist hates more than being run by the UK – and that’s being ignored by the UK! lol”

😂 Think you have the right of it there Alan. The SNP politicos do seem a bit on the ‘highly strung’ side and are quick to pick up on any perceived slight. Probably do like the drama of it all and would miss the attention.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 months ago

Scotland has quite a history when it comes to building warships!

Some amazing pictures of RN ships under construction at the Upper Clyde can be seen in the attached article.

https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/research/learning/first-world-war/the-battle-of-jutland

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
5 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Many thanks indeed Nigel, some stirring pictures of new battleships sailing out from the Clyde on that link.
Some rather poignant ones too, like the QE-class battleship Barham and battle-cruiser Repulse – both sunk with heavy loss of life during 1941.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

I’m pleased you enjoyed it. Indeed, 6,097 men lost their lives, half of which were on three battlecruisers alone. A tragic loss of life on a large scale. After reading this and noting how Russia has started to build a smaller fleet of heavily armed Corvettes, you begin to wonder if large warships really are the way forward? I use this purely as an example. “That’s not to say the Visby corvettes lack muscle. Each is armed with eight anti-ship missiles, three torpedo tubes, multiple grenade launchers, depth charges, submarine homing torpedoes and a fully automatic 57mm “general purpose” gun.”… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Nigel Collins
Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hi Nigel, I can see the attraction of heavily armed corvettes, they look cool and lots of ‘bang for your buck’ but they’re really only good for short range stuff. Not much use for proper Blue Water navies with global duties (or even aspirations). Horses for courses and all that.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Agreed, my point was simply to look at the advantages of stealth while at the same time keeping crew numbers to a minimum. We seem to spend an awful lot of time and money on stealth when it comes to aircraft and Saab as an example seem to be doing an excellent job when it comes to ships as well. As you quite rightly say, you would definitely get bang for your buck with Visby for coastal defence. The current Visby Corvette is 72.7M-640 tonnes By all accounts, there are two new versions being considered, one at 88m-1,550 tonnes and… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins
Last edited 5 months ago by Nigel Collins
Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago

The thing about the sides in referenda is that as the sides will hold no office, no promises they make are worth spit after the fact ( even the wining side).

As far as I can see democracy by referendum is democracy without any accountability.

I think we should hold a referendum about never having any more of the stupid things again. Parliamentary democracy all the way for me. You can at least sort of hold a party to account for it’s manifesto if it gets in power.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Good’ay, Jonathan. As pontificated at length on previous occasions, I really cannot agree with not having referendums, since I believe they are a vital tool within the democratic workbox. As I see it nationally, general elections are paced fine at 4/5 year intervals, answering essentially domestic issues with regard to running the country i.e. five year plans. Whereas once focus shifts towards what direction your State and constitution take, the decision transcends the remit of which party was granted an admin run, or indeed Parliament’s, and becomes a full electoral issue – due to the profoundly longlasting consequences. But here’s… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Hi Gavin very interesting and effectively this is key debate between direct democracy and representative democracy. I do feel that with all appropriate checks and balances, representative democracy is the safest most secure form of democracy and can and should be able to answer the longer term questions, such as the structure of society ( remember the welfare state and nhs were created as part of representative democracy and these were not small 5 year projects). The problem with direct democracy is there is no accountability and it bypasses all the usual checks found in representative democracy. The very sad… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Just to note my comment around the Brexit referendum, should have read “ we really needed a couple of rounds of voting using our representative democratic systems to finally get the result through. You could have easily seen the result of the referendum overturned or rerun if it was not for a final clear mandate via our representative system.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Morning, Jonathan. Thanks for taking the time to write a comprehensive reply in support of the current system. These debates do help broaden the topic. Certainly, under any derivation, democracy requires a respect for an accountable & unpoliticized legal system that extends to encompass the military; part of our checks and balances. But in my view, and again using the modern era as informative, the major part of those balances still reside with the electorate, a massive reserve of mostly silent voices that, as a whole, are fully cognizant of what constitute societal norms; to the extent that they are… Read more »

dan
dan
5 months ago

Separate Scottish Navy? lol. A few patrol boats and RIBs does not make a Navy.

Sean
Sean
5 months ago

The answers are;
• “all of them” if it’s in the U.K.
• “none” if it’s independent.
I think that summarises it. 🤷‍♂️

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 months ago

Some more interesting news on the Canadian Type 26 frigate build.

Leonardo to supply 127/64 LW gun systems for CSC frigate programme
“Leonardo has been awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin Canada to supply its OTO 127/64 LW Vulcano medium-calibre naval gun for the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN’s) next-generation surface combatant.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/leonardo-to-supply-12764-lw-gun-systems-for-csc-frigate-programme

Last edited 5 months ago by Nigel Collins
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 months ago

3 x T23 have had their in service time extended. No surprise there. That makes the inservice dates for T31 etc a little more manageable and realistic.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Are the T23s in a material state to have their service lives extended even with the refits ? would be really interested to here your thoughts, as I’ve read a lot about how knackered they are.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The ones getting extended are in good nick. One of them I was told sometime ago was going to replace Montrose in the Gulf/Indian Ocean areas.
The tired ones are those that have not had a refit in the last 5 years. The refits where pretty comprehensive and gave the hulls a fair bit of extra life.

John Clark
John Clark
5 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Triggers broom comes to mind Gunbuster, the selected fully refitted T23’s certainly have been ‘thoroughly’ gone through!