Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that the Royal Navy will acquire 8 Type 26 Frigates, 5 Type 31 frigates, the “next generation” Type 32 frigates, the new Fleet Solid Support Ships and a new multi-role research vessel.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“We are going to develop the next generation of warships, including multi-role research vessels and Type 32 frigates. This will spur a renaissance of British shipbuilding across the UK, in Glasgow and Rosyth, Belfast, Appledore and Birkenhead, guaranteeing jobs and illuminating the benefits of the Union in the white light of the arc welder’s torch.

If there is one policy that strengthens the UK in every possible sense, it is building more ships for the Royal Navy. Once both of our carriers are operational in 2023, the UK will have a carrier strike group permanently available, routinely deployed globally, and always ready to fight alongside NATO and other allies.”

The Prime Minister announced the above as part of what the Ministry of Defence have called “the biggest investment in the UK’s Armed Forces since the end of the Cold War”, confirming an “injection of £16.5 billion” over four years.

Johnson said that the funding would allow for:

  • A new centre dedicated to artificial intelligence
  • A national cyber force
  • RAF space command launching British satellites from Scotland

Johnson added:

“Our plans will safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs in the defence industry, protecting livelihoods across the UK and keeping the British people safe.”

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Pete

Trust T32 will be either a beefed up T31 or slimmer T26. Adding another hull design and propulsion system etc alongside T45/26/31 and legacy T23 will (Imho) add supply chain complexity and dilute benefits of steady construction drumbeat.

Mike O

Add complexity. Maybe. Maybe not. The engines, generators, radars, sonars, weapons etc could be the same as what is used in the rest of the fleet not adding new logistical pathways. Just adding to what is already in place. 5 more ASW vessels would make me smile. Will be interesting to see what happens.

Gareth

As long as we kit them out properly and don’t go down the dreaded “fitted for but not with” route again. The T45s are 10-years old or more already and still don’t have the Mk 41 VLS installed, we have still no replacement for the Harpoon, and Storm Shadow or any likely replacement isn’t going to be integrated to the 20 or so F-35s we currently have. Still no timely commitment to 138 we’re supposed to be getting either. Things could be worse for sure, but at the moment I think this announcement is largely about damage restoration following previous… Read more »

Levi Goldsteinberg

So let me get this straight. This boost aspires to deliver:

Replenishment ships
The full order of 8 T26s and 5 T31s
An unknown (likely 5) number of “T32s” – as yet unspecified
A replacement for HMS Scott

Am I missing any?

captain p wash

FSS.

Daniele Mandelli

The reviews not published yet. There will be lots more detail on the RN, Army, RAF, with some cuts and more enhancements, hopefully.
So far, despite the positives, we must remember there is a lot if re announcing ( typical of HMG spin ) of old programmes and T32s that are years away.

RobW

Indeed. The T32s are almost certainly T31 batch 2 so will be follow on orders. The last T31 is due to be handed over to the RN in 2028 so any T32s will be at least a year or two behind.

Daniele Mandelli

T32 really is key Rob.

As things stand, in reality, as far as the RN and escorts is concerned, HMG have pledged to maintain the below bare minimum – 13 Frigates.

In 2004 it was 20.

I’m not moaning, so far positive stuff coming out.

But the forces lack kit and numbers of every kind. Let’s see if they address that with real world increases in some areas.

Frank62

I agree Daniele. Let’s see the substance properly delivered. For all we know it may be hype to blind side us to further cuts in the pipeline. The next SDR will be crucial.
Such a change to get good news & funding increases though. Easy to get euphoric.

Nicholas

Personally rather than focus too much on a new line of frigates I’d prefer that we fill in existing gaps in equipment/capability. Fitted for but not with would be a disaster if a conflict developed quickly. The we have the capability gaps, anti-ship, land attack and a whole host of stuff not ready for the F35 yet. Increasing ship numbers is great, no question, but it does increase the pool of ship not fully armed. Additionally we need more subs, go slow sub production must end and open ended production runs started.

Spyinthesky

Indeed just been reading how the requirement for what became Brimstone was put on hold as the wall came down and then actually military experience proved it a necessity if the aircraft themselves were to be little more than target practice and it was re instated. Seems we still need to learn that lesson if our navy in particular is not to lose or at best withdraw all its ships in a conflict before they can actually be properly armed for that conflict.

Frank62

Quite so. We all welcome sanity & funding being restored to defence. It’s the guarentee of our freedoms for goodness sake. Once lost, they cost many lives to recover. Past policy effectively sends our troopps into battle with hands & bootlaces tied together rather than properly armed & equipped. It’s a dreadful lie/Russian roulette, often with far greater chance of failure, to suppose we’ll always see any threat coming. History is littered with pre-emptive attacks cathing under prepared/unalert nations out. We’ve been bareing our throats too long. It’s criminally reckless to so run down our conventional forces that it makes… Read more »

Geoffrey Roach

I’m not in favour of slowing anything down., but I think the 31’s armament could still be beefed up and if the T32 is any time off, taking the 31’s up to eight hulls with an immediate order would be a good thing.

Steve R

Looks like Type 32 will simply be a beefed up version of Type 31, so in that case we’ll be getting 10 hulls, as their stated goal of increasing from 19 to 24 escorts.

Geoffrey Roach

Could well be right Steve…wait and see, I suppose.

Paul.P

BJ referred to T32 as a ‘next generation’ frigate. Well that could be his disposition to optimism, another ‘world beating track and trace‘ remark.
But it could mean a ship based on the Arrowhead hull equipped with laser weapons. The Arrowhead 140m hull offers lots of growth potential for electrical power and and future long range strike weapons. T26 has taken so long it probably makes sense to let it focus on its core global ASW role; swap out its Mk41 tubes and put them into a new design.

John Clark

I would agree, logic would indicate we are talking about a batch 2 T31.

At least the forsight was taken with the Arrowhead design to select a hull that’s big enough to grow in capability and change with the times.

Certainly a not towards a more robust all round capability is needed, with a basic ASW fit and an uplift in SAM fit….

Last edited 11 days ago by John Clark
Jonathan

Now not being cynical or anything, but I’ve just had a thought, is this an new BJ campaign to try and win back the Scottish vote….just a thought.

lot of military spending that will head the way of Scotland. I suspect he’s trying to start to remove some of those nails i the coffin lid of the U.K. as we knew it. This is a good thing for both the defence of our nation and ensuring the stability of our nation.

Daniele Mandelli

Hes also setting up a union task force. The SNP needs confronting head on. The rubbish that they come out with that UKDJ often highlight with articles should be made national news and debunked by the PM on national TV. That way the left wing media cannot distort. It should also be made clear that there are no new referendums as we just had one in 2014, and that should hold at least until our ship building orders with Scots yards are completed, as we cannot procure warships from non UK yards. So decades away. By then Brexit will have… Read more »

AlbertStarburst

Agreed. Respected journos like Andrew Neil – freed of their BBC chains – are starting to take the SNP to task. I just wish that all the people of Scotland (who we love and are part of our big UK family) are made more fully aware of the history of these islands, and not the Mel Gibson/SNP version. i.e. From pre-historic times we were all one set of tribes: “Britons.” All came together for a big knees-up/hog-roast at Winter Festival time down south. A lot of “Scotland” spoke Welsh (Cumbri tribe and Picts), and it was the invading “Scotti” from… Read more »

Paul.P

The SNP never had any intention of making devolution work; why would they? For them it is just a step towards complete independence. This is what BJ was saying in his outburst. They are an historical aberration. Scotland is a slightly older nation state than England. With king MacAlpin ( who had unified the Gaels and the Picts) in 843 AD they beat England to it by a hundred years. Aethelstan became king of all England in 927AD at Eamont Bridge, the then king Constantine of Scotland pledging his allegiance. He subsequently broke his word and had to be brought… Read more »

Spyinthesky

I agree still need to be convinced global Britain will flourish but it’s only right it has the chance before the Scots make a choice based on simple prejudice and propaganda by those with an agenda and just see them as cannon fodder to achieve it.

ChariotRider

Ok I don’t do this very often so I am going to do a bit of fantasy fleets or at least frigates. What will the new T32 be? I’m going to try and be realistic, so I’m not going to suggest a 10,000 ton all singing and dancing super ship. I’ll start on the assumption that Babock are in pole position after a ‘competition’ and I’ll also assume there is a cost ceiling on the project. These are justified because Babock’s investment at Rosyth suggest they believe they are in a good position for a Batch 2 so must have… Read more »

captain p wash

The Optimist in me would like to think we have one Eye on China, with the massive ship building programme turning out some pretty impressive ( on paper at least ) Ships and Subs particularly the Type 52 and 55 Destroyers ( 13000 tons, huge weapon fit ) not to mention 50 odd modern Frigates. If we want to go Cruising in their back yard.

Frank62

Yes China have the means to export widely their sick authoratarianism & their fleet building program is a wake up call. We’ve become way too dependent on them, led by all our so-called entrepanuers exporting all our manufcturing there for many decades.

AlbertStarburst

True. Else don’t do it and learn the lesson from WWII.
The only point of sending a small ship (or under-armed small group), is the knowledge that, if needed, her big sisters with big sticks are not far behind if needed.

ChariotRider

Hi Captain p wash, I couldn’t agree more and I think China is on the everyone’s radar, especially as the PM mentioned the QE going to the Far East in his statement. However, we are still strapped for cash and need to walk a tight line to get ourselves through the post Covid / Brexit challenges and clearly this funding announcement is about more than just defence. So a GP frigate is probably the best compromise we can hope for at this point. An up ‘gunned’ T31 B2 could free up the T26 / T45 combination for operations with the… Read more »

Captain P Wash

Yes mate I really do Agree.

Andy P

Nice one CR, now lets see if you start a trend……

Frank62

If the funds are delivered plus what’s needed for the existing black hole of funding between what we’d commited to already & the clear shortfall, then yes, a limited rennaisance. We must be vigilante to see it delivered rather than allowing it to become an empty promise. The world is too dangerous with authoratarianism running rife after the west over-relaxed after the cold war & morally declined. I think HMG & MPs should lead by example: Before demanding pay freezes for others, MPs should commit to a longer pay freeze & never again be allowed to decree austertity for others… Read more »

Sam Whitlock

Let’s hope the procurement is managed properly and a commitment to using British SME’s as much a possible.

David Flandry

This is all future tense; I hope it transpires though.

David Flandry

It would be good to see at least one more nuclear attack sub, preferably three, but that’s too hope for.