The concept phase for the recently announced Type 83 Destroyer will begin in the next few years.
Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, asked yesterday via a written Parliamentary question:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the initial operating capability for the Type 83 Destroyer.”
Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded:
“The Type 83 will replace our Type 45 destroyers when they go out of service in the late 2030s. We anticipate the concept phase for Type 83 to begin in the next few years with the assessment phase following.”
Also, there are no concept images of Type 83 so our terrible mockup above will have to do for now.
The Type 83
The Defence Command Paper, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age‘, surprised many by stating that the UK will develop a new destroyer type, the Type 83. The white paper announced the upcoming “concept and assessment phase for our new Type 83 destroyer which will begin to replace our Type 45 destroyers in the late 2030s”.
What might the Type 83 Destroyer look like? We do not know but I’m going to take a stab at it anyway.
The Type 45 Destroyer replacement is just an early concept at this stage but a variant of the Type 26 Frigate has been considered for the job, at least to some degree.
Last year the UK Defence Journal spoke to Paul Sweeney, former MP for Glasgow North East and former shipbuilder and we were told that consideration is already being given to the development of an Anti-Air Warfare variant of the Type 26, a variant that could function as a future replacement for the Type 45 Destroyer fleet – the programme now referred to as Type 83.
For a little bit of context, Paul Sweeney is a Scottish politician but more importantly for the purposes of a discussion on shipbuilding, he was formerly employed by BAE in Glasgow. Paul has worked with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Shipbuilding which published the results of inquiry into the Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, taking evidence from a range of maritime security stakeholders and industry.
It is understood that the Ministry of Defence have an aspiration is to achieve continuous shipbuilding with the Type 26 programme in Glasgow beyond the current planned number of eight vessels. Sweeney told me after attending the steel cutting ceremony for the future HMS Cardiff:
“It is clear that we now have a unique opportunity to create a truly international naval shipbuilding alliance with Canada and Australia with Type 26 (both countries have purchased the design) – and consideration is already being given to the development of an Anti-Air Warfare variant of the Type 26 as an eventual replacement for Type 45 – known currently as T4X. The aspiration is to achieve continuous shipbuilding with the Type 26 programme in Glasgow beyond the current planned number of eight vessels.”
We’ll publish more about the Type 83 as it becomes available.