04 Oct 2018

Defence Minister makes two major announcements for the future of British warships

The Defence Minister Gavin Williamson has made two major announcements for the future of British warships, as he named a new frigate HMS Birmingham and revealed he is protecting HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion.

Mr Williamson confirmed that one of Britain’s new cutting-edge Type 26 frigates will be called HMS Birmingham, becoming the fourth Royal Navy ship to bear that name.

Billed as world-class anti-submarine warships, the 6,900-tonne frigates will deliver state-of-the-art protection for the likes of the UK’s nuclear deterrent and the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, with the ability to conduct a whole range of other operations anywhere in the world.

HMS Birmingham is the fourth of the UK’s eventual eight Type 26 frigates to be named, with HMS Glasgow, HMS Belfast and HMS Cardiff the first three to be built. The frigates will begin to enter service in the 2020s. All the ships are being constructed by BAE Systems on the Clyde in Scotland, where the project is guaranteeing 20 years of work and safeguarding over 4,000 jobs. HMS Birmingham will be part of the second batch of ships to be ordered in the early 2020s.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Three of our nation’s ships have proudly borne the name Birmingham. Those ships won five battle honours. Today, in honour of this great city, we will be naming one of our eight Type 26 global combat ships HMS Birmingham.”

The Defence Secretary also ended speculation about the future of amphibious assault ships HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion being withdrawn from service early, commenting: “To deliver what seems impossible, the Royal Marines need to be able to bring the fight from the sea to the land. As such, I am happy to announce today that I am protecting their vital landing platforms HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark.”

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