Defence Secretary unveils new national shipbuilding strategy
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has unveiled an ambitious new National Shipbuilding Strategy that will see the construction of five new Type 31e General Purpose Frigates.
The Strategy is a response to Sir John Parker’s independent report published last year into British naval shipbuilding, which proposed far-reaching recommendations to transform the UK maritime industry and boost the prosperity of regions, shipyards and maritime supply chains across the country.
The Strategy sees the MoD accept the recommendations put forward in Sir John’s report and take up his challenge of creating a ‘renaissance’ in British shipbuilding.
The National Shipbuilding Strategy also revealed the MoD’s ambitions to build at least five frigates and share the construction across shipyards around the UK and assembled at a central hub.
In an effort to attract international buyers, shipyards will be encouraged to work with global companies to ensure the frigates are competitive on the export market.
A price cap has been set at no more than £250 million for each vessel.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “This new approach will lead to more cutting-edge ships for the growing Royal Navy that will be designed to maximise exports and be attractive to navies around the world.
“Backed up by a commitment to spend billions on new ships, our plan will help boost jobs, skills, and growth in shipyards and the supply chain across the UK.”
Sir John backed the Strategy and praised the MoD for showing “courage” in adopting his proposals.
He commented: “I am very impressed by the courage that the Secretary of State has shown – and the Government – in adopting my recommendations, which were very extensive, and will change the shape of naval shipbuilding over the country in the future.
“The next challenge is to come up with a world-leading design; one that can satisfy the needs of the Royal Navy and the export market. We have the capability to do that, the will is there and it is a tremendous opportunity for UK shipbuilding. I see no reason why industry will not rise to that challenge. There is an incredible keenness from around the country, from Scotland to Merseyside, to the South West and over to Belfast.”
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