Today’s announcement is part of a new National Shipbuilding Strategy which meets the challenge set by Sir John Parker in 2016 whose independent report into British naval shipbuilding proposed far-reaching recommendations to transform the UK maritime industry.
Today’s Strategy sees the government accept Sir John’s recommendations. Building on the government’s industrial strategy, it outlines an ambition to transform the procurement of naval ships, make the UK’s maritime industry more competitive, grow the Royal Navy fleet by the 2030s, export British ships overseas, and boost innovation, skills, jobs, and productivity across the UK.
It also announces the government’s plan to procure new Type 31e General Purpose Frigates, with a price cap set at no more than £250m each for the first batch of five vessels that will be built in the UK.
Set to enter service by 2023, the frigates could be built in a way which could see them shared between yards and assembled at a central hub.
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 Parker said: “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.”