Naval bases stay in business

Following a review of Britain’s main naval bases, the MoD has announced that all three at Portsmouth, Plymouth and Clyde are to remain open and will begin building two new supercarriers.

The 931ft long 65,000 tonne aircraft carriers – to be named HMS Queen Elizabeth 11 and HMS Prince of Wales – will be able to carry 40 mainly fighter aircraft. They will be part-built in Portsmouth and are likely to be based there. They will enter service in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

The MoD is to continue to explore greater efficiencies and savings despite today’s announcement that all three will remain open.

Des Browne, Secretary of State for Defence and Scotland, said: ‘I’m pleased to announce that Naval Bases at Clyde, Devonport and Portsmouth will lead the Royal Navy and Defence into the future with the new aircraft carriers. We are not only preserving history; we are also writing it.

‘The aim of the Naval Base Review was to ensure that we have the right naval base infrastructure to meet the needs of the future Fleet. The Review has looked in great detail at the manpower, skills, infrastructure and future requirement at each naval base, and has concluded that the best option for defence – and each of the local areas – is to keep all three open.

‘The conclusion follows the announcement today of an agreed budget for defence for the next three years, which includes the decision to buy the new carriers.’