Defence Secretary unveils new Naval Shipbuilding Strategy

The Defence Secretary has unveiled a new National Shipbuilding Strategy which meets the challenge set by Sir John Parker last November.

The government’s new strategy shows its acceptance of Parker’s recommendations and that it is stepping up to what he termed a prospective ‘renaissance’ in British shipbuilding.

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 announces the government’s plan to procure new Type 31e General Purpose Frigates. A price cap has been set of no more than £250 million each for the first batch of five frigates, set to be in service by 2023.

The MOD is committed to new ships for the Royal Navy through its rising budget and £178 billion equipment plan.

The strategy is an important part of the government’s broader industrial strategy that focuses on increasing economic growth across the country and investing in a more skilled workforce.

The government will work with industry to provide the certainty and support the need to become internationally competitive - not only boosting the British economy and jobs, but also helping to create a more stable and well-protected world.

Michael Fallon, Defence Secretary, 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.”

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. 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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