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Jassy Spik

8 ships is ridiculously low. 13 is needed but even more should be built in perpetuity lowering cost. 16-20 Type 26’s should be invisaged over the next 30 years.. investments would then be made in a mega modernized factory to build both Frigates and Destroyers… The result would be savings in the billions. Why are there so few who can’t see that is incomprehensible..


Before spending any money to expand the RN it needs to prove it can attract and retain the people it needs to properly crew the ships we currently have. They should agree a set of targets to first fill out the crews of the existing ships, then crew the “harbour training vessels” and finally if the defence environment calls for it crew up for new additional ships. The plan would of course have to include the money needed to do the job.
People first ships second.


The savings MIGHT be around 1-2 billion or so (double the T26 order, assuming a 10-20% reduction per ship is reasonable). Thats great, but you know the issue?

You’re still spending billions MORE just to get that saving. Using the 30% faster build time figure, the original 8 ships will be done in around 12 years. With efficiency savings, thats probably 20-24 years total to build all 16 ships. Conservatively speaking, I’d guess the RN would need at least another £9bn to cover the cost of the extra ships, the factory, maintenance contracts, crew, weapons, etc. That’s an increase of half a billion pounds to the defence budget for the next 20 years, minimum. Assuming the MoD actually managed to win that money from the treasury, that money would probably be better used covering shortfalls in other programmes, increasing the orders of T31, Poseidon, Lightning, and improving manpower retention.

Alan Griffiths

Dream on, scrapping Nimrod & reduction of the order to 8 vessels, sums up the Tories.
They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk!
It’s a joke, Russian subs in British waters, what do we do, we call in the USA, Canada & France!
Cos we scraped our Maritime Aircraft, surprise, surprise, we’re know buying US Aircraft!


The Nimrod MRA4 was meant to enter service in 2003. 7 years and billions of pounds later, it was still in development, for an improved version of a type that had been in service for 40 years. Cancelling it was clearly the smart thing to do. Other defence problems in the early 2000s: the disastrous procurement of the T45s, the ridiculous amount of time wasted for T26, the sale of 3 relatively new T23s, the early laying up of Invincible, the delays in Astute. In general, incredibly poor procurement, management, and lack of planning ahead were the norm at the start of the century, and guess what?

That was 13 years of Labour goverment. SDSR 2010 was so brutal because the country was in a recession and the MoD had been wasting billions for the past decade, leaving us with lots of outdated gear and overpriced new projects. Granted, that SDSR was a hack and slash, with the long term affects not really holding any weight, but since then things have clearly been improving. Efficiencies are still being made, and there have been more major cuts and several blunders, but there is no doubt the RN and MoD are on a more sustainable footing now than they were during Blair and Brown.

Andy Tilldr

The government needs to go support shipbuilding across the UK. The R F A support ships should be built in the UK and not put out to international tender. If you agree please sign this petition.

Richard Stow



These ships visually look ‘Fit For Business.’ Obviously, it’s what is fitted to make it a first-class warship that matters. As I’ve mentioned before, the palpable tension on board HMS Duncan when called to action stations on a recent TV documentary, brought home to me just how important it is to equip RN vessels, with the best weapons and countermeasures possible. Jassy Spik, speaks my language in terms of numbers, however, that TV programme changed my view in terms of the ‘best in class’ and that may only be achieved by building smaller fleets, but each equipped with the latest and most proven systems? If survivability is the key objective, a maxed out warship could, in theory, live to see more action than one built with fewer systems to achieve greater numbers?


Agreed, but it also becomes a question of “mass” and redundant capability. Low numbers of high end warships arguably have more capability than high numbers of low end warships. However, they sink just the same. Take the example of the Helge Ingstad for example… and the impact to the capacity of the Royal Norwegian Navy will be significant.


Sinking is a problem, however, in theory, close-in weapon systems (from the air and under the surface) may avoid serious damage and only inflict cosmetic problems, allowing ships a quicker turn around? With increasing technology, the notion you sink ships may no longer be part of the strategy going forward. Most modern warships have considerably less open deck space and current US thinking, allows vessels the minimum of windows/portholes, thus possibly increasing the survivability for the crew? If survivability is the keynote for designers, the idea of fewer vessels in the fleet may happen by default?


Additional weapons doesnt help when the ship sinks due to a non combat accident


In terms of top trumps, fewer numbers of maxed out ships are better than larger numbers of less capable vessels.

However, it’s important to remember all of the other factors that dictate the force mix. The fleet’s job isn’t just peer conflict; in fact, actual fighting isn’t even a common task. Trade protection, anti-piracy, visible deterrence, flying the flag, those are all the daily tasks that call for more hulls over pure fighting ability.

Of course, that calls up a different question: do you effectively have two separate fleets, one of first rate combatants and one of 4th rate corvettes and OPVs; or do you adopt a more balanced force, with smaller numbers of both, but also with 2nd and 3rd rate ships inbetween that can support all tasks (this is what the RN is going for now).

History has favoured the balanced approach, but there are a lot of people nowadays who argue for the pure hi-lo mix (like those who say we should build an extra T26 instead of 5x T31s). Given that the dominant naval forces of the current age (the US, and increasingly China) are returning to or sticking with the balanced approach, the answer is fairly self evident.

Kevin Hastie

London should be Exeter


Why? The class have all been named for large and economically important cities. Exeter is neither of these.




Nice Try.
HMS Exeter of WW2 fame was one of two Cathedral Class. probably politically incorrect in todays PC & topsy turvy Britain.
Cruisers built prewar-Counties-Cathedrals- Cities- Colonies!

John Franklin.

Not enough personnel for our ships, planes, helicopters & Army or RAF.

Bring back national service for 3 years or youngsters must go to University ( 3 yr BA Degree) or into a 3 yr apprenticeship/NHS/Education/Police/Fire Services.

This gives the staffing for continued service to the country, its residents and important sectors.


So you plan to fill the armed forces with people with the least educational achievement as they get equipment that’s more and more advanced. Does that sound like a plan for high quality defence.

John Franklin.

Wrong assumption! Furthermore, you don’t need to be a boffin for certain jobs like a gunner, chef and plenty of kids like engineering can use the RN as an apprenticeship learning on the job! Earning money, travelling, protecting our country & its interests around the world. You do a dishonour to many thousands of people who have served who might not have a PHD but have given their lives in the name of service.

Harry Nelson

So fill the Forces with people who don’t want to be there?? At least the ones leaving now volunteered to join up in the first place.


That’s what every soldier, sailor and airman wants: More people bitching and whinning about how shit it is (which becomes a self fulfilling prophecy)

John Franklin.

If you read my message it was a mixture of national service, University or apprenticeships (including NHS/Education/Police/Fire Services). A shortage of many of these positions would be filled or they go on to get degrees.

Certainly seems better than having them dose around doing little, on drugs, in gangs stabbing each other, committing other crimes.

If I had not joined up in 1988 I know that I would have most likely gone down the wrong path. Now isn’t that worth making lives better if done properly!

Bobs Baradur

Bring back press gangs, start them Oxford.


Well short on hulls we ideally should have and takes far too long from 1st cutting to luanching. Is it intentionally stretched for budgetary reasons ??




Steel is cheap and air is free, it’s cheaper to build a big shed than pay people to trot up and down gangplanks.
Fit out period is obvious BS ,as “prestuffing”is the thing these days.
Unrelated,the RAF demonstrating how detached from reality the forces are.
“The deployment of the red arrows will demonstrate our global reach and the capability of the RAF and our continuing support of the UKs defence and commercial industries”.
“Expected to generate£ 2.5billion foreign investment for the UK”.


You can only (efficiently) do so much with pre-fab but I agree that 8 years to an in-service date is technically speaking, bollocks – if you’ll pardon the lack of festive cheer. It’s driven by something else – probably cost phasing and / or to keep the yard open.


The enclosed dock hall should still be built at Scotstoun, we will always need to build ships for the Royal Navy so we should have the best modern facilities to ensure we build them efficiently and competitively.


Well that’s not entirely true, if the snp god forbid ever get indy then the contract would have to be terminated pretty much immediately as it against the law and policy of the UK govt for a country outside of the UK to build Royal Navy war ships ! The only things allowed to built outside of the UK ar support vessels and even then any defensive weapons or weapons technology have to be done within the UK.
I find it funny that wee nippy complains about Royal Navy contracts when she knows indy will stop those and wipe out all those jobs pretty much instantly which is typical snp/snats hypocrisy at its finest


You are the first person to eventually face the ‘elephant in the room’ , congratulations. Scotland will become independent so that leaves all our investment Clydeside as a waste.


The names for Type 26 have already been announced, but the names for the Type 31, which is supposed to be in service years before the first Type 26, have not!


Some clever fellow struck on the idea that named ships are less likely to be cancelled and the announcements are good PR for the MoD (growing our Royal Navy, investing in shipbuilding blah blah).

They’ll name all 5 T31’s in the next year or so and then swiftly move on to the vessels that aren’t even on the drawing board yet!


Wow, eight years is a massive amount of time to build a frigate, especially considering the £1 billion + price tag. Then again, this is effectively a private sector monopoly that has absolutely zero incentive to be time or cost efficient. England would be better off if Scotland did become independent. Hopefully it would reduce wasteful procurement practices like this.

Cam Hunter

You idiot, it’s the british government that decide the timescale not the yard. The Scottish could have the frigates built in half that time easily, but the government want to stretch it out!!


Very simple maths. Is building the shed going to save >£25 million per ship?


Depends on if this Country has real long term vision and is serious about shipbuilding.

Meirion X

Appledore is big enough to assemble the Type-26 Frigate in a covered yard. So why not ship out sections made at Govan for Final Assembly at Appledore, and to be fitted out there?? Type 26 Frigates are to be assembled uncovered at Govan.
Of cause, Govan maybe the ideal place to manufacture sections of warships! Maybe assembly at Appledore instead wiil allow other work to take place at Govan unhindered. There will be no excuse of capacity at Govan of why Type 26 Frigate build taking so long!


Fitting out these ships is way way beyond the capabilities of Appledore. I don’t think they have done anything more complex than an OPV in living memory if at all. I understand some people want to keep the yard open but the villains are the Babcock sales department not BAe or HMG.


That very capable little yard cannot do a type 26 or type 45 full assembly. The future for Appledore is away from total reliance on MOD but would be avialable for sections of major warships and full small warships which it excels in, but the other non e MOD ship type be it UK tax payer or none Uk taxpayer is more important and this yard is viable in!

Alan Smith

I think you should have someone fact check your article and give you news that isn’t from 2017…

Neil Cameron

Was just looking with awe of old photos of our last Battleship, HMS Vanguard what a monster she was. Just dreaming but could you just imagine her today alongside a couple of type 45s escorting Prince of Wales what a sight that would be, if only we followed the American example and just mothballed some of our olds and then if trouble was brewing in the world we could return them to service.. (just a dream).


Neil the Vanguard, in my opinion, was the most beautiful British ship ever built. Functional of course, but what’s wrong with naval architecture that is pleasing to the eye? Crying shame that ship was not preserved as a museum..


It’s interesting that during this time in 2015 BAE was looking to give up the rent of Govan with a look too closure then Jim McColl wanted to buy the Govan yard from Peel. He said something that he may be should have kept quiet about. That was about being some competition to BAE. The number of Type 26’s get reduced and BAE are demolishing Scotstoun, who are left with what has more capability at Govan, but someone has ambitions for the yard themselves and poses a threat. Worst case happens, Scotstoun remains in this state it is and BAE still has their claws in Govan, when (especially if the number had remained 13 ships) BAE could have had a new facility at Scotstoun and McColl be left with his ambitions that tied in with Inchgreen. Peel own Govan and Inchgreen. BAE managed to make sure no shipbuilding interest got into Portsmouth and they certainly did not want another player getting Govan. The outcome could have and still can in the future be better and the timing worked against the yards involved whether natural or fabricated to happen like this. I feel too much gameplay and politics coupled with only building frigates is stifling UK shipbuilding having a wider interest.


Just as well McColl didn’t get his hands on Govan, look what he did to the Ferguson shipyard in Port Glasgow

George Paras

a lot of lost space in that ship. They could put MUCH MUCH MUCH more systems and guns…

Kevin Garrigan

please Can Some one tell me how on Earth is it going to take 8years till Glasgow is Ready so we have plan of 8 Tape 26 to be built 8 years till Glasgow ready how many years is it going to take till they all ready for the navy un less iv miss Understood God bless the Royal navy.

Kevin Garrigan

As a X Navy and from Wrexham .to wards the end of the 1stWW HMS WREXHAM went to the Baltic sea on a hush hush mission a one way Trip it did not come back most of the Crew was lost. so in Houndred of HMS WREXHAM if not the tape 26 one of the tape 31 if build name one navy please name one HMS WREXHAM for the Memory of the Crew who gave they lives for King and Country thank you .

Kevin Garrigan

Hello i am meg you all to ask this we building tape 26 the 1st of 3 are we building 1 at a Time or how many are we building at 1 Time. cos if its 1 at a time and we order 8 of Tape 26 they will be building for them for years till the fleet get all 8. were are the Tape 31 ones going to be built and when. Thank you very much.

Simon m

Possible Scottish independence surely hangs over this project like a dark cloud and makes significant initial investment risky. Surely this needs to be put to bed asap… the Scottish want to have their cake and eat it. For the type 31 this will be less of an issue as it will include either distributed build or construction in England. To me the amount of work and investment from the UK taxpayer to Scotland needs to be carefully balanced and UK politicians need to be clear on the impact and any future referendum if it happens needs to be the final referendum for x number of years. If this is done more commitment should/could be made

Ken Nye

If Scotland pulls out of the Union
Just move the ship building to Canal Laird on Merseyside or North East or Northern Ireland
It will be Scotland’s loss not the Royal Navies


I’m very sceptical that this will work. Not with a large complex ship. Two thirds of the build outdoors – in Scotland! Someone needs to find the money to Build the covered Hall at Scotstoun

Allan Macdonald

Bae demolished the covered hall and module hall in scotstoun, then decided against the frigate factory. A great facility lost due to total mis- management. HMS Daring the first 45 was built in this facility and was the last ship of this size to be launched from this undercover facility. Shameful decision.

Benoit Nadeau

The cost will be reduced with partnership. We Canadian are building 15 of those. And it seems Aus too are building some.

Rolf Kitching RN retired

I left the RN in 1992 after serving in Both the Falklands and Gulf Conflicts I did not like the direction the royal Navy was going with ships being designed to be operated with smaller and smaller crews .If anything should have been learned from the Falklands campaign is that damaged ships can still be operated successfully if they carry enough crew to operate manually instead of via fully automated systems . I now have nephews serving in the Army and the Navy ( well Fleet Air Arm part timers ) and both of them are disillusioned with life in the Armed Forces . I am disillusioned with the way veterans are treated in the UK . I stopped declaring that I am a veteran because as soon as I did the level of service seemed to fall off a cliff.