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Chris Walker

Politics trumps logic every time. They are named at politically advantageous times and delayed so that another government has to cough up our money. They can’t be obsolete if they are fitted for but not with!

Cynical – moi?

PS One of them must surely be called Sheffield.


2 classes of ships one built too fast, one too slow ,both being built by the most inefficient methods imaginable.It would be a challenge to think up a more suicidal industrial and procurement strategy.As you say,we will end up developing 2 sets of systems for 4 ships each,expensive backfitting followed by no money for the next class,a bit like now with the type 23.


How is the build method inefficient? Pre-completion of outfitted blocks and integration needs a practice but once you have it right, it’s very efficient and is the way most places in the world do it these days.


Block building is efficient and the way its done, and even if it wasn’t we would have to do it for political and various other reasons.Transport is expensive but bearable and specialisation is a good thing. The problem is a limited crash programme across multiple sites. All of them are going to need investment and training and will probably struggle on with sub optimal infrastructure.Integration nightmare and lack of experience with personnel being shunted around, they will probably just about have cracked it when the programme comes to an end and then it will be deliberately destroyed like Portsmouth.


I feel like everyone just downvotes Grubbie out of habit now. This is one of the occasions where he’s right.

Spending over 2 decades to build 8 ships isn’t logical or efficient by any standard, it’s just government ineptitude. The equipment fits are going to need to be completely different to avoid obsolescence at launch.


Don’t worry, challenger said the same thing below and got loads of upvotes!


‘We want 8 and we won’t wait!!!’


Actually we need at least 10 and don’t want 5 type31,but I can’t think of a ryme.
I’m sure everyone will be delighted that I want to order more ships!The real issue is critical mass, resulting in acquisition death spiral.
I wonder what the optimum efficiency build speed would be?I’m absolutely certain that its somewhere between what we are planning to do.


I found this announcement equally ridiculous and pathetic as well. It only demonstrates how desperate those in charge are to conjure up some good news and how fearful the RN is that even 8 Type 26 are far from assured.

What next? Shall we start thinking of names for the QE & PoW replacements we’ll be looking to order in the 2060’s!

Both the industry and the RN need some degree of stability and assurance. 8 Type 26 built way too slowly (with inflated costs and potential obsolescence) coupled with 5 Type 31 built way too quickly and cheaply (what happens when this comparative glut of work dry’s up by 2028?) just doesn’t cut the mustard.


Perhaps the idea is that by naming the ship, somehow it would force it to be built?A bit like Lord Wests publicly expressed idea that if we built 2 whipping great carriers it would force the escorts to be funded.


Pretty desperate if that’s the case. I think operating carriers does at least force the funding of the 12-14 escorts needed as a bare minimum to ensure the former don’t deploy without adequate protection.

Beyond that i guess it remains to be seen whether the stated aspiration for more than 19 will come to anything. I don’t think a shift towards the French Navy’s model of a high/low mix is necessarily a bad move, but at the end of the day critical mass still matters.


Ark Royal and Hermes, problem solved


The chances of this ship ever being built are entirely 0%. Like previous recent ship building programmes, the type 26 is over-engineered and complicated, so the cost will blow out and the intended quantity will never eventuate. I predict that no more than 4 or 5 will get built. It is reasonable to assume that each new over-engineered ship built by monopoly BAE equates to at least a halving of capacity (optimistic assumption), so 16 Type 23 into 4-5 Type 26 seems about right.

Plus massive costs of operating defective Type 45 and F35 will need come from budget somehow, so expect more cuts elsewhere, not just in Frigate numbers.


I don’t know why they have to cycle through the same names so often,the RN has a huge backlog of fantastic names and could come up with some new ones as well.I like the Greek ones best.National icons like London are best avoided because it makes them a special target for enemies obsessed by propaganda, such as daesh.
These days it’s a toss up whether PC brigade would embrace or avoid HMS Pansy or the joyful Gay class.


I’m personally looking forward to the next step in the alphabetical system. We’ve currently got D class destroyers, but we also technically have E class survey ships, so the next letter is F.

Fearless, Furious, Formidable, etc. Now THOSE are some good warship names


Should of went I Class for Trident replacements instead of Dreadnought.
Invincible, Inflexible, Indomitable and Indefatigable


Should have, not should of, and it’s gone, not went


Seem to have morphed into “Save the English language” here, not the Royal Navy.


No they shouldn’t Dreadnought is much better.


Stephen if they follow history boat 2 & 3 will probably be Valiant and Warspite.
Boat 4 is anyones guess.


I’m with Callum and Rick in liking the alphabetical naming system as it allows for a mix of place names, historical battles or figures and a whole range of evocative adjectives.

Completely agree that the In’s should have been used for the successor subs and i hope we see F, G or H names for Type 31.

Jassy Von Spik

A Frigate should take no more than 3 years to build, and if you building in succession as blocks building 8 should take 10 – 15 years. not 9 year for one and 30 years for all 8 it’s ludicrous..


These type 26’s will likely take longer than some wooden wall battleships where sometimes they suspended construction to allow the wood to properly season or because the war had ended. Made sense then but now its a joke.


Yup, Victory took 6 years to build. The battleship Iron Duke took 2. The frigate Leander took 4.

It’s not lack of ability to build faster, it’s to guarantee jobs for longer and manage expenditure better: it costs more for fewer ships overall, but it technically costs less each individual year. Bureaucracy at its finest, as long as it LOOKS like we’re spending less it’s ok


How interesting. Why did ‘Victory’ take so long; I know she was a ‘dreadnought’ in her day but was that an intentional drawing-out of the build, wood seasoning, etc.?

Keith Sware

Remembering the 12 type 45s that became 8, then 6 warships, HMG have a lot to answer for on the question of trust, morale, recruitment and the contribution towards the loss of Portsmouth shipyards and Appledore.

Can the UK afford to keep outsourcing equipment procurement budgets (RFAs, anti-ship / cruise missiles, Wedgetail aircraft, …) in order to prop up and support foreign tax paying defence businesses and foreign engineering development?

If the UK builds more ships for the RN / RFA (planned order book for one warship per year), leisure cruise ships, tankers / containers, fishing trawlers, ferries then yards will have the capital to invest in future-proofed infrastructure and tooling to make them more competitive going forward.

Long-term vision vs. political 4/5 year calculations.

Steven Kerr

But guys are you aware that General Electric who builds the motors for these ships, and whose kit proples 92% of the fleet is thrreatened with closure and the Yanks want to move production to France meaning the UK will loose a national Strategic asset ! Both the MOD and the 1st Sea Lord seem willing for this to happen, documents available on request, so we will all be paying taxes to pay French workers to make our motors whilst we also pay almost 200 workers unemployment benefit. Total scandal.