Grant Shapps: New ships will help marines fight future wars

Grant Shapps: New ships will help marines fight future wars

image caption, HMS Bulwark is scheduled to be decommissioned by 2033

  • author, Kate Whannell
  • role, bbc politics

Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said up to six amphibious warships planned for the Royal Marines would help fight “future conflicts”.

He told the BBC that the ship would be “more flexible” and capable of carrying out a variety of missions.

He added that this investment was only possible thanks to the government’s decision to increase defense spending to 2.5% of national income.

The government had previously announced that it would build a new ship.

But Mr Shapps told the BBC’s Today program that at the time there was no “practical means to do it”.

“Today we were able to realize those plans.”

He said three ships would “absolutely” be built and there were “plans to build the next three.”

He added that the effort to build up to six multi-purpose ships represents a “golden age of shipbuilding.”

This brings the number of warships and submarines under construction or planned to up to 28.

  • Eight of them are Type 26 frigates, the first three of which are scheduled to enter service by 2030.
  • Five of the vessels are Type 31 frigates, scheduled to be deployed by 2030.
  • Two Astute-class submarines are currently under construction.
  • Four Dreadnought-class submarines to carry Britain’s nuclear deterrent when commissioned in early 2030s
  • The final three vessels are Fleet Solid Support vessels, which are scheduled to go into production next year and enter service by 2031.

HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark will remain in service for nearly a decade, but six new amphibious warships are being built to replace them.

The vessels, known as multi-purpose support vessels, will be designed to transport Royal Marines commando units to the coastline to carry out special operations and provide emergency medical care to troops.

image caption, HMS Glasgow is one of the new Type 26 frigates being built on the Clyde.

“We’re learning from what happened in the Black Sea in Ukraine, we’re learning from what’s happening now in the Red Sea, and we’re creating more flexible ships that can carry out different types of missions,” Mr Shapps said.

“These will be the most capable amphibious warships this country has ever had, and are designed to be fully compatible with our closest allies in Europe and NATO,” said First Sea Lord Admiral Ben Kaye. “It has been done,” he said.

Earlier this year, a parliamentary committee warned that conscription was undermining the credibility of the British military.

Mr Shapps said recruiting and retaining talent was one of his priorities and the number of people applying to join the force was increasing.

At a later meeting, he said the new ships could also be operated by small crews.

The pledge to build more ships comes after Rishi Sunak pledged to increase defense spending to 2.5% of national income by 2030.

The government says it will meet its 2.5% pledge by reducing the size of the civil service, but some think tanks, including the Institute for Fiscal Studies, say cuts in other areas will be needed to meet spending pledges. There is.

Last month, the government announced it would provide Ukraine with an additional £500 million, on top of the £2.5 billion allocated for this year.

Mr Shapps said Russia’s new invasion of northeastern Ukraine was a “wake-up call”, adding that “this is going to happen because we have been slow in getting what Ukraine needs” in terms of military equipment. Ta.

“My simple message to the world, and especially to the United States, is that not only is it the right thing to do, given the policies passed by Congress, but it is far cheaper to protect and deter Putin here and now. It’s about letting him win. ”

Labor has also pledged to reach the 2.5% target, but has not set a deadline, saying it will be achieved when economic conditions permit.

On Monday, the party’s shadow defense minister and foreign minister, John Healy and David Lamy, visited Ukraine’s capital Kiev and met with Presidential Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak and Defense Minister Rustem Umerov.

Both men pledged that the Labor government would have an “ironclad determination” to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

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