Mr Shapps said the Royal Marines’ new ships would learn lessons from the Ukraine war.

Mr Shapps said the Royal Marines’ new ships would learn lessons from the Ukraine war.

Grant Shapps said the Royal Marines’ new drone-equipped ships would draw on lessons learned from the Ukraine war and Houthi attacks on Red Sea ships.

The Defense Secretary has confirmed that up to six Multi-Role Support Ships (MRSS), designed to deploy special forces to coastlines around the world to carry out special operations, will be built.

Mr Shapps said he would “definitely build the first three” for the Royal Marines, with plans to build the next three.

“What we’re trying to do is create a versatile vessel that can be used in all situations,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today.

“In fact, interestingly, we are learning from what is happening in the Black Sea in Ukraine, we are learning what is currently happening in the Red Sea, and we are creating much more flexible ships that can perform different types of tasks. .”

Mr Shapps claimed the UK was experiencing a “golden age” of shipbuilding, with up to 28 Royal Navy ships being built or planned.

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has proven vulnerable to attacks from Ukrainian missiles and drones.

In the Red Sea, Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthis have used weapons to target commercial ships and international warships guarding vital trade routes.

The MRSS ships are designed to carry a “wide range” of unmanned drones, along with vehicles, aircraft and insertion aircraft.

It can also function as a primary casualty reception vessel and provide emergency medical care.

First Sea Lord Admiral Ben Key said: “I am delighted that the Secretary of State has cemented the future of the Royal Marines by committing to this new class of up to six amphibious ships.

“These are the most capable amphibious warships this country has ever owned, and are designed to be fully compatible with our closest allies in Europe and NATO.”

Meanwhile, the Type 23 frigates “Argyle” and “Westminster” are scheduled to be retired.

“While it is always sad to pay off such a fine warship, its retirement marks the next stage of reinvestment in new, more modern frigates,” said the First Sea Lord.

The announcement comes after Rishi Sunak set out plans to increase defense spending to 2.5% of gross domestic product by 2030.

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