Construction of over 150 vessels planned under UK’s new national shipbuilding strategy

Rendering of Type 31 air warfare frigates (Photo: Babcock)

The UK Ministry of Defence said that more than 150 new commercial and naval vessels will be delivered over the next 30 years under a refreshed national shipbuilding strategy (NSbS).

First published in 2017, the strategy outlined ambitions to transform naval procurement, securing export and design contracts for British naval ships to Australia and Canada. The refreshed strategy outlines the government’s further ambitions to secure more projects for Britain’s domestic shipbuilding industry.

The £4 billion (US$5.2 billion) government investment will lead to the construction of more than 150 new naval and civil vessels for the UK Government and Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Those vessels will include large warships, such as Fleet Solid Support (FSS), Type 26 and Type 31 ships, and Border Force cutters, lighthouse vessels and the new National Flagship.

The strategy also includes a range of interventions from across government to support the sector. A new Home Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme (HSCGS) will give UK shipyards access to finance for underwriting domestic contracts with the aim of leveling the playing field with competitors’ export credit guarantees and ensure UK shipbuilders have a fairer chance of securing valuable contracts.

The Department for Transport will invest £206 million (US$268 million) in the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK-SHORE) to fund research and development in zero-emission vessels and infrastructure.

The NSbS Refresh will also establish a new UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce, led by the Department for Education. The taskforce will work with industry and training providers across the UK to identify and address skills gaps, ensuring the UK continues to develop and nurture future-focused skills and knowledge to help local shipbuilders deliver vessels that meet global standards.

A new Maritime Capability Campaign Office (MCCO) within the Department for International Trade will coordinate export support across government and industry. The MCCO will use analysis to improve the government’s understanding about global markets, helping maritime suppliers to win export orders and increase UK market share.

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