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Britain unveils new national warship building strategy

Staff Writer |
Plans for a new fleet of smaller warships were announced by Britain's Defense Secretary Michael Fallon as he unveiled an ambitious new national shipbuilding strategy.

The government said it accepted the recommendations of an independent review which called for a "renaissance" in British shipbuilding.

The new strategy outlines an ambition to transform the procurement of naval warships, make Britain's maritime industry more competitive, grow the Royal Navy fleet by 2030s, export British ships overseas, and boost innovation, skills, jobs, and productivity across the country.

The review also set out plans for the first batch of five general purpose frigates, type 31e, each with a price tag of no more than 250 million pounds (327 million U.S. dollars).

In line with British policy on warships, they will be built in Britain, with work shared between shipyards and assembled at a central hub.

This method of "block" construction is similar to the method used to build the recently commissioned aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy's biggest ever warship. Different parts were built at shipyards in six British cities and assembled in Scotland.

The first of the new frigates are to be in service by 2023, with British shipyards encouraged to work with global partners to ensure the vessel is competitive on the export market.

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