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Defence Secretary Names New Warship HMS Belfast in Northern Ireland


03 October 2017

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon unveiled the name of one of the new Type 26 frigates as HMS Belfast during a trip to Northern Ireland today. 

The second to be named in the City Class of eight brand new, cutting-edge, anti-submarine warfare frigates, HMS Belfast will provide advanced protection for the likes of the UK’s nuclear deterrent and Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers. The Defence Secretary revealed the name at Belfast shipyard Harland and Wolff, which built the Royal Navy’s last HMS Belfast, in 1938.

The Defence Secretary launched the ambitious National Shipbuilding Strategy earlier in the month, and as part of that laid out plans for a first batch of another new class of frigates – the Type 31e.

A competitive procurement process for those ships could see them shared between yards and assembled at a central hub. The warships will be built in the UK, with a price cap of no more than £250m, and will be designed to meet the needs of both the Royal Navy and the export market.

The Defence Secretary has personally committed to visiting all of the UK’s major shipyards in the run-up to industry bringing forward its solutions for the Type 31e class, as he looks to grow the Royal Navy fleet for the first time since World War Two.

Just before the start of the Second World War, the original HMS Belfast was commissioned, having being built at Harland and Wolff shipyard. She went on to support the Battle of North Cape, the Normandy landings and the Korean War.

The original ship now belongs to Imperial War Museums and is permanently docked in London. Before the new HMS Belfast commissions, the original HMS Belfast will be renamed ‘HMS Belfast 1938’, the year the ship was launched.

The new HMS Belfast is set to enter service in the mid-2020s and, along with her fellow Type 26 frigates, will have a truly global reach, protecting the UK’s strategic interests as well as the likes of the UK’s nuclear submarines, and delivering high-end warfighting capability wherever it is needed.

Its flexible design will also enable these capabilities to be adapted to counter future threats, whilst the ships will also benefit from the latest advances in digital technology.

Part of the MOD’s £178bn equipment plan, the three ships being built under the first contract will safeguard 4,000 jobs in Scotland and across the UK supply chain until 2035. The Defence Secretary cut steel on HMS Glasgow, the first Type 26, in July, whilst the other is yet to be named

Source: MOD