The Commons Library has published several briefing papers in recent years examining surface ship procurement. This short paper looks at the latest developments which include halting the Fleet Solid Support ship competition, a new in-service date for the Type 31 frigates and Sir John Parker's review of the implementation of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.Jump to full report >>
Parliament has taken a keen interest in the Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). The strategy concerns the procurement of new surface ships for the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary (the latter delivers logistical and operational support).
MPs are divided over the Government’s approach towards UK-only versus international competitions for different categories of surface vessels. Labour and the SNP are calling on the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to restrict the competition for new support ships to UK yards to support the UK shipbuilding industry. Some MPs and Lords question whether the Royal Navy’s currentfleet of 19 frigates and destroyers is sufficient. There are indications there may be fewer in the mid-2020s.
The Commons Library has published several briefing papers in recent years examining surface ship procurement which delve deeper into the issues highlighted below (see box 1). This short paper provides an update on the strategy and the procurement plans for support ships and two classes of frigates. The latest developments are:
This paper briefly explores these developments and Parliamentary interest in the Shipbuilding Strategy.
Related Library papers on this topic include:
In addition, Library paper ‘an introduction to defence procurement’ examines the overarching themes governing the purchase of defence material. The author discussed these in a Commons Library podcast, available from the Commons Library website
Commons Briefing papers CBP-8807
Author: Louisa Brooke-Holland