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UK To Build Six New Warships For Royal Marines

The British Defence Minister has announced that the UK plans to commission six new warships for the Royal Marines

Grant Shapps

British Defence Minister Grant Shapps has announced plans to commission up to six new warships for the Royal Marines, signaling the allocation of recently increased defence spending by the government.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced in April that he would lift defence spending to 2.5% of GDP a year by 2030, saying the British arms industry must be on a “war footing” when the world is at its most dangerous since the Cold War.

Shapps revealed on Tuesday that the new vessels, dubbed Multi Role Support Ships, will be constructed domestically, bolstering Britain’s amphibious special operations commando force for future conflicts.

The decision to invest in these ships comes after a 2022 government announcement regarding the construction of new ships for the Royal Marines.

“It’s something we’re now able to do because the money’s been pledged to defence”, Shapps explained during an interview with the BBC.

He will speak at the Sea Power Conference in central London later on Tuesday, where he will also say that two current Royal Marine assault ships, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, will not be scrapped or mothballed before their planned out of service dates in 2033-2034.

The six newly commissioned vessels form part of a larger programme encompassing 28 ships and submarines either under construction or in development for Britain’s Navy. Shapps hailed this initiative as heralding “a new Golden Age for British shipbuilding.”

Companies such as BAE Systems and Babcock, major players in the UK defence industry, are involved in the construction of these ships, underlining the government’s commitment to domestic defence manufacturing.

Melissa Enoch

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