Luke has welcomed the much delayed Government shipbuilding strategy as a chance for Devonport to build modules for warships again. Included in the strategy is an announcement of five new light frigates called Type 31e frigates. Luke has raised concerns in the Commons that the weaponry on the Type 31e Frigates will not give the UK the military requirements it needs.
Yesterday Luke responded to the Secretary of State for Defence’s statement in the House of Commons on the future of shipbuilding in the UK.
The government’s new shipbuilding strategy, delayed by several months is designed to look at the Royal Navy’s future requirements as well as the wider future for UK shipbuilding including export opportunities. There is a focus on the new Type 31e Frigate, which along with the new Type 26 frigate, will replace the 13 Type 23 frigates from 2023.
Devonport is home to half the nation's frigates and since being elected Luke has spoken about the need for more and more capable frigates on a number of occasions.
While the Type 26 is an anti- submarine warfare frigate, the Type 31e is a General-Purpose frigate. Luke is concerned the Type 31e may be under-gunned and could undermine the UK’s defence capabilities. You can watch the video below:
Luke also says:
“The Shipbuilding Strategy is months delayed but offers opportunities for Devonport to potentially get a share of modular build for the new frigates. But at a fifth of the value of a Type 26 frigate I am concerned the new Type 31 frigate will be under-gunned and I have asked the government to ensure that the new frigate are procured with more than just one main gun.”