Defence funding increase will buy 25 new warships for the UK – Shapps

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By Creative Media News

  • Defense Secretary announces plan for 25 new warships
  • Royal Marines to receive three new versatile vessels
  • Funding to come partially from civil service downsizing

The defense secretary stated that twenty-two ships are “already in the system” and that the Royal Marines have a commitment for three new ships, with the potential for an additional three.

The government reveals the purpose of its proposed increase in defense expenditure, paving the way for the Royal Navy to receive 25 new warships, with the possibility of an additional 3.

Defense Secretary Grant Shapps stated that the United Kingdom’s armed forces are currently designing or constructing twenty-eight new ships and submarines.

His statement that 22 ships are “already in the system” is less certain in regard to the six new warships he unveiled for the Royal Marines today.

The defense secretary declared that the government must supply the Marines with three of the new “versatile” vessels, with the potential for an additional three. He added that the final three are “in the design phase” at a later time.

Additionally, he announced the equipping of two of the vessels under construction—types 26 and 31 frigates—with land-attack missiles to conduct land-based assaults.

According to Mr. Shapps, this is a “huge shipbuilding program with a multitude of warships; this is the pinnacle of shipbuilding.”

He further stated, “Anything is a possibility, because our government just agreed last month to spend 2.5% of our GDP on our defense sector. We believe it is of the utmost importance to deter those who would seek to do us harm by demonstrating that we take our defense seriously.

Labour has committed to allocating 2.5% of GDP towards defense expenditures as soon as economic conditions permit, whereas the Conservatives have estimated that they will accomplish this target by 2030.

However, defense expenditures decreased in the early years of the fourteen-year Conservative government, and neither the 2014 invasion of Ukraine nor the 2022 invasion of Ukraine resulted in an increase in spending.

Mr. Shapps stated that the distinction between the Conservative and Labour pledges is that the former “establishes a timeline.”

He added, “We have also stated that we intend to fund the majority of this by reducing the size of the civil service, which is significantly larger than it was prior to COVID.

We intend to reduce it to its former extent so that we can reinvest the savings in defense.

As defense secretary, based on my knowledge of the situation, I must state that the Labor position poses a threat to this nation because it will demonstrate to our adversaries that we lack commitment to our defense if we fail to establish a timeline.

Alison McGovern, the shadow minister for pensions and work for the Labour Party, labeled the Conservatives’ claim regarding how they intend to finance the spending increase “sceptical.”

She claimed that “the Conservative Party’s damage to our economy” compelled Labour to postpone the increase until the economy recovers, and she accused Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak of instituting “huge unfunded tax cuts.

Ms. McGovern further stated, “I believe everyone would expect Rachel Reeves, in her capacity as shadow chancellor, to state that they will formulate strategies once they have complete access to the financial records and specifics of the Ministry of Defense.”

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According to Mr. Shapps, in the past, the government allocated a reduced budget towards defense due to the perceived lack of threats posed by nations like China, North Korea, Iran, and Russia.

In addition, the defense secretary stated, “Times were absolutely, drastically different.”

Furthermore, he stated that the government has increased the defense budget by £24 billion over the past few years, and that the United Kingdom is “by a wide margin the largest spender on defense in Europe and the second largest in NATO, trailing only the United States.

Regarding the present fleet of the United Kingdom, Mr. Shapps stated that sister ships HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark will be decommissioned in 2033–2034; however, the defense secretary stated that they will not be scrapped prior to that date.

At this time, the Royal Navy uses Albion and Bulwark as landing platform docks to transport the Royal Marines.

Mr. Shapps announced the retirement of HMS Argyll and HMS Westminster, two frigates with a combined 63 years of service, and the sale of HMS Argyll to BAE Systems for apprentice shipbuilder training.

Scotland is currently building Type 26 and Type 31 frigates, while Barrow-in-Furness is developing Astute and Dreadnought submarines. Belfast and Devon are assembling Fleet Solid Support ships.

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