1800 jobs will be cut in shipyards operated by BAE Systems across England and Wales, bringing shipbuilding in Portsmouth to an end.
Unions are to meet defence giant BAe Systems to discuss the future of the firm's three shipyards amid a review of its business.
Work has begun in Portsmouth on a key section of a new aircraft carrier.
The Bishop of Portsmouth said the loss of 940 jobs at Portsmouth dockyard is shocking news.
BAE Systems announced earlier that shipbuilding would cease in the city from 2014.
The Rt Rev Christopher Foster, Anglican Bishop of Portsmouth, said: "This is serious and shocking news for Portsmouth and the surrounding area.
"Most of all for those whose jobs are directly now at risk and their families but for the whole community and local economy.
"The decision of BAE and the Government will not be understood by most of us and does no justice to the commitment of this city and area to our island and naval safety for generations."
John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen and Rowenna Davis, Parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen have spoken out about the news of shipbuilding job losses in Portsmouth.
– John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen
Labour secured ship building on the south coast with shares of the destroyer and carrier programmes. Government statement today made clear that no efforts have been made to win new work for Portsmouth in the past three years and that they have agreed to transfer work from Portsmouth to other shipyards. Many on the south coast feel they have been sold down the river by a government whose interest and attention has been elsewhere.
– Rowenna Davis, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen
The end of shipbuilding in Portsmouth is a great loss for the 1200 workers there, and for our country as a whole. Our thoughts are with employees and their families as this great 500 year tradition and all their hard work comes to an end. Labour worked hard to secure shipbuilding in the South of England, whilst this government has done nothing, following the same path as Ford earlier this year. Now our Royal Navy may be forced to commission work abroad or from a potentially independent Scotland. We should be protecting and supporting our skilled jobs, not letting them slip away.
Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond told MPs in the House of Commons that the loss of 1,775 jobs at BAE Systems was "regrettable but inevitable."
Video. Mike Hancock, the Independent Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, questions David Cameron in the House of Commons about the affects of the job losses to those in Portsmouth and Scotland and what the government will do about it.
Video. David Cameron talks about the job loses at BAE Systems in Portsmouth.
BAE Systems said that Portsmouth-based engineers would be retained to support the design and development of the new Type 26 frigates.
It also confirmed that although the construction of new aircraft carriers would move to Scotland, it's still intended that the ships will be based in Portsmouth.
Shipbuilding in Portsmouth will end in the second half of 2014, BAE Systems said.
It will mean the final stages of the construction of the second of the Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers will be moved to Glasgow.
Construction of the navy's new Type 26 frigates, that it was hoped would be built in Portsmouth, will also go to Scotland.
A statement said: "A significant reduction in workload will follow the peak of activity on the Aircraft Carrier programme, the six Type 45 destroyers and two export contracts."
It will mean the loss of 940 jobs in Portsmouth next year. A further 835 jobs will go in Filton, Glasgow and Rosyth.
BAE Systems will retain around 3,200 people across its sites at Portsmouth Naval Base, Portsdown Hill, Broad Oak, Cowes and HMS Collingwood.
Prospect, the union for defence specialists has said that the job losses in Portsmouth and Scotland are of 'deep concern'.
They have called for an urgent meeting with ministers and the company, BAE Systems.
Gary Graham, the Deputy General Secretary said:
– Gary Graham, Deputy General Secretary for union Prospect
For an island nation and in this time of increased global uncertainty, we should be seeking to maintain our shipbuilding capacity, not reduce it.Shipbuilding is not only a key element of our defence infrastructure, it is also an industry where the UK should be a world-leader, creating and sustaining highly skilled and well-paid jobs.Job losses of this scale will have a devastating impact upon local communities and economies. These are the very type of highly skilled jobs which should be leading us out of recession and helping create growth in the economy.