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  1. ITV Report

Devonport to be base for new naval frigates

The Royal Navy’s next-generation Type 26 frigates will be based in Devonport. The eight Type 26 warships will start being delivered to the Royal Navy from the mid-2020s.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson made the announcement in a visit to Plymouth this morning. The new 6,900-tonne frigates will be world-class anti-submarine warships and will provide cutting-edge protection for the likes of the UK’s nuclear deterrent and the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

Devonport employs 2,500 people, supporting around 400 local firms and generating around 10% of Plymouth’s income. It is a key part of defence’s huge footprint in the South West, where the MOD spends £5.1bn with industry – more than in any other part of the country.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson on the deck of HMS Montrose. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

The eight Type 26s will replace the current anti-submarine warfare Type 23 frigates. The first Type 26 ships have already been ordered for £3.7 billion from BAE Systems’ yards on the Clyde.

A Type 23 frigate - they'll be superseded by the Type 26. Credit: MoD/PA

“The largest Naval Base in western Europe, Devonport is the lifeblood of Plymouth and is as synonymous with this city as it is with our famous Royal Navy.

"Ships have set sail from Devonport’s dock to defend our great nation for hundreds of years, and I can reveal that the truly world-class Type 26 frigates will follow in their wake.

"We are living in increasingly dangerous times, with threats intensifying both on and beneath the water. Plymouth should be in no doubt that it will be right at the heart of Britain’s fight for a safer world by homing these formidable warships."

– Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson