Britain: Type 32 Frigates not Cancelled
Chris Evans, the Shadow Minister for Defence, asked: “In the National Audit Office report on the equipment plan, it reported that ‘Navy Command withdrew its plans for Type 32 frigates…because of concerns about unaffordability’. How can Type 32 frigates be a key part of the future fleet if there are question marks around their affordability?”Ben Wallace, The Secretary of State for Defence, said in response: “That is because the Type 32 frigate will not come in until after 2030 or 2031, because it will come after the Type 31s, which are being constructed in Rosyth as we speak.”The Type 32 programme was announced two years ago by the then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to strengthen the capabilities of the British fleet. The programme will follow that of the five Type 31 frigates and is expected to materialise in 2030 or 2031. At the same time, the construction of the ships will support the British shipbuilding industry and provide new jobs.Britain aims to build five Type 32 frigates capable of hosting and deploying autonomous systems for anti-submarine and anti-mine missions. With the addition of the Type 32s, the British fleet will have 24 destroyers and frigates in service (6 Type 45 destroyers, 8 Type 26 frigates, 5 Type 31 frigates, and 5 Type 32 frigates).The Type 32 frigates were expected to be “the first of a new generation of warships with a focus on hosting and operating autonomous onboard systems,” according to the revised National Shipbuilding Strategy, which was released in March 2022.