Changes to the base porting of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates will see some new additions to the flotillas of Portsmouth and Devonport.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson today announced a series of moves which will see the Royal Navy’s eight Type 23 anti-submarine warfare frigates all based in Plymouth, while the remaining five general purposes frigates will be based in Portsmouth.
The moves will see some frigates switching from one naval base to another, and will bring benefits to force generation, operational readiness, training and logistics as well as more stability for ships’ crews and their families.
The base port changes will take place during unmanned maintenance and upkeep periods over a period of five years, starting with the move of HMS Richmond from Portsmouth to Plymouth in 2018.
Rear Admiral Chris Gardner, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Ships), said, “This move will bring benefits to the whole fleet of Type 23 frigates, bringing ships of the same purpose together in one place.
“I want to reassure all our sailors that we will be managing the base moves as efficiently as possible, minimising the disruption to our people and their families.
“The base port changes have been planned to occur during unmanned upkeep periods over a period of five years, to ensure a smooth transition of our people and maximise the benefits to our operational readiness.”
The re-basing of ships will see Devonport become the focus for surface anti-submarine warfare support.
It will also bring the Royal Navy another step closer to delivering a carrier strike task group, with both Portsmouth and Devonport playing key roles in the delivery of this capability.
From 2023, the Type 23 frigates that will be based at each naval base will be:
-- Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth:
HMS Argyll, HMS Lancaster, HMS Iron Duke, HMS Monmouth, HMS Montrose.
(Previously: HMS Lancaster, HMS Iron Duke, HMS Westminster, HMS Richmond, HMS Kent, HMS St Albans.)
-- Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport:
HMS Westminster, HMS Northumberland, HMS Richmond, HMS Somerset, HMS Sutherland, HMS Kent, HMS Portland, HMS St Albans.
(Previously: HMS Northumberland, HMS Somerset, HMS Sutherland, HMS Portland, HMS Argyll, HMS Monmouth, HMS Montrose.)
The Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy remain firmly committed to both Portsmouth and Devonport Naval Bases.
As part of normal forward planning, the Royal Navy routinely reviews requirements for future waterfront infrastructure including berths, docks and related facilities, to inform decisions regarding infrastructure investment, base-porting and maintenance.