UK Defence Minister Stuart Andrew has announced the name of a future world-beating British warship as HMS Sheffield. Built on centuries of history, the state-of-the-art submarine hunter will be the fourth ship to carry the name and will be Britain’s fifth state-of-the-art Type 26 frigate.
The Defence Minister announced the news at Chesterfield Special Cylinders in Sheffield, a key supplier to the multi-billion-pound Type 26 programme. The company makes high pressure gas storage systems for the ships.
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “HMS Sheffield will be at the forefront of our world leading Royal Navy for decades to come, providing cutting edge protection for our aircraft carriers and nuclear deterrent, and offering unrivalled capability at sea.
“From north to south, these ships are truly a national endeavour, built on centuries of British expertise and supporting thousands of businesses like Chesterfield Special Cylinders across the UK.
“Defence boosts the economy of Yorkshire and the Humber economy by £232million every year and it’s only right the region’s significant contribution to our national security is recognised by the naming of HMS Sheffield.”
The fourth HMS Sheffield will be built on more than 80 years of proud naval history, with the first ship carrying her name in 1935. She played a vital role in Scandinavia during the second world war and assisted with the evacuation of Andalsnes in 1940. She also took part in the first major Allied landing of the war in North Africa during Operation 'Torch', and patrolled waters from the Mediterranean to the Arctic.
The second HMS Sheffield, a Type 42 destroyer, was lost during the Falklands War.
The naming of HMS Sheffield, the fifth ship in the city-class of Type 26 frigates, came as Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson also announced the sixth ship would be called HMS Newcastle during a visit to the Tyne today.
The two ships will join HMS Glasgow, HMS Belfast, HMS Cardiff, HMS Birmingham and HMS London. The final name has yet to be announced.
All of the Type 26 frigates will be built on the Clyde, supported by suppliers across the country and securing decades of work for more than 4,000 people. The first three ships have already been ordered for £3.7bn.
Chesterfield Special Cylinders is just one of thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises in the supply chain delivering essential services to the UK defence sector. It is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of safety-critical high-pressure gas storage systems. Its bespoke products are deployed in the Type 26 frigate for breathing air storage, safety and backup systems, fresh water and power systems.
Chesterfield Special Cylinders’ managing director, Mick Pinder, says: Chesterfield Special Cylinders has been a strategic supplier to the Royal Navy for over 100 years. Our high-pressure gas storage systems are in use across many platforms, from submarines to surface ships.
Our reputation for excellence in the design, manufacture and maintenance of safety-critical naval systems has seen our customer base grow in recent years to now include almost every NATO-friendly overseas navy, though the Royal Navy remains a prime partner.
It is an honour to host the Minister for Defence Procurement and for our manufacturing site to be the location for this important announcement.
Last year the MOD injected nearly £2.5bn into small and medium businesses. The visit by the Defence Minister came ahead of Small Business Saturday on 1 December, an opportunity for defence to thank the workforce behind many SMEs.
The news also came as the Defence Secretary announced he will retain three of the Royal Navy’s patrol ships to bolster Britain’s fishery protection capability.