Doubts cast over fresh plea to name Type 26 frigate HMS Portsmouth

The future Type 26 global combat ship for the Royal Navy
The future Type 26 global combat ship for the Royal Navy
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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DOUBTS have been cast on renewed calls to name one of the Royal Navy’s newest frigates after Portsmouth.

Councillor Donna Jones is spearheading the campaign to call one of the Type 26s HMS Portsmouth.

The Type 26 is the Royal Navy's new breed of frigate

The Type 26 is the Royal Navy's new breed of frigate

The former council leader said it would be the ‘ultimate honour’ for a city that has played a critical part in the history of the Senior Service.

Her call comes after she wrote a letter to defence secretary Gavin Williamson urging him to base some of the hi-tech ships in the city.

Speaking of the naming effort, Cllr Jones said: ‘It’s right and proper that Portsmouth is recognised for the outstanding contribution it has played not just in the UK society and in defence of the realm but globally.’

Seventeen vessels have been named HMS Portsmouth in the past. They ranged from small sloops, yachts, transport ships, to 17th century ships of the line. The last one was a requisitioned trawler in the First World War.

Cllr Donna Jones

Cllr Donna Jones

Although there is a precedent, a retired naval officer said it would be unlikely for there to be another HMS Portsmouth anytime soon as the navy doesn’t tend to name ships after active naval bases.

Mike Critchley, a former Lieutenant Commander from Gosport, said the name could cause confusion when it came to delivering supplies to either an HMS Portsmouth or Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth.

There will be eight City-class Type 26s. Three have already been named: HMS Glasgow, HMS Belfast and HMS Cardiff. The first will enter service in the mid-2020s.