The defence secretary has revealed the name of a new warship which will help protect the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier.
The type 26 anti-submarine warships – the sixth of its kind – will be called HMS Newcastle, Gavin Williamson MP announced.
The ship will be tasked with providing advanced protection for the UK’s nuclear deterrent as well as HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
Mr Williamson said: ‘I am also delighted to be able to continue to strengthen the bond to Tyneside today, by announcing one of Britain’s future world-beating Type 26 warships will be called HMS Newcastle.’
HMS Newcastle, which will be built on the Clyde, will offer an unrivalled anti-submarine warfare capability across the globe.
HMS Newcastle will also be joined by her sister ship HMS Sheffield, which was also named by Defence Minister Stuart Andrew.
The first Type 26 warship, HMS Glasgow, is expected in service in the mid-2020s.
The HMS Newcastle’s name was revealed by Mr Williamson while he visited the ship's namesake the city of Newcastle on Thursday (November 22).
He also announced that the future of the Batch 1 Offshore Patrols Vessels (OPVs), HMS Tyne, HMS Mersey and HMS Severn, which currently support the Fishery Protection Squadron, has been secured.
They will be retained for at least the next two years to bolster the UK’s ability to protect our fishing fleet as well as our shores.
The Royal Navy currently provide around 200 days of fishery protection a year.
The Defence Secretary’s announcement means that the Royal Navy will now have the capacity to deliver up to 600 days of fishery protection a year if needed.
Mr Williamson has announced that each ship will forward-operate from their namesake rivers – from Newcastle, Liverpool and the Cardiff area respectively – to boost rapid responses in British waters up and down the nation.
The versatile ships are also vital to the Royal Navy’s anti-smuggling and counter-terrorism work, and frequently escort foreign vessels, including those from Russia, through the English Channel.
Speaking on board patrol vessel HMS Tyne, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: ‘Britain’s patrol vessels are essential to protecting our waters, our fisheries and our national security.
‘Safeguarding the future of these three ships in the Royal Navy will ensure we can respond quickly to incidents at any time, further protecting our waters as we exit the EU.
‘By forward-operating these ships from their affiliated locations across the country, including the Tyne, it will not only allow them to react quickly, but also strengthen the bonds between the Royal Navy and local communities.’
Just last month, HMS Tyne monitored a Russian frigate as it passed through the English Channel, while last year, HMS Mersey returned from a 48,000 mile deployment where she played a key part in a £12million drugs bust off the coast of Nicaragua and helped combat the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.
The ships also deter illegal pollution activity and provide emergency firefighting capabilities for ships in distress.