UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has revealed that the British Royal Navy’s new City Class Type 26 frigate is to be named HMS Belfast.

HMS Belfast will be the third ship in the Type 26 programme and is set to enter service in the mid-2020s.

Sir Michael Fallon said: “I’m hugely proud that the second name announced of our eight cutting-edge new Type 26 frigates will be HMS Belfast.

“She and her sister ships will form the backbone of our Navy well into the 2060s, keeping us safe by protecting the country’s nuclear deterrent and new aircraft carriers.

“It’s apt to name this ship at the famous site, which built the very first HMS Belfast. Thanks to our ambitious new National Shipbuilding Strategy, this shipyard once again has the chance to be involved in building a British warship thanks to the competition to build a new class of light frigates for our growing Royal Navy.”

The new anti-submarine warfare Type 26 frigates have been designed to safeguard the UK’s strategic interests and will be deployed to provide advanced protection for both the UK’s nuclear deterrent and Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

They are equipped to deliver high-end warfighting capability and will feature a flexible design to allow them to adapt to counter future threats, while also benefiting from the latest advances in digital technology.

HMS Belfast and its sister ships are being built as part of the UK Ministry of Defence’s £178bn equipment plan.

The initial contract for the project was awarded for the construction of three frigates. Roughly 4,000 jobs are expected to be generated in Scotland and across the UK supply chain until 2035 under the initiative.

Construction of HMS Glasgow, the first ship in the series, is already underway following a steel cutting ceremony in July.

The second Type 26 vessel is yet to be named.