UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has confirmed that the Royal Navy’s fleet of eight new Type 26 frigates will be based in Devonport.

Built over an area of more than 650 acres with four miles of waterfront, the Devonport site has been supporting the British Royal Navy since 1691.

In addition to frigates, the facility serves as the base for the navy’s survey and amphibious vessels.

Devonport currently has 2,500 personnel, supporting nearly 400 local firms and generating approximately 10% of Plymouth’s income.

Williamson said: “The largest naval base in Western Europe, Devonport is the lifeblood of Plymouth and is as synonymous with this city as it is with our famous Royal Navy.

“Devonport is the lifeblood of Plymouth and is as synonymous with this city as it is with our famous Royal Navy.”

“Ships have set sail from Devonport’s dock to defend our great nation for hundreds of years, and I can reveal that the truly world-class Type 26 frigates will follow in their wake.”

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The Royal Navy will receive the next-generation frigates from the mid-2020s.

Once in-service with the navy, the vessels will serve as anti-submarine warships designed to provide enhanced protection to the UK’s nuclear deterrent and the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

Designed to replace the current anti-submarine warfare Type 23 frigates, the 6,900t frigates will perform a wide range of other operations anywhere across the world.

In addition, the vessels will feature an embarked helicopter and will be equipped with sonar detection systems, ship and helicopter-launched torpedoes, and a design that would make the warship difficult for enemy submarines to detect.

The first Type 26 frigates have already been ordered by the UK from BAE Systems for a total cost of £3.7bn.