Skip to main content

Warships: Construction

Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence of 30 March 2009, Official Report, column 647, on the warship construction programme, what the tonnage of the warship construction programme will be. (268864)

The approximate tonnage of each class of warship currently under construction, and their combined total, is provided in the table:

Class of vessel

Displacement per vessel (tonnes)

Planned number of vessels per class

Total tonnage of class

Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers (CVF)

65,000 (full displacement)



Type 45 Daring Class destroyers

18,100 (mid-mission, mid-life full displacement)



Astute Class attack submarines

7,800 (full displacement when dived)



Total tonnage


1 The Type 45 tonnage will change throughout the ship's life due largely to the adoption of an incremental capability approach. Mid-life, mid-mission tonnage has been chosen as a representative figure.

2 Our current plans are for a total class of seven boats.

The Future Surface Combatant and successor programmes also form part of the warship construction programme but are at an early phase in the design process, and decisions on final design have yet to be taken.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Oral Answer of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 16, what the evidential basis was for his statement that the UK has the largest programme under way since the end of the First World War in respect of naval construction. (269193)

I specified in my statement that it related to peacetime construction. I made this statement on the basis of real terms expenditure.