Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 16:05 UK

Government cancels two warships

Royal Navy's new Type 45 Destroyer HMS Daring
The Royal Navy does not have "unlimited resources"

The government has cancelled plans to build an extra two Type 45 Destroyers for the Royal Navy.

Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth told the Commons it would not be taking up the option to build the seventh and eighth warships.

Already, six high-tech 600m Type 45s have been ordered and will be based in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Mr Ainsworth said there were not "unlimited resources" for the Navy but the fleet had "sufficient capability".

A spokesman for Portsmouth-based VT Group, which builds the bows, funnels and masts for the ships, said it was not surprised and had not budgeted for the order - therefore the decision would have no impact on jobs.

Mr Ainsworth, opening a Commons debate on defence, said: "The reality is we do not have unlimited resources.

The six destroyers already on contract will provide a formidable capability
Armed Forces Minister
Bob Ainsworth MP

"We have to prioritise between a range of competing requirements, focusing on the balance between current operations and future capability.

"That is why I can confirm that we have taken a decision not to take the option to order the seventh and eighth Type 45 destroyers.

"The six destroyers already on contract will provide a formidable capability."

The ships are assembled at BAE Systems shipyard on the Clyde in Scotland.

The first of the Type 45s, HMS Daring, is due to go into service next year.

Mr Ainsworth added that work on new vessels to replace the Type 22 and 23 frigates would, also be accelerated.

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