Sea vessels

Navy To Crew UK Flagship Succeeding Royal Yacht Britannia

The incoming ship is expected to host trade negotiations and transport British leaders for three decades.

A new national flagship expected to promote British trade and host negotiations will be crewed by Royal Navy personnel.

Construction of the unnamed vessel is expected to begin as soon as 2022, Downing Street has announced, and it will enter service within the next four years.

The successor to the decommissioned Royal Yacht Britannia will promote British trade and industry around the world, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

The vessel will be used to host trade fairs, ministerial summits and diplomatic talks as the UK seeks to build links and boost exports following Brexit.

Mr Johnson said: "This new national flagship will be the first vessel of its kind in the world, reflecting the UK's burgeoning status as a great, independent maritime trading nation.

"Every aspect of the ship, from its build to the businesses it showcases on board, will represent and promote the best of British – a clear and powerful symbol of our commitment to be an active player on the world stage."

The Government intends to build the ship in the UK, incorporating the latest green technology into its design.

Construction and operation costs will be confirmed following the completion of a competitive tendering process, which will begin shortly.

Once active, the flagship is expected to last 30 years in service.

Cover image: Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh (Picture: Alamy).