WORK has started in Rosyth on building five Royal Navy warships as part of a £1.25 billion project.

A ceremony for HMS Venturer took place on Thursday at Babcock’s facility where the new Type 31 frigates are being built.

The construction of the fleet will support around 1,250 highly-skilled jobs at Babcock and see the creation of an additional 150 apprenticeships, while a further 1,250 roles in the UK supply chain are also expected to be supported by the programme.

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman has welcomed news and said: “The high-tech steel-cutting ceremony for the first of the long-awaited Type 31 frigate contract ships was really impressive and underlined the innovative approach by Babcock to lead us into a new era of ship-building.

“Having two frigates being built alongside each other and under cover in the huge, new blue-build shed at Rosyth, means a better and safer work environment for Babcock’s employees.

“Many of those who once worked at Rosyth will remember being out in all the weathers the Firth of Forth could throw at them and for many new employees joining, such as apprentices, those days are over.”

Known as the Inspiration class, the five Type 31 vessels all take their names from former warships and submarines whose missions and history are intended to inspire Royal Navy operations.

The entire Type 31 fleet is expected to be delivered by the end of 2028 and to enter service with the Royal Navy by the end of 2030, with the first expected in the water in 2023.

The Type 31 will carry a crew of up to 105 that will be deployed on duties around the world, working alongside new Type 26 frigates.

All five vessels will be built by Babcock on the Firth of the Forth with an average production cost of £250 million per vessel.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace cut steel for the first vessel during the ceremony, which was attended by Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Nick Hine and International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, as well as other dignitaries.

Babcock’s new assembly hall, The Venturer Building, was also named during the day.

The company’s chief executive, David Lockwood, said: “This is a significant moment. We are witnessing what the national shipbuilding strategy can achieve. Working with our partners and customers, we are creating something we can all be very proud of.

“The T31 class will show the adaptability and capability of a modern warship created with British ingenuity and engineering at its core. I’m looking forward to seeing these magnificent vessels emerge from our newly-named Venturer Building.”

Mr Wallace described the event as a “great milestone in the renaissance of British shipbuilding”.

He said: “Today is a momentous occasion for the Type 31 programme, defence and the shipbuilding industry in Scotland. As Shipbuilding Tsar, to cut the steel for the first of five new frigates that will be constructed here on our shores in the Firth of the Forth, providing jobs and innovation to the area, is a tremendous honour.

“Equipped with the innovative technologies at the forefront of the Royal Navy’s future vision, the entire Type 31 fleet will be fitted with a range of capabilities allowing it to undertake a variety of operations at sea.”

The newest of the Royal Navy’s frigate fleet's operations will include interception and disruption of illegal activity at sea, intelligence-gathering, defence engagement and providing humanitarian support.

The Type 31 will be equipped with innovative technology and will have advanced capabilities fitted onboard, including MBDA’s Sea Ceptor, a supersonic anti-air missile defence system, as well as a 57mm and two 40mm Bofors naval guns, a 4D radar system and the space to house a Royal Navy helicopter.