Defence chiefs want it built to officially mark our exit from the EU. The Daring Class Type 45 destroyer will become the pride of the fleet and be primarily used to hunt down pirates and deliver humanitarian aid. But it will also defend Britain’s territorial waters now we are an independent coastal state outside Europe’s Common Fisheries Policy.
As part of the Brexit deal sealed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Christmas Eve the EU is allocated a 48 per cent slice of North Sea cod – with the UK getting 52 per cent.
But by 2026 – when HMS Brexit will be fully operational – this changes to 43 per cent for the EU and 57 per cent for the UK.
Concerns about French fishing vessels encroaching into our waters will see HMS Brexit equipped with the ferocious Sea Viper missile, which can knock moving targets out of the sky from up to 70 miles away.
The project – estimated to cost £350 million – comes in the wake of sweeping cuts announced last week by the Ministry of Defence.
The size of the Army is to be reduced to 72,500 soldiers by 2025 as part of a move towards drones and cyber warfare.
But concerns about the Royal Navy being left all at sea has prompted military chiefs to sanction the construction of the vessel.
Built in Portsmouth the 7,350 tonne HMS Brexit will be 152 metres long and have a top speed of 30 knots.
Retired First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Cumference said: “Type 45 Destroyers are the backbone of the Royal Navy. What better way to mark our new-found freedom as an independent, sovereign nation than to commission a new destroyer. This will herald a new sense of pride in the Senior Service and ensure our waters remain truly free.”
The biggest and most powerful warship ever built for the Royal Navy is aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The £6 billion, 65,000 tonne ship was commissioned in 2017 and its flight deck is four acres.