VIDEO: Calls for new HMS Sheffield grow as MP backs campaign
Sheffield should get a new ship to honour the city's proud naval tradition, an MP has claimed.
Angela Smith this week added her voice to growing calls for a fourth HMS Sheffield, 35 years after the second ship to be named after the city was sunk during the Falklands War.
“The name of HMS Sheffield is synonymous with the Royal Navy with the first ship to bear the name gaining many battle honours during the Second World War, including helping to sink the German battleships Bismark and Scharnhorst," said the Penistone & Stocksbridge MP.
"Of Course the second HMS Sheffield was tragically lost in the Falklands and the city has not had a ship named after it for 15 years.
"Now, given that a new city class of frigates are to be built it is vital the city which has always had close ties with the Royal Navy has a new ship named after it and that is why I have added my name to the growing chorus for there to be a fourth HMS Sheffield."
Construction recently began on the first of eight new Type 23 frigates, a fleet of submarine-hunters being built to protect the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers and its Trident nuclear deterrent.
Two of the new ships have already been named after Glasgow and Belfast, but Sheffield is among a host of other cities understood to be vying for the naming rights for the remaining six.
The first HMS Sheffield, nicknamed the Shiny Sheff due to the profusion of stainless steel adorning her body, became one of the navy's most decorated ships, amassing 12 battle honours during the Second World War.
The second was hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile during the Falklands War, killing 20 people, and later sank.
And the last ship to bear the name was decommissioned 15 years ago and sold to Chile.
Speaking in a Commons debate this week, Ms Smith called on defence secretary Michael Fallon to ensure 'full consideration' is given to the naming of a fourth HMS Sheffield.
Defence minister Harriet Baldwin, responding on his behalf, praised the 'poignant appeal' and said she was sure Ms Smith's representations would have been heard by the relevant committee.
"I am pleased we are building so many new ships in this country that we can have all these new names," she added.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said a number of cities with links with shipbuilding had expressing an interest in having a new ship bearing their name, and an announcement would be made 'in due course'.
The Government placed a £3.7 billion order in June for the first three of the new frigates, with the contract for the second batch due to be negotiated in the early 2020s.
The first of the warships, which will have a range of 7,000 nautical miles and be able to travel in excess of 26 knots, is expected to begin service around the middle of the next decade.