As I said, I cannot give a time scale, but it is not my intention to delay the process. As I also said, I will be as open as I can with my hon. Friend going forward. We do not want to delay the process; we want to move forward with it as quickly as we can.
The future surface combatant is expected to build on the capabilities of the existing Type 22 and Type 23 frigates. This capability includes delivering maritime force protection, providing maritime security to deployed forces, global maritime reach and maritime support to civil organisations. The FSC is at the early stages of concept design and the detailed user requirements have not yet been defined, so I am afraid that I cannot give my hon. Friend the assurances she requested. However, I can assure her that there are no reasons at the moment why Devonport should not be considered to have a role in the support of these vessels.