Aw, come on, just that one time with MRA4...and some other stuff <koff>They have been known to spontaneously withdraw capabilities, make the operators redundant and literally cut up the gear so their decision can't be reversed.
But on topic, ordering in batches is normal, and while it's good to hear that the second batch is now officially placed, I wasn't too worried about getting 8 Type 26s - I'd have preferred the original 13 and I'd have liked more the sort of spec the Australian and Canadian variants are running to but 8 Type 26 has always seemed reasonably secure. Next, we need to see how well Type 31 goes - it's a very different contracting structure as I understand it, so not much, if any opportunity for changes or design revision.
I think we're safe to count on keeping hull numbers at least at current levels and if type 32 is ordered and delivered, we'd be looking at 24 hulls - admittedly five of them are large, spacious, but not very well armed Type 31.
Defence spending has been confirmed to remain at 2% (thank you Putin, Christmas card on the way)
I dunno, cautiously optimistic about the size of the RN at the moment.