The launch date of the second ferry to serve the islands being built in Turkey has been announced, marking an “important milestone” in the Scottish Government’s plan to launch six vessels by 2026.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) said the MV Loch Indaal, which will serve Islay and Jura, will launch on June 8.

The announcement comes after the MV Isle of Islay launched in Turkish waters in March, with the vessel expected to enter service in November.

The Isle of Islay and Loch Indaal are two of four ferries being built at the Cemre yard in Turkey, with the others said to be “progressing well and according to schedule”, CMAL told MSPs in March.

The progress stands in sharp contrast to the two larger ferries – the Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa – being built at the state-owned Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow, which are six years late and several times over-budget.

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Jim Anderson, director of vessels at CMAL, said: “With the launch of Isle of Islay in March, and Glen Rosa in April, Loch Indaal will be the third vessel to launch within three months.

“Work is progressing well at Cemre, and we are on schedule and on budget with all four vessels, which will be welcome news for islanders.”

On June 8, the Loch Indaal will enter the water at Cemre Marin Endustri shipyyard in Yalova.

Work will then continue on the vessel slipway and it is expected to arrive in Scotland in February.

An official naming ceremony is scheduled for the middle of next year.

The ferry will have a capacity of 450 passengers and 100 cars, or 14 commercial vehicles.

Transport Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “I’m delighted that the launch of the MV Loch Indaal has been confirmed for early June.

“This is another important milestone in the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering six new major vessels into service by 2026.

“I have no doubt the communities and businesses on Islay and Jura are looking forward to a more resilient and modern ferry service, with further vessels set to bring similar improvements to other parts of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services network.”