Multi-million Pound UK shipbuilding boost

Published:  25 February, 2015

The UK’s shipbuilding industry has been given a major boost as a result of the The Ministry of Defence signing a demonstration contract with BAE Systems worth £859m.

Around 1700 jobs will be sustained as a result of the investment in the future Type 26 complex warship – the next generation Royal Navy frigates – with 600 of the jobs safeguarded in Scotland, where the Type 26 will be built.

Various other sites across the country will also benefit from the announcement including in Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, Manchester, Cheshire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Hampshire.

Welcoming the announcement, the Prime Minister said: "This is a substantial investment in our shipbuilding industry, safeguarding the jobs of 600 workers in Scotland and many more across the UK. Investing in these warships will ensure we continue to keep our country safe, at home and abroad.

"As part of our long term economic plan, we’re not just building the most advanced modern warships in the world – we are building the careers of many young people with apprenticeships that will set them up for life."

The T26 Global Combat Ship (GCS) will be a multi-mission warship capable of joint and multinational operations across the full spectrum of warfare, including complex combat operations, counter-piracy, humanitarian and disaster relief work.”

BAE Systems chief executive, Ian King, added: "We have a long and proud heritage of delivering complex warships in the UK and today’s announcement is a significant endorsement of the Government’s commitment to sustain this important national capability. We are committed to working with the Government, the Ministry of Defence and our partners in the maritime supply chain to ensure the Royal Navy has the capability it needs to protect national interests, while ensuring the best value for money for UK taxpayers.

"Through the Type 26 programme, we are transforming the way we design and manufacture naval ships with innovative new technologies, leading-edge processes and modern infrastructure. New ways of working ensure we can continue to deliver the highest quality equipment at the lowest possible cost and compete effectively for future UK and international orders."

The Type 26 demonstration contract builds on the initial assessment phase and takes effect from 1 April 2015, marking the next significant stage of the programme to support progression towards the manufacturing phase, which is expected to begin in Glasgow in 2016. It will involve approximately 30 companies in the maritime supply chain and will include investment in essential long lead items for the ships, shore-testing facilities. There will also be investment in key equipment for the first three ships – such as gas turbines, diesel generators and steering gear – allowing suppliers to plan, invest and secure their workforce on the project.

The programme envisages the delivery of 13 Type 26 ships to the Royal Navy. The first vessel is due to enter service in the early 2020s and the Type 26 class is expected to remain in service until 2060.

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