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BAE Systems to build 13 frigates

Cameron gives Clyde go ahead for £859m Royal Navy warship order

Type 26 frigateBAE Systems has been given the go ahead to build 13 frigates for the Royal Navy at its Glasgow yards.  The £859 million contract will allow the company to invest in the equipment and facilities needed and provide a boost to suppliers in the defence and engineering sectors.

BAE has been working on development plans for the Type 26 warships since 2010 and today said it welcomed an announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron “confirming the UK Government’s continued commitment to sustaining national sovereign capability to deliver complex warships to the Royal Navy”.

The contract will sustain up to 1,700 jobs on the Clyde and elsewhere and comes on the back of the recent contract for three Offshore Patrol Vessels, which are already under construction in Glasgow.

BAE said it will help to support the UK’s” vibrant industrial base”, including more than 600 jobs in Scotland and more than 1,000 more throughout the UK in both BAE Systems and its supply chain.

The Company is investing in education and training with its largest ever recruitment of apprentices and graduates, including 220 in its Naval Ships business, the majority of which are in Glasgow.

Chief Executive, Ian King, said:  “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.”

Mr Cameron 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 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 enable the investment in essential long-lead items, including equipment such as gas turbines, diesel generators and steering gear for the first three ships, as well as the creation of shore-based testing facilities.

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.

>> See also BAE’s solid order book


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