Millions to be spent on Royal Navy’s new warship programme

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DEFENCE minister Philip Dunne has announced that £20m will be spent on parts for the Royal Navy’s new offshore patrol vessels.

The government official made the pledge during a visit to BAE Systems’ shipyards on the Clyde in Scotland.

It was announced in November last year that the Ministry of Defence would purchase the three ships, which will be built, subject to approval, by the defence giant at the Scottish sites.

The contract will enable BAE Systems to begin work on parts such as engines and gearboxes, which take longer to make and therefore have to be ordered in advance of the main shipbuilding programme.

The news comes after BAE announced in November that it will close its shipyard in Portsmouth, a move that has put up to 1,000 jobs at risk.

City leaders had hoped at least one of the ocean patrol vessels would be built in the city.