Portsmouth jobs secure as defence firm signs £133m deal

GOOD NEWS Andrew Davies
GOOD NEWS Andrew Davies

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SCORES of jobs in Portsmouth have been secured after BAE Systems signed a £133m contract with the Brazilian Navy.

The firm will be supplying the country with three ocean patrol vessels – one of which was built in Portsmouth and the other two in Scotland.

The contract also contains a manufacturing licence to enable further vessels of the same class to be constructed in Brazil.

The three 295ft (90m) vessels were built for Trinidad and Tobago, but the contract was cancelled in 2010.

The purchase price agreed with the Brazilian Navy is £17m less than the original contract was worth, but BAE Systems officials have said the price is good one with which the defence giant was comfortable.

Nigel Stewart, commercial director of BAE Systems’ maritime business, said: ‘This contract will support up to 100 jobs at our facility in Portsmouth Naval Base over the next 15 months, as we prepare the ships for Brazil.

‘This will include the reactivation of the first two ships, as well as final integration of equipment and sea trials for the third vessel.’

Andrew Davies, managing director, added: ‘This is a significant step forward in our relationship with Brazil. The ocean patrol vessels are highly capable ships and I am sure they will be a tremendous asset to the Brazilian navy.’

We are looking forward to working together and hope this will be the start of a long-term partnership with Brazil in the maritime sector.’

Two of the vessels will be delivered this year and the third is to be fitted out for delivery in 2013.