DEFENCE giant BAE Systems has clinched a new £183m deal to construct a weapons system which will sit on board the Royal Navy’s next generation of frigate.
The Ministry of Defence agreed the funding to pay for the state-of-the-art maritime indirect fire system (Mifs), which will be integrated on the Type 26 Global Combat Ship.
The Mifs includes the five-inch 62-calibre mark-45 naval gun system, which is already in service with other Nato nations, including the US and Spanish navies.
The news comes a week after defence bosses admitted to MPs that they were not sure when production of the next-generation frigate would begin.
Now, defence procurement minister Harriett Baldwin – who is in charge of delivering the new ships – said this investment reaffirmed the government’s commitment to building the Type 26s.
‘Our growing defence budget means we can invest in a cutting-edge weapon system for the Royal Navy’s next generation Global Combat Ship at the best value for taxpayers,’ she said.
‘Along with sustaining highly-skilled jobs across the country, this new contract underlines our commitment and demonstrates continued momentum in the programme.’
The contract covers the design and build of the first three guns, training system and ammunition, and will sustain 43 jobs in the UK.
The weapons system and the ammunition and associated equipment will be manufactured across the UK.
Deliveries of the gun are expected to begin in 2020.