A LUCRATIVE contract has today been signed so equipment needed to build the Royal Navy’s new type 26 frigates can be bought.
The Ministry of Defence has signed a deal worth £859m with BAE Systems to order parts for the vessels before they are built in Scotland and eventually based in Portsmouth and Plymouth.
The resources will come from sites across the UK including Hampshire.
Welcoming the announcement, prime minister David 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 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.
Defence secretary Michael Fallon said: ‘This announcement is a clear vote of confidence in British industry and forms part of our commitment to invest over £160 billion in equipment and equipment support over the next 10 years.
‘As a result, our military will have some of the most impressive and technologically advanced capabilities in the world; from the aircraft carriers and the F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, to the Type 45 destroyers, Scout armoured vehicles, the A400M and the Astute Class submarines.’
Ian King, chief executive of BAE, 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.’
The new contract 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.