Naval shipbuilding plan is '˜destined for failure'

A RADICAL plan to break up BAE Systems' monopoly on naval shipbuilding in the UK is destined to fail, industry experts have claimed.

Saturday, 7th January 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:40 pm

Naval architect Sir John Parker unveiled a report into nation’s shipbuilding strategy last month.

He recommended spreading work across other UK shipyards, as well as cutting steel on the new class of Type 31 frigates as soon as possible.

Sir John’s report was lauded by city industrialists for its ‘sound common sense’.

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But now the Royal United Services Institute has claimed Sir John’s vision is unlikely to become a reality.

Dr Peter Roberts, director of military sciences at the defence think tank, said: ‘Ending BAE’s monopoly might seem a lovely idea for industry, but very few companies are willing to take on as difficult a customer as the Ministry of Defence, which changes its mind all the time as warfare changes.’

He said bringing a warship from concept to build could take decades, adding: ‘These are very complex vessels and few companies can commit to those long timeframes.’