BAE Systems has been awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence worth £3.7 bn to manufacture the first three ships for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme, with steel being cut on the first ship in Glasgow in the coming weeks.
This provides a strong foundation for the next two decades of shipbuilding in Scotland, securing more than 3,400 jobs across BAE Systems and the wider UK maritime supply chain.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: «The Type 26 Frigate is a cutting-edge warship, combining the expertise of the British shipbuilding industry with the excellence of the Royal Navy. We will cut steel on the first ship later this month – a hugely significant milestone that delivers on our commitment to maintain our global naval power. These ships will be a force to be reckoned with, there to protect our powerful new carriers and helping keep British interests safe across the world. Backed by a rising defence budget and a £178 bn Equipment Plan, the Type 26 programme will bring vast economic benefits to Scotland and the wider UK. The contract is structured to ensure value for taxpayers’ money and, importantly, now designed to protect them from extra bills from project overrun. The investment will secure hundreds of skilled jobs at BAE Systems on the Clyde for the next twenty years, and thousands of jobs in the supply chain across Britain».
Commenting on this important announcement, Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive, BAE Systems said: «The award of this contract is a strong endorsement of the talent and commitment of our employees across the UK and reinforces Glasgow as the center of shipbuilding in the UK. We are extremely proud to be chosen to design and manufacture vessels that will give the Royal Navy an essential, next generation capability and be a vital addition to its fleet. We will continue to invest in our technologies, productivity and people to help us deliver these ships to the highest standards. Today we have five River Class Offshore Patrol vessels at varying stages of construction for the Royal Navy across our shipyards in Glasgow and we look forward to starting manufacture on the first Type 26 ship in the coming weeks».
The UK Government committed to eight advanced anti-submarine warfare ships in its 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). The Type 26 programme currently employs more than 1,200 people in the UK supply chain, with a number of contracts already in place for the manufacture of major equipment for the first three ships. In total, there are already 33 UK and international companies working in the supply chain to deliver the Type 26 ships – with further announcements to be made shortly.
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be a world-class anti-submarine warfare ship and will replace the anti-submarine variant Type 23 frigates. Globally deployable, it will be capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group. The Type 26 will be the most advanced ship in its class around the world and we are exploring potential export opportunities where there is strong interest from international customers.