£3.7 Billion Deal Secures Thousands of UK Jobs
On 2 July; the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed that an order has now been signed for the first three Type 26 frigates (Global Combat Ships) for the Royal Navy (RN). The £3.7 billion contract will secure some 1,700 skilled shipbuilding jobs in Scotland and a similar number in BAE Systems’ nationwide supply chain through 2035.
The Type 26 will be the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) vessel and in RN service will be a key component of the force protection measures implemented for the seaborne nuclear deterrent and the QUEEN ELIZABETH-class aircraft carriers. A contract for the second batch of five frigates is likely to be negotiated in the 2020s, which will secure the long-term future of the Scottish shipbuilding industry. BAE Systems and the MoD, jointly, are looking to potential export opportunities for the design, which include both Canada and Australia.
“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,” Sir Michael Fallon, British Defence Secretary, stated.
The contract has been specifically structured so as to motivate both parties to deliver a successful outcome, with both sharing in the potential pain and gain, thus delivering the best possible value for money to the taxpayer.
“Today there are over 500 submarines in the world, operated by 40 navies. As one of the quietest and most potent submarine-hunters of any navy, the Type 26 will have a crucial role to play to protect the nuclear deterrent and our two new aircraft carriers,” Adm. Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, observed.