BAE Systems has welcomed an announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron confirming the UK Government’s continued commitment to sustaining national sovereign capability to deliver complex warships to the Royal Navy.
The £859m demonstration contract for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship comes on the back of the recent contract for three Offshore Patrol Vessels, which are already under construction in Glasgow.
The contract is hoped to help support the UK’s vibrant industrial base, including more than 600 jobs in Scotland and over 1000 more throughout the UK in both BAE Systems and its supply chain.
The Company is also driving continued investment in education and training with its largest ever recruitment of apprentices and graduates, including 220 in its Naval Ships business, the majority of which are in Glasgow.
BAE Systems chief executive, Ian King, commented: “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.
“Through the Type 26 programme, we are transforming the way we design and manufacture naval ships with innovative new technologies, leading-edge processes and modern infrastructure. New ways of working ensure we can continue to deliver the highest quality equipment at the lowest possible cost and compete effectively for future UK and international orders.”
The Prime Minister said: “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 Type 26 demonstration contract builds on the initial assessment phase and takes effect from April 1 2015, marking the next significant stage of the programme to support progression towards the manufacturing phase, which is expected to begin in Glasgow in 2016.
It will involve approximately 30 companies in the maritime supply chain and will enable the investment in essential long-lead items, including equipment such as gas turbines, diesel generators and steering gear for the first three ships, as well as the creation of shore-based testing facilities.
The programme envisages the delivery of 13 Type 26 ships to the Royal Navy. The first vessel is due to enter service in the early 2020s and the Type 26 class is expected to remain in service until 2060.