UK Hopes to Save Shipbuilding Jobs With Navy Deal

Friday, March 16, 2001
The U.K. Ministry of Defense said it hoped a new contract with naval shipbuilder Vosper Thornycroft would save 450 workers from the company's planned 650 job cuts announced in December. Vosper Thornycroft is building three offshore patrol vessels at its Southampton, southern England, shipyard for the Royal Navy. The vessels will replace existing ships involved with protecting fishing regulations. "Construction of the vessels is expected to safeguard around 450 jobs at Vosper Thornycroft's Southampton shipyard," the Ministry of Defense said. A spokesman for Vosper said the contract would be worth around $86.03 million in total. Contract negotiations are expected to be finalized next month. UK Defense Procurement Minister Elizabeth Symons visited the Southampton shipyard, and said the Vosper deal would allow the Navy to save about 10 million pounds over the next few years. Symons said in a statement the Vosper contract would lead to fewer crew working on offshore patrol duties, but a Royal Navy spokesman said there would be no job cuts in this area. - (Reuters)

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