VT plans to combine its shipbuilding business with that of BAE Systems PLC in line with UK government plans to make the industry more efficient and to prevent peaks and troughs in demand, AFX News reported.
Delays by the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in giving the O.K. for work on a 3.5-3.9 bln stg contract to build two new aircraft carriers
for the Royal Navy, which would form the bulk of the JV's future work, have put back an announcement.
The MoD had been due to approve the start of manufacturing before the May local elections, but there is now speculation that it will not make an announcement until the new Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party is decided at the end of next month.
VT is keen for the MoD to make an announcement in the next month or two in order to avoid potential delays in the delivery of the two carriers beyond the expected dates of 2012 and 2015.