According to reports, BAE Systems is set to secure a $4B carrier contract
BAE, which operates Clydeside yards at Govan and Scotstoun, has not won back the prized prime contractor role it controversially lost last year, but is nonetheless expected to take charge of the bulk of the construction work.
Although an agreement is yet to be finalised by the various firms involved, the Ministry of Defence
is keen to see the deal signed within the next few weeks.
Such a move would bring an end to years of wrangling among companies and the MoD over how the massive project should be managed.
If a fresh plan is hammered out, the present alliance - comprising BAE, Thales of France
, Halliburton's KBR subsidiary and the MoD - is likely to be expanded to include two more firms, Babcock International - which owns the Rosyth yard in Fife - and VT Group, formerly known as Vosper Thornycroft.
Separately, Babcock said today its full-year performance would beat original forecasts as it posted an 80 per cent hike in first-half profits.
The aircraft carriers will be the biggest warships built in the UK and are seen as vital to the future of the British shipbuilding industry.
Final assembly would then take place in Rosyth although BAE and VT engineers would join the Babcock team to help complete the work.