BAE Systems Gets $1.3b for New UK Warships
The U.K. Ministry of Defense has signed a $1.3 billion contract with BAE Systems for equipment to build the next generation of warships for the British navy, Prime Minister David Cameron announced today.
BAE Systems has been working on plans to provide Britain with 13 new warships since 2010, Reuters reported, adding that the new contract enables the shipbuilder to continue developing the project by investing in the equipment and facilities needed before building can begin.
According to the U.K. defense ministry, it is expected that approximately 1,700 jobs will be sustained as a result of the investment in the future Type 26 complex warship – the next generation Royal Navy frigates – with 600 of the jobs safeguarded in Scotland, where the Type 26 will be built. Other sites across the country will also benefit from the shipbuilding deal, including in Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, Manchester, Cheshire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Hampshire.
“This is a substantial investment in our shipbuilding industry, safeguarding the jobs of 600 workers in Scotland and many more across the U.K.,” the Prime Minister said. “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 T26 Global Combat Ship (GCS) will be a multi-mission warship capable of joint and multinational operations across the full spectrum of warfare, including complex combat operations, counter-piracy, humanitarian and disaster relief work, the defense ministry said.
"This announcement is a clear vote of confidence in British industry and forms part of our commitment to invest over £160 billion in equipment and equipment support over the next 10 years,” said Defense Secretary, Michael Fallon.
"We are committed to working with the Government, the Ministry of Defense and our partners in the maritime supply chain to ensure the Royal Navy has the capability it needs to protect national interests, while ensuring the best value for money for U.K. taxpayers,” said BAE Systems Chief Executive, Ian King. “The new contract will include investment in essential long lead items for the ships, shore testing facilities. There will also be investment in key equipment for the first three ships – such as gas turbines, diesel generators and steering gear – allowing suppliers to plan, invest and secure their workforce on the project.”
The first Type 26 ship is expected to enter service in the early 2020s, Reuters reported.