Defence Secretary and Australian Minister visit Scottish site building Type 26 frigates
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has hosted his Australian counterpart Marise Payne at the Scottish shipyard building the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 frigates after Australia chose the British-designed ships for its own Navy last month.
Australia’s decision to choose BAE Systems to build the nine British-designed warships could be worth up to £20 billion, and has been hailed as the biggest Naval ship deal for a decade. The agreement has massive potential benefits across the entire existing Type 26 supply chain, which the Defence Secretary outlined has now seen investment of more than £1 billion across more than 80 companies.
Australian Minister of Defence Ms Payne toured the shipyard where Britain’s new warship fleet is being constructed after. Her Government’s ‘Global Combat Ship’ agreement, which was announced last month and will see nine of Britain’s cutting-edge ships built in Australia, is also expected to draw on the United Kingdom’s robust supply chain to support the construction of its fleet.
Speaking during the visit to BAE Systems’ Clyde Shipyard with Minister Payne, the Defence Secretary revealed the massive investment had already boosted family firms and British businesses across the nation, showing the importance of shipbuilding in every corner of the country, and its potential to support allies across the world.
Mr Williamson said: “This renaissance in British shipbuilding is great news for our major yards, but also for the whole defence industry, with millions being injected into so many businesses, both big and small, supporting and supplying our world-class warships. The Type 26 supply chain has now seen investment worth over £1 billion, and many of the businesses involved are now perfectly placed to benefit from Australia’s £20 billion build.”
More than 80% of the total equipment spend has now be committed to the supply chain, and more than 80 companies have secured contracts to supply material for the first three ships.
Sixty-four of those companies are based across the United Kingdom, supporting more than 4000 jobs. The regional reach of the Type 26 ship helped secure the Australian deal for BAE Systems, with the success stories across Britain expected to be replicated in Australia.
image © Crown Copyright
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