04 Jul 2017

Defence Secretary announces £3.7Bn contract to begin building Type 26 frigates

The Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, has announced the signing of a contract worth around £3.7Bn to start building the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Frigates.

The contract to manufacture the warships will secure around 1700 skilled shipbuilding jobs in Scotland and 1700 jobs throughout the supply chain across Britain until 2035.

The Type 26 frigates will provide protection for the UK’s nuclear deterrent and the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers, the first of which, HMS Queen Elizabeth, has recently taken to sea for the first time.

The ships specialise in anti-submarine warfare, protecting the UK’s overseas territories and interests across the world.

The ships have been designed with flexibility in mind to ensure capabilities can be adapted throughout its lifespan to tackle future threats.

Sir Michael commented: “The Type 26 Frigate is a cutting-edge warship, combining the expertise of the British shipbuilding industry with the excellence of the Royal Navy. We will cut steel on the first ship later this month – a hugely significant milestone that delivers on our commitment to maintain our global naval power. These ships will be a force to be reckoned with, there to protect our powerful new carriers and helping keep British interests safe across the world.

“Backed by a rising defence budget and a £178Bn Equipment Plan, the Type 26 programme will bring vast economic benefits to Scotland and the wider UK. The contract is structured to ensure value for taxpayers’ money and, importantly, now designed to protect them from extra bills from project overrun. The investment will secure hundreds of skilled jobs at BAE Systems on the Clyde for the next twenty years, and thousands of jobs in the supply chain across Britain.”

The deal reaffirms the commitment made by the Government in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR15) to build eight Type 26 ships.

The contract for the second batch of five ships will be negotiated in the early 2020s, paving the way to sustain further jobs in Scotland and across the wider supply chain for many years to come.

image © BAE Systems

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