31 Oct 2017

Defence Secretary tours A&P Tyne ahead of Type 31e procurement

The Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, has paid a visit to A&P Tyne near Newcastle – one of the shipyards currently in contention to build a brand new class of vessel on behalf of the Royal Navy.

Since the launch of the National Shipbuilding Strategy last September, more than 20 proposals for the new Type 31e frigates have been developed. Among them, a Teaming Agreement between Cammell Laird and BAE Systems, of which A&P Tyne is part.

A&P Tyne has played a pivotal role in many major defence programmes – building blocks for UK aircraft carriers (most notably HMS Queen Elizabeth), for example, or providing key components to nuclear submarines. The marine specialist also maintains support ships, including RFA Mounts Bay which was so instrumental to the relief effort post Hurricane Irma.

Shipyards across the UK have been invited to draft high-level proposals that deliver the initial order of five ships at a maximum average price of £250M per vessel. The Defence Secretary has also made clear his commitment to visit each and every major UK shipyard before the formal competition to procure the new class of Type 31e begins in the New Year.

“It is very encouraging to witness the renaissance of shipbuilding around the UK first hand,” said the Defence Secretary. “Having helped build our new aircraft carriers and the Astute Class submarines, A&P Tyne have the skills and expertise to bid for our brand new class of frigates.

“The whole industry is clearly excited about the opportunity to build cutting-edge ships for our growing Royal Navy, which will protect our nation and interests across the world.”

The Defence Secretary was given a guided tour of the Hebburn-based shipyard, which employs 300 workers including 11 new apprentices and boasts the largest dry dock in the North East of England. With the commitment to build the Type 31e vessels in the UK, A&P Tyne has the opportunity to compete for this latest programme to build ships for the Royal Navy.

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