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by Kirsteen Paterson
15 November 2022
Scottish shipyards win £4.2bn Ministry of Defence order

Type 26 frigate HMS Glasgow under construction at BAE Systems in Govan

Scottish shipyards win £4.2bn Ministry of Defence order

Five Royal Navy warships will be built in Scotland in a £4.2bn deal, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced.

The Type 26 frigates will be constructed by BAE Systems at its Clydeside sites at Govan and Scotstoun in Glasgow.

The deal will support 1,700 jobs there, the MoD said, plus another 2,300 with more than 120 other UK suppliers.

Three Type 26 vessels – HMS Glasgow, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast – are already under construction at the Glasgow yards, following a £3.7bn order announced in 2017.

All eight are scheduled to be complete by the mid-2030s, with the first, HMS Glasgow, due to enter service at the end of 2028.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace said: "Supporting thousands of high-skilled jobs in Scotland, and more across the wider UK supply chain, this contract will continue to boost our British shipbuilding industry, galvanising the very best of British engineering, manufacturing and design."

Scottish secretary Alister Jack called the deal "great news", saying: "Billions of pounds of UK Government defence investment into Scotland's shipyards is already boosting our country's prosperity through supporting thousands of jobs directly and through the supply chain.

"The National Shipbuilding Office, which has a base in the UK Government hub in Edinburgh, is working with industry to deliver a 30-year pipeline of orders in the naval and commercial sectors that will boost Scotland and help level-up all parts of the UK."

Designed to replace the bulk of the retiring Type 23 fleet, the frigates are described as "flexible and advanced warships with the primary purpose of anti-submarine warfare".

At just under 150m long – around the length of three Olympic swimming pools – and with a top speed of more than 26 knots and a ange of more than 7,000 nautical miles, the vessels will also be capable of countering piracy and delivering humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

Commenting, the chair of Westminster's Scottish Affairs Committee, Pete Wishart MP, said: "It is positive news today that the UK Government has announced that BAE Systems is to build frigates on the Clyde for the Royal Navy.

"Scotland is the heart of the UK’s military shipbuilding. This contract continues the drumbeat of orders our committee has been hearing that the Scottish defence sector needs to continue thriving. While the number of jobs being supported by this contract is very welcome for Scottish communities, it is important that Scottish defence SMEs are not overlooked in the supply chain. In our earlier report on the military landscape in Scotland, we were concerned that Scottish SMEs accounted for only 2.5 per cent of the MoD’s total spending with SMEs.

"We look forward to discussing this – and many other defence issues – with the defence secretary when he appears before our committee next month."

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