The UK government has announced that work for eight new Type 26 frigates at Glasgow shipyards will start in the summer of 2017, subject to final contract negotiations.
UK defence secretary Michael Fallon made the announcement about the Royal Navy’s next generation “global combat ship” during a visit to Govan.
The UK’s 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR15) had set out the UK Government’s commitment to build eight anti-submarine Type 26 ships.
Friday’s announcement of a date for cutting steel on the Type 26 is an important step towards securing billions of pounds worth of investment in shipbuilding on the Clyde and securing hundreds of skilled jobs through until 2035.
Fallon said: “Backed by Britain’s rising defence budget, the Type 26 programme will deliver a new generation of cutting-edge warships for our Royal Navy at best value for taxpayers.
“The UK government’s commitment today will secure hundreds of high-skilled shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde for at least two decades and hundreds more in the supply chain across Britain.”
Fallon also announced a £100 million contract with MBDA to deliver the Sea Ceptor self-defence missile system for the ship.
This contract will “support design work, allow equipment to be manufactured to equip the entire Type 26 fleet, and install the system on the first three ships.”
The UK Government’s Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, said: “This is a momentous commitment for Scotland that will strengthen and secure our shipbuilding industry on the Clyde for the future.
“The UK government is backing jobs on the Clyde and in its shipyards – and this investment is only possible because of the broad shoulders of our strong UK defence budget.
“The Defence Secretary also announced that the MOD plans to sign a contract shortly to start building of the two additional Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) pledged to in the SDSR, both of which will be delivered in 2019, protecting jobs on the Clyde before the start of the Type 26 programme gets fully under way.
“The MOD has been working with industry to ensure that they are able to deliver to time, cost and performance and secure the skills necessary to meet the challenge of delivering a world class anti-submarine warfare capability for the Royal Navy at value for money for the taxpayer.
“Detailed negotiations will now begin to finalise the contract.
“This demonstrates the Government’s continuing commitment to shipbuilding on the Clyde and real progress in delivering the Type 26 programme to meet the modern needs of Britain’s Royal Navy.”