Image copyright Babcock Image caption Babcock has been named preferred bidder with its Arrowhead 140 design The race to design and build a new generation of Royal Navy frigates has been won by a consortium led by Babcock.
The firm has been named preferred bidder for the £1.25bn contract for five Type 31 warships.The deal secures hundreds of jobs at Rosyth in Fife, where the ships will be assembled, with construction work spread between yards across the UK.Work is to begin by the end of 2019, with the first ships delivered in 2023.
The Type 31 is a smaller, cheaper frigate than the Type 26 warships currently being built at the Upper Clyde shipyards. With a price ceiling of £250m per ship, the aim is to maintain the size of the Navys surface fleet and generate export orders.Three firms in warship build contestMoD unveils UK shipyard strategyAhead of the preferred bidder being announced to the stock exchange, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the modular construction method would support 2,500 jobs throughout the UK.
He said: This is an industry with a deep and visceral connection to so many parts of the UK and to the union itself. My government will do all it can to develop this aspect of our heritage and the men and women who make up its workforce - from apprentices embarking on a long career, to those families who have worked in shipyards for generations.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said Scotland was at the forefront of a renaissance in UK shipbuilding. This is a clear show of support for the UK defence sector, the role it plays in keeping the United Kingdom secure, and its contribution to Scotlands prosperity through high-skilled employment and investment, he added.
The Babcock teams Arrowhead 140 design beat off competition from a Cammell Laird/BAE Systems consortium and a third bid led by Atlas Elektronik UK.The winning consortium also includes Thales, BMT as well as Ferguson Marine, based in Port Glasgow and Harland and Wolff in Belfast - both of which are currently in administration.
Last month, Babcock insisted these firms financial difficulties would not affect its bid because its flexible build approach could accommodate a range of delivery sites. Type 31 - the Lidl frigate Image copyright Babcock Three different designs were in the running for the Type 31 contract but they all have something in common - theyre cheap.
.The price cap of £250m per ship might sound.....