Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Defence, was joined by Marise Payne, Minister for Defence, Australia, on a visit to BAE Systems’ Glasgow shipyard today.
During the visit the Ministers discussed BAE Systems’ selection as preferred tenderer for the Australian Government’s SEA 5000 Future Frigates Programme, before viewing recently constructed units of the first UK Type 26 Global Combat Ship, GLASGOW.
The visit comes almost a year after construction started on GLASGOW, and just days after the announcement by the Australian Government that the nine anti-submarine Hunter Class frigates will be based on the UK’s Type 26 design and will be built in Australia for the Royal Australian Navy. During the visit the UK Defence Secretary and Minister Payne viewed the first ten units of GLASGOW, which are being integrated to form the hull and main machinery spaces.
BAE Systems has also announced that the value of the contracts placed with UK and international suppliers for the first three contracted UK Type 26 frigates now totals in excess of £1bn.
Over 80% of the total equipment spend on the first three ships of the UK programme has now been committed to the supply chain. Over 80 companies are contracted to design and manufacture equipment for the first three ships, of which over 60 are based in the UK, supporting more than 4000 jobs in total.
BAE Systems Chief Executive Charles Woodburn said; “Australia’s selection of the Type 26 Combat Ship for its Future Frigates programme reflects the world-leading anti-submarine warfare capabilities these ships will deliver to the UK and to the Commonwealth.
“In the 12 months since cutting steel on the first of the UK ships, we have committed more than £1 billion with supply chain companies, large and small - vital partners in delivering cutting edge capability to the Royal Navy, supporting thousands of jobs and contributing to national prosperity.
“Our recent success on the Australian Future Frigate programme will not only deliver huge benefits for Australia, supporting jobs, local industry and sovereign capability – it will also generate opportunities for companies in our UK supply chain.”
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “This renaissance in British shipbuilding is great news for our major yards, but also for the whole defence industry, with millions being injected into so many businesses, both big and small, supporting and supplying our world-class warships. The Type 26 supply chain has now seen investment worth over £1 billion, and many of the businesses involved are now perfectly placed to benefit from Australia’s £20 billion build.”
The Global Combat Ship will be a world-class anti-submarine warfare ship, which is globally deployable and capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group. The UK Type 26 will replace the Royal Navy’s existing Type 23 anti-submarine warfare ships, with the first of class expected to enter service in the mid-2020s. The Australian Future Frigate will be built in Australia over the next two decades, to replace the Anzac frigates with the first of class expected to enter service in the late 2020s.