NWI - Naval Warfare

UK MoD awards £348 million OPV contract

12th August 2014 - 08:34 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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A £348 million contract to build three new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Royal Navy has gone to BAE Systems, securing some 800 jobs at the company’s Clyde dockyard where the vessels will be built.

The contract, announced on 12 August, follows an earlier commitment of £20 million in March for lead work on the programme.

The new OPVs will feature a redesigned flight deck to operate Merlin helicopters as well as increased storage and accommodation facilities, increasing on the capabilities of the Royal Navy’s current River Class vessels to undertake various tasks in support of UK interests.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: ‘UK warships are only built in UK shipyards. This multi-million pound contract shows our commitment to investing in new ships for the Royal Navy and maintaining in the UK the expertise needed to build the warships of the future.  It will benefit the dedicated workers of the Clyde, their families and the local economy in Glasgow.

‘This sort of investment by the UK government is vital for the sustainment of shipbuilding in the city and the hundreds of specialist manufacturing and engineering roles that play an important role in providing war fighting capability for the Royal Navy.’

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander added: ‘I am delighted that we will be building the Royal Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels in Glasgow. Today’s announcement continues over 200 years of tradition building the nation’s leading ships on the Clyde. This will also support hundreds of jobs in the region and make an important contribution to the wider UK economy.’

The contract will help sustain the UK’s shipbuilding capabilities following the completion of the second aircraft carrier, the Prince of Wales.

The first OPV is expected to be handed over to the Royal Navy in 2017.

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