UK’s Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visited defence companies in Scotland December 7 to highlight the impact last month’s Strategic Defence and Security Review will have on the economy.
Over the next decade, the MOD plans to spend around £8 billion on conventional warships for the Royal Navy, all of which will be built in Scotland.
On a visit to Rosyth, Scotland, the Defence Secretary toured the in-build aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, as the ship’s gas turbines were fully up and running for the first time.
The carrier programme is ahead of its schedule, and to the end of October, the MOD has paid around £5 billion to Babcock at Rosyth and to BAE Systems on the Clyde – boosting jobs and the local economies.
Alongside its sister ship the Prince of Wales, HMS Queen Elizabeth is supporting some 4,000 jobs and hundreds of apprentices in both Rosyth and Clyde shipyards, along with hundreds more in the supply chain.
In addition to the carriers, the ongoing build of three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) and the future Type 26 Global Combat ships, the plan for further, lighter frigates and two more OPVs brings the prospect of further shipbuilding work to Glasgow.
Nuclear Deterrent Submarines
In the southern part of the United Kingdom, vessels of a different kind have secured some 2.000 jobs at the Devenport shipyard as the Defence Minister Philip Dunne stated.
Two Royal Navy nuclear deterrent submarines have reached key programme milestones which will allow them to continue their role of the At-Sea Deterrent.
HMS Vengeance has left Devonport dockyard following a Long Overhaul Period (Refuel) and sailed past HMS Vanguard, which is due to start a scheduled Deep Maintenance Period (Refuel).
HMS Vengeance has completed the Devonport part of the £350 million refit and refuel programme which included a complete overhaul of equipment on the submarine as well as the installation of improved missile launch equipment and upgraded computer systems.
Additionally, the Ministry of Defence is due to sign a contract worth around £200 million with Babcock to undertake a planned period of maintenance for HMS Vanguard.
The contract to refit and refuel HMS Vanguard is expected to take nearly four years and will secure the future of more than 2,000 jobs at Babcock in Devonport, and involve over 100 companies subcontracting throughout the project.