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Type 26 Global Combat Ship

Volume 593: debated on Monday 23 February 2015

Today I am providing an update on our plans for taking forward the Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme.

Good progress has been made during the assessment phase on all aspects of the programme, and this work is now sufficiently mature to conclude this phase and move forward into the demonstration phase with effect from 1 April 2015.

In the demonstration phase, under a contract worth £859 million, we will continue detailed design work and invest in shore-based testing facilities. We will also provide certainty to suppliers by purchasing key initial equipment for three Type 26 GCS vessels. Careful negotiations have secured the best possible deal for this equipment, ensuring that it represents a good investment for the taxpayer.

In parallel, we will continue to work better to understand programme schedule, cost and risk. This approach draws on key lessons from the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier programme by ensuring that the ship design is sufficiently mature, the supply chain is fully mobilised early in the programme to de-risk material supply, and a full joint analysis of programme risk is completed before awarding a build contract.

On current planning, and subject to a main gate decision, this will allow the manufacture phase to commence in 2016 and maintain scheduled delivery of this new capability to the Royal Navy in 2022.