Today I am providing an update on progress on the Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme.
The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) set out the Government’s commitment to build eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Type 26 Global Combat Ships.
We have been working with industry to agree the optimum schedule for the Type 26 and OPV build programmes to reflect the outcome of last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review. I can confirm we now plan to cut steel in summer 2017 to build the first batch of the eight planned Type 26 ships, subject to detailed contract negotiations.
In parallel to these negotiations we will continue to further mature the detailed ship design, and continue to mobilise the wider supply chain, a critical enabler for the start of manufacture. BAE Systems has recently awarded the latest tranche of sub-contracts for parts of the ship’s infrastructure, and today I am announcing a £100 million contract with MBDA to provide the Sea Ceptor self-defence missile system. This contract with MBDA will support design work to allow equipment to be manufactured to equip the entire Type 26 fleet.
This takes our total financial investment in the Type 26 programme to date to £1.9 billion, demonstrating the Government’s continuing commitment to shipbuilding in the UK. This is an important step securing hundreds of highly skilled shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde until 2035 and hundreds more in the supply chain across Britain. It also marks the continuing progress in delivering the Type 26 programme that will meet the modern needs of the Royal Navy.