BAE Systems has been awarded a £348 million contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to construct three new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the UK Royal Navy.
The new 90 metre vessels will be built at BAE Systems’ facilities in Glasgow and will provide additional capability for the Royal Navy.
The ships will be used to support counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations in the waters around the UK and abroad.
Mick Ord, Managing Director at BAE Systems Naval Ships, said,
“This is a significant contract award which marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for the UK shipbuilding sector. We’re making major investments in our people, technology and facilities to create a world-class complex warship capability and the OPVs provide an opportunity to embed these new ways of working.
This will ensure we remain competitive and are best placed to secure the Type 26 manufacturing contract, which together with the investments will sustain the long-term future of this highly skilled industry.”
Production will start in October, with the first of class expected to be delivered to the Royal Navy in 2017.
Announcing the contract, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
” 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.”
The ships will be larger and more efficient than the existing River Class OPVs, providing a step change in capability to the Royal Navy with more room for embarked personnel, the addition of a flight deck capable of landing Merlin helicopters and storage space.
With a maximum speed of 24 knots and a range of 5,500 nautical miles, the ships will be globally deployable and capable of ocean patrol.
Original article written by and sourced from – worldmaritimenew.com