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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Defence Secretary confirms summer start for Type 26 frigates

4 November 2016

The Defence Secretary has announced the steel cut for new Type 26 frigates will be in summer 2017, subject to final contract negotiations.

Michael Fallon made the announcement about the Royal Navy's next generation Type 26 Global Combat Ship during a visit to Govan in Scotland today.

The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR15) set out the UK Government's commitment to build eight Anti-Submarine Type 26 Global Combat Ships. Today's announcement of a date for cutting-steel on the Type 26 is an important step towards securing billions of pounds worth of investment in British shipbuilding on the Clyde and securing hundreds of skilled jobs through until 2035.

During his visit to Govan, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

"Backed by Britain's rising Defence budget, the Type 26 Programme will deliver a new generation of cutting-edge warships for our Royal Navy at best value for taxpayers."

"The UK government's commitment today will secure hundreds of high-skilled shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde for at least two decades and hundreds more in the supply chain across Britain."

Showing further commitment to the Type 26 programme, the Defence Secretary also announced a £100 million contract with MBDA to deliver the Sea Ceptor self-defence missile system for the ship. The contract will support design work, allow equipment to be manufactured to equip the entire Type 26 fleet, and install the system on the first three ships. This follows a £183 million investment in the Maritime Indirect Fire System, the Type 26's 5-inch calibre gun earlier in the summer, bringing our total investment in the programme to £1.9 billion.

Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, said:

"This is a momentous commitment for Scotland that will strengthen and secure our shipbuilding industry on the Clyde for the future."

"The UK government is backing jobs on the Clyde and in its shipyards – and this investment is only possible because of the broad shoulders of our strong UK defence budget."

The Defence Secretary also announced that the MOD plans to sign a contract shortly to start building of the two additional Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) pledged to in the SDSR, both of which will be delivered in 2019, protecting jobs on the Clyde before the start of the Type 26 programme gets fully under way.

The MOD has been working with industry to ensure that they are able to deliver to time, cost and performance and secure the skills necessary to meet the challenge of delivering a world class anti-submarine warfare capability for the Royal Navy at value for money for the taxpayer. Detailed negotiations will now begin to finalise the contract.

This demonstrates the Government's continuing commitment to shipbuilding on the Clyde and real progress in delivering the Type 26 programme to meet the modern needs of Britain's Royal Navy.

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