BAE signs £127m order for new Navy projects
DEFENCE Secretary Bob Ainsworth hailed the Government’s commitment to the long-term future of the maritime industry as he announced developments to three Royal Navy projects, including one in Cumbria.
A £127m contract has been signed with BAE Systems Surface Ships to consider design proposals for the Type 26 combat ship, Mr Ainsworth said in a written ministerial statement, while a commitment to proceed with the Astute class of submarines in Barrow has also been made.
And a 15-year partnering agreement has been put in place with Babcock Marine covering surface ship and submarine support activities, which should provide savings and benefits worth £1.2bn to the Ministry of Defence.
“These decisions demonstrate the Government’s commitment to the long-term future of the Royal Navy and the UK’s maritime defence industry,” Mr Ainsworth said.
“They will deliver vital defence capability and sustain a world-class, efficient sovereign maritime industry.”
But the Tories hit out at the timing of the announcement and accused ministers of “racking up one last spending binge on the taxpayers’ credit card”.
The BAE Systems contract will consider options for the Type 26 warship, which is expected to have multiple roles including anti-submarine warfare and counter-piracy roles and is due to enter service in 2020.