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Babcock wins warship contract and secures Fife jobs

Babcock Team 31 has been selected by the UK Ministry of Defence to build a new generation of ships.

The Ministry of Defence has chosen a consortium led by Babcock to design and build a new generation of warships.

The firm has been named as preferred bidder for the contract worth £1.25bn in a deal that could secure hundreds of jobs across the UK, including Scotland. 

The T31 general purpose frigate programme will provide the UK Government with a fleet of five ships, at an average cost of £250m.

The ships will be assembled at Rosyth in Fife and construction work will be spread throughout the UK.

Arrowhead 140, described by Babcock as a capable, adaptable and technology-enabled global frigate, will be the Royal Navy’s newest class of warships, with the first ship scheduled for launch in 2023.

At its height the programme will have a workforce of around 1,250 in highly- skilled roles, with around 150 new technical apprenticeships likely to be developed. The work is expected to support an additional 1,250 roles within the wider UK supply chain.

Archie Bethel, CEO Babcock said: “It has been a tough competition and we are absolutely delighted that Arrowhead 140 has been recognised as offering the best design, build and delivery solution for the UK’s Royal Navy Type 31 frigates.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit a ship on the Thames on Thursday.

Speaking ahead of the visit he said: “The UK is an outward-looking island nation and we need a shipbuilding industry and Royal Navy that reflect the importance of the seas to our security and prosperity.

“This is an industry with a deep and visceral connection to so many parts of the UK and to the union itself.

“My Government will do all it can to develop this aspect of our heritage and the men and women who make up its workforce – from apprentices embarking on a long career to those families who have worked in shipyards for generations.”

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “Scotland has a world-renowned reputation for quality shipbuilding and I very much welcome the announcement that Babcock is the preferred bidder to design the MoD’s new Type 31 frigates.

“The Type 26 programme has already secured 4,000 Scottish jobs and 20 years of work on the Clyde and I’m looking forward to Babcock – including its key Rosyth yard – keeping Scotland at the forefront of a renaissance in UK shipbuilding.

“This is a clear show of support for the UK defence sector, the role it plays in keeping the United Kingdom secure, and its contribution to Scotland’s prosperity through high-skilled employment and investment.”

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