When reporting on naval procurement related topics, we frequently encounter myths regarding shipbuild in Scotland, ranging from claims on one side that all of the orders were cancelled to claims on the other that a ‘Frigate Factory’ has been built on the Clyde.

Below are most of our most-encountered myths and the reality behind them. Despite being numbered, they are in no particular order.

Myth 1 – ‘The Type 31 Frigates are mini-frigates!’

At 5,700 tonnes no one could realistically accuse the Type 31e Frigate of being a “mini frigate”, an MP decided to do so a couple of years ago however and as a result he has spawned a myth that doesn’t seem to go away.

MP curiously dismisses Babcock Type 31e work as “mini frigate”

 

The below image shows the Type 23 Frigate (the vessel type being replaced) followed by Type 31, Type 26 and for reference, a Type 45 Destroyer.

How will the Type 26 & Type 31 compare to the current Type 23 and the Type 45 destroyers? How will the 25 & 31 compare to other nations' frigates? - Quora

Myth 2 – ‘Scotland was promised 26 ships!’

The reality is that 26 is the ‘Type’ of ship, not the number to be built. There are plans for 8 Type 26 Frigates and 5 Type 31 frigates to be built in Scotland.

This crops up constantly, almost daily in fact.

Myth 3 – ‘Scotland gets the scraps off the table!’

Scottish yards are building the entirety of the the frigate fleet and the Offshore Patrol Vessel fleet, more than anywhere else in the UK.

Myth 4 – ‘Scotland was betrayed when work on the tankers went overseas!’

Before the referendum, many were accused of exaggerating how secure the shipbuilding industry would be after independence. This came about due to comments made by Geoff Searle, director of the Type 26 Global Combat programme indicating that they had no back–up plan to the Clyde if a ‘Yes’ vote was returned. However, the Ministry of Defence, the shipbuilding union and BAE themselves all claim that major warship builds would be reconsidered if Scotland left the UK. Many in industry rejected this interpretation, advocating the position that no alternative plan did not rule out the possibility of the UK Government rethinking investment in the Clyde in the event of independence, something which was later confirmed by ministers.

“The Government is not making contingency plans because we are confident that the Scottish people will vote to remain part of the UK. No Royal Navy warships have been built outside the UK since the Second World War for national security reasons and we have no intention of doing so in future.”

Many have also misconstrued the building of naval tankers in South Korea for the RFA as a break in this policy, that is not the case. Support vessels like this were (at the time) eligible to be constructed outside the UK as only ‘complex warship’ construction (such as frigates) must stay within UK borders.

Besides, no Scottish yard actually bid for the work.

Sir Bernard Gray, former Chief of Defence Materiel in the MoD leading Defence Equipment and Support Defence Equipment and Support, told us:

“I can help with that one, and probably others. No UK yards actually bid on the oilers. About 1 month before contract award an It/UK combo put forward a non-binding proposal. It was multiple times the cost of the contract awarded.”

This outrage also happened when the announcement that the new support vessels were going to international tender (although it has since been learned that the plan now is for a UK build). You can read more about that in the link below.

The Clyde hasn’t been ‘betrayed’ over new support ships – They’re not even bidding

Myth 5 – ‘The Type 26 Frigate programme has been cut to three ships!’

Warships of this size and complexity are ordered in batches, British complex warships are typically ordered in batches of 3 to 5 vessels, allowing for incremental changes to a design as a result of lessons learned in build.

The Type 45 Destroyer was ordered in batches, why should the Type 26 Frigate be any different?

As we predicted before the announcement that the first batch of Type 26 Frigates were to be ordered, some groups have taken the batch build process to indicate a cut.

We covered this topic a few years ago.

Ordering in batches is common for projects of this size around the world and was last seen with the Royal Navy for the Type 45 Destroyers and recent Offshore Patrol Vessels. The Type 45s first batch order was for three vessels just like Type 26, the remaining five Type 26 Frigates are currently in negotiation.

This is normal and it is routine, more on this can be read in the next section.

Myth 6 – ‘Orders were quickly cancelled after the independence referendum’

One key issue that has had significant influence over the often torrid debate when it comes to military ship building in Scotland is the reduction of the Type 26 procurement from thirteen to eight vessels. The often passionate arguments from those who support and oppose Scottish independence makes a balanced view of military ship building in Scotland and its future difficult as it can often end up with people shouting their ‘prefered’ facts at each other over social media rather then examining the issues.

With the change from 13 Type 26 Frigates to 8 Type 26 Frigates and 5 Type 31 Frigates (plus some Offshore Patrol vessels), there was the perception in some corners that work had been cut for Scotland, what actually happened?

What happened after the independence referendum was the five-yearly occurrence known as a defence review, this time called the ‘Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015’. The initial Type 26 Frigate order had been cut back from 13 to 8 in order to fund more of the immediate spending outlined in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

As a result of Type 26 being reduced to 8 ships, it was announced that five general purpose frigates were to be designed and ordered. These became the the Type 31 Frigates and they were ordered from Babcock at Rosyth. Part of the reason for this change was understood to be that the MoD is hoping to reduce its reliance on BAE and cut the costs of procurement.

There are plans for 8 Type 26 Frigates and 5 Type 31 frigates to be built in Scotland, 5 River class Offshore Patrol Vessels have been launched. The original plan was for 13 Type 26 Frigates at one yard, years later the plan is now 18 vessels of three types sustaining work at three yards.

Jonathan Chartier, a defence commentator working in Government and local government IT services, explains the issue.

“Traditionally the Royal Navy has purchased ship classes from multiple yards and in distinct batches, this not only spreads programme costs but also allows for changes and improvements to the base design plus rectification work as well as keep shipyards open with a constant steady stream of work. Certainly for famous classes like the Type 12I Leander this batch production was necessary just to keep up with the radical changes seen in electronics and systems over their extensive career.

So whilst the Royal Navy would have a projected number to be built it was not unusual for the number of batches to be reduced or on some occasion increased as needed without comment by the wider general public to satisfy the requirements of the Admiralty and always lurking in the background Treasury. This practice continued through to the Type 23 class which was built by competing yards Marconi Marine (YSL), Scotstoun and Swan Hunter, Wallsend. It is actually possible to tell where an individual Type 23 was built by inspecting its internal pipe fittings. With warship construction consolidated on the Clyde Type 26 was projected to be a build of thirteen vessels again through multiple batches in keeping with common practice, for those familiar with military ship building the thirteen projected was at best a placeholder subject to change.

Certainly it was well known in the period after the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security review it was clear that the equipment programme was again coming under extreme financial pressure again. In that circumstance it was unfortunate with a Scottish Independence referendum in the running David Cameron and the Better Together campaign unwisely turned routine procurement that could be subject to change into a political football by making it a direct promise to Scotland; thirteen Type 26 Frigates would be built on the Clyde alongside a new ‘Frigate Factory’.

The Labour Party exacerbated the situation with a leaflet spelling out that if Scotland remained in the Union it would get 13 Type 26 frigates. The Prime Minister and other Ministers plus representatives of the Better Together Campaign regularly spelled out that a Scotland in the Union would be getting thirteen Type 26.”

Fact check: Sturgeon's shipbuilding 'broken promises' claim is Mostly True
A leaflet from Labour.

So when the referendum was over and won for Better Together, the reality that Thirteen Type 26 was not deliverable within the allocated budget set in.

“A few months after cast iron guarantees for thirteen Type 26, the order was cut to eight as part of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security with a compensatory order for five General Purpose frigates proffered and some Offshore Patrol vessels ordered in their place. Considering what was promised in very clear terms by the Prime Minister, Better Together and other Parties including Labour it is understandable why Scottish Nationalists have fixated on it as a totemic issue. Put simply thirteen Type 26 was a core promise by Better Together in the Independence campaign that has been, technically, broken.

Of course the more nuanced point to be considered is that Scotland gained five River class Batch II Offshore Patrol Vessels and five Type 31 Frigates (plus a ‘frigate factory’ in Rosyth) as compensation for the loss.”

You can read more on this from Jonathan Chartier by following the link below.

The danger of politicising military shipbuilding in Scotland

Myth 7 – ‘A frigate factory was built on the Clyde’

Former Defence Secretary Michael Fallon incorrectly claimed that a ‘frigate factory’ has been built on the Clyde more than two years after its construction was cancelled.

BAE Systems had been expecting to build 13 Type 26 Frigates and had even demolished sheds at its old Scotstoun yard to make away for the new covered build hall however the slashed its order for the Type 26 Frigate to 8 and BAE Systems decided to build the vessels across two yards, Govan and Scotstoun, rather than at Scotstoun.

A ‘Frigate Factory’ did however end up being built, just not on the Clyde but at Rosyth for the Type 31 Frigate programme instead.

Massive frigate factory unveiled in Rosyth

Myth 8 – ‘Orders promised to Scotland have went overseas’

People have been sharing an article titled ‘French firm wins Royal Navy Type 31 frigates contract’ without actually reading it.

The five Type 31 Frigates on order are being built at Rosyth in Scotland.

The article from Plymouth Live, while having a bit of a “clickbaity” headline according to some commentators, does go on to explain that the news relates to some components of the ship.

We covered this news in a less exciting way here, essentially, Thales as part of Babcock Team 31, has been selected to be the mission systems integrator for the Type 31 programme, delivering the combat system, communications systems and the navigation and bridge systems.

According to Thales, the work will be done in the UK.

Have we missed anything?

This list isn’t comprehensive so if we’ve missed anything, just let us know below!

4.6 13 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
68 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rob C

Fantastic article. Sometimes it is hard to sort the wheat from the chaff in many tabloid and political spin headlines. Many, both in power and the sensationalist media, either intentionally or ignorantly misunderstand defence procurement. Has the MoD got themselves into an undignified crouch to BAE? Yes. Do we need to diversify our procurement profile? Yes. Does the MoD need to get a better handle on procurement creep and budget expansion? Yes. Has there been progress on all of these issues? Yes. Would an Independent Scotland lose defence procurement from the UK MoD? Almost certainly. The upshot? Everybody settle down.… Read more »

barry white

As long as widow krankie rattles on about inderef2 there will be a lot of people such as myself that thinks it is so unfair that Scotland gets all the warship building
It does make you think that its a bribe
But as they dont want RN ships to patrol there waters (which are at this moment in time STILL British waters) no more orders to be awarded to them
I suppose i will get some flack over this but i dont care
This work should have been spread

Geoff

Esepcially as they got most of the work on the carriers…

Spyinthesky

This is the most glaring hypocrisy isn’t it, depending on what message they wish to put across they either mean about no navy ships in their waters or diametrically the opposite that they don’t want navy ships in their waters. The one unifying aspect is of course these opposing sound bites in the context they are made both work to gain support for an Independent Scotland at least to the gullible. Seems it’s not only Boris who lacks any ability to be remotely consistent when personal benefit is the sole aim in mind.

Rob Collinson

Please, can we avoid using abusive terminology to refer to politicians. I agree that the SNP asking for a second ‘once in a lifetime referendum’ is needed as they did not like the last one is undignified and is considered, by many, as idiotic and unacceptable. It is very clear that, under the Barnett Formula, Scotland gets significantly more, by head, than all areas of England and Wales and will soon get more than Northern Ireland – an area of the UK which has been, to all onlookers, recovering from civil war!! I am no fan of either SNP or… Read more »

John Clark

You make a very good point indeed Rob and I have used the Wee Jimmy Cranky.

I shall endeavour not to use it again, i’m only feeding the separation narrative after all.

Here’s the rub, the SNP in particular have cynically set about lighting a fire between the English and Scottish, they lit the flame and have been happily adding petrol to it ever since.

The aim here is to foster cross border resentment, to gather domestic support for a second referendum …. Typical modern Trump style tactics unfortunately.

Sadly, modern politics at its worst….

Andy P

Each to their own of course John but I don’t mind a wee dig at those at the top, they kind of invite it. Yeah, its a bit of a cheap shot but as long as it stops there and doesn’t dissolve into (for example purposes only) anyone who votes Labour is a Marxist type stuff, that seems a bit more inflammatory than describing Corbyn as Harold Steptoe. I totally get others might see it differently and it can be the beginning of the tit for tat stuff. Just seems fairly harmless at that level, they’re all fair game as… Read more »

SD67

The Elephant in the room however is Barrow. Successor is a 30-40 billion program. Add to that the blocks of the carrier built in english yards, the major components from Rolls and David Brown I think the reality is England has the lions share by value

Geoff

They are lucky they are getting what they are, considering the mess they made of HMS Forth….
Time to see a competing shipyard in England.

Andrew Dyson

Totally agree. We need resilience in UK shipbuilding in the north east of England, ships as well as subs at Barrow.

Resilience outweighs politics

The next destroyers should follow this route

Geoff

Regarding Myth1, perhaps “mini” is a more appropriate description of the T31 armament…

Rob Collinson

I agree that the ‘teeth’ of the T31 are rather in need of a dentist!! I think ‘mini’ is unfair, as the embarked helicopter will, especially a Wildcat, CAN and WILL have significant teeth.

Last edited 3 months ago by Rob Collinson
Ron5

Most certainly a “mini” capability.

peter french

To my mind the lions share of build is in Scotland and yes i Believe it s a bribe which means other UK yards are starved of work
Its no good trying to appease the SNP . they regard the build as theirs by right
Theyll take all we can give them with out a thank you and continue to slag England off and publish outlandish disinformation

RobW

Shipbuilding yes, but the submarine fleet is built in Barrow and maintained in Devonport, which represents the biggest slice of the cake value wise. Then look at the RAF, Typhoon and F35 work. Much bigger contracts are awarded to English based yards and facilities.

Rob Collinson

But ALL submarines will be based at HMNB Clyde, which is the single biggest employer in Scotland.

Andy P

I’ll not single out individual posts but look at it this way guys, a disproportionate amount of warship building is done is Scotland. On the other hand there aren’t any Boxers or Ajax or Tempests etc built in Scotland. Or submarines and they cost a LOT. Defence spending should be spread around the country and with the scale of UK defence some things will get centralised. In a lot of ways if there is going to be a second surface vessel production line it makes sense that they’re geographically close. It allows the required skills to move between them easily… Read more »

Ron5

Ain’t that the truth.

Supportive Bloke

Some good common sense in the above, about keeping a group of skilled workers in a locale. Unfortunately there isn’t the volume of naval shipbuilding to keep two big centres of excellence going. The Parker report hinted, without explicitly stating it, that what should be done it to reverse engineer the size of the fleet around the drumbeat needed to keep two competing centres of excellence going and that this would then drive the numbers. TOBA is/was an absolute evil as BAE persuaded HMG to underwrite the costs of the yard(s). Thus massively inflating the sticker price of T45/Rivers/T26. TOBA… Read more »

Andy P

“Really this all goes back to by BAE were able to persuade HMG that shipbuilding at Portsmouth should cease. As I understood it there was a pretty new panel line installed there for the T45 block works (may be misremembering that).” Whether we like it or not, politics will rear its ugly head with this stuff. It was the same with the submarine refits in Rosyth. They were moved to Plymouth for purely political reasons. The Tories were never going to win seats in South West Fife but they were fighting the Lib Dems down GUZ way. Probably happened loads… Read more »

Ron5

“Really this all goes back to by BAE were able to persuade HMG that shipbuilding at Portsmouth should cease” Seriously?? The government at the time forced BAE to buy VT Portsmouth because the government policy at the time was to have one escort builder that would get all the orders and investment. Orders dried up so Portsmouth had to close due to lack of work. Governments changed and so did policy, now it’s to have two warship builders so money is being spent at Rosyth to poorly duplicate the lost facility in Pompey. When the T26 & T31 work ends,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Reading some comments, it’s like some want Scotland to leave the union.

It’s not them and us. We are all British, no issues from me that this is where our warship shipbuilding takes place.

Rob Collinson

Defence isn’t, fortunately, a devolved matter.

barry white

Daniel if you are referring to me the answer is NO i dont want Scotland to leave Its just the fact that all i ever hear is about how they are hard done by by Westminster And that idiot Blackford moan moan moan everytime he opens his mouth in the House of Commons They are doing what they hoped they would do And thats to antagonise us I sailed with lots of Scots in my time at sea and still keep in regular contact with some so i have no gripe at all with the people of Scotland Which is… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Hi Barry.

No, I wasn’t referring to you particularly, or even just on comments of this single thread.

We have had so, so many articles of this nature on UKDJ ( naturally, given George’s background ) and I’m struck so often by this them and us mentality and sometimes almost good bye good riddance comments.

My feelings on SNP mirror your own. They are very vocal and need countering. And agree also with regards to Europe. Europe and the EU are differing things. We ourselves remain European Brexit or not.

Mike

Totally agree. The UK isn’t simply a political construct. We are all part of the same family. These islands are part of all of us and we are all part of these islands.

Paul

Given the current mis-understanding as to whether water should be kept inside or outside the hull, I was expecting the “high quality” myth to be busted as well.

Ron5

Not forgetting the Araldite warship.

Andy P

I don’t think that’s an exclusively Scottish built thing though Paul. I’ve been on plenty Barrow built vessels that have had a few issues. And come out of built considerably later than planned.

Ron5

Of course the biggest myth are these so called “frigate factories”.

Either stop using a phrase which at best is highly misleading (warships are not built on assembly lines) or define exactly what you mean by it.

Or admit you don’t know what you do mean by it.

Supportive Bloke

The closest thing to a ‘frigate factory’ is what the Australians have built for their T26 program.

The T31 build hall is at least a quite sophisticated fully covered hall that allows the whole ship to be protected from the sunny dry weather that they are renowned having up there.

There is a demonstrable efficiency and quality gain from keeping workforce out of the elements.

But also there are the improved access arrangements from not needing scaffold all over the place and the apparent automated stored retrievals to save on shoe leather.

Ron5

” .. a quite sophisticated fully covered hall ..”

What exactly is sophisticated about a shed?? And moveable gantries instead of scaffolding??

There is no such thing a a shipbuilding factory. It’s a stupid and misleading term. Political BS.

Captain P Wash

not sure what this Article hopes to achieve though…. just like the other one, all you will see is Divisive comments about England and Scotland….. We the UKDJ Regulars know all about this, no point in stoking the fire really…… just my opinion though.

Last edited 3 months ago by Captain P Wash
Glass Half Full

Site traffic and comments probably drive the ability to get/increase ad revenue that funds the site … and George’s retirement to his highland estate … allegedly 😉 The more controversial the topic, the more engagement -> the more funds!

john melling

Especially on top of the endless tea and coffees, whilst staring at the PC and zimmer frame costs, the extra money helps him ;P

Geoffrey Roach

Nothing surprises me about Plymouth Live . They supposedly represent a naval city and most of the “reporters” couldn’t tell the difference between a frigate and a fishing boat.

barry white

I agree with that remark

Captain P Wash

Hang bon…. Is it something to do with the length of their Rods ???? or maybe, the size of their Tackle…… ?????

Geoffrey Roach

‘taint much of a catch either was me ‘ansome.

Challenger

You can’t win with the uber nationalists. If Scotland broke away and the rest of the UK announced shipbuilding would have move to Birkenhead or Belfast they’d still harp on about betrayal’s and retribution.

Remember a friends ex from Glasgow telling me it was about time England ended it’s imperialist and colonial occupation of Scotland (despite living in England with an English partner). She didn’t like it when i pointed out that plenty of Scots got in on the act in the old days of The Empire!

Alan Reid

Yes, Challenger – not so much the British empire, more like the Anglo-Scottish empire, so disproportionate were the Scots in the imperial project.

Frank62

Ironic that the union came about due to the failure of a Scottish colonial attempt which bankrupted them & we bailed them out.

Albion

One question – why has a ship of some estimated 5,700 tonnes got such a small main gun? Apart from costs, what advatage is this over say the new 5″ or even a 75mm.

Challenger

No real advantage beyond price and ease of installation as it’s a non deck penetrating system.

I believe the range and rate of fire makes it as good as the 76mm in surface defence and as a CIWS.

Albion

Thanks for that, but it still seems like a small gun for such a large ship.

Ron5

Cost.

Challenger

The budget for T31 has been fixed with very tight margins and the 5-inch Mk45 gun is pretty expensive.

The 57mm or 76mm systems are seen as sufficient for the sort of operations the T31’s will be expected to undertake – trade protection in The Gulf or surveillance/patrol duties in The Med or Far East.

Ron5

What comes first, the crappy armament or the feeble missions that don’t need a warship?

Frank62

The reality in any serious conflict with such a tiny escort fleet is that we don’t have enough of them so any fine-sounding(usually budgetry driven) pretensions about lower threat ships vanish & every ship needs to be able to do whatever we need. 2nd rate armement will be found greatly, often fatally, lacking.

Ron5

Hit the nail on the head there.

Meirion X

Put 4.5 Inch from decommissioned T23s, and T45, On T31!

Frank62

IMO it’s short-sighted to give our most “expendable” ships such light main guns. NGS is not yet outdated & in the absence of decent AshMs a better gun with longer range is essential. Shells are far cheaper than missiles.

Challenger

I do largely agree. Ideally every escort vessel would field a 5-inch main gun for proper NGS, but if costs prevent this then IMO it would have been better to have a bigger gun on the T31 that could break away from a task-group to conduct NGS and have a 57mm or 76mm system on T26 given that they will need to focus on ASW and are far more specialised, expensive assets to risk.

Meirion X

Swap out 4.5 inch from T45 to T31, put 57mm on T45.

T45 should not go near the gun line!

Challenger

Problem with that is the 4.5 Inch Mark 8 is an increasingly obsolete gun system with no upgrade path and no ability to fire the variety of guided/specialized munitions increasingly becoming prevalent in NGS. The sophistication of gun systems is making them increasingly attractive against more expensive and fragile missiles that have dominated for half a century, so it’s good that the RN is bringing new types in service, it’s just a shame it’s IMO being done the wrong way round! I’d have tried to take a comprehensive approach and look to eventually consolidate into 3 type – 40mm in… Read more »

Dern

But if the Type 31 isn’t in the task group because it’s on standing patrols freeing up Type 26’s to be in the task group…. then surely it’s better to have the 5inch gun on the Type 26.

Dern

It’s worth pointing out though that doctrinally, and historically whenever the shit has hit the fan ships like the T31 have gone on to low threat stations that wouldn’t need NGS, while high end warships went to the combat zone.
Short of WW3, which some here are predicting as the combat scenario to prepare for, that will be repeated for the Type 31.
So probably better to save the big NGS gun for the ships that will actually be in theatre.

Frank62

Last time that happened was 1982 Falklands when the 2nd rate Tribals were kept out of it. But then we had over 50 escorts in the fleet & the numbers to have the option. With just 19(effectively less) we have no wriggle room at all, so it’s vital every escort can cover all bases.

Dern

Last time that happened was *Libya 2011. And Before that Iraq in 2003, and before that Iraq again…. this is how the Royal Navy operates and, like it or not, if we got war out-of-theatre issues won’t go away and will still have to be covered. At that point, what would you rather have covering them, and what would you rather have covering the task force a Type 31 or a Type 26? Point being, you will never have all 19 escorts in theatre, in a task force. You will *have* to have some covering out of theatre tasks, and… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Dern
Frank62

I’d rather have either so long as the T31s had a decent medium gun, AShMs, better ASW(decent hull sonar & ASW TTs) & better load of SAMs. We fail our servicemen & the country when we let our enemies field better fitted out ships than we provide.

Dern

Right but welcome to reality, the RN can’t afford to have every ship decked out to the 9es with everything, so it needs to prioritise. The Type 31 is specifically designed to do exactly what was done during the Falklands, go to low intensity tasking to free up the Type 26 to go with task groups into high threat situations.
Saying “Well we should upgun the Type 31 so we can leave Type 26’s on low threat stations.” neglects the actual drive behind it’s design and the reality on the ground.

Reaper

I don’t know why you bother. It’s better to just ignore these idiots, they don’t want to hear facts. It doesn’t fit the narrative so there is zero point.

Those that need to know, know. The rest are irrelevant.

Ian

TOBA …..?? Cannot find this one

Daniele Mandelli

Terms of Business agreement.

john melling

Myth 2 – ‘Scotland was promised 26 ships!’
Now that makes me chuckle

expat

Perhaps another point to add that the only order the Scottish government (currently SNP) has place for vessels is an outright failure leading to the yard, Ferguson Marine, almost going under and mammoth bill tax payers . Parts for the ferries, pressure vessels I believe, were also subcontracted to China!!

Darren

Myth 4. This problem was caused in the 2000s by Labour. Only ships already built in other maritime sectors for other Countries had ever been bought for the RFA. All RFA designed and built from scratch ships were built in the the UK until the hugely expensive MARS tankers. The Italian Fincantieri and Cammell Laird bid is strange in terms of price. It looks like the Italian side was more expensive, even though they had built similar ships for less before. The comaprison needs to be made with Barrow and Govan for the Waves. Built with less automation years before,… Read more »

Johan

Have to take the indyref 2 as a smokescreen to hide and disguise how poor the Scottish parliament is handling the issues they are. easy to throw stones, but dig deeper and there are a few issues that will stop it dead. 1/ Scotland has no CURRENT ARMY. 2/ Scotland has no means of supporting itself 3/ Scotland has no monetary system ie Bank of Scotland uses the £. 4/ Scotland cannot go the EU, see above. 5/ All MOD Bases are on sovereign land,ie owned by the crown. 6/ Therefore any foreign national would be not allowed under the… Read more »