The Defence Secretary has confirmed the UK’s new Type 26 Frigates will be built on the Clyde after media speculation the contract could go abroad.
Defence contracts were a key issue in the run-up to September’s independence referendum, with pro-union politicians claiming Scotland’s shipbuilding industry would automatically be precluded from MoD deals in future if it left the UK.
The SNP seized on the First Sea Lord’s comments to claim voters in the referendum had been betrayed.
Mr Fallon denied that was the case on a visit to see progress on the building of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers at Rosyth Dockyard in Fife.
“British warships are built in British yards. This aircraft carrier has been built across six British yards in England and in Scotland. So far as the T-26 ships are concerned, it has always been envisaged that they will be built on the Clyde and I can confirm that today.
It’s a very complex new warship that’s under design at the moment. We’re obviously working towards announcing some of the long-lead items I hope early next year. We’re not quite ready yet to announce it, but they are going to be built on the Clyde.”
Mr Fallon, who received a tour of HMS Queen Elizabeth and an update on the progress on it and a second carrier, said both are on schedule.
“This has been a huge investment in jobs in Scotland, not just at Rosyth but on the Clyde, where some of the bigger blocks were built, and that investment will continue.”
Last month it was announced that two of the Royal Navy’s Trafalgar Class submarines are being moved to the Clyde naval base from their current site, more information on this can be found in our article on the matter.