Guto Bebb, the recently appointed UK Minister for Defence Procurement, visited the Clyde today and announced some Type 26 Frigate news after accepting a new OPV.

During the visit BAE Systems he announced the signing of a £5.6 million contract with General Electric to establish an Electrical Integration and Test Facility in Whetstone, Leicestershire, to enable critical de-risking integration tests for the Type 26 propulsion systems.

The agreement, which follows a previous Design Development contract signed in 2016, brings the total committed investment in the facility to around £13 million.

According to BAE in a press release:

“With a cutting edge platform design and the ability to adapt to the requirements of different navies, the Type 26 design has been proposed for the Australian Government’s anti-submarine warfare frigate programme and the Canadian Surface Combatant programme.”

Recently, Bebb confirmed that eight Type 26 Frigate will be built on the Clyde, the fourth time the Government have been asked to confirm this in as many months.

Chris Stephens, Shadow SNP Spokesperson for Trade Unions and Workers’ Rights asked:

“Will the Minister confirm that the eight Type 26 frigates will be built on the Clyde? Will he also remove the ban on Royal Navy personnel addressing the all-party parliamentary group on shipbuilding and ship repair on the national shipbuilding strategy?”

Guto Bebb, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, answered:

“I regret that I did not hear the second part of the intervention, but the commitment on the purchase of the eight Type 26s was clear, and I will be on the Clyde on Thursday.

The second element of the strategy is design. It is about taking a new approach to design and construction. We want to challenge outdated naval standards and introduce new ones. In effect, I am repeating the comments of the Chairman of the Defence Committee, my right hon. Friend the Member for New Forest East, but it is about forcing through advances in design, identifying new materials and looking at new manufacturing methods to try to make our shipbuilding industry even more competitive, which is part and parcel of ensuring that we have export markets.”

12 COMMENTS

  1. Its also a great sales pitch for our allies who are interested in purchasing T31/T26. we have invested heavily in de-risking…. could be money well spent

    • It’s curious though. The idea behind T31 is to produce a cheaper design more suitable for export, and yet it’s the T26 that seems to be generating all the interest abroad.

    • There is an article late last year confirming LM2500 Gas Turbines are being built in Australia for the SEA 5000 future frigates. It is unclear from BAE comments if critical de-risking includes the LM2500 GT propulsion. Also, is the timing of the de-risking appropriate ie after construction has commenced?

  2. Having a brand new Minister responsible for defense procurement every year is part of the problem. By the time they learn how to spell frigate, they’re whisked away to eff something else up.

    A quick perusal of Mr Bebb’s background shows a complete lack of anything that would qualify him for this job. Nothing new there of course. None of his predecessors did either.

    • Ron5 – as I pointed out when the experts here decried the appointment of Williamson as SecDef because he had never served we do not need politicians with deep military skills. That is what Defence Staff are for. Indeed putting Sub Lieutenant Mordaunt as Foreign Aid Sec. was actually a shrewd move FOR defence. She will certainly be watching how her money is spent to avert criticism from down the hall. You can just imagine the jealousies aroused if Mordaunt had been made SecDef… Crabs and Pongos in disarray and the Andrew well chuffed. Great fun but not good politics. We need people who can fight the Whitehall battles and win for their departments. And Williamson has, so far, ‘done good’ on that score:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/23/gavin-williamson-wins-new-defence-review-five-months-make-case/

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