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 We want to challenge outdated naval standards and introduce new ones.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.”