Despite speculation that steel cutting for the first Type 31 Frigate has slipped due to COVID19, it has been confirmed that the steel will be cut this year as planned.
Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, asked:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to Answer 5 March 2020 to Question 21163, with regards to the Type 31 Frigate contract, whether his Department still plans to cut steel this year.”
Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, replied:
“Yes, on current plans the steel will be cut for the first of the Type 31 Frigates in 2021.”
Last year, we learned that that work was being undertaken to mitigate any potential impact from COVID-19 on the Type 31 programme.
Douglas Chapman, the Shadow SNP Spokesperson for Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation, asked via a Parliamentary written question:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the timescale of the Type 31e frigate project.”
Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded:
“The Department is working with Babcock and its suppliers to de-risk and mitigate any potential for impact to the Type 31 programme due to COVID-19. Most of the current key outputs for the programme are focused on design, infrastructure development and supply chain mobilisation, and work continues within the Government’s safe working requirements.”