Cammell Laird say it is attracting international interest after it proposed Leander for the Type 31e Frigate competition.

The business believes the low price point and proven technology makes the Type 31e frigate extremely attractive to the international market.

The Ministry of Defence took its first steps to reopening competition for the frigate shipbuilding contracts and Cammell Laird now using that momentum to demonstrate its global exportability.

“The Leander project team expects excitement to heighten when BAE Systems promotes the ship at two overseas conferences in the coming months. It will exhibit the Leander proposal at the Euronaval conference in Paris in October and Exponaval, which takes place in Chile in December. Cammell Laird will also be at Euronaval to showcase its warship-building capabilities.”

Tony Graham, Cammell Laird Leander Project Director, said Team Leander was in discussions with several important international customers about the exportability of Leander:

“This is a warship that has been designed to UK standards using the latest thinking, built in the UK, using a UK combat system. We’re going to be producing these ships at a price that has never been made available before on the international market so, understandably, the Leander is generating a lot of interest.”

The shipbuilder recently announced its supply chain database had exceeded 2,000 suppliers since the Ministry of Defence announced the contract competition in September 2017 as part of the UK’s new National Shipbuilding Strategy.

More than 300 have already been cleared to support the company’s UK MOD bids and the business is inviting other suppliers to join the project in preparation for the T31e programme.

132 COMMENTS

  1. I believe this proposal now to be the favourite, on the grounds of export potential, risk and cost. Babcock will have to propose something pretty spectacular to beat CL/BAE.

    Clarification as to the exact fit and cost weapon, sensor and computer systems of all the proposals would be helpful to formulate a definitive opinion.

    • Same here. I am quite excited by this to be honest I think this has a lot of potential for export which will be a very welcome piece of good news for British shipbuilding.

    • I suspect you may be making the same error I was making regrading the T31e competition when identifying a possible MoD favorite/winner this early. Assuming MoD stick to the scheduled actions in the RFI then the first bids are for Competitive Design Phase Contracts which suggests to me there will be two or more consortia that proceed to the next stage. Meaning there will be no immediate winner. The original program was suspended and re-started to ensure this competition. The suspension occurred before the awarding of Design Phase Contracts.

      The Competitive Design Phase lasts through Main Gate in 4Q18, to when the Design and Build Contract is awarded in 1Q19. These timings are from the original RFI so there might be some slippage but if I am interpreting the schedule correctly the final consortia and hence the final decision on what gets built won’t be until around 1Q19.

      • (Chris H) Glass – Given Q4 is about a month away Main Gate is (in MoD terms) imminent then. Not sure what more either party can add other than fine tune what they have and understand the costs / benefits of the GFE elements. I still think CL / BAE are heads above Babcock in simplicity of build, export capabilities and the fact it is NOT a Scottish yard.

        Plus I think this would set up Babcock / A & P to take the FSS build where the larger dry dock would be key and the logistics make more sense. If Babcock get the Type 31 where, apart from Belfast, can the UK build the FSS? Of course the more cynical amongst us will say that is why Babcock WILL get Type 31 so they can farm out FSS to Korea.

        • Not disagreeing with anything you’ve said, but would Cammel Laird not then be a prime candidate for the FSS while the Babcock consortium worked on T31? They’ve easily got the space to construct a vessel the size of the FSS.

          From that viewpoint, giving Babcock the T31 contract and CL the FSS lets them please everyone: yards all around the country have work, the navy gets its ships, politicians can claim they’re helping their constituents, and BAE are still sitting pretty with its guaranteed work on the T26, the next-gen destroyers, and all of the submarines. Even taxpayers gain as their money is recycled back into our own economy

        • Chris H – Q4 Main gate was the original timing but that seems unlikely to still be attainable given there have been no Competitive Design Phase awards yet AFAIK which seem to be a prerequisite? I assume at least a quarter slip on the original RFI timing, perhaps as much as six months.

          The CL/BAE design seems stable but certainly not proven. When Germany can design an “unstable” ship nothing can be taken as a given. I do wonder though if MoD has concerns over BAE buying out CL down the road and ending up back in a supply monopoly. I tend to categorize the recent PR about export interest as just marketing for mind share. I suspect most export markets would want to see what the UK selects before committing.

          Babcock/Team 31 product is tougher to understand at this stage. Arrowhead 140 was in a number of ways not compliant with the RFI spec outlines but I assume it was promoted because of the unusual expansion capabilities at the target entry price and very low risk established proven design among other potential benefits for RN. OMT IP and perhaps a growth path that wasn’t necessary for ships that are intended to only have a 15-20 year life before resale may preclude its consideration but we’re still just guessing on this and it may still be in the running. If not the case then I assume a reversion to Arrowhead 120 and/or Venator-110. I notice that BMT are proposing Venator-110 in conjunction with Saab for a domestic Colombian build.

          If Babcock get the T31 then aren’t the CL and H&W yards large enough for FSS? CL yards 5 & 7 and H&W Main Dock seem large enough based on a 200M+ hull for FSS. Modules could come from A&P and perhaps elsewhere?

          I’m not as cynical on FSS for foreign build, I just believe MoD wants the freedom to be able to have adequate competition vs. domestic bids to keep everyone honest but would definitely prefer to build in the UK if commercially viable since its a much easier political decision. CL’s RRS Sir David A shows an ability to compete against foreign competition.

  2. Whilst I have no doubt Babcock could make a good ship, BAe has the global sales network and existing customers and so is a much more likely export champion.
    So it really should go to the BAe bid if we want a global seller.

  3. I love the idea of the return of the ‘Leander’ nameplate after all these years. That old icon of the 60’s and 70’s looked like a frigate and much-improved appearance over its predecessors. I prefer the looks of this contender too over the Badcock proposal, but it’s nothing to do with aesthetics, just bang for the buck and flexibility.

  4. Interesting that the short video on the Cammel Laird site shows the ship with what looks very much like a 4.5 Kryten turret for’d. Lets hope that this is, in fact, the case for the final design. It’s no good landing embarked force with no ability to support them with something reasonably heavy. The Strales, perhaps, is not heavy enough for Fire Support. I presume that the RN would go for the 120m version.

    • My God, I had no idea the level of issues was so extensive! Having read the Herald piece, I would be surprised if the MOD will be too quick in handing more work out to this yard? A very close eye must be kept on Type 26 construction in light of this farce.

    • These will be built on the Mersey. Also this is nothing compared with the problems Germany has had with some of its ships.

      • Too right Nigel. Anyone interested should just read about the German Navy type 125 frigate programme. Lauded as being superior to the Type 26 and the future of warship construction.
        Really? German engineering is hyperbole. They are simply not that good. Diesel engines designed to cheat emissions tests as they are polluting ecological disasters. Type 125 frigates 400 tons overweight and unbalanced meaning they cannot reach anywhere near top speed, are unstable at sea keeping and their mission bay cannot be loaded up as risks the ship capsizing. Leaning 1.5-2 degrees to starboard and they have had to take on hundreds of tons of ballast to right their lean meaning their full load cannot be achieved for missions and deployments.
        Makes the River 2 issues with glue look minor. Also has helped the RN to stop MOD mandarins scratching out the batch 1 rivers. They should definitely be retained to patrol our EEZ, up armed with NSM, RAM and UAVs and used to safeguard UK territorial rights in March 2019 when we leave the EU. Time to stop illegal fishing from stripping all UK maritime resources.
        We have significant maritime EEZ and industrial concerns (off shore wind, Oil industry)to protect. 5 river 2s, and 3 river batch 1s are a minimal force level I would think.
        The MOD just needs to find the small change to fund these ships as well as an uptick in RN manpower to allow their continued service.

        • Agree, the 3 batch 1 River class definitely need to be kept permanently, and that 8 in total is the absolute bare minimum number of O.P.V.s for a country with Britain’s coastline.

          • I’m not interested in the German problems, it’s the safety and seaworthiness of Royal Navy ships that concerns me. We need to ensure quality will be at the highest level from all yards earmarked to build new vessels.

          • Fair enough Maurice, but the German problems are relevant. It seems to me that we’re far to quick to think that everything here is a disaster – in other spheres as well as defence – while everything abroad is hunky-dory. Germany’s problems help to show that simply isn’t true.

        • Is it really relevant though Mark? We should be judging ourselves by our own standards not what the Germans are doing, Germany has a fine naval history when it comes to builds, we have an even better one, which is why what the Germans do wrong should not be used as an excuse to draw away criticism for our own failures.

          We want and expect the very best.

          • You missed the point of my post SoleSurvivor. I didn’t say anything about using the Germans problems as an “Excuse”.

          • Agree. If you bought a Jag that constantly broke down you wouldn’t say fair enough my neighbours BMW also breaks down.

          • As my comment above SoleSurvivor. We all know the first ‘City Class’ will be wanting in overall quality, as it’s the first so is an equivalent to a prototype. Refit will ensure she is tuned as well as the remaining class. That should not excuse poor workmanship, and the MOD needs to take a heavy hand to those yards that fall short.

    • Unions just demand more work be sent their way. Surely the union should be saying we’re working with BAe to ensure the root causes are establish and if applicable the necessary disciplinary actions take. To protect jobs and give your future customers confidence that issues will be tackle this would be a more appropriate press release. The GMB is national so if they are not going to support the right solution we could see similar issues at other yards.

  5. (Chris H) Cammell Laird were entertaining a high level Naval and Government group from Peru viewing the Type 31 design the other week and the ‘Exponaval’ in Chile will keep South American interest high. After all South America has many customers of UK built or de-commissioned ships for decades.

    I still have this feeling the US Navy will see our, Australian and potentially Canadian progress on Type 26 and have to add it to their contender list for their new Frigate programme. After all 3 of the ‘5 eyes’ could be using it so why not a 4th? It is almost like they are deliberately NOT looking at it … or am I being cynical?

  6. A low cost low capability warship built in the UK, with equipment harvested from decommissioned ships, should be achievable.

    The only problem how low will the capability be?

    • “The only problem how low will the capability be?”

      Exactly. We all compare T31e to other frigates but one can look at it from the other direction. The last two River Batch 2 OPVs probably cost about £100m each (final contract placed in Dec 2016 for the last two was £287m but that included support for all 5 B2s as well so £100 per vessel for the build cost sounds reasonable, certainly not more than £120 I would think). That was for a long-range ocean-capable vessel built to military standards (glued bolts notwithstanding!) with stuff like fuel and munitions storage and BAE CMS. If we are paying 2.5x as much for a T31e I would expect it to have significantly greater capability. Going with a spec that only meets the most basic level of the requirements that the RN put out for T31e, e.g. CIWS but no VLS, really would not in my view justify spending £250m each on these when that could have bought 2.5 more River B2s (for instance).

      If we really are only going to get the most basic core spec I would rather see another T26 and money left over going to ideally a drone development program to develop a superior UK competitor to a Schiebel S-100, or second-best an off-the-shelf drone purchase, and then more Rivers – either a revised B3 that incorporates a UAV hanger or more B2s using the container space either side of the crane to host temporary hangers (i.e. standard 20′ containers) for embarked UAVs as required.

      • If B1 Rivers remain in service I would suggest we don’t need more of that size of vessel. I think 6 vessels either 700 tonnes-ish / 25kts – plus -ish would be more of more use. (Upper Channel, Southern North Sea / Thames Estuary, Irish Box, training platform for Dartmouth.)

        • Maybe you’re right. I was going to object because the B1s don’t have flight decks but looking at photos (e.g. https://defenceoftherealm.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/river-class-2.jpg) the aft deck is quite big (20m long at full 13.5m beam?) and pretty much unobstructed so (and still on my drone hobby horse here) probably adequate to host an ISO 20′ container or two with enough clear space left over for something like an S-100 to take off and land. Given suitable drones available, obviously with suitable sensor packages installed, I really do think that for the sort of piracy, smuggling and migrant policing roles that the RN often finds itself doing a suitable drone package offers a step-change in capability for a vessel like a River, or a Bay for that matter. That is my concern with T31e, that we end up with something that isn’t suitable for high-threat environments but isn’t that more capable than a River plus suitable yet-to-be-specified/procured drone package for lower intensity work.

          • Why the RN went with the basic B1 design I don’t know just for that reason, no flightdeck; they sjould have all been built to the same design as Clyde . The Islands had no aviation facilities at time when the helicopter had become the primary specialist vehicle in the offshore so the MoD(N) commissioned the Castles with a fantastic flightdeck. The steel would have cost next to nothing. Firefighting would have be a consideration. But even if helicopters weren’t cleared to land on them a ‘flightdeck’ would have been a lot better for winching evolutions. I like the Rivers. Visited everyone of them except Clyde. But darn that flightdeck issue………. 🙂

            I don’t know about T31. I am only taking an interest to see what fudge they come up with. I am fan of the Holland class which full spec’ed are beyond B2 River and they aren’t really designed for high end combat. As I keep saying one more T26 makes more sense. Or lots of smaller vessels to protect the efforts in the Gulf. Who knows?

            We do need some FP assets much smaller than the Rivers as events in the Channel this week have shown. (Never mind Border Agency issues……) As we approach and pass Brexit that ‘problem’ isn’t going away; never mind the ‘migration’ problem. I like the Russian Coast Guard Rubin class, or should that be I like the concept and size. A few of those plus some specialist support craft are sorely needed.

            (The Russian Purga class are interesting too. Ice strengthened, 24kts. 1000 tonnes. Just right for ‘argy bargy’ a la Cod War……)

          • Thanks for the interesting reply David. Those Russian Rubin-class do look seriously good. Definitely in the Russian mold, armed to the teeth for their size! Not only the 30mm and various machine guns but also 8 x Igla MANPADS and provision for (but admittedly not fitted according to Wikipedia) 4 x Kh-35 anti-ship missiles! That would be a fair old punch for a 62.5m 630t vessel if Kh-35 were fitted wouldn’t it?

  7. 250 million for an OPV built by bae (shoild say poorly built) when another uk yard is building OPV’s of the same size for 50 million, when will the MoD realise they are being ripped off

  8. I believe the cost of the T26 includes 10 years support and maintenance costs, hence 1.2bn

    It really shouldn’t cost that much – but once again if you reduce the order from 13 to 8 then the R&D costs are spread across 8 instead of 13.

    We seem incapable of learning lessons from the T45 build. Time to commit to 13 T26 and 25 T31 over the next 25 years – this is what is required a bit of commitment.

  9. What is staggering for me is the history repeating itself with the MOD.
    We reduced the final type 45 order from 8 to 6. Increasing cost per destroyer from £850 million to over £1 billion each. The Royal navy agreed to do this as a promise to accelerate the type 26 frigate programme. The ship that was supposed to be the polyvalent warship unit of the Royal Navy.
    Instead despite the type 45 destroyers being sacrificed the type 26 programme is 10+ years delayed and yet again ship numbers reduced from 13 to 8.
    Sheez we really do not learn.
    Just stick to ordering the numbers of ships the RN needs , that will be 13 type 26 frigates. The type 31 can still be built but we need an uplift in RN personnel numbers and the MOD budget to build and crew enough warships to meet commitments. 26 destroyers and frigates are the number needed.
    We soon will have an extra £15 billion a year as no EU funding and a £37 billion extra as no EU divorce bill. That should enable the additional funds needed for defence, NHS, Social care, infrastructure etc

    • We really need to see our AAW hulls increased from 6 back up to close to 12, this is where the extra 5 GP T26s would have been useful, it would not have needed a lot to make a batch 2 or 3 T26 as AAW destroyers. We could then just keep up the T26 production line beyond 13 to the replace the T45s as they go out of service. This would end with the RN having a single high end escort Hull type ( with different batches focused on different purposes) built over a very long period for shed loads of savings ( just like the use with their burkes). Aim for 20 in service at any one time, build them over 20+ years.

      We could even fit in the T31 in the as a very low end constabulary/mine countermessure vessel (stand off systems mean a steel hull would now be fine), to make up the numbers of hulls and replace all the hunts and Sandowns, low manning needs ( 30-50 base crew) 26knots, 6-7k miles range, just a 30mm main gun, a hanger for a wildcat, space for marines and mission bay for ribs, containers or mine countermessure equipment ( sort of like the black swan concept). We could have 13-20 of these.

    • (Chris H) Mr Bell – Its a total fallacy for people in power to say the UK can’t afford a decent sized navy. Just one little known cost to the British consumer is the ‘EU External Tariff’ we as a country charge on imports from outside the EU. Like 28% on New Zealand lamb or 10% on US made cars for example. British consumers paid some £20 Bn in this tariff in the last 6 years. £16 Bn of that went directly to the EU. The other factor never mentioned by the EU Luvvies is VAT. Not only are our rates decided by the EU but we pay a large proportion directly to the EU. The UK funds about 18% of all EU VAT receipts! This is in addition to our annual contributions.

      So we have the choice post Brexit of keeping that tariff in place and adding some £3.3 Bn a year to the Treasury or we kick it into touch and make a range of goods considerably cheaper for consumers and industry. And we keep all the VAT paid here in the UK or reduce it to 15% making costs cheaper still at nil nett cost to the Treasury.

      “The EU – the hand that keeps on taking”

    • The original buy for T42 was supposed to be 24 – ish all to roughly a B3 design, we ended up with 12 (with literal and figurative chopping) when given the time there was the possibility of a hot war. Looking back on 3 for 1 peace time tempo 6 was sort of inevitable.

  10. Cammell Laird seem to be winning the publicity competition at the moment, time for Team 31 to up its PR game!

    I daresay they will …

  11. It’s time to crack on building these Leanders now. No doubt the RN would have preferred the full 13 T26 but we are where we are. Quantity has a quality all of its own. HMG should be thinking in terms of 10 of these cheaper ships. I would think the BAE design can easily be tuned to a hull anywhere between 99 and 120m; which with flexible systems and weapons per customer requirements gives Leander an appealing slot in export markets. These ships ought to be cheap to run.
    I see the RN fit out for the first 5 batch 1 as T23 GP: Artisan, 114mm, 30mm, mini guns, decoys, Sea Ceptor and Wildcat which will come with Sea Martlet and Sea Venom by the time of first launch.
    I would like to see a second batch with bow sonar, NSM, USVs and maybe make a start on replacing the Mk8.
    Build them in CL and by all means give work to other yards like Ferguson and even H & W provided HMG picks up the subsidy which would be needed over the base CL only price. There’s no shame in this. Other counrries routinely subsidise their ship building industries. HM Treasury need to stop being religious about this.

    • I understand the 114mm Mk8 gun requires a lot of personnel to maintain the ammunition feed when in action. So would not be fitted, the 127mm mk45 would be the preferred option but seems to expensive based on the T26 purchase contract for that system.

      So most likely option would be the 76mm OTO Melara, fully automated, small footprint and reasonably priced. Not perfect but better than nothing.

      • I understand what you say. It is only a matter of time when the 114mm is replaced by another gun and on which ships.
        As I understand it the 76mm Oto makes sense for T31 role as described in the latest ‘RFI’ in that it has a good AA ammunition option better fitting T31 to be part of the inner screen of a task force. In terms of ‘interoperability with allies’ the RN may prefer to move to the BAE 57mm. I’m not expert enough to say which gun is the better for AA.
        Others would argue T31 must have a MCG capable of naval gunfire support of ground troops. This would argue in favour of the expensive Mk45 (or the cheap 114mm).
        This all gives me brain ache. Good luck to those making the decision. Depends what T31 is going to do; and whether the intention is to have a second batch of 5, possibly with a different gun?

        • When you post comments that clearly shows you are not here to engage in debate but simply to be insulting to others including me on another thread it’s time to report it!

          At times things get a little heated on here (understandable) but when you openly say that taking the P out of others comments your sole reason for joining this forum….

      • Oh right yeah, I think spyinthesky inadvertently replied under bummers post to which I replied, and it’s been swept away with bummers garbage.

  12. Indeed the Leander is a proven spec. What alot of ppl are forgetting is the 31e is also intended for carrier strike group ops. So with this in mind, why hasn’t Bae integrated a stern ramp/gate for rapid reaction protection boats,or even thought of this for spec ops personnel, For quicker deployment then standard over the side launching.

  13. Wake up
    We do not want what is possible.
    We want a frigate that can do the job for the price set.
    Arrowhead 140 meets all the base requirements
    Its fit out of weapons loads will always be at the bequest of the Treasury.
    We want IMHO a ship that is lean manned. (Due to current personnel issues)
    A ship capable of future augmentation.
    A ship that can be mass produced if required.
    A ship with a foot print capable of being enhanced as required
    A ship for export.
    A ship to keep multiple yards in exsistance
    A ship that has a proven hull design
    A ship that anyone who serves in is proud
    A ship that can be produced in NUMBERS
    Crewing them is easier if the CREW have a Future

  14. Looking forward to seeing more details from the proposals, it will be interesting to look at the maintenance and support philosophies behind each one, given we spend as much on support as procurement.

  15. I’m concerned that the BAE Leander proposal does not appear to be as capable, as large, or as well armed as the Type 23 that it’s replacing or to make up for the Type 26’s that are no longer being built.

    • Yes, fair point. Leander is a smaller and lighter ship than the GP T23’s it is meant to replace. Most people seem to think it will get RN standard CMS, Artisan, Sea Ceptor, 30mm, a Wildcat, hanger and mission bay. Not the T23 torpedo tubes but likely the the T23 gun since the budget probably won’t stretch to the 5in and I would think the MOD would insist on a fully costed Mk8 replacement program before committing to either Oto 76mm or the BAE 57mm.
      At 25knots it will be slower but with 2 modern diesels it will be economical and reliable.

  16. I like both designs and I would seek as much commonality as possible and build both. Money? We can apparently afford to give millions to countries that either don’t like us or shelter many who wish us harm.

    We need a navy more than we need goodwill – as the Donald might say.

  17. Morning all
    The BAE monolith is now beginning to build up a bit of steam, aiming not for the combat effect the platform could generate for the RN but going for the export potential – teasing politicians with what really matters to them.
    Unfortunately the Babcock platform is just better, more room for growth, proven design but in today’s climate I don’t think that really matters anymore. This country is not like the USA where there are real votes in defence, we don’t even want to pay more tax for the thing that we supposedly love the most – the NHS.
    It would be disappointing but not a surprise if the BAE Leander won, the RN will always make do with what they are given, just look st the latest River Class platforms delivered in the last couple of months.
    MDP is coming up soon and it looks like there are those in Defence who are already trying to make sure that the SofS Defence is in a weakened position so that when he has decisions to take he will go down the compromise route (unless he is the maverick who is willing to take “brave” and “courageous” decisions).
    As with many others things in defence I fear that this will end up being more about politics than actually delivering something the RN needs – what will get chosen is something politicians want, something that satisfies them politically and if it gives the RN something it needs then that is a bonus too

    • Did you miss the title of the article “Leander frigate generates global interest say Cammell Laird”

      Cammell Laird, not Bae.

      • Morning Ron5
        I can assure you that whilst it may say Cammel Laird and not BAES it is the BAES seconded staff that are doing the PR for this.
        That’s not being “anti BAES” but when you put together a consortium of companies you use the individual strengths of those companies, Cammel Laird is a quality ship builder – BAES know how to do sales and marketing

  18. Hi Lee

    Sadly it is always about politics -extra 1 bn here another 2bn there – but never any detail on how it will be used efficiently.

    I think Gavin Williamson has done a great job and I am quietly confident he is going to get 2.5% of GDP.

    But, the MOD just have to stop wasting money on such a dramatic scale.

    I was really disappointed that Nick Carter got the top job when his handling of Strike/Fres is just incompetent, yet that has got him at least 2 promotions.

    now it looks as if Warrior Upgrade is in trouble and we may end up with an all Boxer strike brigade (no bad idea – but 15 years late), whilst the same can be said of T26 I do think the FSL has a plan and is conducting himself very well and strategically.

    Ultimately we need a larger armed forces – not just for protection, but because it add to the fabric of our society to have a core of people that have been exposed to discipline and something a bit more than just themselves.

    T31 doesn’t have to be the best, the T26 does that, but what it must do is be better than a T23 in all non ASW areas of functionality.

    • Interesting, the handling of Strike/FRES has been a disgrace I wasn’t sure if it was the Army continually changing their mind or the MOD. The warrior update should have been straightforward but going for the cheapest option seems to have become the most expensive again by trying to refurbish old turrets rather than install the new ones specially designed and built with the French.
      I am not sure if there would be any loss in capability if we just replaced warrior with larger orders of boxer and ajax since it is no longer in production and support is so limited. Ajax is so similar is size weight and mobility apart from one less seat I struggle to see the difference.

      • Utter rubbish.

        The UK only designed Warrior replacement turret has been part of the plan from the earliest days. It’s true that Lockheed original suggested modifying the original turret but that idea died very quickly. The French have zero to do with it.

        Boxer is not a Warrior replacement and will never be.

        • So Lockheed won the contract by under cutting BAe with a proposal to refurbish the existing turrets. Then when they realised it wouldn’t work went back to the mod looking for more money and delayed the delivery by several years. They should have immediately lost the contract and been forced to pay back every penny they waisted plus additional costs for everyone’s waisted time. Bae then should have been left to deliver on their proposed design.

        • The CSP turret was too small and the new one is too big; the Ajax turret is too big too. And the new 40mm is proving to be a problematic. The French though have managed to build a nice light turret for their Jaguar armoured car.

          Boxer is better protected than Warrior and was designed from the get go to follow Leopard about the battle field. One of the Baltic states has one in an IFV version. Though perhaps a better question is do we need an IFV version in numbers? Would an APC with MG / launcher in an RWS better fit. Boxer as a light cavalry vehicle is very impressive. The brigades in 3 Div used to have one regiment of tanks, one armoured infantry bat mounted in Warrior, and two bat’s following somewhere on behind in Saxon. An update of this orbat swapping Ajax for Warrior, and Boxer for Saxon would work quite well. Well if we had an update tank and Ajax was built in the right configurations. The FFR version is a joke, far too heavy.

          • Mr Taylor and Mr 5:

            I had a poster outside my old office showing a warrior CSP turret with the updated original, it was clearly what they were attempting.

            I am all in favour of having Boxer replace most of the AFV fleet to create a true strike brigade, not a half arsed hybrid that has all of the restrictions of medium armour but none of the benefits.

            Boxer is exactly what we need, such a good platform with plenty of easy growth and more importantly relay comfy seats with nothing to bang your head off.

            But this if for another thread.

            BV

    • Yes this is detailed over on Gabriel’s blog.

      Warrior CSP may be shelved and all Armoured Infantry and Mechanized Infantry Battalions ( 4 and 4 ) end up on Boxer in an increased buy of 1500 replacing the lot. Warrior. Bulldog, other ancient FV432’s and remnants of the CVRT fleet all replaced in one go.

      Good for commonality of spares and logistics.

      But would cost tens of billions.

        • Probably not Ron.

          But we are on a defence related website so nothing wrong with discussing is there?

          Would you be for it if they did cancel Warrior CSP and bought 1500 Boxer instead? That is the number indicated.

          Would it save money longer term?

          • Not a big fan of Gabriele I’m afraid 🙁

            And no because Warrior fills a role with the Challengers that the Boxer would kill a lot of infantrymen attempting.

          • Interesting Ron.

            I’ve no idea how they compare concerning armour, course Warrior has the turret and gun.

            Wheels over tracks. Most of the Russian BMP’s were wheeled I recall?

            How would the Boxer fail, I’m interested?

          • I’m interested too. Boxer with a V shaped hull and higher ground clearance will have greater mine protection that’s for sure. Warrior also has aluminium and applique armour for protection so not exactly world beating. The only advantage that I can see would be mobility in muddy terrain.

          • In regards to protection, look at what the Aussies have done, not sure of the STANAG level they have on theirs but its bloody high for a wheeled vehicle.

            Mobility wise, I have deployed with the Danish a few times and they go like shit off a shovel even over bad ground, no problem keeping up, baring in mind Chally takes a while to get going.

            BV

  19. I’ve often wondered if a price tag of £400 Million per Type 31e compared to the 1.2 Billion for the Type 26 would be a more sensible a more sensible approach. Three for the price of one and far better equipped than what’s currently on offer?

    What out of interest could we be looking at then for this build with this price tag?

    • The important element of T31 is numbers. This is about presence and numbers. If I were you look the other way. Look at the Dutch class OPV.

      Also for reference look at the Italian PPA Class Multi-purpose Offshore Patrol Vessels. Look how many hulls they are buying, for how much, and don’t forget new from stem to stern.

      The reason why T31 is that it impossible programme.

      I would buy another T26 or as I said, go smaller. Though the Hollands are bigger than the last Leanders….

    • The Type 26 unit build price is nowhere near 1.2 billion.

      Increasing the Type 31 budget to 400 million each will means 3 ships built. So 5 type 23’s going out of service will be replaced by 3 Type 31.

      • Never said T26 cost £1.2 billion. Just because there is money to spent doesn’t mean it has to be spent now does it?

        • No but I was replying to Nigel who did.

          I actually agree with you, I’d vote for cancelling the Tye 31 program and using the money to buy a couple more Type 26 to be built in a shorter time frame.

  20. Morocco paid €470 for their FREMM, I’m not sure if it was subsidized by France though. It did not include the A70 VL cells but apparently was the same as the France ASW version.
    The new FTI for France is around €800mm.

  21. Good Evening!

    Please advise anybody what’s going as regards Babcocks Type 31 Programme if anything.

    At present according to their website very little!

    Would appreciate any comments!

    Cheers Nick

  22. Afternoon all
    The platform budget requirement is £250m so that cannot change or all the requirements will be up for grabs and we will enter another long period of requirement changes and design updates.
    The MoD and RN have a requirement for 5 vessels at no more than £250m per unit, totalling CDEL of £1.25bn.
    Where BAES can get ahead, and where they have been getting ahead is getting the show on the road and going to countries like Chile, Peru and other 2nd tier navies and selling them a concept that if they buy into will – based on unit cost be a £250m versatile military naval platform. If the number of sales increas unit cost decreases, this could then potentially bring you in to the £250m per unit cost requirement.
    They may have been slow in starting and the margins on offer may not be as great as on the River or T26 but revenue and the follow up support contracts which increase market penetration suddenly become very attractive. BAES have a responsibility to their shareholders to maximise profit and return in investment and one way of doing this is to enter new markets with new products.
    Babcock – it is over to you now.

    • (Chris H) Helions – Nice to hear from you again. Just out of interest I compared the publicly available specs on the Arleigh Burke and the Type 26. Remarkably similar ships – AB in Flight III is 9,500 tons fully loaded vs 8000 tons for the 26, AB is some 7 feet longer, AB is narrower in the beam by a couple of feet and the overall armament is comparable (apart from number of VLS). Same gun, CIWS etc., AB needs more crew but a new ship would look to reduce that.

      So the thought came to mind as the Type 26 is too late for the USN Frigate programme would a stretched Type 26 accommodate what the USN is looking for? Given the USN will never buy a UK sourced combat system and have said they will migrate across what is already in Flight III for the first ‘Flight’ of the new ship maybe the fact the Aussie Type 26 will be fitted with the USN combat and other systems would gain some credit with the USN. Of course they would all be built in the USA but at least they would have something ‘in steel’ to look at. Powered by the MT30 and IEP that the US Navy are now using adds to the package.

      Just a thought as I say …

      • Chris,

        as you know, I’ve always thought a common platform between the navies of the English speaking world would be a good idea from an interoperability standpoint. Politically I realize Tier 1 navies must purchase home grown warships or else. However, why can’t that warship design be a joint effort? Common hull, open architecture, many common systems etc. Armaments, propulsion, combat suites could be either mix or match or country specific depending on the needs of the end user. Joint design has many precedents and it doesn’t have to mean one country’s defense industry overwhelming the others.

        A rationale design consortium would obviously be the U.S., the UK, Canada, and Oz / NZ paired as a joint effort. The ships could be built in their respective countries and the composition of their outfits would be a decision made by those sovereign nations – it could be like buying a partly foreign designed vehicle that’s built in your own country . Pick the model, pick the accessories, personalize it to your taste and be secure that you can go to any dealer in the “network” to have basic things fixed anywhere you go…

        IRT the T26, I think the USN really took a hard look at it but price wise it falls into the same category as a full up AB destroyer instead of the frigate the USN is looking for – I think ~ 900 million is the sought after pricepoint for those. The USN is already moving away from the AB with the last Flight IIIs being built until the early 2020s and then the new surface combatant replacing it. Hopefully the RN is already planning to do the same with the T45 successor – this could be an opportunity for both our nation’s defense industries by collaborating on that design.

        I really believe that the new LSC design will be a stealthy hull ala DDG1000 type mated to the ABIII combat suite but with massive increases in power generation capability and ability to accept weapons not yet designed or just in the early stages – Fewer missiles or maybe NO AD missiles at all, just ABMs and directed energy weapons and drones is a real possibility IMHO. Depends on what the tech scene looks like in 5 years.

        Have been lurking for a couple days but been busy on a project.

        Cheers!

      • Did you compare the price of the latest Arleigh Burke’s with the Type 26?

        Might help to shut down the moronic shouts of “Bae is ripping us off”.

        Then again, probably not.

        • Morning Ron5
          I don’t think the BAES thing is purely a price thing, the MoD are just as much to blame for requirement changes and these have to be costed in, changing scope etc. cost a lot of money, time and makes it very difficult to sustain quality.
          With T26 I believe we have the correct price against design but that is still too rich for HMG so the duration of build needs to be stretched which increases labour cost (Ship building strategy explains this, HMG have forgotten that bit).
          Why I think people have a problem with BAES is because they squeeze out all competition and have created (with the full knowledge of HMG) a monopoly for U.K. warship design and build. That is not healthy in competitive markets and this has been proven over the last 20 years with a huge dip in overseas sales of naval platforms. This has now changed with T26 being purchased by Australia and hopefully in the near future – Canada. This shows that T26 is priced appropriately, it is only right that we pay more as we own the original requirement.
          T31e is showing that the U.K. market is weak and that the only serious contender at present is Leander, which in itself says something – BAES didn’t want to bid for this work in the first place but have still put the most mature and thought through bid together, in a relatively short period of time – hats off to them for that!
          The Babcock platform is by far the better, it’s just a shame that they may have tried running before they should have thought about walking first.
          We brits like the underdog – BAES is definitely not that.

  23. @ Ron 5

    Last time you said something like that I had to go out of my way to prove you wrong. And despite repeated reminders to you to ask you to respond to my rebuttal mysteriously you didn’t bother. It is angry little men like you who destroy sites like this one. That’s why sites like this benefit from Disqus because you can switch the idiots off.

    The Warrior refit program has had those problems with the turret design.
    Ajax does have that problem with its turret design.
    Boxer was designed to keep pace with Leopard in the field.
    And 3Div’s mechanised brigades did have an orbat of 1 x CR2, 1 x Armoured Inf Bat mounted in Warrior, and 2 x Mounted in Saxon.

    You will probably go silent as per last time.

  24. I was reading an article on Save the Royal Navy ref: OPV’s and whilst I dislike the Rivers immensely (overpriced, underspecced etc). I do think the author of this article has a valid point.

    I do think the uk needs a high end escort fleet and I believe this should be T26 upgraded with the Sampson radar and 13 ordered at a rate of 1 per 2 years (25 year build plan), eventually merging our T45/T23 fleet into a single all encompassing platform.

    Where it gets interesting is what the tier down platform should look like.

    For me T31 is great, but I do think we could go for a £150m Corvette – something like the C-Sword 90 or the Visby class (choose a favourite Damen crossover etc).

    The 76mm Otto and 30mm Sigma mount (with LMM) is a must as is 16 Sea Ceptor – but it does not need land strike capabilities, The ability to operate UAV’s and gather intelligence is critical and to this 2x Siebel Camcopters should be onboarded and various other systems (all it forward in a very good article – not original thinking by me).

    So Visby was under $200m, Beckett class under $120m (low as $75m quoted) – and I think we would be better off ordering 10 of these rather than 5 T31e.

    There are compromises to be made irrespective of what we eventually choose 6000nm range is good enough for a corvette and a crew of 40-60 is perfect.

    Great article on STRN – worth a read

    Food for thought…

    • Visby is a very specific tool for a very specific geography. The RN needs hulls that can take lumpy water with range and survivalability. That isn’t to say I dislike the design, quite the opposite I think it is a sublime piece of technology.

      T45 isn’t going to be replaced for an age yet. If I were to look at ‘re-homing’ Sea Viper I would look at something a bit more radical than trying to fit into T26 or T26’s basic hull form. I would be happy with more T26 as is.

  25. Hi David

    I agree that T45 isn’t going anywhere soon – but it will need replaced within the next 25 years and I think the T26 hull form (or its successor if we are doing lifecycle management properly) and general capabilities far exceed that of a T45 – add a Sampson (or better) and we have full spectrum capability in a true high end warship.

    As for Visby – It is an exceptional ship for what it is and perhaps we could (should) have something similar that takes on all UK and MHVC/ASW activities.
    Primarily I am pointing out that a good product can be achieved at a good price point, but clearly we do not need 7500nm and 30 days stores for every vessel, so I think 600nm and 21 days is probably the sweet spot – price wise, but everything is a compromise.

    So C1 Requirement is T26 (13) – 2 Merlin
    Our C2 Requirement is T31 (13) – 1 Wildcat + 1 Seibel 100
    And our C3 requirement is a Visby type asset that doesn’t have long legs by is quite offensive and fast (13) – 2 Siebel 100

    The key for me is can we merge our C2/3 requirements into a single hull type that we can really leverage off or not, in all cases I think we need to take a look at this in light of what our OPV’s currently do and what we need them to do and start planning to replace with something meatier (hence the C-Sword 90 and Visby refs).

    This will be part of a rebalancing of the fleet that will see the OPV, Echo and MHVC fleets replaced by these platforms, which themselves will need to use enabling systems to conduct MHVC and ASW activities.

    Nothing to happen overnight – but in reality this is where we are going with T26/T31 and OPV, can we actually do it better than the current lets buy something to fill a gap in the order books method we seem to have adopted here

    • T26 / T45 future. Yes one hull, if ship design carries along the same route then yes; I don’t think ship design will go along that route but that is another discussion. Anyway following the conventional route it will be a bigger hull than T26. And it will be a true general purpose hull with first rate AAW and ASW capability. There are reasons why the RN ‘does what it does’ when it comes to escorts and we are trapped in the renewal cycle in which we are, but the RN would be better off with Burke-esque vessels for T45 which was where we were headed before HMT took a hatchet to the budget. I would still say even then we would require a clutch of small special ASW frigate because of CASD, though I think some form of ‘ocean surveillance’ (perhaps robotic) and airborne ASW (perhaps unmanned) would be cheaper. We need ‘cruisers’ in the old sense of the word. Big ships with range and good self-sufficiency with first rate weapons and two helicopters; something very capable that can deal with ‘less than war’ situations with ‘sruvivvalibity’; something that would give others pause (saying that the Iranians aren’t really spooked by the USN……..so……).

      The trouble I have with the ‘Visby’ is simply that when individuals use that word they mean the ship itself not the ‘concept’. I will illustrate’ One of the popular topics on site like this is the ability to ‘do the Falklands’ again. Now I know when I see the F-word 99% don’t mean a rerun of 82 they are talking about the ability for the UK (as independently as we can) a taskgroup with a full spectrum of assets to land a significant body of troops across a beach to achieve a well defined goal. Of course the ‘ship itself’ and ‘concept’ are tightly bound; the latter as you say something fighty with short range (aka small). The hull itself isn’t suitable for our needs at all as clever and wonderful as it is. Speed? Well I like speed too, but anything more than 28kts isn’t really need, the UK needs high endurance. Endurance comes from the hull as much as the engines. The Visby and the old Peacock class have the same range for example but I know which I would rather be sitting in 500 miles west of Ireland in a force 8. I know which hull would make better progress too and that is true speed. The smallest we should be looking at 1000t to 1200t for ocean work; we need to ignore areas like the Upper Channel where small and fast would be useful because I doubt the RN would waste budget on acquiring assets whose work load would be mostly fisheries, SAR, etc. I would look at something like the Singapore Navy’s Independence class. And they are much too small to keep pace with a carrier group in a world where first rates escorts are now well over 5000 tonnes and getting on for 10000 tonnes.

      I don’t see that we can wrap patrols and hydrography and MCM work up into one hull. The latter two perhaps, but not the first. Um, why? Speed. Patrols is all about presence. 18kts vs 28kts Never mind 18kts in a fat hull vs 18kts in a slim hull, and hydrography and MCM to me means fat hulls. MCM is increasingly about robotics. To make the effort worth while you are going to need a large deck area for drone boats (2/3/4/?) , working boats, and Lord knows what else. The Echos do have a working deck back aft, but is it big enough? Note the bridge and accommodation are all amidships to make life aboard ‘nicer’ for the crew. There is all question of a replacement for Scott and its very specialist equipment Do we build something even bigger than Echo’s? Or something smaller and cheaper for MCM where we can buy say 8 of them and perhaps base say 2/3/4 drones per hull meaning we are getting our MCM capability back to late Cold War numbers? Or do we replace Scott and the Echo’s with one hull to keep crew comfort and give a suitable home to Scott’s specialist equipment? If I was to come on the site and say we should just hang missiles and Lord knows what else of A400 and say scrap everything else I would be derided. But it seems to many who comment on sites like this ships can be any shape and do any task, and they can’t. For example he reason why escorts used to be long and thin was for speed and weapons and sensor arcs. Now with VLS and non-rotating radars we can get away with fatter hulls (never mind the other drivers like say improved accommodation), but they aren’t as fat with length to beam ratio as merchant hulls, just fatter than they were.

      • All good points David, but the RN does have to make compromises and whilst Visby may not be the platform ( I did say choose your favourite). The fact remains that with the advances in AI, Robotis and unmanned systems – many of the tasks can be done from a common platform.

        I am a big fan of the Karel Doorman class of ships and believe these should replace both our amphibious and solid support ships, as they offer volume and capability – but are a compromise. Likewise I like the Absalon dan damen crossover classes which are able to provide what I will term amphibious raiding. I think if we changed our mindset to one where we realise large scale beach landings wont happen and that we are likely to do amphibious raiding at best in the future, then which platform would you go for.

        Specialist ships are all well and good – but we just dont have the money for them I am afraid and the articles that have changed my mind are the one on STRN about the OPV’s and also the float on Float off article on TD.

        I dont think one hull does it all brilliantly – but I am prepared to compromise to ensure we have a more offensive capability in the RN first and foremost, something I think we have lost somewhat over the years

        • Well to be honest I think the ships we have in the water will probably the last conventional ships we will have. I see a need for human crewed for OPV’s for SAR and ‘police work’ but I think the days of big ships are numbered. Um. Perhaps there may be need for a ‘local decision maker’ due to EW stopping a platform reporting to ‘command’? But no the days of warships as we know them are numbered.

          I am not going to argue about platforms. You either grasp it or you don’t. As I said you wouldn’t expect an A400 to do everything just because it can fly. It is all very well talking about costs then advocating a common hull which would be too expensive for one job and not the required form factor so not efficient and incurring costs. And then acquiring the more expensive platform in adequate numbers to do lesser roles or the lesser hull to do more demanding tasks; see the Danish Staneflex project which wasn’t a complete disaster but doesn’t work as well as some who champion modularity claim. (Though they tend to use the word incorrectly). Though the phrase ‘steel is cheap and fresh air is cheaper’ is hackneyed it is basically true. The low cost component of any warship is the hull, but it is the component of which all else hangs. If we had built 40,000 ton carriers instead of 70,000 ton carries the cost in systems would have been much the same. Oddly that is why the arguments against CTOL are slightly fatuous if you offset steal costs against the cost of the CTOL equipment and look at the supposed value of buying a big carrier. The best of example of how much performance can be hobbled by cutting steel, or perhaps not cutting steel, is the B1 T42’s. Awful ships whose primary weapon system was prone to go off line because it was too exposed to the environment just because a few hundred tons of steel were removed from the design. (Never mind other crapiness though I don’t blame Barrow for it. It was a well screwed together ship for all the shortsightedness.) Look at T31 where we have all the systems (well practically) and the hull is still the issue.

          Of course these days a maritime capability doesn’t have to be based in a ‘hull’. We could say fly MCM drones and supporting equipment into a friendly port; this might work for follow on forces, but what about a contested area? As somebody I knew once commented about drones. just because they are unmanned doesn’t mean they will be small or cheap. A drone searching the seafloor itself can only move at a certain and will need to content with the current and weather even if submerged; it will have to be a certain size and to cover an area there will need to be more than one; this won’t work on a one drone equals one SRMCH/MCM basis. It is funny to me that MCM is always talked about a second string or simple evolution when it is far from it. Oddly enough per cubic yard the Sandownes were the most expensive surface ship the RN had ever purchased.

          The thing is Absalon is a specialised hull. It meets Denmark’s very specific requirements for its commitments and the size of its navy. Yes ships have inherent utility and bigger ships therefore have inherently more of that utility. But you can’t confuse base level utility (independent manoeuvre, self sufficiency, communications; even those are the fundamentals of naval warfare) for effective primary design for a certain purpose. This takes up back to the ‘thrashy destroyer’ nonsense that one or three of your more vocal communities speak about. The fundamental design driver for T45 and T26 is that they are escorts, the other considerations come afterwards; they are reasons why we not hanging 2087 off the back of a container ship or plonking SeaViper onto a cross channel ferry. And rafting of generators and the lofting of radars has nothing to do with it.

          • Hi David

            I dont dispute a word you have said – it is all trure and I think my initial proposal meets far more needs than the current RN fleet due to numbers, perhaps I have been a bit too general in my descriptions but this was to allow a degree of ambiguity to avoid the conversation we have just had.

            I have stated previously on other threads that if our ASW hull is our most advanced hull – then surely T31 should be based on the T23 hull which has itself been superseded by T26. Solves an awful lot of issues around what hull we will use and if we reconfigure the internals of that hull we should be able to creat something of some value.

            The advent of UV’s does change the dynamic as the mine fleet are plastic as they would operate within the minefield, future ships would not have to do that – but would need to operate 4-8 MCM boats.

            I think we can use this to create a paradigm shift in capability and invest in platforms – with the exception of some very high end requirements for escorts the majority of hulls can conform to a standard (all RFA to Aegir hull form, all T31 to that hull form etc) and you can end up with a RN based around 8-12 significant hull types.

            What they are is up for debate and I do have personal favourites (as do others), but am less worried about the detail than I am about getting the strategy sorted and start to build the damn things.

  26. Putting some perspective on exports. GMB recon for that the £1b SSS contract will return 285m to the government. So simple fag pack stuff 4 T31 will cost 1b, exporting 4 T31e will return buy 1 more T31 plus some change, 14 will buy a T26.

    However, I assume that with CMS licensing and other lifecycle cost for service and maintenance costs the T31e could raise more than the 285m stated.

    Building another t26 or more rivers will not give us exports, the T31e could be just what we need to boast defence spending.

    However….

    I have assumed that money from exports will be return to the defence budget, that’s logical thinking as its the defence that has been tasked with supporting the NShBS. But alas what will happen is a successful export campaign will increase GBP but defence will see 2% of this increase (ie f all), other departments will receive far more even though they have contributed nothing to the campaign or the NShbS.

  27. Good Day,

    Can anybody advise what has happened to Babcocks/BMT‘s offer as regards the Type 31e?
    Would appreciate any information.

    Regards Nick

  28. Looks reminiscent of the Lafayette-class frigates, come to think of it, though IMHO a little sleeker.

    Which worked out to about half a billion USD per, so I have little hopes for these coming in much under GBP 400m

    • (Chris H) helions – I take a more relaxed view on Ocean. She was not built to the same specifications as a full on Naval ship and was a one off. This meant higher maintenance rates and the costs involved. She had no synergy or backup with any other ship but was what we needed at the time. She served us well and I am glad Brazil has managed to find a home for her and will now be able to upgrade its own capabilities. And basically the QEs can cover what Ocean did many times over if that is what is needed at the time.

      The key factor in the decision was of course the crew. All well trained, experienced and with flight deck knowledge and skills. We needed them for PoW and (apparently) to top up QE. We have a good ‘problem’ in the UK – we have full employment and the Forces have to compete for a diminishing human resource as industry takes the engineers and Hi-Tech businesses take the computer and design geniuses. This also drives the poor retention rates as older seadogs, flyboys and soldiers see a better wage and a better family life as UK industry places a premium on ex Forces labour. So we have the double whammy of a lack of resource going in and a force working to draw people out.

      • All true Chris,

        but she could have been relabeled as an RFA and freed up the Bay in the ME for other operations. That flight deck in particular could have been a huge asset. Could have saved a lot of money and having a full blown aviation ship and tender in the region would not have been a bad thing IMO…

        Cheers!

        • With the RN’s dire personnel shortage though crew requirements are a big consideration though. Ocean’s 285 core crew + 185 aircrew is, sadly, a significant issue vs the 70 core crew for a Bay (all data from Wikipedia).

          One interesting and I thought quite creative idea for getting some cheap and cheerful additional aviation capability that I’ve seen at least one person suggest on other forums, and maybe here too (I forget), is to modify a couple of Point Class (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point-class_sealift_ship) by plating over the deck forward of the superstructure and turning the open area at the base of the superstructure into hangar space. Originally there were 6 point Class with the last 2 (Longstone & Beachy Head) now no longer available to the MoD so taking those back into MoD service would provide up to two Points for modification with no loss of sealift capacity and the core crew complement of only 18-22 is very attractive. Perhaps with suitable medical facilities also installed they could serve as replacements for Argus too. It would also give hull, engine etc commonality with the 4 Points already in the fleet.

  29. (Chris H) – And in related developments just when we thought the Scots had stopped playing the victim game we have this:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16606820.port-giant-accused-of-sacrificing-clyde-to-save-mersey/

    So the Scottish received wisdom is that the evil English in the form of Peel Ports are neglecting Inchgreen to fund Cammell Laird’s facilities on the Mersey. Its £900 Mn investment in the area delivering thousands of jobs and new homes is, of course, ignored. And no mention of T26 just up the Clyde or the fact that Portsmouth was sacrificed on the altar of devolution and ‘the Union’ to benefit the Clyde. Or 5 overpriced OPVs that are held together with glued bolt heads on safety devices.

    And we thought Scottish Babcock / Ferguson / et al had rolled over and gone away in the T31 game? This is how the SNP intend to play this and we can expect even more political blackmailing, ‘Sleight of Fact’ and downright lies from the party that gets ever more racist by the week. I just hope the UK MoD takes a wider view of reality than the SNP and Scottish Labour seems to have. Especially as the irony is that it is Cammell Laird who operate Inchgreen and hope to get QE maintenance work for the large dry dock. #FacePalm

    Of course all this is nothing to do with deflecting attention away from Mr Salmond’s ‘difficulties’.

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