It has been reported that the MoD has rejected BAE’s offer to reduce the cost of the Type 26 programme by £275 million and promise to start work on time.
The Sun and other sources recently claimed that the Ministry of Defence has “gone back” on a £11.5 billion deal for its fleet of new Type 26 warships “in order to save £225 million on the deal with BAE Systems”.
Leaked emails reportedly reveal that BAE offered to reduce the cost of the programme by £275 million and promised to start work on time.
A Government spokesperson said:
“The UK Government is committed to building ships on the Clyde and to the Type 26 programme. Over the next decade, we will spend around £8 billion on Royal Navy warships and, because Scotland voted to remain part of the UK in 2014, the Clyde will continue to be an important manufacturing base for them.”
Peter Roberts, Senior Research Fellow for Sea Power and Maritime Studies at RUSI has said that slippage in the Type 26 programme may lead to extra ships being built on the Clyde in order to retain jobs at the yards on the river.
“What it’s going to mean for the Clyde is very significant and I think we couldn’t get a national shipbuilding strategy at a more important time and it might well be that we see further OPV’s being turned out on the Clyde”
He also suggested that the Type 31 light frigate could enter build before the Type 26.
Referring to the commitment of the government to the Clyde, he said:
“There is going to be a commitment, we see that from the government, of continued shipbuilding orders.”
According to reports in the media a few months ago, union representatives were told by BAE Systems that a “worst-case scenario” of 800 redundancies was possible if the UK government pulled back from its commitment to the manufacture of frigates on the Clyde.
The defence minister has said the UK government remains “absolutely committed” to building Royal Navy frigates on the Clyde. Philip Dunne told the House of Commons “nothing had changed” since the plans were announced last November in a defence spending review.