The UK’s policy of not building complex warships overseas primarily aims to preserve the country’s shipbuilding capabilities, protect jobs, and maintain the necessary skills and infrastructure for national security purposes.

However, this policy does not mean that the UK cannot engage in international collaboration, partnerships, or outsource specific components for their warships.

In the case of Poland building some parts of a ship for the UK as part of a deal between the UK and Poland for Poland to build a British designed frigate for its own navy, this arrangement does not contradict the UK’s policy for several reasons:

  • Collaboration and technology sharing: The deal between the UK and Poland allows both countries to benefit from each other’s expertise and capabilities. Poland can build a British designed frigate for its own navy, while the UK can leverage Poland’s manufacturing abilities for specific components. This arrangement helps to strengthen international partnerships and foster cooperation between the two countries.
  • Limited outsourcing: The deal involves Poland building only specific parts of the ship, not the entire complex warship. The majority of the work, including the final assembly and integration, would still be carried out in the UK. This approach ensures that the UK retains control over the most critical aspects of the shipbuilding process, in line with its policy.

Economic considerations

In some cases, outsourcing specific components or parts of a ship can be more cost-effective and efficient, without undermining the UK’s overall shipbuilding capabilities or national security interests. By engaging in such international collaboration, the UK can optimise its resources and ensure the successful delivery of its naval projects.

In short, Poland building sections for the UK in Poland and the UK building sections for Poland in the UK is being done as part of the aim of aiding Warsaw in preparing to build similar vessels after the the UK and Poland struck a £1.4bn deal to supply Poland’s Navy with Miecznik class frigates based on the Type 31 design.

Benefits for UK industry

As part of the deal, the UK, specifically at the Rosyth shipyard in Scotland, is building some parts of the ships that Poland will operate. In addition, the Rosyth shipyard is also building ship sections for Poland, resulting in more work overall for Scotland.

This arrangement not only allows the UK to optimise its resources and ensure the successful delivery of its naval projects but also brings significant advantages to the Scottish industry, creating more work and opportunities. The deal exemplifies the mutual benefits of international collaboration in shipbuilding, as it boosts the domestic economy while fostering international partnerships.

The deal between the UK and Poland for Poland to build specific parts of a British ship and a British designed frigate for its own navy does not contradict the UK’s policy of not building complex warships overseas, as it is a limited and strategic collaboration that preserves the UK’s domestic shipbuilding capabilities and strengthens international partnerships.

This arrangement benefits Scottish industry by creating more work and opportunities at the Rosyth shipyard, both for the construction of ship sections for the UK and Poland, showcasing the mutual benefits of international collaboration in shipbuilding.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also previously worked for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Jim
Jim
7 months ago

This is pretty common practice across almost all manufacturing and especially military procurement. I can’t imagine why anyone would have an issue with it but I’m sure someone will be on soon to tell us why it’s a terrible thing and no doubt the SNP will be pepping up at some point once they figured out what they did with the £600,000 which I’m sure Sturgeon did not spend on a mobile home 😀

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Not an avid consumer of politics, but presume that she resigned once she learned about the investigation re her husband?

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

She knew about the investigation months ago. She resigned when she did so that her stooge could be elected as her replacement before her husband was arrested.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 months ago
Reply to  Sean

I’m inclined to agree Sturgeon’s resignation came out of the blue and therefore must have been somewhat pressurised. I think she knew there was a pending police investigation. I also think she must have known about any defrauding going on surely??
Mother in law is bought a new RV (that’s £80k or more depending on make and model) you can’t afford such luxuries even on a devolved first minister’s salary.
Husband’s arrest wouldn’t have happened unless there was good evidence pointing towards illegal activity. With such a high profile case the police wouldn’t have acted unless certain.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The key question is what did she know…I can tell you one thing my wife knows more about me than myself..It’s inconceivable she wasn’t aware…but then you have the old plausible deniability which is the usual defence. They can’t say this is a political motivated police investigation either as the SNP have had a close association with the police for some time now…looks like she made powerful enemies in her party.I would add I know a friend of mine who had colleagues who were at university with her – I can’t say anymore…however some of those pictures on her wall… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

She would no doubt deny that but the suddenness of it at a moment just about when no doubt she got wind of what was about to happen seems too big a coincidence considering the time she was on the ‘throne’ but maybe I’m just being cynical eh.

Mark B
Mark B
7 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

It’s possible the resignation was already in the pipeline. Unable to have a legal referendum plus the liklihood such a referendum would fail anyway was a difficult position to be in. The investigation just made things difficult.

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

The SNP missed 3 deadlines to show what had happened to the missing 600k. I assume the ‘Dear Leader’ resigning and the hurried election of her successor was timed to be completed before this final deadline. Makes sense from a party point of view although not fair to those who had a vote. Still, that’s politicians for you.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
7 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

There was an investigation started in 2021. Not sure why it’s going on so long. If nothing has been done wrong surely they would want to prove that at the first opportunity. So that leaves most people thinking there must be something dodgy going on.
U.K. politics parties funding is subject to checks and scrutiny so it would be a bit stupid to try and rob £600,000.
Hopefully we find out the truth soon as these things distract from actual political items that make a difference to people’s lives.

Defence thoughts
Defence thoughts
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim

The Daily Telegraph comments have gone mad over it. It’s sad to see people completely misunderstanding and hating what is a perfectly good idea.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
7 months ago

Quite a lot of people just like to moan. Before the internet when people said something silly the people they were talking to would let them know they are talking nonsense.

Challenger
Challenger
7 months ago

Not a problem if (as the article confirms) Rosyth will be building sections for the Polish frigates.

Demanding that every single component of British vessels are produced domestically is unrealistic and uneconomic in this day and age.

So long as the majority of something like T31 is sourced and assembled on-shore to retain sovereign capabilities and control in key areas then it’s all good!

PeterS
PeterS
7 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

Rather a lot of the T 31 will be non British. Engines from MTU in Germany, Dutch CMS, all guns made in Sweden. And the basic design is Danish.
Does it matter? Short term probably not but longer term we cannot afford to become ever more dependent on imports for our defence equipment.

UKVoter
UKVoter
7 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

MTU in Germany is owned by Rolls Royce
Bofors in Sweden building the guns, is owned by BAE Systems
Same with the 5 inch guns, built in US but owned by BAE Systems

That is part of the deal of buying a foreign company. They get guaranteed orders from abroad as well as their own country, but the company ownership is foreign shareholders.

UKVoter
UKVoter
7 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Also the Thales Tacitos CMS is made by Thales in the UK. They moved it from the Netherlands to win the contract, and opened a new centre in the UK to develop it.

https://m.marketscreener.com/quote/stock/THALES-4715/news/Thales-to-Open-UK-Facility-to-Develop-TACTICOS-Naval-CMS-34370741/

BigH1979
BigH1979
7 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

I agree. Buying somewhat OTS is not a happy outcome for our Designers. I do understand that it has driven the low price though.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
7 months ago
Reply to  BigH1979

The more regular orders there are for items the more likely it will be that domestic suppliers will start making items in the country of production.
Lots of items in defence products stopped being produced in the U.K. because of large gaps in production, smaller orders etc.

Charles Verrier
Charles Verrier
7 months ago

It’s a bit vague – Is Poland supplying hull sections or seat cushions?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 months ago

As they are working on extended range CAMM with us too maybe we can get more of those too as a result to fit to the joint frigates.

Jonny
Jonny
7 months ago

I quite like the increasing collaboration with Poland. This, sky sabre, probably more in future. They’ve shown themselves to be a good ally in the invasion of Ukraine so bring it on.

Not to mention their army is going to be terrifying in a few years time the amount of tanks they’re getting holy moly.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 months ago
Reply to  Jonny

The Polish army by mid 2030s will be very powerful and almost certainly ensure that Poland will not face the threat of occupation again.
An army of 1200+ advanced MBTs with hundreds of 155mm self propelled guns will be formidable. Top cover though is lacking at the moment. Where is Poland’s air force development and numbers coming from. They should get Eurofighter typhoon or latest Grippen in large numbers or smaller numbers of F35…or better yet come into the Tempest programme.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

They have ordered F35A…..

Airborne
Airborne
7 months ago

No issues, the Polish have fast become the tip of the NATO spear, tough people who understand the importance of a decent band string defence!

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
7 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Absolutely agree and believe the Poles are much more inclined to view UK more fondly and w/ significantly more loyalty than, oh let’s say for the sake of argument, Germany or France? 🤔

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  Tams

I did, … but I think i got away with it.🙂

Klonkie
Klonkie
7 months ago
Reply to  Tams

Bloody brilliant Tams! You reminded me how just how I much I enjoy FT. This was definitely my favourite episode. Thank you!

Airborne
Airborne
7 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Decent band string defence? Apologies that was a few glasses of Rumbullion! Should say…..mmmm not sure now but you know what I mean 😂

terence patrick hewett
terence patrick hewett
7 months ago

A MSM fuss about nothing: newspapers are a dying medium, desperate for any form of cash generation.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
7 months ago

Poland’s share is less than one per cent and in my book is good business and good relations with a major ally.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
7 months ago

…and Chinese food and on it goes. Fully agree.

Tams
Tams
7 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I agree, but most of the Chinese food in the UK is Cantonese and that mainly came from part of the UK.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
7 months ago
Reply to  Tams

🍜😋

Tams
Tams
7 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Can’t argue there!

grizzler
grizzler
7 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Whats that got to do with it?

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
7 months ago
Reply to  grizzler

What’s what got to do with what?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago

A very good and strong partner to have on onboard, forward-thinking and they get things done.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago

Makes sense to me.

There is an effective class of eight T31 with the Polish deal.

I’m assuming that Rosyth are building the most complex sections for Poland?

Jonno
Jonno
7 months ago

Isn’t Rosyth going on strike? Not going to make things good for the project.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

It is 100 ancillary staff.

The shipbuilders are not on strike.

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
7 months ago

Ten T31s – if you include the two ordered by Indonesia.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

True – I’d put those to the back of my mind.

But they may never get built?

The fighter project with SK isn’t going so well due to lack of money…..

geoff
geoff
7 months ago

Good news. International co-operation with allies on defence projects has been around for many years-Jaguar, Tornado, Anglo French helicopters etc.. Also the Poles were front of the queue as RAF recruits from non-Commonwealth nations in WW2

Angus
Angus
7 months ago

More work for the local team in Scotland. Lets not forget that most of the equipment of the RAF for example comes from outside the UK so the RN and doing more than their share of investing in the UK compared to the other 2 services. Most of the uniforms worn day to day come from China and they are terrible in quality and far from practical. So for me the MOD should be restricted in how and where they spend the UK Tax payers cash as the UK can easily supply quality kit in many cases rather than give… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
7 months ago

Poland the new superpower, we could learn a thing or two from them.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Poland are forced to heavily arm themselves to fight the last war as that is what their potential adversary insist on fighting ATM. We have to be thinking of the next war(s) and so are doing something very different. If Poland are taking on the baton of European land war fighting why should we be bothering to duplicate that? We need to invest in expanding RM and making sure that army does have enough people, pay + direction + leadership, coupled with some actual acquisition programs that promptly acquire things that work would help. Poland are not doing high end… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
7 months ago

We need a realistic approach when it comes to defence, a proper grown up review of what we want our forces to be not just a glorified cost cutting exercise to maintain the status quo. The way I see it is we need more expeditionary forces so a navy first approach not just minimal escorts and understrength carriers (we are an island nation) + larger number of special forces and missile launchers accompanied by decent number of top cover not just 6-7 squadrons spread across QRA, strike and carrier-comprised of manned and unmanned aircraft. The army need to be configured… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

I do think that T31/T32 taking over the River roles would be sensible. £1.5-2Bn to fund T32 isn’t an unfindable amount of money. Then you don’t work T45 / T26 / T31 to death In these times of heightened tension ships that are real warships are needed. My fear, if things went bad, is that as in ‘82 anything vaguely useful that floated and could be crewed was sent down South like T21 – ships that were never meant to go to war. As well as dangerously out of date ships like the Counties – thankfully with Ocean struck that… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 months ago

I would suspect if something like the Falklands part 2 kicked off. The T31 would have to be part of that task force. There simply is not enough T23/26s or T45s to shepherd carrier, amphibious and logistic groups. The question is what can the T31 bring to the party? Well it will have NS-100 radar coupled with CAMM. Which is a significant step change in capability over anything that was sent South in 1982. Not only can it look after itself but it can also provide local air cover. Which is something the T21s or Counties certainly could not do.… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

The question is what the modes are and what is the quality of RN situational awareness sharing between platforms. As @ GB stated the other day it has been done for a long time. If, say, a T45 SAMPSON was providing overwatch for skimmers and there was a sharing of the resultant radar picture additive to NS100 then it wouldn’t be a big issue. Air search, as we both know, is easier to do really long range and both QEC and T45 have very good long range air search. Stitch those likely three together and there is a very good… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
7 months ago

There are ways around the budget if you get reasonable with what we want the military for, for example at the moment it is not at a level reasonable enough to sustain everything in any decent numbers look at Ajax, challenger and possibly whatever gets picked for warrior replacement. These programs are simply unaffordable for any decent numbers to actually make a difference on the battlefield, how is 148 C3 going to re-enforce Poland in the event of a war when they already have 1,500 mbts just as capable. Also the army wouldn’t even be able to deploy all of… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
7 months ago

If the type 31 take over the river class, the RN has 4/5 fewer frigates doing what the type 23s do.
Maybe it would work better being forward deployed than what happens now but maybe not.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

True, but I was assuming T32 was a real thing.

The issue is how do you crew T32 if the Rivers are all kept going.

T31/T32 are real warship and the Rivers are not….

Ron
Ron
7 months ago

Give the Rivers to the RNR or Coast Guard. That would give the RNR something to play with, the Coast Guard would have something to play with. They could then take Fisheries under their control whislt supporting the Revenue Cutters.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  Ron

I do like the idea of RNR being able to generate crews.

The issue always was, my memory may be playing tricks, that a core full time crew was needed to keep the ship ticking over when it wasn’t being used.

What would the concept be 1-2 weeks at sea with different crews rotated through?

Ron
Ron
7 months ago

SB, true a small crew is needed full time. However, when I was in the RNR based at HMS Camperdown Dundee, we had HMS Archer and HMS Helmsdale. we had more than enough members to man both vessels full time if we wanted or allowed. I did mention a joint use of RNR/Coast Guard, but we could also use them for officer training, seamanship training, training of engineers etc. We have all together 8 OPVs three Batch 1s and five Batch IIs, if an OPV is going on an overseas deployment such as the Falklands etc then RN crew. If… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  Ron

TBH I can see the B2’s being kept on for costal work but the B1’s will go up for sale once T31 comes on stream.

There was an interesting article about a River working with a P8 which hints at possible trials of ASW usage.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
7 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Hi Ron, not sure if the RN would ever consider getting a couple of AOPVs like the Canadian Harry DeWolf class? For high North patrols in support of NATO ops and even Falklands/Antartica. They look super capable, bit like a River B2 on steroids and with a hangar. T31 might do the same job too, if the UK ordered 2-3 more and this could also be a role for the T32?

Klonkie
Klonkie
7 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Hi MS, I think the batch 1 Rivers are due to retire circa 2032. Presumably, the batch 2 Rivers will remain in service.

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Before you say we need a larger special forces. You have to bear in mind where they are recruited from. Apart from the odd ones or twos that come from the Navy and Airforce. The majority come from the Army and predominantly from the infantry. So reducing the mass of the Army will have a detrimental effect on the calibre of recruits trying to pass selection. It’s not an intrinsic trait that can be learned in civvy street. The core values are learned and molded through experience serving in the military. Which is one of the reasons why the Army… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I agree.

Selection requires peak physical and metal fitness.

That means you are in the top 1% and you also have to be able to do the military bits as well – that is a very small talent pool to fish in! The physical / mental pyramid becomes a very strange shape at the very top.

If you make the pool too small you go down to 2 to 3% and the differences become quite alarming.

Simon
Simon
7 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Gremany found out in WW1 that diverting all the best personal into the stormtroopers wreaked the rest of there infantry units which meant there was no back up to hold the ground they sized

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 months ago

Sadly in the heavy lift market there are really only two contenders. The CH53 and CH47. You could argue that that the Mil-26 falls into the category. But it is not a battlefield support helicopter, plus it is dead slow. If we look at recent history, where Germany was looking at replacing its old CH53s. Both Boeing’s CH47F and Sikorsky’s CH53K were on offer. As much as Germany liked the new CH53, there was no getting around the fact that it was nearly double the price of the Chinook. Also in the Chinook’s favour is that there is a huge… Read more »

Sleepy
Sleepy
7 months ago

I sometimes laugh about all this fuss some people make about where ships are built. The RFA Bay class “built in Britain”, the hull, the easy and cheap part yes, but everything else, the expensive complicated stuff even down to the windows, is of European origin including the design.
The Tide class built in Korea to a British design has more British content in the machinery and therefore value to our industry and than the Bays ever had.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  Sleepy

It is an interesting POV.

George Amery
George Amery
7 months ago

Hi folks,
Makes good sense when you consider the very close relationship we have with Poland. I think another post here has mentioned who is the most reliable of the top tier European military. Let’s face it; a bit difficult to have a creadible partnership with say France or Germany.
Correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t it Germany that opposed the RAF from flying over German air space at the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine? To fly supplies and equipment at beginning of the war.
Cheers
George

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
7 months ago

Hopefully there might be some more T31 sales coming along. Maybe India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Chile, Vietnam and even Australia?

DJ
DJ
7 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I would have thought Vietnam would most likely look at Damen. Chile is a real possibility. New Zealand will eventually be forced to replace its Anzac frigates in the 2030’s & Australia is building itself a capability gap between high end T26 & low end OPV’s. So there is opportunity for another joint Anzac II class of some sort.

Flanders Pigeon Murderer
Flanders Pigeon Murderer
7 months ago

“Poland can build a British designed frigate for its own navy.”Or even a Danish designed one.

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago

Nothing at all wrong with buying components & expertise from our allies as they do also from us. What is very dangerous is being so reliant on Chinese manufacturing for so much we need as a nation. So many things no longer haave a non chiunese option-we choose a non-PRC or UK seller & the goods are made in China anyway. I’m no paragon of virtue here, I avoided PRC goods for many years while my other half wore me down as being silly, so eventually gave up, but we now see just how sinister a wealthy, well resourced PRC… Read more »

Davy H
Davy H
7 months ago

I’ve no issue with that (e.g., aren’t the masts for the Type 26s built in Norway?).

Coll
Coll
7 months ago
Reply to  Davy H

Umoe Mandal make the mast.

Coll
Coll
7 months ago

When they say sections, do they mean modules? Or do they mean hull sections? I’m assuming the construction Indonesian Type 31 will still be built in their yards?

Last edited 7 months ago by Coll
Jon Agar
Jon Agar
7 months ago

There is a lot of Superstructure and fittings that could be built, regardless of where it comes from.
SNP has driven a large wedge in the gap with the UK and they have made eyes wonder around to find a suitable alternative.

and now with Weeee Nicola and Fagin having there money looked at Including her Villa in Portugal. she sat there and question Boris at least Boris never filled his pockets.

how quick she has fallen from grace quicker than Liz Truss

Scott.
Scott.
7 months ago

Doesn’t matter what the UK does going forward people will use it to complain about us leaving the EU. That is what people are using this to complain about.

Luke Rogers
Luke Rogers
7 months ago

The British car industry consistently failed to offer a product worth the price though. You can be patriotic until you are red, white and blue in the face but it doesn’t change the fact that BL etc were churning out crap when they were making anything at all.