Rosyth is hoping to assemble Type 31e Frigates if Babcock and their industry consortium win the work.
The MoD is set to award a contract for the Type 31e frigate, with Babcock, BAE Systems and Atlas Elektronik among the main contenders.
Babcock say that their Arrowhead design lends itself equally to either a single build strategy, or a cross–site build strategy bringing together modules – an approach used for aircraft carrier assembly at Rosyth.
“The company are extremely optimistic they can work with the recognised trade unions (Unite, Prospect & GMB) when they secure the T31e project to minimise the risk of potential future compulsory redundancies. To achieve this, in the meantime, the company shall look to release volunteers for redundancy under the current phase announced in February 2019.
However, whilst securing the T31e project will give the yard a future longer term there is still the matter of current surplus labour. It is for this reason the company and the recognised trade unions shall look to enter into a temporary mobility agreement to secure the skillsets required for the future.
In the unfortunate event the company is unsuccessful in securing the T31e project it is likely we would be faced with the potential of 450 trade union members being made compulsory redundant, impacting all skill sets and all trade union collectives.”
Babcock recently announced that it would lead a team of industry partners in a bid for the new £1.25 billion Type 31e Frigate. Babcock say work would be shared across the UK but the vessels would be assembled in Rosyth.
The build plan for the Type 31 Frigates could follow a similar pattern to that of the Queen Elizabeth carriers and early Type 45 Destroyers in that blocks will be built in yards around the UK and assembled at one main location.
Modern shipbuilding makes considerable use of prefabricated sections. Entire multi-deck segments of the hull may be built elsewhere around the UK, transported to the building dock or slipway, then lifted into place and assembled into one ship. This is known as block construction and is far more cost effective. Yards pre-install equipment, pipes, electrical cables and any other components within the blocks, to minimise the effort needed to assemble or install components deep within the hull once it is welded together.
An MOD spokesperson said:
“The Competitive Design Phase is proceeding to schedule. The outcome of the competition for the design and manufacture of the ships will be announced by December 2019.”