At least 1,200 jobs have been protected on the Clyde due to the intention to build more patrol vessels in addition to 13 frigates.

The first of the five new vessels are expected to be handed over to the Royal Navy in 2017 with work starting in Autumn.

It is understood that the work  will only go ahead in Glasgow if Scotland remains in the union due to the UK’s strict legislation and policies relating to the construction of warships in foreign nations. As a foreign state, Scotland would not be eligible for warship contracts that the continuing UK chose to place for national security and defence industrial reasons.

The new ships will be based on the River class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) and upgraded with a Merlin-capable flightdeck and will be built at BAE’s Clyde yards. The move comes to fill a gap in orders after the second carrier and before the Type 26 frigates begin construction.

The SDSR states:

“We will buy two further new Offshore Patrol Vessels, increasing the Royal Navy’s ability to defend UK interests at home and abroad”

The OPVs will be used by the Royal Navy to undertake various tasks including border protection roles, including anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, fisheries patrols, and immigration law enforcement.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon when announcing the contract for the first three of five vessels, said:

“UK warships are only built in UK shipyards. This multi-million-pound contract shows our commitment to investing in new ships for the Royal Navy and maintaining in the UK the expertise needed to build the warships of the future. It will benefit the dedicated workers of the Clyde, their families and the local economy in Glasgow.

This sort of investment by the UK government is vital for the sustainment of shipbuilding in the city and the hundreds of specialist manufacturing and engineering roles that play an important role in providing war-fighting capability for the Royal Navy.”

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury at the time the first three were ordered, Danny Alexander and defence equipment minister Philip Dunne will be visiting the Clyde yards today in order to tour the facilities and meet the employees who will be involved in building the new patrol vessels.

sdsropvMr Alexander said:

“I am delighted that we will be building the Royal Navy’s new offshore patrol vessels in Glasgow. Today’s announcement continues over 200 years of tradition building the nation’s leading ships on the Clyde. This will also support hundreds of jobs in the region and make an important contribution to the wider UK economy.”

The order and construction of the new OPV’s will help sustain skilled jobs on the Clyde over the next few years, ensuring that the yards remain viable and efficient.

31 COMMENTS

  1. How more flexible these might have been with an integrated hangar to carry a Lynx/AW169 sixed helo, especially when they will be used to patrol BOTs instead of the previous policy of deploying frigates etc all the time.

    • I agree. Or at the very least add a telescoping/retractable hanger to the design and specify that in the build for these final two and it would be great if it could also be added to some or all of the first three. I don’t think any steel has been cut for number 3, first steel was only cut relatively recently for hull 2 I think, so at least the design of 3 should be open to some tweaks.

      I fear though that these will simply be a run-on of 2 extra units of identical spec to the ones currently on order.

  2. Once again you need reminding of an error you insist on repeating. Only 8 frigates of the type 26 are to be built on the Clyde IF the order gets place, nothing at present. Another 5 of a class lighter and less capable than the Type 26 MAY also be built there. This other 5 being less than a frigate makes them Corvettes at best. So once you get your rose tinted glasses off it may well be that the 3 patrol vessels plus this additional 2 make up the numbers to 13.

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  4. So it looks like the original River class will not be retained? I’m guessing the 6 patrol vessels will be these 5 plus HMS Clyde which already has a flight deck.

    The new lighter frigate class will need a 5in gun, Sea Ceptor and VLS for whatever Harpoon replacement is planned.

  5. Could have built Visby grade guided missile corvettes for the sort of money being spent. Would have been more useful in defending our littoral waters and EEZ.

  6. Maybe they are looking to a post EU referendum period when with a bit of luck we’ll be looking to keep Spanish trawlers out of our waters.

  7. Only mwhining Scottish Nationalists can find fault with a statement that builds in Scottish Yards:
    5 OPVs
    8 ASW T26 Frigates
    5 GP T26 Frigates
    Hint of more frigates to come as funds allow

    I wonder how many frigates would have been built on the Clyde if we had voted for the lies of Independence … 2 max. and given the oil price currently, we’d actually have been lucky to build and OPV.

  8. Looking at the image of the River class opv and the photo of the type 26 in the next column, I wonder how many people could tell the difference between the two if they didn’t have a way of gauging scale. If the RN River class had a 76mm like HTMS Krabi the likeness would be even more striking. When it comes to showing the flag, having the locals think there’s a frigate in the neighbourhood when it’s only an opv could have benefits.

  9. Another 2 feet in beam, 6 feet length, Wildcat helicopter, 76 mm gun, and you would have a small ship with some sting for a lot less than a T26L.

  10. All news articles on new UK warships emphasize jobs more than warfighting ability. Is that the real purpose of the RN in the minds of Whitehall?

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