Plymouth's New £8billion Warships Will Be Built with 65% Foreign Steel (excerpt)
(Source: The Plymouth Herald; published July 13, 2017)
By Gayle McDonald
Some 65 per cent of the Royal Navy's new frigates will be made from foreign steel, a Defence Minister has said.

The majority of the steel used to build the eight new Type 26 global combat ships, which will split between Plymouth and Portsmouth, will come from the UK and Sweden but only around a third will be sourced domestically, Harriet Baldwin said.

The Community steelworkers' union said the proportion of British steel used is "not good enough".

Earlier this month, a £3.7 billion contract was signed to build the first three ships and work will start at BAE Systems' yards on the River Clyde in Glasgow this summer, securing 1,700 jobs in Scotland and a further 1,700 in the supply chain across the UK.

A total of eight ships are to be built in the fleet, with the contract for the second batch of five ships to be negotiated in the early 2020s. The £8billion order is the biggest Royal Navy deal after the latest Trident nuclear subs.

Replying to written parliamentary questions from Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, Ms Baldwin said: "Around 4,000 tonnes of steel will be required to build each Type 26 frigate.

"Steel will be sourced principally from the UK and Sweden. For some grades of plate steel, the combination of thickness, size and flatness specifications needed for the Type 26 frigates mean that the steel cannot be sourced in its entirety in the UK.

In another answer, she said 35% of the steel will come from the UK.

Ms Baldwin said: "Responsibility for sourcing steel for the Type 26 Frigates rests with BAE Systems as the contractor. In accordance with Government guidelines on the procurement of steel, the company has run a competition to select a supplier of steel for the programme, and an announcement is expected shortly. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Plymouth Herald website.


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