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£1.6bn contract for Royal Navy support ships awarded to UK consortium

Ben Wallace said the announcement was a ‘significant boost’ to the UK shipbuilding industry (Liam McBurney/PA)
Ben Wallace said the announcement was a ‘significant boost’ to the UK shipbuilding industry (Liam McBurney/PA)

A British-led consortium has been chosen as the preferred bidder to build new support ships for the Royal Navy – creating 1,200 new jobs in UK shipyards and hundreds more in the supply chain – the Ministry of Defence has said.

The £1.6 billion contract will see final assembly for the three vessels – each the length of two Premier League football pitches – take place at Harland & Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast.

They will be built to an entirely British design by Bath-based BMT which forms the rest of the Team Resolute consortium along with Navantia UK.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the announcement was a “significant boost” to the UK shipbuilding industry.

“By selecting Team Resolute, the Ministry of Defence has chosen a proposal which includes £77 million of investment into the UK shipyards, creating around 2,000 UK jobs, and showcasing cutting-edge British design,” he said.

“Building on ambitions laid out in the National Shipbuilding Strategy, this contract will bolster technology transfer and key skills from a world-renowned shipbuilder, crucial in the modernisation of British shipyards.”

The contract is subject to final Treasury and ministerial approval.