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BAE and Cammell Laird join forces to bid for 'budget' frigates contract

BAE Systems is seeking to defend its virtual monopoly on Royal Navy shipbuilding by teaming up with the commercial player Cammell Laird to bid to construct new "budget" frigates.
The tie-up, which will see Merseyside-based Cammell act as prime contractor, is a direct response to the government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy aimed at spreading work around British shipyards as well as producing vessels which are attractive to export buyers.
BAE and Cammell Laird join forces to bid for 'budget' frigates contract

Staff at Cammell Laird's Merseyside yard hope to land wpork building new frigates for the Royal Navy

Credit:
Getty
A review by industrialist Sir John Parker last year proposed breaking BAE’s hold on building ships for the Royal Navy, with other shipyards being considered for work on the new Type 31e frigates and “modular” construction techniques being used.
Backing his proposals, the Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the new approach would result in “more cutting-edge ships for the Royal Navy that will be designed to maximise exports and be attractive to navies around the world”.
The strategy would also “help boost jobs, skills, and growth in shipyards and the supply chain across the UK”, he added.
Last month the Ministry of Defence announced it would buy five Type 31e ships, with the first entering service in 2023, saying it had set a ?250m per vessel price cap.
By comparison, in July the MoD agreed a ?3.7bn deal with BAE for the first three of an expected eight Type 26 frigates, underlining the economies expected to be made on the Type 31e.
BAE and Cammell Laird join forces to bid for 'budget' frigates contract

The MoD signed a ?3.7bn for three Type 26 frigates in July

Credit:
BAE Systems
John Syvret, Cammell chief executive, said he “welcomed” the National Shipbuilding Strategy and the Type 31e competition.
“We will offer a UK warship design, a UK combat system, a UK build and a supply chain with high UK content,” he added. “We will be working with BAE Systems and A&P to deliver certainty, speed and agility on this nationally important project.”
Under the plan, Cammell would use its experience in the competitive world of commercial ship production to build the vessels, with BAE supplying its expertise in warship design, engineering and combat systems.
BAE and Cammell Laird join forces to bid for 'budget' frigates contract

Cammell Laird boss John Syvret

Credit:
Gavid Trafford
Mr Syvret said partnership would submit a design named “Leander”, recalling two previous classes of ships which served the Royal Navy. The first were light cruisers built in the 1930s and served in the Second World War, and the second were frigates which were in service from the 1960s until the 1980s, and saw action in the Falklands.
The shipbuilding strategy emphasised that the Type 31e should be attractive to foreign buyers and the ?250m price cap is seen as the optimum price to encourage export orders.
BAE said it would bring its “proven knowledge and experience of operating in the export market” to bear to win foreign orders, strengthening the partnership’s bid for the contract.
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