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UK to consolidate three major complex warships’ manufacturing yards

Monday, November 26th 2012 - 20:00 UTC
Full article 19 comments
BAE Nigel Whitehead working with government on options to retain shipbuilding capacity  (Photo: Ray Troll) BAE Nigel Whitehead working with government on options to retain shipbuilding capacity (Photo: Ray Troll)

One of BAE Systems' major shipyards could be closed, the company's UK chief, Nigel Whitehead, has said. He told the Sunday Telegraph a decision would be made by the end of the year.

The firm was working with ministers to explore all options for maintaining the UK's shipbuilding capability, he said.

The future of its three main shipyards - in Portsmouth, and Govan and Scotstoun on the River Clyde - after two new aircraft carriers are completed has been in doubt for some time.

There are fears there will be insufficient work available to keep all three busy and profitable as cuts in defence spending take their toll.

“The issue is how to consolidate... but make sure that we've preserved the capability to design and manufacture complex warships,” Mr Whitehead told the newspaper.

“We anticipate that there will be a reduction in footprint and we anticipate... that part of that might actually be the cessation of manufacturing at one of the sites.”

Earlier this year the company appointed consultants to carry out a review of the business. The firm's yard in Portsmouth is widely believed to be the most vulnerable, with 1,500 jobs at risk. However, two bases on the River Clyde, at Govan and Scotstoun are also under scrutiny.

BAE Systems says it is working closely with the government to explore all options for maintaining the UK's shipbuilding capability.

The Ministry of Defence says that it is up to the company itself to decide how best to deliver the naval vessels it has already agreed to produce.

In October, BAE Systems and Franco-German firm EADS cancelled their planned merger, after talks were thwarted by political deadlock.

The UK had wanted its counterparts to agree to limit their influence in the merged firm in order to maintain BAE's strong working relations with the US Pentagon.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Anbar

    not enough money floating around (get it?) at the moment for people to be spending lots of BIG warships....

    Its going to be a while before there is again.... at least we'll get both the super-carriers .. though its s ahem we wont have anything to fly from them.

    Nov 26th, 2012 - 08:16 pm 0
  • briton

    yes yes mr camaron, stick ya bloody head in the sand,
    and watch another company go west,

    why not just get rid of evrything , just so long as your overseas aid is ok,
    usles twit.

    Nov 26th, 2012 - 09:01 pm 0
  • Anbar

    The “irony” about overseas aid is that whilst the USA can use its military muscle to achieve diplomacy via threat-of-force we, the little UK, cna achieve our goals by giving lots of money to other countries.

    Which begs the question: how come we have soldiers supporting the USA in a couple of countries?

    And: Who exactly gets this money?

    And: How come we're sending billions abroad when we cant even pay our own debts at home?

    Nov 26th, 2012 - 09:59 pm 0
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