Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, today welcomed the announcement that BAE systems has won the £20 billion contract to supply the Royal Australian Navy with its next generation of ships.
BAE Systems saw off competition from Italian and Spanish firms to win the contract, which will see 9 British designed ships built in Australia by a local workforce, the first export of a British design for new frigates since the 1970’s.
Speaking from Westminster this morning, Mr Evans said:
“This is a fantastic announcement for both BAE Systems and the UK, and demonstrates the strength and expertise of the UK defence sector. While the ships will be assembled in Australia, it is British ingenuity and innovation that is behind them, and many UK firms will benefit from work to supply the ships with their systems.”
The ships which will be called the ‘Hunter Class’, are based on the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 Frigates, known informally as the ‘Global Combat Ship’. While this is the first overseas success for BAE Systems with this class, the announcement is a sign of confidence in the Type 26 Program, with the ship also being considered by the Canadian government for its own next generation Canadian Surface Combatant Program.
Continuing, Mr Evans said:
“This deal may well prove the first of many Brexit dividends from commonwealth countries such as Australia, who want to trade and cooperate more closely with the UK once we have left the European Union.”
This latest deal follows news in April that Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had signed a deal with BAE systems to potentially buy up to 48 Eurofighter Typhoons, benefitting thousands of workers throughout Lancashire.