Defence Secretary visits Tyneside shipyard

HMS Queen Elizabeth

Defence Secretary visits Tyneside shipyard

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has visited shipyard A&P Tyne, as the yard could soon be involved in building a new class of ships for the Royal Navy.

The MOD spent £400m with UK industry in the North East last year, supporting over 2,600 jobs in the region.

Hebburn-based A&P Tyne have built blocks for the UK’s new aircraft carriers and key parts for nuclear submarines. The company also maintains ships including Mounts Bay that was involved in the relief effort following Hurricane Irma.

Following the launch of the Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy last month, industry has developed over 20 different proposals for new Type 31e frigates. A&P are involved in one of the early plans with Cammell Laird and BAE Systems to deliver the new class of ships.

Shipyards across the country were invited to provide initial proposals to build the initial order of five ships at a maximum average price of £250m each. The Defence Secretary has personally committed to attend every major UK shipyard in the run up to the start of the formal competition to procure the new class of Type 31e in the New Year.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “It is very encouraging to witness the renaissance of shipbuilding around the UK first hand. Having helped build our new aircraft carriers and the Astute Class submarines, A&P Tyne have the skills and expertise to bid for our brand new class of frigates.

The whole industry is clearly excited about the opportunity to build cutting-edge ships for our growing Royal Navy, which will protect our nation and interests across the world.”

From building blocks for the modular construction of the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers, to providing key parts for the Astute nuclear submarine programme and bringing work worth £7m to the region, A&P Tyne have been essential to UK defence.

The Defence Secretary took a tour of the yard, which employs 300 workers and boasts the largest dry dock on the north-east coast of England.

With the commitment to build the Type 31e warships in the UK, A&P have the opportunity to compete for this latest programme to build ships for the Royal Navy.