£1.25 billion ships helps secure over 2,000 jobs

The UK’s Ministry of Defence has decided to buy four new vessels known as Alternative Landing Ships Logistic, or ALSLs, it was anounced yesterday.

Swan Hunter (Tyneside) has been selected as preferred bidder to design and build two ALSLs. In order to ensure the new fleet’s introduction as soon as possible, BAE Systems Marine will, subject to detailed negotiations with the MOD and Swan Hunter, separately build 2 ALSLs at their Govan shipyard.

These will be built to Swan’s design, with Swan providing the necessary lead shipyard design services. Steelwork in both yards could begin around the middle of next year.

Subject to the usual discussions, the MOD expects to sign contracts with Swan Hunter, creating 1,000 new jobs in their Tyneside shipyard, bringing the total workforce up to 1,800 at its peak and sustaining 200 jobs off-site.

The separate contract with BAE Systems Marine is expected to help secure around 800 jobs in Govan – together with about 200 jobs off-site – and sustain that shipyard until Type 45 Destroyer work begins in the two Clydeside yards in 2003.

The total value of these contracts is expected to be around £300M.