The UK Ministry of Defence has confirmed contracts with BAE Systems for the construction of another three Type 45 destroyers, bringing the total number of Type 45 destroyers now on order to six.
The total contracted value of the Type 45 programme is now approximately £2 billion.
The order is concurrent with binding agreements concluded with BAE Systems – as the prime contractor – and BAE Systems Marine and Vosper Thornycroft (VT) for their share in the shipbuilding project.
The initial contract for work on the first six platforms will be worth in excess of £200 million to VT with involvement in the design, production and support stages of the project. VT will build blocks for each of the six comprising the bow section, funnel and masts. These blocks, which will weigh about 700 tonnes, will be fully outfitted before leaving the company’s Portsmouth facilities.
The Type 45 will replace the Royal Navy’s current Type 42 destroyers in the air defence role. At 7,350 tonnes, they will be twice the size of the 3,600 tonne Type 42s.
Their large size will reportedly allow them to carry air search radar, backed up by the advanced Principal Anti-Air Missile System, which is designed to counter the most modern and sophisticated aerial and anti-ship missile threats. The ships will also be able to carry the new Merlin helicopter.