A row has broken out between the MoD and shipbuilder Vosper Thornycroft after the Southampton-based yard claimed this week that it would be designing and building a new warship to replace the Royal Navy’s type 42 destroyers.
Vosper said it was in talks with Marconi Electronic Systems, the likely primary contractor, to jointly design and build two warships.
But the MoD said Vosper’s statement came as a surprise. `We have yet to determine which UK shipyard will build the first of the class and the follow-on ships.’ They have jumped the gun, an MoD spokesman said.
The project follows the collapse of the Horizon pan-European frigate project. Ministry officials were said to be very angry with Vosper `for shooting its mouth off’ about the destroyers.
`We haven’t even got a time yet for when a decision will be made,’ said a spokesman. `We will be following the principles of “smart procurement” and that means reviewing all the possibilities. We certainly have not ignored the tendering process.’