Vosper announces £10m yard upgrade in bid for Navy destroyer contract

Vosper Thornycroft, the shipbuilding and support services group, plans to update its Woolston shipyard near Southampton in a bid to clinch a lucrative government contract for the Royal Navy’s next generation of destroyers. The £10m plus revamp was revealed last week as the firm announced upbeat half-year results, which saw its turnover increase 23% to […]

Vosper Thornycroft, the shipbuilding and support services group, plans to update its Woolston shipyard near Southampton in a bid to clinch a lucrative government contract for the Royal Navy’s next generation of destroyers.

The £10m plus revamp was revealed last week as the firm announced upbeat half-year results, which saw its turnover increase 23% to over £123m.

Chief executive Martin Jay said: `We have spent a lot of time and money working out how best to put the plan into operation.’

A planning application has been lodged to enlarge facilities to enable the yard to build at least a dozen Type 45 destroyers, due to enter service by 2007.

The defence select committee named Vosper earlier this month as one of three `obvious shipyards’ in the running for the anti-air warfare ships, alongside the Yarrow yard on the Clyde and GEC Marine at Barrow-in-Furness.

Marconi Electronic Systems has been selected by the Government as contractor to design the ship and help choose where it is built. A decision on the choice of yard is expected soon.

Jay was buoyant about the yard’s future. It announced a £200m contract to build attack craft for the Greek Navy in September as part of its £840m order book.