Work starts on £400m contract

Production has begun on the first of three 99m Ocean Patrol Vessels (OPVs) being built for the Royal Navy of Oman.

The Commander of the Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) has started manufacture of the UK’s first naval shipbuilding export order for nearly ten years at VT’s facilities in Portsmouth.

Rear Admiral Salim cut the initial steel on the first of three 99m Ocean Patrol Vessels (OPVs) that will be built over the next four years at VT.

VT claims the RNO ships will be the most advanced OPVs in the world when they are completed, with delivery of the first ship scheduled for early 2010. Subsequent deliveries will take place in six-monthly intervals.

The programme is valued at around £400m. Further export work for Trinidad and Tobago will see the creation of 200 new jobs at VT.

VT Shipbuilding managing director Tony Belisario said: ‘This contract, together with our work for Trinidad and Tobago, confirms VT’s position as one of the world’s leading exporters of naval ships.’