Clyde shipyard blames Covid for delays

From Janes today:

UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace has confirmed that initial operating capability (IOC) for the Royal Navy’s first Type 26 City-class frigate has slipped by one year to October 2028. The ship is being built by BAE Systems at its Govan facility in Scotland.

In a written statement to Parliament on 2 November, Wallace said the delay was mainly due to the impacts of the Covid pandemic, as well as design and supply chain issues.

“Due to the impact of Covid 19, where the Govan yard was required to shut down for a number of weeks, and challenges typical of those experienced with the first-of-class ship, including finalising the ship design and timely delivery of key new to service equipment, the Department is forecasting a twelve-month delay to the Type 26 initial operating capability from October 2027 to October 2028,” he said in the statement.

The delay will add GBP223 million (USD252 million) to the overall cost of the programme, he said, adding that efforts were already under way to increase productivity at the yard and improve on the revised IOC date.

Imagine if the ferry delays were blamed on Covid? Imagine the bullying interview with John Beattie, former No.8, ‘providing extra weight at the push.’

Only Janes is reporting this so far. Not one of the MSM is on it.

They’re full of Type 26 frigates though. The ‘new’ 5, but, of course they’re not new. They simply restore part of the 2014 promise:

During the independence referendum, the Tory government promised that 13 new Type 26 frigates would be built on the Clyde.

A new frigate factory was set to be built too.

But in 2015, 13 frigates become eight.

4 thoughts on “Clyde shipyard blames Covid for delays

  1. Defence procurement is an endless money pit.
    Always late.
    Always over-budget.
    Seldom works as planned.

    It’s OK. The sharp, eagle-eyed journos at Repressing Scotland will give Ben Wallace a no-questions-asked slot on the evening news to Bluster for Blighty.
    It’s best for the Union, don’t yer know?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I noted the same story from ‘Defence News’ in an article entitled ‘UK orders five more counter-submarine frigates for $5 billion’ (15 November, 2022).

    ( )

    The admitted cost and time overrun to date is in a programme to build just three vessels, only the first of which is due ten years after the award of contract. Lots of scope for further time and cost overruns before all three vessels are operational!

    Of relevance to scares about MOD procured warship building in Scotland post-independence, the same article quotes BAE Systems’ CEO who said the MOD’s newly announced frigate building contract for his company ‘secures the future of a critical U.K. industry.’ He adds: “It underpins the ONGOING INVESTMENTS we’re making in the SKILLS, INFRASTRUCTURE and technologies needed to stay at the forefront of the maritime sector and to support the U.K. government’s national shipbuilding strategy,” (my emphasis)

    The article notes that one of those investments is the PLANNED CONSTRUCTION OF A SHIPBUILDING HALL AT GOVAN. ‘The company has submitted a planning application with local authorities to build a 175 meter long covered hall COSTING IN EXCESS OF £100 MILLION ($119 million).’ We’re then told that: ‘The investment (in this shipbuilding hall) will be A MAJOR FACTOR IN THE FINAL FIVE SHIPS COSTING LESS AND BEING DELIVERED FASTER THAN PREVIOUS VESSELS, the MoD said.’

    And from the UK Defence Journal (19 September 2014) ‘BAE now able to invest £200 million in Clyde ‘Frigate Factory’’.

    This article states: ‘Now that Scotland has voted ‘NO’ and paved the way for further Ministry of Defence work in Scotland, the defence giant BAE have announced that the contract to build the £200 million frigate construction facility will be put out to tender next week.’

    A BAE spokesman was reported back then stating:: “We have been very open that Scotstoun would offer more benefits to our business and our customers. We continue to explore two options for manufacturing facilities investment in Glasgow, subject to consultation and MOD agreement.

    So has all the £200 million investment announced by BAE in 2014 taken place? How does the ‘frigate factory’ relate to the investment of £100 million in what is being called a ’Shipbuilding hall’? Presumably the £200 million was invested in Scotstoun and the next £100 million is due to be spent at Govan? Can anyone confirm?

    As to the future, it is very far from straightforward (to say the least) to uproot a highly skilled workforce in Scotland which BAE has at scale – and has sunk investment in over a long time – and move it to some other country. Secondly, it will be a lengthy and expensive business (to say the least) to replicate a ’state-of-the-art complex warship manufacturing facility’ – one which has already had hundreds of million pounds of investment – somewhere other than Scotland. And especially when these present facilities are described as being ‘A MAJOR FACTOR IN THE FINAL FIVE SHIPS COSTING LESS AND BEING DELIVERED FASTER THAN PREVIOUS VESSELS’! Pragmatism and necessity suggest there are deals to be done!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank F*ck we didn’t get the order for 13 ships – Unionist MSPs in Holyrood would have wet themselves with the bad publicity this would have generated for the Scottish Governm … ooops !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Note the delay and cost increase is due to ‘ first in class ‘ and supply chain issues, and of course covid would have affected both these issues.
    The Ferry Contract was also a ‘ first in class ‘ project.


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