The new offshore patrol vessels will build on the capability of the current River Class vessels

BAE Systems wins contract to build ships on Clyde

BAE System’s has been awarded a £348m contract to build three new patrol vessels for the Royal Navy at its shipyards on the Clyde, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

Eight hundred jobs will be created in the process of building the three ships, which will serve with the Royal Navy both at home and abroad.

"This multimillion-pound contract shows our commitment to investing in new ships for the Royal Navy and maintaining in the UK the expertise needed to build the warships of the future,” said Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, stressing that UK shipbuilding industry and local economy in the Glasgow area will benefit from the government-funded project.

"This sort of investment by the UK government is vital for the sustainment of shipbuilding in the city and the hundreds of specialist manufacturing and engineering roles that play an important role in providing war-fighting capability for the Royal Navy."

The MoD declined to comment on whether a Yes vote in the independence referendum would have any bearing on the contract.

"The government is not planning for independence and is not making any contingency plans," a spokeswoman said.

Featuring a redesigned flight deck to operate the latest Merlin helicopters as well as increased storage and accommodation facilities, the offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) build on the capability of the Royal Navy's current River Class vessels.

Having played a role in the construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth, workers on the Clyde are now manufacturing blocks for the second aircraft carrier, the Prince of Wales, which is being assembled in Rosyth dockyard, near Edinburgh.

The first OPV is expected to be handed over to the Royal Navy in 2017.

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