MoD signs £20m contract for patrol vessel parts

The Royal Navy’s new OPV BAE's Mick Ord and Defence Minister Philip Dunne view a computer-generated image of the Royal Navy’s new OPV

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BAE Systems is to begin advance work on three new Royal Navy offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) after the Ministry of Defence signed a £20m parts contract.

The defence contractor will build the OPVs at its two Glasgow shipyards at Govan and Scotstoun.

The £20m deal will enable BAE to begin work on parts such as the engines and gearboxes, which require a longer time to make, ahead of actual ship building.

Work on the structure of the OPVs will begin later this year.

The deal was announced by Defence Minister Philip Dunne during a visit to the BAE's two shipyards on the River Clyde in Glasgow.

'Significant milestone'

"This £20m is a significant milestone, critical to the successful delivery of these three vessels for the Royal Navy," he said.

"The OPVs will not only provide an additional capability for the UK but also at its peak, the OPV programme will safeguard more than 800 vital skilled roles in the shipbuilding industry."

The new OPVs will be used to support counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations in UK waters.

The first vessel is expected to be delivered to the Royal Navy in 2017.

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