Warship Contract Secures A Decade of Jobs
24th February 2015
A multi-million pound contract has gone to Huddersfield engineering firm David Brown, to equip the Royal Navy with new warships.
The firm will help build the next generation of frigates.
The Lockwood-based company will supply gears for the new Type 26 Global Combat Ship, which is to be built on the Clyde in Scotland.
The contract helps safeguard jobs at the firm's Park Works site - which has recently recruited about 25 staff and now employs 250 people.
The development of the new ships, which will replace the navy's Type 23 frigate, represents an investment of £859m and will sustain 1,700 jobs across the country.
The investment was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron on a visit to defence industry giant BAE Systems' shipyard at Govan, Glasgow. Thirteen of the new ship are expected to be built by BAE Systems for service in the early 2020s.
About 600 jobs will be safeguarded in Scotland while other BAE Systems sites and about 30 supply firms, including David Brown will also benefit.
David Brown was awarded one of the first design contracts for key elements of the Type 26 in September, 2013. Under the terms of that contract, the company created detailed designs and progress plans for the gearbox of the new ship, working alongside BAE Systems and Ministry of Defence.
Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney welcomed the latest announcement. He said: "It's fantastic news. I have been working with David Brown to lobby for this major contract which is worth millions of pounds and will sustain jobs at Lockwood for the next few decades.
"The future for David Brown is looking really rosy. I was there this week and the factory is really bustling. I am very proud that a company in my constituency will be playing a part in developing the Royal navy's new generation of ships which will be going around the world - and also helping to deliver humanitarian relief."
Speaking in Glasgow, Mr Cameron said: "This is a substantial investment in our shipbuilding industry, safeguarding the jobs of 600 workers in Scotland and many more across the UK. Investing in these warships will ensure we continue to keep our country safe, at home and abroad.
"As part of our long-term economic plan, we're not just building the most advanced modern warships in the world - we are building the careers of many young people with apprenticeships that will set them up for life."
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "This announcement is a clear vote of confidence in British industry and forms part of our commitment to invest over £160bn in equipment and equipment support over the next 10 years."
The first Type 26 is due to enter service as soon as possible after 2020 and will remain in service until 2060.
David Hulse, national officer of the GMB union, said: "This announcement is very good news in that it secures the future of the Clydeside shipyards and the skilled workforce and will enable the company to provide a substantial number of much-needed apprenticeships."
But he added: "The uncertain international climate calls into question the Tory plans for further cuts in defence spending in the next parliament."
David Brown has supplied gear systems for a range of military applications for more than 90 years - including the UK's Challenger 2 main battle tank, a range of armoured vehicles and the Astute class submarines. It also supplies gears for power generation, the oil and gas sectors, mining, rail and renewables.
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