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  • Related to the Type 31E, and possibly the idea of any further ships being built for the Irish NS in Appledore.




    Union says closure of Devon shipyard would be 'devastating' and urges Government to 'stop playing with people's jobs'
    "The government needs to stop playing with people's jobs"
    A union representing shipbuilders in Devon has criticised the government’s decision to pause the bidding for type 31e Frigates.
    The GMB union says the government's announcement has "ramped up the uncertainty" about jobs at Appledore shipyard in North Devon and says it is a "further blow to British shipbuilding".

    The bidding process was paused on Wednesday in an announcement by the Ministry of Defence in which it claimed the pause was necessary after they had been forced to rethink the acquisition strategy for its Type 31e general-purpose frigate programme after abruptly terminating the original process.
    The MoD citied insufficient compliant bids for an effective and robust competition as the major reason.
    Due to the end of the Irish Offshore Patrol Vessel programme, the workforce at Appledore have largely already redeployed to Babcock's other site at Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth whilst the company sources other work.
    This means for the majority of the highly skilled workforce, a daily four hour round trip by coach daily from Appledore to Devonport, whilst some workers have found temporary accommodation in Plymouth for the duration of current contacts.
    Fears for Devon jobs as Royal Navy ship building programme is delayed
    Appledore is an integral part of Babcock's Arrowhead bid for the T31e work, but with the in-service target of 2023 now in serious doubt, there is considerable concern over how long Appledore can wait for new work, whilst the buses go up and down to Plymouth.
    John Phillips, GMB Regional Secretary for Wales and South West, said: “Whilst GMB and other trade unions continue to work closely with Babcock, the government has just ramped up the uncertainty over these crucial British advanced manufacturing jobs in North Devon.
    “Appledore is a fantastic facility and has shown with the hugely successful Irish OPV work that they can compete on quality and price with anywhere in the world, producing a credible defence export product.
    "Following the government's decision to put the new Fleet Sold Support (RFA) ships out to international tender, this is a further blow to British shipbuilding.
    "The government likes to talk this process up as a renaissance for Shipbuilding, in reality it’s more of a dark age.”
    The GMB is also calling on the local MP for Appledore and the recently appointed Attorney-General in Theresa May’s cabinet Geoffrey Cox QC MP to throw his weight behind getting the T31e process back on track.
    Matt Roberts, local GMB Regional Organiser, said: “Whilst the GMB alongside other unions will do everything we can to work with the company to keep Appledore open, the government needs to stop playing with people's jobs.
    "We call on Mr Cox as a cabinet minister to throw his weight behind getting this back on track and raise this directly with Theresa May.
    "The effects on the Bideford and North Devon community if Appledore closes would be devastating.

    "There are simply not the jobs in North Devon for these skilled workers to move into. We need to secure work for the site before it's too late.
    "Appledore has built 197 ships, and we need to ensure the 197th is not the last."
    DevonLive has contacted Geoffrey Cox MP for a comment.
    https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon...pyard-1832357#

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    • The 31 tender is back out, looks like they are going with the "pull through" from the 23's to reduce the cost per unit.

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      • Back on

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        • Back on the bus

          https://www.janes.com/article/83485/...r-type-31e-pqq

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          • Government reiterate Type 31e frigate plans
            The Government have again confirmed the numbers and entry into service date of the Type 31e Frigates.
            Earl Howe, The Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence and Deputy Leader of the House of Lord said in response to a question:
            “The National Shipbuilding Strategy envisages that the Type 31e will undertake a broad range of roles currently delivered by the Type 23 general purpose frigate, of which HMS Argyll is currently the first to leave service in 2023. We want the first Type 31e to enter service in 2023, with all five ships delivered by 2028.
            The exact dates for the delivery of the Type 31e frigates are yet to be determined so it is too early to release the numbers of ships in service at any one time.”
            This comes not long after the previously suspended Type 31e programme, which could see sections of the ships built in Scotland and England, was restarted.
            An MoD spokesperson said that a prior information notice has been issued to industry and a new contract notice has been issued.
            “We have issued a Prior Information Notice for our new Type 31e fleet and plan to start discussions with industry next week to ensure we do not lose any momentum. There have been no changes in our plans to procure a first batch of five new Type 31e frigates to grow our Royal Navy. We still want the first ship delivered by 2023 and are confident that industry will meet the challenge of providing them for the price tag we’ve set.”
            Prior to this official confirmation, a Ministry of Defence spokesman insisted that the project would still be going ahead, hinting that industry will have to refine their bids to meet the price tag:
            “This is an early contract in a wider procurement process, and we will incorporate the lessons learned and begin again as soon as possible so the programme can continue at pace.”
            According to USNI here, an article published recently by Jane’s stated that at least two of the potential bidders had earlier regarded the terms and conditions set by the MoD as unworkable, citing both commercial aspects and intellectual property rights.
            “Even if the MoD achieves its stated intention of ‘delivering’ the Type 31e lead ship in 2023, the subsequent sea trials, crew training and work-up could see entry into operational service slipping a year or two.”
            https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/gove...frigate-plans/

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            • Looks like Appledore is going under anyway.

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              • Originally posted by Sparky42 View Post
                Looks like Appledore is going under anyway.
                Not for the first time.

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                • So the MOD has funded 3 designs to the next stage, the BAE Leander, Babcock's Arrowhead 140, and Atlas Elektronik UK (which is Thyssenkrupp's UK division), so I'm guessing a MEKO option from them.

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                  • Originally posted by Sparky42 View Post
                    So the MOD has funded 3 designs to the next stage, the BAE Leander, Babcock's Arrowhead 140, and Atlas Elektronik UK (which is Thyssenkrupp's UK division), so I'm guessing a MEKO option from them.
                    Not much exporting opportunities with a MEKO once you've paid licensing etc.

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                    • The design Atlas Electronic UK is providing is not yet clear. However they are sticking rigidly to the £125m per hull price tag. Contracts will be awarded this time next year.

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                      • Some more from Babcock on their Type 31 option:
                        https://www.arrowhead140.com/
                        https://www.arrowhead140.com/wp-cont...T-brochure.pdf

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                        • Originally posted by Sparky42 View Post
                          How much per unit?
                          Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

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                          • Originally posted by hptmurphy View Post
                            How much per unit?
                            Now isn't that the 250 million pound question... I still think the UK will only meet that by pulling through from the 23's, for a customer buying new having to fit it out and everything, north of that I'd bet.

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                            • The old reliables that bought UK designs for export in the past have gone elsewhere for their surface combatants in recent years. Mostly Germany. Most of the rest like ex RN frigates, instead of newbuilds.

                              It will be difficult to sell such a specific new design to a foreign customer who doesn't have its own design already in the pipeline. The best hope is for small quantities. Are the Kiwis due an ANZAC replacement for example? It seems like they are going down the major upgrade route in the interim. I don't see them follow the RAN down the Type 26 route.

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                              • The NZ Anzac's have or are just going through midlife reifts (Sea Ceptor being fitted for example), the WP suggests that they won't go for their replacements till 2030 ish (and we all know that could slip), so a few years after the predicted 31 build should be done.

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