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This is one of the reasons why despite having one of the largest defence budgets in the World our Navy shrinks and shrinks. With our budget we should expect platform numbers to be one of the highest in the globe. It’s disgraceful. If the greed of BaE goes on and on they should stand the blame for the destruction of our military capacity. A British company failing its own state for a massive buck. Just plain nasty.


One should not forget that when the RN buys a warship built in the UK the true cost is not what is stated on the price tag. The true cost to the country is significantly less, yes less than the price tag. Remember all BAE,s labour force and UK subcontractors will pay tax and social security, BAE itself will pay tax and VAT (where applicable), as will its UK supplier’s, etc. the sum total of all these and similar items represent a significant discount for HM treasury. This was also one of the main reasons that RN warship production would have been terminated on the Clyde if Scotland had gone for independence.


Spanish shipbuilders enjoy very low labour costs by European standards, and receive huge subsidies from the state (which of course is getting a lot of UK taxpayers money at present)


You are right that costs maybe slightly lower in Spain and maybe it is not a totally fair comparison. Spanish companies do indeed get state subsidies – in the UK our “state subsidies” just appear to be a lot less transparent – precisely why we are paying £116M for a vessel that could probably be built for approx £55M.


Agree that BAE very likely receives hidden state subsidies in the form of over pricing, but to survive at all it has to make money for shareholders. Spanish shipbuilders (Navantia is state owned) receive massive state assistance, including export subsidies, with the Spanish govt. using the shipbuilding industry to create desperately needed employment.


I am also aware that there are considerable doubts over true total cost of the NZ OPV programme (ultimately delivered by BAE !), which encountered many delays and difficulties.


It’s not just the three Batch 1 Rivers that patrol UK waters, the 8 Hunt class MCM vessels can also be used as OPVs, and the UK Border Agency has 5 cutters.


Principally we seem to have forgotten ‘The Requirement’ – what do we need, why is it being built what is it meant to achieve?

That would determine if a hangar was required and what the CONEMP/CONUSE would be. This is a politically driven procurement because we allowed ourselves to be forced into a ridiculous contractual position with BAe.

Our experiences with the T45 should be telling us to steer well away.

Mr Putin

Sink the ZOG navy!!!!


It seems Wikipedia already knows that the Batch 1 River class are destined for the Bangladesh Navy!


Why not convert 4 off the many (100) offshore supply vessels that are now idle due to the oil/gas down turn. Some of these boats are less than 2 years old. Large deck space to convert to hanger and helicopter deck. accommodation for crew and usually 100 more in an emergency.