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Lord Curzon

1. If the Aussies go with T26 then they will bring it into service before we do, which is hilarious if somewhat tragic.
2. These are the most expensive OPVs ever built and they can’t even fasten boltheads. Pathetic.

Mike Saul

Not a great advert for UK shipbuilding is it.

Wiggle

Hold on, not a great advert for bae!!! Don’t drag everyone into this! Babcock built 3 for 150mil no major problems

TAA

SNP now with nothing to say about ‘Scottish shipbuilding’!

DOCKYARD DAVY

The SNP are very quiet about ships built for the R.N. in Scotland Ms Sturgeon has barely mentioned the Aircraft carriers and her predecessor Alec Salmond only went to the naming ceremony for HMS Queen Elisabeth because his dad was in the navy and went with him it seems that they cannot stand this industry

DOCKYARD DAVY

I believe that a lot of the problems have occurred due to the use of many subcontractors by Bae instead of using their own highly skilled tradesmen, It is much easier for them to hire and fire and they do not have the overheads of pension schemes etc. However the standard of work is bound to suffer as many of these tradesmen do not have the same experience as people who have worked on shipbuilding for many years, but I am afraid that this is the way forward

Grubbie

There’s a bit of that, but I would take a Polish welder over one of BAEs lazy ,unionised permanent workers anyday.

Wiggle

I once thought the same until working alongside one who had clearly never welded just knew someone else on the job! Seen this over and over

Grubbie

But I bet that he was at least trying to do a good job

Nick Messinger Master Mariner

It’s a bloody disgrace and one more reason why future orders will be placed overseas. Our island’s maritime superiority is a thing of the past. We seem to have forgotten all the shipbuilding skills we once had – as the World’s once pre-eminent maritime nation.

DOCKYARD DAVY

I could not agree with you more , our shipbuilding trades used to depend on skills being passed down through the generations through apprentice training schemes lasting for at least four years before being considered a time served tradesman, but nowaday’s apprentices serve only a few months ,fill in a few modules in their colouring book and they become tradesmen with little or no experience ,We need to get back to being a major shipbuilding country again with proper apprentiship schemes before it is lost forever and we become dependant on countries like Vietnam or Korea to build our ships . So please let us start type 26/31 and solid fleet support ships without delay

Wiggle

How can you bring in apprentices when the only yard with longevity is bae Babcock appledore and others can’t due to boat by boat contracts and no support from government

Dave

Wasn’t the idea of these overpriced OPVs to maintain skilled workers until the type 26s were ordered. Well that seems to have not happened….

DOCKYARD DAVY

You are correct that was the idea ,however I believe that BAE have gone down the road of having a smaller core workforce and bringing in sub contractors in certain trades who have less overheads than permanent workers would have, and can be hired and fired very easily . This means that many of the skills and experience are not retained in the shipyard

Grubbie

I’m a subbie and I occasionally work in the dockyards and it has to be seen to be believed. 1970s union can’t do attitude, sloppy, lazy and a dirty mess. No pride or any shame.The subbies are appalled at what they see.
Save the navy seems to be trying to downplay all of this, but if it takes over 6 months just to assess the damage, something is badly wrong.

Tom

BAE did the same with the Type 23’s – getting rid of most of their tradesmen during the “down time” between ships. Consequently the skills available when the work recommenced were less than had been the case before letting them go. VT (Woolston yard) retained their skilled workforce during similar “down times”. Consequently they were a lot better shipbuilder (until BAE took them over, closed Woolston and moved them all to Portsmouth!)

Grubbie

If customers refuse to accept deliveries and go to (excellent) Lurssens instead, it ought to be a clue. As should the lack of export orders when the government has already paid for all the systems development.

Callum

Fingers crossed Babcock and Team 31 get the T31 order. You can pretty much guarantee their staff will be highly motivated to produce the best possible workmanship in the hope that it’ll win them more contracts and secure jobs. Combined with a clearly superior design that’s only flaw is that it really needs a BAES cms and radar, and its a winning bid

Disco Dave

The BAE CMS-1 and Artisan radar are well below the standard that Babcock are offering.

Callum

Artisan is fully fit for purpose, and from what I can find on the NS100 it’s not enough of an upgrade to warrant introducing to service. Same story for the combat system, but even more so, because it’s already going to be in service for the lifetimes of the T45 and T26 and will benefit from the same continuous upgrades.

The performance difference isn’t what matters, the point is to standardise across the fleet to keep costs down and make training easier.

Alan Hetherington

Take away their monopoly start spreading it around English yards they(Scots) will leave anyway without ship Oder bribes (Cameron ) secure shipbuilding future by ordering an amount of T26 or T31 suitable to a global looking nation 20 plus like the old Leanders Plus if we need volunteers to fill the gap on crews I’m up for it

For St. George

What a fantastic sight that would be, type 26 frigates from the RN and RAN, exercising together and if New Zealand and Canada join the club, that would be a huge statement from the Commonwealth, the way .
I hope I live.long enough to see it !

Sean

The Kiwi’s usually buy the same as the RAN for compatibility, but they may decide they can no longer afford to equip at this level – maybe T31 for them instead.
Canada’s 15 ship order is the biggie to aim for given T26 is not in the running for the USN.

Grubbie

If the Australians use the type 26 design there ought to be significant savings from the greater volume.So I would expect to see some sensible swapping of work,sharing of experience and joint development of various components between the UK and Australia. I would also expect to see a reduction in the price from BAE.Oh look,a flying pig!

maurice10

Allegedly, this whole issue is possibly down to the lack of professional ‘Programme Management?’ Like all lead vessels, there isn’t the luxury of a prototype vessel, the first hull is the prototype. Imagine instructing an aircraft manufacturer to build just one airframe then sell that directly to a customer! Astonishingly, that is how the warship business operates and I believe that is the only business to function in that way? Just for one moment imagine the level of stress that is placed on everyone involved, from management to the guys on the ground?

The only solution is to hire the very best people in line and planning management, to ensure all boxes are ticked and suppliers kept in the loop 24/12. Exhausting as it may seem, that is the only cure for poorly co-ordinated programmes. The other option is to call in the teams from the QE and Astute yards and try to identify where the job can be executed more effectively?

4thwatch

Not so with these OPV’s. There had already been 3 built and sold to Brazil. This whole deal was BAe’s version of a Brazilian! Aka Haircut for the UK Taxpayer where it hurts.

Sean

Yes these are essentially Amazonas class corvettes, sold to the politicians as just Batch 2 River Class OPVs for approval. So it’s not like these haven’t been built before…

RussT

“So far only one sheared and glued bolt head has been discovered on Medway”.
Oh that’s good things are progressing from the multiple ones found on HMS Forth.
Perhaps by the end of the build program we can expect to find all bolt heads with the threads still attached?