Glasgow & West Scotland

The changing face of BAE Systems shipbuilding in the UK

Govan shipyard
Image caption BAE employs hundreds of people at Govan in Glasgow

BAE Systems currently employs 4,400 people in shipbuilding in the UK - 3,200 in Glasgow, Rosyth and Filton, near Bristol, and 1,200 in Portsmouth.

The company has announced its intention to cut 1,775 of these jobs, with 940 going in Portsmouth and 835 across its other sites - the vast majority in the Govan and Scotstoun yards on the River Clyde in Glasgow.

In Portsmouth, 170 agency workers will also lose their jobs.

All three of BAE's UK shipyards - Govan, Scotstoun and Portsmouth - are currently working on delivery of the two Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers for the Ministry of Defence, the biggest, most advanced warships ever to be constructed in the UK.

However, the firm has said its shipbuilding operation will now be consolidated in Glasgow.

The first carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is expected to begin sea trials in 2017 and to be operational by 2020.

In Scotland the bulk of the work on the ship was carried out at Govan, where the hull sections were built.

Workers at Scotstoun constructed the "aft island" section, while the "forward island" was built in Portsmouth.

The different parts of the 60,000 tonne ship, which is 280m in length and can be deployed anywhere in the world, were transported by barge to Babcock's Rosyth dockyard in Fife, where they are being welded together.

About 700 of BAE's Glasgow staff have also been involved in this work, which is almost complete.

The vessels, which will have a top speed of 25 knots, will be three times larger than Britain's Invincible class aircraft carrier and the second biggest in the world behind America's 90,000-tonne Nimitz class.

Work on the the second warship, HMS Prince of Wales, is already under way at all three yards, but following the announcement on job cuts BAE said work currently allocated to Portsmouth will move to Glasgow.

The Clyde shipyards' element of the work was supposed to end in 2015.

BAE has also announced that the next generation of Royal Navy warship, the Type 26 frigates, will be built in Glasgow.

Staff at Scotstoun have already been involved in the design of the ship.

Three new Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Royal Navy will also be built in Glasgow, helping sustain the yards until work begins on the Type 26 frigates.

BAE said in a statement it wants to "consolidate shipbuilding operations in Glasgow with investments in facilities to create a world-class capability".

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