A key deadline for the award of a construction contract for the Royal Navy’s upcoming Type 26 frigate will be missed, as the Ministry of Defence and the UK’s sole warship builder have failed to reach an agreement. The so-called Main Gate approval, the main investment decision committing to the full cost of the programme, had been expected by the end of 2014.

With a general election and the next strategic defence review taking place in 2015, the start of a planned 13-ship build project to replace the RN’s Type 23 frigates could now be delayed by up to a year.

BAE Systems had wanted to cut the first metal at a new £200 million facility it hopes to build in 2016, but the Defence Equipment & Support organisation has opted to further review the cost of the project.


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