The announcement of the new frigates for the Royal Navy presents the Ministry of Defence (MoD) with a quandary if Scotland chooses independence.
The design work and the skills required to build them all reside in Scotland. To establish them in a yard south of the Border would be expensive and add to an already shrinking budget.
Despite the proposals, the actual number to be built is not likely to get into double figures, purely on cost grounds, and building them in a new yards would increase costs.
Most recent MoD contracts have seen numbers procured revised downwards and this contract is going to follow suit. Rising unit costs and shrinking budgets are reducing MoD procurement.
The yards on the Clyde and the Forth need to look elsewhere for orders, whatever the outcome of the referendum vote.
Other countries have indicated interest in the designs produced on the Clyde. The new frigate design could be built for other navies. The Royal Navy might have to join the queue if it doesn’t place its orders quickly. Since the MoD has already looked at selling one of the carriers and restricting the use of the other, Rosyth also needs to look for other areas of work. No yards can depend on the Royal Navy for work, irrespective of the outcome of the referendum.
With marine energy technology being a growing field it is perhaps time for our yards to look at diversifying away from dependence on Westminster for orders.
Bruce D Skivington
Gairloch, Wester Ross
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west