Destroyer Takes Shape in Govan Shipyard

December 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Features, Glasgow South, Glasgow West, Local News

Bow and Mast of HMS DuncanAn early Christmas present arrived on the Clyde this month in the shape of the steel bow and mast pictured here. They are destined to become HMS Duncan, the sixth, Type 45 Destroyer to be built at BVT Surface Fleet’s facility in Govan.

The sight will have heartened many, not least the 3500 workers employed at the Govan and Scotstoun shipyards where the contract for the six warships is being fulfilled. Each contract is worth £650 million.

Speculation that the current economic crisis could delay or even reduce work at the yards has been quashed by the arrival of the components which are heralded as a ‘significant step in the programme’.

The day before the arrival of the bow and mast at Govan, Vic Emery, BVT Surface Fleet Managing Director, announced he would be taking early retirement. This sparks fears for the yard which will have no dedicated manager. His replacement, Mark Cooper, will manage all BVT’s shipbuilding activity in Glasgow and Portsmouth.

The bow and mast came on a barge after a 500 mile trip from the Clyde yards’ sister yard at Portsmouth Naval Base in Hampshire.

Work will be ongoing over the festive period and will continue throughout 2009. The task of installing the bow and mast will begin after the launch of ship 5, Defender, in October 2009.

Between now and then, work continues on ship 3, Diamond, and on the outfitting of ship 4, Dragon which launched in November. Ship 5, Defender, is already starting to take shape on the berth at Govan. Angus Holt, Type 45 Programme Director said: ‘The progress that BVT is making in the programme is proof of the company’s commitment to delivering all six ships to the Royal Navy on time and on budget. The workforce in Glasgow is continuing to make hugely significant steps forward and it is as a result of their commitment that we have achieved several milestones in recent months with even more to come before the year end.’

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