UK ministers are preparing to scale back the Royal Navy’s new generation of super aircraft carriers, despite the potentially damaging blow to shipyards on the Clyde and in Fife. It was said that the size of the navy’s new generation of aircraft carriers must be determined by the needs of the military and not by British industry. The size of the carriers, which were each expected to cost £1.5billion and weigh 60,000 tonnes, could be cut by 20 per cent. They represent the biggest procurement project currently under way in the British military.
The sections of the carriers are due to be constructed at shipyards around Britain, including Govan and Scotstoun on the Clyde, and put together at Rosyth on the Forth. The likely scaling-down of the order would be a great disappointment to workers at all three yards. During a debate on defence procurement, the officials stressed that the ships are not being built for industry or for shipbuilding areas, but to meet the needs of the Royal Navy as part of their contribution to the expeditionary force. The shipyards will have to wait for the final stage of the contract to see the specification of the new vessels.