A multimillion-pound deal with the Bangladeshi Navy has secured 100 jobs at a Tyneside shipyard.
A&P Tyne will refit two offshore patrol vessels, guaranteeing three months of work for employees and local sub-contractors.
As part of the contract, specialist staff from the yard will also train 66 Bangladeshi naval crew members to operate the ships.
Work will begin in May when the vessels are towed to the firm's Hebburn yard.
Stewart Boak, managing director of A&P, said: "It is a tribute to all the partners involved that we now have the opportunity to carry out the work, securing employment for up to 100 staff and sub-contractors in the face of the recession."
The Castle Class patrol vessels were built in Aberdeen and first entered service with the Royal Navy in 1982, protecting the fishing fleets and oil and gas fields in the North Sea.
They also did long-term service guarding the Falkland Islands after the war, before being sold to the Bangladeshi government.
The project will include the overhaul of the vessels' engines and an upgrade of crew accommodation.