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Saturday, 13 January, 2001, 17:12 GMT
'Lifeline' navy boat launched
Scotstoun yard cranes, Glasgow
The contract helped to secure jobs at Scotstoun
A newly built navy patrol boat which helped to save jobs at a Scottish shipbuilders has taken to the waves for the first time.

Hundreds attended the launch of the vessel, constructed at BAE Systems in Scotstoun, for the navy of Brunei.

The Scottish Secretary, Dr John Reid, was on hand to help launch the as yet unnamed boat on Saturday afternoon.

The contract proved a lifeline for the Clyde yard before it signed a destroyer deal with the Ministry of Defence.

John Reid, Scottish secretary
John Reid helped launch the boat
Work on the Type 45 destroyers will be split between the Scotstoun yard and Vosper Thornycroft.

At the nearby BAE Systems' Govan yard on the Clyde, jobs were made more secure when it was named as the preferred bidder for an order to build Ministry of Defence landing craft.

It has been revealed that workers at Govan will be able to take part in the building of Type 45 destroyers along with Scotstoun.

The ships, which will form the backbone of the Royal Navy for the next 50 years when they enter service in 2007, are to be constructed in modules.

Scotstoun is likely to design the new fleet and secure more orders for future ships once the first three enter service. Much of the steel work is expected to go to Govan.

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See also:

10 Jan 01 | Business
BAE Systems plunges on grim outlook
26 Oct 00 | Scotland
Govan handed 150m lifeline
17 Oct 00 | Scotland
Unions in 'final push' for shipyard
18 Aug 00 | Scotland
Ayrshire shipyard closing
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