Publication: Sapa Issued: Date: 2003-01-30 Reporter: Sapa

BAE Systems Wins Deal to Build British Aircraft Carriers






Date 2003-01-30


Britain has awarded the lead role in a huge contract to build two new aircraft carriers to British defence company BAE Systems, with some of the work going to French rival Thales, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon told parliament Thursday.

Thales, which was vying with BAE for the role of prime contractor, was appointed key supplier of ship design in the three-billion-pound (4.5 billion euros, 4.9 billion dollars) contract.

The decision came at the end of a fiercely contested three-year bid battle, which has sparked a heated debate about whether British companies should be given preference for major defence contracts.

The deal is a major boost for Britain's ailing shipbuilding industry, generating an estimated 10 000 new jobs.

With acknowledgement to Sapa.