UK annual defence procurement worth more than £2 billion to Scotland

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HMS Glasgow is rolled onto a barge on the Clyde at BAE Systems shipyard in Govan. Photographer: John Linton - BAE Systems © copyright

New figures today (Thursday January 26, 2023) show Ministry of Defence (MoD) expenditure with industry and commerce in Scotland in 2021/22 was £2.01 billion.

This is up from just under £2 billion the previous year and is the equivalent of £370 per person in Scotland.

For the whole UK, it is £21.1 billion, working out at an average of £310 per person.

These figures show how crucial defence is to both the security of the United Kingdom and to delivering on the Prime Minister’s priorities – growing the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said:

Nothing is more important than defending our country. We are so proud of our Royal Navy and all of our Armed Services. But these figures also show defence spend contributes significantly to delivering high-skilled jobs and investment in Scotland, not least through shipbuilding at which we are a world leader.

Defence investment in Scottish shipbuilding will see order books full until the 2030s.

In 2021/22 construction began on the first of five new Type 31 Royal Navy frigates – HMS Venturer. Building the fleet will support around 2,500 jobs both at Babcock’s Rosyth dockyard and nationally through the UK supply chain, as well as creating 150 additional apprenticeships. 

Earlier this week, the steel was cut in Rosyth on the second frigate – HMS Active. During the coming months they will rise to 6,000-tonne warships. The construction of the Type 31 frigates is part of a wider investment in UK yards and industry under the UK Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy of more than £4 billion. 

Each ship is larger than the current Type 23s they replace but slightly shorter and lighter than HMS Glasgow and the seven other planned Type 26 frigates also being built for the fleet by BAE Systems in Govan.

The 26s will focus on anti-submarine warfare leaving the 31s to carry out patrols wherever they are needed, from conducting counter-terrorism/drug smuggling patrols in the Indian Ocean to helping out in the aftermath of a disaster.

Within the last couple of decades Scotland has also delivered six Type 45 destroyers, two aircraft carriers and five offshore patrol vessels. 

In 2021/22 defence has also invested in the expansion of the operational support facilities for the Poseidon P8 submarine hunter aircraft which are based at RAF Lossiemouth and there is continued investment in facilities for the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet on the Clyde.

MoD expenditure supports around 12,700 Scottish private sector jobs – on top of the 10,400 MoD staff in Scotland. The money spent by the MoD directly supports around 25,000 jobs across the United Kingdom, plus some 20,000 jobs supported indirectly.

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