Cammell Laird unveils ambitious bid to sell warships to the world at £250m each

Birkenhead shipyard is bidding for the Royal Navy’s £1.25bn frigate-building project and says if it is successful it will offer a springboard for a huge global expansion drive. Tony McDonough reports

Leander, Cammell Laird
Cammell Laird hopes its ‘Leander’ warship design will help it land a £1.25bn Royal Navy contract along with BAE


Cammell Laird is looking to set up a global warship exports division if its bid to secure the Royal Navy’s £1.25bn frigate-building project is successful.

And the Birkenhead shipyard and engineering also says it will host a second suppliers’ conference’ after more than 200 delegates packed into the first event this week at the Village Hotel in Bromborough which it organised with the Society of Maritime Industries.

They were keen to hear more about the Birkenhead shipyard’s joint bid with BAE Systems to be the main contractor on the programme.

The procurement process to design and build five Royal Navy T31e frigates was launched by the Government in 2017 and Cammell Laird and BAE have proposed a warship design known as Leander.

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And it told those assembled at the event that key to the success of the bid was a plan to join forces with the Ministry of Defence to sell the Leander design to overseas markets.

Such was the demand from potential suppliers that Cammell Laird announced it would hold a second event for a further 100 companies on March 28.

The firm’s Type 31e project director Tony Graham told the conference the £250m price tag for the “powerful and affordable” Leander will excite many overseas customers, as it lays plans for a global warship exports division. 

He said: “In order to win this competition, we must be better, cheaper and faster than anyone else. Fundamentally, we recognised that this ship has to work straight out of the box. Leander is a very practical warship with credibility, a degree of ruggedness and robustness, and delivering low risk lifecycle costs.

Cammell Laird
Cammell Laird held a suppliers’ conference at the Village Hotel in Bromborough


We have a global campaign plan for the Type 31e programme and have identified opportunities in more than 20 countries. Our intent is to build a warship export business based on Leander. The MoD has indicated it is willing to sign a business agreement alongside the contract to help industry export the Type 31e.” 

The conference heard that the MoD is expected to award the Type 31e contract in March 2019. Cammell Laird is set to launch a Type 31e website in March.

For further details on the March 28 suppliers’ conference contact the Society of Maritime Industries by emailing or call 020 7628 255.

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