Work on a 'mammoth' assembly hall for the Royal Navy’s next-generation Type 31 frigates has been unveiled in Rosyth, Scotland.
Babcock’s new building will be 147m long with 30m-high ‘megadoors’ and can accommodate the assembly of two vessels side-by-side at the same time, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said.
Construction company Robertson was awarded a £31.5m contract for the project by the defence firm.
The build will maintain 100 jobs and create five new full-time roles, as well as supporting a further 100 positions in its supply chain.
The business has also committed significant orders to local Scottish suppliers for the assembly hall build.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace welcomed the start of steel construction in a virtual message.
He said: "Defence underpins a wealth of jobs and investment across the entire United Kingdom. Babcock’s ‘frigate factory’ in Rosyth demonstrates the huge footprint of prosperity that defence brings.
"This vast industrial facility will see Scottish shipbuilders build our latest warships that will take pride of place in the Royal Navy fleet."
Ship assembly is due to begin in 2021.
The Type 31 frigate programme is a step in the Government's plan to increase the number of warships in the Royal Navy over the next 20 years.
This specific class of warship is expected to enter service with the Royal Navy in the 2020s and replace the current Type 23 frigates.
The MOD has commissioned the first batch of five Type 31s, costing about £250 million each.
They will be fitted with the Sea Ceptor missile system, a range of highly advanced weapon and sensor systems, and a combat system with a 4D air and surface surveillance and target indication radar.
The first Type 31 is expected to be in the water within the next three years.
Cover image: Progress on the new assembly hall (Picture: MOD).