GEC Yarrow safeguards jobs with pounds 500m Brunei order

More than 2,000 jobs were safeguarded at the Clydeside warship builder GEC Yarrow yesterday after the yard secured a pounds 500m order for three offshore patrol vessels from the Sultan of Brunei, the world's richest man.

The contract will also provide work for scores of British sub-contractors including British Aerospace, which is expected to supply its Seawolf ship- to-air missile system as part of the package.

Work on the contract will begin next year when the Yarrow yard completes existing contracts to build three Type 23 frigates for the Royal Navy and is expected to keep Yarrow busy for four years.

The yard is also hopeful of winning further export orders following its success in Brunei. South Africa has a similar requirement for offshore patrol vessels and other potential markets include the Gulf States and the Far East.

The vessels are virtually the size of frigates and can be used in a variety of roles ranging from fishery protection to disaster relief and offshore rescue.

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