Stephen Doughty – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Defence

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Stephen Doughty on 2016-02-01.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what proportion of steel used in the manufacture of (a) Scout, (b) the Type 26 Frigate, (c) the new Tide Class Tankers and (d) the new Offshore Patrol vessels is manufactured in the UK.

Mr Philip Dunne

Steel is sourced by our contractors from a range of UK and international suppliers. UK suppliers have provided significant quantities of steel for major defence procurement programmes whenever they have been able to meet specified standards.

The steel requirement for the AJAX (formerly Scout) Armoured Fighting Vehicle is specialist in nature which UK manufacturers were not able to provide and has been sourced to date from a overseas supplier. There is a small quantity of steel yet to be committed to contract and UK manufacturers will have every opportunity to bid for this.

For the Type 26 Frigates, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 20 January 2016 to Questions 22739 and 22740 to the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Mr Farron). The steel suppliers for the Type 26 Frigates have not yet been selected.

For the Tide Class Tankers, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 28 January 2016 to Questions 23932 and 23934 to the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Mr. Farron). It is estimated that UK customisation work will require around 80 tonnes of steel, although design work is ongoing and no orders have yet been placed.

For the Offshore Patrol Vessels currently under construction no UK steel manufacturer responded to the invitation to tender within the timeframe, but the contract to source the steel required was placed with a UK steel stockist. Around 20% of the overall requirement was sourced from UK steel mills and a further 10% from existing stock of unknown origin. The remainder was sourced from overseas suppliers, reflecting the need to ensure a competitive price and delivery at the required time and quality.