UK Defence Procurement Minister Stuart Andrew has confirmed that new contracts worth more than £1bn have been signed with national companies to support the Royal Navy ships for the next ten years.

The deal covers 17 navy vessels from the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) fleet and the Royal Navy’s Survey and Hydrographic fleet.

These contracts will help sustain more than 700 jobs at shipyards across the country, improving how spares, repairs, and maintenance work are carried out.

The companies will work on the ships to ensure that they are equipped with the latest technology and systems, whether they are undergoing a revamp, undertaking training or are deployed on sea operations.

Andrew said: “This £1bn deal secures work for some of our world-leading shipyards into the next decade, supporting over 700 jobs for workers to ensure our ships remain at sea to defend the nation.

“This vital work is not only great news for our navy, but also underlines the importance of defence to our national skills and prosperity.”

“This vital work is not only great news for our navy, but also underlines the importance of defence to our national skills and prosperity.”

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The UK has already signed four agreements, which include two contracts with a total estimated value of £619m with Cammell Laird to support the RFA’s Fort-class and Wave-class tankers, in addition to its new fleet of four 39,000t Tide-class tankers.

Another contract, with an expected value of £239m, has been signed with A&P to support the RFA’s Bay-class landing vessels, along with the casualty ship RFA Argus and Royal Navy ocean survey vessel HMS Scott.

Also, an estimated £150m deal with UK Docks will help support the Royal Navy’s multi-role hydrographic survey ships HMS Echo and HMS Enterprise, and the ice patrol ship HMS Protector.

The £1bn deal is expected to save more than £100m for the country’s defence sector.

Within the next year, the UK expects to sign an additional three contracts under the country’s Future in Service Support (FISS) project.