Monday, 19 October 2020
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Ship Building

By Nigel Green - Research Associate, UK Defence Forum

Swan Hunter's giant cranes have sailed from the Tyne taking with them the last hope of one of the world's most famous shipyards.

More than 1,600 ships were built at the Wallsend yard, including around 400 Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels. The long tradition of fine workmanship dates back to 1841 and the company also built up a worldwide reputation for equipping foreign navies. But Swan's last order for two RFA troopships ended in humiliation three years ago. The 160 million contract for the Largs Bay and the Lyme Bay was announced in 2000 and heralded the return of shipbuilding to Swan Hunter's.

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