BAE Systems has announced a raft of contracts totalling £100 million as part of a £1 billion investment across the defence giant’s supply chain supporting a further 250 jobs at a milestone moment at its Glasgow shipyards.

As the last one of 57 pieces of the first of a series of eight Type 26 frigates - HMS Glasgow - now gets under construction in Govan and Scotstoun, it has been announced the two yards are also progressing at pace on 15 ships for Canada and nine for Australia.

The UK Government has committed to all eight of its frigates being built in Glasgow, and, together with the international programmes, it represents three decades of work, supporting 4,000 jobs, the majority of which are in the city.

BAE Systems signed the contract for construction of the first three ships in 2017 which was worth £3.7bn.

READ MORE: Australia plans £151 billion defence boost over next decade

Steve Timms, BAE Systems naval ships managing director, said: “It is a once in a generation opportunity for us.

“It’s great to be able to see the momentum continue with all the units of the first in class HMS Glasgow now in construction.

“This represents a big moment for us. All the major building blocks for HMS Glasgow are now in production and it is also really encouraging to see the wider impact that the Type 26 has on the UK supply chain as part of the announcement that we are making.

“Each of the new contracts will contribute to essential work on the programme as HMS Glasgow now moves through construction to outfit phase in readiness for the first time into the water in 2022.

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Steel being cut for the last of 57 units that make up the Type 26. Pictures: John Linton.

“It represents 250 jobs, and the large majority of those are locally based in Glasgow, and a total of £1bn has been invested across the programme supply chain today with more than 100 suppliers, and it sustains over 4,000 jobs in total, of which the majority are in Glasgow.”

READ MORE: HMS Glasgow 'progressing at pace'

Contracts are awarded in Glasgow today to Denholm Industrial Services for surface preparation and painting and the Malin Group for vessel load-out and float-off, with three more penned south of the border.

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Mr Timms, above, also said: “We are really proud not only of the build side of what we do but the design work of our teams here in Glasgow. We also have a contribution to our southern sites and with the international commitments that we’ve secured recently they are seen as highly valued.

“We are obviously well aware of the strong shipbuilding heritage in Glasgow and I guess we feel custodians of that here in Govan and Scotstoun. It is a great privilege for our employees to be building the first in class city class and the fact it is named HMS Glasgow has a special meaning for us all.

“It is great also to see continued investment in the next generation of ship designs. This is a very high-end complex ship capability that we are designing here in Glasgow and the fact it has been chosen by other notable nations in the form of Australia and Canada is a real shot in the arm for us as well.”

He added: “In essence we are contributing the design and supply of those ships and as we would want to do they want to build and test their ships in their home towns of Adelaide and Halifax.”

The Type 26 is designed to support anti-submarine warfare and defence capabilities “but, equally important, more general purpose operations anywhere in the world.” He said it is “an adaptable design to meet individual countries’ specific needs”.

Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence, said: “The Type 26 programme has proven itself in terms of cutting-edge design, international defence exports and creating and sustaining British jobs.

“This latest round of contract awards will see companies from the south coast of England to the banks of the Clyde benefit from over 250 highly-skilled jobs and multi-million pound investment.”

John MacSween, Malin managing director, said: “We are thrilled to be working on this project with BAE Systems, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. It provides the opportunity to deliver an iconic project on the banks of the Clyde, and will involve the employment of a team of local naval architects and engineers for the next four years as we help launch this first batch of vessels.

"Thanks to BAE Systems we will be able to bring a new capability to the Clyde in the form of one of the largest floating dock barges in Europe and sincerely hope this attracts other significant marine manufacturing projects to the west coast of Scotland."

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The firm is also to take on around 70 apprentices. One third-year apprentice, John Hunter, 20, above, from Clydebank, earlier worked on an offshore patrol vessel but is now keen to see the frigate project to fruition.

"My first year was college-based and I came into the yard a couple of times, my second and third year was at college one day a week day release and we are in the yard working with journeymen.

"At this point I was working on Trent [offshore patrol vessel]. Preparing systems to hand over to commissioning and testing so systems could be set to work for sea trials.

"Going in to my third year, which I’m nearly at the end of, I started off in the pipe shop, went through my welding in the welding school and just now I’m currently working on Type 26."

He said: “When I came into work on Trent and Spey I didn't get to come in from the start, it was midway through 'til the end.

"I've started off on the Type 26. It would be good to see it from start to finish.”