Work is to get under way on a new shipbuilding factory in Scotland as defence giant BAE Systems moves forward with a record order book.

The company has hailed a £300 million investment in Glasgow that includes the new assembly hall that will be built on an in-filled basin at the firm’s site in Govan.

The new 175 metres by 85 metres and 49 metres high facility will allow two frigates to be built simultaneously under cover.

It is expected the next five Type 26 frigates will be built at the new site, sustaining more than 4,000 jobs and helping secure shipbuilding at BAE Systems’ facilities in Glasgow into the 2030s.

BAE Systems said the move “represents a transformational moment for the identity of shipbuilding on the River Clyde, helping to shape the future and adding to the rich heritage that already exists”.

It said: “The proposed assembly hall will also contribute to the shipyard's sense of place, reinforcing and enhancing the site’s identity as one of the last remaining shipyards on the River Clyde.”

READ MORE: New Glasgow warship factory gets green light

The news comes against the backdrop of an “elevated threat environment” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, BAE Systems said as it posted its 2022 results.

The firm reported its highest order intake to date of £37.1 billion for last year, from £21.5bn the year before, with the order backlog rising to £58.9bn from £44bn, as countries move to bolster defences.

The FTSE 100-listed firm posted flat operating profits of £2.4bn, but said earnings on an underlying basis rose 5.5 per cent to £2.5bn as sales on its preferred measure rose 4.4% to £23.3bn.

The Herald: HMS Glasgow in the water HMS Glasgow in the water (Image: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems told the City: “We have committed circa £300m investment to better enable us to deliver on our customer commitments and secure the long-term future for complex warship shipbuilding in Glasgow.

“Key investments include a new ship assembly hall in the Govan yard, a new multi-function panel line and a new Applied Shipbuilding Academy in Scotstoun.

“We are also making significant investments to digitalise manufacturing operations, giving colleagues working across our yards dynamic access to data and information.”

READ MORE: HMS Glasgow moved onto barge for sea launch

The company said it has a “strong presence“ in Scotland with around 4,300 people located across its naval ships business in Glasgow, manufacturing facilities at Hillend, regional aircraft operations in Prestwick and at RAF Lossiemouth, where it provides support and training for the RAF Typhoon fleet.

It achieved key milestones north of the Border on the Type 26 frigate programme with HMS Glasgow, the first in class entering the water for the first time and moving to the Scotstoun shipyard to continue further outfit, testing and commissioning.

It also generated a new maintenance facility at RAF Lossiemouth in response to the increased operational activity of Typhoon aircraft in support of the UK’s NATO commitments, growing the number of engineers and apprentices at the station, and recruited 224 apprentices and graduates in Scotland.

The Herald: An impression of how the facility might look in its settingAn impression of how the facility might look in its setting (Image: BAE Systems)

“The site of the current Govan shipyard was largely established in 1864 when shipbuilders Randolph, Elder & Co expanded their business to the site of the former Fairfield Farm,” BAE Systems said. A BBC special earlier reported that pre-World War One "the Fairfield shipyard was part of a local industry which directly employed 70,000 workers in 19 yards".

Paul Sweeney, Glasgow Labour MSP, said: “The biggest capital investment that Glasgow’s shipbuilding industry has seen since the 1960s is under way at BAE Systems’ Govan Shipyard.

"It’s a brilliant achievement for Clyde shipbuilding ... enclosing 675,000m³ of usable space, the ship assembly hall will be one of the UK’s largest buildings.”

READ MORE: First Royal Navy crew joins HMS Glasgow in Govan

The UK Defence Journal reported the hall is to be ready for its first ship next year.

Charles Woodburn, BAE Systems chief executive, said: “Our diverse geographic footprint, deep customer relationships and highly relevant, leading defence technologies mean we’re well positioned to support national security requirements in an elevated threat environment.

"Our record orders and financial performance give us confidence in delivering long-term growth and to continue investing in new technologies, facilities and thousands of highly skilled jobs, whilst increasing shareholder returns.”

Shares in BAE Systems closed 0.2p down at 901.8p.