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Vosper Thornycroft (VSP)

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Tuesday 11 July, 2000

Vosper Thornycroft

Type 45 Programme

Vosper Thornycroft Holdings PLC
11 July 2000


                 VOSPER THORNYCROFT HOLDINGS PLC
                             ('VT')
                                
          VT Secures a Major Share of Type 45 Programme


The Defence Secretary announced today that Vosper Thornycroft  is
to play a major role in the design and build of the initial batch
of  Type 45 destroyers for the Royal Navy.  This decision secures
the long-term future of VT's shipbuilding division.

VT  will  share in the design and production of the  first  three
ships  and will assemble the second ship, which will be known  as
HMS  DAUNTLESS.  VT is already working with the prime  contractor
BAE SYSTEMS on the design of the new Class.  Production work will
start  in  early 2002.  The second ship, to be assembled  by  VT,
will be handed over to the RN in 2009.

Chief  Executive, Martin Jay, commented: 'This is wonderful  news
for  the  Company and the region.  This initial  batch  of  ships
represents  at least five years work for our entire  shipbuilding
workforce of around 1500 people.  We are already recruiting about
100  designers, draughtsmen and other office staff to work on the
project.  We will also be well positioned to compete successfully
for all subsequent vessels in the Class.'

'In the short-term, we face a shortage of shipbuilding production
work.   However,  we  will do everything  possible  to  keep  our
skilled  workforce together and we are hopeful that we  will  win
the  required work to bridge the gap to the start of the Type  45
programme.'

'We  are  currently  looking at the most  cost-effective  way  of
building  these 7000 tonne destroyers, which will be bigger  than
anything  we  have  built in the past.  We have already  obtained
planning   permission  to  redevelop  facilities   at   Woolston.
However, we have also been examining the possibility of the ships
being  built by VT in the Portsmouth Naval Base.  We will shortly
submit  a  planning application that would allow us  to  evaluate
and,  if  advantageous, develop shipbuilding facilities  on  that
site.'

'There  is  the  potential to build the whole  range  of  surface
warships  for both the RN and export at Portsmouth.   This  could
strengthen  VT's  overall  competitive  position  and  employment
prospects  in  the region as the site would allow us  to  produce
ships  more  efficiently.  No final decision on where  the  ships
will be built has been taken.  We expect a decision to be made by
the early Autumn.'


For further information contact:

Vosper Thornycroft Holdings plc
Martin Jay, Chief Executive

Chris Cundy, Finance Director                  Tel: 023 8042 6107

Phil Rood, Public Relations                    Tel: 023 8042 6000
e-mail:  phil.rood@vosperthornycroft.com




Notes for Editors:
Vosper Thornycroft Holdings plc
Based   in  Southampton,  VT  is  one  of  the  world's   leading
warshipbuilders.   Since the early 1990's, the Group has built on
its   shipbuilding  core  to  develop  two  other   complementary
businesses;   Support  Services and Marine  Products.  Today,  VT
employs  over 7,000 people in the UK, Europe, United  States  and
Middle East.

Support Services have grown by more than 500% over the past  four
years and now accounts for almost 50% of company turnover.   They
compromise   military  and  civil  services.   Military   support
services  include Army and Royal Navy training, Royal  Navy  ship
maintenance  and  naval  ship support.   Civil  support  services
include   careers   guidance,  training,  ship   management   and
engineering and logistics services.

Any  shipbuilding  facility at Portsmouth  Naval  Base  would  be
located  on the area currently occupied by Fleet Support  Limited
(FSL), the repair and maintenance operation for RN ships, run  as
a  joint  venture between VT and BAE SYSTEMS.  FSL would move  to
another  site on the Base, subject to obtaining all the necessary
agreements.