HMS Queen Elizabeth
THE future of two aircraft carriers being built in Glasgow has been saved, prompting relief among union leaders.
The £5.2 billion contract for building HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales will go ahead as planned after the Government's Defence Spending Review was announced on Tuesday.
It follows weeks of uncertainty as ministers debated how best to plug a 'black hole' in the defence budget.
Union leaders welcomed the carriers decision, which secures thousands of jobs at the Scotstoun and Govan yards as well as in Rosyth.
Jim Moohan, senior organiser for GMB Scotland, said: "The aircraft carrier decision is a win-win situation for UK shipbuilding and the economy.
"Our image and reputation abroad will be enhanced now that the UK is once more a world player."
Work on the first of the ships, HMS Queen Elizabeth is already well underway in Govan with the carrier due to begin sea trials in 2014.
HMS Prince of Wales is scheduled to begin trials three years later.
However, the looming cuts will mean a bizarrely short lifespan for HMS Queen Elizabeth as she is expected to be mothballed when the second carrier comes into full service in 2020, leaving the UK with just one aircraft carrier at sea.
Glasgow South MP Ian Davidson described the proposal to mothball the carrier after six years as "incompetence and mismanagement on a grand scale".
He added: "It would be totally wrong for Britain to lose all our ability to project air power in support of troops, wherever in the world we need to deploy them."
However, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said the carriers decision was "great news" for the yards.
The Lib Dem MP added: "This is a massive investment into the Scottish economy and it is a massive vote of confidence in the world class shipbuilding you find in Scotland."