Warship yards on the Clyde and at Portsmouth are soon expected to form a new UK joint venture company to build the Royal Navy's future surface fleet, in a move designed to bring stability to the industry and safeguard jobs.
An announcement of the effective merger of BAe's Scotstoun and Govan yards and VT's facility on the south coast will come within the next two weeks as Lord Drayson, the Ministry of Defence's Procurement Minister, drives through the final details of the deal.
The new company - Shipco UK has been suggested as a name - would see ownership between the two partners split 60% to BAe and 40% to VT, with an initial order book worth Â£2bn for Type-45 air-defence destroyers.
Lord Drayson is also intent on finally announcing the production order for the two 60,000-tonne aircraft carriers for the Navy as the centrepiece of Britain's ability to project military power worldwide.
The Â£3.8bn carriers, due to enter service around 2015, would more than double the value of the new venture company at a stroke and provide guaranteed employment for up to 3000 Clydeside workers and 650 at Portsmouth into the middle of the next decade.