Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Vosper Thornycroft

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Vosper Thornycroft of Portsmouth and Southampton

1966 The company was formed by the merger of two shipbuilding companies Vosper of Portsmouth and John I. Thornycroft and Co of Woolston, Southampton in 1966. The former made small boats and the latter had a long history of building destroyers and similar sized craft.

1968 Announced their first Hovercraft design the VT1 weighing 75 tons and having a top speed of 40 knots

1968 Vosper Electric were the industrial and marine controls division of the company.

1977 The warship building part of the company was nationalised by the Labour Government becoming a division of British Shipbuilders[1]. The rest of the company remained publically quoted as a subsidiary of David Brown Engineering of Huddersfield.

1985 It became a private company again after a management buyout.

Vosper Thornycroft has flourished even during lean times for warship building, mainly through successful sales efforts in exports and diversification outside of the core shipbuilding business into training and support.

Fleet Support Limited (FSL) was founded as a joint venture between Vosper Thornycroft and GEC-Marconi. GEC's 50 percent share passed to its successor BAE Systems in 1999. In July 2008 BAE Systems and VT Group merged their military shipbuilding businesses to form BVT Surface Fleet. This included FSL, which was rebranded as BVT Surface Fleet Support Limited.

The overall business has been known as VT Group plc since 2001.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 28 January 1978