The first steel cut for the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ships will take place in Glasgow in summer 2017, subject to final contract negotiations with the Ministry of Defence.
The UK government committed to eight advanced anti-submarine warfare ships in its 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and has to date invested a total of £1.9bn in the programme, which is being led by BAE Systems.
Ian King, chief executive, BAE Systems, said: “Today’s announcement secures a strong foundation for the next two decades of shipbuilding at our facilities in Scotland. It is a vote of confidence in our employees’ capabilities in the design, construction, integration and commissioning of warships.”
Manufacturing contracts are in place for the procurement of major equipment for the first three ships, supporting progress to the full manufacturing programme in Glasgow.
To date, 27 companies are in the supply chain working with BAE Systems to deliver the Type 26 ships, with manufacturing of the ships’ air weapons handling systems, gas turbines, and electric propulsion motor and drive systems underway across the UK.
BAE Systems is also under contract to manufacture the Maritime Indirect Fire System, including its 5-inch 62 cailbre Mk 45 gun, for the first three Type 26 ships and the MOD has announced a contract with MBDA to deliver the Sea Ceptor self-defence missile system for the fleet.
Commenting on the Type 26 Frigate announcement, Andy Collier, director of NDI, a division of EEF, said: “This is a welcome announcement for the defence sector that will safeguard high skill, high value jobs in a key part of manufacturing.
“As the latest in a line of major projects announced by the government, it is now essential that British companies well beyond the major OEM in the supply chain are given every opportunity to compete as part of the programme.”
Designed to replace Type 23 frigates, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship will it will undertake a number of of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group.
Today’s announcement provides BAE Systems and the UK Government with the confidence to continue to progress export campaigns for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship with other navies around the world with similar requirements, including Canada and Australia.
The Royal Navy’s new Type 26 frigates will build on the legacy of its Type 23 forerunners. Click here to read more.