Production Begins on U.K.’s Type 26 Global Combat Ships
GLASGOW, Scotland — BAE Systems welcomed Sir Michael Fallon, U.K. secretary of state for Defence, to its Glasgow shipyard to press the button to start production of the first of the new Type 26 Global Combat Ships for the U.K. Royal Navy, the company announced in a July 21 release.
“Today marks yet another historic milestone for the Royal Navy, Scottish shipbuilding and U.K. defence more widely. Glasgow will protect our powerful new aircraft carriers and nuclear deterrent, keeping British interests safe across the world,” Fallon said.
“The Type 26 is a cutting-edge warship that will maintain our naval power with a truly global reach. Designed for a service life of at least 25 years, the Type 26 Frigates will form a backbone of the future Royal Navy surface fleet into the 2060s.”
During his speech, Fallon unveiled the name of the first ship as Glasgow.
This ceremonial event follows the U.K. government’s recent award of a contract worth nearly $5 billion for the first three ships to be built at BAE Systems’ sites in Glasgow. This builds on the work already underway to construct five River-class Offshore Patrol Vessels and provides a strong foundation for the next two decades of shipbuilding in Scotland, securing more than 4,000 jobs across BAE Systems and its U.K. maritime supply chain.
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be a world-class anti-submarine warfare ship, replacing the Type 23 anti-submarine variant frigates, with the first ship due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s. Globally deployable, the flexible mission bay, aviation facilities and combat systems ensure it will be capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group.
Type 26 is cutting edge in terms of its capability and benefits from the latest advances in digital technologies, including 3-D and virtual reality, to ensure that the ship’s design is refined earlier in the process.
“This is an extremely proud day for our employees across the U.K. and our wider U.K. maritime supply chain,” said Iain Stevenson, managing director, BAE Systems Naval Ships. “Working with the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy, we have designed the Type 26 in a fully digital environment and have now seen her through the eyes of her crew in a 3-D environment. Through this approach we have a mature ship design that is ready for manufacture.”