Tag Archives: City-class

Third Type 26 frigate

In a steel cut ceremony at BAE Systems’ shipyard in Glasgow, His Royal Highness, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, set the plasma cutting machine to work on the first plate of steel for the third Type 26 frigate, HMS Belfast.

HMS Belfast
HRH Prince William starts construction on the UK’s third Type 26 frigate for the Royal Navy

Minister of State for Defence Baroness Goldie, together with employees and representatives from the Scottish Government, Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defence, joined the celebrations.

The event marks an important step in the programme to deliver the UK’s latest anti-submarine warfare capability to the Royal Navy, with all three of the first batch of City Class frigates now under construction. The UK-sourced steel plate will form part of a unit which will contain the machinery space for the gearbox and stabilisers of HMS Belfast.

In recent weeks the first of class, HMS Glasgow, was rolled out of the build hall into the open for the first time, while progress on HMS Cardiff continues at pace, with more than 40% of the ship’s units in build at the Company’s Govan shipyard.

Led by electrical apprentice, Cara Shannon, and Type 26 Programme Director, David Shepherd, the Duke of Cambridge enjoyed a tour of HMS Glasgow during his visit, meeting employees in the ship’s operations room and flight deck.

Minister of State for Defence Baroness Goldie, said: «Today is a significant milestone for the exciting new Type 26 frigate programme and for Defence. We celebrate and receive great support from our UK shipyards. As a Scot, I am very proud of the skills and expertise of our Scottish shipbuilders here on the Clyde. These new frigates will be equipped with the most advanced capabilities and technologies, enabling the Royal Navy to counter emerging global threats for decades to come».

Rear Admiral Paul Marshall, Director Navy Acquisition, said: «It’s been a privilege to witness this important moment in the life of our third Type 26 frigate and I’m delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge was able to come here today to cut the first steel for the future HMS Belfast. Despite the obstacles of the past year, BAE Systems’ workforce has continued to deliver what will be a world-leading maritime capability that will join an innovative and forward-looking Royal Navy. We are very proud to work closely with industry to realise the immense opportunity that these ships offer to our growing maritime ambition, our international partners and to the whole of the United Kingdom».

Defence Equipment and Support Director General Ships, Vice Admiral Christopher Gardner, said: «Standing in the shadow of HMS Glasgow which has been brought together on the hardstanding, with large parts of HMS Cardiff in construction around us, today’s steel cut for HMS Belfast is another significant milestone in the delivery of the eight-ship Type 26 class, itself part of the wider Global Combat Ship endeavour that we are part of along with Australia and Canada. This is a proud moment for everyone who has worked so hard on this strategic national programme, which sustains thousands of jobs across the United Kingdom and harnesses all of our skills and knowledge to produce the best possible ships for the Royal Navy».

Simon Lister, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Naval Ships business, said: «It’s a great honour to welcome the Duke of Cambridge to our facilities here in Glasgow to join our colleagues and guests on this very proud day. The world-class skills and expertise demonstrated by our teams and suppliers right across the UK play a critical role in delivering this vital advanced capability to the Royal Navy. The City Class frigates are at the pinnacle of complex warship capability and, together with our teams, I look forward to seeing the progress of all three ships».

The Type 26 frigate is an advanced anti-submarine warship which will deliver critical protection of the Royal Navy’s Continuous At Sea Deterrent and Carrier Strike Group. Each Type 26 will be equipped with a range of world-class capabilities including the Sea Ceptor missile defence system, a 5-inch/127-mm medium calibre gun, flexible mission bay, Artisan 997 Medium Range Radar and towed array sonar. The flight deck will be able to accommodate helicopters up to the size of a Chinook, while the mission bay can quickly adapt to house containers and deploy manned or unmanned vessels and vehicles.

Type 26 has been designed to reduce environmental impacts, with features including a hydrodynamically designed hull to optimise fuel efficiency and an advanced anti-fouling coating, which prevents marine growth and stops the transfer of invasive species on the hull. Each ship will also benefit from diesel engine emissions abatement, which reduces nitrogen oxide exhaust emissions and a waste water treatment system, which treats all ship effluent prior to discharge into the sea. Furthermore, it is envisaged that as new technologies become available, there will be potential opportunities for Type 26 to further mitigate its environmental impact.

Supporting more than 4,000 jobs across the UK, the Type 26 programme is making a significant contribution to the nation’s economic recovery by maintaining much-needed skills and capabilities. To date, more than £1bn has been invested across the programme’s supply chain, with more than 100 suppliers globally.

The Global Combat Ship supports a close partnership between the Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy, supporting greater operational, training and intelligence ties. In total, the UK, Australian and Canadian Navies will operate 32 anti-submarine warfare frigates, all based on the Type 26 reference design.

Blocks join together

The aft block of HMS Glasgow, the first City Class Type 26 frigate being built for the Royal Navy, has been rolled out of the build hall to join the forward block at our BAE Systems shipyard on the River Clyde.

HMS Glasgow
HMS Glasgow blocks come together for first time

In a busy period for HMS Glasgow, teams at our Govan shipyard prepared and completed a series of complex manoeuvres to bring the aft block out of the ship block and outfit hall and into position to meet the forward block. This significant moment brings the two blocks together, and for the first time the full size, scale and the elegant lines of HMS Glasgow are out in the open.

The aft block contains the versatile mission bay and hangar which is capable of supporting helicopters, boats, mission loads and disaster relief stores, while the flight deck is capable of landing a Chinook helicopter for transport of embarked forces.

HMS Glasgow is the first in a new generation of cutting-edge Type 26 frigates, designed and built in her namesake city. The Type 26 programme supports more than 4,000 jobs across the UK, making a significant contribution to the nation’s economic recovery by maintaining much-needed skills and capabilities.

The Type 26 is the original variant of BAE Systems’ Global Combat Ship, which Australia and Canada have both selected as the reference design for their anti-submarine frigate programmes, supporting greater operational, training and intelligence ties between the three nations.

City-class frigate

This is the first of the Navy’s next-generation frigates, gradually taking shape in a huge shed on the Clyde.

HMS Glasgow begins to take shape
HMS Glasgow begins to take shape

This is HMS Glasgow, the lead ship in the new City-class, successor to the workhorse of today’s Fleet, the Duke-class Type 23 frigates.

Eight of these Type 26 ships will replace the «souped-up» submarine-hunting variant of the 23s (those equipped with Sonar 2187 – the towed array streamed from the quarterdeck) from the middle of next decade. (The five general purpose 23s, such as HMS Montrose, will be superseded by the Type 31e frigate which is still at the design stage.)

Work has been under way on the £1.2bn warship since mid-July 2017 at BAE Systems’ yard in Govan.

She’ll comprise more than 60 blocks in her finished form, with all but half a dozen of those giant segments in place by the end of next year.

The size of the vessel and the Govan shed means the ship will be pieced together in two huge sections: first the forward part of the frigate, followed by the stern.

Once the two parts are joined on the slipway outside the shed, the main mast and bridge section will be lifted into place and the mostly-complete frigate will be taken downstream for fitting out at BAE’s yard on the north bank of the Clyde at Scotstoun.

All of which is a couple of years off. For now, Vice Admiral Chris Gardner wanted to see how far Glasgow had progressed in his new role as Chief of Materiel (Ships) at the Defence Equipment and Support organisation – the arm of the MOD which oversees new projects and programmes and provides engineering and technical support to existing military kit.

«You can now stand inside a Type 26 as the zones come together and get a real sense of HMS Glasgow as she takes shape», he said.

Three ships have been ordered from BAE: Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast, while the remaining five vessels in the class have been named: Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh and finally London.

The admiral also dropped in on «mega Medway» – No.2 of five new RN patrol ships – which is about to sail from Scotstoun on her second period of trials; all five vessels have been built in Glasgow, four are in the water and one, HMS Forth, is in Royal Navy hands.

Cutting-edge warship

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced HMS Edinburgh as the name of a cutting-edge British warship on the eve of St Andrew’s Day.

New frigate named HMS Edinburgh
New frigate named HMS Edinburgh

The submarine-hunting state-of-the-art frigate builds on the city’s proud naval history and is the seventh warship to carry the name.

And as the eighth frigate to be named in the future Type 26 fleet, Edinburgh will be built on the Clyde as part of a £3.7bn programme that will sustain 4,000 jobs. HMS Edinburgh will be at the forefront of the nation’s world-leading navy, providing unrivalled capability at sea.

The Defence Secretary marked the announcement with Councillor Jason Rust, Bailie for the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh at the Nelson Monument and museum on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill.

Speaking during a visit to Edinburgh, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: «The new HMS Edinburgh is a symbol of the United Kingdom’s future global ambition, but also the important role Scotland plays in shipbuilding and the national security of our country. Her cutting-edge capabilities will ensure that the UK remains a world-leader at sea, protecting our national interests and promoting global peace. Built on more than 300 years of proud naval history, HMS Edinburgh will play a crucial role in defending our nation for decades to come».

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Frank Ross, said: «The last HMS Edinburgh famously retired from the Royal Navy’s fleet in 2013. Five years later, we are thrilled a new ship will be named in the city’s honour. Built on centuries of history, she will be the seventh ship to carry the HMS Edinburgh title. It will be a truly Scottish ship – built on the Clyde – and I hope she will visit us in the Port of Leith on her maiden voyage when the time comes. We’ve always enjoyed strong ties with the Royal Navy and the many hundreds of personnel who have served aboard the HMS Edinburgh vessels over the years. I’m sure the new ship will reinforce this bond».

The first ship to carry the name HMS Edinburgh was a fifth-rate ship, which was transferred into the Royal Navy in 1707. The last was a Type 42 destroyer, which was decommissioned in 2013 after deployments to the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf.

Royal Navy ships carrying the name Edinburgh have won nine battle honours between them, with five being awarded during the Second World War.

Scotland is already crucial to the United Kingdom’s defence capabilities, being home to the RAF’s Quick Reaction Alert interceptors and submarine-hunting Maritime Patrol Aircraft flying from Lossiemouth, and soon to the be home to the entire Royal Navy Submarine Service from 2020.

More than 10,000 sailors, soldiers and air personnel are also living permanently in Scotland, supported by 8,000 reservists and civilians.

Meanwhile, the Scottish industry benefits from £1.59bn of defence spending every year – supporting 10,500 private sector jobs – and just last year the Defence Board confirmed £1.7 billion would be invested to upgrade Scottish military bases over the next decade.

All the Type 26 frigates will be built on the Clyde, supported by suppliers across the country and securing decades of work for more than 4,000 people. The first three ships, HMS Glasgow, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast, have already been ordered for £3.7bn. HMS Edinburgh will join HMS Birmingham, HMS Sheffield, HMS Newcastle and HMS London as part of the second batch of Type 26 warships.

The first Type 26 warship, HMS Glasgow, will enter service in the mid-2020s.