UK provides added funds for Type 26 global combat ship

Adhering to last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review, the UK Ministry of Defence on March 22 awarded BAE Systems a £472 million (approx $668M) contract to progress the Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme.

Key equipment purchases will include diesel generators, sonar domes, which form the bow-mounted sonar used for Anti-Submarine detection and helicopter handling equipment to control the movement of aircraft to/from the hangar.

Other equipment spans mission bay side doors, for the loading/unloading of equipment, and the stabiliser and steering gear system, key elements of the T26 navigation system.

Also, shore-based testing facilities will assess key parts of the ship’s power and propulsion system and the combat system.

Effective from April 2016, the 15 month contract extends the current demonstration phase and allows for the manufacturing of equipment necessary for construction of the first three ships.

Geoff Searle, Type 26 Programme Director at BAE Systems, said: “This is a significant investment in the programme and an endorsement of the Government’s commitment to sustain this important national capability. The Type 26 programme is progressing well and over the coming months more of our partners in the supply chain will start to manufacture equipment for the first three ships as we continue to progress towards the manufacturing phase.”

To date, there are 27 companies across the maritime supply chain working with BAE Systems to deliver the Type 26 ships, including seven firms with contracts underway to manufacture key equipment for the first three ships. This includes manufacturing contracts with Babcock for the ships’ air weapons handling systems, GE Power Conversion for the electric propulsion motor and drive systems and Rolls-Royce for the gas turbines, the first of which passed its factory acceptance test in January.

Under the extended demonstration phase, BAE Systems expects to award manufacturing contracts to a total of approximately 50 companies. Key equipment to be delivered includes the Combat Management System and the Shared Infrastructure IT system developed by BAE Systems. This hardware solution will allow the crew to access all software, such as navigation, communications and sonar needed to operate a ship’s combat systems through a single console.

The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will in time replace the Type 23 frigates. The first Type 26 ship is expected to be delivered in 2022 and the Royal Navy expects the ships to remain in service beyond 2050s.