No construction start in sight for UK’s Type 26 frigate
While the construction start of the Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigate was set for 2016, the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems still do not have a set price and date for the frigates.
British media recently reported about leaked emails showing that BAE offered a £275 million reduction in price along with a promise to start work on time. The Ministry of Defence reportedly rejected this proposal looking for savings of £500m in the £11.5 billion Type 26 program.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon said the ships were likely to cost between half a billion and one billion pounds each and that he was not going to sign a contract for these ships until he is certain that they represent good value for the navy and good value for the taxpayer.
Fallon declined to give a direct comment on reports of BAE – MOD correspondence saying: “As I’ve already said in answer to other questions on the Type 26 program, we will enter into a contract once we have established best value for the taxpayer and a delivery schedule that can be met by the contractor.”
The UK Government committed to buy eight of the advanced anti-submarine warfare ships in its Strategic Defence and Security Review. The program is set to replace the thirteen older Type 23 frigates of the Royal Navy.
In March 2010 BAE Systems was awarded a four-year contract to develop the Type 26 Global Combat Ship. 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.