UK finally starting work on Type 26 frigates

UK’s Defence Secretary announced on Friday that first steel for the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 frigates would be cut in summer 2017.

Michael Fallon made the announcement during a visit to Govan in Scotland and added that the deal was subject to final contract negotiations.

Fallon also announced a £100 million contract with MBDA to deliver the Sea Ceptor self-defense missile system for the ship. The contract will support design work, allow equipment to be manufactured to equip the entire Type 26 fleet, and install the system on the first three ships.

This follows a £183 million investment in the maritime indirect fire system, the Type 26’s 5-inch calibre gun earlier in the summer, bringing the total investment in the program so far to £1.9 billion.

The construction start for the Type 26 program was delayed indefinitely back in July this year after the Ministry of Defence reportedly rejected BAE Systems proposal for a £275 million reduction in price along with a promise to start work on time.

The Ministry was looking for savings of £500m in the £11.5 billion Type 26 program.

The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR15) cut the number of anti-submarine Type 26 Global Combat Ships to be built from 13 to 8.

The secretary also announced that the MOD plans to sign a contract shortly to start building of the two additional offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) pledged to in the SDSR, both of which will be delivered in 2019, protecting jobs on the Clyde before the start of the Type 26 programme gets fully under way.