UK defense secretary Gavin Williamson on September 30 announced the name of another Type 26 frigate and revealed that the Royal Navy assault ships HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion would not be scrapped.
Speaking in Birmingham, Williamson said that the fourth of the UK’s eventual eight Type 26 frigates will be called HMS Birmingham, becoming the fourth Royal Navy ship to bear the name.
“Three of our nation’s ships have proudly borne the name Birmingham. Those ships won five battle honors,” Gavin Williamson said. “Today, in honor of this great city, we will be naming one of our eight Type 26 global combat ships HMS Birmingham.”
The yet-to-be-ordered HMS Birmingham joins the already named HMS Glasgow, HMS Belfast, and HMS Cardiff. The frigates will begin to enter service in the 2020s. All the ships are being constructed by BAE Systems on the Clyde in Scotland. HMS Birmingham will be part of the second batch of ships to be ordered in the early 2020s.
HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion cuts
The defense secretary also ended speculation about the future of amphibious assault ships HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion being withdrawn from service early.
“To deliver what seems impossible, the Royal Marines need to be able to bring the fight from the sea to the land. As such, I am happy to announce today that I am protecting their vital landing platforms HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark,” Williamson said.
The two ships deliver the punch of the Royal Marines ashore by air and by sea. Boats from the landing dock in the belly of the ship can be sent ashore with Marines on-board, whilst assault helicopters can be launched from the flight deck.
Throughout their time in service, the ships have conducted a range of vital missions including securing Iraqi oil platforms, tackling terror and piracy in the Horn of Africa, playing a key role in migrant search and rescue operations and evacuating British citizens from warzones in Libya and the Ivory Coast. HMS Albion is currently supporting peace and security in the Asia-Pacific, promoting UK interests across the world as the nation’s flagship.