The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded a £4.2bn contract to BAE Systems to manufacture the next five City-class Type 26 frigates for the Royal Navy in Glasgow.
The Type 26 program is a UK-wide endeavor, with more than 120 UK suppliers having already secured contracts linked to the new batch of frigates, including for steering gears in Dunfermline, gas turbines in Filton and maritime LED lighting in Cumbria.
Three Type 26 ships are already in build in Glasgow, with the first of class, HMS Glasgow, on track to enter the water later this year and be delivered to the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s. The construction of HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast is also underway.
The firm also recently revealed that is preparing for the launch of the first Type 26 frigate.
Each of the Type 26 units will be equipped with a range of advanced capabilities including the Sea Ceptor missile defense system, a 5-inch medium caliber gun, flexible mission bay, Artisan 997 Medium Range Radar and towed array sonar. Moreover, they will be armed with the future cruise/anti-ship weapon (FC/ASW).
The vessels are designed or anti-submarine warfare and high-intensity air defence, but can adapt its role quickly to transport high volumes of humanitarian aid and house medical facilities.
“This contract secures a critical UK industry and allows us to build on our long history of shipbuilding on the Clyde as we continue to deliver … equipment to the Royal Navy into the next decade. It underpins the ongoing investments we’re making in the skills, infrastructure and technologies needed to stay at the forefront of the maritime sector and to support the UK Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy,” Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive, BAE Systems stated.
The company is investing approximately £15m in a new Applied Shipbuilding Academy in Glasgow to support the development of the entire workforce, from apprentices through to senior leaders.
In addition, BAE Systems has applied for planning consent to start construction on a new shipbuilding hall worth more than £100 million to enhance productivity on the Clyde.
“The Commonwealths of Australia and Canada have selected the Type 26 design, which, together with the UK, provide an anticipated 32 ship programme across the three nations,” according to BAE Systems.