Construction kicks off on UK’s 4th Type 26 frigate HMS Birmingham
UK shipbuilder BAE Systems has started the construction of the Royal Navy’s fourth Type 26 frigate HMS Birmingham.
The steel cut, marking the official start of build on the fourth of eight Type 26 frigates, was carried out at Govan shipyard on 4 April.
Work on the first three Type 26 ships is well under way with HMS Glasgow now at BAE Systems’ Scotstoun shipyard to have her complex systems installed, HMS Cardiff currently being assembled and HMS Belfast in its early construction phase.
HMS Birmingham is the first ship to be constructed under a £4.2bn contract for the remaining five ships secured in November.
“This is yet another significant milestone for the Type 26 programme, supporting thousands of jobs in Scotland and across the wider UK supply chain. Working closely with our industry partners, we are bringing in a cutting-edge class of warships for the Royal Navy, bolstering our maritime capabilities into the coming decades,” Alex Chalk KC, Minister for Defence Procurement said.
“HMS Birmingham will benefit from a range of investments that will transform our digital and physical infrastructure and consolidate a centre of excellence for shipbuilding skills here in the UK,” Simon Lister, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Naval Ships business, stated.
The Type 26 frigate is designed for 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.
The programme is a UK-wide endeavour, with more than 120 British suppliers securing contracts supporting the frigates, including for steering gears in Dunfermline, gas turbines in Filton and maritime LED lighting in Cumbria.
Australia and Canada have selected the Type 26 design, which, together with the UK, provide an anticipated 32-ship programme across the three nations. Sharing build and transition into service lessons across all three programmes will benefit all parties in this multinational effort, BAE Systems concluded.