BAE Systems has officially cut steel for the second Type 26 global combat ship for the Royal Navy at its Govan, Clyde shipyard in Scotland.
The vessel, to be named HMS Cardiff in RN service, will be built alongside the lead vessel in production at Clyde, HMAS Glasgow. BAE says more than half of Glasgow is in production and is on schedule to enter service in 2025. The formal ceremony was attended by BAE Systems’ employees and representatives from the RN.
The UK’s Minister for Defence Procurement, Anne-Marie Trevelyan marked the formal first cut by setting a plasma cutting machine to work on a plate of steel that will form part of the unit that holds vital fuel stores for the ship.
“The Royal Navy’s new world beating Type 26 anti-submarine frigates are truly a UK-wide enterprise, supporting thousands of jobs here in Scotland and across the UK,” Ms Trevelyan said in a statement. “These ships will clearly contribute to UK and allied security, but also make a strong economic contribution to the country.
“With 64 sub-contracts already placed with UK-based businesses, there will be new export opportunities for them to tender for through the selection of the Type 26 design by Australia and Canada too.”
BAE Systems Naval Ships Managing Director, Steve Timms added, “Today’s steel cut ceremony demonstrates the significant and positive progress we are making on this hugely complex, sophisticated and important programme.
“The Type 26 ships will be the most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates the Royal Navy has ever had and, together with the five-ship River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel programme, we are proud of the role we play at BAE Systems, alongside many thousands of dedicated people in our supply chain, to deliver this critical capability for the UK Royal Navy.”
The RN has a requirement for eight Type 26 vessels. Australia selected the Global Combat Ship in June 2018 to form the basis of its SEA 5000 Hunter class future frigate requirement for nine vessels from 2028, while Canada selected the design in February 2019 and has a requirement for up to 15 vessels.