HMS Birmingham: steel cutting on new Type 26 warship in Glasgow

The warship will be the fourth of eight anti-submarine vessels being built for the Royal Navy at Govan shipyard.

The ceremony, attended by Defense Procurement Secretary Alex Chalk KC, officially marks the start of construction of the second batch of Type 26 frigates.

It follows a £4.2 billion contract awarded to BAE Systems in November 2022.

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The Ministry of Defense said work on the eight warships at Govan will save about 1,700 jobs in Scotland and a further 2,300 jobs across the UK supply chain.

Defense Procurement Secretary Alex Chalk KC said: “This is another significant milestone for the Type 26 programme, which supports thousands of jobs in Scotland and across the UK supply chain.

“Working closely with our industrial partners, we are bringing a state-of-the-art class of warships to the Royal Navy and strengthening our maritime capabilities for decades to come.”

The frigates will replace the majority of the outgoing Type 23 fleet in its primary anti-submarine role and protect the UK’s Continuous At-Sea Deterrent and Maritime Strike Group. HMS Birmingham, the first of the second group of Type 26 ships, is succeeded by HMS Glasgow, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast.

At just under 150 meters long, almost as long as 3 Olympic swimming pools, and with a top speed of more than 26 knots and a range of more than 7,000 nautical miles, the ships will also be capable of combating piracy and providing humanitarian aid to disaster relief .

The Type 26 ships will be equipped with the Sea Ceptor missile defense system, capable of destroying targets in the air and on the sea surface. They will also carry a 5-inch medium caliber cannon, helicopter, Artisan 997 radar and sonar for navigating and tracking enemies.

Construction of all City-class frigates is due to be completed by the mid-2030s, with HMS Glasgow, the first of her class, to enter service by the end of 2028. The type is designed to last at least 25 years 26 frigates will be used in the future surface fleet of the Royal Navy until the 2060s. HMS Birmingham: steel cutting on new Type 26 warship in Glasgow

Adam Bradshaw

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