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UK's new Type 26 Frigates to be built in Scotland


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Contract signed for Assessment Phase of Navy's next warships

An Equipment and Logistics news article
25 Mar 10

The MOD has signed a contract for the Assessment Phase of the Royal Navy's next generation of warships - the Type 26 combat ship.

A team led by BAE Systems Surface Ships, working with the MOD, will consider design proposals for the Type 26 combat ship, named in recognition of its planned multiple roles.

The Type 26 will replace the Type 22 and 23 frigates, which are to begin leaving service at the end of the decade. The ship will provide support for land operations as well as undertaking other key tasks such as anti-submarine warfare.

The Assessment Phase will play a critical part in ensuring that the necessary capabilities identified during the Strategic Defence Review are incorporated into the Type 26 design.

From Scotland's STV website:

New warships are to be built in Clyde shipyards.

Jim Murphy, the Scottish Secretary, announced on Thursday that the Ministry of Defence have signed a £127million contract to build the Type 26 Warships in Glasgow.

BAE Systems, the owners of the yards where the ships will be built, also announced plans to provide further apprenticeships on the shipyards for local young people.

The announcement was made during a visit by Mr Murphy to the Govan yard with John Robertson, MP for Glasgow North West and Ian Davidson, MP for Glasgow South West.

Mr Robertson said the move "shows a Labour government's commitment to long term planning for defence, retaining capability and skills and protecting Scottish jobs".
British future Type 26 Frigates in the news: good news for Scotland's shipbuilding unions.

UK Defence Journal

Government confirm all 13 frigates will be built in Scotland

Posted By: George Allison November 23, 2015

The Prime Minister has confirmed that the five general purpose frigates mentioned in the defence review will be built in Scotland. This is in addition to the eight anti-submarine warfare frigates and two extra patrol vessels on top of the three already being constructed at the Glasgow yards.

The original plan for the class had been 8 anti-submarine warfare variants and five general purpose variants, this remains largely unchanged except for the specification of the later five vessels, which has been reduced to make them more affordable.


More (note Canada near end):

Royal Navy To Reduce Frigate Buy, Design Lighter Warship

The Royal Navy has cut plans to build 13 Type 26 frigates to eight and will launch a concept phase to design a new class of lighter warships to fill the gap, the government announced in the strategic defense and security review (SDSR) unveiled Monday.

The review also said the government wouldn't order any Type 26 frigates from BAE Systems until it had "further matured the design."..

The Ministry of Defence awarded BAE an £859 million demonstration phase contract earlier this year, and the company had been expecting a contract to cut metal on the first of a three-ship Type 26 order penciled in for next year.

MoD sources, who asked not to be named, said the change from 13 to eight Type 26s may be better news than it first appears.

"It's a commitment for eight warships whereas recently there had been speculation the number could be lower. From an industry perspective the new light frigate will enable BAE and others to keep design and engineering teams busy beyond the scaling down of the Type 26 effort, which would probably have started late next year," he said.

"I don't think either us or BAE will be too unhappy if the date for cutting first metal is pushed back to a date likely to be in 2017," they said.

"We still need the inservice date of the first warship to broadly align with the 2023 going out of service of the Type 23 HMS Argyll," said the source.

However, it is a setback and the government has had to announce it is placing an order with BAE for two additional offshore patrol vessels to ensure "continuity of shipbuilding work and additional capability for the Royal Navy in the short-term," the SDSR said...

The Type 26 is a 7,000-ton anti-submarine warfare vessel set to replace the first of 13 Type 23s starting around 2022. The cost of the Type 26 program has never been officially released, but a senior naval officer at the DSEI show in London in September gave a ballpark figure of £12 billion in outturn price for 13 warships during a speech.

MoD sources later said he had rounded up the figure to £12 billion and the real cost was below £11.5 billion.

The government intends to launch a concept study and then design and build a new class of lighter, flexible, general purpose frigates to complement the Type 26, according to the SDSR.

Details are thin and it's unclear whether the new frigate will be based on the same hull as the Type 26 or something completely different...

The review said the lighter, more flexible warship would have a better chance of securing export orders for Britain's naval industry.

The government and BAE had pinned great hopes on the Type 26, also known as the Global Combat Ship, becoming an export success but its complexity, size and cost have shrunk the pool of potential buyers to just a handful of countries like Australia, Canada [emphasis added] and Germany [?!?].

The current plan remains for the Royal Navy to field a 19 strong fleet consisting of six Type 45 air defense destroyers, eight Type 26 anti-submarine frigates and now five general purpose frigates along with a fleet of offshore patrol vessels...

Australian SMEs to participate:

Naval Today

Australian companies get opportunity to join Royal Navy’s Type 26 program

Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will have the opportunity to enter the supply chain for the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship program.

BAE Systems, the company in charge of developing the frigate, announced that some 150 Australian companies would pitch their products and services into the project.

Meanwhile Harpoonless in Gaza:

British Navy to Lose Missiles and be Left Only with Guns

Royal Navy warships will be left without anti-ship missiles and be forced to rely on naval guns because of cost-cutting, the Ministry of Defence has admitted.

    'The Navy’s Harpoon missiles will retire from the fleet’s frigates and destroyers in 2018 without a replacement, while there will also be a two year gap without helicopter-launched anti-shipping missiles.

    Naval sources said the decision was “like Nelson deciding to get rid of his cannons and go back to muskets” and one senior former officer said warships would "no longer be able to go toe-to-toe with the Chinese or Russians."

    Harpoon missiles are unlikely to be replaced for up to a decade, naval sources said, leaving warships armed only with their 4.5in Mk 8 guns for anti-ship warfare. Helicopter-launched Sea Skua missiles are also going out of service next year and the replacement Sea Venom missile to be carried by Wildcat helicopters will not arrive until late 2020.

    One Naval source said: “We will be losing our missile capability in total for two years. We will still have the gun, but the range of that is about 17 miles, compared to Harpoon, which is about 80 miles....”

    Rear-Adml Chris Parry, said: "It's a significant capability gap and the Government is being irresponsible. It just shows that our warships are for the shop window and not for fighting...."

    The Royal Air Force has long axed its own anti-ship missiles.'

Meanwile RCN Halifax-class are having their Harpoons ugraded--"Project Details":

Latest on RN Type 26 (contender for RCN CSC) and Type 31:

Type 26 contract leaves unanswered questions on RN ship numbers

Type 26 frigates will be produced at a rate of one ship every two years, with the first ship entering service in the mid-2020s [!!! emphasis added--see end of post for CSC]. The planned retirement of one Type 23 per year from 2023 has increased the importance of establishing a funded Type 31 GPFF acquisition programme

Questions remain over the future size of the UK Royal Navy's (RN) surface fleet despite the Ministry of Defence's (MoD) recent award of a circa GBP3.7 billion (USD4.8 billion) manufacture contract to BAE Systems for the first batch of Type 26 frigates.

Signed on 29 June, the long-awaited contract covers the construction of the first three of a planned class of eight ships. However, with the lead vessel not now planned to enter operational service until the mid-2020s, the MoD is faced with its surface fleet dropping below the current 19 ships as ageing Type 23 frigates start to retire one per annum from 2023.

This potential gap has increased the importance of establishing an acquisition strategy and funding line for the projected Type 31 general purpose frigate (GPFF). The GPFF programme - intended to deliver a minimum of five smaller, cheaper, and potentially more exportable frigates [emphasis added] - is currently in pre-concept phase and remains unfunded.

Intended to replace eight anti-submarine warfare (ASW)-configured Type 23 frigates, the 6,900-tonne displacement Type 26 Global Combat Ship has been conceived as an acoustically quiet surface combatant optimised for ASW but also capable of contributing to a wide range of other missions. A contract for the second batch of five ships is expected to be negotiated in the early 2020s.


CGI of Type 26 at sea. The First Of Class will not enter service until the mid-2020s. (BAE Systems)

By the way notional CSC timeline envisages "First Delivery Mid 2020s"--if we choose Type 26 can Irving build to same schedule as BAE?

That's from March 2017--but this is from April, go figure: "First delivery:  Late 2020s"


According to the Daily Mail the T26 frigate can do Mach 3.  ;D


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Meanwhile incredible shrinking Royal Navy:

Royal Navy frigates and amphibious assault ships may be sold to Brazil and Chile

It’s being reported by multiple sources that Brazil and Chile have been given notice of “potential availability” of Royal Navy warships.

Most notably reported by IHS Jane’s Navy International, it has been claimed by the outlet that Brazil and Chile have “quietly been given notice of the potential availability of RN frigates and amphibious ships”.

Janes report that UK officials have “discreetly advised” that some of the frigate fleet [Type 23] in addition to the two Albion class landing platform docks [RCN?] could become available due to budget cuts.

Recently we received a press release from the MoD claiming that the Royal Navy is “growing for the first time since the Second World War”. Make of that claim what you will.

This comes not long after the Brazilian Navy reportedly sent a proposal to pay for helicopter carrier HMS Ocean in instalments.

HMS Ocean is the UK’s only helicopter carrier and the fleet flagship of the Royal Navy. She is designed to support amphibious landing operations and to support the staff of Commander UK Amphibious Force and Commander UK Landing Force.

According to someone we spoke to currently on-board the vessel, there are rumours that this is one of a number of possibilities:

“People have been talking about what will happen to the ship after 2018, there were rumours that the vessel might be sold to another navy but there’s been no mention of what navy that might be.”

The helicopter carrier was constructed in the mid-1990s and commissioned in September 1998.

In November 2015, the MoD confirmed that HMS Ocean is to be decommissioned in 2018 with no like-for-like replacement.



Batch 2 started:

Is one of each major department too much?

I think most folks would jump at the chance of going OUTCAN for a few years to try out an allied nations' newest kit.
To add to my last point: Also, to see how other nations' armed forces work (and more importantly, don't work) both technically and culturally.