BAE Systems Type 26 Frigate design was regarded as the frontrunner, with Fincantieri’s FREMM close behind and Navantia regarded as the lowest risk option.

Three companies were bidding: British defence giant BAE Systems, Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and Spanish shipbuilder Navantia. BAE’s design was touted as the offering with the best capability for anti-submarine warfare however.

The new frigates will replace the Anzac-class from the mid-2020s, in a project that will create more than 2000 jobs. Production is scheduled to start from 2020 at the federal government-owned shipyard in Osborne, South Australia.

Australian teams were recently visiting the first Type 26 Frigate, HMS Glasgow, in build.

Australia has a long history of building ships domestically, usually from foreign designs modified to the RAN’s requirements. As is the story in many other countries however, the Australian shipbuilding industry’s fortunes have waxed and waned with the cycle between major navy projects. The only export or civilian shipbuilding of any significance in the country being confined to fast ferry specialists Austal of Henderson, Western Australia and Tasmania’s InCat.

As in the UK, local political sensitivities are also a factor. Under project SEA4000 modules for the Hobart class destroyers were built by yards around the country, being consolidated at ASC’s yard at Osborne, near Adelaide in South Australia. Under SEA5000 however it is expected all major fabrication and certainly all assembly will be done at Osborne. The terms of the competition do not compel bidders to work with ASC, but they are obliged to locate the work at Osborne. The decline of manufacturing in South Australia, recently punctuated by the exit of all major car manufacturers, has put immense pressure on all sides of politics to be conspicuous in their support the state’s other remaining major manufacturing industry.

We have a guide on the Type 26 Frigate, available here.


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Worthy winner. A truly serious war fighting ship. Would be great if that set a trend.


worth noting that these are getting the Aegis combat system, along with a management system from SAAB, essentially making these baby Aegis ships.

“Opening the Pacific 2017 International Maritme Exposition today, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the combat management system for the nine Future Frigates to be built under Project Sea 5000 will be provided by the Aegis Combat Management System, together with an Australian tactical interface, which will be developed by SAAB Australia.”

Steve M

Has it? I can’t find an announcement??

Steve M

Subscription required but I’ll take it as proof 🙂

Congrats all invlolved!


Britannia rules waves: UK’s $35bn frigate win The largest peace-time warship building program in Australian naval history has been awarded to British defence giant BAE Systems under a $35 billion contract to ­deliver nine of the most advanced anti-submarine warfare vessels in the world. Cabinet’s national security committee last night signed off on the “hunter-killer” global combat ship as the future backbone of the nation’s defence posture in the ­region. The deal is expected to create 4000 Australian jobs and deliver the most technologically advanced stealth-capable submarine killer as the replacement for the eight ageing Anzac-class frigates that began service… Read more »

John Clark

Great news, I look forward to an official announcement with interest.

A potential world beating design and superb ship, I wonder how different the Australian vessels will be?

The RAN know a good design when they see it!


The most obvious differences will be the CEAFAR radar, as well as 48 Mk41s forward in place of the RN’s 24 Mk41s and 24 Sea Ceptors, and Harpoon or a replacement cannister weapon in place of the Sea Ceptors amidships. Under the skin, theres AEGIS and Saab’s CMS. Compared to the RN ships, the Aussie vessels are going to have more missile capacity and AAW capability (48 Mk41s would give you 24 strike weapons, 12 SM-2s, and 48 ESSMS, or some variation of that, compared to the fixed loadout of 24 strike weapons and 48 Sea Ceptors). CEAFAR2 is more… Read more »

Paul T

Callum- surely its a question of timescales,the Canadian’s have the benefit of going for a single Combatant class,the Hobart class AWD were initiated in the early 2000’s,then the GCS was still in the concept and design stage,logicaly it would have made some sense to go for an all Navantia designed fleet but luckily for BAE they have correctly chosen the best Frigate for the job.


YES!!!! Steve – There’s an article posted on the FT 59 mins ago – “BAE triumphs in £20bn Australia frigate contract”. This link might be intercepted by a firewall but a free registration gets you to it – Even if it doesn’t manage to put an extra penny back into the UK defence budget it’s still good news in… 1 – Giving us a very close ally with whom we can share experiences, maybe economies of scale on spares provisioning, etc 2 – Must help our positioning for the Canadian bid which would give more of 1 above. 3… Read more »


Also, I won’t quote the article for FT copyright reasons but there is a paragraph in it that says that, even with the actual construction happening in Aus as we all know, “a few UK jobs” will be created (whatever “a few” means) with some onboard systems sourced from the UK. It also mentions that the higher volumes of such systems, presumably due to them now being needed for both RN and RAN vessels, should allow the UK subcontractors involved to cut costs. It also says that it will provide some ongoing work for the UK-based design and engineering teams.

John pattullo

What about the engines? Assuming rolls Royce are making them in the UK???


Dunno but good point. I was just carefully rephrasing info from a paragraph in the FT article and it didn’t explicitly mention RR/engines.


(Chris H) John Pattullo – I have to confess I thought the Aussies were going to announce this at midnight UK time tonight. I hope the FT hasn’t jumped an embargo.

But yes RR will manufacture the MT30s here and ship them to an Aussie firm Marand who are building the enclosures to RR specifications with special attention to noise reduction. The completed enclosures will then be shipped to wherever for fitting to the hulls.

Proff I baumbartner

FT is not free registration, subscription based.

Dave L
Peter Crisp

This should mean that at least some work will come to the UK for spares or ammunition. Great news all round and just shows yet again the UK can design great ships.


Yaaaaaaaay !!! Oh do excuse me, i don’t know what came over me 🙂


Now if Canada decides to buy it then we can rename it the Commonwealth class frigate. Right I’m off to strike up Hearts of Oak once again.


Have you seen CANZUK, Id love to see enhanced defence agreements to the extent of commonwealth task groups and such even joint bases in the far far future, foreign affairs, free trade and movement would be great as well! A commonwealth EU maybe.

Paul T

Great News all round – just read apparently they will be called the ‘Hunter Class’ in RAN service.


OK. Pop a few corks, lots of smiles and backslapping, and then swiftly on to set about winning the CAN bid 🙂

The back-slapping and cork-popping is richly deserved though. Many congratulations to the design teams and most definitely also to the sales team that brought this one in.


Now I wonder if we could tempt them with a QE class carrier? They do seem to be splashing the cash.


This is great news – hopefully this means lower prices all round as BAE can order VLS, Guns, Radars, Engines etc in much larger volumes. I would even mind if ours had the CEAFAR radar for commonality and agree that it would be great if Canada came on board at which point I think the commonwealth class is a good name. Perhaps even the US will consider it – if the Canadians got onboard – at which point it becomes the F35 of Frigates with a global supply chain etc. Now for England to win the World Cup and my… Read more »


It depends on how the guns, radars and engines are procured. The MK45 MOD 4 going on UK T26 are refurbished ex USN, Australia might buy new, transfer from the ANZAC or also buy refurbished. They might go for a mix. It is not confirmed if MT30 or LM2500 will go on Australian T26. Australia has significant experience with the latter. You won’t see CEAFAR on a UK Type 26, ARTISAN is already earmarked for them. There is a possibility that a CEAFAR variant could end up on Type31 if the price was right. T26 did not qualify for the… Read more »


Indeed Fedaykin, but things change

Canada jumps onboard and trump has a great state visit to the UK and anything can happen.

It really could swing that quickly, would help if first in class could actually be sped up, so potential customers can see it in the flesh.


(Chris H) Fedaykin – The MT30s are the selected power source and are intrinsic to the design as the T26 uses the CODLOG (combined diesel-electric or gas) configuration for propulsion where the quieter GT is used for primary power / cruise / ASW speeds and then the other RR MTU diesels are brought in for extra electric power of higher speeds. It is a simpler version of the CODLAG (combined diesel-electric and gas) propulsion used on the Type 23.

Hope this helps


Well aware of how the T23 and T26 propulsion so don’t need any help in that respect.

As far as I am aware the decision on MT30 or LM2500 has not been made yet, there is no reason why the latter can’t work with the required setup and Australia has plenty of institutional experience with that motor. On the other hand the MT30 is the superior solution so I see it being the obvious choice.


(Chris H) Fedaykin – No need for the sarcasm thanks. My reply was as much for general information as others who read the comments may not know. And you are well out of order thinking the LM2500 could in any way be considered or was indeed ever considered. The MT30 is an intrinsic part of the Type 26 design, quietness of the hull and therefore its ASW functioning. As you seem to understand how power systems work I am surprised you think the LM GT meets that requirement. And why would the Aussies ditch the industry benchmark MT30 already designed… Read more »


“And you are well out of order thinking the LM2500 could in any way be considered or was indeed ever considered. ” Well out of order in my thinking?! Where do you get off saying something like that! You ask for no sarcasm in response to your comments then insult me…take a hike if that is your attitude! It is not an out of order idea as it IS A SOLUTION being considered! The T26 is intentionally designed to be able to take different power plant solutions including the LM2500. The MT30 is not so integral to the vessel that… Read more »


(Chris H) fedaykin – Telling you that you are ‘out of order’ was not intended, nor was it in fact, an insult. I could have been far more direct I assure you. It was a simple statement of fact. ie you are very wrong in your persistence with this ‘LM2500 is an option’ story. Even after more detail is supplied. It is not. Its really simple. You then add more sarcasm to project some false idea that I believe CODLOG is unique to T26. I never said that, inferred that or let alone believe it. No thats your confirmation bias… Read more »


Chris H) Fedaykin – Maybe you should have looked at what the Royal Australian Navy itself have been putting out then –

Under ‘Propulsion’, 4th line down.


If the commercials are acceptable, the Lockheed Martin Canada proposal based on the T26 design must now be the front runner for the Canadian Surface Combatant contract. It would be great to see New Zealand then follow the “old Commonwealth” pack – but the design is probably just too expensive and complex for the RNZN.

John Pattullo

if the arrowhead 140 gets chosen as the type 31 they could go with it – seems like a capable ship at reduced cost – not as good a asw platform though


Great news IF true I will wait for the official announcement

If true why is Australia buying more than us?

Could they, like us purchase less the required 9 and make up the number with T31?

Could it be possible that IF true cost come down and we could purchase our original target of 13?



Australia has a larger coastline and arguably greater need than the UK considering China’s military expansion and unlimited resources. Russia’s military threat is still some way off challenging Nato

John Pattullo

they also haven’t just spent a fortune on two huge aircraft carriers


You could argue that now we have spent a fortune on the QE class coupled with the need to protect the SSBN we need more than 8 and more than 9 the RAN is looking to purchase.

Matthew East

Nope. The program cost for them has already been in around a defence budget of 2% of the GDP with a healthy reserve fund included. Wont see the military budget fall as both sides have come out backing it which in political terms ties there hands behind there backs, They never like to back track even when it is in the best interest to do so so the budget is safe thus the 9 ships are safe.


so if that means the costs of the type 26 come down due to economies of scale, do we think there’s any chance of us getting the other 5?


i would imagine the savings would equate to a single T31, not 5 t26.


Even if we did get the other five, you need the sailors…


I wonder what the commercial relationship is between the MoD and BAE for the RN T26 at the moment. Is there only a contract for the first 3 or is there a contract in place to cover costs for all 8 with only 3 underway at the moment, or maybe a contract with a commitment to only 3 with an option for the other 5 possibly on sliding prices based on how much of the option is exercised? Either way, if I was BAE management then, once any effects of cost savings were well understood and quantified I would definitely… Read more »


Various news items now appearing with confirmation. Absolutely fair dinkum as my Sydney based brother in law might say , particularly as he supplies the R A N……….and for all the critics,welll done Bae….again !!

John Clark

It’s the first time in years we have sold a major warship design, it’s great news, something positive for UK Plc and hopefully the start of a brand new trade agreement era with our Antipodean brothers. The T26 will be a real game changer for the RN and with its US systems, an excellent asset for the RAN with an increasingly assertive China to keep an eye on.

Mike Saul

The first export win for a RN designed warship since we sold T42s to Argentina in the 70s.

This is very good news, if you have any negatively comment to make just wait 24 hours so those of us with a more positive attitude can enjoy the moment.

Hopefully we can expect more export wins in the near wins in the near future.


No negativity here. The only thing I will say though is that if the competition had been based solely on looks then ….

…. – T26 would still have won it by a mile. I think it’s such a beautiful looking ship.

Geoffrey Roach

Well said Mike and Julian……I picked up the news on the way home and I’m not sure I quite believed it until I logged on. Brilliant news. Well done Australia and well done Bae.


Very well done to everyone concerned; BAe, HM ministers and all. Thoroughly deserved.

Mike Saul

The great thing about the T26 design is inherent flexibility, the customer can make the choice as to which weapon, sensor and computer systems they wish to fit.

Gone are the days when the supplier tells the customer what he can or can’t have.

Matched with superior ASW capability, makes T26 a winner.

Probably too much to ask the USA to reconsider the T26 for its FFG(X) competition.


Great news. Never know things can change – as someone said a good “Trump” visit here may swing that?


Excellent news!

Andrew Crisp

What I would like to know is this – are they paying the same price as us ??

Daniele Mandelli

The key. Will this reduce the costs of our own T26?

Mike Saul

The Australians will have to pay a fee for the design.

The UK MOD paid BAE systems to design the T26, no internal funding from BAE was used.

So HM Government will receive the funds, so no direct fall in the unit price of T26. What HMG does with the money is anyone’s guess.

That is my understanding, quite happy to be corrected.

John Fedup

Possibility, if the UK and Australia (and maybe Canada) purchase the same or at least some common components, e.g. RR GTs, bulk discounts might apply.


Great news, the first time a British warship has won export orders in decades, it is always other European countries that win these with us left to pick up the scraps (o.p.v.s), for once it is the other way around. Great news, and long may it continue with the Type 26, Type 31 and even that Wyvern SSK.


The only negative comment I have about this is I think they have got the number of strike cells wrong. I’ve heard there are 24 Mk41 cells, not 16


Great news, the first time a British warship has won export orders in decades, it is always other European countries that win these, for once it is the other way around. Great news, and long may it continue with Type 26, Type 31 and even that Wyvern SSK.


Type 31-you mean a win for Denmark?


Always with the negative vibes.


So the Aussies are getting more T26, and they’re going to be in service sooner, what is going on?


They don’t have May & Hammond in charge


(Chris H) Ian – Yes very true. the people making sure we can afford whatever it is we do buy. And they didn’t have Blair and Brown making the crash of 2008 10 times worse than it should have been. They inherited a surplus and we are only now getting to withing a few £ Bn of one again …..

And how many 65,000 ton carriers and nuclear subs have the Aussies got?


None, but between 2007 and 2030 almost the entire RAN will have been replaced

– 2 LHDs (Navantia, hulls built in Spain, assembly of rest in Aus, both in service)
– 3 Aegis Air Warfare Destroyers (Navantia, built in Aus, 1 in service, 1 in trials)
– 12 OPV (Luerssen’s OPV80, to be built in Aus from next year)
– 2 AOR (Navantia, currently being built in Spain)
– 9 T26 (BAE, construction in Aus from 2020)
– 12 Barracuda Subs (DCNS, non nuclear, to be built in Aus from 2023)

These tenders have now all been awarded.

Matthew East

Sorry but the time frames are wrong. 2 LHDs – Already in service and operational 3 Hobarts DDG’s – Will be in service and operations 12 OPV’s – Most will be in service and operational with the last few going through outfitting/trials (Build for them stretches out to 2030, Still takes time for them to be put into service, At least 12 months) 2 AOR’s – Will be in service and operational 9 Type 26’s – Build for them stretches out to 2040so only about 1/3rd will be active, Maybe 1 more. 12 Barracuda Subs – Build for them stretches… Read more »


i mean 10 years(give or take) for 1 frigate to enter service is beyond a joke more than the carriers, now it could be a monetary constraint, not enough to build it quick enough, thats understandable, but if its BAE, then its unacceptable, Im not complaining about the numbers really, but something needs to change in the RN, MoD or HMG to fix this, although we are getting tremendous capability, the carriers, f35s, astutes, t26 etc, but when you look at HMS Forth and such, something has to change!


Your comment implies I support the other side Chris. Either way, IMO the response to the crash was wrong and current spending priorities I think are out of kilter but that’s a whole other debate. I remain of the opinion that defence is being fatally undermined by this Gov to their shame. They are the Gov and thus responsible. Labour are not in power and unlikely to do so under current leadership. As for the carriers, I can tell you for a fact they were a hair’s breadth from being sold off by Cameron who kept them not from any… Read more »

John West

All the fear that T26 was “too expensive for export” – our first warship export design in decades!

Please God, let this mean all 8 UK T26 orders are safe. Better still, put the order back to 13.

Geoffrey Roach

13…? but how about 9 just to balance things up and show confidence.

John West

Actually, I’m going to go further.

Build the best, sell the best. Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Maclaran.

UK Gov – have faith in the areas we realy are superior. Everyone wants the best.


(Chris H) TH – see there you go again just as I said the other day – A Troll making a totally irrelevant comment that you know will cause offence to some of us. Its why you do it. This has N O T H I N G to do with Brexit and where do you get this dumb notion of an extra £50 Bn from? It has bee agreed that our separation will cost between £35 Bn and £39 Bn with £15+ Bn spread over 30 years to cover pensions etc. Once we leave of course we will save… Read more »


Well go peddle your Quitling rubbish in a KIPPER echo chamber!


(Chris H) TH and Fedaykin – Good to see Remoaners proving their usual qualities that add so much to the discussions. For which read consistently superior, ignorant and abusive. Fedaykin – I challenged TH’s statement because it was a) irrelevant to the topic and b) incorrect. Did we get a detailed reply with facts and figures from either of you? No of course not we got crude, personal and Ad Hominem abuse, name calling and childish comments. Indeed the irony of him then calling me childish is really quite amusing TH Sweetcheeks – the actual departure costs were agreed by… Read more »


**£13 Bn every year **

Levi Goldsteinberg

Fantastic news, huge smile on my face

This surely must pretty much guarantee the Canadian order as well, no?


Great choice by the RAN! As noted above, if the RCN selects the design then you would really have an interoperable common design among some very close naval establishments. Wonder if the RCN would go with Aegis or Artisan if they select it? I also agree the T26 is probably too rich for the RNZN, hope they go with the T31e.



Neither the radar will be their own domestic product.

John Pattullo

wonder if we could slap sampson on a t26 make it a proper air defence frigate too

David Dunlop

If the Type 26 Frigate selected this Summer/Fall, in my opinion, Canada will go with the Aegis system as was recommend by the Parliment Committee on National Defence.



the Armada is buying another 5 Aegis systems for their next frigates.


robert billington

Fantastic news! Let’s hope CANZUK brings this all together and the four nations work as one


This is great news for UK shipbuilding, even if they will be built in Australia. There’s always the hopes of other sales. I can only hope we get a few more here for the RN as in war we’d need as many fully capable ASW frigates as we can get & the escort fleet has never been smaller, though type 31s will be considerably better than nothing. Major conflicts usually expose the folly of cheap short cuts to defence.

Col watts

A quick calculation of the change in tonnage, obviously not the best way to judge the difference, but gives an idea of the future potential. Current 8 Anzacs, total tonnage approx 28,800 Future 9 hunters, total tonnage approx 79,200 The old adage steel is cheap and air is free still has relevance. As an ex plymouth boy now living in Australia, it’s good to see that Britain is back in the export game. I’ve watched the RAN (in fact the whole defence force) transform itself over the past decade, from a well equipped outfit to a well thought out, integrated… Read more »

Mr Bell

I think the Australia order should drop the unit price down to £750-800 million each for ASW version of type 26. So I think a 9th hull should be shoehorned back into the programme. The type 31 design unless it is a capable frigate or at least able to be progressively upatmed into a capable frigate is vital to return numerical hulls and a polyvalent unit capability back to the RN. Arrowhead is a better more future proof design bigger wide margin, larger more hull, but I would go for the Leander class as it already has all the common… Read more »


Unlikely, that would only be the case if these vessels were being built in a UK yard. As they are being built in Australia the economy of scale from a greater build number in a single yard is not going to be evident.


From what i can tell they are just taking the design and then building and sourcing most of the parts in Australia, meaning there will be very little impact on the UK versions. If i read correctly they stated approx 65-70% of the parts to be sourced from Australian suppliers, meaning somewhere between 0-30% will be from the UK, guessing closer to the 0 than the 30. What we might benefit from is Australia building theirs faster and so ironing out some of the design issues for us. It’s a shame Australia didn’t go for our combat or missile systems,… Read more »


“What we might benefit from is Australia building theirs faster and so ironing out some of the design issues for us.” There is an irony in there somewhere that is not lost on me… “It’s a shame Australia didn’t go for our combat or missile systems, but maybe in the future we can see some common R&D for future upgrades and benefit from that…assuming they don’t just buy American again.” It makes little sense for Australia to adopt UK missiles or CMS on the Hunter Class. They already use US missiles and the AEGIS CMS/BMS on their Hobart Class Destroyers.… Read more »

[…] comes after we reported that BAE Systems Type 26 Frigate design was regarded as the frontrunner, with Fincantieri’s FREMM […]



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