Prince William today started construction on the UK’s third of eight Type 26 Frigate for the Royal Navy.
In a steel cut ceremony at BAE Systems’ shipyard in Glasgow, His Royal Highness, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, set the plasma cutting machine to work on the first plate of steel for the third Type 26 frigate, HMS BELFAST. Minister of State for Defence Baroness Goldie, together with employees and representatives from the Scottish Government, Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defence, joined the celebrations.
Sisters HMS Glasgow and HMS Cardiff are already in built, with HMS Glasgow sitting on the hard standing otuside the ship build hall. I was lucky enough to tour HMS Glasgow recently. (Photo below belogn to BAE, not me)
It was an honour to be shown around HMS Glasgow, the first Type 26 Frigate, today at Govan. The ship is still in build but is taking shape internally at quite a pace. She's huge in size, complexity and capability and has some interesting milestones coming up! pic.twitter.com/BzSQ2ytaKh
— George Allison (@geoallison) June 25, 2021
According to a news release from BAE Systems:
“The event marks an important step in the programme to deliver the UK’s latest anti-submarine warfare capability to the Royal Navy, with all three of the first batch of City Class frigates now under construction. The UK-sourced steel plate will form part of a unit which will contain the machinery space for the gearbox and stabilisers of HMS BELFAST.
In recent weeks the first of class, HMS GLASGOW, was rolled out of the build hall into the open for the first time, while progress on HMS CARDIFF continues at pace, with more than 40% of the ship’s units in build at the Company’s Govan shipyard. Led by electrical apprentice, Cara Shannon, and Type 26 Programme Director, David Shepherd, the Duke of Cambridge enjoyed a tour of HMS GLASGOW during his visit, meeting employees in the ship’s operations room and flight deck.”
Minister of State for Defence Baroness Goldie, said:
“Today is a significant milestone for the exciting new Type 26 frigate programme and for Defence. We celebrate and receive great support from our UK shipyards. As a Scot, I am very proud of the skills and expertise of our Scottish shipbuilders here on the Clyde. These new frigates will be equipped with the most advanced capabilities and technologies, enabling the Royal Navy to counter emerging global threats for decades to come.”
Rear Admiral Paul Marshall, Director Navy Acquisition, said:
“It’s been a privilege to witness this important moment in the life of our third Type 26 frigate and I’m delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge was able to come here today to cut the first steel for the future HMS BELFAST. Despite the obstacles of the past year, BAE Systems’ workforce has continued to deliver what will be a world-leading maritime capability that will join an innovative and forward-looking Royal Navy. We are very proud to work closely with industry to realise the immense opportunity that these ships offer to our growing maritime ambition, our international partners and to the whole of the United Kingdom.”
The Type 26 frigate is an advanced anti-submarine warship which will “deliver critical protection of the Royal Navy’s Continuous At Sea Deterrent and Carrier Strike Group”.
Each Type 26 will be equipped with a range of capabilities including the Sea Ceptor missile defence system, a 5-inch medium calibre gun, flexible mission bay, Artisan 997 Medium Range Radar and towed array sonar.
BAE add that the flight deck will be able to accommodate helicopters up to the size of a Chinook, while the mission bay can quickly adapt to house containers and deploy manned or unmanned vessels and vehicles.