Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Defence, visited BAE Systems Clyde shipyards today to view the first fully constructed units of the first of class, HMS Glasgow.

According to BAE, In a fully digital 3D virtual environment, the Defence Secretary walked through decks and stood on the bridge of the 149m long Type 26 design before touring the site to see how construction of the first vessel is progressing.

“The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be a world-class anti-submarine warfare ship and will replace the Type 23 anti-submarine frigates. Globally deployable, it will be capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group.
Together with the UK’s new fleet of submarine hunting P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft fleet, the City Class Type 26 will protect the UK’s submarine-deployed nuclear deterrent and the nation’s two new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers.”
Construction of the first Type 26 frigate started in July 2017 and the hull is already taking shape with the first two completed hull sections now connected. The units contain the machinery space, aviation stores for embarked helicopters and a recreational area.
Defence Secretary visits Glasgow
Iain Stevenson, BAE Systems Naval Ships Managing Director, said:
“Today we have been able to demonstrate how the latest digital technologies help us work with our customer and suppliers to create a comprehensive and mature complex warship design for the UK Royal Navy. From the positioning of key equipment and cutting edge combat systems, through to the design and outfit of recreational areas, we use this technology to develop and prove the design alongside our customer.
“Nearly a year into production it’s a proud moment to see the first two units joined together and we are already seeing GLASGOW take shape at our facilities here on the Clyde. It’s a great opportunity for our apprentices to learn new skills and play a part in such an important programme.”


  1. Good to hear that we at least have a 3D virtual reality option ready for any impending cyber attacks!
    ” We will fight them on the beaches” Not anymore!!!

  2. Yes all fine words.

    But we need the 8. It should have been 13.

    I’m fully expecting just 6 with an increased T31 order.

    6 T26 + 6 T45 + 8 T31 = increase in surface escorts, and saves HMG a small fortune in the MDP
    while being tens of billions in the red.

    That it leaves the RN less capable overall due to the increase in T31 numbers will not be noticed by 99% of the public thus of little concern to HMG.

    I sincerely hope I am subsequently proved wrong, and that there is an uplift in defence spending.

    Could the RN cover QEC, CASD and GIUK gap with just 6 or are the 8 set in stone and so imperative to the RN they make savings elsewhere to ensure the 8 are built?

    • What is happening? News that HMS Glasgow will not be completed until 2025 and won’t be operational until 2027!

      With construction to being in 2020 in Australia on the SEA 5000 programme, there is the sobering prospect that if chosen, an RAN heavily modified Type 26 could be in service prior to HMS Glasgow.

    • Heaven forbid Mr Bell!

      They don’t need encouraging by past performance.

      Fingers crossed.

      I posted hoping a naval type that understands the ratios better than me concerning deployed assets vs those ships in refit or alongside would show that it is not feasable and that 8 is indeed the bare minimum.

  3. Perhaps when CSG operations with the QE’s really get underway and it becomes painfully evident that more frigates (and destroyers) are needed in the escort force due to availability issues perhaps then they’ll reconsider (hopefully before the lines are shut down)…


  4. Eight T26s and six T45s. A total of fourteen RN surface warships is sad. I’m assuming the T31 will be a glorified patrol ship, would love to be proven wrong.

  5. 6 type 45, hopefully we will see sense and find money to purchase more than 8 type 26s
    I think the type 31 either Leander, venator (my favourite and most capable) or arrowhead should all just about do the job of a useful patrol, surface strike and convoy/ surface group escort. The plans for an initial 5 need to be increased and followed up by another 5 pretty quickly (although not at the expense of massively more capable type 26)
    The RN surface fleet has to get back to 26 hulls in its destroyers/frigate fleet just to match current peacetime commitments. So to get there 6 type 45, 8-13 type 26, 7-12 type 31
    That’s my simple match’s depending upon type 26 numbers we need to find another 3-6 billion. That’s easy just half the foreign aid budget for 2 years. Build the required frigates and fund an additional 6, Poseidon MPA, 3-4 more astutes and get a replacement for HMS Ocean, an lph is still needed.
    It is scandalous we are wasting so much money on handouts when clear firm capability and resources could be added back onto our armed forces

    • MR J Bell – interesting comments you and others make which I certainly wouldn’t disagree with but I have been thinking about another problem about increasing capability which doesn’t involve funds and staffing levels.If say the MOD had a windfall and was in a position to order another 4 Astute class submarines,by the time all the pre-production work has been carried out and the long lead items sorted out,then the building work was started promptly it would still take so long to get the finished submarines to sea that the first of the class would be due to be taken out of service.So in effect you would be taking one step forward just to take two steps back.With the constrictions of build rate there would be a theoretical maximum number of Submarines you could have in service at any one time.Its the same with Frigate numbers,due to the 17 wasted years I’m sure we wouldn’t have the capability to build any to boost numbers quickly enough to increase the fleet size.The best we can hope for is to get as many Type 26’s as possible,hope that the Type 31 project is a success and actually delivers a creditable Frigate in good time then immediately start work on the Type 45 replacement to build after the T26’S or even better in tandem with them.

  6. I am of the opinion we need to build 8 T26 and 10 T31 over the next 10 years before moving to a 2 year cycle for each T26 whilst keeping the T31’s on a 1 year build programme.

    T31’s need to take over from all our Rivers, Minesweepers and hunters and the existing T23 fleet whilst the T26 needs to really become our Burke class, eventually replacing the T45’s.

    By standardising most of the surface fleet on these two combat ships (Global Combat Ship and Multi Mission Ship) and the Tide Hull for all RFA and amphib hulls we should dramatically increase the size, capability and efficiency of the RN whilst reducing costs.

    I am quite excited by what is happening in the RN and with proper funding not only will we have a modern effective navy, but also something that creates high skilled jobs in some of the poorest parts of the UK.

  7. when someone produces a “global countries fleet strength” comparison chart, I’ll get my microscope out to examine our entry.


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