Drone imagery shows the progress of a massive new ‘frigate factory’ in Glasgow.

The massive facility at Govan represents a huge boost in capability for UK naval shipbuilding.

Here are some drone images showing the progress as of today, HMS Cardiff can also be seen. HMS Cardiff will be the last frigate to have its hull sections integrated in the open air on the hardstanding.

For the avoidance of doubt, the drone footage was obtained legally by a qualified person in adherence to UK drone legislation and guidance. In addition, the drone is insured, and a flight plan was submitted using drone safety software.

Here’s how the site looked earlier in the year.

I previously reported that planning permission had been granted for a huge new shipbuilding hall at the BAE Systems site in Govan, with work on the first ship to be built in the facility starting soon.

Huge Glasgow ‘frigate factory’ planning permission granted

It is hoped that Type 26 ships 3 to 8 will be assembled in this facility, with the first two being assembled outdoors. HMS Glasgow is shown below when she was being put together on the hard standing, adjacent to the wet basin area after she was built in sections in the existing build hall and joined together.

Image George Allison

The new build hall would allow ships to be built indoors, protecting them against the elements and would form part of an effort to modernise the yard to make it more attractive to future orders.

Project Background

In their Govan Assembly Hall planning consultation, BAE say that at present, full ships longer than 75 metres cannot be constructed undercover at Govan, something which is a major constraint to their business. Shown below is the current arrangement, the ‘SBOH’ is the facility in which ship hull sections are currently built before being moved outside and welded together. According to the consultation:

“As such, BAE Systems intends to develop a new ship building hall which is capable of meeting the United Kingdom’s ship building requirements. This necessitates the construction of a new ship building facility in Govan, one that will allow for at least two ships to be built simultaneously under cover and in single hull format.

The opportunity to provide a new modern ship building hall of this nature would allow BAE Systems to adopt improved shipbuilding techniques together with improved construction access and state of the art, dedicated, on-site office and amenities accommodation.”

The Ship Building Hall and Supporting Accommodation

The firm state that the shipbuilding hall will occupy part of the existing shipyard wet basin and will provide accommodation to allow for at least two ships to be built simultaneously under cover and in single hull format.

Indicative Visualisation of Proposed Ship Building Assembly Hall

In terms of dimensions, the proposed shipbuilding hall will be approximately 81 metres wide, 170 metres long and 49 metres high to the building ridge line. This represents a massive expansion of capabilities and capacity at the yard, as let’s not forget, the original build hall will still be available for use.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Tim Suffield
Tim Suffield (@guest_746929)
9 months ago

They are definitely going for this. Been in civils all my life and never seen so many piling rigs in such a small area. Well done to all those involved.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_746931)
9 months ago
Reply to  Tim Suffield

I was thinking the same.

Someone is on a piling contact that rewards them for progress ahead of schedule.

The ground is totally peppered with piles of various kinds.

The interesting bit is to left of shot where the ground has been scraped back – presumably for an extra thickening to connect the new structural slab to the dockside wall so that very heavy things can be moved across that?

David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_746938)
9 months ago
Reply to  Tim Suffield

There doesn’t seem to be much spoil coming up around those piling rigs, though there are plenty of casings about. I can’t see any cages either but i guess its early days. Nice pic tho, looks a well organised site

Marcus (@guest_747041)
9 months ago

Well they got to get a move on if elon musk can make massive gigafactories for his cars and massive rocket ships going to space 1 man doing all this I’m sure a whole country uk can make some ships to replace the awful stinking museum type 23s that I was on lol

Pacman27 (@guest_747122)
9 months ago

Great progress but I do think BAES are missing a couple of opportunities here.

  1. They should/could join the buildings creating a sideways production line
  2. They can build around their current sheds to create a single super hall.

for the marginal increase in cost of the above it would certainly seem to be worth it imo

DH (@guest_800683)
3 months ago

Thanks again to UKDJ. And George and gang for excellent photos. BZ. 👍