Drone shots, collected over a 14-month period, show 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.

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.

On a brisk morning in Glasgow, the future of British naval shipbuilding took tangible form for me as BAE Systems offered me a rare glimpse into the construction of the new shipbuilding hall that promises to significantly increase the capabilities and capacity of shipbuilding in Scotland and the UK, you can read more about my time at the yard here.

While not yet complete, the structure’s formidable outline and the ambition it embodies mark a significant milestone in the yard’s history. The image below shows how it will look.

How the hall will look.

I previously spoke to Paul Sweeney, Glasgow Labour Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) and former BAE shipyard employee, who told me that the facility is expected to be very impressive and will dominate the Glasgow Skyline.

Sweeney said, “This new hall will probably become the largest building by enclosed volume in Glasgow, if not Scotland, and will make a dramatic impact on the Clydeside skyline. I hope that the competitive advantages it brings will help to reassert Glasgow’s global reputation for having shipbuilding capabilities that are of the highest quality”.

The Govan shipyard, despite its rich heritage, has long faced the challenge of building ships longer than 75 metres under cover—a constraint that has historically limited its operational capabilities. Alan Nicholson detailed the journey towards overcoming this hurdle, telling us, “We currently have an old setup, which isn’t great in the Scottish environment… So we looked at a number of different options and how to improve that situation.”

The solution emerged in the form of the new shipbuilding hall, envisioned to house the assembly of at least two ships simultaneously under cover. This development is a response to operational challenges and also a stride towards modernising the yard to secure future orders after the Type 26 Frigate project winds down.

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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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Frank62 (@guest_823066)
1 month ago

By the 2030s we might be ready for the 2020s.

Iain (@guest_823110)
1 month ago

Isn’t it weird that looking at the top picture it almost looks like a photograph of a model of a partially completed structure and ship. I suspect the drone focusing on the blue crane causes that effect.
Please note this is not a comment about no ships being built in Scotland. Merely an observation about how focus can change your perception of a photograph. 😃

SailorBoy (@guest_823124)
1 month ago
Reply to  Iain

I see what you mean, it sort of looks like a diorama behind glass, the sort of thing you see in museums.

Spyinthesky (@guest_823126)
1 month ago
Reply to  Iain

Hadn’t really given it much thought till you mentioned it but you are right, the lens is certainly and understandably struggling with its task. The new Hall reminds me of the foam board models we used to create at Art College and that architects use to great effect.

ABCRodney (@guest_823162)
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

And not a single person in sight ! Must be shy 🤷🏼‍♂️

Dern (@guest_823129)
1 month ago
Reply to  Iain

There’s a specific camera lens (specifically a tilt shift lens) you can use to create that effect, it’s actually quite common. Go on Youtube and look up “Tilt Shift Lens Miniature” and you can see how weird the effect is when combined with a slight time lapse.

Expat (@guest_823152)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I think George uses a DJI drone and its a post processing feature I think. There a bit about it on the DJI website.

Mark (@guest_823135)
1 month ago

Thanks for the updated images of the site George….would be nice to see 2 type 26 frigates nearly completed and 2 new type 31es completed…I can dream for 5 mins…on a serious note we now have facilities to knock out world class ships and Subs ❤️

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_823136)
1 month ago

The roller door looks like it is one huge piece and not split. Imagine the draft when it opens….lol 😅

Coll (@guest_823150)
1 month ago

The header image looks like a diorama.