HMS GLASGOW, a Type 26 Frigate in build for the Royal Navy on the Clyde, is starting to look shipshape.

The Type 26 represents the future backbone of the Royal Navy and eight of the class are planned, starting with HMS Glasgow. The UK Government say they are committed to eight of the type, this was outlined in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

According to the Royal Navy:

“Just over half of HMS Glasgow is now complete or under construction, out of eight planned vessels in the class (all are named, three have been ordered, two are in build at Govan – HMS Cardiff is No.2).

Once the fore and aft sections are complete they will be joined on the hard in front of the block hall, before the bridge/main mast are craned into place. The completed ship will then be ‘launched’ by being lowered into the Clyde via a barge, then towed downstream to BAE’s yard at Scotstoun to complete fitting out.

The 26s replace the ‘souped-up’ anti-submarine Type 23s which will begin retiring from service later this decade after more than 30 years on patrol, while still to come are five Type 31 general duty frigates which have yet to be ordered/named and will replace their five Type 26 counterparts like for like.”

The first steel was cut for Glasgow in July 2017 with the ship expected to be delivered in 2023 and in service by 2027. For a more in-depth look at the build of this vessel, head on over to SaveTheRoyalNavy here.

How the vessel will look.

The Type 26 programme currently employs more than 1,200 people in the UK supply chain, with a number of contracts already in place for the manufacture of major equipment for the first three ships. In total, there are already 33 UK and international companies working in the supply chain to deliver the Type 26 ships.

Admiral Sir Philip Jones, previous First Sea Lord, said when the name of the first vessel was revealed:

“The Clyde was the birthplace of some of the greatest fighting ships the world has ever known and so cutting steel there today for the future HMS Glasgow is symbolic of a Royal Navy on the rise once again. As an island nation, we are utterly dependent on the sea for our security and prosperity and the City-class names have been chosen for the Type 26 to provide an enduring link between the Royal Navy and our great centres of commerce and industry. The name Glasgow brings with it a string of battle honours, stretching from the Arctic Circle to the South Atlantic.”

It will be the ninth HMS Glasgow in the Royal Navy’s history, dating back to 1707.

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Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

Ten years to get one in service, while China can build four destroyers in a year and properly arm them.

Granted this is first in class, but…

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

The slow rate of production always comes up when the T26 is featured, it is down to the £7b or more black hole in the defence budget and the MoD trying to spread the annual cost. They have a huge cash flow problem and are trying to avoid going bust. Until the politicians provide a properly thought through and stable strategy with the funding to match then the MoD will be left trying to deliver a Roller for the price of a Mini. Of course the MoD needs to sort a few things out as well, but in my book… Read more »

andy reeves
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andy reeves

everything about the CLYDE=Zero they even take years to build a batch 2 river, Pompey built the worlds first battleship in under a calendar year. AND THAT WAS IN THE DAYS OF THE RIVET nowadays with modern technology the Clyde should be producing two ships per year. it doesn’t appear that delivery schedules mean anything its an utter disgrace. its time the M.O .D threw the only built in the u.k dogma in the bin, if a foreign yard can do the job faster better and cheaper, then SOD THE CLYDE.

Robert blay
Guest
Robert blay

It’s nothing to do with the speed vessels are built on the Clyde, it’s the funding line provided by the MOD that limits the build rate. Vessels can be built quick or slow in England or the Clyde depending on the funds available.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

its not about tHe money, its about the political willpower to deliver and not squander 13.5 billion on pointless foreign aid projects .THAT IS WHERE THE MONEY GOES.

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

Foreign aid projects can be very important. The current issue with those i the management of them, not the funding. It is all fine now though as apparently we will now have £350 million per week to spend on everything…

Also lets not forget that HS2 is over budget by many times the value of the aid budget…

Robert
Guest
Robert

It is about the money Andy, when 1 frigate costs over 1 billion, then it is very much about the money, military equipment has got a lot more expensive then it was 30 years ago.

Dern
Guest
Dern

You know the River B2’s where specifically requested to take as long as they did by the MoD right?

GWM
Guest
GWM

Umm look at how the Italians churn out Frigates from design to launch on much smaller budgets, the chronic inefficiency in our process of buying,designing and building is the problem.

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

Yes, if you delay making decisions the cost goes up, because all the facilities and staff are still there waiting for some can kicking politician to stop trying to slopey shoulder a difficult decision onto the next numpty to sit in the chair..! The Clyde yards are working to a timetable set by the MoD who are in turn working to political masters who all too often haven’t got a clue about engineering and the associated buysiness costs of delays. That and the fact that they don’t stay around in post long enough to learn the right lessons. Same goes… Read more »

GWM
Guest
GWM

I have to say I despise Dominic Cummins but he’s is correct about how we buy stuff its a total disgrace.Look how quickly Italy designed built and launched its first PPA ,its embarrassing how we go about getting new ships.

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

To be fair the Horizone frigate programme was a complete disaster. Only 4 frigates being built for the two navies, whilst the RN got 6 T45’s…

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

EVENTUALLY.

GWM
Guest
GWM

Yea but we were involved in that before we pulled out.

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

Yes I know. The simple point I was making is that its not only the UK MoD that gets it wrong.

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

It is not hard to be correct about criticising the way we buy things. It is plain to see there are issues. However it is how you fix it that needs thinking properly about. Cummings has not really come up with anything of note on that particular point, he is just ranting at the overall problem, which lets face it we have been doing on here for years… The biggest single issue is the politicians as they are the ones ultimately in charge. They are utterly out of their depth and unqualified for the task. That is what we somehow… Read more »

GWM
Guest
GWM

What’s irritating is the lack of learning and this applies to all government projects, how many are over budget, most. The people in charge of buying stuff need to be professionals who know what they are doing and this is as much to do with the civil service as political interference.

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

The civil service do as they are told by the government. They may advise the cabinet on things but ultimately the cabinet have total control over thei departments. The problem is that the MPs have virtually zero knowledge about the things they are in charge of and so either do not take the time to understand the decisions they are making and simply take what they are told by their departments at face value or they know the problems but want to make a name for themselves and end up making poor decisions possibly because they know they are unlikely… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

NATIONAL SHIPBUILDING POLICY?(FANTASY MORE LIKE)

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

I think this may be a little bit more accurate than my post above, but you get my gist. Technically we will have the upper hand no doubt, but against numbers like this and at the speed they can be replaced at. “The Type 055 destroyers are the largest surface combatant currently being built in the world with a length of 180 meters, a beam of 20 meters and a draft of 6.6 meters for a full load displacement of about 13,000t (compared to the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruiser and the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer both at 9,800 tons… Read more »

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

China launched 9 Destroyers last year – that’s the difference between Night and Day compared to other Countries, obviously for China money is no object.

Watcherzero
Guest
Watcherzero

Its easy to scale up when you didn’t have much to start with, your not dealing with ongoing maintenance and refits. We also don’t know what shortcuts are taken to rush them into service, if you look at their Fighters for example they’ve had to used a substitute underpowered engine because the intended engine has a tendency for rapid unplanned disassembly, this reducing their performance and meaning they are too heavy to take off from a flight deck with even half their full weapon load (shades of the Soviet Harrier that couldn’t take off if it was carrying any weapons).

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Id agree that their Smorgasbord of quick Warship Construction will place a huge burden in the future regarding maintenance and refits etc,plus when its time for them to be replaced that will have to take place in a short timescale too but without China’s Economy crashing in a spectacular way that shouldn’t pose much of a problem.Also when you look at pictures of Chinese Warships they always look pristine if not immaculate,you never see one looking tired or scruffy.

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

They might not bother with profits if midlife updates; I could imagine China just churning out ship after ship and selling on the older ones once they reach 15-20 year age. Benefits them in 2 ways; the PLAN gets a constant stream of ships and their industry thrives with constant stream of orders.

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

Meant to say “refits” not profits. Stupid autocorrect!

Nicholas
Guest
Nicholas

Exactly right. Money spent on major project returns, and fairly quickly, to the government. About 30% returns almost immediately. Long term things like skills and expertise improve, communities benefit and good quality employment increases. Cutting often leads to downward spirals, and cutting existing capabilities saves very little.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

modular building? who builds what?u.k shipyard workers don’t build ships- they assemble them. like professional lego. builders its not slow clde production its slow clyde module building!

Dern
Guest
Dern

That’s becasue a) they’re all brand new, and b) they do not have a lot of global comittments taking them all around the world. When these points become less true they’ll start looking tired and scruffy.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

I take it thishttps://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/british-frigate-shadows-chinese-destroyer-in-english-channel/ one must have got a bit lost then 1

Nelson
Guest
Nelson

I don’t think it’s just the money(unless we halve the Foreign Aid Budget and stop handing hundreds of millions to India and China). They don’t have Unions, Health and Safety etc. sticking their heads in.

Will Dutton
Guest
Will Dutton

I think you will find that unions, health and safety are there not just for the shipbuilders, but the crews. I am assuming you want to attract crews to ships and not go back to your namesakes time?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the whole foreign aid thing is a disgrace 200 million to Pakistan, a nation that allows its territory to harbour terrorists and land for terrorists to be trained, and trained to attack us!. the same amount to India with its booming economy million to Nigeria, mega millions to sierra leone, millions to Sudan, Ethiopia Syria. a nation run by a despot who murders his own people. wonder the N.H.S is in such a mess,service personnel and their families treated like second class citizens in estates that are quickly becoming inner city wastelands

Robert blay
Guest
Robert blay

Have you been on any military sites recently Andy? I left the RN in 2013. I had a en suite cabin with a double bed, wifi, very modern and to a good standard. Hardly a wasteland. Some sites still need work, but most main operating bases, RN Army or RAF have a very high standard of single living accommodation and married quarters. Don’t believe everything you read in the press.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

I NEVER HAVE EVEN SEEN A CABIN NEVER BELIEVED ANYTHING IN THE PRESS, I HAD A METAL RACK, A 4 INCH THICK OLD MATTRESS, I BOUGHT MY OWN PILLOW. I LEFT IN 1984, IN THE GOOD AGE OF STEAM.

Robert
Guest
Robert

Well you’ll be glad to know things have moved on a very very long way from 1984

Jason Holmes
Guest
Jason Holmes

Neither is human rights!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

nor are facilities and cheap labour

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

NOR MANPOWER, FUNDING OR POLITICAL WILL.

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

It is going to be very hard for the west to combat China. After all they effectively have 1.5 billion people available as slave labour.

dan
Guest
dan

Don’t forget that China doesn’t have all the environmental regulations and competitions when building ships or anything else. They don’t have unions or local politicians to deal with either.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

zero net carbon? not in a million years.

geoff
Guest
geoff

Maybe the ‘truth’ is somewhere in between Nigel. Ten years is far too long particularly when one considers the rapid pace of technology nowadays-many of their systems have been superseded by the time they hit the water. Have a look at cell phones in ten year old movies to see what I mean!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

china has a healthy ship building industry, we don’t

Robert blay
Guest
Robert blay

China can get away with paying it’s ship workers and sailors peanuts, I could imagine the average wage and package a Chinese sailor receives doesn’t compare to what a RN rating receives in pay pension and benefits.

Robert blay
Guest
Robert blay

And they still aren’t a true blue water Navy.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Depending on your point of view. The point being, they will be within the next decade at the current rate of build. “As of 2018, the PLAN has two combat-ready aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and Shandong, with the third under construction. It is projected that China may possess five or six aircraft carriers by the 2030s.” “In addition, there are those who think China already has a blue-water navy, such as British naval historian and professor, Geoffrey Till,[9] and also, Professor David Shambaugh who believes that the PLAN has transitioned from a green-water navy to that of a “limited” blue-water… Read more »

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

They are now without a doubt .

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the chines have purpose built factories here two ships can be uilt side by side in the same place.

peter french
Guest
peter french

We want more, As to the time to build yes its disgracefull, but I suspect its partly due to cash flow from the defence budget

George Amery
Guest
George Amery

Hi folks hope all are well. This good news, however the time to build does appear long. Can anyone advise why as a nation we aren’t able to speed up the process without compromising on quality. I get the impression from global events that we need to be a bit faster on delivery of such high end cutting edge tech ships. We have first class Carriers, being escorted by old frigates.
Nonetheless, this is good for the Navy and demonstrates to our allies our commitment to be at the head of the game.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Hi George, we can built these fast. We could build 1 every 18 months. It’s a choice to build at this rate.

George
Guest
George

Many thanks Andy. It’s just the current climate may need to speed the build rate.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

hard to speed up when the industrial infrastructure, yards,skills, doesn’t exist anymore.

Robert
Guest
Robert

Of course it exists, we have just built 2 x 65k ton aircraft carriers, we can still highly complex frigates and the finest nuclear powered submarines know to man. What age are you living in.

Dern
Guest
Dern

Got a bit of a wingey chip on his shoulder does old Andy.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

all future designs, say, for a t 45 replacement should have in mind the rate that they can be produced.

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

Simple. HMG has inflicted cuts upon cuts & kept the forces short of the funds to expidite a faster build rate. They freely make positive noises about “growing” the fleet when there’s nothing in place to do that, it’s at the smallest size it’s been for centuries, major weapons systems are allowed to “gap” for years, there’s not enough ships or crews to cover our peacetime commitments & we drag our fet to replace old ships such as here. We’re one of the richest countries in the world, critically dependant of secure sea trade, a prmanent member of the UN… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the ‘built only in the u.k is restrictive and hinders expansion.faster, better value for money, should come before the CLYDE, which has, for years failed to deliver its contracts on time, within budget, and without glued nuts and bolts!

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

As a nation we are very capable of building these in a shorter time. It comes down to money, ultimately. Regarding that there are 2 factors. 1) Because defence is not properly funded, the Navy can only order small numbers of ships. 8 Type 26s instead of 13, 6 x Type 45 destroyers instead of the originally planned 12, etc. 2) Because the build number is now so small the government stretches the build time out over several years to retain the industry skills, otherwise we face our shipyards closing down. 2.1) In the same vein as above, to keep… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Let’s hope in a few weeks time we will be able too.

“Two HS2 whistle-blowers have told Sky News they feel there should be a public inquiry into the spiralling cost of HS2 and that the taxpayer has been deceived.

A third executive has suggested the project goes back to parliament before progressing.

It comes after the National Audit Office found on Friday that HS2 did not allow for uncertainties when estimating initial costs.”

https://news.sky.com/story/whistleblowers-say-public-have-been-deceived-over-cost-of-hs2-11918771

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

Did not allow for uncertainties!!!!

That is such a basic feature of any cost estimating process it can only be deliberate, frankly, that bit alone stinks dishonesty of some sort.

The biggest problem we face in this country is that we get scared of the true cost of big techie projects, so there is always a pressure to come up with a cost that can get through the decision making process – hence big projects are always over budget and late (time = money…).

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

My memory was that there was a huge contingency in the original estimates.

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

Hi Trevor, Contingency and uncertainty are different things from a costing perspective. In simple terms Contingency allows for the escallation of cost through identifiable factors such as currency fluctuations and should be relatively straight forward to identify and build into the estimates. Uncertainty, is stuff you cannot reasonably specifically identify e.g. accidents or some director clearing off to Brazil with the money! This is obviously a challenge to allow for, but any project especially one as large and complex as HS2 should include some sort of allowance because the bigger the project the more likely you are of getting hit… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Guest
Gavin Gordon

OK, bit of a subject change, Nigel, but I hold the gut feeling this should go ahead. How do you quantify the benefits of this type of infrastructure scheme over the extreme lifetime of a railway. Did the Victorians fully envisage the extent to which they’d dominate the industry, let alone believe we’d still be utilising their fundamental system in the 21st century. We have talk of how much better value we’d get from upgrading sections of the current network. Well, let me see: we have endured the ongoing faux pas that is electrification & signalling of same, rolling stock… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

another enquiry should be made into the wanton selling of the nations security assets to other nations, such as the sale of two type 22’s to romania where over£60 million pounds was lost to an unidentified’fixer’ the serious fraud office didn’t get anywhere in the investigation of the issue, which, i believe involved criminal activities 6 type 22 frigates are still in service, 2 with Brazil, 2 with Chile and two with Roumania these ships all had low mileage on them , as did most of the 22’s which were perfect for upgrades to enable them to be designated as… Read more »

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

andy – the subject of the fate of the T22’s has been pretty well covered on here.I know nothing of dodgy deals etc but they were put on the market when there was lots of choice in second hand Warships,it might have been difficult to give them away.At least some got a second wind rather than be used as target practice.Chile only ended up with 1(ex HMS Sheffield) to go with the 3 Type 23’s.Gunbuster has said they were very hard on Fuel and Manpower intensive,it would take a great leap of imagination and a large budget to convert them… Read more »

Robert
Guest
Robert

The fact that you have even suggested buying back a T22 and bye some feat of magic they can be upgraded with the very lastest weapons and avionics, and at not much expense , says to me you haven’t got a foot in the real world Andy.

expat
Guest
expat

What I always struggle with is why our ship yards seem so reliant on HMG. We’re supposed to be at the cutting edge of manufacturing technology, BAe is one of the largest defence contractors on the planet, yet it appears to be the UK government that needs to fund improvements in manufacturing at BAe. The BAe Hawk was a glaring example over 1000 orders yet no replacement product so zero on the profits from the Hawk were reinvested in a successor. No other industry would survive if they operated in this way.

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

Largely, I believe, because our shipyards produce high end, high quality ships for extortionate prices. Most countries with decent sized navies build their own ships; US, UK France, Russia, Japan etc… those that don’t generally buy from elsewhere and can’t afford our £1billion+ warships. So for the most part there is not much export potential due to price. So the shipyards are reliant on orders from HMG, which are getting thinner and thinner with each generation of ships. Exception to this at the moment is Type 26, which Canada and Australia are both buying, though even then its build on… Read more »

expat
Guest
expat

But hang on… BAe has a design centre, it could produce cheaper designs for export if it chose to. The only UK company that offers off the shelf design for vessels is BMT but they don’t own a ship yard. So it appears BAe have zero interest is building vessel for foreign governments. If the British government had gone with a foreign design for the T26 BAe wouldn’t have had the T26 design to offered to Canada or Australia. And you look at the Leander, BAe’s T31 offering its effectively a stretch Khareef which was a VT design. With BAe… Read more »

Dern
Guest
Dern

Pretty sure BAe do build ships for foreign governments, they just build them in that countries shipyards rather than the ones in the UK. Beauty of being international.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

for the first time since it first became a usable material, Kevlar is now cheaper than steel, designs and building needs to bear this in mind Kevlar structures are quick to produce, are as durable as steel.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

deeds not words. hulls in the water. not placating political sound bites that we’ve all heard before

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

The sad thing about the snails pace of construction, if the MOD had ordered these ships when originally planned, as opposed to stretching things out slowing the construction rate down, these ships could have been a possibility for the US navy’s future frigate program.

4thwatch
Guest
4thwatch

Blame spreadsheet

Andy
Guest
Andy

I’m predicting that the type 26 will be chosen.

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

Or George Osborne. Shoving the military pensions into the MoD core budget meant that money that could have gone into more ships or new weapons systems is now spent in pensions instead.

whlgrubber
Guest
whlgrubber

leave my pension alone !

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

Not saying that the pensions should be touched. I’m saying that before 2010 the MoD and military pensions did not come out of defence core budget. They were moved into MoD core budget as “creative accounting.” This was in order to cit defence spending while still “officially” spending over 2% on defence as per NATO requirement.

I’m saying that this should have stayed outside the core budget. Or at least the extra money transferred into MoD budget going forward to allow for both pension spend and actual defence spending.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

And mine!

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

I’d never dream of touching military pensions, only to remove them from MoD core budget and back into normal pensions, or failing that leave them in the MoD core budget but then increase annual spending by the amount of the pension fund so that it isn’t taking from the other budgets within MoD.

So if the pension fund were £1billion per year, we should increase money for defence by at least that much.

fearlesstunafish
Guest
fearlesstunafish

aren’t the australian ones likely to be in service before ours?

Rob N
Guest
Rob N

Perhaps we could get the Chinese to build them! They would do it for less and quicker! The build rate is truly a national embarrassment. It is all about our politicians not taking RN funding seriously. We should be building 13 T26s and 7+ T31. Also 4 large Destroyers/cruiser for carrier defence would be good idea. Also we should upgrade the ships that we already have to their full capabilities. Extra VLS for T45, Sea Ceptor for QE class, also anti-ship missiles for all T45s, CIWS for our auxiliaries. But of course this will not be done because our politicians… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

I wonder how may hull we have lost due to the slow build rate? more than a few I would imagine Rob N.

As for “But of course this will not be done because our politicians will not pay for it.”

I have an awful gut feeling that we will pay for it one way or another in the not too distant future, especially with the current war games being conducted between Russia and China.

America has already taken the hint, UK/Europe need to do the same. You don’t build a surface fleet of this magnitude without good reason!

Callum
Guest
Callum

Fantasy plans like that are always bouncing around with no consideration for reality. We need to be looking at realistic solutions, not lists of whatever we fancy. What you’re suggesting would likely cost in the region of at least £10-12bn just to build, not to mention the thousands of extra sailors needed and the investment in industry to actually build all of that in a reasonable time frame. Be realistic. Based on standing commitments, the RN doesn’t need any more area air defence platforms, so those cruiser-destroyers can go. Likewise another 5 T26s is excessive, but another 1 or 2… Read more »

4thwatch
Guest
4thwatch

A case of priorities. We blow 15Bn annually on Questionable Foreign Aid each year which make the blood boil.

Rob N
Guest
Rob N

Oh you mean as much as HS2! As for growing the navy it would take time to build the ships and that time could be used to recruit and train their crews. Gone are the days when you can rearm in a couple of years – we have to meet future threats today by planning ahead. I am not apologetic for daring to suggest our navy be properly equipped and funded. More often then not a strong deterrent stops conflicts – weakness encourages aggressors. In recent times Russia has annexed part of Georgia, the Crimean Peninsula, effectively taken control of… Read more »

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

There is a major reason why the Chinese have annexed the South China Sea. It has a lot to do with feeding 1.6 billion mouths. They have effectively fished out the Bohai Sea, parts of the Yellow Sea and the area around Hainan. Fish is a staple of their diet, so they have basically annexed the resources. There has already be scraps between Philippino and Vietnamese fishermen, resulting in the Chinese sending the “coastguard” vessels. The Philippines recently conducted an exercise around some of their reef and atols using a combined arms task force. It won’t be long before the… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

I wonder if this will go ahead as planned in 2020.
Makes for a very interesting year ahead!

“Leaked map shows China plans to invade S. Taiwan after taking Kinmen, Penghu”

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3861097

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Hopefully this wont take place,the price for an Invasion of Taiwan would be catastrophic,not just for the South China Sea but it would have repercussions Worldwide.On a planning note I guess they have studied the Japanese capture of Singapore.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

I’m pretty certain China have looked at multiple ways of taking Taiwan. The major difference now, is that they have the capability to land troops on any part of the island. But perhaps more importantly can now position a carrier task group and a number of subs on the east of the island used as a blocking force against the US Navy. Granted they aren’t on par with the US, but they can put enough in the way to make it difficult to reinforce or prevent an invasion. Less than 5 years ago China was not in a position where… Read more »

Robert blay
Guest
Robert blay

And if you haven’t noticed the general public would rather see all this extra cash go on the NHS and education, or adult social care, a few new Frigates doesn’t affect the lives of millions of people, but the money does. I’m extremely pro defence, and I think 2.5% of GDP is sensible for defence. But we have to be realistic. The Russians or the Chinese are not going to be sending fleets of warships over the North Sea anytime soon. War is not good for economic grow!

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Correct. China is a massive, effectively continental, sized country. Take the USA out and NATO already has 3 major carriers one of them nuclear, plus a large number of escorts. We are not going to war with China (why?), and were China to make a significant aggressive move somewhere then subsequent sanctions would cripple the wellbeing of its people. What is the point of it attacking anybody? It’s massively attacking it’s own people of course, not least it’s Muslim. We are not in the business of matching China’s defences. We would be better trying to improve our terms of trade… Read more »

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

They annexed the South China sea, destroyed reefs by building artificial islands with air & naval bases on them in an area claimed legitimately by several other closer nations. We’ve not done much in the face of that & a sudden grab of territory elsewhere in the region, not least Taiwan, is possible.

Geoffrey Hicking
Guest
Geoffrey Hicking

“Build 12, have squadrons of 4 based at home, in the gulf, and in Singapore, operating on the same principle as the nuclear deterrent of 1-2 active, 1 training, 1 refit.”

Apologies, but that too is probably excessive. We probably have more ships than we need. Half the frigate force and the manpower for them should go up.

Of course, the powers that be have studied this more than us, so we should probably just let them get on with it. We have nothing to offer.

Callum
Guest
Callum

Fair comment, you could potentially make it work with just 9 frigates in squadrons of 3. However, in the context of my argument, of having to actually justify expenditure instead of making wishlist, the argument is there for a large T31 order. Tensions with Iran and the seizure of a British tanker demonstrates a clear need for an enhanced, permanent presence in the Gulf. Likewise, China is constantly raising tensions in the SCS and Pacific; as a member of RIMPAC, and with so many allies in the region, the UK has a demonstrable need for a permanent presence in the… Read more »

Darren
Guest
Darren

“Perhaps we could get the Chinese to build them! They would do it for less and quicker!” Don’t be infantile about this as the UK shipyards are good at what they do. Look at expensive systems and government with it’s officials! Hull build is 30%. Let’s get all the better and cheaper systems and weapons from China A! It would not happen.

Rob N
Guest
Rob N

Unfortunately you did not spot that my comment about China building them was not a serious comment. It was there to illustrate a point. The point was that it is taking us too long to build T26….. However I do not think we should rule out some of our defence work going to yards outside the UK if they offer us a good deal and they can do the work to the same standard.

Darren
Guest
Darren

OK, fair enough. But tax clawback must alway be taken into consideration which means no and we must rule out build outside the UK. We have fallen into this idea originally because of eu rules.

Darren
Guest
Darren

To add. They cannot offer us a good deal. if they can, we need to ask how much are they being subsidized to undemine us. It really is not on.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

I have seen what Chinese shipbuilding is like.
If the yards building military units are similar to the ones building commercial vessels then the vessels will last about a year before welds fail, equipment seizes up, bearings fail, valves disintegrate and the pipework turns into a pile of rust.

The standard of work is appalling. Almost all the commercial operators will not use Chinese spares because they fail after a few months.

Darren
Guest
Darren

I have freinds in the oil industry and were directly involved in the shipbuilding industry (VT’s who intruduced the most modern cutting equipment at Woolston) who have been to China and South Korea and seen their practices which are not good. Even in a domestic field in which we buy from UK shops who source from China, UK named (not made) brands, they are now crap! Kettles being just one of many items. Tools, even the humble rubbing in iron made by OX (china), brickies tell me they are sh*ite. They don’t last and produce a poor finish. Just a… Read more »

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Aren’t the French 15 months behind in designing submarines for Australia.?? That’s just the design stage!! 15!!! Some not inconsiderable sums have already been paid to the “nationalised”(!!!) French company. This something of a scandal is a bit analogous to the French/Indian affair over their Rafale contract mess….

Rob N
Guest
Rob N

I would not be that smug. Astute went over time and over budget and they are still not making them fast enought.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

WITHOUT A DOUBT.

donald_of_tokyo
Guest
donald_of_tokyo

1: Slow rate is inevitable to keep the workforce active until T45 replacement comes. Only 14 tier-1 escorts each with ~30 years life = 2-3 years drumbeat is the only answer (and RN is not even fully manning those 14 hulls). 2: From recent official documents, it was shown that the 1st T31 will “go into service” on 2027, the same timing as the 1st T26 “commissions”. Also the document confirms, all 5 T31 will be “handed over” to RN by 2028 but no commission date for the 5th hull. I cannot stop thinking, by investing (the now inflated) 2B… Read more »

Callum
Guest
Callum

What document is saying the T31 is going to cost £2bn now? And equating £2bn to 3 T26s seems well off as well

donald_of_tokyo
Guest
donald_of_tokyo

1: I could not find it now, but it was reported in Janes (and navalnews) that, the program cost of T31 is 1.98B GBP, while 1.25B of which will go to Babcock. In UK budget document in 2018, T31 cost was written as 1.5B GBP (= 1.25 build and 0.25 others), so it looks 32% increase. 2: The total cost for 8 T26 is suggested to be 8B GBP. Detailed designing and initial build costs (in-efficiency from lack of learning curve) “usually” amounts to 3 unit cost equivalent (at least in French FREMM, it was 3 unit cost equivalent, officially… Read more »

donald_of_tokyo
Guest
donald_of_tokyo

# add.
In other words, I’m guessing the cost needed to add 1 more hull is ~700B GBP. Not saying T26’s average cost is 700M GBP. These two are different number.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

If the first three T26s are to cost a total of £3.7 Billion, I doubt the remaining 5 will be lower then £1 Billion each.

donald_of_tokyo
Guest
donald_of_tokyo

Meirion X-san

I also think the remaining 5 will cost £1 Billion each. It includes all the cost of keeping the shipyard open until T45 replacement.

But, with that industrial background supported by the “£5 Billion total”, addition of hull 6 and 7 (and even 8 if possible) will not cost £1 Billion each. This is what I meant.

This is the same to that, 5 River B2 cost of £650M in total. It does not mean “1 more River B2” will cost £130M. Significant fraction (not open) of the £650M was to keep the T26’s workforce.

Darren
Guest
Darren

So should we out source design?

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Do we trust French figures?

donald_of_tokyo
Guest
donald_of_tokyo

Not sure. But the number is very reasonable for me. – learning curve is well-known issue. BMT is using the learning curve of British T12M Leander-class frigates cost curve in the paper for frigate design. – Detailed designing is a few years work of hundreds of design engineers. It is not just blue print, it is of parts list, schedule, and verification plan. Very different from concept design, which can be lead by a dozen of engineers. # Actually, this is the main reason newly designed Arrowhead 120 was abandoned and Danish design was introduced as “Arrowhead 140” (although its… Read more »

Darren
Guest
Darren

Do we want French built ships?

donald_of_tokyo
Guest
donald_of_tokyo

I don’t think so.

Anyway the story is unrelated to French build (I understand none is proposing it here), just using British T12M Leander class’s fact and French FREMM fact as a reference to clear what is the initial and detail-design costs, which makes “cost of adding 1 more” a bit cheaper than “average cost”.

Andy
Guest
Andy

The slow build rate can result in cheaper and more ships in the long run due to economies of scale with Canada, Australia and maybe the USA. It also leaves the door open for a future type 26 factory.

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

Ten years to build a frigate. Not enough of them anyway. Shame on us when the T23s they’re to replace are already clapped out. Hopefully T31s will begin entering service before this T26 eventually becomes ready. This is an apalling way to maintain a fleet. Nelson will be spinning in his grave.

Gavin Gordon
Guest
Gavin Gordon

Still, probably most fun he’s had in two centuries.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Alright. Competition time. Which bit of the T26 are we looking at in this photo?

Ian
Guest
Ian

Is it the paid for bit….

Julian
Guest
Julian

Superb 🙂 – I think you’ve won the competition with the first entry.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

To be fair on the recent Michael Portillo Rail Journeys programme and on HMS Glasgows twitter feed construction looks more advanced than in this pic.

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

This is the bow section, the previous pictures were of the stern section I think. So I am guessing they started the stern section first, which looked more advanced…

Ian
Guest
Ian

Cut a bit of steel … 10 years to enter service…..shocking……!!

Darren
Guest
Darren

That’s the UK Government for you. Happy to spend 106 billion on a rail road and 6 biollion on a paint job for the houses of parliament too. Questions needs to be asked about this too.

John Pattullo
Guest
John Pattullo

why 4 years from delivery to in service?

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

I’m guessing First of class Snagging lists,teething troubles,certification issues and the inevitable Red Tape,4 years seems excessive even for that though.

Spyinthesky
Guest
Spyinthesky

Those elastic bands for the weapons are tricky technology to perfect I hear.

Dern
Guest
Dern

Does it? Let’s look at some other first in class’s of the RN:
Type 45 HMS Daring: Launched Feb 2006, Commissioned July 2009 (~3 years)
Type 42 HMS Sheffield: Launched 1971, Comissioned 1975 (~4 years)
Type 23 HMS Norfolk: Launced 1987, Comissioned 1990 (~3 years)
Type 22 HMS Broadsword: Launched 1976, Comissioned 1979 (~3 years)

So does 4 years really seem that excessive for that?

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Your looking at Launch date to commissioning,as far as we know HMS Glasgow will take 4 years from handover to being in Service,it depends on how you define handover in this case – is 2023 the commissioning date or is it 2027 ?.

BIG D
Guest
BIG D

How ever much we would like to see an increased speed in production let alone an increase in ships this government is never going to allocate the funds as defense of the nation doesn’t come across as a vote winner for them, not that any other party would have been any better. Unfortunately during the leadership election for the conservative party the one that would of funded more defense we didn’t get, so unfortunately this is where we are.

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

I was gutted when Boris beat Hunt; the latter would have boosted defence spending considerably. Probably would have got a better Brexit deal too.

BIG D
Guest
BIG D

There is no doubt in my mind that Hunt would have been a better choice as Prime minister for the country & would of financed the Armed forces with a lot more money.

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

He was promising to boost defence spending by something in the region of £15 billion a year if I recall. That would give MoD a budget of £55billion a year, or 2.75% of GDP.

Even if the actual amount reduced to £10 billion it would be been a massive boost. Hell, even £5 billion would make a big difference. Any of those numbers would allow for real investment in and growth of the armed forces, rather than simply scraps from the table to stave off cuts for another year.

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

I believe contract discussions have started for the 5 batch 2 ships. We’ll know how serious the government / parliament is about defence by the build rate for those ships. Will it be slower, the same or heaven forbid faster…

As usual, I ain’t holding me breath…

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

This isn’t linked to the T26, but this last week history has been made.

Elbit have announced that their Iron Fist active protection system for vehicles has defeated a 120mm armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) projectile officially for the first time.

In the world of armoured warfare this is game changing!

r cummings
Guest
r cummings

It looks pretty clear that the T26 is being delayed until after the T31s are delivered. The navy simply doesn’have the budget to build both classes at the same time. This is entirely down to HMG’s lack of funding The Conservatives are ideologically into a smaller state with minimum public spending, so every public service has had its budget slashed over the last 10 years, with defence one of the hardest-hit. They rely on the gullible public, led by the raucous Tory tabloids, o blame the MOD, the navy, the admirals, the shipyards, anyone other than the real culprits, the… Read more »

Nicholas
Guest
Nicholas

An interesting tactic seems to be to run something to a point when it either breaks or nearly breaks and then to great fanfare add some more funding which doesn’t quite get it back to where it was.

School Bully
Guest
School Bully

Time for a laugh …

Is the guy on the top in yellow actually Tomkinson from ‘Ripping Yarns’, constructing his 1:1 scale model?

(I’ll get m’coat …)

billythefish
Guest
billythefish

Does the picture show the day shift? I hope they have a few more on nights…

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

The picture was published Sunday morning, so they’re probably at church.

Ian
Guest
Ian

They are on a tea break

expat
Guest
expat

It’s worth noting its not 10 years to build a T26. The first T26 was started in July 2017 whilst they were still building the Batch 2, so would think the yard was at capacity split between the final Batch 2s and first T26. With the focus on ensuring the Batch 2s met the required time cost and quality. This would account for some of the speed of the build. Yes you could have increase the speed of the T26 but then that would have created a temporary capacity problem whilst the B2 were finished, option to fulfil this would… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

let her taste sea water asap

Ian
Guest
Ian

Can anyone tell me have all 6 Type 45s ever been to sea at the same time , would not getting these fixed be a faster way to a bigger fleet , sooner?

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

If I was putting money on it is say definitely not.

Dern
Guest
Dern

No but that’s not because they’ve been broken, but because putting your entire destoryer fleet to sea at the same time is a great way of guarenteeing that in 6 months when all are refueling and have their crews on leave you won’t have any of them available to respond to unforseen crises.