One of the largest buildings in the country, the new frigate factory at the BAE Systems shipyard in Govan, Glasgow, is taking shape.

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

The new ‘frigate factory’ will consist of more than 6,000 tonnes of steel and 20,000m3 of concrete. It will be able to fit two Type 26 Frigates side by side.

Below is how the site looked last 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 wil allow ships to be built indoors, protecting them against the elements and would form part of an effort to modernise the yard. In terms of dimensions, the 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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Bob
Bob (@guest_824605)
3 days ago

Can’t help thinking SpaceX would have had an operational facility by now 🙃

Expat
Expat (@guest_824626)
3 days ago
Reply to  Bob

But it would have exploded 5 times in the process 😀

Brian Patten
Brian Patten (@guest_824630)
3 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Are you joking. This is Britain. Planning, design and construction is on a perpetual path of getting longer, costlier and more complex. Few developments are super rapid.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_824642)
3 days ago
Reply to  Brian Patten

This has gone up fairly quickly though. They’ll start using it for Belfasts assembly once the roof goes up.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_824670)
2 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

That roof will be on very quickly.

Used to do warehouse builds and that sort of thing is faster than you would think from the areas involved.

There are whole companies that specialise in putting the insulated panels on the roof.

I do think the contractor has some, sensible and positive, incentives in place.

Fen Tiger
Fen Tiger (@guest_824677)
2 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

The Aeroplane?

Bob
Bob (@guest_824721)
2 days ago
Reply to  Brian Patten

The clue was at the end of the sentence.

Coll
Coll (@guest_824718)
2 days ago
Reply to  Bob

I don’t know, the technology park building is going up quickly next to Cammell Laird.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_824744)
2 days ago
Reply to  Bob

It’s dead easy to build a new facility if you have a suitable large green field site, with well an ideal location and geology. Unfortunately in the U.K we built the Industrial Revolution on all of those sites and have to shoe horn, improvise and adapt what we have to what we need. Life would have been far simpler if the Facility could have been set further back, unfortunately the building already in place is listed. So fill in a dock that had been previously excavated and get piling. To be quite honest it’s really impressive bearing mind what they… Read more »

Brian Patten
Brian Patten (@guest_824629)
3 days ago

Always been kind of surprised that the building isn’t taller. But I guess the design is well planned to allow for what they expect to construct over the coming decade with fitting out to continue at Scotstoun.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_824644)
3 days ago
Reply to  Brian Patten

I think the Masts will still be installed outside, I can see why they wouldn’t make room for those, they’re generally the outlier on the ship when it comes to height and would cause unessecary growth in the space required.

Last edited 3 days ago by Hugo
Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_824758)
2 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

With masts now moving towards being Composite it is a no brainer. T26 masts are made in Norway and floated on a barge over to the UK for installation.

david anthony simpson
david anthony simpson (@guest_824687)
2 days ago
Reply to  Brian Patten

and with some extra capacity remaining next door if they really need it

DB
DB (@guest_824633)
3 days ago

That is some capacity BAE are adding. Barrow is getting another Hall iirc.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_824746)
2 days ago
Reply to  DB

Have you ever seen the assembly halls at Norfolk or Groton ? DH dwarfs them, which always surprised me as US is always assumed to have everything bigger and better.
New Hall at Barrow ! Are you talking about the Dova Dock ?

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_824649)
3 days ago

Good to see this progress. We need 3rd & 4th T26 laid down asap. Not sure we can afford a break in RN T26 builds for Norwiegan T26s. Our T23s are beyond their sell by dates, especially with far less than minimum escorts in our fleet thanks to the “party of defence”.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts (@guest_824650)
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

3rd and 4th i.e Belfast and Birmingham, are already in progress

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_824653)
3 days ago

Thanks Bringer of Facts. I assume modules fabricated in the existing sheds waiting for transfer to the new frigate hall once completed.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_824657)
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Belfast is starting to be assembled in the current hall and will be finished in the new one. Birmingham is probably still pieces but steel was cut a while ago.

A good point that’s been made about the Norway deal is that they’ll essentially be doing the same tasks in the same region as some of our Frigates are so a gap would be manageable.
Though obviously no guarantee we win

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_824669)
2 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

The other POV is that with T26 build accelerating and no sign of T83 maturity something has to fill up the build slots?

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_824674)
2 days ago

Also true. Much as we’d like it there probably won’t be any more UK T26, so getting more orders in will hopefully keep the shipyard going. Guess Roysth will have to aim for something like MRSS

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_824675)
2 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

It isn’t like there is nothing to build.

T31 isn’t really expensive and T32 could be little more than that really maybe with a mission bay and Mk41.

Everyone agrees more frigates are needed and more VLS capacity is needed.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_824691)
2 days ago

I mean as it stands there is nothing to build. If MRSS is struggling to get funding for even the amount of ships needed I don’t see where we’re gonna get more frigates.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_824748)
2 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

MRSS build is not due yet, it’s supposed to follow on from the FSS for funding.

Jon
Jon (@guest_824836)
1 day ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Where does the second MROSS fit in? I’m assuming any more MCM motherships (castles?) will be conversion jobs, but the second MROSS was definitely supposed to be bespoke.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_824747)
2 days ago

SB I’m not feeling very comfortable about what’s happening up at Rosyth at present ! 1st one should have been in water Q4 23, then that went back to Q1 24 and we are nearly in Q3 and still no news.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_824762)
2 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I agree…..to a point.

There might just be a reason for that…..connected with the renegotiation……Mk41…..Sea Ceptor…..’n’-stuff……

Or maybe not and it is turning into a shambles.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_824830)
2 days ago

I asked George on if there was any chance of an update. His answer was “we have been in but not allowed to take photos” which is interesting.
It could be that she is all painted up and soon to emerge, or not ?
Thunderous Silence on all fronts. 🤔

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_824845)
1 day ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Something is going on that is for sure.

Delayed for sure but might be for very good reasons!

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_824751)
2 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

It’s no different to the US allowing RAN to buy or leave 3 Virginia SSNs, it really doesn’t matter as long as they all fight together if necessary. So we have to wait a little while longer to get all 8, that’s still working dojng exactly the same job in exactly the same water. Just not crewed by us.

Mark P
Mark P (@guest_824807)
2 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Has Belfast’s build been slowed slightly so the new build hall had time to be built?

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_824835)
1 day ago
Reply to  Mark P

Don’t think so. Until Cardiff moves they can’t get the Belfast chunks into it. And they can still build it upto full halves of the ship, they may well do that before moving it

Last edited 1 day ago by Hugo
Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts (@guest_824673)
2 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

First steel cut on Belfast June 2021 and April 2023 for Birmingham.

AFAIK Belfast is currently in 3 to 4 large sections and some of, Birmingham’s module work is being shared by A&P on the Tyne and at Cammell Laird.

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_824700)
2 days ago

Thanks for the details BoF & others. Glad we’re not just kicking our heals while we wait for the frigate hall to be finished. We actually have a plan!

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_824750)
2 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Sir Simon Lister of BAe is no mug, he smells an opportunity to leverage exports onto the RN T26 build.