First in class Type 26 Frigate HMS Glasgow recently hit two big milestones with the warships funnel and composite mast successfully lifted into place, say BAE Systems.

The firm tweeted:

“First in Class, Type 26 HMS Glasgow hit two big milestones this week in our UK shipyard with her funnel and composite mast successfully lifted into place, changing the city skyline once again.”

Last year, Umoe Mandal was awarded a contract for three shipsets of composite mast and SCOT Sponsons structures for the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Frigates, designed and manufactured by BAE Systems. The Type 26 represents the future backbone of the Royal Navy and eight of the class are planned, starting with HMS Glasgow. The eight ships will replace the eight dedicated anti-submarine Type 23 frigates which will reach the end of their active lives by the mid 2030s.

When will the ship be ready?

A National Audit Office report entitled ‘Improving the performance of major equipment contracts‘ has shed some light on major projects, including the Type 26 Frigate.

The NAO claim it sought to identify the causes, and explain the consequences, of cost overruns and schedule delays in the contracts for some of the most significant equipment programmes and to examine how the Ministry of Defence and industry teams are working to improve delivery.

You can read more below.

HMS Glasgow to enter service 12 months sooner than planned

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Goldilocks
Goldilocks
1 month ago

Only 5 years to go!

Daniel Leeming
Daniel Leeming
9 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

Less than 5 years actually

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago

The paint shop should prime the sections in “Lego” colours first, that would brighten up the skyline!

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

Don’t say that you’ll have Whitehall looking into a LEGO feasibility study for future surface warfare assets we’ve all seen the LEGO movie

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

Why was the mast made of composite and not a metal structure? Is it a weight saving measure? And why wasn’t it made in the UK?

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I imagine that it is 2 things – to limit top hamper & reduce radar returns. From what I understand it’s common practice these days.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

It the same people who made the T45 mast. As you can see from the photo the top of it is composite and the bottom is steel. It is indeed to reduce top-weight and RCS. The market for this kind of thing is really tiny. As far as I know there is only this company that specialises in this kind of composite. It is a totally different composite layup approach to say F1 or fighter jet parts that we can make in the UK. This is also not just a simple fibreglass boat hull lay up but a highly stressed… Read more »

Bob
Bob
27 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Wasn’t made in UK because of cost .and made of composite because of weight and radar consideration and it also stronger that metal equivalent

Reaper
Reaper
1 month ago

Great looking lump. I’m almost more exited to see what weapons it will carry than see it pound the waves.

With the mk41 VLS just the threat of carrying some missiles aboard like Cruise will act as a deterrent too.
And am I right these cost 1.23 billion each??? 1 billion more than type 31??

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  Reaper

No you are incorrect. About 800 million each which is a little over two type 31’s.

But don’t forget Type 26’s can catch and sink nuclear submarines. The Type 31’s can only go, “there’s a sub about??”.

Reaper
Reaper
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron5

Yeah type 31s should Atleast get the type 23s torpedo tubes and gear.

And the cost of type 26, i suppose it depends on what figures you read and how they are calculated minus design ect, on Wikipedia for ex it says 1.23 billion each Or 9.87b for 8 units. I know design must be added in but still look to be over 1 billion each ship.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Reaper

How exactly are you going to fit T23 MTLS into T31?
MTLS IS 4 hoofing big shock mounted tubes, 2 per side laying side by side. There is a massive air powered torpedo handling system to get the torpedo out of the racks and into the tubes… Then there are the bloody great bulkhead mounted doors for the tubes…

You are better off buying a son of STWS and working out how to load torpedoes into it

PS… ex airweapons maintainer for STWS 1,2,3 and MTLS!!!

Reaper
Reaper
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Ok I’ll take your word for it.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Reaper

😉👍

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Oh and in orter to use the T23 MTLS you need to be well within the killing range of a submarine already.

And you need to be able to see a target to shoot torpedoes at it… at which point… Merlin with Stingray is a better solution for Type 31 anyway?

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron5

Surely T31s have ASW helos for the delicate task of dispatching SSNs?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Or a – torpedo armed drone; and – sonar buoy carrying drone Would do the job? These are no longer on the fantasy list as BAE, and others, are working on them. As for fixed sonar let’s see what is announced. The hull can take it. The final fit out for IN SERVICE use has not been announced and everything else is speculation based on a few renders. Given the major moves to up arm other platforms I think it will be interesting as in the great scheme of things it won’t cost that much and before someone bleats about… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

Working on Hunts and doing dome changes raising and lowering the sonar was bloody tedious for godsake don’t drop the bolts was the cry

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago

I think the T31s will come sold as seen as an exercise to prove that a ship can be built on time and to budget. I’ll be very surprised to see them stay as they’re delivered. Possibly a couple of years at sea then in for an upgrade.

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Hopefully we follow the shipbuilding strategy and flog them on before a major refit and build more.

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I seriously hope you are right Daveyb but as history has shown, what would the RN have to give up in return? Rob Peter to pay Paul is the way of things in British defence circles. Despite the recent headlines, there never seems to be any real new money – just a different spin on the existing.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I agree they will come out of the yard and through acceptance as ordered to prove the £££ point.

What happens after that is another question.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago

Or just put a merlin on board?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

As per ATH below – limited Merlins.

Merlins are also not a part of the modernisation agenda…..

Dern
Dern
1 month ago

No but the option exists right now if it was needed, which is worth remembering.

ATH
ATH
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Could have. The have both a big flight deck and hangar. This would easily support a Merlin detachment.

But

The U.K. only have a limited number of Merlins which have to support carrier ops for both anti sub and AEW before any are allocated to frigate flights. Those that are on frigates are likely on the T23/26 anti sub units.

So whilst we may occasionally see a T31 with Merlin embarked it will not be an at all regular thing.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  ATH

Thanks for the info maybe rotary Drones would be the alternative and sorry too say cheaper option won’t require SMAC trained Dabbers or flight crew

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  ATH

Shame that the lynx couldn’t of been saved for just ASW

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

T31 is FFBNW bow sonar. As I understand things if this was fitted it could detect the rough position of a sub and direct a Wildcat close enough to drop its Stingray homing torpedo.

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul.P
Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I remember the joys of Ikara and our overeager car who was an ex F4 observer He had the idea that we should convert them into surface to surface anti exocet weapons now I know why they were called JAFO’S Ikara the joy of not having your own Helo when you come across a Sub

Reaper
Reaper
1 month ago
Reply to  ATH

It’s the commando merlins that do the dedicated SAR at sea and personnel recovery isn’t it? Makes sense considering they are the best trained chopper pilots in the navy.

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Frankly, T31 doesn’t have much of anything…

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  David

Can still dress ship though at least that will do for the Sales brochures

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  David

T31 will be a credible patrol frigate with excellent point self defence. It’s 57mm and 2 x 40mm have programmable ammunition and can deal with both AShM swarm and/or FAC swarm out to the horizon. It is not intended to defend other ships but it does carry a few Sea Ceptor for limited local area defence out to 25km. If it has a Wildcat with Martlet and Sea Venom it will be able to disable corvette size targets at distance from day 1. I’m sure there will be upgrade projects to fit an active sonar and an AShM which will… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I simply dont get this “up to corvette sized target”
If you put 4 x Skua into a Frigate of 5000T+ it was going to have a really bad day. The same goes for its replacement Sea Venom which is longer ranged and is aimable to hit specific areas of the ship. Aim for any combination of the bridge, intakes/downtakes or funnel, hangar or radars and thats a mission kill.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yeh, point taken. I was parroting the Sea Venom sales brochure. No-one ever seems to mention that the Wildcat radar can see a long way. The Wildcat + radar + Venom missile is a system that enables a strike at a range way beyond that of most deck launched AShM.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Forget the radar…thats detectable. With the ESM fit you can get an EW bearing line and use the PID in the nose to look see at the target. The PID’s ability to see a target at very long range is scary.
No radar, no emissions required, launch your missiles and with the IR Imaging homing your target needs to detect them on radar to know they are inbound.

Paul.P
Paul.P
28 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Ah yes. I forget about that: copying nature’s sensing….

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I hear I-SSGW will be put onto General Purpose T23 first, but these are being decommisoned first – so will probably be migrated onto the T31, giving it a decent land attack and AShmMcapability.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I do not see the point of building a 5700-ton ship that is not equipped to fight other surface vessels of similar size and modern submarines. They could never be sent to near-peer battle.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Agree T31 is vulnerable to submarines until it acquires an active sonar. As I wrote above I don’t expect that to take long. Although it might sound daft the main purpose of the T31 project isn’t so much to build a world class frigate as it is to forge a new MOD procurement process; to break out of the single supplier / requirements / cost plus / project plan / change the requirements / rinse and repeat cycle which has bedevilled us for so long. We needed a new faster procurement model…rough mission scope / set budget / competitive proposals… Read more »

Dan C
Dan C
29 days ago

But realistically, do they need to be sent to near-peer battle?

It seems to me that near-peer battle isn’t often a concern and for when it is, that’s what the type 26s, 45s, carriers and astutes are for.

The 31s on the other hand seem perfect for the navy’s other obligations (patrol, anti-piracy, etc). So building the cheaper 31s frees up the larger assets for more demanding tasks.

Reaper
Reaper
1 month ago
Reply to  David

Apart from tonnage.

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron5

Without any active sonar, Type 31 won’t know about a sub until its hit by its Torpedoes. Having said that, Type 26 might detect it, but so far, other than its helo, it doesn’t actually have any ASW weapons?

Reaper
Reaper
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

The type 45s sonar were taken off, why don’t we nick them for the 31s..

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Reaper

I understand for some strange reason, that they are not active, as opposed to removed? Is this related to the power issues?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

Nothing to do with power.

All to do with the quality of the kit fitted and having another team of bodies on board needed elsewhere.

Given that the grown ups seem to have smelled the strong coffee being brewed in AUS: I’d be unsurprised if some of these cheap-to-fix deficiencies are not sorted in short order.

Given that recruitment is good trades deficiencies can be fixed.

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago

You woukd like to think so……no point in being a first rate AAW destroyer if you can’t detect the presence of an enemy sub until its torps hit you….

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul42
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

A number of T23 had MTLS and even some had Sonar placed in hibernation for a time. The tasking that they had meant it wasn’t required at the time so they moved the TAS apes and Maintainers onto ships that did need them.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
1 month ago
Reply to  Reaper

The first batch of three T26 is a £3.6 program. The five T31 program is a £2B program. So, average program cost of T26 “as of now” is £1.2B, and that of T31 is £400M. T31 states its unit cost is £250M average, but also noted it does not include SeaCeptor in that calculation. There is no information of the similarly-difined “unit cost” of T26. As T26 is brand new British design, and in general, detailed design cost of a new ship is much more expensive than a single unit cost, T26 unit cost can be “assumed” to be £800-900M.… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by donald_of_tokyo
Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
1 month ago

Good Progress.

Steve M
Steve M
29 days ago
Reply to  Expat

That sounds like the stanflex system the Danes use? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/StanFlex

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
1 month ago

Has Glasgow had her gearboxes fitted? The last I heard the mega blocks had been joined without the overdue gearboxes being fitted, which was going to result in holes being cut in her sides to insert them later.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago

We do it all the time for access into Commercial ships. Its usually the easiest and most straight forward way to get big items in and out.
Fitting the gear boxes before the blocks where joined would have been better but the joys of procurement and sequencing obviously didnt match on the project plan!

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Agree with everything you say but do we know if the gearboxes have been fitted yet?

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago

According to NavyLookout they have,but access Holes had to be Cut into Her on the Ramp.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

I can sea which ever platform wins the new medium lift helo contract, that once the army/RAF orders are completed a naval version will be added as both platforms already in use as SAR. Also drone tech rapidly coming to fruition that drones are now going to be the new ASW platform.