Israeli firm Plasan have announced that they have signed a contract with BAE Systems, to provide armour for the Type 26 Frigate fleet.

The company, which describes itself as a ‘global leader in offering safer vehicle environments and survivability solutions; says armour production for the first three ships is anticipated to begin this year.

The new Type 26 Frigate designed and built by BAE Systems is the new class selected for the replacement of eight anti-submarine frigates of the Duke class currently in service with the Royal Navy.

The Type 26 will provide increased capability and flexibility through innovative design that includes a multi role mission bay, large flight deck and hangar that will be able to exploit a range of manned and unmanned systems. There will also be great scope for future development.

Plasan’s armour technology, flexibility and innovation is well suited to the Type 26 approach and has helped to secure this important programme say BAE.

“The quality and production processes within Plasan underpin the confidence that has been shown in selecting Plasan’s solution. Working together with Design Authority partners has strengthened the ethos of Plasan’s success.”

84 COMMENTS

  1. So we can’t even produce our own ship’s armour now?

    What happened to the UK’s ability to design and create what we needed and by doing so created jobs and new capabilities? Why are we SO quick to jog off to foreign countries to ‘buy in’ key equipment and give them employment and profits? Foreign countries that will follow their priorities not ours and may one day be our foes. If they are supplying the protection systems then they will know better than others how to defeat it. Or even worse be happy sell that defeating capability to our enemies.

    I will say again at the risk of abuse I am not happy about buying military kit from Israel at all for many reasons. But surely anyone can see this is a step too far?

    • Exactly Chris, they have done this in all fields e.g. closing all of Britain’s train making factories down knowing full well we will always need trains so now we have to go cap in hand to a foreign company every single time we want trains from now until forever.
      It is time to start building Britain’s industries back up.

      • As you raised Trains, I used the much hyped (before their limitations were revealed) Pendolinos last September only to be (after the initial gloss) immensely underwhelmed by them. They were noisy, ride is inferior to ancient 125 and 225 last ‘British’ designs and indeed the older Bombardier British built trains on the same West Coast line (and they are tilting too by the way). How the hell 40 odd years later a foreign design is fundamentally worse than what we built but we no longer build British designed trains. Worse still bad on a British technology that we actually sold to them. The 125/225 after all these years give a good comfortable and quiet service yet apparently didn’t give us the confidence to continue our own capabilities. Only in Britain where it seems saving money is all about not actually building anything in the first place.
        Don’t know if that lack of self confidence in our own abilities is rife in this particular decision but a country once proud of its heritage in such matters is effectively humiliated by now letting a country with no blue water fleet do something so crucial for our own. Doesn’t bode well for the future of GB plc. Rant over.

        My only question is what does this ‘armour’ actually amount to in terms of the T26? seems very ‘Dreadnought’ by nature.

        • I tend to agree the Pendolinos are terrible, the number of times I’ve almost been sick on the WCML, it’s classic Branson marketing guff, mutton dressed as lamb.

          I’ve hopes for the new Hitachis being built in the Northeast, sure it started as a ckd plant but they look serious and there for the longterm.

      • Sorry i did relies we had closed the 4 current site and the new proposed site by Talgo
        Hitachi plant in Newton Aycliffe
        Bombardier historic facility in Derby.
        Siemens plant in Hebburn, South Tyneside,
        Alstom plant in Widnes
        CAF new plant in Newport

          • You said that all the train factories in the UK have been shut. They haven’t. You didn’t say anything about who owns them. Also, we don’t go to them “cap in hand”, it’s them who come to us as they want us to buy their trains. You have a warped idea of the relationship between customers and sellers…..

      • In fact a new train factory is in Wales and our capability in train production is secured than in past years

        Steel making and Armour plating are a totally different situation where government relaince on public sector demonstrates military requirements are vastly different than trains¡

    • Chris, I know that economics is a ‘dismal science’ if it’s a science at all? However since about 1776 it has provided us with a useful insight into human action and the mutual gains of free trade. That is why we are all richer wearing Italian shoes, Chinese jeans, drinking French wine, using US computers etc (see D. Ricardo). So the RN is more effective buying US fighters, Isreali armour, German widgets etc when it deems that these items are necessary. If there are UK producers who can supply these goods to an equivalent quality and price then there is no reason they would not be selected suppliers. In the meantime the kind of short sighted protectionist views you seem to be supporting would leave us all poorer and the RN far less competent in carrying out its duties.

      • Excellent.

        Could also point out that Israel buys plenty of military equipment from UK companies. And plenty of kit from other countries with British content. Like their F-35’s.

        Can’t help but think these little Englander comments are posted by people with motives to stir up trouble rather than any patriotic spirit.

        • Ron5 – I was asking a very simple question and challenging the ‘received wisdom’ that says we must always ‘buy foreign’. And for the record having worked for a few decades in Global Logistics and lived and worked in 3 foreign countries I know a bit about how it works. Hardly a ‘Little Englander’ trait surely?

          Its always a shame when people like you resort to ad hominem, stereotypical abuse and fail to address the question raised. So go shove your ‘Little Englander’ comments where the sun don’t shine.

        • Ron 5 “little Englander”? Nice little piece of anti British propaganda. You sound like a politically correct moron.

      • Indeed. The world has changed. Once we had industrial conglomerates who did everything from food to oil refineries to drill bits but now the modern trend is to focus on core competencies. Be a master of a few things rather than average at many because, if you are average at a lot of things, the niche players who do nothing but will beat you at . That is probably even more true now when the internet and social media diminish the PR gap for the niche player to cross in getting their messages out to the market. The same has become true on a country scale. As another example look at UK Olympic strategy and the brutal way in which funding is concentrated on sports that are most likely to produce medalists.

        The U.K. is still world class at many things (and many of them in my opinion likely to be jeopardised by Brexit, e.g. pharma and finance). Buying a specific component from another country is not the end of the world. We can’t be world-class in everything and our service men and women deserve world class equipment from the keel up (plus whatever sound bites work for the Army and RAF).

        • Julian. That’s just it though, the “World” hasn’t changed, we are the only ones who have destroyed our heavy industries. Other European countries are not doing this. France, Germany and Italy still have massive heavy industries in several fields. They all have several car makers of their own, all of ours are foreign owned. They all have massive steel industries, ours is tiny (even tiny little Belgium produces more), they all have big commercial shipbuilding industries building cruise ships, we don’t, France and Germany design and build their own trains, we don’t, etc., etc., etc.
          We are also a major European country, we have been humiliated. Whatever policies are in place that are allowing them to do this, put them in place in our country. It is time to rebuild Britain’s industries with modern, state of the art facilities.

      • Bill Kenny – I think there is a world of difference between me buying a pair of shoes made in Italy and the Royal Navy depending on a foreign supplier for key defence of its new Frigates. There is nothing ‘protectionist’ about me or my politics at all. I am asking a question (well 4 actually) and not actually making a statement. Maybe you missed that? There are some manufacturing capabilities that should NEVER be imported. And key military equipment (like armour plating) is one of them for the very obvious reason I gave

        And yes I would prefer us to build our own fighters but we no longer have the volume of purchases to allow the economics to work so 20% of something called the F-35 is better than 100% of ‘not a lot’. Yes I did do economics years ago and its not ‘dismal’ by any means. Although Mk I Lotus 123 spreadsheets did help enormously

        • Chris why is it that people who insist on the last word always chose with so little care?? I genuinely doubt you have seriously studied economics or you would have at least recognised the origin of the ‘dismal science’quote. Not to mention the theory of comparative advantage because that is first year undergraduate level. Because ever since David Ricardo we know about comparative advantage whether it is italian shoes, German widgets or the very computer you are using today to peddle protectionism. Those same undergraduates would also recognise your reference to Lotus Spreadsheet as book Keeping not economics.
          The RN clearly have far better advice than being offered by yourself and that is why they adopt purchasing policies they do. So no doubt these comments now fall into your ad hom attack category which you use to attack others!! I leave you the last word with little confidence you can chose it well.

          • Bill Kenny – Last things first: Making a contribution is not ‘having the last word’. That is just some petty phrase you felt the need to add.

            Where exactly did I make ANY “ad hom attack”?? Nowhere in my reply to you at all. But then its always open season for ‘really clever people’ to throw in false statements to make themselves look ‘clever’ I guess. (That by the way was a personal criticism not ‘ad hominem’ abuse).

            Quite why you feel the need for some rather superior and sarcastic comments I don’t know. All I will add is caring for your home industries, jobs and manufacturing is not ‘protectionist’ and as I pointed out I did work for global companies so I am neither the ‘little Englander’ or ‘the Protectionist’. I am for fairness and proper costing of manufacturing here rather than exporting valuable jobs abroad on some dubious ‘price benefit’

            And as for saying Lotus 123 spreadsheets are ‘book Keeping not economics’ its a shame your sense of humour abandoned you and, again, felt the need to be sarcastic. And not only that but profoundly wrong. Lotus and its later copy Excel are immensely flexible and powerful tools. And, when I did 30 year NPV analyses with multi layer variables for a £250 Mn rail project 15 years ago that formed the basis of a Ministerial decision, I doubt that was classified as ‘book keeping’.

            Oh and this may come as a major surprise to you but one does not have to have been to University to ‘have done Economics’….

          • All the more reason not to allow our own technological base atrophy. I am growing ever more suspicious of the volume of enthusiastic posts.

          • The nations existence is founded on and continued expansion depends on religious cleansing. Isreal cannot exist without violently ejecting and murdering people of other religions.Where do you think that the Palestinian refugees come from?Hardly democratic. This site is obviously infected by mossadbots,even cruder than Putin’s dollar a post efforts to clog up Bellingcat.

      • marc – I could give you a very long discussion on that but I studiously avoided making my comments ‘anti-Isreal’ here. I was simply observing we seem to keen to pay people in foreign lands to supply kit we should really be developing and manufacturing ourselves.

  2. Best guess that will be bolt on ceramic/kevlar plates on the internal bulkheads of critical above water compartments, magazines and any structure that is made from composites or aluminum such as the main mast and fore mast

    • Thanks for the (possible) explanation. That was my first thought though as we pretty much invented ceramic armour and still years later boast about it on our tanks one does wonder how we now have to buy such a product from the Israelis, not to mention the question of their Industrial espionage techniques hovering overhead the whole subject ironically.

        • See Jonathon Pollard ,Smyth and thousands of other cases. Also planeloads and shiiploads of kit they shipped to Argentina during the Falklands campaign .Rated 3rd behind only China and Russia by the US intelligence agencies. I would be surprised if some of these posts defending Isreali contracts did not originate in some way from Isrealibots.

        • Ron5 – Being concerned for, and pointing out, the obvious possibility that Israel only looks after one country and that may not be entirely in the UK’s interests is not ‘wearing a tinfoil hat’! Especially as we have no control over any future role Israel may play with others against our interests in the Middle East (for example)

          Israel will look after itself above all others (including the USA) and I actually do not have a problem with that but if its OK for them to have this position why not the UK?

          Maybe address the problem not attack the person?

  3. This is good news guys. Take it as just that. In principle I’m happier when we buy from non-US companies for the simple reason that without exception we actually own it and can do what we like with it. This just doesn’t happen with anything remotely high – tech from the US. Just as 1 example the F35. Cracking piece of kit as it is even if we want to change the windscreen wipers or the ashtray we’re going to have to get their permission for it. You can’t own anything high tech from the US you just have it on lease.

    • I’m not sure that applies to the UK in regards to the f35, as a partner in the actual development we had a pretty big bust up a good few years ago with the US around sovereign ownership. When congressional oversight got all iffy around the UK being able to access and modify F35 code, we threatened to walk as a development partner and it got smelly for a bit.

      So I’m pretty sure in the end what our billions in development costs invested in this program purchased was the ability to open the box up if we wanted.

      But you are right no other operator of the F35 will be able to mess with code ect.

      • Jonathan – Good point well made. The access to everything issue was about the only good thing that came out of the Bush / Blair pair…

        And why the UK actually wrote a very high % of the last software upgrades (according to official F-35 sources)

    • Four letters…. ITAR

      If its US made and on the Munitions Control List you suddenly have a whole self perpetuating monster of export and access control for the equipment.
      Only certain nationalities have access to the kit, you control documentation ,storage of spares and access to them even discussions between people are covered.
      Search BAe ITAR criminal case in the US. A massive fine and they came close to losing access to the US Market. Even people selling Mil Surplus on ebay have fallen foul of the rules.
      So if you can avoid buying US Kit you do it to avoid ITAR.

  4. Well Israel supplies there body armour for the British Army under the product name Virtus, why should it be any different for the Royal Navy?

  5. I don’t get the constant complaining about buying abroad. We do not have the volume of purchases to protect our own native production, unless we massively subside it, which in turn means massively more expensive ships and ultimately less of them.

    Whilst it would be great if we could design, build and produce all our equipment locally, i would rather we get the gear cheaper and so in turn gear our armed forces the best we can. The days of being able to ramp up production in the event of a war and churn out gear has long gone, items are just too complex now to be mass produced.

    • Steve the issue with buying abroad is it costs more but our accounting/procurement processes don’t take this into account. If you look at it related to the total cost to the county, in effect a UK product could be significantly more expensive to purchase than a from say the US but actually end up costing HMG/Uk Plc less.

      The issue is we only look at the bottom line for a specific budget line in isolation from the rest of the system and within that tax year. It’s a hold over from 1980 right wing dogma that works well for simple profit/loss accounting in year or for short term budget management of simple systems. But it’s played Hell with the complex systems like the health care system and military industrial complex (we have forgotten that wars are won and lost on the back of industrial capacity as well as political will and the size and quality of your uniformed services).

      Grossly simplified rules:

      Pay the US 100billion for procurement.
      it all goes…..total cost 100billion.
      You loss that capability as British firm closes all related contracts now have to go to US,who can now screw you on all new contracts. rotor is a good example, if getting our latest fleet from the us costs us our only rotor factory we start getting screwed and are always forced to spend our cash abroad.
      All of theses complex capabilities are linked lose one bit the rest of the supply chain suffers.
      The whole economy of a specific Town, area may suffer, loss of tax income to HMRC, local government HMG end up paying out on welfare for unemployed in area, retraining support, jacking up the lose of local government tax take.

      Pay a UK firm 150billion ( 33% more, no way the public cry)
      150 billion payed
      U.K. Firm and supply chain stay in business, from the 150 billion payed UK companies pay corporation tax on profits, invest in business ect.
      Employees income pay tax to HMRC.
      Company and employees all pay VAT on purchases to HMRC.
      Company has ability to sell to other countries generating revenue to HMRC as above.

      Effectively it may cost more to buy a UK product but the HMRC will get a goodly percent of that back in tax and the U.K. Will be in a position to sell stuff to others generating more r
      Tax revenue.

      Purchasing abroad to the lowest bidder has gutted a lot of complex industries in the UK and cost us in money, jobs, lost revenue, wealfare and retraining ect ect.

        • I don’t really need to justify why I post here. But in regards to making a difference I work in a complex system and every day I try to improve efficient use of public money, I’m also actively involved in politics, am an active member of a political party and keep myself informed, I’m also not aversed to sending snotigrams to my local MP (on a number of issues), ministers of state and the PM ( only once). I’ve even waved a big banner in front of an X PM ( on Brighton sea front) and been interviewed on TV about why me and my team had taken time out to banner wave. I’ve undertaken such activities in regards to politicians of all strips ( red, blue and yellow), as its a public duty to keep them honest ( including those in the party I’m a member of).

          So yep I’ve done my bit to support democracy…… Cheers

        • TH, do you ever say anything remotely interesting?
          Stop cutting and pasting the same post.
          Your not happy with people posting, you know what to do, stop reading, drone.

      • Completely agree. The UK has a culture of short term asset stripping with too little regard to longterm skills development and investment in the community as a whole.

      • Other allied countries believe the same like the French & Americans. It’s just the Oxbridge lovies in the Treasury that impose their short term view on the country. You would think their total lack of a winning track record would clue them in but no.

    • Like Jonathan says, if you buy from a foreign country all the money goes there, if we buy from a British company the money stays in our country.
      Also we can sell our things to other countries and actually MAKE money doing it this way.

  6. Israel appears to be developing some very impressive technology lately.
    Would rather see the best material/technology for the job, than a lesser/inferior (UK) alternative.
    This could be the exact type of trade we benefit from, when/should we fully leave the EU.

      • Depends in what you get in echange for the price you pay.
        Maybe you should start to look at competency, capabilities and knowledge that British schools make for their clients – i use clients on propose – and their culture, or better look at your culture.

    • Who says ours would automatically be “lesser/inferior”? If Britain done things for ourselves there is every chance others would be lesser/inferior.

  7. This is a disgrace,the UK can easily produce its own armour and has a bigger home market than Isreal.There are endless moral and strategic reasons not to by from them,but worst of all they have a habit using our money to develop their own product,reverse engineering,outright espionage and selling this technology to our sworn enemies. Missile aiming systems,UAVs, radar,missiles and armoured vehicles are sovereign technology. Its virtually certain that lucrative and strategically important active protection systems will also be handed to them on a plate. I am suspicious about all these contracts following the Pridi Patel affair,when she thought it would be alright to allow the IDF to dip its hand into our foreign aid budget. Despite all the support for Isreal on these pages,the democratic wish of the nation is that we do not support their arms industry while they continue to defy UN mandates.

    • Right that was an interesting paranoid rant to say the least!

      Firstly when it comes to Israel selling arms to our sworn enemies I presume you are referring to events in the South Atlantic 36 years ago. Firstly they were not the only countries doing that, France for example. We won that war and I am happy to move on frankly. Lets face it we have sold plenty of arms to sworn enemies of Israel over the years so I don’t think we are particularly in a position to preach over that point.

      As for using our money to develop weapons, they hardly need to do that. The US Aid they get handsomely pays for that!

      As for your initial idea that the UK has a bigger market than Israel for Armour or in this case composite applied armour you couldn’t be more wrong! Israel has a significantly larger market for specialised lightweight composite armour, local security problems make that a necessity! That is why a private Israeli firm (owned by a Village/Kibbutz) is a world leader in this field. They sell their products globally and US Army MRAP vehicles use their armour.

      Am I apologist for Israel? No, the festering sore that is the occupied West Bank and the Gaza blockade is a major driver for instability in the Middle East. Nevertheless this deal makes sense, as others have pointed out these days it is about assembly and integration rather than owning the entire supply chain within a firm.

    • To develop weapons you start with to need a culture that respects weapons.

      That is completely absent from British culture of today dominated by Marxist mantras – which incidentally does not have any problems with weapon culture when they get to power; see also how they and the media they are in are so obsequious to Russian warfare – so expect to be worse supplying the British armed forces in the future.

      Because England has no culture for that.

      Concerning protectionism, look at protectionist Italy, by1940 still with an biplane fighter force mostly.

      Btw i expect another heart shock when due to replace the individual soldier weapon in British Army. Which btw the French lost also the capability to.

      Another example the Challenger tank will be “improved” with no English main tech concerning the main gun, or APS – which could very well be Israeli like in M1 US tank.
      Right now the main tank of British Army is incapable of being in moderate conflict with anti tank missiles.

      • Two points, please delete/insert British for English, as it’s not hard to utilise the correct terminology when describing a country, and secondly while the Chally is old and requires a serious updating it’s armour and safety is still the best in the world. I would rather be in a chally than a leopard 2 for example, when the AAGW are thrown about.

    • Hey grubbie you use the same avatar name on the Save the Royal Navy site, and you post absolute piffle there also, trying to stir up trouble acting like a little sad troll.

  8. The head up display in the F22 Raptor is made by BAE systems in the Midlands somewhere, US Navy warships have refits completed by British companies, do they care that a British made component is fitted to an American product? No, they don’t, so why should we get our knickers in a twist over some armour made in Israel. Maybe it’s the most cost effective way and the most capable.

    • Below is an extract from an artical on http://www.naval-technology.com which i really hope is incorrect although i can’t imagine that even the bean counters at the mod would be so stupid as you not protect key sections of the ship.

      A number of protective measures, such as side armour and armoured bulkheads proposed by industrial bid teams, have been deleted from the design in order to comply with cost limitations

    • Below is an extract from an artical on http://www.naval-technology.com which i really hope is incorrect although i can’t imagine that even the bean counters at the mod would be so stupid as to not protect key sections of the ship.

      A number of protective measures, such as side armour and armoured bulkheads proposed by industrial bid teams, have been deleted from the design in order to comply with cost limitations

  9. What is the nature of modern warship armour? What are we talking about here for the type-26? I’m familiar with WW1/2 protection but asumed it largely absent today.
    I have no problem with buying from foriegn if that’s the only way to get kit that’s up to the job at reasonable cost.

  10. Calm down.

    This Country can build and compete with most. It depends on what deals BAE are doing with Isreal. I felt that main material (I don’t know how much of this armour is being used, and is it composite? have to go on their website) should be bought directly from the UK government, like steel, as to retrieve as much tax back if bought direct from a UK firm making rather than BAE using dent to buy from abroad etc. The UK needs to be on a 1, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25…. years plan for her shipbuilding and steelmaking plans and strategies. I’m guessing this purchase was eyed many years ago. Someone said about buying US made Frigates being cheaper. There is some cost of warship sites that do show that Britain is just as competitive and in many many cases cheaper, in fact, I think it should be the USA buying ships from Britain. We also need to look at tax claw back and some foreign firms still receiving favourable conditions (fine in many cases) but also outright hidden subsidy.

    • Total lack of exports despite massive R&D investment from the British government says that you are totally wrong. If you vist a UK dockyard you will know why.

      • OK, I know. That is why in the Sir John Parker report stated we need to have the proper investment in UK facilities if UK firms get these contracts especially to export, or we will not compete. But I am glad someone got the point. My argument has been about this for at least 20 to 30 years, as I saw no change in facilities from huge UK contracts. I was a kid and knew this back in the late 80s early 90s.

        • Dent is an in-between man/firm than buys in steel for a profit to take out of this contract. They don’t cut or prepare any steel plate from what I can see. They would be of some use or value if they do this job, more so if they do this from a UK firm making steel here in the UK, and no use if the UK based steelmaking firm does this in the UK and a parasite by just bringing in steel for the shipyard to prepare and cut itself (a higher value product a UK firm should be making here in the UK) from steel abroad. The Uk government needs to buy steel directly from steelmakers in the UK, and any official who says it’s too complex is speaking bullshot in even for years ago, but especially in this digital day and age.

    • So don’t the Israelis want something a bit new bigger and better, not necessarily a type 26, but another British offering.

      • new, a bit bigger and better.

        Plus. What happened to super Bainite and perforated Super Bainite? May not be suitable here, but never heard of it being applied to anything.

  11. Don’t understand people’s issues with Israel. Yes they look after there own first but considering in the last hundred years what has been done to them and several times they have stood alone against many other countries can u blame them? The people who integrate into the country seem to have no issues’ I personally know several Palestinians that have good jobs and a better future. Ideal ? No but far from the hell on Earth some would have u believe.

  12. If anybody is interested we have been buying and selling abroad since the Phoenicians came B.C. to buy copper and tin and we bought grain and hemp and cooking oils and then The Romans expanded trade from there. We have always traded abroad. It’s called a free market economy.

  13. Does anyone know if the new carriers have armour? I know there was a plan to put lots of armour on at one stage but this was ditched on cost. Has it go any?

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