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Steel has been cut today on the Clyde for the first Type 26 Frigate, HMS Glasgow.

HMS Glasgow will be first of eight City class Type 26 frigates.

BAE Systems was recently awarded a contract by the Ministry of Defence worth £3.7bn to manufacture the first three of the eight Type 26 Frigate fleet.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said today at a ceremony on the Clyde:

“The Clyde has been synonymous with shipbuilding for centuries.”

Eight Type 26 Frigates are to be built in total, the contract for the second batch will be negotiated in the early 2020s. Ordering in batches is common for projects of this size around the world and was last seen with the Royal Navy for the Type 45 Destroyers and recent Offshore Patrol Vessels. The Type 45s first batch order was for three vessels for example.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

“The Type 26 Frigate is a cutting-edge warship, combining the expertise of the British shipbuilding industry with the excellence of the Royal Navy. We will cut steel on the first ship later this month – a hugely significant milestone that delivers on our commitment to maintain our global naval power. These ships will be a force to be reckoned with, there to protect our powerful new carriers and helping keep British interests safe across the world.

“Backed by a rising defence budget and a £178bn Equipment Plan, the Type 26 programme will bring vast economic benefits to Scotland and the wider UK. The contract is structured to ensure value for taxpayers’ money and, importantly, now designed to protect them from extra bills from project overrun. The investment will secure hundreds of skilled jobs at BAE Systems on the Clyde for the next twenty years, and thousands of jobs in the supply chain across Britain.”

Commenting on this important announcement, Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive, BAE Systems said:

“The award of this contract is a strong endorsement of the talent and commitment of our employees across the UK and reinforces Glasgow as the centre of shipbuilding in the UK. We are extremely proud to be chosen to design and manufacture vessels that will give the Royal Navy an essential, next generation capability and be a vital addition to its fleet.

“We will continue to invest in our technologies, productivity and people to help us deliver these ships to the highest standards. Today we have five River Class Offshore Patrol vessels at varying stages of construction for the Royal Navy across our shipyards in Glasgow and we look forward to starting manufacture on the first Type 26 ship in the coming weeks.”

A recent report also claims that delays in the construction of the Type 26 Frigate have had a negative impact on the development of the workforce on the Clyde.

The recently released report ‘Restoring the Fleet: Naval Procurement and the National Shipbuilding Strategy’, states that:

“It is clear to us that the delays in the construction of the Type 26 have had a negative impact on the development of the workforce on the Clyde.

Apprenticeships are not being offered at the necessary rate, and those currently undertaking apprenticeships are having their skills training disrupted. Furthermore, workers are being required to move from Scotland to Barrow in order for them to undertake meaningful work.

We welcome the efforts made by the trades unions and BAE to retain the workforce during this period of uncertainty, but remain deeply concerned by warnings that further delay could be “catastrophic” for the skills base.”

The UK Government say they are committed to eight advanced anti-submarine warfare ships, this was outlined in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review. 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 – with further announcements to be made shortly.

23 COMMENTS

  1. Just like the destroyers, these ships will represent a money pit. It is high time this country purchased the defence it can afford. Coastal patrol vessels would be more relevant. As a member of the Tax Payers Alliance, I am amongst those campaigning for massive defence cuts and a more affordable military for this country. It is not our role to be the world’s policeman nor to attempt to be.

    • As a taxpayer, with a no less equal voice on what taxpayer’s money is spent on. I campaign for a small increase in the defence budget. Your assessment of our role, and defence spending is that of somebody with no knowledge of defence, economics or geopolitics.

    • As a member of the “Tax Payers Alliance” should you not be more concerned about the biggest government budgets in health and welfare. Remember defence spending is only a small fraction of government spending.

      Anyway good news to finally hear the steel is being cut even if most of it is being made in Sweden.

    • TH – Bet your Taxpayer Alliance isn’t in any way concerned at the £ Billions wasted in Foreign Aid that add nothing to the UK’s welfare or future well-being and from which £ Billions are handed over to the EU to support outrageously impoverished countries. Like Poland. And Portugal.

      When we start running a nett surplus then we should look after others. Until then charity begins at home. The provisional figure for 2016 was £13.3bn. About what we pay to the EU and we voted to leave that monstrosity. Those two costs are £26.5 Bn a year. Or 7 1/2 carriers. A YEAR!!!

      Have a BBC Reality Check:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39658907

      The best Foreign Aid we can provide is with Free Trade deals with African countries who are currently stymied by prohibitive external tariffs and hidden tariffs levied by the EU to protect lazy French farmers so they can trade their way out of poverty

    • TH, i can’t wait to get invaded. We arguably spend only 2% of our GDP on defence, if we cut anymore then even Argentina will get revenge on us 🙂

    • I am asking for the NHS to be disbanded and started up again as an efficient and effective organization that doesn’t spend the extra money it regularly gets in sound bite announcements on buying everyone a new pencil.

      I can dream but its not going to happen popeye.

  2. @TH

    I respect your right to an opinion…..however 2 things….1 you’re probably a troll, 2 you’re entirely wrong.

    You couldn’t be more wrong.

    Take your bleeding heart elsewhere.

    These vessels whilst overly expensive and that is something the UK MOD need to get sorted, they will be incredibly capable. I look forward to seeing the names of the future vessels of this class.

  3. @TH
    Tax Payer’s Alliance probably could have scripted Neville Chamberlain’s response as he returned from Munich.

  4. @TH

    I am pleased you have finally explained your position instead of just posting negative comments constantly.

    I think everyone on this site would agree that we want value for money from our taxes, however what you then go on to describe is very political in that you do not want money to be spent on defence, this is different to you being concerned on how taxes are spent.

    I think all Government departments waste taxpayers money and am constantly pushing for efficiency and I also share some of your concerns about the role our politicians expect our military to play, however the military do not choose where they are sent and as a result of that I do expect our country to provide these brave people with the best equipment and support for families that we can afford.

    We are not gungho warmongers on this site – quite the opposite, but we do see the value in having a strong military.

  5. This is great news. I am sure it will be a great ship with a world class RN crew.

    As an island nation we have forgotten our geography and I hope with a new crop of MP’s who understand the defence principles of our island nation that 8 will end up being a higher number.

    @TH the joys of being in a free country

  6. @TH
    A member of the taxpayers alliance eh
    Well do your job and get the foreign aid budget cut to a sensible amount

  7. The thought of having so many “TH’s” in the population of the UK terrifies me. No wonder the UK is against itself, riddled with political correctness, and going downhill with surrender monkeys in our midst.

  8. Back to business shall we..

    I would like to see the order placed for all 8 with a clear call off schedule approved.

    Not sure what the statement “the contract for the second batch will be negotiated in the early 2020s” is aiming to achieve.

    If we have the requirement and know the price and are committed to building these in Scotland then surely we should just get on with it. This is precisely the type of thing (TH) that actually does waste taxpayers money and inserts a degree of mistrust between supplier and purchaser.

    It is not normal to draw up contracts every few years – this is shipbuilding not buying a car.

    • Pacman27 – I entirely take your point and the positive reasons behind it but when you have very long lead times two things happen: 1. The supplier will price in the risk element of higher prices and wage costs inflating the initial unit cost as well as the long term cost and 2. Any fixed long term cost negates any future cost reduction benefits in technology, manufacturing efficiency and material price reductions.

      I am more concerned the first tranche is 3. Multiples of 3 are either 6 or 9. And we know they won’t increase the fleet so ……

  9. I think the reason for ordering in batches is cost. After building three the yard should be better at it so renegotiating after that makes sense as it will be a different price and possibly a different delivery schedule. My hope is that the price will drop and we may actually get three batches of three for a total of nine. I am not however holding my breath.

  10. UKDJ, Please stop including the following BS
    “Backed by a rising defence budget and a £178bn Equipment Plan…….!

  11. I sincerely hope we using Brittain Steel for the Type 26? It wouldn’t be beyond this disfunctional government to buy steel from elsewhere. We need more tha 8. When you consider what ships we need to escort two aircraft carriers doesn’t leave a lot for all the other commitments we have nor any future emergencies.

  12. It’s also common practice to order in batches so you can cut numbers mid programme. See Type 45.

    We’ll most probably get just eight, and our carrier “group” will have to go begging to friendly nations to make up the numbers and not look like a exposed joke.

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