BAE Systems has confirmed that HMS Glasgow, the Royal Navy’s first Type 26 frigate, is set to enter the water for the first time this year.
BAE Systems said in its half-year results:
“The Type 26 programme continues to progress with construction underway on the first three City Class Type 26 frigates. Preparations continue for the first of class, Glasgow, to depart our Govan shipyard and enter the water later this year.
She will then transition to our Scotstoun shipyard where further outfit, test and commissioning will take place. Half of the major units of the second ship in class, Cardiff, are erected, while the third ship, Belfast, continues to progress after entering manufacture in June 2021.”
Other maritime updates in the half-year results reports include:
- £2.5bn of further contract funding awarded as part of Delivery Phase 3 for the Dreadnought programme.
- New Submarine Build Capability contract maintains BAE Systems’ role as the lead for the design and build of nuclear submarines within the UK submarine enterprise.
- The Submersible Ship Nuclear Replacement (SSNR) programme has moved into its Functional Design phase.
- Ongoing support to the Royal Navy’s Portsmouth-based flotilla and the operation of HM Naval Base Portsmouth under the UK Ministry of Defence’s Future Maritime Support Programme, including support to the UK’s two aircraft carriers.
- The Hunter Class Frigate programme in Australia continues to make strong progress through the prototyping phase.
- HMAS Toowoomba, the fifth ANZAC Class frigate to move through the ANZAC Mid Life Capability Assurance Programme (AMCAP) was returned to the Australian Navy following successful completion of the dry production phase of AMCAP.
- Transition to the Next Generation Munitions Supply Solution (NGMS) contract is ongoing.
BAE Systems has revealed more details regarding their huge new shipbuilding facility in Glasgow.
I recently reported that the wet basin at Govan will be drained, and a covered build hall will be constructed on the site, allowing for later Type 26 frigates to be built indoors.
After construction, according to the person I spoke to, ships will be moved onto a barge and lowered into the water. It is hoped that Type 26 ships 4 to 8 will be built in this facility, with the first three being put together outdoors. HMS Glasgow is in build now and is shown below, she is 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.
I previously reported that BAE Systems submitted a planning application that would see the ‘Ship Block Outfit Hall’ at its Govan shipyard in Glasgow expanded out to Govan road, that plan is no longer the preferred option. From what I understand, the process was being held up by older buildings on the site with historical significance. The new drydock/build hall would allow ships to be built entirely indoors, protecting them against the elements and would form part of an effort to modernise the yard to make it more attractive to future orders.
The following information comes from the firms Govan Assembly Hall planning consultation.
In their Govan Assembly Hall planning consultation, BAE say that at present, full ships longer than 75 metres cannot be constructed undercover at Govan, something which is a major constraint to their business. Shown below is the current arrangement, the ‘SBOH’ is the facility in which ship hull sections are currently built before being moved outside and welded together
“As such, BAE Systems intends to develop a new ship building hall which is capable of meeting the United Kingdom’s ship building requirements. This necessitates the construction of a new ship building facility in Govan, one that will allow for at least two ships to be built simultaneously under cover and in single hull format.
The opportunity to provide a new modern ship building hall of this nature would allow BAE Systems to adopt improved shipbuilding techniques together with improved construction access and state of the art, dedicated, on-site office and amenities accommodation.
It would also significantly improve ship building capability in Govan, which in turn will safeguard employment for the ship building and affiliated trades in the Glasgow city region and secure continued investment in training and education, in innovative technologies and in BAE Systems’ supply chain.
There are various constraints and challenges affecting the BAE Systems Govan site and BAE Systems has undertaken extensive site option and feasibility studies to determine how their requirement for a new ship building facility can be accommodated within their Govan campus. To this end, BAE Systems appointed a project team in January 2022 to undertake detailed site options testing with the aim of identifying an optimal and viable location for the development of a new ship building facility at BAE Govan, taking into account the operational requirements for a new facility and balancing these against other considerations, including land use planning matters.”
Wet Basin Works
BAE say that to create a platform for the proposed building, a new structure will be constructed across the entrance to the existing shipyard wet basin.
“The wet basin will be slowly de-watered with water pumped out using a barge with filtration and screening equipment, discharging the treated water into the Clyde. When the water is removed, the wet basin will be filled to the required ground level.”
Proposed Ship Building Hall and Supporting Accommodation
The firm state that the proposed shipbuilding hall will occupy part of the existing shipyard wet basin and will provide accommodation to allow for at least two ships to be built simultaneously under cover and in single hull format.
This will remove the need for the outdoor assembly of ships as is currently the case.
In terms of dimensions, the proposed shipbuilding hall will be approximately 81 metres wide, 170 metres long and 49 metres high to the building ridge line.
Indicative Visualisation of Proposed Ship Building Assembly Hall
BAE add that their planning application will be supported by detailed architectural and Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment information, “demonstrating how the proposed facility will sit within the site and considering key views to and from the shipyard”.
“The proposals have been designed considering views from Govan Conservation Area and the relationship with the Category A listed Ward Complex building. The materials and colours of the proposed building will be chosen to fit with the BAE Govan campus.”
BAE say that subject to further discussions with Glasgow City Council and other stakeholders it is proposed to submit a planning application in Summer 2022.
“This planning application will include supporting information, including an Environmental Impact Assessment. These submissions will provide information on a range of subjects, including design, transport, ecology, flooding, drainage, built heritage, noise and visual impact. If our planning application is approved by Glasgow City Council, it is anticipated that work on site would commence in January 2023.”