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.

Details emerge on huge new Glasgow shipbuilding facility

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.

Project Background

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.

Indicative Visualisation of Proposed Ship Building Assembly Hall
Indicative Visualisation of Proposed Ship Building Assembly Hall

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.

Proposed Infill of Existing BAE Govan Shipyard Wet Basin
Proposed Infill of Existing BAE Govan 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.

Proposed Elevation 1 – Scale 1:250

This will remove the need for the outdoor assembly of ships as is currently the case.

Proposed Elevation 2 – Scale 1:200

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”.  

Indicative Visualisation of Proposed Ship Building Assembly Hall

“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.”

What next?

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.”

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. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Andrew
Andrew
12 days ago

Hopefully we’ll get that 3% defence spending, the pace of builds will increase, properly armed and total ships ordered doubled to 16. Perhaps even simultaneous builds with some continuing in the current facilities and others built in the new shed.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
12 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

I tend to follow the rationale that defence spending will ramp up according to risk. An arbitrary percentage worked as rule of thumb before we entered the current severely Warm War. Now events will dictate realistic expenditure (unless we’ve politically thrown in the towel as a significant power during peer warfare). What’s probably more paramount is making most efficient use of the financial resources we’re allocated. Many billions of funds have been squandered by unjoined up thinking. Currently, I find it very difficult to find fault with this: https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com/2022/07/is-british-army-really-reference-army.html unless we’re saying MoD cannot negotiate UK input to foreign programmes… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
12 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

I actually don’t agree with Sir Humphrey.

I’m RN centric in viewpoint but if the success of Ukrainian forces by utilising UK tactics and shoulder launched weapons doesn’t make a ‘reference army’ I’m not sure what does?

These tactics and weapons are neutralising an overwhelming numerical advantage.

Sean
Sean
12 days ago

Agreed. While the U.K. has, to its credit, flooded Ukraine with man portable weapons beginning even before the invasion began… I think many have overlooked what the British Army has obviously achieved with Operation Orbital over 7 years in training over 20,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

James
James
12 days ago
Reply to  Sean

And continues to train soldiers and sailors.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
12 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Unfortunately I completely disagree with the premise of the article it is typically backwards looking. The thesis is basically, the British army = tanks and tanks = the British army. Firstly, tanks, going forward, with current tech trends, will become an increasingly smaller part of a dynamic forward deployed offensive force. This role will be taken by automated vehicles of various descriptions. Anyone with rudimentary analytical skills can see this. The war in Ukraine makes it painfully apparent how vulnerable tanks are. Drones and shoot & scoot artillery are inevitably the future. We have “observer” status on the European next… Read more »

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
12 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Agreed. The besetting sin is to plan to fight the last war. Technical scientific revolutions cannot be ignored. A complete re-think is required beginning with embracing the plain truth that almost everything that has been learnt has now to be consigned to history. Was it thirty odd years ago that someone ended their career by suggesting the Red Army was obsolete? That person deserves some sort of recognition.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Bravo.

David Steeper
David Steeper
12 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

🙌🙌

andy a
andy a
12 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Unfortunatly I think we need to have a minimum amount of everything as we cant always be sure that we will be fighting with allies, look at the Falklands, no one thought we could do it and it had to be us alone.

Jon
Jon
12 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

The pedant in me is screaming about you calling Turkey landlocked. Turkey’s coastline, on 4 separate seas, is three times the length of its land borders. Poland also isn’t landlocked, but you only missed one sea with that one.

Have you considered becoming Foreign Secretary?

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 days ago
Reply to  Jon

The pedant in me appreciates your correction, unfortunately the hegemony of texting often leads to grammatical nonsense. I did mean “land powers”, as opposed to the UK, which people often forget is first and foremost a “naval power”.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
12 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Thanks for the feedback, OR. I’m afraid we’ll have to disagree on the article’s thesis, though. I think that actually revolves around paragraph 6, further expanded in paras 10 & 11 with reference to UK. Regarding purely tanks, I’m certainly with you on the Panther project. In fact, I had that in mind with the comment over negotiating UK contribution immediately below the, now judged infamous, attached link. Now, as previously admitted, my ‘Army knowledge’ relies solely on what I glean from specialist sites (some quoted). But waste and related value for money is a sensitivity that all financial contributors,… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
11 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

I am going to call BS on drones taking over offensive or defensive fighting capabilities in any time soon. It boils down to a number of factors. The first is communications, the second is situational awareness and the third is Murphy’s law. Russia tried using a couple of unmanned ground combat vehicles (UGCV) in Syria. This was in 2016, with the Uran-9. The Uran-9 is a tracked vehicle, that mounts a 30mm autocannon, a 7.62mm machine gun and between 4 and 8 ATGMs or unguided rockets. Russia have also tested the Uran-6 which is a mine clearing vehicle and the… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

DB, delighted that you have taken the time to call BS with a detailed reply. One of the reasons I visit the site. My background is risk management and large IT projects so I do learn from these replies. However, I really wouldn’t compare Russian software and electronics capability with those of the West (except in hacking), and certainly wouldn’t predict the future based on first gen autonomous vehicles. I think “tethered” vehicles in the modern battlespace are a recipe for disaster and I think you will find that all the gen 2 vehicles will be semi autonomous with embedded… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
11 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

OK, admit to some confusion, OR. We have observer status on MGCS, the Leclerc and Leopard replacement, yes? Yet Rheinmetall look to have introduced the KF51, i.e. Panther I mention above, for the Leopard role ‘out of left field’ to great surprise, it seems. What’s going on?
Also, this latest sports a 130mm, trumpeted as significantly more powerful than the 120mm smoothbore (now described as yesterdays tech), before we even get it on Ch3 at some future date! Again, forgive me, but WTF?!

Steve
Steve
12 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

You could argue that risk has reduced. The main identified risk to in the UK was Russia and coming out of this war it will be a significantly reduced risk. Russia will take decades before it can threaten NATO if it ever can again. Also I’m sure China is looking at the war and rethinking any plans it might have had around wars in and around the south China sea, the cost in both miltiary gear and economic harm must be weighing high on their thoughts.

Frank62
Frank62
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I get what you mean but Russia is threatening nato right now: With nuclear Armageddon if we interfere in Ukraine, with gas supplies cut or limited, with widespread hacking & destabilising propaganda, with incursions etc. Russias hostility is obvious except to those determined to blindly carry on as normal. Same with PRC.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
12 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

And no amount of tanks, Frigates or fast jets are going to save us from nuclear war, or spiralling gas price’s. This is why the investment in cyber capabilitys and fighting the online propaganda war is just as relevant as traditional war fighting capabilities. But I do think NATOs response and western sanctions surprised the Russians, and I do think that response will have made China re-evaluate how it plays all this. I think they will have definitely re-evaluated the Russians military capability, and decided it wasn’t what they thought it was, and the difficulties of real open conflict with… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
12 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Although I would counter that by saying that the constant mood music of cuts-cuts-cuts and Germany sitting on its hands and not investing anything. Coupled with Macron’s stupid comments about NATO being brain dead added to the lack of real action in 2014 lead Mad Vlad to the calculations that he would get away with it again. TBH I think Mad Vlad would have been right had it not been for Boris Johnsons Churchill complex. Boris saw a defining moment and grabbed it with both hands. It was also a defining moment as it lifted him away from COVID and… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

I think you can safely take the Russian nuclear bluster with a pinch of the proverbial. Russia is well aware that it would be instantly wiped into the Stone Age should they use any sort of nuclear weapons.

Frank62
Frank62
11 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Yes, that’s my take too. We should’ve been far firmer & could have avoided much unnecessary death & destruction in Ukraine.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
11 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Agreed.

James
James
11 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

The gas issue is going to be something that will be used by Russia to potentially terrible impact as winter closes in.

If they turn the supplies off completely goodness knows how alot of European countries are going to cope in response.

Wouldnt take Russia too much effort to sabotage European producers either to really cause havoc.

Frank62
Frank62
11 days ago
Reply to  James

Very true. Which is why we should be more strenuously opposing them.

simon alexander
simon alexander
10 days ago
Reply to  James

I read that Germany was warned by it’s western allies that it was relying too heavily on Russian energy. What tops it off was not to have a strategic reserve and to close down perfectly working nuclear reactors.

James
James
10 days ago

Well even Trump told them blatantly at a meeting and they just laughed at him the video has been doing the rounds.

I can see Germany firing up coal power plants in the short term to survive winter.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve

👍

A Moore
A Moore
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Russia has never threatened NATO!The reverse is true.The stationing of Aegis,Typhon and Dark Eagle missile sytems in Poland Romania and Germany is a direct threat to Russia.Never trust America as in 1943 British military intelligence had determined that Britains enemy was not Germany or Japan it WAS ~America!How true this turned out to be, as in the period 1/7/1945 to 15/7/1947 USA forced the bankruptcy of Britain:the end of Imperial Preference and the Stirling area and thus the end of Empire whilst at the same time using UK as a stepping stone to undertake the military conquest of Europe as… Read more »

James
James
10 days ago
Reply to  A Moore

USA bankrupted the UK in the early stages of the second world war, thats the main reason they stayed out of the inevitable for as long as they did. Sell as much as they can to everyone needing it and when they finally had no choice enter the conflict and take the profits on what they sold for decades to come.

Airborne
Airborne
8 days ago
Reply to  A Moore

Yaaaaaaaaaawn, hows the J Saville fan club going?

Airborne
Airborne
3 days ago
Reply to  A Moore

Yaaaaaaawn what fucking garbage you spout!

Jonathan
Jonathan
12 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Unfortunately Andrew as much as it would be nice we are not going to be seeing 16 Type 26 even if they upped the build rate to one every year we are looking at 8 so that’s 2030 at that point the type 45s will need replacements built so it will be moving the yard onto the Type8x.

Getting greater numbers of hulls will come from the T31 and T32 lines as if that yard can bring one in service from 2027 onward the RN should be able to slowly increase hull numbers.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
12 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I totally agree.

There is a limit to the number of £800m ASW ships you need.

Better off building loads of GP frigates like T31 B2 with full Mk41 and a better radar.

Better value and a lot more numbers.

You then gets closer to the Parker plan of selling off ships that are exports spec (1-2 gen behind) at a sensible price and avoiding massive midlife refit costs. Volume is key to driving costs down. Not cozy monopolies.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
12 days ago

SB eminently logical, but not a popular view.

Jon
Jon
12 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Seems pretty popular on this website. I love it, but we need to keep total costs down by making it more British, increasing the percentage tax return. Tacticos and NS100 have easily sourced UK equivalents. The warning shot has been fired across BAE’s bow, and it’s time to think British again for the T32s.

Jonathan
Jonathan
12 days ago

Yes very much agree, the RN needs to balance out its needs. The very high end ASW and AAW are essentially task force assets and needed for a a carrier group or Amphibious group going into harms way. Realistically at any one time going into harms way and needing a full escort group you would have, one amphibious group on the northern flank and a carrier group somewhere. So that’s 2-3 high end ASW and 2-3 AAW or 6-9 of each using the rule of 3. I thing what most people of forgetting is the real meaning of the T8x… Read more »

andy a
andy a
12 days ago

The Polish version would be brilliant

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
12 days ago
Reply to  andy a

For fighting the Russian scrap heap challenge, yes, it would be brilliant.

For integrating into a blue water fleet I’m not so sure. Too much going on in one ship methinks.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
11 days ago

What many of the more more more brigade seem to forget is how would we crew this fantasy fleet.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

The crew sizes are now getting very small and the, say T31, is much easier to maintain than a T22/3. RN recruitment is full. Also there are now increasingly multiple crews per ship with the ship left in theatre and the crew swapped at a regular intervals. So, I’m not so sure that having a reserve fleet of T31 type ships, to be part crewed by reserve crews, is such a fantasy idea anymore provided it is planned into the Big Purchasing Plan. What doesn’t make sense is trying to keep old junk for a rainy day: that really is… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
12 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I’m sure if we told the defence companies that we would double our surface fleet with extra builds on T26’s, 31’s etc but on condition of a (relatively) rapid timescale then they will respond by increasing building capacity. We don’t need to be restrained by the current infrastructure. A 50% increase in defence spending (3% GDP) could easily pay for all this with plenty left over.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
12 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

With the type 26 and submarine programs BAE are being forced to slow down the builds. They could build more faster and cheaper but that’s not what was asked for. Perfect question I would like to know is what is the ideal build rate is and how much does that make each build cost. Obviously some of that cost Is dependant on the same principals with cost and rate being applied to suppliers.

Jon
Jon
12 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

They will never let that be known as it means they could be held to account. I will point out that buying in bulk in 2015 at a faster build rate would have brought in all 13 type 26s for £11.5bn, less than £900m each. The MOD (at the time) claimed it should be cheaper than this, but I think that was just posturing. The 40% extra direct cost of batch 1 ships unfortunately blends two effects: slow build and small batch, and I don’t know where to start separating them. For batch 2 we’ll have a third effect to… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
12 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Your right these studies on costs will be buried deep in the treasury. There worry is what does it cost this year. All the delays have stored up huge problems for equipment purchases in the future. Spreading the cost and slowing programs means there is less money for things in the future.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
12 days ago
Reply to  Jon

To be fair BAE have made various statements about cost and time for the 13 T26 so you can infer what the cost increase of slowing the build was.

The conclusion you come to is that slowing the build made virtually no sense at all.

But in terms of escaping the BAE monopoly T31 makes total sense.

David Barry
David Barry
11 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Of course, what is forgotten are two things:

  1. Jim30,thinpinstripedline, ALWAYS defends Braid, as we need Defence Attaches in places like Washington: more Admirals than ships. So, where was the feed into MoD thoughts on T26 build?
  2. We lost a fantastic US order, because, we didn’t have a ship in the water.

What is the true cost of Braid?

simon alexander
simon alexander
10 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Ben Wallace the defense sec has put out what ships need building for the next 2 decades he gave an excellent briefing to a defense committee, obviously as he said govts come in 5 year cycles but for the sake of UK defense here is a plan for 20 years that could be adhered to.

Jonathan
Jonathan
12 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Yes they could be sped up as I stated, I did use an example of a massive speed up to one T26 hull in the water every year…but that still takes us to 2030, present construction rates would have us building T26s well into the late 2030s. But even if we sped up that would not give more 26 hulls as well need to move onto the T8x to replace the T45s which would be 21 years old in 2030. Finally remembering the T8x designation means that is going to be both a hight end AAW and high end ASW… Read more »

Last edited 12 days ago by Jonathan
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
12 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Even an incremental, affordable increase, extra one each T26/31/32/Astute, every extra boat means an extra place they can be. Could help towards 2 full CSGs and the LSGs being able to deploy more easily and even simultaneously. Obviously everything costs, with crews, weapons needed but support the gist here, in these times it would be prudent to have a bit more of everything than same or less, secure supply chains and good logistics.

andy a
andy a
12 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Ha Ha I hope your right but I think its optimistic. Remove nuclear and pensions and lets face it were probably at 1.5%

David Steeper
David Steeper
12 days ago

All good news on defence these days. We’re all thinking about what goodies to spend the cash on but for me there’s a problem that we’re not talking about. Bigger Army bigger Navy bigger Airforce but where are the people to man or woman them going to come from ? For example the most recent cut in the size of the Army was driven by the fact the Army was unable to recruit to the authorised number. The RN and RAF have much lower manpower needs but even there it’s not clear they would be able to increase recruitment and… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
12 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I’m getting worried logical cogent arguments, not more More more. Am I on the wrong site!

Damo
Damo
12 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

I’m getting worried that Jay R is making a rational argument and not being an utter misery 🤪🤪😂👍

David Steeper
David Steeper
12 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

👍

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
12 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Agreed. Its easy to say ‘let’s get 16 T26’s’ But it takes 10,15, 20 years to get a naval rating up to the experience of a Petty Officer, or Chief Petty Officer. And warships need experienced people to lead the various departments that make up a capable warship. Career lines have to be careful managed to get the right people in the right drafts. And it takes time.

David Steeper
David Steeper
12 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

And all of it in a full or nearly full employment economy desperate for the skills and experience the person is gaining.

Andrew
Andrew
12 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

It will take many years to get fleet numbers up. So if we start investing now in recruitment and retainment then we could significantly increase the number of sailors in time for the increase in Hull numbers.

Simon
Simon
11 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

yep, which is why options to save money & the 2010 strategic defence cuts had such a future effect with the cuts to personal

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
11 days ago
Reply to  Simon

That is very true. Manning cuts are the most damaging, and take the longest to turn around.

Simon
Simon
10 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Yep GB also highlight the need for more covered docking in another post. Also we are short of helicopters. Not quite as simple as just spending £250 million on a ship.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
12 days ago

Surely we aren’t going to just remain on 8 type 26 frigates with this new building hall being erected? you’ve got to be hopeful with Australia and Canada ordering the type that the unit cost must have come down and HMG will wake up to the threat from a belligerent Russia and China’s massive armed forces expansion and just order a further 5 ships taking the type 26 back upto the required 13 high-end ASW frigates.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
12 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

It was never 13 ASW but 8 ASW and 5 GP.

The 5 GP were massively over specified for GP so T31 was born.

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
12 days ago

SB.
…but, just to play devils advocaat…..the “GP” type 23s were still very good ASW ships with a good hull mounted sonar, whereas the T31….?

It’s not all bad news I suppose as within an unspecified time these vessels will be fitted with an unspecified but agile and world beating ASW drone, of some sort. Whenever.
AA

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
12 days ago

Could the T23 GP track a Russian SSN?

I think the answer is probably yes: when it is localised.

Will T31 get a hull mount sonar? Very likely.

Will T45 get an upgraded hull mount sonar? I’d be slightly surprised if it hadn’t been done already. T45 is all electric drive so with the new rafted DG’s, post PiP, it might actually be rather good at ASW……

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
12 days ago

Hmm. Someone with more expertise can maybe help with those suggestions. Type 45 I think had a hull mounted sonar not sure it works or is used though. Type 31 hopefully if it doesn’t have one it has a space left for it and equipment. Another question on top of that is should wildcat have a dipping sonar, sonar buoys and associated systems fitted. Is the loss of cabin space worth it. Is it something the old lynx used to have and if it did was it of any use? Then the final question would be is a hull sonar… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
12 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

@MS

What I was saying was that the sonar on T45 is likely upgraded.

The physical footprint of a sonar room on a ship is tiny – the issue is more skilled operators.

Fixed sonar with a sonar buoy dropping drone is now a thing.

andy a
andy a
12 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I heard a while ago that the sonar on the T45 wasnt much use because of how noisy it is, so they had moved onto a helicopter mounted plan instead.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
11 days ago
Reply to  andy a

T45 sonar is in literally hibernation. Its fitted onboard but bar long term maintenance tasks its sat there doing nothing, not turned on with no operators onboard.

Andy A
Andy A
10 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Why go to the expense of fitting if not gunna use? Doesn’t it make the t45 pretty useless when deploying not as a group? If was shooting war that is?

Paul T
Paul T
12 days ago

Will Type 31 get Hull mounted Sonar – I doubt it, they are an excersise in strict budget management, if the funds were available I’d be more inclined to spend it on MK41 and associated Weapons. The Type 45 is an interesting proposition – IEP does an ASW Ship not make, Hull shape and form are surely just as important as Rafted Propulsion and that cannot be changed.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
12 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

I am not saying that T45 would ever be an ASW specialist: it cannot. But it can carry a sensor that networked with other fleet sensors is a serious addition to the detection ability of a task group. I’m sure you know this but measuring the same ‘noise’ from many points and then combining the data can result in some interesting sensitivity gains as well as directionality information. If you like, a sonic 3D map. Whilst I don’t think the T45 would approach T23 never mind T26 levels of silence it would be on a par, or better than, T31… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
11 days ago

Yes a T23 GP can track an SSN in Active using 2050/51 and track it at a considerable distance , if environmental conditions are favourable.

T31 does it need a sonar? Probably not. Compare it to a USN Constellation class being based on a FREMM. No hull sonar so they are going with the 2087/CAPTAS solution.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I didn’t think that T31 was set up for a tail?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
11 days ago

Dont know either. However T31 could use drone 11m Workboats with a thin line array deployed to a distance away from the ship along with sonar buoy dropping drone helos.
The Connie boats will be interesting to see when they do their first work ups regarding performance against other ships. They will be better at ASW than an AB ( Not Difficult!) but not as good at AAW. Anti surface will be improved due to having a lot of NSMs fitted.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I think T31 will deploy with sonar buoy dropping drones TBH.

As you say a workboat with a thin line sending data back to mother. The Sonar buoys would also need a relay drone to rebroadcast their signals which might be different to the dropping drone?

Anyway it is fun to speculate. The nice thing is that all of this tech exists now.

Just as long as some bright spark doesn’t suggest ASROC…..:(

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 days ago

What about son of ASROC?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

OMG don’t you start!

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 days ago

OK, sorry, lol. But what about son of Ikara?

Steve R
Steve R
12 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Yeah, we’ll remain on 8 Type 26s even with the building hall being erected.

However, after Type 26 frigates will come Type 83 destroyers, and hopefully more than 6! 8-10 would be a decent number and would sensibly grow the navy within a sensible timeframe.

Sean
Sean
12 days ago

Seems just ridiculous that BAE are submitting the plan for this build hall now, given they won the manufacturing contract 5 years ago!!! 🤦🏻‍♂️

And why aren’t they extending it to the end of their site so it can accommodate even longer vessels, which the T83 will have to be. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
12 days ago
Reply to  Sean

If we are on a rant I would add that they don’t have planning permission yet so it’s really a wish list just now.

Sean
Sean
12 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

If they’d submitted the plans 5 years ago I suspect even the UKs antediluvian planning process would have granted permission by now…

David Barry
David Barry
12 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Some Tosser let them get the contract after the OPV B2s were ordered without putting the ackers in for the build hall. Plain wrong.

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
12 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Not from Bae`s perspective. 10? 15? years ago they were tendering for 13 odd vessels, and if the government of the day had said oh yes you will get it and they think …wow.. yes we will build a nice large facility….and then the cuts come….8 ships now, possibly down to 6….just like the T45. Bae then have an expensive facility that will not be fully utilised. IN HINDSIGHT, Babcock have the T31 project and from the off, what with the governments new shipbuilding strategy (whatever that is) as its a much cheaper ship with likely export builds, decided to… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
12 days ago

T31 B2 was always on the table.

Doris renamed it T32: I believe as a slip of the tongue that was backfilled with a new class of ships!

Jon
Jon
12 days ago

The slip of the tongue theory has all the hallmarks of an urban myth in the making. It’s just too good not to repeat. 😀

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
12 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Nobody I know in senior RN circles had heard of T32 before Boris spoke about it…….

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 days ago

If I remember rightly before Babcock got the contract, the MOD did make a statement that if the 5 ships were built on time and to budget a second order would follow.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Yes, and Ben Wallace has said that too.

Jon
Jon
12 days ago

Thirteen was still the declared intention less than seven years ago.

Around third quarter 2015, they said they had to chop it to 10, and the Navy said, ridiculous! A compromise was made of 8 Type 26s and 5 Type 31s. By the review publication in November that was enshrined.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
12 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Agree Sean, make the shed bigger, if possiblr longer for bigger ships and even join it to the shed next door.

Thomas Afred Came
Thomas Afred Came
12 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

170 is all we need now. Huge improvements to built two at once side by side and not spend time joining them together. Potentially we could be building one every 14/5 months which would be lovely. However, if they keep the possibility of extending the shed either way up to for example 200 then that would be great for the new type 83

Rob1
Rob1
12 days ago

With war potentially on the horizon, this can only be good news. A nightmare scenario – I pray we can avoid – is Russia kicking off with NATO in Europe, and China in the south China sea tying up the US Pacific Fleet, Japan Oz and other allies. We need to shift to wartime mentality on production, that is what China has been doing.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  Rob1

Why would Russia kick off with NATO? They cannot even deal with Ukraine without sustaining heavy casualties and getting bogged down.
We need more mass and spending and efficiency in procurement need to improve but I don’t see WW3 unless we ourselves provoke it by our responses fuelling that of the Russians.

James
James
12 days ago

Exactly, any conflict with Nato from a Russian point of view can only be won with a nuclear conflict, but that has no winners.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
12 days ago

Why don’t they join the SBOH to the new Wet Basin shed for the “Mother of all shed’s”…I ask myself!?

Thomas Afred Came
Thomas Afred Came
12 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Probably dont need to. After all looks like all type 26 work will be in the new shed. That frees up the SBOH for other smaller ships up to 70 meters (more offshore patrol/cutters or just general non-defence work). Both independent lines

But your idea would be cool!!!

Paul.P
Paul.P
12 days ago

Good news. So basically the National Shipbuilding Strategy is taking effect. It’s like turning an oil tanker…but its turning. Babcock and T31 been a great catalyst but we do need a strong BAE on the Clyde too. T26 will be a world beater. Wherever she goes people will sit up an take notice!

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
12 days ago

IMHO The fact is that we have our high end build capacity maxed out till the early 2030’s is a massive opportunity if we plan ahead now. We need take some steps and investment now so that we have a properly maintained, properly armed, superbly trained and enlarged fleet in the mid to late 2030’s. Because that is the soonest we can build it. After reading the comments everyone seems to agree that under the present circumstances we need the uplift to 3% of GDP. But it isn’t just about buying more high end assets. Those ships need to have… Read more »

Bob
Bob
12 days ago

Overall the Navy do appear to be getting their act together regarding ship purchases.

Of course I would like to see a few more, but it looks like the T26 and T31 numbers and specs are now pretty much fixed. I would like to see any additional funds go toward “fitted with rather than for” the Mk41 cells on the T31s. A modest outlay resulting in quite capable ships.

Just wish there was some way to increase the number of SSNs in service. That or bite the bullet and purchase a few conventional subs.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
11 days ago

Whilst new builds are great, once you get them you need to maintain them. The Complex in Devonport is to small to take the new vessels. It was designed and built for Leanders and B1 T22 sized ships. When T42 B3 and T22 B2/3 came in one of the docks was extended into the basin to accommodate the extra length of those vessels. That worked after a fashion but the stern/flightdeck was no longer inside the shed and the door could not be fully closed. T26/31/8X are going to cause a big headache regarding docking. Big dry docks exist in… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
11 days ago

However, concerns are growing over delays and technical problems with the Hunter-class project.

Admiral Radakin conceded that the UK’s parent program was experiencing “teething problems” but argued the joint project was on track.

“The overall program is in a good shape, but what you inevitably see with a first-of-class, with these high-end designs … is that there are teething problems with the first ship,” he said. 

“Those are being resolved and that’s all going ahead very, very well.

abc.net.au

Paul T
Paul T
10 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

He also said that the solution to the Hunter Class Top Weight issue is a slight increase in Beam – very interesting i thought.

Paul Bestwick
Paul Bestwick
9 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

I had heard that the T-26 design came in 3 flavours. Small, medium and large. The UK and Australia are going for the small option, Canada for the medium. The weight issue as I understand it is because for some reason Australia want to keep to the smallest hull whilst adding a huge radar with v large power requirements. The obvious fix is to go for one of the larger hulls. Not sure if that would require additional infrastructure spending which would be politically embarrassing.

AlexS
AlexS
7 days ago
Reply to  Paul Bestwick

Never heard of that. Do you have any source?

Paul A Bestwick
Paul A Bestwick
7 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

As quote by Dr Alexander Clarke. Naval Historian. His dad was a Naval Architect of some renown who worked on the Type 23 amongst other things. He retains contacts with people who worked with his dad and other folks in shipyards through his academic connections. He has mentioned the above on the Bilgepumps podcast on SIMSEC or on one of the Q&A sessions on his youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/c/DrAlexanderClarke

Ron
Ron
6 days ago

Out of interest has anyone any idea on the state of play with the Batch II orders for the T26?