Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin has been in Australia discussing defence equipment and the Type 26 Frigate in particular.

With the Type 26 Frigate shortlisted for Australia’s Future Frigate programme, the MoD and BAE have been stepping up the campaign to bring Australia in to the programme.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said:

“From the first world war to defeating Daesh in the Middle East right now, the UK and Australia continue to fight side-by-side for the values we both share.

In the face of mutual intensifying threats, the strong relationship between our countries allows vital discussions over how best to protect ourselves. As the Australian Navy looks for a new frigate, the Type 26 is a very strong candidate and I hope to see it form the backbone of our Five Eyes partners’ navies for decades to come.”

The visit to Australia comes shortly after Minister Pyne came to London and met Minister Harriett Baldwin earlier this month.

During his visit, BAE Systems announced that they had awarded a further 15 manufacturing contracts to suppliers of the Type 26 programme. Not only did that increase the number of UK maritime jobs supported by the programme to over 4,500, but it also included contracts with two Australian companies, showing the deepening co-operation between the British and Australian defence industries say the Government.

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Daniele Mandelli

Hmmm, she mentioned five eyes. Unusual for a defence minister to mention that.

Still, all irrelevant as according to a poster on a previous thread the UK is “nothing” without nukes.

Hey ho.

Dave L

Pushing to sell the basic design to the US / Canada and NZ as well but with different mission fits.

Daniele Mandelli

Yes. Impossible with the USA but maybe not for the others?


I would see Type 31e as a more affordable option for the RNZN.

Geoffrey Roach

Christmas soon!


Music to my ears


It would have a sort of ironic sense that the 26 becomes the defacto frigate of the English speaking world just after we cut our order and build a load of less good 31s. We can sit back and watch as the price on the 26s start to drop smiling all the while but crying inside and wishing we had not already spent all our pocket money on OPVs and light frigates.

Mr Bell

The reduction of type 26 order to 8 could be reversed. It is not impossible, the RN certainly needs more than 8 of these vessels and a reasonable number of the type 31s (8-10) i would think a surface warship fleet of
6 Type 45s, 12 type 26 and 8-10 type 31s is actually what the RN needs 26-30 frigates and destroyers in total.
We just need the political will to admit the defence cuts to the RN have gone to far.


The cuts have gone too far across all services.


Absolutely – all three have taken severe cuts but the RN is especially hard hit.

That said, let’s call it as it is – and it pains me to say it – but there will be no additional money made available for the Armed Forces. Absolutely none. In fact you could argue the contrary as the Treasury is demanding ‘efficiency savings’ be made across all three services. This is essentially another way of saying cuts but with lipstick.

Geoffrey Roach

Quite right Mr Bell. If costs fall ……

David Steeper

Would be gobsmacked if Australia bought type 26. Probably trying to do an India and using UK to get a better deal from the French or US. Cynical ? Maybe. We’ll see.

Evan P

Or do a France and bail out to make their own using shared technology. It’s cynical but plausible.


The Aussies are too wrapped up in their love in with all things American to buy anything major from the UK.

..and besides any T26 order will mean very little to the UK in terms of industry benefit as the hulls will all be built locally and fitted out with Aussie weapons & radar.

The Wookie

bought half our navy from spain….


Type 26 a very strong candidate…and so it should be. The RAN has been involved in the design. The ship has a flexible mission bay and growth margins. With the CEAFAR and CEAMOUNT radars it can do the AAW and ABM job as well as ASW. This is BAE’s to lose.

Harry Nelson

I thought Spain in a better position??


Maybe, they are the incumbent supplier, but the Navantia offering is based on their F-100; bit out of date and not the best ASW hull? I read somewhere the RAN were impressed by the Italian Fremm. BAE should have got some brownie points for upgrading the Anzac class with ceafar, bit of an engineering tour de force.

Jack Wyatt

All three designs are impressive. The Flight 111 Burkes are evolved from ships first launched in the mid 80s. I don’t believe anyone would consider Flight 111 Burkes to be out of date. Similarly the Navantia bid is an evolved F100 and the Aust Govt provided funding for studies into the suitability of the F100 for the ASW role. The mission of the future frigate has also been adjusted with the design expected to operate in an environment where a strong AAW will be required. The F100 with 48 strike length VLS has an edge over both other designs which… Read more »


Sounds like the RAN just want to standardize on the F100 hull but have CEAFAR/ CEAMOUNT sensors, right?

Mike Saul

I hope the t26 wins. The UK must be at the forefront of technological change to succeed in global markets, if customers wish to build in their own countries using a UK design then so be it.

If we try and dictate to customers want they can and can’t do we won’t win any orders


Lol, what value is that?

All your doing is basically selling them the manufacturing blueprints.

It won’t keep anyone in the UK in a job.

Mike Saul

That’s the way the world has changed, you either change with it or decay.

Most nations now have the ability to build warships, but what they don’t have is the design know how and high end technology weapons, sensors and machinery to equip them.

The luddite mentality has no future.

Stephen G.

If they don’t have the design know how etc. then that’s their own problem, we shouldn’t hand over our secrets on a plate.


Agree. This is a tricky one. Maybe we should have derated versions of things for export.

The Wookie

And it would seem that this will be the case in the event the bid is successful

Geoffrey Roach

U K security review postponed. now likely to be reporting in 2018!

Mike Saul

There maybe a general election soon.


If they don’t buy the T26 for £1.3bn each maybe it will make the UK Gov look hard at why they are so expensive. Perhaps they will realise that it is not good to have small hull numbers and spend decades on designing and redesigning and not choosing, then eventually choosing some and adding a second type of ship with more design work and decision timelines.

Any word on when the Canadians are also going to reject our £1.3bn toy in favour of FREMM for about 1/3 the price?


Totally agree – why does it take nearly 20 years from the start of the GCS programme to cutting the Steel on the 1st of class,what on Earth are the designers and the MOD been doing all this time ? Another solution for the RN would have been to just to keep building the Type 23’s,say a new ship every two years,incrementally improving the capability of them as the builds progressed,that way we wouldn’t have to look at keeping some of the class in service for 30 years.As for the Type 26 I sincerely hope it is chosen by Australia… Read more »

Brenton Blandford

In the long run think type 26 will be better because it will utilise different requirements not only from the RAN but from RN, RNZN and RCN. Maybe India and Malaysia too. This will provide employment both in Australia and UK shipyards and if these countries buy enough of these frigates the costs of building them will go down because they will be buying in bulk. Need commonality in Weapons, Radar, Aegis with one fits all. Easier to maintain along with good engineering fits for propulsion..