A senior member of the US Naval Institute has advised that the US Navy should reconsider the Type 26 Frigate.
The United States Naval Institute is a private, non-profit, professional military association that in its own words seeks to offer independent, nonpartisan forums for debate of national defence and security issues.
Dr. Friedman is the author of The Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapon Systems, available from the Naval Institute Press.
Friedman points out that the key barrier to the US purchasing the vessel design is that the ship is not yet in service:
“The Type 26 suggests that British thinking has become more like the classic U.S. view. (Ironically, changes to U.S. naval procurement since the early 1980s may have brought the U.S. Navy closer to the older British approach.) A ship’s weapon systems now account for much of its cost. Air-defense systems are particularly expensive. Squeezing those systems into smaller hulls saves very little money, and they may even be more expensive to maintain and operate.
BAE—not the Royal Navy—designed the Type 26, and the ship’s size may reflect a perception that the more flexible the ship, the better its export prospects. Thus, each of the three buyers has been able to select a different combat system within much the same overall configuration.
The Royal Navy version is armed with 48 Sea Ceptor point-defense missiles (smaller and lighter than Raytheon’s Evolved Seasparrow Missile [ESSM], but with about half the ESSM’s 27-nautical mile range). The Royal Navy’s version also has 16 strike-length Mk 41 vertical launching system (VLS) cells that can accommodate Tomahawk missiles, the MBDA Missile De Croisière Naval, and Raytheon Standard Missiles with boosters, such as the active-radar SM-3. The Mk 41 system also can accommodate the new U.S. naval strike missile.”
“The Type 26 exemplifies the current meaning of “frigate.” It is a general-purpose surface combatant with a point- or limited area-air-defense system.”
You can read the full report by Friedman here.
Recently we reported that the hull of HMS Glasgow, the first Type 26 Frigate in build for the Royal Navy, is starting to look shipshape.
— Christopher Gardner (@VAdmCGardner) April 17, 2019
Below is an image showing one of the internal compartments, click on the above tweet to see it in better quality.
The Type 26 represents the future backbone of the Royal Navy and eight of the class are planned, starting with HMS Glasgow. The UK Government say they are committed to eight of the type, 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.