Five Type 26 frigates to be built on the Clyde, Sunak confirms

BAE Systems
A total of eight Type 26 frigates are to be built in Scotland

BBC Scotland is reporting that five Royal Navy warships are to be constructed in Glasgow after the prime minister confirmed the next phase in a shipbuilding programme.

Rishi Sunak, right, announced BAE Systems has been awarded a £4.2 billion contract to build five more Type 26 frigates, on top of the three already under construction.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the deal would support 1,700 jobs over the next decade at sites in Glasgow.  The warships are replacing the navy’s 12 ageing Type 23 frigates.

Three new Type 26 vessels – which are designed for anti-submarine warfare and air defence – are already being built at BAE’s sites in Govan and Scotstoun as part of an initial £3.7bn order announced in 2017.

The Mod said at the time that a deal for five more ships would be agreed in the “early 2020s”.

The first of the vessels, HMS Glasgow, is on track to enter the water later this year and be delivered to the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s. HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast are also under construction.

The MoD said the new contract would secure shipbuilding at BAE Systems sites in Scotland into the 2030s, with up to £1.8bn of the new order to be spent in the supply chain, including £1.2bn with UK suppliers.

This will help support a further 2,300 jobs with more than 120 UK suppliers, according to the UK government.

HMS Glasgow
Clyde-built HMS Glasgow is expected to be completed later this year

Mr Sunak confirmed the contract while attending the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

He said: “Russia’s actions put all of us at risk.

“As we give the Ukrainian people the support they need, we are also harnessing the breadth and depth of UK expertise to protect ourselves and our allies.

“This includes building the next generation of British warships.”

Type 26 frigate

BAE Systems has recently applied for planning consent for a new £100m shipbuilding hall on the Clyde that would allow two frigates to be built at the same time, under cover. The company said this should help reduce construction costs.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Supporting thousands of high-skilled jobs in Scotland, and more across the wider UK supply chain, this contract will continue to boost our British shipbuilding industry, galvanising the very best of British engineering, manufacturing and design.”

BAE Systems chief executive Charles Woodburn added: “This contract secures a critical UK industry and allows us to build on our long history of shipbuilding on the Clyde as we continue to deliver cutting-edge equipment to the Royal Navy into the next decade.”

It was once envisaged that the Royal Navy would need 13 Type 26 frigates, but that plan changed after the 2015 Strategic Defence Review.

Instead, the MoD decided it would order eight Type 26 frigates and at least five Type 31 frigates – a cheaper, more general purpose class of vessel which is currently under construction at the Babcock shipyard at Rosyth in Fife.

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