By Lucy Ashton
The Royal Navy’s newest frigate, HMS Glasgow, has taken its first trip down the River Clyde.
The Type 26 frigate was moved on to a specialist barge from the Govan yard where she was built and then floated downriver to be lowered into Loch Long.
The frigate will return to BAE’s yard at Scotstoun in Glasgow for fitting out.
Scottish shipyards have orders to build a total of 13 Royal Navy frigates.
Workers from West Dunbartonshire are employed on eight Type 26 ships which are being constructed by BAE Systems on the Clyde, while five Type 31 vessels are being built by Babcock at Rosyth in Fife.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace visited HMS Glasgow while it was first being rolled onto the barge.
He said: “I think it’s a remarkable achievement by the workforce here, who’ve built basically the world’s leading anti-submarine warfare ship.”
Mr Wallace said the first Type 26 ship was coming out of the shipyard late but not “catastrophically” so.
The next two ships in the class, HMS Cardiff and the HMS Belfast, are already under construction in Glasgow.
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 31e frigates – a cheaper, more general purpose class of vessel.
The e stands for “export” and Babcock is exploring the potential for more orders overseas.
The Ferguson shipyard in Port Glasgow was part of the consortium that won the bid to build the Type 31 ships – but went into administration and was nationalised before it could benefit from the work.
Harland and Wolff in Belfast was also part of that winning consortium, but it too went into administration meaning that all the work is currently being carried out at Rosyth.
Top picture: Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on a visit to Faslane with Boris Johnston.
The same day an elderly woman waited 40 hrs with a broken hip in a hospital in England before she was treated, yet we can find resources to build ships to go abroad and kill people.