First parts ordered for UK's new Type 26 frigates

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First parts ordered for UK's new Type 26 frigates
Nicholas de Larrinaga, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
05 August 2015

The Type 26 Global Combat Ship is planned to replace the Type 23 in RN service from 2023. Source: BAE Systems

The Royal Navy's future fleet of Type 26 Global Combat Ships moved forward on 5 August with the ordering of the first long lead items for the vessels.

In total seven contracts, worth GBP170 million (USD265 million), were placed by prime contractor BAE Systems with some of its key subcontractors.

The Royal Navy is currently planning to purchase 13 Type 26 vessels to replace its existing Type 23 frigates on a one-for-one basis.

The items ordered are the vessel's air weapons handling systems (from Babcock); communications systems (from Rohde & Schwarz UK); electric propulsion motor and drive systems (from GE Power Conversion); gas turbines (from Rolls-Royce Power Engineering); integrated navigation and bridge systems (from Raytheon); propulsion gearboxes (from David Brown Gear Systems); and uptakes and downtakes (from WR Davis).

Geoff Searle, Type 26 Programme Director at BAE Systems, stated the contracts "will enable our partners in the supply chain to start manufacturing key equipment for the first three ships. This reinforces the strong momentum behind the programme and is an important step towards the start of manufacturing the Type 26 ships for the Royal Navy in Glasgow next year."

The 7,000 tonne Type 26 is being designed to be expressly multi-mission in its capabilities. It will at least maintain the capabilities of the Type 23 in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and general purpose roles, with a mission bay designed into the vessels to provide flexibility to conduct humanitarian and other missions. The vessel's will be armed with a 5 in (127 mm) BAE Systems Mk 45 Mod 4 gun system; a Lockheed Martin Mk 41 vertical launching system (VLS) for anti-surface and ASW weapons; four twelve-cell launchers for the MBDA Sea Ceptor local air defence system; two Phalanx Block 1B close-in weapon systems, and two 30 mm automated small-calibre gun systems; and a hanger for either two Wildcat helicopters or a single Merlin helicopter.
First parts ordered for UK's new Type 26 frigates - IHS Jane's 360