Construction Begins on Next-Gen Royal Navy Frigate

The Royal Navy begins construction of its next generation frigate, but is the boat needed in this century?

Artist’s depiction of the HMS Glasgow. (Image Courtesy of BAE.)

Artist’s depiction of the HMS Glasgow. (Image Courtesy of BAE.)

Britain’s Royal Navy recently began construction on the first of its Type 26 frigates at BAE System’s Glasgow shipyard.

According to BAE, the first of the next generation vessel’s steel plates has been cut and the new craft has been named. The moniker it will carry is the HMS Glasgow.

“HMS Glasgow and the other seven frigates in this new class will protect our powerful new aircraft carriers and nuclear deterrent, helping keep Britain safe across the world,” said Brittan’s Defense Secretary Sir Michael Fallow. “The Type 26 is a cutting-edge warship that will maintain our naval power with a truly global reach. Designed for a service life of at least 25 years, the Type 26 frigates will form a backbone of the future Royal Navy surface fleet well into the future.”

Per Royal Navy sources, The Type 26 frigate has been designed to be the backbone of the Royal Navy from the time it enters service in the mid-2020s until it’s ultimately retired in the 2060s. During that time, the frigate will be used to protect submarines and aircraft carriers from adversarial attack subs and other ships that might try to undermine Britain’s presence on the ocean.

To meet those demands, the 492-ft long, Type-26 ship will displace some 7,600 tons across its frame. To propel the craft, a Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine and four MTU diesel generators will be employed delivering a top speed of 30 mph.

The ship will also have a fair compliment of arms, including 48 CAMM missiles, enough space for 24 tomahawks and a BAE-built 5-in Mk 45 navy gun. In order to locate and track its targets the Type 26 will be outfitted with a sonar towed array, a Type 2050 bow sonar array and a Type 997 Artisan 3D radar.

While it will still be some time before the Glasgow makes its maiden voyage, the technology being built into the Royal Navy’s latest frigate should make it a formidable foe. However, unless something terrible starts to brew in the Northwest Passage, it’s hard to image a full scale naval battle happening anytime soon.

Hopefully this frigate will end up doing what many British frigates have throughout history: policing the coastlines of less than stable regions and fending off pirates to promote free trade and overall institutional and governmental stability. 

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