Type 26 frigate CGI
Sea vessels

What Are The Type 26 Frigates?

A total of eight ships will be built as part of the Type 26 programme and will be delivered to the Royal Navy from the mid-2020s.

Type 26 frigate CGI

Set for delivery in the coming decade, the Royal Navy's Type 26 frigates are already being dubbed the workhorses of the warship fleet.

Replacing the dedicated submarine-hunting Type 23 frigates, the Type 26s will accompany British aircraft carriers as part of a Carrier Strike Group.

The Type 26 vessels will uphold the three key naval functions within the service – maritime security, international engagement and warfighting.

Alongside the UK's pending Type 31 frigates, they will help make up the future generation of the Royal Navy.

But what is the Type 26?

A total of eight ships will be built on the Clyde as part of the Type 26 programme and will start being delivered to the Royal Navy from the mid-2020s.

The 6,900-tonne frigates will have a top speed of 26+ knots and a total range of 7,000 nautical miles.

The vessels will also be equipped with a Sea Ceptor anti-air defence missile system and a flight deck capable of handling aircraft up to the size of a Chinook helicopter.

All of the Type 26s will be based at Devonport Naval Base, with the first three vessels being manufactured by BAE Systems as part of a £3.7bn contract.

A deal for the construction of the remaining five ships is due to be negotiated in 2020.

Type 26 frigate CGI
Each vessel will cost £250 million to produce (Picture: MOD).

The names of all eight Type 26s have been revealed:

The Type 26s are expected to continue in service beyond the middle of the 21st Century, and are expected to feature in counter-piracy and disaster relief operations.

One of their roles will be to provide advanced protection for the UK’s nuclear deterrent and Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, as well as offering an anti-submarine warfare capability.

The plan is for them to form the future of the Royal Navy with the Type 31 frigate, which will be built by defence firm Babcock.

Cover image: The Type 26 is expected to begin service during the next decade (Picture: MOD).