HMS Glasgow rolls out into open air first Royal Navy Type 26 frigate 18042021 CREDIT BAE
The forward section of HMS Glasgow emerging from the BAE Systems Clyde shipyard in 2021 (Picture: BAE Systems).
Navy

Royal Navy's Type 26s delayed by a year at an extra cost of £233m

HMS Glasgow rolls out into open air first Royal Navy Type 26 frigate 18042021 CREDIT BAE
The forward section of HMS Glasgow emerging from the BAE Systems Clyde shipyard in 2021 (Picture: BAE Systems).

The Royal Navy's Type 26 frigates programme will be delayed by 12 months and over budget by £233m, according to the Defence Secretary.

Ben Wallace told MPs in a statement that Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the Type 26s – dubbed the workhorses of the warship fleet – will now be reached in October 2028 instead of the planned October 2027.

In his update, Mr Wallace attributed the hold-up to a delay finalising the design, delivery of service equipment and the impact of COVID-19, which caused BAES' Govan shipyard, where the ships are being manufactured, to close for a number of weeks. 

"The resultant cost growth for the MOD (Ministry of Defence) is 4.2% over forecast, which is £233m over the life of the programme," he added.

He also confirmed, that Ship 1, HMS Glasgow,  is expected to be in the water by the end of 2022.

Mr Wallace outlined that would be "following completion of the platform design, joining the fore and aft sections of HMS GLASGOW, successful gearbox installation and shaft alignment work in readiness for float off to the Scotstoun yard around the end of this year".

Also currently being manufactured are Ship 2, HMS Cardiff, which commenced with a steel-cutting ceremony in August 2019, and Ship 3, HMS BELFAST, where the Prince of Wales conducted its steel-cutting ceremony in June 2021.

Watch: A virtual tour of a Type 26 frigate.

Pending Type 26 vessels will contribute to maritime security, international engagement and warfighting, expected to join future UK Carrier Strike Group formations.

Replacing the dedicated submarine-hunting Type 23s, the new warships will weigh 6,900 tonnes and will be equipped with a Sea Ceptor anti-air defence missile system and a flight deck.

The vessels will also be equipped with a Sea Ceptor anti-air defence missile system, a five-inch medium-calibre gun, Artisan 997 Medium Range Radar and towed array sonars.

Each Type 26 frigate will also have a flight deck capable of handling aircraft up to the size of a Chinook helicopter and a flexible mission bay capable of housing and deploying vessels, vehicles and containers.

Mr Wallace confirmed that "the Type 26 programme remains on track to meet all user requirements and deliver world-class anti-submarine warfare frigates in time to replace the anti-submarine warfare Type 23s".