UK Royal Navy Expands Anti-Warfare Capabilities With First Type 26 Frigate Launch

The UK Royal Navy’s future Type 26 frigate HMS Glasgow has made its first surface contact at River Clyde.

During the ceremony, the vessel was towed into deep water by a barge for transport to another facility to complete construction.

First of Eight Type 26 Frigates

“The floating of HMS Glasgow today represents an important milestone in the build of the Royal Navy’s latest anti-submarine warfare frigate,” UK Naval Regional Commander Brig. Andy Muddiman explained during the event.

“This is the first of eight Type 26 frigates being built by BAE Systems in Glasgow.”

“The Royal Navy’s exciting programme of ship building in Scotland, which includes five Type 31 general purpose frigates being built by Babcock International in Rosyth, will generate jobs, skills and economic benefits in Scotland for many years to come.”

3D Visualization

Experts from the UK Defence Equipment & Support and BAE Systems monitored the process with a 3D visualization suite that tracked a fully-digital ‘twin’ of the HMS Glasgow, ensuring the frigate’s seamless transition into water.

The frigate will be towed back to BAE Systems’ facility in Scotstoun on the River Clyde for its next construction phase, additional trials, and commissioning.

‘A Major Milestone’

Work on HMS Glasgow has been ongoing since 2017. Once completed, it will be the first City-class Type 26 frigate to enter service.

The frigate’s anti-submarine warfare capability will be coupled with the navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

HMS Glasgow will begin operations in 2025.

“HMS Glasgow entering the water for the first time marks a major milestone for the Type 26 programme which supports thousands of highly skilled jobs in Scotland and more across the wider UK supply chain,” UK Defence Minister Ben Wallace said.

“We’re continuing to invest in the British shipbuilding industry to maintain the Royal Navy’s cutting-edge ability to defend our nation, while strengthening our partnership with allies.”

UK’s Growing City Frigate Fleet

Earlier this month, the UK Ministry of Defence announced a $4.9 billion contract with BAE Systems to construct five more Type 26 frigates.

The company is building the second and third City-class vessels, the HMS Cardiff and Belfast, alongside the almost complete Glasgow.

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