The UK Ministry of Defence awarded a £4.2 billion ($5 billion) contract to BAE Systems to manufacture the next five City-class Type 26 frigates for the Royal Navy in Glasgow.
Leading the Royal Navy’s anti-submarine warfare surface fleet, the five new City-class ships – HMS Birmingham, HMS Sheffield, HMS Newcastle, HMS Edinburgh and HMS London – will join the first three T26s already in build at Govan – HMS Glasgow, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast, the ministry said in an official statement.
Construction of all eight frigates is expected to be completed by the mid-2030s, with the first, HMS Glasgow, entering service by the end of 2028.
Steel will be cut on the first of the next five vessels, HMS Birmingham, this winter, marking the start of the Batch 2 build phase.
At just under 150m long – around the length of three Olympic swimming pools – and with a top speed of more than 26 knots and a range of more than 7,000 nautical miles, the vessels will be capable of countering piracy and delivering humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
Carrying the Sea Ceptor missile defence system - able to destroy airborne and sea surface targets - the vessels will also carry a five-inch medium calibre gun, an embarked helicopter for specific operations, radar and sonar for expert navigation and tracking adversaries.
A flexible mission bay means the vessels could also be adapted to carry specific Armed Forces and equipment tailored for operations. The Mk.41 vertical launch silo will be fitted to enable rapid-fire missile launches.
Improving build efficiency, BAE Systems has submitted a planning application for a new 175 metre long, 85 metre wide Shipbuilding Hall at Govan, which will allow two frigates to be built simultaneously under cover. This investment will be a major factor in the final five City-class ships costing less and being delivered faster than previous vessels.
The vessels are designed to reduce environmental impacts, and are fitted with features - including a hydrodynamically designed hull - to optimise fuel efficiency and a diesel engine emissions abatement, which reduces nitrogen oxide exhaust.