Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Defence, visited BAE Systems’ Clyde shipyards today to gain an insight into the Company’s next generation digital ship design approach for the Type 26 frigates, before viewing the first fully constructed units of the first of class, Glasgow.
In a fully digital 3D virtual environment, the Defence Secretary walked through decks and stood on the bridge of the 149m long Type 26 design before touring the site to see how construction of the first vessel is progressing.
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be a world-class anti-submarine warfare ship and will replace the Type 23 anti-submarine frigates. Globally deployable, it will be capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group.
Together with the UK’s new fleet of submarine hunting P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft fleet, the City Class Type 26 will protect the UK’s submarine-deployed nuclear deterrent and the nation’s two new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers.
The hull takes shape
Construction of the first Type 26 frigate started in July 2017 and the hull is already taking shape with the first two completed hull sections now connected. The units contain the machinery space, aviation stores for embarked helicopters and a recreational area.
Iain Stevenson, BAE Systems Naval Ships Managing Director, said: “Today we have been able to demonstrate how the latest digital technologies help us work with our customer and suppliers to create a comprehensive and mature complex warship design for the UK Royal Navy. From the positioning of key equipment and cutting-edge combat systems, through to the design and outfit of recreational areas, we use this technology to develop and prove the design alongside our customer.
“Nearly a year into production it’s a proud moment to see the first two units joined together and we are already seeing GLASGOW take shape at our facilities here on the Clyde. It’s a great opportunity for our apprentices to learn new skills and play a part in such an important programme.”
The digital ship design approach for the Type 26 platform has also helped to demonstrate the adaptability of the designs proposed for the Australian Government’s anti-submarine warfare frigate programme and the Canadian Surface Combatant programme.