BAE Systems Maritime has broken ground on a new shipbuilding facility at the Govan shipyard in Glasgow, Scotland. McLaughlin & Harvey is leading the construction work.
The new facility will support the company’s development of five Type 26 frigates under a $5.09 billion contract the U.K. Ministry of Defence awarded in 2022. The ship build hall is expected to feature digital technology as part of the company’s $363 million modernization and digitalization effort.
BAE Systems is currently working on three Type 26 vessels under a separate contract, namely HMS Glasgow, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast. HMS Glasgow will be fitted with complex systems at the company’s Scotstoun shipyard, with plans for delivery to the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s, according to USNI News.
Work on the HMS Birmingham, one of the five additional Type 26 vessels, is also underway.
The USNI report said the Type 26 ships will have advanced anti-submarine warfare capabilities, a 24-cell Mk 41 vertical launch system for Tomahawk cruise missiles and long-range strike weapons, a 48-cell silo for Sea Ceptor air defense missiles and a 5-inch gun.
U.K. Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace previously said the Type 26 design has already been exported to Australia and Canada, which procured versions of the vessels tailored to their own navies.
The new frigates will replace some warships in the Type 23 fleet, according to Defense News. Type 31 frigates from BAE competitor Babcock were selected to replace other Type 23 vessels.