BAE Systems has started construction on the HMS Cardiff during a ceremony at its shipyard in Govan on the River Clyde.

HMS Cardiff is the British Royal Navy ’s second Type 26 Global Combat Ship.

The first steel was cut at the ceremony to mark the official start of construction on the second of eight Type 26 City-class frigates for the Royal Navy.

BAE Systems designed and built the ship in Glasgow, with the company cutting steel on HMS Glasgow, the first vessel in the class, two years ago.

HMS Glasgow is expected to enter service in the mid-2020s.

Speaking at the ceremony, UK Defence Procurement Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The Royal Navy’s new world-beating Type 26 anti-submarine frigates are truly a UK-wide enterprise, supporting thousands of jobs here in Scotland and across the UK.

“These ships will clearly contribute to UK and allied security, but also make a strong economic contribution to the country. With 64 sub-contracts already placed with UK-based businesses, there will be new export opportunities for them to tender for through the selection of the Type 26 design by Australia and Canada too.”

The Type 26 frigates are intended to replace the Navy’s current anti-submarine warfare Type 23 frigates.

They will support the Continuous at Sea Deterrent operation and enhance protection to Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

The new anti-submarine warfare frigates will be armed with the Sea-Ceptor missile defence system, a five-inch medium calibre gun, an embarked helicopter, medium-range radar, and bow and towed array sonars.

Additionally, the vessels can be deployed to support combat operations, counter-piracy, humanitarian aid, and disaster relief work.