BAE Systems has awarded new manufacturing equipment contracts to 14 companies for the British Royal Navy's Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS).

The new awards will help support approximately 550 jobs across the UK maritime industry and will increase the total amount of investment in the supply chain to more than £500m.

The largest of the new contracts has been awarded to procure structural steel for the development of the first three Type 26 vessels, as well as sonar components that will play an important role in the ship’s anti-submarine warfare capability.

Dent Steel Services is set to acquire steel from the UK and European mills via its Bradford facility, while the sonar components will be manufactured by Thales in Cheadle and Tods Defence from their facility in Portland, UK.

"We are now in the final stages of preparation to start manufacture of the Royal Navy’s first Type 26 GCS in the coming weeks."

BAE Systems Type 26 GCS programme director Geoff Searle said: “Today’s announcement demonstrates that the Type 26 GCS is truly an industry-wide effort drawing on the skills and dedication of many hundreds of people spread across the supply chain in the UK, Europe and beyond.

“We are now in the final stages of preparation to start manufacture of the Royal Navy’s first Type 26 GCS in the coming weeks.”

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BAE Systems’ Maritime Services has also secured a contract to manufacture the Artisan Radar 997 for the Royal Navy vessel. The radar is expected to be assembled in Cowes, UK.

A total of 34 companies across the maritime supply chain are working directly with the company to deliver the Type 26 vessels to the navy.

Image: Type 26 Global Combat Ship. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.