The Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigate programme is set to achieve a critical milestone with the joining of HMS Glasgow’s forward and aft blocks together.

HMS Glasgow is the first of eight future City-class Type 26 advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates.

BAE Systems is under a £3.7bn contract to deliver the first batch of three Type 26 ships.

Set to replace the UK’s Type 23 frigates, the Type 26 ships are the original variant of BAE’s Global Combat Ship.

Engineers will soon begin connecting several systems, pipes, and cables and more to make sure that the hull and structure align perfectly. Work is being carried out at BAE’s Govan shipyard on the River Clyde.

Royal Navy Type 26 programme head commodore Stephen Roberts said: “Seeing the ship take her form in this way is a tangible representation of the scale of the Type 26 programme and I look forward to witnessing the next phase in the delivery of this advanced anti-submarine warfare capability to the future Royal Navy surface fleet.”

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Earlier this month, BAE Systems unveiled the aft block of HMS Glasgow. It includes the mission bay and hangar, which can support helicopters, boats, mission loads and disaster relief stores.

Last month, the company revealed the forward section that contains the bridge, operations room and accommodation spaces.

The ship’s main mast is also set to be added.

Each Type 26 ship will be fitted with the Sea Ceptor missile defence system, a five-inch medium calibre gun, flexible mission bay, Artisan 997 Medium Range Radar, as well as towed array sonars.

Roberts added: “We will gradually welcome more of her crew to the Glasgow family as she is brought to life.

“Glasgow and the other Type 26 frigates will be at the cutting edge of anti-submarine capability, but also extremely flexible and diverse ships that will be deployed all over the world. They are modern, capable ships that give their crews really exciting opportunities for the future.”

The first steel on the second frigate HMS Cardiff was cut in 2019. HMS Belfast is the third ship of the class and its steel cut will take place this year.