The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced a further investment of £472m to support the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme.
This will enable the MOD to further the project’s demonstration phase, with additional investment allocated for detailed design work, the purchase of necessary equipment and establishment of shore-based testing facilities.
Demonstrating a commitment to the programme that is centred on the Clyde, the latest investment will benefit suppliers across the UK, including companies in Fife, Midlothian, Derbyshire, Warwickshire, West Yorkshire, Hampshire, Dorset, Bristol, and Leicestershire.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "These highly advanced ships will help keep Britain safe and support our ship-building industry. Investing in them is part of our plan to increase defence spending so our armed forces have the most modern equipment they need."
The important equipment purchases include diesel generators; sonar domes, which form the bow-mounted sonar used for anti-submarine detection; helicopter handling equipment to control the movement of aircraft to and from the hanger; mission bay side doors, for the loading and unloading of equipment; and the stabiliser and steering gear system, which are key elements of the T26 navigation system.
These purchases are expected to provide further work for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship supply chain.
MOD procurement organisation defence equipment and support chief executive Tony Douglas said: "We have a long history of delivering complex warships in the UK and as a result of today’s announcement we will continue to develop a clear way forward for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship Programme that reflects the recent Strategic Defence and Security Review, in which the design is further matured while extending the engagement of the wider UK supply chain."
Meanwhile, shore-based testing facilities will review core parts of the ship’s power and propulsion system and the combat system.
Replacing the Type 23 Frigates in time, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship will undertake the Royal Navy’s three core roles; warfighting, maritime security and international engagement, worldwide.
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be in service with the Royal Navy into the 2050s.
Along with two additional Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), which would make five OPVs in total, and the planned light General Purpose Frigate, the warships will serve as a key element of the UK’s defence, specialising in anti-submarine warfare.