BRITAIN’S first ship of a new fleet of state-of-the-art frigates will be called HMS Glasgow, the defence secretary has revealed.
Sir Michael Fallon unvieled the name as he cut the ship’s first piece of steel at the BAE Systems shipyard in Govan, Glasgow today.
Earlier this month a £3.7bn contract was signed with the defence giant to build the first three warships in the new eight-strong fleet of City-class Type 26 frigates.
Once completed, the frigates will be a vital line of defence in protecting the navy’s two new aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales – both of which will be based in Portsmouth.
Britain’s top sailor, Admiral Sir Philip Jones said the new fleet of warships was a ‘symbolic of a Royal Navy on the rise’.
Speaking today, Sir Michael added: ‘Today marks a historic milestone for the Royal Navy, Scottish shipbuilding and UK defence more widely.
‘HMS Glasgow and the other seven frigates in this new class will protect our powerful new aircraft carriers and nuclear deterrent, helping keep Britain safe across the world.
‘The Type 26 is a cutting-edge warship that will maintain our naval power with a truly global reach. Designed for a service life of at least 25 years, the Type 26 frigates will form a backbone of the future Royal Navy surface fleet well into the future.’
The three ships being built under the first contract will safeguard 4,000 jobs UK-wide until 2035.
The ships will specialise in anti-submarine warfare and work closely with the navy’s Trident nuclear deterrent and the new aircraft carriers, the first of which - HMS Queen Elizabeth - launched from Rosyth in late June for sea trials.
HMS Glasgow will enter service in the mid 2020s.
The fleet will eventually replace the current Type 23 frigates – six of which are based in Portsmouth.
No decision has been made as to where the new fleet of frigates will be based.
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones, said today’s revelation was a big step forward for the Senior Service.
‘The Clyde was the birthplace of some of the greatest fighting ships the world has ever known, and so cutting steel there today for the future HMS Glasgow is symbolic of a Royal Navy on the rise once again,’ he said.
‘As an island nation, we are utterly dependent on the sea for our security and prosperity, and the City-class names have been chosen for the Type 26 to provide an enduring link between the Royal Navy and our great centres of commerce and industry.
‘The name Glasgow brings with it a string of battle honours, stretching from the Arctic Circle to the South Atlantic. As one of the world’s most capable anti-submarine frigates, the Type 26 will carry the Royal Navy’s tradition of victory far into the future.’
The contract for the second batch of five ships will be negotiated in the early 2020s.