Royal Navy: New Type 26 frigate HMS Cardiff to enter water soon in latest step on shipbuilding project - when

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One of the brand new frigates being built for the Royal Navy will achieve a significant milestone soon.

HMS Cardiff - the second out of eight Type 26 frigates being commissioned - will enter the water soon. BAE Systems, the Portsmouth-based defence company responsible for the Type 26 project, confirmed the news when publishing its financial accounts.

The City Class ships are considered among the most advanced new vessels being constructed for the Royal Navy, with the eight vessels including HMS Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh and London. The first three ships are due to enter the fleet before 2030, with the others expected during that decade.

The forward section of Type 26 Frigate HMS Cardiff is rolled out from the SBOH at BAE Systems Shipyard in Govan, Scotland. Picture: John Linton 2023/BAE Systems/Royal NavyThe forward section of Type 26 Frigate HMS Cardiff is rolled out from the SBOH at BAE Systems Shipyard in Govan, Scotland. Picture: John Linton 2023/BAE Systems/Royal Navy
The forward section of Type 26 Frigate HMS Cardiff is rolled out from the SBOH at BAE Systems Shipyard in Govan, Scotland. Picture: John Linton 2023/BAE Systems/Royal Navy | John Linton

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"The UK Type 26 programme continues and construction is underway on the first four City Class Type 26 frigates, with a focus on skilled and experienced resource availability, including within the supply chain," the BAE Systems report said. "HMS Glasgow is progressing through the key stages of outfit, test and commissioning, while HMS Cardiff is being prepared to enter the water for the first time in 2024.

"Following steel cut in June 2021, HMS Belfast continues steelwork construction, while the initial unit construction for HMS Birmingham began in April and is well underway." Minister for defence procurement James Cartlidge, Conservative MP for South Suffolk, previously confirmed in parliament initial Operating Capability for the Type 26 Class is forecast to be October 2028. He added that all the ships will be part of the fleet by 2035.

The BAE Systems report said the company is continuing to invest in people and facilities in Scotland, with the new Govan facility expected to open this year. Overall, the business saw a nine per cent growth in sales to £25.3bn for the period ending December 31, 2023. There was also an right per cent rise in operating profit to £2.6bn.

Charles Woodburn, BAE Systems chief executive, said: "We’ve delivered a strong operational and financial performance in 2023 and I’m extremely proud of the way our people have delivered cutting-edge equipment and services to our customers, working together with partners across our supply chain. Our performance, combined with our global footprint and record order intake, means we’re well-positioned for sustained growth in the coming years. We’ll keep driving the business forward, investing in new technologies, facilities and our people. This will help us deliver on our order backlog and help ensure our government customers stay ahead in an uncertain world, whilst delivering increased value to our shareholders and the communities where we operate."

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