Royal Navy: Construction work begins on the navy’s fourth Type 26 Frigate HMS Birmingham

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A ceremony has been held to officially begin construction on the future HMS Birmingham, the Royal Navy’s fourth new Type 26 Frigate.

Minister for Defence Procurement Alex Chalk has attended the steel cut ceremony at BAE Systems’ Govan shipyard in Glasgow marking the official start of build on the fourth of eight Type 26 frigates, was carried out by apprentice burner, Ciaran Baillie, accompanied by fabricator - plater Jamie Finnegan.

Work on the first three Type 26 ships is well under way with HMS Glasgow now at BAE Systems’ Scotstoun shipyard to have her complex systems installed, HMS Cardiff currently being assembled and HMS Belfast in its early construction phase. HMS Birmingham is the first ship to be constructed under a £4.2bn contract for the remaining five ships secured in November, which BEA says reflects the Ministry of Defence’s confidence in the programme.

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HMS Birmingham is the first ship to be constructedHMS Birmingham is the first ship to be constructed
HMS Birmingham is the first ship to be constructed

Alex Chalk KC, minister for defence procurement, said: “This is yet another significant milestone for the Type 26 programme, supporting thousands of jobs in Scotland and across the wider UK supply chain. Working closely with our industry partners, we are bringing in a cutting-edge class of warships for the Royal Navy, bolstering our maritime capabilities into the coming decades.”

Simon Lister, managing director of BAE Systems' Naval Ships business, said: "This is another proud moment for our talented teams across the UK who have played a part in the design and construction of these important vessels. HMS Birmingham will benefit from a range of investments that will transform our digital and physical infrastructure and consolidate a centre of excellence for shipbuilding skills here in the UK. Alongside my teams I’d like to thank our customers and suppliers for their expertise and commitment as we take this programme forward and deliver the next generation City Class frigates for the Royal Navy."

The Type 26 is one of the world’s most advanced warships and is part of the programme to partially replace the navy’s thirteen Type 23 frigates. It is designed for anti-submarine warfare and high-intensity air defence, but can adapt its role quickly to transport high volumes of humanitarian aid and house medical facilities.

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