Royal Navy: Gigantic hall to construct new Type 26 warships to be built to revolutionise shipbuilding
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The new facility will be used by the Royal Navy to speed up the process of getting their new modernised Type 26 frigates on the water. Two ships can be built side by side when the new hall is complete.
Eight vessels have been ordered in total, lead by HMS Glasgow, with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) planning for them to replace the current Type 23 frigates. The bulk of the construction work for the programme will take place in the Govan yard in Scotland, operated by BAE Systems, where the new facility will be built.
Vessels will then be transferred to the firm’s facility at Scotstoun for completion, testing and acceptance. Once complete, the new hall in Scotland will be equipped with two 100-tonne cranes and a further two 20-tonne cranes, with up to 500 workers employed per shift on frigate construction.
Work on the foundations, including fulling in the basins, have been completed. Piling work has now begun.
Currently, the existing sheds at Govan only allow for fore and rear sections of the frigates to be built under cover. These giant segments are then joined together on the standing, where the new ship HMS Cardiff currently sits.
This means the new vessels are exposed to the weather for months on end, which slows down the construction work and restricts what employees can do. The new facility aims to resolve those issues.
Ships will be emerge from the hall in a more complete state. Simon Lister, managing director of naval ships at BAE Systems, said: “This new hall will give us some of the best facilities in the world and completely modernise our approach to shipbuilding.
"It, alongside the investments already under way to digitise our processes, will ensure Govan continues to be something that the city of Glasgow can be truly proud of.” The new hall is part of a £300m investment in BAE’s facilities, with funding also being put towards the digitising work processes.
The new Type 26 frigates will be designed for anti-submarine warfare and high-intensity air defence. Construction of all eight ships will start in the mid-2030s.