Final design of Type 26 Frigate unveiled

Today’s Portsmouth News carries an article showing what is believed to be a posssible final design for the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 Frigates.

Apparently the ships are to displace 5,000 tons, will have a top speed of 28 knots, and will have a rear cargo door for launching small boats. They will be crewed by 140 sailors, compared to 180 for the current Type 23 Frigates. The cost is understood to be £400m per vessel – at the moment, the cost will probably skyrocket once BAE systems get to work. BAE hope to start work in 2016, and launch the first ship in 2018. They are needed urgently, as the Royal Navy has prematurely decomissioned its four Type 22 Frigates, and the Type 23’s are ageing rapidly.

The News ‘understands’ that 13 of them are to be built, with eight being based in Portsmouth and five in Plymouth. Expect bleatings from Plymouth based media and politicians forthwith. Of the current 13 Type 23 Frigates, seven are based in Plymouth and six in Portsmouth. Of course, one wonders exactly how many we will get – with almost a decades worth of recession defence budgets to go through, and potentially one or more defence reviews, we will be very lucky to get ten or more.

Notice also that talk of C1, C2 and C3 versions has fallen by the wayside – it seems that we will be getting thirteen identical ships, for cost reasons no doubt. Let’s hope that the Type 26 is more succesful in the export market than some of our more recent shipbuilding efforts. Partnerships have been rumoured with Australia, Brazil and Turkey.

I’m struggling to find much more information, apart from the News article and the relevant page on the Royal Navy website. If anyone finds anything else, I would be very grateful for some links. In particular, I’m sure we would all like to know about weapons systems and electronics. According to the RN web page, they look like carrying a 4.5inch main gun, some kind of vertical launch missile system, a couple of Goalkeeper-looking CIWS, and a very large helicopter pad and hangar. Apart from that, a very clean looking superstructure, for stealth purposes, no doubt.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but they look very much like other contemporary European Frigates with the bow and superstructure looks, such as the Dutch Zeven Provincien and the Norwegian Otto Sverdrup classes, but with aspects of the Danish Absalon corvettes too.

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10 Comments

Filed under Navy, News, Uncategorized

10 responses to “Final design of Type 26 Frigate unveiled

  1. John Erickson

    Not much detail, but some discussion at http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Britains-Future-Frigates-06268/
    There is also a Facebook page (which I have not yet checked out):
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Type-26-frigate/110179522366751?v=photos
    I’ll see if I can’t find more information elsewhere.

  2. x

    I see they are going with grey again. I was hoping for black hull, white superstructure, and buff funnels.

  3. Reduction in crew size might appear to make sense, but what about manpower intensive things like firefighting, damage control, Replenishment At Sea, or even things such as providing armed sentries?

    Still, I guess we should be grateful the project didn’t get the axe

    • x

      The simplest thing to do is to build a bigger hull and use double bulkheads. Fit the ship with sprinkler systems. Ensure there are safe “conduits” for fire fighting teams to get around fires. A bigger ship means more space for compressors and pumps. I think a 140 is a safe number.

      As for armed sentries I see your point but that task doesn’t impinge on the running of a ship too much. And once Royal has finished playing in his sand pit I suppose normal service will be resumed.

      Actually the thought of a matelot with a rifle is enough to make any sane person keep a good distance………..

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  5. Billf

    The chances are, these ships will be manned with 140 plus another 30%, I believe this is called masthead manning, this enables the ships to be permanently manned with a full crew at all times, and also enables the ships to be on call 235 days of the year.

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