UK Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson, visited BAE Systems’ Clyde shipyards today to gain an insight into BAE Systems' next generation digital ship design approach for the Type 26 frigates, before viewing the first fully constructed units of the first of class, GLASGOW.
In a fully-digital 3D virtual environment, the Defence Secretary walked through decks and stood on the bridge of the 149-metre long Type 26 design before touring the site to see how construction of the first vessel is progressing.
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship, an anti-submarine warfare ship, will replace the Type 23 anti-submarine frigates.
Construction of the first Type 26 frigate started in July 2017 and the hull is already taking shape with the first two completed hull sections now connected. The units contain the machinery space, aviation stores for embarked helicopters and a recreational area.
Iain Stevenson, BAE Systems Naval Ships managing director, said the use of digital technologies is helping develop and prove the design.
"We have been able to demonstrate how the latest digital technologies help us work with our customer and suppliers to create a comprehensive and mature complex warship design for the UK Royal Navy," Stevenson said.
"From the positioning of key equipment and cutting edge combat systems, through to the design and outfit of recreational areas, we use this technology to develop and prove the design alongside our customer.
“Nearly a year into production it’s a proud moment to see the first two units joined together and we are already seeing GLASGOW take shape at our facilities here on the Clyde. It’s a great opportunity for our apprentices to learn new skills and play a part in such an important programme.”
The digital ship design approach for the Type 26 platform has also been offered to the Australian government as part of the UK company's bid for the $35 billion SEA 5000 project, as well the Canadian Surface Combatant program.
Rt. Hon Gavin WIlliamson, UK Defence Secretary said the Five Eyes alliance cooperation would be significantly boosted should Australia and Canada select the Type 26 design.
"My visit to BAE Systems Govan reinforces our full commitment to the construction of eight Type 26 frigates, supporting twenty years of work in Scotland. I was delighted to see first-hand the exceptional progress being made on our world-beating frigates, which will protect UK and allies at home and overseas. I hope to see these extraordinary vessels as the preferred choice for the Royal Australian Navy to further our Five Eyes co-operation and boost global security."