The announcement continues the UK Government’s investment in Type 26, reflecting its commitment to the UK’s strategic warship building industry and the programme to deliver the Royal Navy’s next generation warships. Effective from April 2016, the 15 month contract extends the current demonstration phase ensuring continued momentum to further mature the detailed design of the Type 26 ships and to manufacture key equipment for the first three ships.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “These highly advanced ships will help keep Britain safe and support our shipbuilding industry. Investing in them is part of our plan to increase defence spending so our armed forces have the most modern equipment they need.”
Geoff Searle, Type 26 Programme Director at BAE Systems, said: “This is a significant investment in the programme and an endorsement of the Government’s commitment to sustain this important national capability. The Type 26 programme is progressing well and over the coming months more of our partners in the supply chain will start to manufacture equipment for the first three ships as we continue to progress towards the manufacturing phase.
“We are committed to working with the Ministry of Defence and wider industry to ensure the Royal Navy has the capability it needs to protect national interests, whilst ensuring value for money for UK taxpayers. Through the Type 26 programme, we are transforming the way we design and manufacture warships with innovative new technologies, systems and processes to ensure we continue to deliver the highest quality equipment at the lowest possible cost.”
To date, there are 27 companies across the maritime supply chain working with BAE Systems to deliver the Type 26 ships, including seven firms with contracts underway to manufacture key equipment for the first three ships. This includes manufacturing contracts with Babcock for the ships’ air weapons handling systems, GE Power Conversion for the electric propulsion motor and drive systems and Rolls-Royce for the gas turbines, the first of which passed its factory acceptance test in January.
Under the extended demonstration phase, BAE Systems expects to award manufacturing contracts to a total of approximately 50 companies, helping to support a vibrant maritime industry. Key equipment to be delivered includes the Combat Management System and the Shared Infrastructure IT system developed by BAE Systems. This innovative hardware solution will allow the crew to access all software, such as navigation, communications and sonar needed to operate a ship’s combat systems through a single console.
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be a world-class anti-submarine warfare ship and will in time replace the Type 23 frigates. Globally deployable, it will be capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group.