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Bae Systems Has Been Awarded a £4.2BN Contract to Build Five More Type 26 Frigates in Glasgow

With this announcement, the UK Ministry of Defence has awarded a £4.2 billion contract to BAE Systems to manufacture the next five City Class Type 26 frigates for the Royal Navy in Glasgow.

An £8 billion contract with the U.S. Navy for building 10 new warships was announced this week, including sustaining 4,000 jobs across BAE Systems and the wider UK maritime supply chain, securing shipbuilding at BAE Systems’ facilities in Scotland into the 2030s and ensuring a £1.2 billion investment in the British supply chain through to 2031.

It is designed for anti-submarine warfare and high-intensity air defense, but can adapt quickly to transport high volumes of humanitarian aid or house medical facilities.

The UK shipbuilding industry is expanding, with two new Type 26 warships, HMS Glasgow and HMS Cardiff, currently under construction in Scotland. The first of these ships, HMS Glasgow, is set to enter the water later this year.

“We are investing in our fleet to maintain our world-leading capability to protect and defend our nation at sea. Our design has already been successfully exported to Australia and Canada, proving itself as a world-class maritime capability, securing thousands of UK jobs and strengthening alliances with our allies. Supporting thousands of high-skilled jobs in Scotland, and more across the wider UK supply chain, this contract will continue to boost the British shipbuilding industry, galvanizing the very best of British engineering, manufacturing and design.” – Ben Wallace Secretary of State for Defense. 

More than 120 UK suppliers have secured contracts to create the new batch of frigates, which includes Dunfermline’s steering gears, Filton’s gas turbines and Cumbria’s maritime LED lights.

176 new apprentices joined the 400 already working at BAE Systems on the Type 26 programme this year, which has ramped up rapidly across the UK. With a further 400 recruits still to be recruited by December 2020, there is great potential for advancement in shipbuilding skills and in-demand trades.

BAE Systems is going to spend £15m on a new Applied Shipbuilding Academy in Glasgow. The investment will support the development of all shipbuilding employees, from apprentices through to senior leaders. In addition, Atlantic Yards has applied for planning permission to start construction on a new shipbuilding hall worth over £100m.

In 2015, the Commonwealth of Australia and Canada selected the Type 26 design as a potential replacement for their aging fleet. By implementing lessons learned across these three programs, both countries will gain an improved shipbuilding process while spreading its build and transition into service to all three nations.

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