UK starts construction of first Type 26 frigate HMS Gowan

BAE Systems Type 26 Global Combat Ship.

The name of the first Type 26 frigate to be built for the Royal Navy has been announced during a steel-cutting ceremony held at Govan shipyard in Scotland.

Pressing the button which officially marked the ship’s construction start, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced that the first Type 26 frigate would be named HMS Gowan, the 9th Royal Navy ship to bear the name.

It was also announced that the new frigates will be referred to as the City-class.

“As an island nation, we are utterly dependant on the sea for our security and prosperity,” Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord, said. “The City-class confrims the historic bond between the Royal Navy’s fighting ships and our great centres of commerce and industry.”

The steel-cutting ceremony took place less than a month after shipbuilder BAE Systems received a £3.7 billion contract to build the first three ships in the class.

Overall eight vessels are planned to be built to replace the equivalent number of submarine-hunting Type 23 frigates currently in service.

The Type 26 frigates are 60ft longer and 2,000 tonnes heavier than their predecessors, equipped with bow and towed array sonar, Sea Ceptor air defence missiles and a 5in main gun.

The ships are also equipped with a mission bay for plug-in containers carrying equipment for specific tasks, such as disaster relief, and a flight deck big enough to take a Chinook – though the Fleet Air Arm’s Merlin and Wildcat helicopters will be more common.

In due course, the Type 26’s firepower will be bolstered by the future offensive surface weapon – the missile currently being developed to replace the Harpoon.



4 thoughts on “UK starts construction of first Type 26 frigate HMS Gowan”

  1. In a way it’s odd that these ships are called ‘frigates’, in that they’re almost as big as some of the RN’s inter-war light cruisers. On the other hand, a relatively multi-role design with global reach is exactly what a frigate was back in the eighteenth century – I guess the full multi-role frigate (Type 31) will be subject to politics, but the T26 still underscores the way ship classifications and roles evolve.

    1. My theory is that this is the same as the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate. It displaces 6,050 tonnes. The new German F125 Baden-Württemberg Class Frigate, displaces 7,200 tonnes. Either this is the new era of frigate design, or like the Invincible-class ‘through deck cruisers’ it is an attempt to disguise the fact that these large ships are in actual fact light cruisers. The only explanation is that a ‘Frigate’ is easier to get through parliament. Or as you say Matthew, it could just be an evolutionary step conforming to the changing threat in the maritime environment.

  2. It is a modest start to have Britannia ruling the waves again after so many years of cutting on Defense budget, Coalition For Defense
    hopes it is not too late

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s