HRH Prince William Cuts steel on 3rd Type 26 Frigate

David Dunlop, 14 July 2021

At the end of June, Prince William cut the first steel on HMS Belfast, the third ship in an eight-ship BAE Type 26 build. Belfast is being built under a GBP 3.7 billion (CAD 6.39 billion) contract awarded to BAE Systems in June 2017 for the first three of a planned class of eight ships. A contract for the second batch of five ships is expected in the early 2020s, with ship deliveries projected to run through to the mid-2030s.  According to BAE Systems, work on the first two ships is progressing well. First-of-class HMS Glasgow, on which production was started in July 2017, was rolled out of the build hall in recent weeks. Meanwhile, about 40% of the units for second-in-class HMS Cardiff, which was started in August 2019, are in build, the shipyard said.  Under original timelines the lead ship was expected to enter service in the early 2020s. Delays to the program, however, mean that HMS Glasgow is now expected to enter service in 2027, followed by the second and third ships at intervals of up to 18 months. At this rate, the first three Type 26 Frigates will either be in-service or ready for trials well ahead of the first Canadian Surface Combatant Frigate build start. When will the CSC Type 26 Frigate design phase be completed and contracts signed? God and the Canadian Government are the only ones who know and they're not talking. So much unnecessary secrecy!


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