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BAE Systems awarded contract for Royal Navy Batch 2 Type 26 frigates

An artist's impression of all eight Type 26 frigates at sea. (Royal Navy/Crown Copyright)

UK defence prime BAE Systems has been awarded a UK Ministry of Defence contract to build the second batch of Type 26 City-class frigates for the Royal Navy (RN).

Under the GBP4.2 billion (USD4.97 billion) deal, announced on 15 November, the company's Naval Ships business will build five additional Type 26 frigates to complement three that are under construction and complete the eight-ship class.

The manufacture phase for the Batch 2 frigates is planned to start in the first quarter of 2023 when the first steel will be cut for the future HMS Birmingham – the fourth ship of the class.

Meanwhile, the three Batch 1 ships – being built by BAE Systems under a GBP3.7 billion (USD4.3 billion) contract awarded in mid-2017 – are all at various stages of construction at the shipbuilder's Govan facility on the River Clyde in Scotland. First-of-class Glasgow is planned for float-off in December prior to transferring to BAE System's Scotstoun facility to complete fitting out; the fore and aft sections of second ship Cardiff are on track to be joined together in early 2023, while Belfast is in the early stages of manufacture following its steel-cutting ceremony in June 2021.

Construction of all eight frigates is expected to be completed by the mid-2030s. The contract secures a core loading for BAE Systems Naval Ships on the Clyde for the next decade.

Under current planning, Glasgow

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