04 Juli 2017
The BAE Systems Type 26 Global Combat Ship. (image : BAE Systems)
The recent UK decision to procure a first batch of Type 26 frigates from BAE Systems has provided a boost to the company’s bid to supply the platform to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in meeting its Future Frigate requirement.
BAE Systems Australia chief executive Glynn Phillips said in comments to Jane’s on 4 July that the new contract means the company’s proposal for the RAN will be “significantly de-risked” through support provided by the UK’s “live programme” to build the Type 26 frigates for the UK Royal Navy.
The RAN programme will also benefit through wider growth margins and related technological advancements, he said.
Type 26 tailored to Australian needs (image : BAE Systems)
The UK contract with BAE Systems – worth USD4.8 billion – was signed on 29 June and covers the construction of the first three of a planned class of eight ships. BAE Systems will begin production of the first of these frigates later this month in Glasgow, Scotland. A UK contract for the second batch of five ships is expected to be negotiated in the early 2020s.
The construction schedule coincides with the RAN requirement for nine frigates under Project SEA 5000. Construction of these vessels is scheduled to commence in 2020, with the programme set to be based at Osborne, South Australia, home of state-owned shipbuilder ASC.
Commenting on the new contract announcement, Phillips said, “This news is very exciting for Australia as it’s a turning point for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme. With construction starting in the coming weeks, the most modern, most capable, most future-proof anti-submarine warfare [ASW] platform in the world will soon become a reality.”