The Ministry of Defence has released images showing the basic specification of the T26 GCS, which is a significant milestone in the development of this programme. The creation of the vessel will sustain thousands of jobs in the shipbuilding industry.
The multi-mission warship, which is due to come into service after 2020, will be used by the Royal Navy in combat and counter-piracy operations, and to support humanitarian and disaster relief work around the world.
Since 2010 the MOD has been working with BAE Systems to determine the ship’s basic capabilities and baseline design.
Now that has been endorsed, the programme can progress to the next part of the assessment phase, which will examine the detailed specifications of the vessel.
With a displacement of around 5,400 tonnes, the T26 GCS will be around 148m in length (the equivalent of around 15 double-decker buses), and among the most advanced vessels in the Royal Navy’s fleet.
The T26 GCS is expected to feature:
• vertical missile silos capable of housing a range of different weapons
• a medium-calibre gun
• a hangar to accommodate a Merlin or Wildcat helicopter, and a flexible mission space for unmanned air, surface and underwater vehicles, or additional boats
• the most advanced sensors available to the fleet.
The T26 GCS is one of several projects, including the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, which will see UK shipbuilding provide world class equipment for the Royal Navy.
The Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff, said:
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be the backbone of the Royal Navy for decades to come. It is designed to be adaptable and easily upgraded, reacting to threats as they change.
I am delighted the programme has been endorsed by the investment approvals committee. The build of these vessels will secure thousands of skilled jobs across the UK, helping to sustain an industrial surface warship capability.
The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, said:
The T26 GCS will be a multi-mission warship designed for joint and multinational operations across the full spectrum of warfare, including complex combat operations, maritime security operations such as counter-piracy, as well as humanitarian and disaster relief work around the world.
It will be capable of operating independently for significant periods or as part of a task group and will play a major role in the defence of this country for many years.