Home » Foreign Forces » Video: U.K. Reveals New Type 26 Frigate Design

Video: U.K. Reveals New Type 26 Frigate Design

An artist's conception of BAE System's Type 26 Global Combat Ship. BAE Image

An artist’s conception of BAE System’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship. BAE Image

The Royal Navy revealed more information about the design and capabilities of its new Global Combat Ship Type 26 frigate at the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition in London.

The new design, which is much larger than the legacy Duke Type 23 class it replaces, would add significant anti-submarine warfare capabilities and features an “acoustically quiet design [that] prevents detection,” according to a video the Royal Navy released. It would also feature air defense systems and flexible open spaces to support a range of operations.

At DSEI, First Sea Lord, Adm. George Zambellas, said the Type 26 ship would form “the backbone of the Royal Navy, with a design that has the potential to meet the operational needs of a number of major navies around the world,” according to a NavalToday.com article. The first Type 26 ships would enter service in the early 2020s, and the Royal Navy expects to buy 13 of them – five basic frigates, and eight with additional anti-submarine warfare equipment onboard.

Rigid inflatable boats in the future Type 26 frigate. Artist rendering courtesy Royal Navy.

Artist’s rendering of rigid inflatable boats in the future Type 26 frigate. BAE image.

The new video also touts the ship’s aviation capabilities, with a hangar capable of supporting the U.K.’s Merlins and the new Wildcat helicopters, and a flight deck able to field up to a CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter.

The video also features a range of open spaces – a mission bay, capability to store and launch rigid inflatable boats, container stores for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, and the flexibility to support future unmanned vehicles in all domains.

The U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded a $1.32 billion (£859 million) contract to BAE Systems in February to develop the frigate. Construction and procurement of long lead time materials would begin next year.

  • That’s the kind of Frigate the US Navy should have gotten. Maybe it’s not too late to make a deal with the British. They fix the F-35B and in return we buy their frigate.

    • APC

      Just lease the design from BAE. It can be fitted with US radars etc. It can also be built at the BAE yards in the states

      • We should make a trade deal with the British on the Frigate and in return build them an LHD or offer them the F-35B

        • Garth

          Here in the UK, we are already cursed to operate the F-35B. The blithering old fools who call themselves Royal Navy admirals bet everything on the F-35B, selling off half the surface fleet and the Sea Harriers to pay for their two new 65,000-ton Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrers. (By the way, we have more admirals than ships. It’s a ratio of at least 3 to 1, last time I checked. All very tin-pot banana republic.)

          Neither of the new carriers will be cat and trap, so either they operate the F-35B, and the F-35B works as advertised… or they become the world’s largest helicopter carriers. (Not that we’d have enough helos for them to carry on a routine basis.)

          There’s no money in the kitty to pay for any of this equipment. (It’s a much worse situation than the USN finds itself in.) Nor to pay for the Type-26. (Which is why the Type-26 project has spent 10-15 years in the planning stage, to date. The Type-26 was first mooted before the year 2000, as the “Future Surface Combatant”.)

          In fact, the Royal Navy is so skint that the current generation of frigates routinely go on operations with most of their air defence missile tubes empty, their ansitubmarine torpedo inventories depleted, the CIWS inoperable, their (antiquated) “Kryten” main guns with only a few dozen rounds, etc.

          This contrasts with the French and their rather good FREMM frigate, designed for a comparable role, weight, and range to the Type-26. The FREMM does almost everything Type-26 is supposed to do (and more in a few areas) but it’s not just fancy CGI, it’s here now, it’s affordable, its weapons systems are real (rather than being stalled in protracted development) and it’s better optimised for radar stealth, to boot.

          Did you know that our 8,000 ton Type-45 destroyers spent most of their first decade without air defence missiles? (They’re air defence destroyers.) They received (“pre-owned”) anti-ship Harpoon missiles only one or two years ago (“donated” by some of the many frigates the Royal Navy scrapped a decade early, tp pay for the over-budget Type-45s). So, Type-45s couldn’t even “self-escort” in war zones until about 2013/14. You needed the warship the Type-45 was supposed to replace, to accompany the all-but-unarmed Type-45. (But to pay for the Type-45, those older frigates were being retired. It’s all very Catch-22, and headache-inducing.)

          Most of the TYpe-45s have spent most of their lives without CIWS, cooperative engagement capability (standard on your American Burkes), ASW capability, ASuW capability, ABM capability, or other standard destroyer features. (Well, standard for modern, 8,000 ton destroyers.)

          The Royal Navy is a paper tiger bluff, (mis)managed by the kind of inbed aristocratic toffs who make David Cameron look like a reliable, level-headed chap who merely likes pork more than he should. Oh, and did I mention that for much of the past decade, the Cabinet-level post of Defence Secretary has been a part time job?

          Our nation is doomed.

          • UKExpat

            People have been continually saying the UK is doomed for the last 1,000 years. Before joining that forlorn club I suggest you take a course of lessons in carrying out sensible, reliable, accurate and balanced research.

          • Murgatroyd

            This is garbage. The French military has been gutted over the last 30 years and the MN is in fact inferior to the RN in overall terms. One undersized, poorly designed and built carrier and just TWO AAW destroyers – pathetic. As for the FREMM, it is a compromised design in the same way that the T26 is – and the build has been cut from a planned 17 to just 8!

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  • johnbull

    Couldn’t we buy the design from the Brits, scrap the failure that is the LCS and its frigate variant, and builld several dozen of these boats?

    • Ctrot

      We could but we won’t.

      • Look at the Miserable failures of the LCS and the F-35 program

        • Ctrot

          I don’t mix F-35 in with LCS. F-35 if/when it works as advertised will be a great aircraft, LCS will never be a great ship even if it did everything it is supposed to do. It is too lightly armed for it’s cost and that will not change.

          • Look at the F-35 and LCS programs. Both are too costly and both are NOT Combat capable & survivable. Even the F-35 can’t dogfight let alone beat an F-16. As for the LCS, it’s a SICK sad joke. It’s nothing more than a glorified US Coast Guard Medium Endurance cutter, painted Haze grey.

          • John B. Morgen

            The LCS looks more like an armed yacht; instead, by calling it …”a US Coast Guard Medium Endurance cutter, painted Haze grey.”

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Most likely scenario, we “Renege”, on the JSF Program, NO “Allied” or Friendly Nation State will ever buy American Military Equipment or Weapons Again…

          • Ctrot

            The F-35 vs F-16 story is BS. Do some research. As for the LCS you are absolutely right, so don’t discredit yourself with spreading false internet rumors about the F-35.

          • I think your wrong. Read War is Boring article and it shows the F-35 is a Miserable FAILURE. Can’t turn, can’t outrun and can’t DOGFIGHT it’s way in or out.

          • Ctrot

            That is the article I am referring to as BS.

            Google “Why The “F-35 v F-16” Article Is Garbage”

          • I see your an F-35 Fanboy.

          • Ctrot

            I see you have no other means to make your point so you resort to personal attacks. I am someone who believes in facts and data, not someone who latches onto the latest military project bashing fad because it is fashionable to do so.

          • I see you can’t prove anything

          • Ctrot

            You can continue the kindergarten style comments or you can go read the article I directed you to, your choice. I’ve already read the “War is Boring” article and found it severely lacking in both facts and comprehension of the subject matter. I don’t have the time nor inclination to attempt an adult conversation with anyone lacking the ability to hold up their end.

          • You can’t prove JACK

          • Ctrot

            All you’ve managed to prove is that you are a petulant child. Great job.

          • Your just a F-35 Fanboy who can’t admit the F-35 on top of the LCS is a miserable failure.

          • Navyjag907

            I’m an F-35 fanboy. I was an unbeliever like you until I saw the light (and did some reading). Any plane where a pilot can fire a killing shot by just looking at the target is going to be a war winner. And that’s what the F-35 will be offering. It’s not a faster, better dog fighter carrying more missiles etc. It’s a killer and it promises to do that better than any other thing in the sky.

          • Then again, read the War is Boring Report where the F-35 can’t Beat an 80’s era F-16 and Where the F-16 can beat the F-35

          • Navyjag907

            I read it before my conversion. Afterwards, I read more balanced accounts.

          • Go ask the Test pilot that flew that test

          • UKExpat

            This thread sounds like Deja-Vous to me, I distinctly remember similar comments made about the “Harrier” in it’s early days. History has clearly shown that the comments were wrong then and no doubt they are wrong now with regard to the “F-35”.

          • That’s what the F-35 and the LCS is right now. A huge waste and a drain on military budgets

    • John B. Morgen

      It is rarely a defense program gets cancel, unless the news media and the Public demands, among with some top ranking political party members scream out loud for a cancellation. I agree that the LCS should be cancel, and be replace with a more prudent warship design. An European frigate [corvette] design would work well, but a frigate [cruiser] would work even better.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Nice looking ship, but they should do something about that Planet of the Apes crew…

  • Dennis Moore

    They were supposed to build 16 and not 13, a one for one replacement for the Type 23’s. I don’t like the idea of a basic model and one with additional anti submarine equipment installed. What is this “basic” model anyway, another useless frigate without a sonar like the French La Fayette class from the 1990’s? I remember the original Type 23 ( pre Falklands ) that had a landing pad for helicopters but no hangar. How in the name of god were they supposed to service the Sea King while pounding through the North Atlantic without a hangar? How are you going to track an Akula without an advanced sonar suite?
    As far as the pathetic LCS is concerned why hasn’t anybody bothered to examine the new Korean Inchon class frigates as a potential alternative? Most of of the equipment and the engines are already U.S. designed/built and it could run circles around an LCS?

    • Rob C.

      The cut down of the UK budget didn’t help anything, plus their aircraft carrier program is eating up a lot of their projected budget. Remember the Daring Class Destroyers were suppose to be order of 6 and not 5.

      • UKExpat

        Ugh? Six (6) Daring Class Type 45 Destroyers were ordered, built and now serving in the RN. Where does the 5 come from ?????

    • Yes like for like should be 16 not 13. And is Sonar 2087 that expensive to fit to only 8?

    • Murgatroyd

      The helicopters were to be maintained aboard the 30,000 ton Fort class AORs, each of which could accommodate up to 4/5 helicopters in the hangar – between 4 and 6 of these were originally planned. The T23s were intended to work in groups of 4, each group accompanied by an AOR.

  • CaptainParker

    The Brits are also considering building 30 to40 “Black Swan”-class corvettes. These are ships in the 1000 ton range and would require a very small crew. These would be ships assigned to providing security for merchant ships, mine warfare, piracy suppression. add these to the fleet and the Royal Navy becomes quite respectable as a naval force as well as being capable in multiple fields of sea control.

    • Secundius

      @ CaptainParker.

      By ALL indications, Black Swan class and River class were Cancelled in 2014…

      • CaptainParker

        Perhaps in light of recent events in the Ukraine, in the Middle East and elsewhere, such a decision will be revisited and, hopefully, reversed.

        • wishful but unlikely

      • UKExpat

        I think you better inform both the RN and BAE as they are currently building three new 2000ton River Class ships.

        • UKExpat

          Another two have now been ordered making 5 new builds plus the 4 currently in service makes a total of 9 to date. Indications are that more are in the pipeline It seems that this type may be developed and become the UK’s future LCS/ general escort and general coast guard ships..

      • Murgatroyd

        The River class is not cancelled – 5 more of an improved design have been ordered.

    • No that is only a working paper.

  • RobM1981

    Excuse me, but those aren’t Frigates… those are Littoral Combat Ships. Didn’t the RN get the memo?

  • dan

    I have received a lot of grief telling everyone the Perry’s were obsolete long ago, I hope this closes that chapter for good. Back to the drawing board.

  • Secundius

    @ johnbull.

    Actually, we could Probably Order Direct, considering there owned by BEa. And BEa, is a Defense Contractor for the US. Military, and also means, it doesn’t violate the “Jones” Act of 1920…

  • Michael Nunez

    Why would anyone pee their pant’s , ” so bad “, in an effort to put down the F-35 . Not having anything to do with it , …..spell’s Troll .

  • David Flandry

    Odds are, based on UK history, that 13 frigates will turn into 12, with smaller size and less capable weapons fit. That’s how they do things in Whitehall.

  • Rob C.

    I’m glad their finally rolling out what ship suppose to look like. I wonder what difference is from the Type 26 and their export model Type 27 they used talk about.

    Call me crazy, but ship here in the video seems to be generic. I’m sure the devil is in the details what it really can do. However, it seem be touting how it has mission deck to be able slap on more equipment they need verse what i can do. It has medium gun, it has CAMM vertical missile systems. No mention of anything offensive aside from the anti-submarine helio. The out date wikipedia page mentions that there consideration to have four 3 8-cell mk41 VLS launchers to Tomahawks, but the video doesn’t mention them.

  • Sdly only 13 of these ships

  • Randall Case

    Maybe the USN should buy 20 as well. Heavens knows the Navy needs some frigates and I bet these would do the job just nicely.