As we thought might happen, yet more MoD contracts have been placed.
In addition to a concrete order for the fifth Astute class and long lead time items for the sixth the MoD has placed a £126 million order with BAe Surface Ships for the 4 year design and assessment phase for the proposed Type 26 Frigate.
The single type will replace both the Type 23′s and Type 22′s in service.
First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, said:
These programme announcements are welcome news for the Royal Navy. You simply cannot have an effective Navy without capable frigates, and the Type 26 combat ship will form the future backbone of the Royal Navy’s surface combatant force, alongside the new Type 45 destroyers.
These ships will be highly versatile, able to operate across the full spectrum of operations, from war-fighting to disaster relief.
The Astute Class submarine gives us a real edge, exploiting stealth and covert presence to offer enormous utility across a wide range of military tasks, everything from anti-submarine warfare, through intelligence-gathering, to striking targets far inland.
The key design aims for the Type 26 are for a ship that is:
- Versatile – able to undertake a number of roles
- Flexible – to adapt to the changing needs of defence
- Affordable – both in build and support through its service life
- Exportable – designed with the international market in mind
So it looks like the Future Surface Combatant vision with two classes of vessel, the C1 and C2 has been consigned to the round filing cabinet.
Interestingly, one of the key design aims is exportability, is this a straight lift from the programme ‘tests’ as described by Liam Fox and the Conservative Defence and Security Policy?
A quick look at the artists impressions shows 3 Phalanx, a 155mm main gun, Harpoon, large hangar and flight deck with a vertical launch cell installation afte of the main gun.
In other ‘splash the cash’ news, Babcock has been awarded a £1.2 billion order for submarine support, maintenance and decommissioning.