The United Kingdom Royal Navy is expanding its Type 26 anti-submarine warfare frigate fleet as part of a $5 billion contract with BAE Systems, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Tuesday.
The contract will add five of the frigates that BAE’s Scotland shipyards at Govan and Scotstoun will build. Sunak made the announcement during the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.
“We are investing in our fleet to ensure our Royal Navy maintains its world-leading capability to protect and defend our nation at sea. This design has already been successfully exported to Australia and Canada, proving itself as a world-class maritime capability, securing thousands of U.K. jobs and strengthening alliances with our allies,” U.K. Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace said in a Tuesday statement.
The 6,900-ton frigate will replace the 1980s-era 3,600-ton Type 23 Duke-class ASW frigates.
“Three Type 26 ships are already in build in Glasgow, with the first of class, HMS Glasgow, on track to enter the water later this year and be delivered to the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s. The construction of HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast is also underway,” reads a statement from BAE.
The Type 26 baseline design features advanced anti-submarine warfare capabilities, a 24-cell Mk 41 vertical launch system for Tomahawk cruise missiles and long-range strike weapons, a 48-cell silo for Sea Ceptor air defense missiles and a 5-inch gun. The flight deck can accommodate CH-47 Chinooks.
Canada and Australia are both procuring versions of the Type 26 for their own navies.