In a steel cut ceremony at BAE Systems’ shipyard in Glasgow, Prince William set a plasma cutting machine to work on the first plate of steel for the third Type 26 frigate, HMS Belfast.
Minister of state for defence, Baroness Goldie, together with employees and representatives from the Scottish government, Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defence, joined the celebrations.
The event marks an important step in the programme to deliver the UK’s latest anti-submarine warfare capability to the Royal Navy, with all three of the first batch of City Class frigates now under construction. The UK-sourced steel plate will form part of a unit which will contain the machinery space for the gearbox and stabilisers of HMS Belfast.
In recent weeks the first of class, HMS Glasgow, was rolled out of the build hall into the open for the first time, while progress on HMS Cardiff continues at pace, with more than 40% of the ship’s units in build at the company’s Govan shipyard.
Led by electrical apprentice, Cara Shannon, and Type 26 programme director, David Shepherd, the Duke of Cambridge enjoyed a tour of HMS Glasgow during his visit, meeting employees in the ship’s operations room and flight deck.
“The world-class skills and expertise demonstrated by our teams and suppliers right across the UK play a critical role in delivering this vital advanced capability to the Royal Navy,” said Simon Lister, managing director of BAE Systems’ naval ships business. “The City Class frigates are at the pinnacle of complex warship capability and, together with our teams, I look forward to seeing the progress of all three ships.”
Supporting more than 4,000 jobs across the UK, the Type 26 programme is making a significant contribution to the nation’s economic recovery by maintaining much-needed skills and capabilities.
To date, more than £1 billion has been invested across the programme’s supply chain, with more than 100 suppliers globally.