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Merseyside Shipyard Among UK Facilities Awarded Contracts to build Units for Royal Navy’s Type 26 Frigates

18th September 2023
Cammell Laird shipbuilders on Merseyside has been awarded contracts by BAE Systems to build units for the UK Royal Navy’s Type 26 /City class frigates.
Cammell Laird shipbuilders on Merseyside has been awarded contracts by BAE Systems to build units for the UK Royal Navy’s Type 26 /City class frigates.

The Wirral Peninsula on the Irish Sea is where Birkenhead based shipbuilder, Cammell Laird along with North Sea based A&P Tyne have been awarded contracts by BAE Systems to build units for the UK Royal Navy’s Type 26 /City class frigates.

The advanced anti-submarine warfare vessels which Afloat reported began with the first ship, HMS Glasgow, are being constructed at BAE Systems’ sites in Govan, Scotland, but will incorporate units built from both shipyards.

A&P Tyne, a shipyard which boasts the largest fabrication facilities on the east coast of England, has built four lower units for Ship No.3, HMS Belfast, all of which were delivered earlier this year. As for the Ship No.2, Afloat highlights this is HMS Cardiff.

Cammell Laird which operates one of the largest construction halls in Europe, is building units for Ship No.4, HMS Birmingham, which will also be joining all of these units together.

The development marks the latest milestone in a hugely productive history of collaboration with BAE Systems, having previously supported the build of the Astute and Dreadnought class submarines, manufactured substantial parts of Her Majesty’s QEC Class Aircraft Carriers (see, Afloat’s Appledore Irish Naval Service story) and delivered the Type 45 Power Improvement Project (PIP).

Mike Hill, Managing Director at Cammell Laird said: “Cammell Laird has a long standing history of collaboration with BAE Systems and we are delighted to be working together to deliver the next generation of anti-submarine warfare.

“With our ability to work alongside our colleagues at A&P Tyne throughout the build process, taking the transfer of knowledge and vital experience is proving to be delivering both acceleration to the programme and significant efficiencies savings throughout.”

The Type 26 Frigates are designed for anti-submarine warfare and will replace the Type 23, with the first due to enter service later this decade.

David McGinley, Chief Executive Officer at A&P Group and Cammell Laird, said: “We have a proud track record when it comes to partnership working and delivering projects of vital national importance.

“Our commitment to the armed forces and our defence capabilities lies at the heart of our business and everything we do.”
Apprentices from both A&P and Cammell Laird have also been working on the project, a point of pride for everyone involved.

David added: “We’re fiercely and unashamedly proud to be able to play even a small role in the lives of the communities in which we’re based. And because this is the next generation of Royal Navy vessel, it’s only fitting that the next generation of our workforce should be working on it.”

Published in Shipyards
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Afloat will be focusing on news and developments of shipyards with newbuilds taking shape on either slipways and building halls.

The common practice of shipbuilding using modular construction, requires several yards make specific block sections that are towed to a single designated yard and joined together to complete the ship before been launched or floated out.

In addition, outfitting quays is where internal work on electrical and passenger facilities is installed (or upgraded if the ship is already in service). This work may involve newbuilds towed to another specialist yard, before the newbuild is completed as a new ship or of the same class, designed from the shipyard 'in-house' or from a naval architect consultancy. Shipyards also carry out repair and maintenance, overhaul, refit, survey, and conversion, for example, the addition or removal of cabins within a superstructure. All this requires ships to enter graving /dry-docks or floating drydocks, to enable access to the entire vessel out of the water.

Asides from shipbuilding, marine engineering projects such as offshore installations take place and others have diversified in the construction of offshore renewable projects, from wind-turbines and related tower structures. When ships are decommissioned and need to be disposed of, some yards have recycling facilities to segregate materials, though other vessels are run ashore, i.e. 'beached' and broken up there on site. The scrapped metal can be sold and made into other items.